Series: The Florentine #1
Published by: Berkley Trade
on February 3, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel Series comes a dark, sensual tale of romance in a city shrouded in mystery…
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi Gallery restoring fine works of Renaissance art. But an innocent walk home after an evening with friends changes her life forever. When she intervenes in the senseless beating of a homeless man, his attackers turn on her, dragging her into an alley. Raven is only semi-conscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attacker’s screams. Mercifully, she blacks out, but not before catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure who whispers to her…
When Raven awakes, she is inexplicably changed. She returns to the Uffizi, but no one recognizes her and more disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of the events leading up to her disappearance, Raven also learns that her absence coincides with one of the largest robberies in Uffizi history – the theft of a set of priceless Botticelli illustrations. When the baffled police force identifies her as its prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth about her disappearance. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets…
The Raven is storytelling at its finest. Sylvain Reynard weaves a delicious and mysterious web of the workings of the Florence Underground. This was a very well done paranormal romance that kept me engaged, and made my mind wander with the possibilities of what was to come. After finished THE PRINCE, the prequel to THE RAVEN, I had so many questions about what direction the author was going to take us in, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised on how well it all came together. This was smart writing, which is no surprise whatsoever, considering who the author is. Sylvain Reynard is more than a writer, more than a storyteller. This author is an artist, painting such a vivid picture of Raven and William’s story, giving us so much depth, so much emotion, so much imagination, you have no choice but to be transported to this magical world.
I loved the fact that Raven and William weren’t your typical hero and heroine. These beautifully flawed characters with past demons were a treat to get to know, giving us a detailed history and helping us to connect with the characters on a deeper level. The Raven was a slow building romance with just the right amount of suspense built-in. It has to be hard, going from a world-famous contemporary romance trilogy (Gabriel’s Inferno), to starting a new paranormal romance series (Florentine). I’m here to say, if you are a fan of Sylvain Reynard and are worried about switching to this series, DON’T BE! The paranormal element isn’t too extreme as to deter contemporary romance fans. Even going into a different genre, it has all of the elements that you all know and love from SR’s previous work: Brilliant writing, vivid details, history art references, sexy alpha male, and so much more. Suspenseful, seductive, and smart, The Raven will push your emotional buttons, leaving you with questions, but at the same time leaving you completely satisfied with the direction it is taking. I’m looking forward to the next installment of The Florentine Series.