In the Darkness

Charles Edward
In the Darkness
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Loose Id
Release Date
August 2011
Fantasy Romance, LGBTQ, Multi-cultural/Multi-racial Romance

Gareth is his parents' dirty secret: Cursed with a demonic appearance, he has always been in hiding just to stay alive. He must never be seen or his family will die. But when a violent attack endangers a local youth whom Gareth adores from the shadows there is no one else to help, and Gareth is driven to risk everything to save him.

Now the young man, Evin, wants to know more about this terrifying and beautiful stranger. Where did he come from? Is he a demon, or something more? They begin to meet in the darkness, becoming friends and then lovers. Evin's sexual exploration and adoration of every part of Gareth's strange body erase fear and self-loathing; and Gareth's enthusiasm and prowess make every tryst more powerful, more deliriously sensual than the last.

But there is a purpose to Gareth's existence, and when it is revealed, Evin and Gareth will be enslaved by rivals, separated to end up on opposite sides of a war. Evin will be forced to play a dangerous role: One which may make him Gareth's destroyer.

Book Review by Valentina Heart (author,reviewer)
Sep 10, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
151 people found the following review helpful
Even though I don't like green, the cover for this book is extremely catching as well as beautiful. It almost calls you to read the story hidden inside and for the most part it lives up to the expectations.

Gareth is a young man with a demon appearance, hidden by his parents from the rest of the world. He is very nave and inexperienced but despite his capabilities, he's a sweetheart. For years he's been spying on the villagers without his parents knowing and found one of them, Evin, especially appealing.

Saving him from a vicious attack, Gareth puts both of them at risk but also makes a first step toward friendship and eventually love. Like with all books, the story doesn't stop there. True trials and troubles begin and it is up to our heroes to find their way to happiness.

I was and still am struggling with the rating for this book. The reason is the way it was written. First half of it is pure romance, something I was thinking about rating with five stars, but the second half is building of a fantasy world with a lot of elements I disliked and would have rated much lower.

With expanding them and writing two books instead of just one, this easily could have been a remarkable series and something I probably couldn't have been able to shut up about. As it is, I felt very connected to the characters in the beginning, even when I didn't particularly like Evin, but lost the connection to both of them by the end.

Evin was very young and while more experienced than Gareth, in my opinion he was still extremely nave. I didn't like his accepted role of a victim and a martyr, which basically excused all his actions in order for him to stay a lovable character. In fact, the more of the story I read, the less I liked him. Lack of a romance in the second part of the book didn't really help his case.

Gareth was the opposite in my mind. He was good and beautiful both on the outside as well as on the inside. From the first few pages he had a very clear goal in front of him to protect Evin and that didn't change during the story. It made him brave, very lovable and extraordinary in my eyes.

The flip from a romance to an action filled fantasy was too abrupt and the latter was too layered and complicated. The epic proportion it should have had and could have, considering the brilliance of the world this author had created, was just impossible in too few pages and that is where this book lost its sparkle.

Even after listing all the things that bothered me, this is still a book I would recommend. The first part is extremely beautiful and well written with a certain romantic flare to it and almost wounding innocence. The second part could win you over with the amazing world and fantasy elements, which show the wonderful imagination of this author. What bothered me could end up being a big plus for another reader. Give it a try.

As a warning I would like to point out that this story does contain cheating, no matter how justified it might be and includes m/f relations.

Disclaimer: The reviewer is also a published author with Loose Id.
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