Vernal by Randi Cooley Wilson
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Series: The Royal Protector Academy #1
on June 30th 2016
Genres: Dating & Relationships, Dating & Sex, Death & Dying, Family, Family Life, Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, New Adult, paranormal, Romance, Royalty
Serena has a bright future etched in stone. Tristan has a dark past that haunts him. Together, they have a love that can never be. Sheltered, and unable to escape her bloodline, Serena St. Michael has spent the last two years training at the Royal Protector Academy. Struggling with a dark past, Tristan Gallagher’s current assignment is to protect a lifetime of secrets. One chance encounter will change everything. Serena must decide if she will follow her heart, forsaking all she’s ever known and risking a future worse than non-existence. Tristan will break every rule to save Serena, even if he can’t keep her. In their world of darkness, one love will ignite an ancient war. When pasts collide with the present, and secrets are revealed, will love be enough? Or will one lie destroy it all? When you’ve hidden behind a mask for so long, would you reveal yourself for love? Vernal, the first novel in The Royal Protector Academy series is a dangerously exciting and darkly romantic tale that will take your breath away.
Goodness me, that book was good. So far, my recent fixation on new adult has only extended into the contemporary genre, but I branched out. Thank the book heavens that I did because this book was so much more than good. It was I can’t sit it down and give me more amazing.
Selena St. James lived a structured life. The only descendant in the London clan, the crown reserved for the queen of the gargoyle race hung over her head. Some girls dream about castles and princes and having everything laid out for them at an early stage in life. Others, like Selena, want to forge their own path. I loved her character. She had spunk and tenacity, and she didn’t have any qualms about speaking her mind. One minute she slid into class late, the next she would be strapping weapons on her thigh like a champ. I have to say, being a princess has never looked more burdensome or awesome. Her character had multiple layers, and having her narrate half of the story helped me know the girl dying and struggling to break free. Plus, she had a wicked sense of humor that only a few would understand—so high five, Selena!
I had to warm up to Tristan Gallagher. He refused to acknowledge his feelings for Selena, confused on whether or not his feelings were a result of the protector blood bond or actual feelings. When he put down his cigarettes and decided to face his problems, embraced his feelings for Selena, I really liked him. I loved the guy he had the potential to become.
The relationship between Selena and Tristan started out as a contract, but Selena, being the rebel that she was, refused to accept that. The chase was hilarious, watching Selena put herself out there. Something that began as a game, turned into something more. I devoured their chemistry and reading as they fell for each other. I liked being able to experience their steady fall into love through both of their eyes and swooned too many times to count.
The world building was fantastic. This is one of the first NA reads that I’ve read that had a paranormal undertone, and I loved it. I haven’t read JLA’s Dark Elements series, so this is the first gargoyle book that I’ve gotten my hands on. Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect. I enjoyed other supernatural creatures involvement, and the breakdown of the class structure was easy to understand, yet complex for the characters to overcome.
That. Ending. I turned the page and couldn’t believe that the book was over! I must read the next one and continue this story. There’s a major jaw-dropping moment toward the end, and it was practically impossible to put it down after that—no, it was impossible. I’m rooting for Tristan and Selena, waiting for another steamy kiss between the two. With nymphs and satyrs, bloodlines and treaties, and don’t forget thrones and crowns to make matters worse, the rest of the series is sure to be a wild ride. Count me in!
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