Dark Mercy (Gothic Urban Fantasy: Preternaturals Shorts)

Rated 4.50/5 based on 6 reviews
1955, Las Vegas, Nevada

Angeline has been on the run from her sire, Linus, for centuries. She’s tired, and she’s lonely. High from mescaline-infused blood, she sees a sign—a church that seems to glow in the distance—and she knows. Her future mate is in that building. More

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Review by: Nicole Thornton on May 28, 2012 :
Enjoyed this story. Good, self-contained story explaining the turning of a human into a vampire that felt like all the information provided was relevant and not just adding fluff to the story. Liked the writing of the characters and action that developed the story along.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Gayle on April 28, 2012 :
Enjoyed the book very much and will read more by this author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Victoria Zigler on April 24, 2012 :
Another fantastic read; if you haven't read the books in the series this book comes from, you really need to!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: S.M. Boyce on April 19, 2012 :

Dark Mercy is a short work of paranormal vampire fiction that can easily be read in one sitting. It's sexy, dangerous, thrilling, and while the word "dark" is used a lot, it fits too. I really enjoyed reading this, but beware that it's rated R and is full of, well, sinful pleasantries. Dude, even I felt kind of like I needed a confession after reading the sex scene. The characters were flawed and realistic, the story magical and real, and the subtle (and not-so-subtle) themes had me thinking about the book long after I finished. This is on my favorites shelf and I'll be reading the rest in this series.


So Dark Mercy actually starts with what I thought was a bit of a spoiler. Winters has this disclaimer in her Acknowledgements:

[quote]Dark Mercy is the beginning of Hadrian and Angeline's story, not the end. Their HEA will happen later in their own full-length novel. This story is important both for the overall series and for this couple, but it's not their HEA. Just a mild disclaimer so no one goes in with false expectations of this story.[/quote]

Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I had to Google "HEA." For those who also don't know, it stands for "happily ever after." Huh, I thought. Spoiler much? We know from the get-go that there is no lovey-dovey resolution to the story. We're almost guaranteed a cliff hanger. This disappointed me at first, but now that I've read it, I have to say that it adds to the end. I want to see how any couple can survive this sort of, er, tension. It makes me even more curious to read on, knowing that this isn't the end of their story. So even though it was off-putting at first, the "spoiler" actually left me completely surprised at the end. It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I love that.

The narration switches between our two main characters: Hadrian and Angeline. We see sex, vulgar language, sin, demons...it's all there, so be prepared. Still, it's great to hear their contrasting voices and to see the way they effect each other. Through them, we see life, death, lust, and the hope for redemption; it's wonderful. I really enjoyed the way the story was balanced between them, and I think it would have been weak without the vacillating perspectives. The themes Winters slips into the story are also wonderful, but I won't hit you over the head with them.

There are also moments of wonderfully vivid imagery, where I could hear and taste this paranormal world Winters talked about in Dark Mercy. You're transported from place to place, and each setting was crystal clear. I settled right in and never once questioned Winters' style or voice.

Winters' take on the vampire world wasn't entirely new, but both the look into the death/transformation and the way she described the taste of blood was. She describes drinking blood as being able to taste emotions, rather than literal taste. I thought that was great. You also get an insight into the other paranormal creatures of the Preternaturals series, from cyclers to witches to other magical creatures about which we can only speculate.

All in all, this was a great read. I slipped right into the story and didn't leave until I ran out of words to read. I definitely recommend you pick this book up -- as long as you're okay with a bit of sin and a naughty sex scene. I think the depth of the rest of the story will outweigh this for anyone made uncomfortable by lightly described sex in novels, but it's going to be your call in the end.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Gayle on April 02, 2012 :
Very enjoyable and recommed to others - will read more by this author.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Sheryl Painter on March 07, 2012 :
For a short book, this story read like a full-sized novel. Nothing was skimped or shortened for this book. I was afraid to stop reading for fear I'd miss yet another twist or turn in the story. It is always amazing to me how talented authors are able to not only tell their story, but bring you into their world in just a few words. Ms. Winters is one of those talented authors. Was the bad vampire once good, and I should feel compassion for her? Was the priest good, yet I should feel no compassion for his situation? The way Ms. Winters was able to interweave Father Hadrian's story into the Angeline story, into the Tamara story (shhh...the witch is thrown in for more intrigue) was wonderful. I was never sure where I'd be taken next, but I gladly followed. The story kept me on my toes, never once allowing my mind to wander. I think my favorite line in the book was when Angeline told Father Hadrian "You could have been a great vampire, but you had to go and turn out to be good." Priceless! Great story by a favorite author. It really was worth waiting for the book to come out!
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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