Dark and Stormy Knight
By Nina Mason
Dark and Stormy Knight, by author Nina Mason is a dichotomy. Part erotica/BDSM, part fantasy/paranormal, part historical fiction, part gothic novel. I found myself overwhelmed by everything that was going on as I read. Mason is a talented writer, delivers funny as hell dialogue and her research in and knowledge of Celtic mythology is unprecedented. Her presentation of all things BDSM, pretty damn hot. The problem was that there was too much of a little bit of all these things.
The novel begins with our heroine, Gwyn, reading a passage of The Knight of Cups, her favorite book and subject of the bus tour she’s on. Set on the battlefield at Culloden, the passage details the hero’s almost-death and resurrection by a mysterious White Woman, rendering him immortal and a sex slave to Queen Morgan. When the bus she’s on crashes, all killed except for her, she’s saved by a shadowy figure and finds herself in the very castle she’d gone to visit. Quickly Gwyn realizes that everything about her favorite book is true, including the book’s hero (and author).
Leith has lived hundreds of years, cursed by Queen Morgan to lose any woman he loved to a fatal illness. He avoids love, but not sex, by engaging in Dom/sub relationships and role-playing that leave him emotionally distant from his lovers. When he and Gwyn find themselves falling in love, she convinces him to let her try to break his curse so that they can be together forever.
Dark and Stormy Knight has a great premise. I love a good paranormal and with Leith being both a shape shifter and a vampire there was great potential. Potential, but no mystery. A good paranormal novel is one that is believable. The plot leads the reader through a series of events that slowly pull back the veil, making the unlikely possible. That doesn’t happen in Dark and Stormy Knight as Gwyn readily accepts what she’s before her as fact without batting an eyelash. I was really disappointed at this because one, it felt rushed. Two, it kept Gwyn from showing any character development as she solved the mystery before her. And three, we don’t get to see Leith slowly find himself compelled to share his secrets with Gwyn as his feelings increased.
Once his secret is revealed the two engage in a torrid BDSM relationship. Leith, it appears, has tried everything, and wants to introduce Gwyn to this. While the scenes were hot, the fact that Gwyn was beaten by her stepmother repeatedly as a child and dwells on this made me uncomfortable that she’d agree to be a sub.
Once the two fall in love, the book switches from erotica to fantasy as Gwyn and Leith embark on a journey into a wealth of Celtic mythology. While author Mason skipped quickly through the reveal of Leith’s secrets, she takes her time with this quest and employs the sights and sounds of Avalon. Unfortunately this half of the book suffered from too much of a good thing. Mason shares more Celtic lore than necessary which disrupts the pace of the story with unnecessary details.
Dark and Stormy Knight is book two of the Knights of Avalon series and though I’ve heard this is could be a standalone, I suspect that I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first book. Heat level: 5
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Dark and Stormy Knight was published in January 2016 by Lyrical Press.
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