Dark Lily

Nina Navarre

Publisher: Xlibris Pages: 247 Price: (paperback) $29.99 AUD ISBN: 9781477101216 Reviewed: October, 2012 Author Website: Visit »

Although this novel is an undeniably readable fusion of dark fantasy and romance, readers may be left with the feeling that it could’ve been so much more satisfying if only the narrative intensity had been ramped up.

The potential for an insanely erotic storyline was there, but nothing erotic ever transpires, and the dark fantasy elements are only superficially explored. Grammatical errors aside (there are dozens of them throughout), there is, as a result, a sense of diluteness to this promising novel.

The storyline revolves around Oliver, “the ‘it guy’ on the Hollywood scene” who is sent to a remote island by his agent to get control of his self-destructive tendencies. He is to stay at an estate owned by Lily Draco, a devastatingly beautiful woman who is dealing with her own dark secrets. Oliver immediately becomes enthralled with the enigmatic temptress, who hunts feral dogs on horseback with a bow and is never far from her “twins,” two giant wolfhound protectors. Although both are deeply scarred from past physical and emotional traumas, they find solace in each other and, eventually, strength. “If we can’t save ourselves, maybe we can save each other,” Oliver tells her.

But as Lily reveals more and more of her bizarre history to Oliver — she was abducted by a sexual sadist and kept as a slave for years before escaping — they begin to realize that they’re both pawns in a game where much more than their lives are at stake.

Powered by its well-developed characters, Dark Lily is an adeptly constructed novel from beginning to end — one that has the potential to be commercially viable in a marketplace that has an insatiable appetite for paranormal romance and erotica à la Fifty Shades of Grey — but, sadly, readers will be left wanting much more supernatural sensuality from this storyline that doesn’t take it to the limit — and should have.

Also available in hardcover.

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