Monday, January 6, 2014

Series Review + Giveaway: The World of Nightwalkers

Today I'm thrilled to kick off the promotional tour for Jacquelyn Frank's adult paranormal romance series, The World of Nightwalkers; a tour celebrating the series as a whole but with particular emphasis on Forsaken (book 3), which releases on January 7th from Ballantine Books. Normally in this situation I would write one review for the entire series, but since each book focuses on a different couple, I decided to split them into separate shorter reviews. Because I was new to this series, I started with book one, Forbidden, put book two on hold in the interest of time management, and then skipped ahead to Forsaken, which is why you'll find only two reviews below. 

Be sure and check out the bottom of the post for all the details on how to win a copies of all three books!

FORBIDDEN
The World of Nightwalkers #1
Jacquelyn Frank
Adult Paranormal Romance
352 pages
Ballantine Books
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from TLC Book Tours)
The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.

When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.

MY THOUGHTS
Forbidden is a story that gets off to a bit of a rocky start, perhaps due in part to it being the first in new paranormal romance series (though set in the same world as Ms. Frank’s Nightwalker books), therefore bearing the burden of introduction and explanation. Instead of the explanation of the supernatural aspect of this world being seamlessly woven into the narrative, the first hundred-plus pages feel more informative than anything as we’re bounced around to several different characters instead of getting to spend much-needed time with our romantic hero and heroine. Though Docia and Ram are the main focus of this initial book, it could be said that their story is as much her brother Jackson’s as hers, our time equally split between the three of them despite the fact that Jackson is the hero of book two.

After about the halfway point however, things begin to settle down and Docia and Ram start to inch their way to the forefront, finally allowing us the chance to emotionally connect to them rather than simply digest their story as it’s detailed for us on page. Docia is a touch tricky at times, her reactions to the major upheaval in her life almost frustratingly youthful, her snarky outbursts clearly meant to be endearing (as Ram finds them), but to us she just comes across as peevish. She undoubtedly earns a freak out or two given all she goes through in a short period of time, it’s just the way she expresses her fear and anger that keeps us from fully embracing her. Much like the story itself though, Docia settles in the second half and becomes someone we’re actually rooting for, making Forbidden a book that ends far stronger than it starts.

Rating: 3.5/5

FORSAKEN
The World of Nightwalkers #3
Jacquelyn Frank
Adult Paranormal Romance
352 pages
Ballantine Books
Available Now
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review

THE STORY (from TLC Book Tours)
As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot—but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered.

But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature—a Night Angel—to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power—or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.

MY THOUGHTS
Forsaken is free of one of the main issues that plagued book one, focusing almost exclusively on Leo and Faith–with only a couple deviations into the laughably terrifying existence of a villainous imp god–rather than bouncing us to a third protagonist as was the case with Jackson in Ram and Docia’s story. As a result it feels as though we get to know Leo and Faith far better than we did our very first couple, and Faith in particular is someone we can’t help but feel grateful for knowing on a deeper level. She’s strong of both mind and body, quick to call Leo on his petty nonsense as he attempts to push her buttons and proceeds to cut her off at the ankles with his scathing criticism of anything supernatural. Her mental and emotional strength does wane a bit as her feelings for him grow, her attachment making her vulnerable in a way she wasn’t in the very beginning, but even vulnerable she continues to stand tall and take the sometimes brutal blows she’s dealt without flinching.

Leo, for his part, is someone we want desperately to like given the horror he experienced in book two (something that is recounted in gut-wrenching detail for us in the beginning of this third book), thoroughly understanding his hatred of all things paranormal after the torture he endured at the hands of a uniquely sadistic bodywalker. For most of this story the push/pull nature of his relationship with Faith more than makes sense, his physical scars just beginning to heal and his mental ones still as raw as they were the moment they were inflicted, so his struggle to come to terms with the fact that Faith is a Night Angel is one we feel to our cores. It’s in the late chapters however when our feelings begin to shift, Leo’s caustic remarks and painful offhand comments becoming far less justifiable as Faith continues to prove that her otherworldliness does not sentence her to the same vile category as his torturer, and he comes startlingly close to running out of page time before he can make amends.

As a result of his continued and lengthy internal debate as to whether or not all supernatural entities deserve to be painted with the same brush as the one who hurt him, the conclusion of this third installment feels quite rushed. All of his struggles seem to find resolution quickly and easily in the last chapter, detracting from the believability of his love for Faith given we’ve seen nothing but evidence contrary to such feelings. That being said however, up until that point their relationship is ripe with the addicting kind of tension that stems from the knowledge that these two people, so different in so many ways, are going to find happiness in one another eventually, and we just have to sit back and enjoy watching as the chasm between them grows ever-narrower.

Rating: 4/5
Ending: 3.5/5

The World of Nightwalkers:


• • • • • • • • • • 

JACQUELYN FRANK


Jacquelyn Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of the World of Nightwalkers series (Forbidden, Forever, and Forsaken), the Three Worlds series (Seduce Me in Dreams and Seduce Me in Flames), the Nightwalkers series (Adam, Jacob, Gideon, Elijah, Damien, and Noah), the Shadowdwellers novels (Ecstasy, Rapture, and Pleasure), and the Gatherers novels (Hunting Julian and Stealing Katherine). She lives in North Carolina and has been writing romantic fiction ever since she picked up her first teen romance at age thirteen.


• • • • • • • • • •

GIVEAWAY

Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Ballantine Books I have a set of all three World of Nightwalkers books up for grabs to one lucky winner! To enter, please just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

http://tlcbooktours.com/2013/10/jacquelyn-frank-author-of-the-world-of-nightwalkers-series-on-tour-january-2014/

39 comments:

  1. Nice reviews; never read this author

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    1. Thanks! I enjoyed this series and will definitely give some of her other books a try:)

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  2. I tried Jacob by this author years ago and honestly I really don't remember what happened besides I loved it at that time. I think this one is a spin off of that series. Anyways, it I think I'll start with the original series and work my way up to this one because clearly I'm gonna love this series! It kind of reminds me off BDB and the midnight breed series. Great review, Jenny! :)

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    1. Yes! After reading these I was thinking I should give her other Nightwalker series a try, especially now that the world makes more sense to me:)

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  3. I have never read her, it's one of those should try one day

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  4. I've never actually heard of this trilogy, but I'm glad to see it's quite strong for the most part. I'll definitely have to look into this one. Thanks for adding it to my TBR, Jenny!(:

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    1. There's actually going to be more books, I know there's a book 4 on it's way, these are just the three that are out now:) The characters got stronger for me with each book, so I'm hoping that trend continues and book 4 will be even better!

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  5. I'm glad that you found the first book's ending to be better than the start. Perhaps it was indeed the first in a series that managed to put you off a little. I remember that happened to me with reading The Iron King where the first hald of the book was description after description and when it finally kicked off, it was a little rushed. Didn't keep me from enjoying the rest of the series though:)

    "She’s strong of both mind and body, quick to call Leo on his petty nonsense as he attempts to push her buttons and proceeds to cut her off at the ankles with his scathing criticism of anything supernatural." --this sentence made me smile, heh :) Hmmmm.. I wonder why Leo doesn't come to terms with what he endured and doesn't give Faith a real, fighting chance to steal his heart. I, as well, think that perhaps the change in his mood could have come sooner. Though, what do I know?! I haven't read them. The covers look delicious enough to eat though, haha. Glad you enjoyed, love!

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    1. I struggled with the Iron King too Siiri! That one took me a while to really settle into because the world was just so different from ours, but once I got into it, I fell in love. This series was along the same lines, though I never quite connected to Docia in book one as much as I wanted too.I adored Faith in book three though. She was fabulous.

      What happens to Leo is the stuff of nightmares, so I completely understood his hatred of all things supernatural. I just wish his change at the end wasn't so abrupt. He was all cruel one minute and then suddenly can't live without her the next. I would have liked a little more time for them to work through some things, but overall I really liked them as a couple.

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  6. Ooooh. An ending that receives a lower rating than the book? That would be frustrating...

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    1. It was a touch. I just wanted Leo to, I don't know, grovel a bit more? I'm a grudge holder, so when he hurts Faith I got all super protective and was like YOUR WORDS MEAN NOTHING TO ME, FRIEND! O.o

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  7. I haven't heard of this series before, but I can't say I'm really interested in it, especially book 2. I hate it when a book is awesome in the beginning and by the end your excitement over it fizzles down. Thanks for the lovely honest reviews, Jenny!

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    1. I just wanted maybe 5 more page at the end to really feel Leo's change in attitude, you know? Other than that, I quite enjoyed their book:)

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  8. First books in UF are so hard sometimes with all the world building and character introductions. It sounds like overall that these were both good reads though. I need to check this series out I think.

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    1. Yes. I was floundering a bit in book one, struggling to understand the bodywalker concept and how it all worked, but once the story picked up I was good to go:)

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  9. I believe a looong time ago, I stumbled upon and read her books. I think they were nightwalkers not sure...but I did like them.

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    1. She has a whole other Nightwalker series, I believe this is a spinoff of those books. Glad you liked them!

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  10. This is a new to me series, and has elements I love. Depending on the complexity of the world book one can suffer, I am nervous about the ending with book two..LOL

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    1. The ending wasn't hugely frustrating, it was just that I wished for more:) I'm a pretty demanding reader, so I'm sure others won't find his change of heart as abrupt as I did!

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  11. I haven't heard of this series either...goodness knows I am already in the middle of enough series' but I'll think about this one!

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    1. Haha same here Melissa! I have a lot of series I'm trying to keep up with and even more I finally want to start:) I just can't say no to a paranormal romances though, I just love them!

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    2. *paranormal romance

      I can't type today.

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  12. Hi Jenny! Long time no see! :) I'm sorry, I've been a slacker when it comes to commenting and visiting my fav blogs! I blame it on the Holiday season - our very last without a baby :D We've been chilling and experiencing the magic of Christmas computer-free! And it was GOOD! :D

    Anyhoo, I'm back, so be prepared to be stalked again :)
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these books! As a newb to paranormal romance I must say I am definitely intrigued :) I love that there are parts of the story that are gut wrenching and emotionally affecting. Plus the covers are HAWT, what else do I need?! :D Thanks so much for your reviews! Another interesting series you have put on my radar!

    Happy New Year!
    Evie @Bookish

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  13. I understand about it all of sudden feeling rushed, especially at the end, that bothers me as well. Still this sounds like an entertaining and promising series, sometimes it does take awhile for a series to settle in and rev up.

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  14. Although both books end on a strong note, it's too bad that the endings felt a bit rushed. I have no idea how you stay up to date with so many series, Jenny, as I'm always way behind!

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  15. What no book 2? Jenny, you have to be careful or you will start to series read like I do! :D

    I'm glad the 3rd book is stronger than the first. It seems to happen a lot to some PNR books. These sound enjoyable and I think this is one of those series that I can just veg and relax with... :)

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  16. Hmm .. this sounds like an interesting series. I understand why first books tend to be that way, especially in UF, but it sometimes put people off from continuing with the series. So I'm glad to see that the 3rd book was better. That's always a relief to know that the investment of the 1st book pays off. :)

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  17. Am I shallow if my first thought was, WOW, what great covers for a ToT post?! Because, seriously, those dudes look good! I generally avoid paranormal romance if it can be avoided (sometimes it can't), but I'm glad the series is showing some improvement in later installments, even if the ending felt a bit rushed.
    Hugs!

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  18. DUDE. Top Off Tuesday-worthy covers!! I much prefer when a book focuses on the hero and heroine, rather than dragging too many other people into it. I don't mind others but the focus needs to be on the MCs.

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  19. I'd never heard of this series before, but the story sounds like it would be right up my alley. I do hate when endings are rushed, but it does seem like there is some delicious romantic tension to be had, so maybe I should give it a try. I'm curious to see whether I think Leo's feelings in the end are abrupt too. Thanks for your thoughtful, balanced review! :-)

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  20. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR BOOKS AND THANKS FOR THE GIVEAWAY! SHELLEY S. calicolady60@hotmail.com

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  21. This series looks great, I love a good paranormal romance!

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  22. Oooh... thanks for the great reviews! I haven't read this series and I hadn't read a lot about it before, so this has definitely caught my interested :) Thanks for sharing!

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  23. I have heard a lot of good things about this author. PNR is hit or miss for me. I have a few favorite series but I don't pick up new ones very often. I'm glad you enjoyed these- maybe one day I'll give them a try!

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  24. I'm glad that the book picked up for you after the midway point and that you ended up enjoying it! Thanks for being on the tour.

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  25. I love PNR. So these sound really good to me. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  26. I love your reviews of both books. This series has been on my want list to try. I may just have to go ahead and pick them up.

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  27. Very interesting reviews, Jenny! I'm participating in this tour, as well, but I only had time to read "Forsaken", although TLC sent me all three books, of course. (The thing is,I have two jobs....) I do intend to review the other two books later on this year.

    I decided to review the third book because it's the most recent release. Like you, I did have a problem liking Leo at first, because he was quite rough on Faith when they started out on their rescue mission on behalf of Jackson. I di warm up to him later, when he realized that Faith was the best thing that had ever happened to him. Thankfully, the fact that she was a supernatural being no longer mattered to him.

    All in all, I really enjoyed the book, although I did have a couple of issues with it. Frank is a terrific writer!

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