Velvet Cataclysm

Velvet Cataclysm  - Beth Kery As noted in the synopsis Christina Astor is a telepath who has been able to read minds for as long as she can remember. She utilizes her gift in her work as a psychiatric social worker at ‘Altgeld House’ a therapeutic group home for runaways, emotionally disturbed teenagers and young adults. She is warm and kind, and extraordinarily sensitive to other’s thoughts and emotions because of her psychic gift. She is also brilliant. Christina has been attracted to her benefactor and landlord Saint Sevliss from the time he took her and her young son Aidan in when she was unable to make ends meet. She and Aidan have lived for the past decade in the coach house on the grounds of ‘Whitby’ Saint’s sprawling estate that boasts lush forests, his mansion and numerous forms of wildlife.

Saint is one of the more tortured heroes I’ve read in a paranormal romance. He is an ancient and a prince among his kind. At the time of his magical creation, a clone, identical to Saint was also created. Their kind must feed on the life force or vitessence of humans to survive. Saint had long ago separated himself from his clone, Teslar, a fear-eater, an evil creature, whose bloodlust is insatiable. Saint’s primary mandate is to keep his clone (his other half) in check, to control him by whatever means necessary. Saint considers himself, and Teslar soulless parasites, unworthy and incapable of love. Saint is a hero that pulled at my heartstrings, while he has done much to show he is a worthy sentient being, his self loathing is palpable.

Saint literally burns to have Christina. She is the bright light in his otherwise grey world. He, however doesn’t feel worthy and wages an internal war against his desire to possess her, fearful that if he allows himself to taste her blazing vitessence, he won’t stop until she is drained of life. Christina too wants Saint, she senses his internal demons and self recrimination and makes it her mission to convince him that he is not a soulless creature, that he is capable of love and they have a future. She nurtures Saint’s fledgling steps into a relationship and despite his misgivings they become sexually involved. Ms. Kery pens her signature powerful sexual tension and passion into the narrative of this story, the sensuality between Christina and Saint blazes up the pages.

In the background of Christina and Saint’s romance an underground war is waged against Teslar who commands the Scourge Revenants, former humans that he has turned into vile, soulless, creatures who prey on the weak. Teslar and Saint are like the identical twins, one evil and the other good. Saint has the Iniskium a tribe of closely knit shapeshifting warriors who are committed to keeping the Scourge threat contained or vanquishing them altogether. Both Saint and Teslar, and their followers possess superhuman strength and abilities.

Saint and Tesler are unusual in the variety of beings introduced to us under the sub-genre of paranormal romance. What exactly are they? You will have to read this story to find out. ;)

“Velvet Cataclysm” is a fast paced, action packed, and emotional erotic paranormal romance that had my adrenalin flowing and heart twisting. I found the setting, dialogue and prose as well as the tone of this story pulled me into Saint's world which while dark is also laced with passion and excitement. The climax and conclusion of Saint and Christina’s story is not only riveting it is surprising.

“Velvet Cataclysm” is the first in the “Princes of the Underground” series, Ms. Kery is writing for Samhain Publishing. I can’t wait for Book II.