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Rise for Me
Kristal Dawn Harris
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Date of Publication: February 1, 2021
Number of pages: 78
Word Count: 17770
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor, DCA Graphics
Tagline: “I’d come back to you a thousand times.”
Vampire and warlock, Roman Lee, spent centuries alone as ringmaster of the carnival. After befriending and healing a scarred, young woman, Roman realizes Mariah is his mate. He waits for her, but when she departs from his life, his torture knows no bounds.
Now he’s risen, unforgiving and angry, forced from his grave by the one woman who captured his heart, but will another secret and the call of his mate change everything? The steady call of Roman’s blood and the promise of peace brings Mariah Stone home to the carnival and the vampire she left behind.
He ignores her until she forces him from the grave with her blood. His anger crushes her already broken spirit, but she is determined to win Roman’s forgiveness and free him from their bond. Denied passion leads them down a path of magic and desire, while a devastating secret threatens eternal love.
Roman studied the perfection before him with something akin to regret filling his spirit. It should have been different between them. He momentarily questioned his decision before setting the ruby stone on her bedside table. In a whisper, he began to chant the words that would strengthen their connection and seal Mariah’s healing so it couldn’t be undone by anyone, ever.
Blood exchanged will seal my gift
The flesh will stay, no spell will lift
Let the night be filled with dreams
So she won’t remember it was me
Roman lifted his hands, palms up, to begin the next part of the spell using the stone, but when Mariah moved in her sleep and threw one leg out from under the covers, he didn’t know if he could do it. Bare flesh, creamy and soft, slid along the quilt as Mariah moaned in her sleep and spoke his name. A dull light formed inside the ruby stone, strengthening with Mariah’s moans. Roman closed his eyes against the onslaught of desire brushing against his body and soul. It sought entrance, control, and a response. She must be dreaming of him. It was the only explanation. His eyes snapped open when the bed creaked. Heavy-lidded, sleepy eyes opened with a reddish glow lighting their dark depths.
“Mariah?” Roman spoke her name as a question, not fully understanding what was happening, but the stone did. Brilliant red light shot from the ruby’s rough edges, saturating the walls, the floors, and everything in between in its glow. Roman tilted his face as Mariah rose from her reclined position to sit on the side of the bed. A trickle of unease sped down his spine. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Mariah was using the stone against him, and her desire magnified his own, fed off it, and seduced in strong waves. Roman groaned as his cock swelled painfully and his body clenched with need.
“Do you come to me as a warlock, vampire, or as man?”
The question was asked so softly Roman wasn’t sure he heard her voice. Mariah’s eyes blazed with color. She was a temptress, a woman bent on crushing what remained of his heart, and he hated her for it. Roman pinched the bridge of his nose when the truth reared its ugly head, forcing him to accept what was meant to be. He craved her like no other. This would be the one and only night they ever spent together. The spell was cast, and she shouldn’t remember anything, so for once, he let the caged passion soar. “I come to you as all three.”
Let me start off by saying paranormal romance is not my usual cup of tea, especially when dealing with vampires. However, I do love well-written paranormal fiction, and Rise for Me thankfully manages to fall into this category.
At only 78 pages, Rise for Me is incredibly easy to digest. It can be difficult to judge whether or not a quick read will flesh out its characters, but Harris manages to make her two leads interesting and mysterious. The “summoning an undead lover” hook is fresh and unique. I wanted to know how that worked and understand the motivations behind it.
Harris’ writing is full of detailed descriptions, which help me immerse myself into the story. Given that I’m not a fan of vampire romance, this is no small feat. Yes, I found myself wanting to see their romance blossom, when usually I’d be rolling my eyes and waiting for something more interesting to happen. It also helps that the story takes place in the dark at a carnival, which is creepy. I adore anything remotely creepy.
I also loved the attention to detail given to Romani culture and Roman’s willingness to include those who have been outcast by society into his home. It wasn’t too preachy or “afterschool special,” and it inspired me to look deeper into the history of the Romani people. Usually, only the Magic School Bus gets me to do stuff like that.
The only main concern I have is that I feel this should have been fleshed out into a full-length novel with the amount of details and backstories. It can be a bit jarring at times due to the many elements included such as Mariah’s relationship with her father, the Romani magic, the time lapse, etc. These are all well-thought-out plot points, but I feel they’re also better suited for a novel instead of a novella.
Overall, Harris has a clear talent for creating fleshed out worlds, characters, and arcs in the paranormal romance genre, and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.
About the Author:
Kristal Dawn Harris is an award-winning, Rone nominated, American romance author. She has been married for 27 years and has two children. Kristal finished a degree from Miami University in Accounting Technology, but quickly realized she preferred words over numbers. She is an avid reader and, in particular, loves darker paranormal romance. Her hobbies include coin collecting, physical fitness, stained-glass art (beginner), poetry, and song writing.
Kristal primarily writes for her publisher, The Wild Rose Press, although it should be noted she has self-released several books. She writes paranormal, fantasy, erotic, as well as contemporary romance in different lengths.
You can find out more about Kristal at https://www.kristalharris.com/
You can also find her on the following social media links: