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This series was an unexpected surprise I'm so grateful to have found. It was a review by Nalini Singh that I caught someway in my browsing for something new.
This is a post-apoplyptic adventure tale that will appeal to paranormal, urban fantasy, and sci fi romantics as well as fans of Hunger Games. But Gleason/Ware brings romantic fiction readers a couple new things that I rarely (if ever) see in romance. Passionate, sexy alpha dudes who are sexually principled and not erotically opportunistic. Are these hot stories? Oh yeah. Heck, Nalini Singh recommended them after all (can you tell she's in my "five"?).
But in the first two books of the Envy Chronicles I've read including Embrace the Night, our guys want more than a quickie after a very long dry spell and hold out until their lady gives in. How refreshing is that in romantic fiction?
In Embrace the Night, Simon our mysterious deadly lead, is coming from such a dark place that he is convinced that he isn't good enough and fights everything in him to see our leading lady is matched up with someone better than him. She isn't having it.
For the reader who wants a little more substance to backstory in a novel like this, there are some very interesting conundrums for the modern reader to contend with particularly with the open promiscuity of this sparsely populated world and the reasoning behind it--the urgency to repopulate the planet. But who benefits from that?
Gleason/Ware has a few weaknesses in this world she has created. She doesn't deal with some of the logistical infrastructure issues (food production etc) which would be the number one issue (see maslow). She is also not good tactician. There are scenes in both first and second book where the tactics are lunacy (telling strangers your plans for survival in given situations; not asking pertinent questions at key moments etc).
But I so enjoyed these both and the very different characters that populate each romantic tale that I will happily overlook those flaws. You may read other reviews saying book two sizzled more than book one, and I disagree. Dr Elliot Drake had to endure some terrible situations that would darken the visage of any doctor. He may be in my top 10 romantic heros of all time (even tho he committed some of the previously mentioned tactical errors). Gleason/Ware had to do a lot of world building very succinctly and I love many aspects of how she did it. Plus, there are a couple major mysteries that are unfolding through the books that will keep you eager and interested.
Fans of Zombies will also love this. Gleason's creation myth for the zombies is original, curious, and keeps you wondering. It also keeps up the tension and provides that unifying element that keeps people together. I have to admit I am not a fan of zombies, and this is my first foray into that genre, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't comical caricatures, but creatures with a purpose. And that purpose has yet to unfold...
Finally, the narrator, Sebastien Fields was excellent. Added so much to my enjoyment that I got lost as he brought Simon and Sage so clearly into my mind. I am grateful to whatever weird link led me to this series and recommendation that scooted it up past my usual fare (Pamela Clare, Nalini Singh, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, Sherrilyn Kenyon etc).
If you are in the mood for something intriguing and different, download this series ASAP.
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Envy Chronicles Book Two
Simon and Sage must go to Sage's homeplace to find information left behind by Remington Truth. The catch, Falling Creek is a settlement bent on repopulating the devastated world by strict breeding policies. Sage must be married to return and avoid being thrust upon some man with who-knows-how-many other wives. During their stay, Simon reveals that he gained a power in the Sedona caves as well. Sage also discovers his past when a Stranger recognizes him from the past.
Narration: Sebastian Fields does wonders with accents and dialects. He employs a reading narration utilizing accents instead of an acting narration with different voices.
If you're looking for a story with action, fun awkwardness, a bit of angst and love, this is the book for you!