Hey y'all! Look at me go! LOL Yet another book removed from the ginormous number of books on my ereader. Three down...too many more to go! ;)
******Sterling by Dannika Dark
Mageri Series #1
Release Date: September 5, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance
Source: Self-purchased on Amazon
Zoë Merrick lived an ordinary life until the night she was brutally attacked. She narrowly escapes death, rescued by Adam Razor, an ex-soldier who offers her friendship and a place to stay. But something else is different. Zoë is unable to control an unexplainable energy coursing through her body.
Justus De Gradi is a man who can teach her that control. She meets him by chance - a man who's handsome, arrogant, and not entirely human. He reveals that she's a Mage - an immortal made of light, not magic. Zoë must now make a choice: Rebuild her life in the human world with the man who saved her, or live with Justus and learn how to use her extraordinary gifts. Justus has sworn an oath to protect her life, but can he guard her from the one man who has a right to claim it?
Zoë learns the price of freedom...and the value of loyalty.
(Due to mature content, recommended for audiences 17+) Cliffhanger free
Gah! Why did I wait so long to read this?!? I'm ever so grateful my friend, Lexxie, from (un)Conventional Bookviews, kept raving about this series. I've been meaning to read it for ages because I knew if Lexxie loved it, I would love it. And guess what? I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to the world of the Mageri!
Ms. Dark did some fine worldbuilding in Sterling. The world of the Mageri is rather complex, the characters even more so. It's the mark of great craftsmanship, in my opinion, when the world and people come to life so vividly. And the characters were very vivid for me - to the point of having defined accents and vocal inflections.
Zoë Merrick is an average 29 year old -- a stable job, a great best friend and a sweet cat. One night, on her way home, all that changes. Zoë is brutally attacked and wakes up in a body bag. Once she makes her way out of that, she's running for her life. And literally runs into Adam Razor.
Adam is a kind and gentle man. He's nurturing by nature and takes it upon himself to care for Zoë. He's protective and demonstrative in his feelings for Zoë. And he's hot! When he takes her on a business trip, Zoë happens upon Justus. Justus knows what Zoë now is. He can answer her questions and teach her about her new life. And he can protect her which, as it turns out, is something Adam, as a human, can't do. Justus then takes over as caretaker for Zoë. He's stoic and serious - especially regarding his responsibilities to Zoë. Oh, and he's hot!. While with Justus, Zoë meets Simon, whom she has connection with. Simon is quick-witted and intelligent, and hot! All three of these men want to take care of and protect Zoë. But Zoë has never been take care of. She's tough, spirited and independent because she's always taken care of herself. Funny, once she's no longer human, she manages to end up with three caretakers. And although Zoë likes the feeling security, she doesn't necessarily want to be taken care of.
The story revolves around Zoë's initiation into her new life and world as a Mage, as well as her new friends' attempts at keeping her away from the man who has claim to her. There are lots of details - all necessary - in creating Zoë's world. The story never gets bogged down though. I was flying through it. All the characters have incredible depth. And the interaction between Zoë and all her men is full of snarky banter and genuine feeling.
Well-drawn characters, richly defined worldbuilding, a kick-ass heroine, lots of snark, and more hot guys than you can shake a stick at, all make for excellent reading! I absolutely loved it! My only regret after finishing Sterling, besides not having read it sooner, is that I can't sit down with the entire series immediately! :)