This week I began my adventures in the genre of Paranormal Romance. Other than listening to my wife talk Twilight and Hunger Games with her friends, this world is foreign to me, so I was very excited when a member of the horde asked me to review her latest book.
Conflict came at me from all sides as I read Rosemary Fryth’s Dark Confluence. The story begins with a jolt of adrenaline as Jen McDonald narrowly avoids driving into a strange woman dressed in black. This event leads her into a web of paranormal activity and warring factions of faeries just below the surface of the pristine tourist town of Emerald Hills.
The majority of the story is split between the actions of Jen and a woman named Carma who serves in a local political action group as well as runs a new age shop. Carma dabbles in low level magic, and an encounter with a customer brings her into the supernatural drama unfolding in the town.
Without a doubt, the near car crash is exciting and kicks off an involved plot that many readers will enjoy, but I felt like the action began before I could develop a reason to care about the main character. As a result I read along as a distant observer. I was never able to become immersed in the story.
As Jen learns more about the Faerie folk and their involvement in her small town, we are introduced to lots of characters, way too many for me. They would be here, then gone. I got tired of looking for a way to connect to all of them.
Rosemary writes believable characters that are interesting to follow. Jen has a wonderful relationship with an elderly widower named Tom that reminded me of millions of Baby Boomer daughters caring for aging parents and learning about their pasts. But she also has a fiery desire for a mysterious young man named Fionn that provides the story with a backdrop of sexual tension. The same is true for Carma. She is fun to watch as she carries out her self-interested plans. As much as the characters were interesting to me, I never lost myself in the story. I was always very aware I was reading fiction.
Readers will appreciate Rosemary’s writing. The story is pleasantly linear. She is quite sensual in her descriptions. She has a magician’s ability to manipulate time with her words. She lingers us through scenes of desire between Jen and Fionn, and she harrows us through deadly encounters with the paranormal.
The final conflict for me was faeries. I don’t like them accept in children stories. I never could get over it. I do not see them as grown up. I do realize that is a character flaw on my part. When I discovered Dark Confluence was the first in a trilogy, my jaw dropped. I can tell you now the other books don’t interest me, but it’s because of the faeries. I would love to know how things end up for Jen and Carma. I really would.
Rosemary is a writer I could enjoy, but this is not a book for me. If you don’t have a faerie hang up, this is probably a fun read. Even though this is the end of the road for me, I think Dark Confluence by Rosemary Fryth is a solid three …hmm…severed fairy heads. That might be too much. Let’s just say three.
Heads Will Roll,