March 6, 2011

Review: Gabriel's Mate by Tina Folsom

Gabriel's Mate
Author: Tina Folsom
Series: Scangaurd Vampires, Book 3
ISBN: 0012541435
Purchase Information:

*Novel provided by the author via Book Lovin' Bitches ebook Tours.

For more information please visit Tina Folsom's website.

After Maya is turned into a vampire against her will, vampire and Scanguards bodyguard Gabriel is charged with protecting her and finding her attacker.

Gabriel has never guarded a body as perfect as Maya’s. But while the sexual tension between them rises and the rogue vampire closes in on them, Gabriel can’t allow himself to give into the desire he feels for Maya. After Maya is turned into a vampire against her will, vampire and Scanguards bodyguard Gabriel is charged with protecting her and finding her attacker.

Gabriel has never guarded a body as perfect as Maya’s. But while the sexual tension between them rises and the rogue vampire closes in on them, Gabriel can’t allow himself to give into the desire he feels for Maya. He fears to fully show himself to her despite the intimacies they share - afraid she will react like all other women when she discovers the horror he hides.

Will she run from him when she discovers his secret, calling him a monster, a freak, a creature not worthy of her love?

Caution: graphic and explicit sex scenes - not for the faint of heart.

Gabriel's Mate, the third installment in Tina Folsom's Scangaurd Vampires series, is a marvelously thrilling, fast paced read. Full of romance and suspense this story has a great underlying mystery making it a real page turner. With likable characters, great writing and a memorable and adequately steamy romance, this is the perfect read for any lover of paranormal romance.

The characterization of this novel instantly drew me in with a wonderfully emotional moment from Gabriel's past. Tortured doesn't even begin to describe this strong and tender character who is so far from the monstrous visage that he wraps himself in. Going through a life without love, his solitude and self loathing are beyond heart wrenching and you really root for him right from the start. In truth, I felt quite bad for him as he is so much more then his scarred face...and yet when we come to the true root of his predicament, I still couldn't bring myself to care. In truth, I was quite curious about the mystery surrounding his manhood. After finding out about why he's so hesitant to reveal himself to women, I couldn't help but feel even more for this poor man who truly deserved someone who could look past his deformity, if that would be considered the proper term. Enter Maya, an equally  likable character, strong and independent with a good heart. After initially being scared by Gabriel's scarred face, she quickly comes to see the tender and passionate man beneath and is almost instantly drawn to him. Of course, this is all happening as she comes to find herself in her own predicament: a newly created vampire. Something sort of hard to accept with her scientific mind made even more complicated when everyone comes to realize she isn't exactly a true vampire. And while she's quite obviously scared at the situation she finds herself in, she also craves to be proactive, not allowing herself to become a simpering woman who needs a strong male to save her. But, I also feel it worth mentioning the peripheral characters as well. While none were in the spot light for more then a few minutes, each played a key role in adding depth and history as well as a sense of perspective in the relationship between the main characters. Of course some offered more in the way of support and gentle prodding, while others out of jealously added some nice fodder for conflict. In the end, they all came across as likable and intriguing characters and I looked forward to reading more about them in the previous and upcoming novels within this series.

The simmering relationship that forms between Gabriel and Maya is definitely what this novel is all about. At once it is both sweet and maddening as the two dance around their building chemistry. As Maya craves his blood, Gabriel craves her body, each uncertain whether the other feels more then that and each willing to accept the small pleasure that the other is willing to give, unable to voice their desire for more. As the story develops so does their bond, which is engrossing as they come to find how perfect they truly are for one another. Also, there is nice progression throughout as the two transgress from the typical role of the alpha male protecting the woman, to a place of true partnership, both in life and at heart.

The world Folsom created was also quite engaging and unique. I loved the mythology that she invoked within the novel as well as the structure of this vampiric world. The hierarchy was interesting, but didn't play a major role, thus not overshadowing the romance angle of the novel, something I greatly loved and appreciated. However, I did love the inclusion of the wonderfully mysterious stalker who tried and failed to turn Maya. This added a nice sense of suspense to the novel and created a great dynamic in which we could see the primal protective instinct of Gabriel and really revel in Maya's independence. The issue of control within the novel was nicely explored as Maya fights both Gabriel's need to protect by ordering her around and her stalker's need to control and possess her. The emotional appeal that this causes was really wonderful to read and yet another reason why I loved this novel so much.

Truly, Folsom did a wonderful job penning this novel. It was fast paced, emotion and had a great underlying tone of action and suspense. But, like with anything else, there is a little room for improvement. There were a few typos throughout that were a dissuading factor that threw the pace off in places. Also, there were places that felt drawn out with repetitive thoughts and dialogue. However, I didn't find either of these issues to be a major deterrent as I still thoroughly loved the novel, but enough of a inconvience to mention them.

Overall, this was a wonderful read showcasing great vulnerability within strong and independent characters. This aspect made the novel highly relatble and truly enjoyable. I highly recommend it, and to those unfamiliar with the series such as I was, have no fear. This novel is easily accessible as a stand alone and will leave you craving more! I know I for one will definitely be checking out the first two installments and think if you give this novel a try, you will too!!
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Scars

Advisory: Strong sexual content

**Note: Since this review has been completed any typos/errors within the novel have been fixed.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of the Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours and a copy was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review nor was there an obligation to write a positive one. All opinions expressed here are entirely mine and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book's publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


Tina Folsom said...

Thank you so much for your great and thoughtful review. I'm amazed at your in depth analysis of my writing.

Gabriel was truly a wonderful character to get to know, even for me as an author. I'm glad that Maya came across as the strong woman she is, because I think only somebody like her could truly appreciate the deep man Gabriel is.

BTW, most of the typos have now been taken care of. One of my amazing readers was so kind to send me a list of the ones she found, and I updated the e-version. New books should be a lot "cleaner" in terms of errors, since I've just hired an independent editor.

Many thanks to you and all my readers for supporting my writing.

Wenj said...

Thank you! That really means a lot :)

I raelly enjoyed the novel and appreciate the chance to review it! I look forward to reading more of your work and have also made a note on the post saying that the errors mentioned in my review have since been fixed :) Thanks for dropping by!!