I received this book via the author, Becca Vincenza. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.
Series: Rebirth #1
Published by Self Publish on 2014-01-20
Length: 246 pages
Reviewing eARC Rating:
There are some beings in this world, long thought to be extinct. Some seek to protect them, others want control, but some . . . some are hell bent on their destruction.
Audrey was taken from her father, hidden away from the world, and tortured for five years. She was rescued, but is she really safe, or is there someone else waiting to betray her? Can she trust those who saved her? Can she learn to accept who she really is?
Stone was on a routine mission to extract valuable information from a rival clan of paranormals. Instead, he and his team find something much more valuable: a scarred, damaged young woman who holds many secrets, and whose power is beyond anything they could ever have imagined.There is much more to Audrey than meets the eye and Stone is determined to protect her.
Audrey and Stone are about to find out it's hard to know who to trust.
(New Adult, contains language and sexual content. 18+)
This book was revised and re-edited in 2017. The following review does not reflect these revisions.
Damaged by Becca Vincenza is the first book of Rebirth and sets the stages for an interesting twist on the paranormal universe. The book opens with Audrey, a young woman who is being held prisoner and tortured daily for information she doesn’t have. Stone is a part of a tactical team with a mission to infiltrate the facility when he finds her. Both are unsure and untrusting of each other and those around them. But one thing is certain, Stone feels like he must protect her, and he will do so no matter the cost.
Audrey’s character is defined in the first few words…
The first year, I craved a touch as if it were food. The second year, I knew without a doubt I would die without it, as if a touch itself was water and I was dying for a sip. The third year, I tried to convince myself it wasn’t worth it. The fourth year, I accepted my lies.
Is that not haunting?! Audrey is introduced at the start of her fifth year being held prisoner, tortured for information she doesn’t have. I found her strong, despite that she saw herself as weak. She was scared, broken, and haunted by her past, but despite those things she is a fighter. She wants to live! It was riveting to read as her character progressed and grew. I rooted for her the whole way!
Stone is a bit different. He is a shape-shifter and can shift into any form of animal or human. It’s actually kinda creepy and cool all at the same time! But beyond that is his personality. I was a little put-off by his intensity with Audrey. He constantly refers to her as “mine.” He’s very possessive, alpha male type. Besides that he is actually very sweet, caring, and understanding with Audrey. And if not for him, I don’t believe her character would have shown the growth that it does.
Then there were several ancillary characters. Nixie is a siren. She is bubbly, full of spunk, and becomes an instant friend to Audrey when she arrives back at their compound. Elijah is a wraith and creepy, very creepy, but for some reason he takes a shine to Audrey and vows to protect her. Very un-wraith-like of him. York is a gargoyle and the head of an opposing clan, but expect the unexpected with him 😉 Jacobs is the head of Stone’s team and for lack of a better word he’s a butt! He’s a werewolf with attitude and I really disliked him from the get-go.
Love and Paranormal
So this is a full-fledge love story. I would put it right in with other contemporary New Adult fiction. There’s not a lot of other plot going on. The story is truly centered around Audrey and Stone and their unusually strong attraction to one another. Audrey is paranormal like the others, but no one knows what she is, except Elijah and he’s not telling! With her memories missing and jumbled, she’s confused a majority of the time, but finds solace in the patience Stone shows her. Their relationship is sweet, but also intense. Stone doesn’t want to push her, but Audrey wants him too. In fact it was a little unrealistic to me. If I had just been locked up and tortured for five years, I’m not sure I would be willing to have a relationship with a stranger no matter how nice and hot he was. Just saying!
The paranormal world that Vincenza builds is amazing. It falls into the urban fantasy category and it’s well-crafted. There are paranormals of all kinds (in fact there is a glossary at the end of the book to help explain some of the ones you may not know about) and she creates a world unique to them. I can’t wait to see more of it!
Overall I really enjoyed the book. In fact I enjoyed it so much, I’ve already bought and read book two 😀 There is just enough paranormal to balance the romance of the story. There’s also quite a bit of mystery as the author sets the stage for the series around the Rebirths (you’ll have to read, sorry not spoiling it 😉 ). If you enjoy new adult fiction, contemporary romance, and paranormal creatures set in an urban setting, I highly recommend you check it out!
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