Rules of Darkness by Tia Fanning
Resplendence Publishing
Contemporary Paranormal
Reviewed by Patrice F.




Katiaís healing gift is governed by 12 Rules of Darkness that she must follow her entire life.  Life in her secluded and narrow village is hard.  From her birth, she is assigned a Protector to keep her safe.  When her grandmother dies, she makes the painful decision to leave the remote village to start a new life where she does not feel isolated and dependent.

Stoyan became Katiaís Protector at a very young age.  He has taken his responsibility to heart and has never questioned his status or devotion to Katia.  When she leaves, he knows that Katia does not truly understand the bond between the Gifted and her Protector.  No matter how she tries, Katia cannot run from Stoyan, her gift (that she views as a curse) and her fate.

Ms. Fanningís writing is both exquisite and wonderfully creative.  Rules of Darkness employs familiar plot devices and writing antidotes that resonate through sound writing.   The ending was the only area that didnít hold too many surprises for me.  I still savored reading it.  Rules of Darkness has a contemporary Gothic atmosphere without the camp.  I never knew what was going to jump out of the shadows next, which made it more than worth my while. 

Katiaís narrative was hypnotic and yummy, kind of like eating a tasty bag of Jayís potato chips nonstop.  There were times when I thought she was selfish and annoying, but considering her background and loss of freedom, it was understandable that Miss Thing was dealing with years of resentment and hurt.    What redeems her character is the reunion with Stoyan.  He bridges that gap to her past and helps her to deal with her gift.  By the end, Katia evolves in so many ways that you forgive her for all the trouble she puts Ďpoorí Stoyan through. 

Stoyan is mega sexy to the max even when he is being overbearing.  I visualized a tall, dark and silent Eastern European type with just the right mix of Dracula meets seductive Sorcerer.  Heís old school in the sense he has a strict honor code and sense of duty.  Stoyan could be labeled an extinct species, which made me want to kick Katia whenever she started acting bratty. 

Rules of Darkness is a marvelous novel bursting with supernatural thrills that had me turning the pages.   Ms. Fanning didnít let me down either when things got hot and heavy between Katia and Stoyan.  The sexual tension was intense, the descriptions steamy.  Itís a story I would enjoy revisiting.  Iím hoping that the author will write a sequel and there are no rules to say I canít keep my fingers crossed.    


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