By Dannika Dark
Seven years ago, my world ended.
Seven years later, my new life began.
It's been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident. On the anniversary of his death, her brother's best friend shows up unexpectedly - a man she hasn't seen since the funeral. He is no longer the boy Lexi once knew, but a dangerous-looking man with tattoos and dark secrets. He broke her trust and abandoned her family, yet what he reveals makes it impossible to stay angry. Lexi has been secretly infatuated with Austin since childhood, so finding out he's a Shifter just makes him sexier. Dammit.
Austin Cole has returned to the city where he grew up, and just in time. He's lived a hard life these past seven years, and the shadows of his past are threatening to destroy Lexi's family. It's time that she learned the truth about her brother, but there is a shocking twist that Austin never saw coming. Now he must protect her family when her mother and sister wind up in mortal danger. Will Lexi learn to accept the truth about who he is, and can Austin salvage a relationship from the ruins of their past?
Seven Years is Dannika Dark's first book in her newest paranormal romance series. Having read her Mageri series, I knew Ms. Dark was an imaginative writer and this holds true in Seven Years. She creates an exciting world of shifters, of all varieties, living secretly in the world around us. So secretly, that Lexi does not realized that her brother's best friend, and her secret crush, Austin, is a shifter. Having disappeared for the past seven years, Lexi is left wondering why has he returned now?
Joining Austin are his pack members, who also happen to be his brothers. They are intriguing players each with their own special characteristics. Surely, they will each have a turn featured in a future book...and that is something to look forward to, especially my favorite, Reno.
I enjoy the interaction between the characters. Because they have history, it is more than just insta-love. It is also complicated by Lexi's status as Wes' younger sister (they need overcome that taboo); a mysterious (yet helpful) stranger, Lorenzo; and a surprising turn in Lexi's background. The story is complex, but the two of them ride through the turmoil together. It is less a story about "will they, won't they", but more, "how will this work out?"
My one little critique is that there are a few awkward moments in the story. It is as if the author is trying a little too hard to get us to like Lexi and it feels forced. I find Lexi's character to be very relatable and did not have to be convinced that she is attractive, funny, and caring. I love the fact that she is a 27 year old girl working at a candy store, wondering how she got stuck here. I love that she has strong boundaries that does not allow for a cheating boyfriend; this girl is strong.
IN A NUTSHELL:
Ms. Dark has created a world with a complex story and imaginative characters. It is what paranormal stories are about and the authors lands right on the mark.
About the Author
This is the segment where you learn a little more about who I am, so here's what I can tell you: I drink copious amounts of vitamin water placed precariously close to my laptop while writing. These are two healthy habits I have no intention of breaking. I'm a transplant living in the south, but I was born in the 70's to a military dad who moved us around the world.
When I'm not writing (which is all the time), I'm hunting down Indie music, watching movies, reading, eating Tex-Mex, discovering new ways to humiliate myself bowling, and burning up my laptop battery on the Internet. I have a relaxed, easy-going personality and don't like drama. I live with a cat who thinks she is a dog, or a goat (she eats plastic, so I'm not sure which).
Throughout my life, I've had insomnia. Counting sheep never worked and eventually I would imagine those sheep were the sole source of food after an apocalyptic battle where only thousands survived. I made up stories in a futile attempt to bore myself to sleep. The problem was, I got so wrapped up in my "head stories" that I would continue them through the following nights, changing it up each time to make it more exciting. Eventually, I started writing my ideas down - creating short stories, and then I discovered my love for poetry.
It's almost embarrassing how many spiral notebooks and stacks of paper I have of poetry and lyrics.
Another passion: digital art. I design all my book covers, marketing, and series art. I'm a very visual person and pursued photography as an avid hobby for many years.
I am not a YA author (I feel like I have to state this only because I've had a few people ask), but I think it's wonderful there are so many books available to teens in Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.
I am finally doing what I have always wanted to do: giving my characters a pulse through writing full time. I focus on adult urban fantasy romance, but I don't like labels and I enjoy blending genres to break out of the confines of predictability.
But it's what I love to do.
1 autographed paperback of Seven Years 1 key necklace 5 autographed bookmarks
1 autographed paperback of Seven Years 5 autographed bookmarks
1 Dannika Dark ebook (Winner's choice) 5 autographed bookmarks