Every now and then I read a series that takes me by surprise and steals my heart, so I thought, why not share those great series with the readers and bloggers? And that’s how Romancing the Series was born! I hope you enjoy…
I’m a huge paranormal romance lover but every now and then I love stepping into the world of urban fantasy (sometimes I even get lucky and get a little of both in one!). I love a strong leading lady in my books and even though Dakota Frost is not the usual butt-kicking heroine, she does not disappoint. The Skindancer Series drew me in with their beautiful covers but the story is just as enticing. The series focuses on Dakota, a magical tattoo artist, also known as a Skindancer – her tattoos are infused with magic that make them come to life (how cool is that?)! Magic, mischief and plenty of mayhem await you in this dark and fantastic world of vampires, werewolves and shifters better known as Edgeworld.
I love the edgy underworld of the paranormal that author has created in this series and the complexity of the characters. Each book introduces new forms of magic and supernatural creatures which makes it all the more interesting.
Enough talking….onto the good stuff!
Frost Moon by Anthony Francis
Series: Skindancer #1
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Bell Bridge Books on March 1, 2010
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In an alternate Atlanta where magic is practiced openly, where witches sip coffee at local cafes, shapeshifters party at urban clubs, vampires rule the southern night like gangsters, and mysterious creatures command dark caverns beneath the city, Dakota Frost's talents are coveted by all. She's the best magical tattooist in the southeast, a Skindancer, able to bring her amazing tats to life.
When a serial killer begins stalking Atlanta's tattooed elite, the police and the Feds seek Dakota's help. Can she find the killer on the dark fringe of the city's Edgeworld? Among its powerful outcasts and tortured loners, what kind of enemies and allies will she attract? Will they see her as an invader, as a seducer, as an unexpected champion ... or as delicious prey?
*I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
An urban fantasy not afraid to explore the dark side!
Dakota Frost is a magical tattoo artist like no other and sought after by many in Edgeworld. Her world is soon turned upside down when the police calls her in to use her expertise in tattoos on an investigation with the DEI (Department of Extraordinary Investigations), dealing with a serial killer who’s targeting the city’s inhabitants with ink. Now Dakota must go deep into the dangerous supernatural world with vampires, werewolves and magic, in order to find the killer that’s stalking her beloved city and make it out alive!
Let me start off by saying I love the heroine in this book. Dakota is not your typical urban fantasy heroine who’s either in law enforcement or has extreme paranormal abilities and kicks major ass, but she’s smart, sarcastic, confident, determined and is accepting of humans and supernaturals alike. She’s also a little “rough around the edges” and has an appreciation for both sexes which make her multi-faceted and intriguing if you ask me.
We are also introduced to a very diverse cast of secondary characters that include magicians, blind witches, sexy werewolves and ruthless vampires who show individual, brilliant personalities and great promise in the series. Dakota’s vampire ex-girlfriend, Lady Saffron is one of my favorite supporting characters, she’s kinky, sexy and the two have some major tension due to unresolved issues in their former relationship. I’m excited to see what happens between them in future books. Another character that definitely stands out is Cinnamon, the young were-tiger who brings out a motherly side in Dakota, she adds much humor to the story but her broken english was sometimes too much for me to handle.
FROST MOON is an intelligently written book with delectable characters and suspenseful plot. The villain is totally caught me off guard and I never knew what new twist was coming next! Anthony Francis does a spectacular job in combining the elements of paranormal, fantasy and suspense into a page-turning tale of the supernatural. The books starts off strong and holds its own up through the ending without a dull moment! If you prefer your fantasy with a character driven plot and a little edgy, FROST MOON’s for you!
Blood Rock by Anthony Francis
Series: Skindancer #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Bell Bridge Books on July 29, 2011
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Dakota Frost is back, and the ink is about to hit the fan…again!
Graffiti comes to life in the dark heart of Atlanta’s oldest cemetery, slaying one of the city’s best loved vampires before the eyes of his friend Dakota Frost. Deadly magick is at work on the city’s walls, challenging even the amazing power of Dakota’s tattoos to contain it. The hungry, graffiti magick loves to kill, and the Edgeworld is no longer safe from its own kind.
Dakota begins a harrowing journey to save those she loves and to discover the truth behind the spreading graffiti-even if that truth offends the vampires, alienates the werekin and creates police suspicion of her every action.
Saving Atlanta may cost her everything, including custody of her “adopted” weretiger daughter, Cinnamon. But failure is not an option. If the graffiti isn’t stopped, Cinnamon could be the next victim.
The second installment of The Skindancer trilogy wastes no time in jumping right into the action. This time around Dakota is dealing with magical graffiti killing supernaturals and humans. The investigation turns personal when a vampire friend falls victim to the magical graffiti and is killed before Dakota can save him. If that wasn’t enough, she also has the new role of mom to Cinnamon, the weretiger she took under wing and adopted at the end of Frost Moon. With killer “magick” lurking the streets of Edgeworld, it’s up to Altlanta’s infamous skindancer to save the city once again, this time she’ll stop at nothing to save those closest to her.
The introduction of the concept of magical graffiti in this book is absolutely fascinating, even though I was sometimes lost when it came to the detailed explanations of how it works (what can I say, Physics was never my strong suit!). The author’s ability to convey words into visual imagery is exceptional, every element of magic and tattoo jumps off the page while reading. There are many story lines to this book but Anthony Francis weaves them together flawlessly.
Dakota is her usual feisty self in BLOOD ROCK and once again is tossed into the fire but always manages to come out on top. Her new role as a mom suits her perfectly and her relationship with Cinnamon is heartwarming. Our heroine can’t catch a break for most of the book but would a little romance be too much to ask for?
While I think Frost Moon was the stronger of the books so far, this story showed more depth to Dakota’s character. The constant twists and turns along with mystery keep you guessing and turning the pages in anticipation. BLOOD ROCK is a dark, intense and dramatic urban fantasy that takes you on one hell of an emotional ride and leaves you hungry for more!