QuicksilverBy Joy Spraycar

Publisher: AuthorHouse
Publication Date: February 4, 2010
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Author

A recurring nightmare holds Serry Miller in its grip and has for most of her life. In spite of her fear of the man who becomes a monster, she’s in love with him. Not only does she have nightmares while she sleeps, she’s living in one with an abusive, alcoholic husband. When, Serry’s drunken husband hits Quinton Worthington’s car, she sees the face of the man from her nightmares on a stretcher entering the hospital. When he looks at her and calls her by her name, she is plummeted into a life that she has only dreamed about. Quinton Worthington has suffered for over a hundred years. That’s when his evil father ripped Serenity, the love of Quinton’s life, from him. At the same time, he changed Quinton into a monster. When Quinton sees Serry’s face in the hospital, he believes that Serenity has come back, and he will do anything to be with her. There’s only one thing that stands in their way of having the life they want: Quinton’s father.

Goodreads Summary

For Quinton Worthington, the simple horror of being a werewolf was eclipsed one morning when he returned home to find he’d slaughtered his own mother.  Vowing to never allow himself to be near other people again, he holed up in a tiny cabin with only one other man knowing his secret.  One night he comes across a pregnant woman in hard labor – it’s his love, Serenity.  She dies giving birth to his father’s daughter, who Quinton leaves on his friend’s doorstep before he leaves the area in grief.

One hundred and fifty years later, Serry Miller has been having dreams that are almost worse than living with her abusive husband.  She’s always running from a black wolf and sometimes there’s a handsome man with black hair and blue eyes in her dreams.  When word comes that her drunk husband caused an accident that left him in critical condition and the other driver seriously hurt, she rushes to the hospital to find that the other driver is the man from her dreams – and she has the nagging feeling that she knows him.

Quinton makes his escape from the hospital, but later comes back to watch the now widowed Serry – his Serenity reincarnated.  He convinces her to begin dating him and after a couple of months, decides he must confess his secret.  Serry has already guessed it though, and agrees to marry him anyway.  When she finds out the only way for them to have normal children is to kill his father and lift the curse that’s passed down genetically making his descendants werewolves, they agree that he has to die.

It may not be anything brand new, but this had a premise in paranormals that I like – that lovers can be reincarnated until they find each other again.  Toss in some werewolves, a crazy daddy who wants to ruin their lives over and over and it sounds like a good story.  Here, it was just half of the story because Quinton’s father is taken care of by that point.  The second half of the book was about something else entirely.  Something I didn’t particularly care about that didn’t even feel like it wasn’t written at the same time as the first half.

Each half of the book taken separately and made into its own book could have worked well for me with some tweaking.  I’d have loved to have seen the first half moved to a different time (take it back several hundred years).  The story ended up being full of familiars, a white witch, telepathy, premonitions of danger, kidnapping a fair maiden and an epic battle of shapeshifters with basic weapons.  Instead this took place in modern England with apparently no one noticing the commotion.  There was a dolphin familiar that was somewhere near the Thames!  After the battle, Quinton and Serry rode a horse familiar three days back to civilization, but later in the book, the white witch took Serry back to the place by cab.

The second half was suited perfectly to modern times, but it could have stood alone without any connection to the action in England at all.  Killing his father didn’t end the werewolf curse, but Serry may have stumbled upon some family history that provided a cure – her past connected her to the man who took in Serenity’s baby.  There was some interesting alchemy to explore, Serry’s biological history to dig into – there was some mystery about her father’s death that was picked up and dropped almost immediately.  Inside was a contemporary romance, something different from the first half of the book.

There was an effort to connect both halves with Serry’s recurring nightmares and later, her dreams of a werewolf family.  I didn’t fully understand the point of them since nothing in them ever happened, although they provided a slightly ominous tone to the story.  There were things that took up space later in the book – Quinton seemed to sleep a lot – that I wish had been devoted to developing the relationship between the original Serenity and Quinton in the beginning of the book.  I’d have liked a peek at why she was his soul mate in the first place.  As it was, I had no idea why Quinton and Serry even loved each other this time around.  Besides a lot of cooing about it to each other and fairly non-explicit sex, they just didn’t do anything on the page to show me why they were in love.

What made me wonder if these sections had been written at different times were the distinct changes I thought there were in style between the first and second halves of the book.  The first was full of internal monologues, angst and improbable paranormal situations.  The very short section immediately following was odd – a brief period where Quinton and Serry were extremely normal, running his P.I. business as he tracked down cheating spouses.  Then the second half began and the tone was more like a romantic suspense story with the little paranormal bit.  There was a huge shift from internal monologue to external dialogue and to some extent, it felt like the earlier events of the book were only brought up once in a while, as an afterthought.

My Summary: While I feel the execution may be raw, there’s promise in each section of this story if taken apart, I think.  I would have liked to see the first or second half alone, slowed down and with its own consistent tone, with more told about Quinton and Serry because they were good characters and the premise itself is a favorite of mine.

My Rating: C-



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