Book Review: Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within #1) by Jennifer Turner

5586134Title: Eternal Seduction (A Darkness Within #1)
Author: Jennifer Turner
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Dark Fantasy, Adult, Vampires
Publisher: CreateSpace, Self-Published
Publication Date: October 8th 2008
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Rating: 4 stars
I reviewed this book as a part of a book tour. Review copy provided by the tour organiser.

After living on the streets of New York for over a decade, Logan admits her perceptions might be a little skewed. But twisted or not, there’s a satisfying irony in watching a well dressed vampire stand in the middle of a ghetto alley, windblown trash scraping circles near his feet. What she finds even more intriguing, is waiting for him to decide if he’s going to kill her.
Kerestyan hasn’t made up his mind. As the Lord of New York, he can’t let a drug addict, whose memories are packed with knowledge of vampires, run free in his city. It’s not the first time he’s been in this situation with a human, it’s just the first time he’s come face to face with one who doesn’t seem to care. And that’s what makes the decision so difficult.
What horrors could you witness before you went numb? How long would it take before you felt that way? What could make you care again?
Logan’s answers are simple: the worst humanity has to offer, almost thirty, and something she never expected.

Logan Ellis is the protagonist of this original and innovating book about vampire romance. It would be an understatement to say that Logan isn’t like your typical heroine, which makes her all the more interesting. She’s a passive character, traumatized up to the point that she just lets things pass her by unnoticed, even when topics as alarming as her own possible death are referred to. She genuinely doesn’t care, not about herself – her survival skills are greatly lacking, to say the least – her surroundings, the conditions she lives in, or the world around her. She’s a homeless drug addict without any real future waiting ahead of her. She adapts remarkably fast to altering situations, but feels no real emotion towards anything. Except when you mention to her that she should stop taking drugs. Then you get an emotion, although not a very good one. She basically has the personality of a zombie, walking through life so uncaring about herself or her surroundings that she’s not really living life. She’s practically on the verge of being a vampire herself, if you look at it that way. The interesting part though is that for Logan, it isn’t just an act, like I’ve seen countless of times in young adult books (this is not young adult, by the way, just searching for a reference) but which is basically just the main character acting touch and cool. Here, it’s not the case. At the roots of Logan’s numbness and her inability to actually live, are real traumas waiting to resurface any time now.

At her core, Logan is a traumatized, messed up young woman who struggles to take hold of her life and who, although claiming to take full responsibility for the way she’s living right now, has run away from her home years ago, and hasn’t stopped running ever since. Her taking-responsibility-act is just what the word says: an act. Deep in her heart she has issues she cannot come to terms with, and she has traumas she cannot deal with. Although saddening, this is what makes her interesting. She’s unlike most paranormal romance heroines, in the sense that she has real traumas rather than just a messed-up personality. A shrink would love tog et his hands on her, but unfortunately, she’s stuck without a shrink but with one insanely hot vampire. I guess that’ll have to do.

Kerestyan Nelek (difficult name, you have to admit that) is totally the opposite of Logan. For starters, he’s confident, strong, powerful, protective over those he cares about and he’s used to getting his way. Life itself seems to bend just so he can get his wishes. He’s also extremely handsome – no kidding – and did I mention that he’s a vampire? And a very old one at that? As far as luck goes, Logan can count herself lucky for running into this particular vampire the night she sees some fledgling vampires fighting in one of New York’s abandoned streets. Kerestyan is immediately intrigued by this thirty-year-old woman whose aura’s so dark and brooding the fledglings mistakingly ought her to be a vampire servant, and who acts so untouched by the events unfolding in front of her. On the one hand, he should kill her because she knows too much, but on the other hand he simply can’t bring himself to do it. Instead, he offers Logan a choice. It’s a choice that’ll change her life forever.

After we meet Kerestyan and travel with him and Logan from the gutters of New York to Kerestyan’s luxurious home, we are thrown into the world of of the paranormal, supernatural and increasingly scary. We learn that Kerestyan is the Vampire Lord of New York, and that he’s one of the last descendents of a millennium-old vampire bloodline created by Lord Stefen Nelek. Although Kerestyan seems quite alright, his brother Odin is quite the opposite. Sarcastic, mean and sometimes downright rude, it’s obvious that he cares a lot about Kerestyan and doesn’t want the latter to get hurt because of a heroin addict. Kerestyan’s sister Trinity is an interesting character as well, although I myself much preferred Odin. Trinity is dominating, confident and rather manipulative, but all in all, she’s likeable once you get past that. Anyway, if Odin ever gets himself a book, I’m totally getting that one. He deserves it.

I loved the unique way Jennifer Turner describes the vampire society. The hierarchy is very present, but it’s not just ‘every man for himself’ or ‘vampire royals and common vampires’. There’s an entire system in place, which feels unique, innovating and refreshing. It’s dark, mystical, scary and sometimes even downright terrifying, but it’s above all, very entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed entering this new and dark side to New York and other major cities in the world, with vampires practically ruling society and making sure humans don’t notice them. I loved the idea of clans battling each other, or cooperating on a rather loose basis. I’d love to learn more about this well-designed world and the characters living in it.

I also liked the character of Vouclade. I think there’s more to him than meets the eye, and I liked how he was so protective over Kerestyan as well. Lord Nelek was an interesting persona as well, although he did function a bit like a ‘deus ex machina’ when revealing Logan’s fears, weaknesses and traumas, and then made her practically forgive herself. I wasn’t too fond of that, but overall, I liked him. Very scary, uberpowerful vampire who’s been around since the beginning of time. I’m all for that.

One of the major comments I have about this book works two ways. Let me try to explain. The romance itself develops slowly, which I enjoyed thoroughly. Logan and Kerestyan’s attraction seems honest and real, and it takes a lot of time before Logan can admit to herself that she might have feelings for the alpha vampire. On the other hand, their sexual relationship doesn’t take that long to develop. Before I very well realized it, I was reading a hot and heavy scene involving both characters. It was a bit too early in the story to introduce this, in my opinion, and I found it quite shocking and not all that believable. I was releived to see both characters return to their original positions afterwards, and let things develop more slowly. I get writing paranormal romance, especially for an adult audience, and I understand that you need to have some ‘sexy stuff’ included for your audience to enjoy your book. I just don’t understand why in every book, regardless of whether the two main characters initially like each other or not, they get in bed with each other within the hundred-or-so first pages. I’d like to see a self-respecting heroine for once, who does not have sex with guys she barely just met. Granted, this does fit Logan’s personality as being an emotionless drug addict who cares little about her own body, but it still didn’t feel right.

If you’re a fan of sexy paranormal romance, then Eternal Seduction is a great choice. It doesn’t only offer romance, but it has a decent and captivating backstory, interesting characters with real-life problems and issues, humor, impressive world-building and some really hot scenes. I loved the pairing, and I’d like to read more about Logan and Kerestyan – although, if I’m being honest, I’d prefer to read more about Odin first. Jennifer Turner has a unique narrator’s voice that I thoroughly enjoyed as well. I recommend this to all adults who enjoy paranormal romance.


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