I read this FANTASTIC book the other day, and then I just had to let the author know what I thought about it… that I fucking loved it. And yes, that is exactly what I told her. :)
I am a big fan of erotic romance (obviously). I also like some paranormal. Normally however, I gravitate to animal shifter stories. Frankly, I tend to stay away from werewolves and vampire, angels and demons, and gods or otherworldly types of things. It’s not that I don’t like those themes, but I simply prefer to watch them on television or in movies rather than read about them. Not sure why, but there you have it.
A few days ago, I downloaded my reads in advance of my summer vacation. I’m one of the authors participating in the Vacation Crashers Photo Contest with fellow Etopia Press author Renea Mason, so her new book—Symphony of Light and Winter—was added to my vacation TBR pile. Knowing it might not be the type of story I generally read, it still intrigued me, so much so that I decided not to wait until I was on the plane. Let me simply say…OMG.
Symphony of Light and Winter is not your normal paranormal. It is such an utterly fantastic blend of non-vampire, non-angel, non-demon, non-god stuff that it truly drew me in from page one and kept me reading (to the exclusion of everything else).
I don’t know what it was exactly—perhaps it was because all of those things were hinted at, providing glimpses of each, but there wasn’t an overwhelming focus on any given one. Perhaps it was the easy banter back and forth between Linden (the heroine, and she truly is) and Cyril (the hero who will do anything, and I mean the ultimate, to save the woman he loves). Maybe that’s what did it for me. Maybe it was the sexy best friend, or the sexual hunger coming off the entire crew in waves, as well as the deep emotional and sense of familial ties that connected all of them, making them a cohesive unit regardless of whatever else was going on in their lives. Even when Linden was cursing Cyril I could feel the love boiling underneath her frustration and anger. I could sense his pain and guilt.
Quite simply, it was wonderfully written. I will not give away any spoilers. I just highly recommend you read this story. You will fall for these characters in all ways imaginable. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, I felt compassion. The story is told in Linden’s POV only, but Ms. Mason still managed to convey Cyril’s thoughts and emotions through his words, his actions and his non-actions.
I can honestly say I am most eagerly awaiting the next installment of this series. Please tell me we won’t have to wait too long!
I am a fan.
Symphony of Light and Winter
from Etopia Press-released June 21st, 2013
One woman. Seven men. All bound by one man’s undying devotion.
Fundraiser Linden Hill has a knack for reading people. She always knows which conversations will put a prospect at ease, which drink will loosen a patron’s lips—or his wallet, and how cleavage will make a donor sweeten the deal. She’s even foreseen her dateless weekends four hundred and sixty-four times in a row.
But ten years after watching life drain from her former mentor’s and first love’s eyes, her skills for divining the predictable are lost. When Cyril returns, he’s still gorgeous, but this time he’s beyond human, far less dead, and pissed. His lack of memory drives him to desperate acts, and his turbulent re-acquaintance with Linden pulls her into his war with a creature hell-bent on his destruction. His group of six supernatural men share a tantalizing secret, but despite the hunger, it’s love that leads her to sacrifice everything to save him…
Here is an excerpt to wet your appetite:
My amusement was interrupted by the absolute last thing I needed. Cyril. As if being in a room with a bunch of men who wanted me but didn’t know why and hated me for it wasn’t bad enough. In his black custom suit, he radiated power. He pulled at his cuff links as he stopped to survey the room.
Instead of trying to make my escape, I seized an opportunity to antagonize him. I was really starting to enjoy tormenting him.
“Good morning, Grim, it is nice of you to join us.”
“Grim. Ha! She called him Grim.” Rhys clapped his hands as he laughed.
Cyril didn’t acknowledge me or Rhys’s comment. He stood there for a very long time and looked around the room at each man. Nobody met his gaze but me. Cyril’s fists clenched at his side, jaw tight, and face furious.
“I warned all of you,” he addressed the room. He didn’t growl but rather wrapped his words with a subtle menace.
“Leave them alone. You know this is entirely your fault. If you would just think things through, you’d stop fucking everything up. I do have to say, of all your fuckups, this one is certainly the most impressive and entertaining from my perspective.” I winked at Overton, who managed to glare at me even with his head practically bowed. Why were they so fucking subservient to him?
The next thing I knew, I was yanked from my seat and hoisted onto the counter. Cyril grabbed my ass and pulled me to the edge, forced my legs open, and stepped between them. He wrapped his arms around me and placed his head against mine. It wasn’t his voice I heard but rather his mind. It felt like when I talked to myself but somehow I knew it was him. Strange, he had tone and inflection while communicating.
“You need to stop showing off in front of my men. Yes, I fucked up, but do you really want them to give in to their urges? Do you think you can fend them off? I could toss you to them and see how far you get. Is that what you want? Maybe I should let them have their way with you and pull up a chair to watch. I want you to think about something before you start to defy me. I’m the only one who can keep you safe. So it’s best you stop being a smart-ass for five seconds and listen to me. I’m going to do something that will piss you off. I’m warning you now it’s for your own good. You need to go along with it, no matter how angry you are at me. Don’t fight me. I’ll try to fix this but until then, I need to take a few precautions.”
I wasn’t sure how to respond. If I thought something, could he hear me? Was this two-way communication? I tried to push him away.
He tightened his grip and his voice was in my head again.
“Stop it! Let me remind you that I have a special connection with these men. Not only can I read their thoughts but I can’t block them. I don’t have to try to receive them. I know exactly what each person in this room, besides you of course, is thinking right now.”
So that’s what Overton meant when he said Cyril had ways of finding out.
“The thoughts that assaulted me when I entered this room would make a porn star blush; every one of their little fantasies featured you.”
The voice growled. “Don’t laugh. I won’t pretend I’m not jealous and angry. I am. But if you knew the things they were thinking you’d better understand why I need to do what I’m about to do. Do you see Dominic over there? Let’s just say his tastes run a little dark. Ever spend considerable time naked with your hands bound behind your back and a ball gag in your mouth? He’s picturing you that way, this very instant.”
I stiffened. That didn’t at all appeal to me.
“Thor seems to think that you’d enjoy all of us taking you at the same time.”
And he seemed so quiet and sweet.
“Sinclair wants to shove his cock down your throat until you choke, all the while telling you how it’s your entire fault. Rhys is thinking of how you would look sprawled out on the hood of his new sports car, and Overton…”
“NO!” I yelled.
It seemed like a violation of privacy with Overton. Unlike the others, I considered him a friend. I respected him too much.
“See, like it or not, I’m going to tell you what he’s thinking since it pisses me off the most. He thinks I’m going to fuck you right here on this counter, to lay my claim. Once he gets past the fantasies of watching me fuck you, which he finds exceptionally arousing…”
There was a momentary pause to the voice and when he started again, he was angry.
“He then knocks on your bedroom door after you run crying from the room. You invite him in and he holds you in his arms while you cry about how I violated and humiliated you. He wants to comfort you. He wants to be your savior. He wants to save you from me. But he knows he can’t.”
I felt the moment he left my head, because a sudden wave of dizziness came over me.
With no more words, he tilted his head and placed his lips against mine. I fought the rigidity that tried to seize my body. I knew it was best to give in. I wouldn’t fight him, but I knew every time he got close, I ran the risk of losing myself. I was still way too angry to just give up.
His lips danced with mine as he nestled himself between my open thighs.
Was Overton right? How far would he take it? If it did go too far, would I be able to stop him? He was such a fucking weakness for me I honestly didn’t think I would.
He was gentle and softly stroked my back as his tongue made love to my mouth. With one hand he cupped my ass and pulled me flush against him, and with the other he reached up, cupped my breast, and squeezed hard. His kiss grew frantic and I became caught up in the sensation, forgot where I was, and that I had an audience. He pushed me hard against his erection as he rubbed himself rhythmically against my core. “You are mine. You belong to me. Now say it! Let them all know who you belong to.”
Was he kidding? I hesitated.
He ran his fangs up the side of my neck in warning. He whispered in my ear, “Say it. You need to say it. Let them hear it come from your lips.” His hand drifted from my breast to the hem of my nightgown and pulled up one side so it rested in the crease where my leg met my hip.
Somehow the part of me that knew he was right surfaced, and the stubborn part of me took a momentary vacation. If I was his, they wouldn’t dare defy him. It would keep me safe.
His fingers toyed with the edge of my panties before tugging the fabric to the side to allow him to stroke my moist skin. He positioned himself at the juncture between my legs, allowing my naked flesh to gather friction from his cloth-covered cock.
“Yes, Cyril, I’m yours.”
With that, he struck. His fangs pierced my neck. The second of pain from his bite passed and the pleasure grew, igniting my veins with liquid desire. One arm tightened around me, pulling me harder against his cock. The other held my head while he sucked harder. Each pull he took was linked to the sensitive place between my legs. He ground his hips into mine and I moaned. The first wave of climax hit, tensing muscles and pushing my breath out in a rush. This was new. He could do this just by biting me?
I shook in his arms as he drank. Tremor after tremor seized me as he took his fill. I was so caught up in the sensation I only vaguely noticed the moans and growls that escaped from behind his teeth. With one final pull, and a thrust of his hips, he finished with a crushing embrace as he removed his teeth from my neck.
“Mine!” he roared. He enveloped me in his arms and held me close. He dipped his head to lick closed the small punctures on my throat.
I threw my head back. My breathing slowed as the cloud that had invaded my head receded.
Son of a bitch! I just came in front of everyone while sitting on the kitchen counter!
I was afraid to open my eyes but when I did, he stared back.
He nuzzled my cheek. “I’m sorry. I only want to protect you. If you’re mine, no one will dare touch you. I needed to lay my claim but I didn’t want to take anything you hadn’t already offered. Since you’ve replenished me before I thought this might be more acceptable.”
I was angrier with myself than him.
He caressed my arms and back. When I mustered enough courage to look around, we were the only
people in the kitchen, with the exception of Overton, who stood in the doorway holding the keys to my car.
Cyril softly lifted my chin so that my eyes would meet his. “Again, I’m sorry. I know I end up saying that far too often. But I need you to know, hearing those words from your lips…ah, hell. I can’t even explain it. Perhaps someday, you’ll utter them in truth.”
He placed his forehead against mine, took a deep breath. “Fuck. Maybe Overton is right. Maybe someone should save you from me.”
About the author
When she isn’t putting pen to paper crafting sensual stories filled with supernatural lovers, she spends time with her beyond-supportive husband, two wonderful sons and three loving but needy cats.
She is also a founding member of the http://coffeetalkwriters.com/
Thanks to Anne Lange for having me. And thank you to all my current and future readers. My best.
Buy the book
Vacation Crashers Contest
Visit http://reneamason.com/contests/ for details on the this great contest going on now through August 31st.
Prizes include a Kindle, a $75 Amazon gift card, swag and much more.
Contact or follow Renea Mason
Please check back the first week of September for interviews with characters from Symphony of Light and Winter!