Thursday, May 21, 2009

Review : So Still the Night by Kim Lenox

Today it is my supreme pleasure to pass along my review of Kim Lenox 's second novel in her Shadow Guard series, So Still the Night. For those just arriving to The Vortex, Lenox's debut novel, Night Falls Darkly, became one of my favorite reads of 2008 and earned a coveted place on my keeper shelf (and remember, I don't have the dreamy shelves that take up expansive real estate yet). I anticipated this latest release, doubting if any sophmore entry into the paranormal romance genre could be as satisfying as her first. How wrong I was to worry. So Still the Night exceeded my hopes.

Marcus Helios, an immortal member of the elite Shadow Guards tasked with reclaiming the most wicked and depraved human souls, rose to a supreme level of self-sacrifice when he exchanged one heroic act for his sanity. In danger of transcending and being hunted in Victorian London by the very order who seeks to rid the world of his kind, his only hope to return to the Guard's graces lies encoded in an ancient scroll in the hands of a beautiful woman named Mina, who'll protect her father's archaeological legacy at all costs. This time, Jack the Ripper's jilted lover, The Dark Bride, preys on Mark's ever-present descent into madness, threatening to forever exile him to the dark side to await his assassination.

Though on the surface, Mark seems a more refined and sophisticated hero than Night Falls Darkly's Archer, the extent of his inner demons and the irony of him being both savior and sinner make him an irresistible hero. Yes, the cover art Gods shined on Lenox's entire series, but don't let Mark's quasi-Men-Without-Hats-guy appearance fool you. He's devastatingly charming, confident, sensual and tortured. Sign me up!

Lenox's Victorian London holds no wilting flowers, either. As Elena was in book one, Mina is a strong, independent and adventurous heroine, even challenging the hero's sexual prowess when he questions her about her virginity. She wavers confidently between self-preservation and desire, never letting the reader forget how intelligent women navigate challenges of the mind and affairs of the heart.

Lenox's brand of paranormal comes seasoned lightly with a taste of the Gothic, incorporating fog-laden crypts, skeletal flashes of madness, and palpable fear woven seamlessly into unforgettable scenes rife with sexual tension. I doubt I'll look at a hot air balloon the same again. Just sayin'. Her prose is direct when it needs to be, a painted masterpiece of visuals to draw the reader in and passionately true to the genre.

And the best part? I happen to have an extra pristine copy of So Still the Night along with a handful of glossy bookmarks to slide into your summer read. All you have to do is leave a comment in this post by midnight Sunday. I'll draw a name first thing Monday. You don't have to have read Night Falls Darkly to immerse yourself in So Still the Night, but why deny yourself? Find that one, too.

Comment away...


Sherry Davis said...

Sounds like a great read :)

L, you are so freaking funny!! I just made it to the MacGuyver post. I seriously needed that laugh.

Love ya,

Charles Gramlich said...

I never have had much of an urge to dip into the paranormals. I see these reviews and some of the books sound interesting, but then I never seem to follow up on it. I guess I just come too much from the horror tradition where vampires and werewolves do truly nasty things.

Robin said...

I love paranormals and this one sounds great! Best of luck to Kim!

Have a great weekend!

Pamela Cayne said...

I picked up Night Falls Darkly based on your review, L.A., and after reading it, I knew So Still the Night would be an automatic. Kim has a great voice and it fits Victorian London so well. Congrats on #2, Kim!

Kim Lenox said...

Thank you so much LA! And I really mean that! I'm settling in to a three day writing jag, and your review really sets a nice tone for my frame of mind. Hahaa!! You know how fragile (pronounced "frah-geee-lay" a la The Christmas Story) our writer's psyches can be!

Thanks to Pamela for the kind comments as well!

L.A. Mitchell said...

@Sherry...glad it made you smile :)'re missing out on the whole other *hot* side to paranormals.

@Robin...I hope you pick it up. It's getting a lot of buzz.

@Kim...Do not visit blogs....go directly to your computer to work on book three. I'd like to read it soon. Like yesterday ;)

Vesper said...

Love the review, L.A., and the book seems very interesting. Thank you! :-)