Ed note: Crimson Moon is our group read for August. Get the details here, and remember to check back each week for discussion points. Romantics will want to pick this one up.
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Crimson Moon offers the No. 1 thing paranormal romance readers need: a couple whose interaction leave you with butterflies in your stomach. J.A. Saare has provided us with an irresistible example of deep, overwhelming first love.
Emma Johnson has been on her own for bit. Her mother died when she was young and her father was just never there. Recently her grandmother’s dementia had progressed, forcing Emma to put her into a nursing home. She was lonely, especially living in her grandmother’s home without her. Quickly things change for Emma, though, and she learns about herself and about the world she didn’t know existed.
Early in the novel, she is thrown into the hidden world of werewolves and vampires. The wolves come to her rescue when vampire minions come to kill her. The werewolves were hired by Emma’s father, a Trueblood vampire.
Emma discovers she’s the living heir to vampire royalty. Though she’s never met her father, he’s now sent for her. Her existence has become to known to others, and they seek to harm her before she can join the vampire world. As is their job, the werewolves step in to protect her and bring her to her dad. However, when Emma finds herself falling in love with Caleb, one of the weres protecting her, she is even more reluctant to go meet the man who, as she sees it, never bothered with her before now.
While werewolves and vampires may have working relationships, they don’t associate, which makes Emma’s bond with Caleb all the more complicated. Add in the mix a handsome vampire suitor, life-threatening danger and Caleb’s desire to protect her at all costs, and things really get difficult for Emma. She will be forced to choose which world she wants to live in: vampire or werewolf.
While the first few chapters felt overly descriptive, Saare quickly found her stride and I found myself unable to put the book down. Emma and Caleb’s courtship is intense and romantic. Their bonding (and related physical scenes) makes for beautiful romance with characters you genuinely care for in addition to a protagonist who feels authentic. (Also, those who like their heroes strong, witty and selfless, you’ll like the guys in Crimson Moon.)
The immediate and intense romance, taboo relationship and Emma’s quick acceptance of supernatural beings surely draws comparisons to Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. Fans of that series will most certainly love Crimson Moon, but understand those elements are where the similarities end.
Crimson Moon is a beautifully wrought paranormal romance, which is sure to make your heart swell. While the novel can definitely stand alone, I’m hoping Saare will write a sequel. I want to see more of Emma.