Thursday, June 7, 2018

Book Review: 'Adrian' by Sarah J. Stone

Colorado author Sarah J. Stone absorbed the beauties of Aspen as a child and those perceptions of nature are evident in her books. After University, as a postgraduate, the non-writing part of her career led her to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she worked to prevent abuses in human rights. But when she writes she re-enters the world of fantasy and escapes with us into the realm of shape shifter tales.

Paranormal shifter romances or stories can either be formulaic, tales whose plot is altered only by the animal or shape to which the characters are shifting. Sarah takes her stories a step further and introduces her background in dealing with human rights abuses to make her novels (at least in this one) more poignant: social philosophy admixes with fantasy in a manner that the story leave much room for after thought musing.

Sarah shares with her readers some interesting background for this book. ‘The truth behind the dragon books is that I thought about it way back in 2011. I had just finished watching the season finale of Game of Thrones where Daenerys rose from the fire with three baby dragons and was completely blown away by how beautiful the creatures were. I was so inspired by that scene that I decided if I ever wrote in the future, I would feature Dragons somehow. Years later in 2016, when I finally mustered up the courage to write something I would publish, I thought back to that scene...and the rest is history!’ Anecdotes like that endear an author to us.

Sarah opens this story with the emphasis on Nyx – ‘Being alone was nothing new for Nyx. For the majority of her life, that’s exactly what she was. Those memories, though, were better left forgotten in the recess of her mind. But for five short years she had a home. She had someone who cared about what happened to her, but once her 18th birthday came and went, Ms. Buckly had no more excuses to keep her in her home. The older woman was the first person in Nyx’s life who gave a damn. She understood that she had to leave. Another lost soul needed Ms. Buckly more than she did. She couldn’t begrudge the woman for sending her on her way, but it didn’t hurt any less. She allowed her heart to open, but now it shriveled back to the nothing it was before. Luckily enough, Nyx managed to find her own sort of home. For three months, she had lived on the street. It wasn’t anything she wasn’t used to, as she spent the first years of her life that way too. Not long after she’d made a name for herself, she met Emi. The girl sold herself just to be able to eat. Then came Ari and Shawny. Between the four of them, they managed. A silent bond was formed between them. She wouldn’t go as far to call them her friends, but little by little, they survived. They took care of one another. It was the sisterhood of the streets. Four young girls had to stick together—and that’s what they did. Now, the four of them lived together off the streets, split the bills, and managed to live much better than they had. That was all Nyx needed. At the beginning, she had made it clear she was a loner, and the others agreed not to make it personal, not to get attached, at least when it came to her. She was okay with being with them as long as they didn’t expect any emotional [stuff] from her. She couldn’t do it. But she could be there, pay her bills, and watch out for them.’

The brief synopsis in intriguing – ‘Adrian loves fighting. It’s in his blood, and with the help of his twin, he’s managed to make out very well for himself. There’s only one thing missing, and he never expected to find it in the stands of his latest fight. But before he can even speak to her, she disappears. Not one to back down he follows her and is in for a surprise when he finds out that she was far more than what met the eyes. His imagination had become reality and bonding with the woman of his dreams seems like the best thing ever—until he nearly dies. Now, he has to make the decision whether to give up the thing he loves—for the person he loves. It’s up to him to keep them strong. And Adrian is anything but weak. What will he sacrifice in the name of love for his mate Nyx and the two beasts she carries?

Sarah’s way with writing is at once relaxed in style but sensitive to tension that seems to be always around the bend. The story is a fast read and there s plenty of steaming erotica to please the reader as well as the characters. Another solid book from Sarah J Stone. Grady Harp, April 18

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.