Book It! – Evernight by Kristen Callihan
This is the first book in my “Twelve Award Winners” for my #40before40 project. “Evernight” is the 2015 RITA Award winner for best paranormal romance. It’s also the fifth in a series – something I didn’t know until I started to do a little research.
Once the night comes . . .
Will Thorne is living a nightmare, his sanity slowly being drained away by a force he can’t control. His talents have made him the perfect assassin for hire. But as he loses his grip on reality, there is no calming him—until he finds his next target: the mysterious Holly Evernight.
Love must cast aside the shadows . . .
Holly cannot fathom who would put a contract on her life, yet the moment she touches Will, the connection between them is elemental, undeniable—and she’s the only one who can tame his bouts of madness. But other assassins are coming for Holly. Will must transform from killer to protector and find the man who wants Holly dead . . . or his only chance for redemption will be lost.
Although this book was the fifth in a series, it did well as a stand-alone. I did find the first couple of chapters to be slow, plodding, and other such synonyms. The only reason I didn’t set it aside in those first chapters was that it was the first in my award-winning book quest for my #40before40 challenge, and it seemed bad precedent to give up so early.
Once I got past the beginning, I could not put it down. I was drawn into this dark, late 19th century London filled with supernatural creatures who kept their presence hidden from the regular human population.
Holly is an elemental who is able to control metal. She and Will had both been kidnapped in the past and Holly had been forced to implant a metal heart in Will’s body. Will is a demon who relies on blood (and apparently hot cocoa) for survival. The metal heart is slowly killing him and driving him mad in the process. He seeks out Holly to get revenge and ends up staying with her to serve as a protector while she tries to find a cure for him.
Holly is still suffering from PTSD from her time in captivity by the dark angel and no longer leaves her house. The quest to find out who has put out the contract on her life, as well as the sexy and irresistible Will Thorne, are the impetus she needs to venture forth again.
There was enough action and mystery – with an excellent reveal as to who’d taken out the contract – and a smattering of sexy-times to keep me interested throughout.
I expect the ending would’ve made a bigger impact on me if I had more of a background on the characters and the world that Ms. Callihan built, but I mostly found it incomprehensible. Without giving away the ending, the way things with Will played out in the final pages of the book made no sense to me and seemed to be mostly about tying a neat little bow around the requisite HEA.
Although I enjoyed the book and in no way regret finishing it, I’m not sure I’d pick up the rest of the series unless I had a great deal of time and no other books on hand.
I’ll give this one 3.5 stars. I don’t think you’ll regret reading this, but it wasn’t what I expected from an award winner. I think there were a lot of paranormal romances published in 2015 that had tighter prose, better world building, and more enjoyable romance.