by Namiin Stone
Mind-Fuckery ~ The best kind
Ever suffer from a book hangover? The kind where it takes you several days (a week, that is) to articulate your thoughts, and still, the best you can come up with is “What the actual fuck?”
Well, this book is that for me, and I mean that in all the best ways.
I knew what I was getting myself into when I first requested an ARC. Just as I know I will order a paperback of it, and it will go on my shelf. And anytime anyone asks me about it, I’ll give it to them, but only if they dare to have everything they think they know challenged and turned upside down.
I can guarantee you this book will do that for you. To you.
Whatever. I have no words.
Oh, who am I kidding? Of course, I have words!
There’s a lot to love about this book. If the cover and blurb didn’t capture your attention, the first chapter will.
Am I a sucker for an age-gap story? Absolutely!
And just in case the blurb doesn’t make this clear, the cover tells you that not only is there a huge age-gap between the hero and heroine, there’s also a size difference. Physical size difference – get your mind out of the gutter. Eh, leave it there, that’s what we’re here for, is it not? Then there’s the taboo aspect that is made clear from the get-go (read the blurb, content warnings, etc. Namiin puts those there for a reason).
It’s a dark, paranormal romance story. I repeat – DARK and PARANORMAL. Anything goes, okay? ANYTHING.
On the one hand, you have Ila, a heroine who struggles to fit into a world she was never meant to fit into. And even after she ‘meets’ our hero, Idris (who is clearly not human), she still wants to hold on to her humanity in the face of everything. The story is told from her POV, so you get to experience this journey with her.
Then you have Idris, a man who’s not really a man, who comes off as having his own self-serving agenda in the beginning. I’ll be honest, I had mixed feelings about what his intentions with her were in the beginning, and as we uncover the various layers to him, you can’t help it but root for him. For them both too.
I thoroughly enjoyed how well-rounded and dynamic these characters are. In the beginning, it all seems like fun and games (y’know, because of what she’s doing, not spoiling it for you here); but no. This is Namiin we’re talking about. And this is Idris and Ila we’re talking about, a duo whom she has written about in different contexts. There’s angst. There’s turmoil. There’s heartache and heartbreak. And these characters grow and evolve as the book progresses. Each was a piece of the puzzle and they fit the best together
And, I’ll be honest – I kinda wanted Ila to die in the end. Y’know, because my mind really is that twisted. And she didn’t fit in the human world anyway, so letting go of her humanity is to be expected. But that ending – whew! It’s as vague as it gets.
Yes, it ends on a cliffhanger. There will be a second book, His Blood.
Now, let’s all rally together and cheer Namiin on, so she can bring us a second masterpiece!
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His touch will be her annihilation.
Ila Baden is haunted by a book; a fragile, old, burned book left to rot in her late grandfather’s attic. Though she feels an immediate draw to it, she ultimately has no use for an empty antique damaged beyond repair. She leaves it to be junked, but the ancient being for whom the tome is a conduit will not let her go so easily.
Idris is a ghost, a beast, a demon. He is everything Ila did not know she was missing, every dark faerie tale she wished were true. He is as kind as he is brutal, as tender as he is possessive. He scares her, captivates her, reignites the ashes of a long buried desire in her.
After all: Ila is his to love, to claim, to consume. His heart, his blood, his fated mate. Only in annihilation by his hand will she understand that everything she thought she knew about herself, her life, her very being, was nothing but a lie.
The Smoke and Silk Duet is a slow burn, taboo, paranormal romance that explores when the lines of lineage and love blur together. It is a romance between a blood-related father/daughter pair with a supernatural twist.