Saturday, January 9, 2016
Night Lover by Rosanna Leo
Canadian soprano Renata Bruno is tired of waiting for her big break. Unfortunately, her boss, the conductor of a chamber ensemble, sees her as little more than background material. When she learns of an opportunity to sing solo with a different troupe in England, she knows she must seize it. Especially when she hears the group is to perform Mozart's Requiem, her favorite work.
As soon as Renata decides to make her move, a strange, sultry presence invades her life. She begins dreaming of a man, one who makes love to her, bewitching her. It isn't long before her night lover leaves startling proof of his nocturnal presence, making her doubt her senses.
To compound her discomfort, she learns her new conductor is the college boyfriend who broke her heart years ago. As Renata grapples with old hurts and renewed passion, she must also fend off the increasingly fervent advances of her night-time visitor. She realizes she is under the influence of an incubus, a sexual demon.
It becomes harder to resist the incubus when she learns he has a name and had a tragic history. The more she discovers about his past, the more she realizes they are linked in more ways than one. Renata begins to rediscover love and her sense of faith, but will it be enough to save her night lover from an evil curse? And will it destroy her in the process?
Where to Buy
Another amazing departure from the norm for Rosanna Leo, though this one does take her back into paranormal romance territory rather than contemporary. That said, this still reads as much like a contemporary as it does a paranormal so those who generally prefer contemporaries shouldn't rule this one out simply because of the other-worldly element to it. As with all her books, the characters are very realistic and have their problems and failings just like real people do. There are many familiar themes at work here, yet they are presented in such a unique way as to be fresh and not entirely as predictable as you might think.
Renata would seem to many to be a very independent woman, but much of that is a facade and the truth is she is very damaged and fragile when the book first begins. Still reeling from the deaths of her parents several years previous, and still pining for the true love that dumped her, it is fairly quickly made clear that she is a woman in need of much healing. That healing can only come by confronting her fears and facing her guilt and finding a way to overcome them so they cease to have power over her. Indeed, her very life will come to depend on her being able to do so. She is not, however, the only character that needs to do these things.
Of the two lovers that Renata finds herself torn between, we come to learn much more about Hugh than we do about Finn. A sensitive, compassionate man in life, he too came to be crippled by fear and guilt until eventually he found himself trapped in a heinous state between life and death, forced to prey upon innocent woman and drag them down with him. Finn too must deal with some inner demons, though in many ways his seem to not be as dire or debilitating as Renata and Hugh's are. It's entirely possible, however, that we simply aren't shown the extent of his, or that I missed or misremember it.
As my comments above would indicate, the overriding theme of this book is one of overcoming one's personal demons in order to be able to fully live life and to claim the sort of life that you want for yourself. For some this might mean discovering or re-discovering faith, for others it might mean forgiving oneself for shortcomings or failings and seeking to make amends where necessary, or it may mean absolving oneself of guilt for things that weren't really your fault. It takes courage, and not everyone is equal to the task, but the payoffs can definitely be worth it.
Fans of paranormal romance will certainly enjoy this book, though it is a bit hard to categorize exactly as I noted. Many aspects are similar to contemporary romance, while the paranormal aspects are relatively unique and definitely a departure from the shifters and deities that Leo is better known for writing about. As much as I love her other series and eagerly look forward to new entries in them, I'm also excited to see her branching out into new areas and testing new waters. Give this one a look. You won't regret it.