* Jacquelyn Frank: Author Override | UTC Reviews
* Skye Warren: Author Override
* Narrator Lorelei King: Interview
* Stephanie Tyler: Interview
* Carolyn Crane: Author Override | UTC Review
* J.T. Geissinger: Interview | UTC Review
* Men and Women of the Military Giveaway Hop
* Keri Arthur: Interview | UTC Reviews

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

ARC Review: Dark Sins and Desert Sands by Stephanie Draven

Dark Sins and Desert Sands
by Stephanie Draven
Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Ray Stavrakis is one scary sonovabitch! With his ability to use mind control and morph into a Minotaur, Ray is definitely a force to be reckoned with. However, it wasn’t just his uncanny abilities that made him freaky, it was his testosterone-driven I-will-kill-you vibe he was sporting through the entire book. I will admit, I did not like Ray in the beginning of this book. In fact, I thought he was a jerk with a big chip on his shoulder.

But then Ms. Draven begins to unravel his backstory and we learn that he has escaped a Syrian prison and while there, he was tortured and interrogated ruthlessly. With vengeance on his mind, he seeks out those who were responsible for his pain and scars and seeks out the psychologist Layla Bahset to exact his revenge.

However, to his surprise, the Vegas psychologist has no memory of Ray. In fact, her memories are locked away where even his mind control abilities aren’t enough to crack them. While I thought Ms. Draven’s writing was pleasant, I just didn’t find myself connecting with Ray or Layla that much. As I mentioned earlier, Ray was too much of a brute that he became unrelatable to me. There were moments between him and Layla that I really enjoyed though. Those witty conversations between the two slowly made them real to me. However, with the heroine lost to her own past, most of the time I felt like connecting with her was a lost cause. But this is not to say that the journey of these characters isn’t a great one. Soon, I found my initial perceptions of them changing and Ray and Layla grew on me more and more.

What was intriguing was Ms. Draven’s use of the supernatural. I would have loved to pick her brain and ask her why she chose the magical elements that she did. It was unique, setting her apart from many of the books I’ve read and I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. Another thing I also really enjoyed was the eclectic mix of races. I wished more authors did this. Ms. Draven weaves Aztec, Greek and some Egyptian mythology into this one and it was surprising to see a lot of action in such a short book. I enjoyed the tangle of web that Ms. Draven created. And part of the joy is watching it all unravel right before your eyes.

*ARC provided by author

Purchase Links: Amazon