Love is Darkness (Valerie Dearborn #1) – I think I’ve found a new series that’s *dear* to me!

Love is darkness - Carolyn Hanson - Valerie Dearborn 1Correction, I think I must thank Val for throwing it in my face how good this series is.  This is the best 99 cents I’ve spent yet! Of course the price has increased to a whopping $1.99, but I can assure you it’s worth breaking the bank for this one.

Valerie Dearborn has spent her life trying to avoid her destiny.  As a child, she watch her mother meet a tragic end at the hands of a vampire.  That unfortunate turn of events changed her life forever.  Her father, with a help of Jack—a young man left orphaned after a vampire slaughtered his family as a child—have made it their life’s mission to hunt these evil bloodsuckers. They’re pretty good at it too! Or so they think.  Except one night they bring Valerie along and she meets Lucas, a 1600 year old vampire King who knows that Valerie is no ordinary human.  She is part Empath, a believed-to-be extinct species that makes vampires vulnerable to their emotions. Using her family as leverage he recruits Valerie to help him on his quest to find others like her, as well as werewolves and fae, who were supernatural adversaries to vampires long ago.  He also really really wants to get in her pants because he’s been emotionless for so long and wants to “feel” again.  Let’s not stray away from that not so little plot point.  Of course Valerie wants a normal life, but it is obviously not in the cards, or this book would be really boring.

Valerie as a heroine is pretty cool.  I have no real complaints since I understand that this is the first novel and she hasn’t yet gone down the road of self-discovery.  I sense a lot in store for her as the books continue.  This series is not in first-person tense, but Valerie’s own humor and personality shine through in a number of scenes.

I admit that for a while I just hadn’t been coming across super sexy badass vampires.  If they weren’t of the “emo” variety then they merely talked the talked.  Well, Lucas walks the walk.  He has a valid reason for his attraction to Valerie.  None of that “I have lived for 900 years and never met a strong, fearless woman who speaks her mind!” and similar lame, unbelievable crap.  It’s attraction on a cellular level, literally.  Their chemistry is all kinds of crazy.  I was liking Jack in the beginning, but after Lucas it just doesn’t compare for me.  I think what really impressed me was his display of complete power and dominance against enemies.  He is King and he knows it, he doesn’t doubt it, and it’s his way or the highway.  He could be as ruthless or as gentle as the moment calls for and he makes no apologies.

As for the writing, while I love Caroline Hanson’s style, there are a number of spelling and formatting errors which interrupts the flow for me at times.  But this tends to be pretty common for the cheap or free Kindle books.

There isn’t a whole lot of story, but I see a lot of promise.  The character interactions are very intriguing and there are a number of action-pact scenes to keep things moving while not being overbearing.  While Love is Darkness not surprisingly has “dark” undertones, there’s a lot of humor as well which is always a plus for me.

There are a few sex scenes as well so this is certainly NOT of the YA variety, but if you’re in the mood for a more mature story (or about as mature you can expect a college girl moving abroad to be) then this one may be for you.  Favorites don’t come easy for me, but I really connected with this series and was left wanting more…a lot more.  Highly recommended.

15 responses

  1. Sounds good. I added it to my e-reader so I wont forget about it while reading my others.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:50 AM

    • I just finished Book 2 and it makes book 1 pale in comparison. I’ll post that review next week. Let me know what you think!

      January 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM

  2. I just added books 1 and 2 to my library, thanks for the recommendation.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:52 AM

  3. Diva

    Have this on my Nook, ready to go.

    And I totally agree with this: “I have lived for 900 years and never met a strong, fearless woman who speaks her mind!” and similar lame, unbelievable crap.

    I hate that cliche too.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    • So glad I’m not the only one, Diva. Don’t get me wrong, I like a good romance plot, but cliche just isn’t good anymore, lol.

      January 19, 2012 at 11:53 AM

  4. “Loooove the kind you clean up with a mop and bucket!” -The Blood Hound Gang

    Thanks, for the shout out, Erika! I love Lucas the badass Vampire King. YUMMY! You know I’m a bit of a hornball And I love the main character Valerie. She’s got a sarcastic sense of humor peppered with bitchiness that just makes her sooo appealing to me.The story and world building are solid in this new series. And I wish nothing but the best for this author. And I’m impatiently waiting for the next installment to this series. If you read this series and like it please share the love and give good reviews on goodreads and Amazon and last but not least on YUF Forum (here).

    Thanks, for reading this Erika. I thought you would appreciate it. *wink*

    January 19, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    • Of course, Val! W00T Team Lucas! And yeah, Valerie is quite likable. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that you guys share the same name :P. I admit that I connect with Mercy THOMPSON a little just because of that.

      My favorite quote:
      “Her room was stuck in a time warp, perfect for a little girl who loved pink…It even had a huge wooden doll house in the corner where Barbie and Ken had gone all the way…repeatedly.”

      I cracked up. You know we ALL did that!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM

  5. This sounds pretty awesome! Think I might give it a go. Thanks for the suggestion and review! Looking forwards to it!

    January 19, 2012 at 5:16 PM

    • You definitely should! No prob!

      January 19, 2012 at 6:44 PM

      • Thank you so much for the awesome review and Valerie, thanks for the shout out too! I still see every review and have a MASSIVE moment of fear that I’m going to be ripped to shreds. It doesn’t happen particularly often, but I apparently like to live in a state of slightly stressed out, paranoid fear….Lol.

        As for the errors. Sigh. I’m going to be getting another edit and formatting job done, it’s just that it would take away from book 3 which I’m trying to write. Argh.

        January 29, 2012 at 8:50 PM

        • No problem! And thanks for stopping by on my blog! I really appreciate it! And don’t worry about the reviews. I was the same way for my hobby. The best approach is to try to take the good and bad and then realize you’re probably somewhere in between. If there’s not a lot of bad while there’s a lot of good then I think you’re doing great. I’m thrilled to know there will be a book 3 at some point.

          January 29, 2012 at 9:25 PM

        • Caroline, do you know if book 2 is going to be offered from Kobo any time soon? I only found the first (and amazon.ca doesn’t have print copies) and I hate having to stop reading right after the first book. I don’t feel like I get a proper feel when I’m only one in. Not enough time for world and character development.

          Always worth while asking.

          January 29, 2012 at 10:37 PM

          • Hmm. Kobo. I just checked and the site that publishes it (smashwords) says it’s still being reviewed. Send me your email address CHcarolinehanson@gmail.com and I’ll see if I can send you a free copy. I’m sure we can come up with something! Sorry you have had trouble getting it, this is the first I have heard of the problem.

            Caroline

            January 30, 2012 at 12:10 AM

        • Very, VERY excited for book 3!

          January 30, 2012 at 6:24 PM

  6. Pingback: Giveaway to celebrate the big 10K: Love is Darkness (Valerie Dearborn #1) by Caroline Hanson « Your Urban Fantasy

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