LoveSpell, $6.99, ISBN 978-0-505-52695-3
Fantasy Romance, 2007
The Awakening is the third book in the multi-author series Immortals, coming after Jennifer Ashley’s The Calling and Robin T Popp’s The Darkening. Feel free to read the review of the first book to catch up on what is happening in the series if you have not read any book in the series before.
This is one of those books where sex is part of the magic and therefore there is a very high chance that a random page you turn to features a sex scene. However, unlike many such stories that often turn out to be embarrassingly bad clunkers, this one actually works very well.
The plot is pretty simple. Our Coven of the Light witch, Christine Lachlan, is charged to summon the third Immortal, Kalen, but her spell doesn’t work so she decides to head over to Scotland and locate the fellow herself. She arrives in the middle of an erotic kind of circus, as Kalen – or rather, his penis and all the glorious things it can do to womankind, human or paranormal – is right in the center of a plot brewing between a scheming half-Sidhe looking for immortality and, of course, the bad guys led by Kalen’s own brother gone rogue, Tain.
There is a boo-boo at the start of the story when Christine casts the summoning spell that also makes her feel horny. Give me a break, really. Doesn’t it seem stupid to make it such that casting a spell that can summon who-knows-what will make the caster horny? It will be so embarrassing if the caster accidentally summons a goat or something, I tell you. But aside for that silly bit of contrivance designed just to highlight the headlights on Christine’s chest for who knows what reason, the rest of the erotically-charged scenes in this story work very well for me. They work because the author has set up her erotic tableau in a very evocative manner. Ms Nash’s prose is most descriptive indeed, lending her erotic scenes a sense of poetry at times. If I want to view this book as a sober paranormal romance, yes, I’d probably say that there are too many things about this story that rely on sex. But as an erotic paranormal fiction, this one works very well for me.
Christine is a pretty decent heroine. On the surface, she’s a standard heroine who thinks she’s usually in control of her frisky feelings, but I like that she’s a proactive heroine who is actually pretty capable. She wants to do good things to save the world and she’s actually quite capable to do so.
My only problem with this story, and I’m afraid it’s a pretty big problem, is Kalen. This guy treats the whole world like one giant Livejournal for his emo play and he is simply too ridiculous for words. The world is falling down around him but all he wants to do is to be left alone so that he can paint and have all the sex he wants. This guy will fit right in with the other characters in Jonathan Larson’s Rent because he acts as if his angst and his issues with taking orders from his brother make him entitled to a life of irresponsible indulgences. He whines when he doesn’t get what he wants. He patronizingly tells Christine that he’s lived long enough to know that the world can go to hell for all he cares and still be fine without his help. Kalen is just too self-absorbed to a really ridiculous degree to me. He’s like a silly pampered brat whining about how the world has deliberately cheated him of a life of la vie boheme.
I don’t really buy his grand love for Christine too because he only wants her back when he realizes after sleeping with her that she can give him the magical inspiration to make pretty pictures. Yes, the world is going to hell and all this emo brat wants is to do is to paint and shag. Like I’ve said, he’s utterly ridiculous. It’s a good thing, at least, that he’s tolerable when he’s being used as a party game meat because he then shuts up and gives women a good time. Apart from that, I don’t see much use in keeping him around.
But despite the hero being a complete and utter dud outside the bedroom, I still find The Awakening a most memorable read due to the strength of Ms Nash’s prose and the vivid emotions and sensations she manages to evoke with her words. As an erotic tale, it works most beautifully.