Shadow of the Swan by Nicola M. Cameron

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Shadow of the Swan

by Nicola Cameron
September 8, 2020 · Belaurient Press
ParanormalRomanceScience Fiction/Fantasy

Hoo boy, was this book a mixed bag.

Here are my main takeaways for potential readers, sorted into the good, the bad, and the meh:

The good: The premise and world-building are intriguing and fun once things get going, and the third-act action is genuinely a nail-biter (after an otherwise slow-ish plot). There are several very engaging lady secondary characters of supernatural origin. Also, most of the major secondary characters are queer. Finally, I love a vampire hero, even if this particular vampire hero is weirdly staid and talks to the heroine like he’s her grandpa.

The bad: With the exception of some genuinely hot sex dream sequences in the first act, the sex writing in this book is a CLUNKER. The probable single worst excerpt, which almost made me quit the book entirely, is when the heroine is fondling the hero’s scrotum:

It was indeed heavy, and covered with what felt like more crispy curls, and inside were two roundish objects that jostled and moved within their fleshy container.

Testicles, of course. Fascinating.

FLESHY CONTAINER??? TESTICLES, OF COURSE???? Cue my internal screaming. The overall unsexiness of the sex is not helped by the fact that the hero and heroine call each other “dear” repeatedly, which has to be the least sexy endearment of all time for me.

The meh: The romance started out strong with a marriage of convenience mixed with a heady blend of mistrust (from the heroine), a desire to stay distant (from the hero), and intense mutual attraction, but loses steam around the midpoint. The transition from “you might be okay” to eternal love is too abrupt.

Also, the plot DOES revolve around an evil being who wants to forcibly impregnate the main character to bear his son and heir (because heaven forfend he allow one of his bajillion daughters to be his heir), which I’m sure will be a hard pass for many readers.

Overall, while I do not regret reading this book, it was kind of a letdown relative to how cool the premise was…so temper your expectations going in.

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