The Monster Within (Mounting Darkness, #1) - Lola Rayne My review contains spoilers and they're are mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

Prepare to be electrified by Lola Rayne’s debut novella, [b:The Monster Within|16003331|The Monster Within (Mounting Darkness, #1)|Lola Rayne||21766188], along with some buck naked actions (and I don’t necessarily mean sex :p)!

You say, ‘whaaa..?’

Hmm, let’s have a stroll, shall we?

It’s the first novella of the series, Mounting Darkness; a thrilling paranormal, fantasy/erotic romance. The concept behind [b:The Monster Within|16003331|The Monster Within (Mounting Darkness, #1)|Lola Rayne||21766188] was interesting, to say the least. Personally, I haven’t read as many paranormal stories as I’d like to, but the genre is one of my favorites. I was on unfamiliar ground on some things and still trying to get a grip of some of the stuff, but even then, I found myself rooting for the characters and the series itself.

When I was asked for a requested review I had no idea what I was getting into. But something about the titled snagged me right in. Oooh ah, monsters *drools*… er, ok, I wanted to simply read it and find out if I can discover another wonderful debut author. And I just did. Lola’s writing would entertain you without a doubt because it’s funny ... hilarious ... witty ... Loads and loads of it! I always admire an author who can write wit so good (and they are hard to find IMO), Lola’s various versions of “About Me/the Author” got me hooked.

The world of [b:The Monster Within|16003331|The Monster Within (Mounting Darkness, #1)|Lola Rayne||21766188] is a world where magic is still there. A world where magical and other transformed beings are still roaming; not as freely as they would’ve liked though. There is good and there is ancient evil, both trying to keep their hold on the gradually subsiding world of magic.

The story itself starts with a bang; a phone call to Nicole, who once used go by the name Ekaterina. A phone call that makes her sick, literally. Who is this voice? I keep wondering… what’s wrong with Nicole?

Turns out, Nicole has magical powers... not just your tinsy-winsy ones but BIG. She was recruited as a child (without her parents’ consent) by this man called Slaine to (I assume) train her. I won’t go into the ‘whys and hows’ of Slaine’s actions because it’d only give away too much. But Nicole suffered through a traumatic past, ran for her young life… She was somewhat rescued by a man named Montimore, someone who is a father figure. Nicole has stored her magical abilities away in a tight little box, never to be touched again, until this one horrifying little phone call.

When she comes out of the store where she works, to flee, she faints in front of Gideon, who was... umm, stalking her. Now don’t get me wrong. Gideon isn’t your normal male, though once upon a time he used to be. It took me a while to get to the part where Gideon’s identity was revealed and I was like ‘squeeeeeee’! Thanks to Karen Marie Moning’s Highlander series, I know something about berserkers and ooh boy, I love them. Berserkers mate for life, and to Gideon, Nicole meant the only word: mate. He must possess her and protect her, at all cost.

So would they be able to uncover and face this monster from the past who is taunting Nicole? Can Gideon save his mate or would he have to face his own monsters?

FYI: Nicole doesn’t need ‘saving’ per say, I assure you!

Part of the story was the building of the series. We are introduced to new characters, including Montimore and his gang, Nicole’s ardent supporters, who know about her past. Gideon and his ‘brothers’, who I suppose will get their books. I’m especially interested in Tomahawk. Have to see who gets to bust his cranky nuts! *heehee* There are definitely a lot to hook you up on those. I’m also very interested in Slaine... not because he’s a handsome old evil, whiny bastard who doesn’t even fry to death but, just that, he made me laugh, a few times. I have NO idea why.

(don’t look at me like this...!)

My only complaint, this could’ve been a longer work with deeper background information. I think someone as ignorant about the various aspects of paranormal genre as me would find it helpful. I wanted to know more about Nicole and Gideon’s past life but I think we’ll get to see much more in the next installments. A solid 4 star, and waiting for the next in the series.

This ARC of The Monster Within was provided to me by Pure Textuality in exchange of an honest review. This review is a part of my very first blog tour, The Monster Within Blog Tour. For more information, please visit Punya Reviews...