Jacquelyn Frank's books can be hit or miss for me. I enjoyed her Nightwalker series; hated one but loved others. Ecstasy was also enjoyable but Rapture is freakin' awesome; it is Frank's best book. It's a perfect blend of the type of romance I love to read. Tastefully erotic with hints of dom/sub sexuality but with a story that pulls you in; Magnus and Daenaria work to remove the evil seeking to twist the Shadowdwellers' religious order.
The focus of the novel is development of the emotional relationship between Magnus and Daenaria. They both must overcome emotional barriers and build trust but they are perfect for one another; the chemistry between the two feels true.
Frank creates a perfect tension between the characters and also the storyline but the tension and twists are NOT NOT pulled to the extreme where you want to scream or throw the book. I'm a fan of they type of romance novels that is heavy on emotional and physical development with a good storyline to move it along. Rapture is a wonderful romance novel!
2nd in the Shadowdwellers series. The first book, Ecstasy, was a so-so book for me. This book started stronger, helped by the fact that it centers on the most interesting character from Ecstasy, Magnus. And while this was better, it's still tough going. The world seems based on Indian (dot not feather) culture, but with a sort of monastery type religious atmosphere with priests and handmaidens. Oh yeah and sex. There are teasers throughout for the next couple to get their story told, and I will likely read it, but this series isn't a must buy for me.
While not as compelling as perhaps the previous Nightwalker books, this was a nice steamy add to the series. I couldn't put it down and thought it rather reminded me of Gideon's story, in which this book sets the next books in play but is not as fast paced as the previous books. Overall it was a great addition; I can't wait for Malaya's story.
Rapture is the second book in Jacquelyn Frank's Shadowdwellers series, which is a spin-off of her Nightwalkers series. I think the experiance of reading these is enhanced if you've read in order right from the beginning (Jacob) but they can stand alone also. At the very least, you really have to have read Ecstacy (Shadowdwellers Bk 1) to grasp some of the fine plot points of this book. Ecstacy was not all that great in my oppinion, but getting through it was worth the struggle so that I could read this book. In my oppinion this is a much more sophisticated and interesting love story.
Magnus is a penance priest, the top ranking member of the spiritual and educational sect of the Shadowdeller world. As you will know if you read Ecstacy, he has recently lost his handmaiden (wife/partner/servent) to unexpected betrayal. He has visions that tell him to take a new handmaiden, a woman who has spent the last decade or so of her life as a slave. The woman, Daenaira, is naturally weary of Magnus even after he frees her from he bonds and begins to teach her the ways of peace. However, she adapts quickly to her new elevated role at his side and, despite the unrest and menace brewing around them, they begin to find love in one another.
What I liked best about this book was it's simplicity--no jumping back and forth between relms constantly, fighting evil every other page, or anything to distract too much from the main couple. Their's a nice build up of sexual and emotional tension that culminates in their falling in love. I appreciated the fact that Daenaira is a strong, fighting female character rather then a meek doormat as you might expect. It was a bit unrealistic, but fit the context of the story. Magnus is suprisingly romantic. Certain parts of the book were a bit slow. I also noticed that Frank tends to repeat certain plot lines (for example, the unexpected pregnancy of Ashla in Esctacy echoes Isabella's in Jacob). But, overall, it was an excellent story.
I enjoyed this book better than Ecstasy,the first of this new series. I had both books before I started reading and I'm glad I did. This story grabbed me from the first couple pages and just kept getting better. I like strong female characters and this book has that plus good character developement with the romance between Dae and Magnus. Lots of action and this book answers a lot of the questions I had after reading the first of the series regarding the civil war and the hidden agenda of the ruthless opposition.
I am really looking forward to the next installment with Laya and Guin. I would advise reading them in order.