Review: Sleeping Beauty by Denise P. Jeffries

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.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Sleeping Beauty

Review: The Mists of Time by Susan Squires

The Mists of Time is part of the DaVinci Time Travel Series by Susan Squires. The DaVinci Series is an offshoot of the Companion Series, starting with One with the Darkness. The second DaVinci time travel romance, Time For Eternity, also fits into both series. After that they seem to be separated. I haven’t read enough of either series to know with absolute certainty that this is the case. I saw a few minor references to Time For Eternity in The Mists of Time, but not knowing the full background didn’t detract. You can jump into The Mists of Time as it is a stand alone. Anything you really need to know is explained.

Diana Dearborn is an orphan once more after her father, the last of her adoptive parents’ is dead. She had no idea who she really is because thirteen years of her past are missing. All she knows is that she feels different than everybody else. Diana can find things without thinking about it and hears what people will say before they actually say it. Both are pretty useless talents as far as she’s concerned.

She writes romances for her day job and is suffering from writer’s block on her latest. It’s a story about Gawain, the perfect knight, from King Arthur’s time. If only she could go to Camelot and meet the man she was writing about, then she could bring him to life on the page. A book in her possession leads her to believe that Leonardo DaVinci’s design for a time travel machine might actually exist and so one night she takes that chance and goes in search of a past to become her future.

Gawain was too late to stop Diana from going back in time and now she’s brought one of the most evil megalomaniacs back to the future. He’s haunted by all his failures and is far from the perfect knight history has made him out to be. His latest mission seems to be going to the dogs faster than he can say Mordred.

I found the flaws of the characters got on my nerves after a while. Gawain’s insecurities are a big road block. He’s always worrying. He worries about his attraction to Diana. He worries about lies of omissions. He worries about Mordred. He worries about fulfilling his mission, of pleasing his long dead father, etc, etc.

Diana isn’t much better. She’s afraid of a lot. She’s afraid to make friends, because who’d want to be around someone as freaky as her? She’s afraid of a relationship because she doesn’t believe she’s attractive. She views Gawain as an Adonis among men and herself as something the cat dragged in. And she’s afraid she’s not a very good writer because she hasn’t experienced the kind of love she writes about – or the sex.

Good thing time and space isn’t linear because by the end, both manage to change these parts of their personalities around due to actions and words done in the past. It’s very refreshing. :) Maybe now they can admit to each other how they feel? You’ll have to read and find out!

Rating: 3 Stars

Buy: The Mists of Time

[phpbay]mists time susan squires, 10, 377, “”[/phpbay]