Author: Harper A. Brooks
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: Four stars
“All I want is to feel normal. But the pills that numb the pain end up stripping me of who I am until I’m left feeling hollow.
When I stop taking them, I can see clearly again, and after so much darkness and tragedy, I’ve found myself.
Then come the voices…
Three of them.
Dark shadowy things that I thought only dwelled in my nightmares—they’re real. And they’ve been waiting for me to come home.
They want to open my mind to things I can hardly imagine, in my life and in the bedroom. But I’m scared. I’ve been running from my fears for years, and now these monsters want to claim me as theirs.
They promise me protection from a far more dangerous threat, an evil that tried to take my life before and wants to finish the job.
Am I losing my mind?
Can this really be happening?
I have a bad feeling that no matter what I do, I’m going to be devoured in the end.”
* * *
When new trends start emerging in the indie book world, they always catch me by surprise. The newly popular “monster romance” trend took me off guard, as ever, and Monstrous is my first look into this new sub-genre of paranormal romance and reverse harem.
Monstrous was a short read and because of this, it didn’t take time to develop relationships between the characters. Mari is a young woman who, ten years after the death of her fiancé, struggles with depression and has to take medication to manage it. The medication stops her from drawing, which is both a talent and a pastime for Mari.
When she stops taking her medication, Mari starts feeling the presence of her monsters: shadows that seduce her when she is in bed. These monsters are almost the personification of her depression, and with them, a dark enemy is also resurrected. The monster that killed her fiancé returns for Mari, and her three shadowy new mates will stop at nothing to protect her.
Mari discovers that she has a power inside her that is born of light, but she has no idea how to wield it. Until she does, her dark enemy will almost certainly kill her like it did her fiancé.
While Mari’s shadowy lovers are clearly defined, the dark shadow that serves as the antagonist isn’t so well developed. While its motivation to kill Mari, who possesses powers of light that threaten it, is clear, there isn’t much time taken to explain what this thing is and how Mari is a threat to it.
As far as steam goes, this novella has a great deal of sex, so this book is definitely for the erotica crowd. The sex scenes are fairly well written, diverse, and well spaced, but the story itself could have done with more development. I would have enjoyed seeing this as a full-scale novel with more details and a more developed storyline and relationships.
Monstrous is an entertaining read though and a good, quick read for fans of erotica and steamy paranormal romance.
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