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An Unexpected Bonding by Lilly Rayman

On My Kindle BR's review of An Unexpected Bonding by Lilly Rayman

Vampires and wolves have been at odds for centuries; however, a faerie queen has foretold that the two races will form an alliance and enjoy peace with each other. The governing vampires decide to propose an alliance through marriage with the wolves, and plan to offer Darius or his twin sister, Isia, as potential mates to cement the alliance.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Livvie, daughter of an Alpha male and human female, found herself motherless and wolf-less. Unable to change into her wolf form, she gained permission from her father to move to Texas where she met a bull breeder, Nate, and fell in love with him. Nate asked Livvie to marry him, and the two became engaged. A couple of weeks before the wedding, Nate was involved in an accident and died. Still mourning Nate's death, she continues breeding bulls and throws herself into her work to honor Nate's memory.

Darius, son of Ra, is a vampire that can walk in daylight. After his human wife died three years ago, Darius wandered aimlessly in an attempt to escape the memories that continued to torment him. Unaware of the proposal that is being drafted; he wanders into a small town in Texas and becomes a hired hand on Livvie's farm.

Livvie and Darius find themselves attracted to each other, but deny the attraction. Livvie still mourns Nate's death deeply, and is still trying to come to terms with being wolf-less; Darius mourns his late wife, and is afraid that Livvie will reject him because he is a vampire. The two are unaware of each other's supernatural backgrounds until Darius saves Livvie from certain death. Will the two of them be able to overcome past prejudices to form an alliance, or will they find themselves facing each other in a centuries-old war?

eBook, book, book review, paranormal, supernatural, fictionWhen I first started reading An Unexpected Bonding by Lilly Rayman, I was expecting one-dimensional, sappy characters in a clich├ęd paranormal romance story line; I soon discovered how wrong I was. Not only did Rayman create realistic and down-to-earth "main" protagonists, she also did a really excellent job of giving the "supporting" protagonists their own unique personalities and backgrounds. While fleshing out the characters resulted in a break from the story's action sequences, these flashbacks and asides were relevant to what was happening in the story and did not break the plot's continuity.

Another aspect that I liked in An Unexpected Bonding are the "origin stories" of the two races. The faerie world's involvement in the origins of both races is unique and refreshing. If I had to choose an aspect of the book that I did not like, it would be that I wanted to know more about the faeries that created these two races; maybe this is something that Rayman will address in one of the two books that will continue this story?

Finally, one reviewer criticized Rayman for being repetitive when explaining certain concepts; I actually liked that Rayman repeated herself. There are so many unique personalities in the plot that I sometimes lost track of which character did what in the beginning, so this really helped me make the connections that I needed to during my first read-through of the book.

For adults who enjoyed the Twilight series, but felt that it needed to be edgier and less sappy; this book is for you! The romances in the story reflected the supernatural races' views of marriage in a realistic manner. Marriage is merely a civil union; the bond between two supernatural beings in the story is for life, and the bond is "formalized" between the two parties in private. There isn't any dramatic swooning, hand-wringing, or second-guessing; bonding is related to readers as a natural part of life, and the bonds are accepted by the parties' peers.

Forget Edward and Bella; An Unexpected Bonding by Lilly Rayman has characters that I can relate to, interesting character histories, and realistic romances. An Unexpected Bonding is a captivating and down-to-earth paranormal romance.

Photo courtesy of  Lilly Rayman

To learn more about Lilly Rayman and An Unexpected Bonding, check out Lilly's website where she shares a sneak peek of An Unexpected Bonding, her bio, reviews, and the next two books in the AUB trilogy.

After you are done reading An Unexpected Bonding, visit Lilly Goodreads, Facebook, or Twitter to chat with her about the book.

Happy reading!