In the Dark: The Cities Below by #1 by Jen Colly with Excerpt and Giveaway

Welcome to my stop for In The Dark by Jen Colly, a unique view of the underground cities in many European capitals, we start with Paris. Please be sure to check out the other tour stops, read my excerpt and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win one of  5 iBook copies of In The Dark, The Cities Below # 1 by Jen Colly.

Book Review:

I’ve read several historical fiction titles that use the underground ossuaries in European cities, this is the first that incorporates the Catacombes de Paris while using them as the highlight and hidden world for a setting.  Jen Colly incorporates the slightly ominous, spooky and endlessly fascinating catacombs.

A slow-growing story, most of the action is concentrated at the end, with Faith’s decisions and choices after all she has learned.  She never expected a getaway vacation to Paris would result in such life-changing events.  Wandering the streets, Faith is taking in the scenery, and not paying attention. When she realizes she is in trouble, she is being attacked by demons, and her fate seems set.

Enter Soren, an aged vampire who hears Faith’s cry and comes to her aid. An irresistible urge to feed comes over him and he bites her: leaving her with tons of new revelations and him with a choice, kill her or claim her in accordance with vampire law. From here, Soren claims her: treating her with deference and consideration, allowing her entrée into his world and the city of Balinese, an offshoot of the Catacombes but entirely a complete world in and of itself.

The world-building and character development is smooth and sufficient: giving plenty of information and imagery to allow readers the ability to participate and see the setting.  Soren and Faith have some understandable hiccups considering everything she has learned and needs to wrap her brain around.  A bit darker than one would first expect, Faith’s disassociation with her former life and her own feelings of isolation seem to push her closer to Soren, although the attraction is palpable and understandable and it keeps readers glued to the pages waiting to see if Faith has found a place and recognizes what she has.

This was a wonderfully engaging read with a slow and steady pace to an action-packed ending. Plenty of intriguing characters, situations and a relationship to get your teeth into, this story is an intriguing start to a new series.

In the Dark: The Cities Below by #1 by Jen Colly with Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: In The Dark
Author: Jen Colly
Published by: Lyrical Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 190
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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Soren and Faith must find a way to survive the evil and darkness.

Faith’s spur of the moment vacation, meant to free her and boost her spirits, has left her lost on the streets of Paris. And apparently, Paris is populated with something more than just humans. Vampires, suave, seductive and oh so sexy, and one such warrior vampire has set his sights on her.

When Soren hears Faith’s terrified screams, he rushes in and saves her life without considering the consequences. Two problems: one, she’s a human and clearly aware of his vampire qualities, and two, the men who attacked her were not men at all, but demons. Their target, his beloved underground city of Balinese. He can never let Faith go home again, but can she learn to love his him?

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Tasty Excerpt

Then a woman’s whimpering plea fell into the mix of voices.

He changed his path, searching for her, and found her in a dead end alleyway. Two men pinned the helpless and frightened woman to the brick wall. He pulled the men from her, threw them hard against the building. Their heads hit on the bricks with a sickening thud, and the men fell to the ground, limp, lifeless.

The woman had been pitched back against the far building, taking a bump to her head. He spun around to see how she had fared. She still stood.

Hunger hit him hard.

He strode toward her, chest heaving from excitement, anticipation. The woman before him was water to a man dying of thirst.

She was so refreshingly ordinary, from her wet and clinging black hair, to her flushed cheeks. Even the cut of her shirt, low enough to show a mere hint of her bosom and all her lovely neck, was simple.

She leaned against the building for support as she tested the back of her head for any serious injury. “Thank you. I don’t know what I would have done.”

Her trembling voice set him in motion, but her tentative smile sealed her fate. He moved a step closer, then another, crowding her.

She stumbled as she tried to step back, looking for an escape. The wall of the building was already pressing against her back. Still he advanced.

Standing inches from her, he grazed her cheek with his fingers then plunged them into her hair and swept the sopping mess back. She gasped softly, a nervous intake of breath.

“Please, don’t.” Her voice quavered.

“Say it again,” he demanded roughly, though his touch was gentle.

“Please,” she whispered, squeezing her eyes shut, and he dropped his head and nuzzled her neck. Her voice enthralled him so, had drawn him closer.

She whimpered, the vibrations touching his lips, and he tightened his grasp on her, trying to somehow remain focused. He needed to go slowly, but it had been too long. The sensation of her lush form against him was too right, the soft scent of her flesh too potent.

Control fled, and he bit her. Her body jerked once, then went rigid against him. Happily drowning in the sweet and tempting scent that had driven him over the edge, he barely noticed. Rose? Lavender? He didn’t know flowers, and didn’t care to learn them, but he would never again breathe that scent without thinking of her.

Nourishing, sweet and hot, her lifeblood sent blissful shivers coursing through his body. Feeding was always a delicious experience, though he’d never experienced anything like this.

The rain continued to fall on them, the cool drops sliding down her neck to the very spot where they were joined. Soren drank in the water, the taste of her skin infused in every raindrop. So intoxicating, so sensual. He couldn’t help but wrap his other arm around her waist and bring her closer. He was no longer holding her still, but simply holding her.

His heartbeat raced. The simple act of feeding was enough to send him out of his mind with satisfaction, but the soul wrenching pleasure of her clutching his shoulders had him gasping for breath.

The world faded away. No rain or alley, no feeding existed. He only wanted to bask in the way her fingers moved, tightening then releasing, like she needed him. Wanted him. But too soon her fingers slipped from his shirt, fell slowly down his arms, and hung at her sides.

She went limp in his arms. Something was wrong. Sealing the bite on her neck with a kiss of thanks, he pulled back. She’d passed out.

That wasn’t supposed to happen. Losing consciousness occurred after a person had been either wounded or frightened. Any injury she had wasn’t serious. If he’d frightened her, that posed a far more complicated problem. Adrenaline sharpened the mind.

She shouldn’t be here. The hour was too late, the streets deserted. Shops had closed hours ago. Her purse lay on the ground, discarded, unwanted. The two men hadn’t meant to rob her.

He needed to get her out of here, and shifted her higher against him. If she woke to find two dead bodies, she would likely become hysterical, and he wasn’t in the mood to deal with that human emotion. Maybe the beauty’s purse contained useful information. He scanned the ground for it.

Something moved in the shadows. One of the attackers, his fingers curling.

Tightening his grasp on the unconscious woman, he stepped closer to the man, and with eyes used to the night, caught movement behind the man’s eyelids.

He was awake.

Soren pulled his gun and sent the man back into blackness with a single shot.

He had to find out who or what these men were. Nothing should have come back that fast after tangling with him. Nothing ever had. He didn’t like this, not at all, and cursing under his breath, pulled his phone from his pocket and dialed an all too familiar number. Only Gustav could sort out this mess and provide answers.

* * *


About Jen Colly

Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.

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