Reviewed by: ?wazithinkin
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Thriller
Approximate word count: 60-65,000 words
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“Simone Beaudelaire is the pseudonym for a single mom and teacher from Texas.
In her spare time, Mme Beaudelaire reads romances as fast as she can get her hands on them, and when she isn't reading them, she's writing them!” She also has several other published books listed on Amazon. For more, visit her blog.
Edwin Stark was born in Caracas, Venezuela on the edge of a rain forest in South America. He grew up dreaming crazy tales and eventually started writing them down. English is not his first language. Mr. Stark has written horror, satire, and short story collections, which are infused with his unique style of humor. You can read more about him on his blog.
“In the jungles of Belize, an ancient power lurks, and American grad student Rachael Monroe is about to come face to face with it. But is it a monster from a long-dead culture, or something far more dangerous? And who is Xaman, the mysterious local man Rachael finds so inexplicably fascinating?
Seeking answers to these questions will lead Rachael deeper into the heart of a centuries-old mystery that might reveal to her a love that can surpass even death... or her own gruesome end.”
This is a story of star-crossed lovers with a twist of paranormal. But before we get to that part of the story we are transported to the depths of a rainforest in Belize following Rachael Monroe, her fiancé Josh Randall, and their guide, Alphonso Montoya, as they make their way through the jungle. We are given an excellent introduction to their characters as well as the location with the descriptive prose. I had no problem immersing myself into the scene.
Rachael is an independent, strong-minded woman who goes after what she wants in life, Josh has invited himself along on this three month expedition to chaperone her, which didn’t sit well with Rachael at all. As unexpected events arose, Mayan mysticism and history were brought into play, captivating my attention completely. The plot moves at a good pace as some seedy characters are introduced and take the plot in unexpected directions, not the least of which is the introduction of the devastatingly handsome and mysterious Xaman.
When certain Mayan artifacts spark visions, memories, or dreams in Rachael, she is a bit unnerved but interested in finding out what it all means. Seeking the help of the local curandera, she has no idea what she is in for when a whole new world from the past comes to light. Soon after, Josh’s true role in the plot becomes evident. The authors have woven a fascinating tale about past lives and fate surrounded by mysticism of the Jaguar Queen in the Mayan jungle who felt slighted hundreds of years ago.
I think Mr. Stark’s and Ms. Beaudelaire writing styles and storytelling meshed well. I hope to see some more collaborations between these two in the future.
Ms. Beaudelaire writes some steamy sex scenes which are explicit but well written. These may not be suitable for some readers. I enjoyed them.
No significant issues.
Rating: **** Four stars