Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Familiar Stranger: The Vampire Hunters (Knights of Black Swan Book 1) by Victoria Danann

   After being pushed through a machine and into another world, Elora Laiken has essentially been turned inside out.  She has been pretty much skinned alive with major internal damage as well.  Ironically, the man that pushed her through the experimental machine did it to save her life.  Had she not ended up in the compound of the Knights of the Black Swan, she would have almost certainly died.  This new world Elora is thrust into is much like her own in many ways, but there are some differences as well.  Like how she had never heard of chocolate.  During her recovery, she gets to know a knight named Storm who was the one to save her life.  They fast become friends.  As she heals, she is under observation and basically lock and key like a prisoner until they can decide whether she is a threat to this world or not.  It wasn't previously thought possible to travel like how she arrived.  After she is essentially healed, she meets the other two nights who are a part of a special unit with Storm.  The guys, Ram and Kay, are different.  Kay was born with a berserker gene that can make him crazy if he lets it and Ram is an elf.  Elora is intrigued that elves are real and Ram is more than just a fine specimen.  He's a known ladies man and has his eye on Elora.  It turns out that Elora is a bit of a novelty herself.  Her cells are more dense than those of the humans on this world and she weighs twice what she looks.  And she has been trained her whole life in martial arts and defense.  Because of some oversight and underestimation of her abilities, Ram ends up injured on accident by Elora.  But he just can't say no to her when she wants something.  Because of his injury, Ram and Elora become close friends with a possible budding romance.  Storm is jealous and dealing with his feelings towards Elora while the group is also dealing with the local vampire population.  They have become quite a presence in the area and the knights have to put a stop to all of the disappearances.  Elora has to learn how to reign in her desire to protect the knights before she gets herself hurt or killed, while the knights need to realize that she is very capable of handling herself should the need arise.

   This was a much longer book than I am used to reading,  but Victoria Danann did a great job of keeping the interest there in spite of the length.  It was one fascinating and exciting read!  I thought the idea of Elora being thrown into what is essentially a parallel world to her own was an interesting one.  It was shocking and just sad that she had never heard of chocolate before.  Just like most women, she loved it when she tried it!  Then there is her relationship with the three knights.  It is a complicated relationship because they all feel the need to protect her because she is a woman and women in their world are never knights.  They don't have the physical strength and endurance needed to be one of them.  Not to mention it would be a possible distraction from their mission.  Storm and Ram become rivals who are both in love with the beautiful Elora.  Most men cannot keep their eyes off of her.  There is just something about her.  She even gets a vampire admirer by the name of Istvan Baka, who is an essential part to this story.  It seems like there is nothing she can't do, well, except decide who she wants to be with.  And she seems to live on the razor's edge, constantly indulging in dangerous activities.  I would recommend this read to anyone who is a fan of vampire or paranormal novels!  Beware, there is some adult content!

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