Wonderfully Wickedby C.J. Burright (Website, Facebook, Twitter)
Series: The Wicked Series #1
Published by Swoon Romance on May 13, 2014
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Occult & Supernatural, Paranormal, Paranormal Romance
Source: Tour Company
Amazon • Book Depository • Goodreads
I received this book for free from Tour Company in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
He haunts her dreams and embodies her nightmares…
A dreamcaster with the ability to channel creatures from her nightmares, headstrong and cynical Kalila Montgomery longs for a peaceful, picket-fence life…until the man literally of her dreams kidnaps her. Survival quickly becomes her number one goal, yet a growing attraction to the man featured in her nightmares is impossible to ignore. While she fears he will kill her, other, more terrifying enemies surround her, and Kalila succumbs to his scheme to escape.
She may be his one hope for freedom…
A deadly combination of power, cunning, and cold-hearted charm, Lydon v’al Endrian fears nothing. Feels nothing. Chained to a brotherhood of men with the supernatural ability to invade dreams, he hunts dreamcasters to be harvested for their dreams and killed. His target: Kalila Montgomery. But Kalila awakens an undeniable dark desire and a longing for a freedom long-lost. To gain everything he craves, Lydon must seduce Kalila before his plot is discovered…a hopeless challenge which, if failed, will earn him a death-sentence.
Caught up in a dangerous world of secrets and obsession, doubt and betrayal, Kalila and Lydon face the nightmare of their lives, where love will either deliver them—or destroy them both.
Wonderfully Wicked is such a stunning and layered fantasy meets paranormal romance, and I certainly enjoyed every second that I was absorbed in this unique world where Dreamcasters and Valkara co-exist in our reality. Kalila has always been different. She’s always had nightmares instead of dreams, and the creatures in them have always been able to manifest and hurt people around her. This has only made her already difficult life in foster care that much harder, but she’s lived with the hand that she’s been dealt. But one day when she’s an adult, she begins to dream about a dark and mysterious man who is sent to murder her. When he shows up in the coffee shop that she frequents, Kalila doesn’t even wait to see what this man wants before she puts up a fight. Kalila isn’t surprised when Lydon to awake and find that he is in her bedroom while she sleeps, but she is surprised when he kidnaps her instead of killing her right away. Lydon is one of the Valkara, part of a brotherhood of men that need nightmares to survive or go mad, and his job as the Black (2nd highest position) is to track down dreamcasters and bring them back to their mansion. But Lydon is finding that Kalila stirs up emotions that the cold, calculating Valkara aren’t supposed to be capable of having, and this man is teetering on the brink of rebellion.
Kalila is such a great character. She’s tough, resilient, and she’s fiercely loyal to her best friend and fellow orphan Gwen. But she longs for a normal life, one where she can sleep peacefully without worrying about her nightmares getting loose and harming those around her. When the Valkara offer her just this chance, she’s keen on taking it, but at what price? Luckily, Kalila isn’t very trusting, but she feels a connection to Lydon almost immediately, more than the fact that he’s very handsome and dangerous.
Lydon is dark and mysterious, dangerous and a bit conflicted. He doesn’t want to be leading the life that the Valkara lead anymore, but you can’t really get away from it. As the Black, he has a great shapeshifting ability to change into any of the things that he gets from someone’s nightmares. He feels an instant connection to Kalila and there may be a reason for that, but he’s intrigued by her fight, spunk, and her tongue. Their scenes are full of tension, great banter, and even more action. But he’s also a target from other Valkara who want his position, and his life is constantly in danger no matter what his reputation as the most badass Valkara to hold the position of Black is.
I give Wonderfully Wicked a 4.5 out of 5. The world building in this book is at a perfect balance with character development, so the novel just flows smoothly that I didn’t want it to end. The Valkara and Dreamcasters are something that are new to me and haven’t been overdone, so they were very enjoyable to read and learn more about the dynamics between these two groups. Kalila and Lydon’s relationship took so long to grow for certain reasons, but it made sense and was filled with just the right amount of tension and great moments between the two of them throughout. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment of the Wicked Series to see how the story continues.
C. J. Burright was born and raised in Oregon and loved it so much she never left. While she has worked for years in a law office, she chooses to avoid writing legal thrillers and instead leans toward urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or—since all things medieval and magic fascinate her—fantasy romance. A member of Romance Writers of America and Secretary for the Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal special interest chapter, C. J. also has her 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and believes stories should always include a gratuitous fight scene. In what spare time she has, she enjoys working out, reading, gardening, and rooting on the Seattle Mariners with a nice glass of wine. She shares a house with her husband, daughter, and a devoted herd of cats.
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