Saturday, August 27, 2005

Carved in Stone by Vickie Taylor

I read very few paranormal romances because I'm such a left brain person that the practical side of me just doesn't get them most of the time. But once in a while I read a review or hear buzz that catches my interest enough to try one. Carved in Stone had an unusual premise involving shapeshifting gargoyles. I was intrigued so I decided to buy it and I was not disappointed.

Nathan Cross is a thousand year old gargoyle who shapeshifts into a griffin, a beast with the head and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. Gargoyles are immortals who reincarnate over numerous lifetimes. They have two primary missions 1) to protect humans from harm and 2) to procreate. Nathan is an art history professor living his 14th life and is very tortured by events in his past lives.

Rachel Vandemere is an agent for Interpol (an international police organization) who witnessed her parents' murder by monsters when just a small girl. She is obsessed with cases that involve what appear to be eyewitness accounts of monsters and has compiled files of these crimes in hopes of discovering who murdered her parents.

Nathan and Rachel first meet in an art exhibition and eventually learn that they have a psychic connection that I found to be highly erotic and filled with sexual tension. Their first encounter during a dream sequence when they weren't even in the same building was sizzling! Nathan fights his attraction and his driving need to procreate for much of the book. So when they finally get together it was very satisfying.

The story of how the society of gargoyles began a thousand years ago was fascinating. The mystery and suspense was well done. There were even a couple surprises that I didn't see coming in the final few pages. I like when that happens.

I had a little trouble following the 'rules' of their society and couldn't quite understand some of the details pertaining to reincarnation. But these were very minor quibbles. A very good read.

My Grade: B+

The sequel to CIS (Flesh and Stone) is coming in April January 2006 and I will be looking for it. The hero for this sequel, Connor, was a bad character in CIS (Spoiler: He tries to forceably mind-rape Rachel at one point) so I will be interested in how she turns him around.

P.S. Found a picture of the cover. Very nice :)


CindyS said...

And another book to add to the TBB list. I never read Vickie Taylor, is this her first book?


ReneeW said...

Cindy- This is her first full length book. I believe she used to write Silhoutte Romances.

Kristie (J) said...

My goodness we are in sync in recent reads. When I first saw this was a a gargoyle romance (grin) I kind of hestitated but she pulled it off very well. I'm really looking forward to the next installment too.
I just read her latest Harlequin since I enjoyed CIS so much. Not nearly as good IMO. I still haven't been able to finish it.

Tara Marie said...

I'm looking forward to the new one too. I'm not a huge paranormal fan, but this one I enjoyed and am looking forward to the rest of the series.

McVane said...

Holy smoke! You found the cover of the new book. Nice! I had no idea that it'd be Connor's story next. Interesting. Thanks for the info. :)

ReneeW said...

Kristie - I looked at her categories on her website but they didn't appeal to me. If you read one you like, let me know.

Tara - Just discovered from Taylor's website that the release of Flesh and Stone is January (not April). Woohoo!

Maili - You're welcome. I can't believe I beat you to finding a cover!

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