Expected Publication: February 3, 2015 by Berkley
Raven Wood spends her days at Florence’s Uffizi gallery restoring 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 semiconscious when their assault is interrupted by a cacophony of growls followed by her attackers’ 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. Upon returning to the Uffizi, no one recognizes her. More disturbingly, she discovers that she’s been absent an entire week. With no recollection of her disappearance, Raven 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 police identify her as their prime suspect, Raven is desperate to clear her name. She seeks out one of Florence’s wealthiest and most elusive men in an attempt to uncover the truth. Their encounter leads Raven to a dark underworld whose inhabitants kill to keep their secrets . . .
I’m finding it really difficult to express how much I loved this book, and to give it the proper review. This is absolutely one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.
A few years ago, I discovered the wonder that is Sylvain Reynard’s writing when I began reading the Gabriel’s Inferno series. To this day, it is one of my favorite series, and possibly some of the most beautiful writing I’ve ever experienced. I was really excited, but admittedly a little hesitant, about this new series. My concerns were whether it would live up to my high expectations.
Sylvain Reynard proved with this book, why he is and will always be one of my favorite authors. Not only was The Raven absolutely beautiful and brilliant, it blew all of my expectations out of the water. With flawless prose, this book was simply stunning, and I struggled with wanting to devour it in one sitting, and forcing myself to read slower, because I didn’t want it to end.
I fell in love with both Raven and The Prince. Raven, though we don’t know at first what kind of suffering she has endured in her life, you know immediately that she is a strong, independent woman. But she’s also extremely compassionate and has a heart of gold, which is so endearing. And The Prince – I loved his take charge, bad ass attitude. But more than that, I loved how romantic and soft he could be with Raven. His need to protect her and win her over was so sweet, and I fell in love with every word that came out of his mouth. This was probably one of the most romantic books I have ever read, full of incredible sexual tension, but also many sweet and tender moments that had me swooning non-stop.
The Prince is ruler of the Florence underworld and with that comes great responsibility, but also great risk. He’s secretive because he has to be to survive. Past demons haunt him daily and prevent him from the thought of getting close to anyone, or ever wanting to. Until the moment he decides to save Raven, and he feels an unexpected connection to her. Wanting to keep her safe, he finds himself drawn to her more and more, feeling things he hasn’t felt in a very long time.
There is so much suspense between what is going on with the underworld and the relationship between The Prince and Raven that I couldn’t put the book down. I was drawn in by SR’s gorgeous writing and found myself immersed in a new beautiful world, one I never wanted to leave. SR also takes his love of art and Italy to a whole new level in this novel, which makes the book even more fantastic.
What you get when you read a Sylvain Reynard novel is impeccable writing and a beautiful story that will stay with you forever. I fell completely in love with The Prince, and loved every single page of this book from beginning to end. A perfect combination of romance and paranormal suspense, this book is a must read.
ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can see my Goodreads review here.