I have another The Writes Reads blog tour for y’all today! This time, I’ll be talking about a paranormal fantasy that has vampires, werewolves, and a heroine in a whole mess of trouble. I’m talking about Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes by M.R. Noble! I want to thank both Dave @ The Write Reads and the author for providing me with a physical copy of the book in exchange for my participation with this tour. It is always much appreciated!
Now, let’s get to the tour post!
“Blindsided by an attack that destroys her home and blamed for murder, Karolina Dalca, a half-vampire, escapes, only to plunge into the magical societies from which she was sheltered.
Betrayed by those around her, she abandons her dreams of becoming an investigator and flees, trusting only herself. Her police internship would never prove more useful. Hoofing it through the wilderness, she makes it to her university dorm, disheveled but delightfully deflowered.
Enter a full vampire: one wielding dark magic and a ride out of Canada. A fugitive from the law, Karo complies with his demands to escape, unsure whether his requests are bewitched. She vows to clear her name and avenge her mother’s death, but Karo’s family secrets aren’t so easily left behind.”
About the Author
M. R. Noble has played a tug of war between science and art her whole life, but the rope broke when she wrote the first line of The Dark Eyes Series. Immersed up to her keyboard in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, she enjoys blending the real with the surreal. The only drawback is she misplaces her mug while dreaming up her next scene, and soon finds herself six cups overpoured.
Keeping to her Lake Simcoe roots, she is a member of the Writers Community of York Region (WCYR), where her muse is made not found . . . over a hefty cup of coffee.
I should probably preface this review by letting it be known that I’m not a huge fan of paranormal romance. It’s one genre that I could never really sink my teeth into (heh heh) so I generally tend to avoid it. That being said, there have been a couple paranormal romances that I’ve enjoyed and the premise of this one sounded so intense, that my curiosity was thoroughly piqued. I decided to give Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes a go and, I have to say, I had a good time!
This story follows our titular character after a tragedy leaves her an orphan and in the sights of some very dangerous and deadly people. With the help of her childhood best friend, Roman, and a mysterious vampire sent by the only family she has left, she travels to Russia to learn more about her past and her family.
One thing I will say for this book, it certainly hits the ground running! We are immediately thrown into the action and it doesn’t let up, with danger and disaster waiting on almost every page. That made this a super fast and enjoyable read. It was almost like watching an action flick, but with more fangs! I really enjoyed the pacing and how deeply the author drew me into the story. I will say that I kind of wish there had been more time spent on world-building. There were times in the book where I felt confused because there just wasn’t enough explanation about the supernatural underground of the strange Dyad people. I’m fairly certain this is going to be a series, so I’m sure we’ll get more information in subsequent books, but I still would have liked a little more in this first one.
As for the characters, I thought they were well-written, if a little over the top. Karolina was a great lead who had a lot of layers to her. She was strong, but gullible and I liked that she wasn’t instantly perfect, as well. You could see her struggle with tough decisions instead of immediately leaping to be the hero. It made her feel more realistic, to me, and I really appreciated seeing that portrayed! Her love interests, Roman and Andre, both sucked (one of them literally), but Roman was definitely the better of the two, lol. I fully attribute my dislike of them to my own personal tastes… I just don’t care for controlling or manipulative men! It’s probably one of the reasons I don’t get on well with paranormal romance. But I will say that they were compelling characters that I wanted to learn more about, even if I thought Karolina was too good for them 😅
I also enjoyed the magic system that Noble is developing! I thought it was so interesting how the different Charms could be inherited or sparked. Again, I would have liked a little more information, but one can only do so much in a 200 page book! It was a good foundation and I hope it gets built upon as the series continues.
Final thoughts: This was a fast-paced, intense, and overall fun dive into the world of paranormal romance! There’s a little bit of everything in this one… vampires, werewolves, a secretive magic society. It all comes together to build a world that you’re happy to get lost in. Though I wish there was more world-building and I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance, I still had a great time as I was reading and I flew through the pages. If you’re a fan of paranormal romance and you like your leads to have some flaws, I think you would really enjoy Karolina Dalca, Dark Eyes!