La Crimson Femme
Review: A Dark Guardian by Donna Grant
This re-issue of an earlier work by Ms. Grant is a little of a rough read for me. Not as polished as her newer works, we experience events in a historical setting with the Fae and their chosen warriors to defend their world. There is magic, betrayal, and supposed time traveling.
I found that this book had more questions than answers. The majority of the book we are flying completely blind and the world building is pretty thin. I believe it is designed in a way that allows readers to learn more about what is going on with each book. This didn't quite make the mark for me on "keeping things mysterious". Instead, it comes across as falling into the 3rd Act of a play and having little idea of what is happening.
The character development is surprisingly weak. I can definitely see the growth of Ms. Grant's writing by comparing this book to her newer Dark Kings series. Hugh and Mina are both a bit two dimensional. Hugh's hang ups are mentioned and come out of the blue which is a bit confusing. Mina's life up until now is miserable. Her interactions and acceptance of Hugh even when he treats her poorly with suspicion is unrealistic. Or at least I think Mina should kick Hugh out on his arse and tell him to go find someone else to be his punching bag.
The interactions between Hugh and Mina are fraught with contrived conflict through miscommunication or just bad communication. Hugh's issues with Mina whilst making sense once we learn his back story, it didn't work for me because there is no set up for it. Just suddenly 40% into the book he loses his mind over her.
I can say the villain in this story is a nice twist and I did like that part. The conclusion came rather quickly yet still left many threads/subplots hanging. I almost feel like this series is the version 1.0 of the Dark Kings. After this series, Ms. Grant's writing became better. This book is just okay for me and is recommended to readers who enjoy paranormal romance set in a historical time period. As a side note, there is time travelling mentioned in this book but it doesn't really happen for the main characters. My guess is that this will show up in the next book.
* I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book.