by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer
I don't normally go for cheesy fantasy romance, but even the name tells the reader a little something about the character. Stormy Knight is a young woman who is on the run and being chased by people she does not know. She has no idea who she is, or where she came from, her mind is a blur and a mix of events that don't seem to make sense. At first it didn't seem to make sense to me either, yet this novel is neither cheesy nor wholly fantasy as Stormy appears as real to me as she will to anyone else reading this piece.
It isn't too long before the reader finds out that Stormy is having nightmares about a man who comes to her, and makes love to her sleeping body, but he isn't at all what he really appears either. She wakes up covered in blood, and with skin under her fingernails, is it her own, or someone else’s? She catches glimpses of the man in her bed, but even he is nightmarish with dark fur over his back, blood red eyes and snarling sharp teeth. Everything is vague, but there is a reason for that and it becomes clearer the further on the reader gets into the novel. What she has no idea of is she is being targeted by a werewolf who wants to make her his own, and will stop at nothing to make her see reason. She, on the other hand wants to know who she really is, and suffers torment night after night as a result.
Denise, author of such works as Masquerade, Whispers In The Dark, and Samson and Delilah has done a great job of using dream imagery to good effect with the poor woman, Stormy, who is tormented, and hurt once she wakes up from her nightmares. Demitri is the head of a fire fighting team who risk life and limb every time they go out on a call - but even Stormy can't see what is going on around her until it is too late.
I liked the moments of comedy in the story, how she interacts with the other guys who work at the station, and how she copes with her night life. One moment in particular made me laugh and will remind readers what I originally said about her name:
"What kind of name is Stormy Knight?" One man asked.
"Not sure. Family, maybe," Her voice was low, almost a whisper.
"Naw, sounds like a name f --ed up parents would give a f --ed up kid if you ask me. Even better, probably what the weather was doing when they made her."
However, when Stormy questions why the station can't get hold of real silverware, and the reply is that most of who work at the station are allergic to silver - it is too obvious for comfort even in a world where werewolves are still seen as impossible. As the name states, Stormy is in fact none other than sleeping beauty who is desired by one man she has only seen in dreams. She is the sort who most men crave for, but there is something strangely tragic about her until she knows who she truly is.
Denise is really good at showing sensuality, and gives it a real depth even in the first chapter where she is recalling her nightmare, and the effect it provoked in her. Readers should get an idea of what to expect once they start reading, and if they like to get straight to the eroticism they won't be disappointed with Sleeping Beauty.