Cut-throat Paranormal Romance in Dweller on the Threshold by Rinda Elliot
The heroine of this paranormal romance is Bergdis Hildegun O’Dell. With a name like that is it any wonder that she has spent so much of her life fighting? However, what she generally fights are not kids calling her names, but very real and very scary paranormal creatures. Often she is the only one who can see them, but that doesn’t stop them from being dangerous.
At a pretty early age Beri found out that she was not like everyone else. She went through changes that left her with a startling appearance, strength beyond what even the serious weight-lifters in the gym could match and the ability to see all kinds of beings, especially ghosts. Bounced through a succession of foster homes, it was a “sister” in the last one that remained her only true friend.
The Danger Becomes Personal
But now it appears that something is causing people all over Florida to fall into a coma, and Beri’s sister has asked her to come and help her find out why. At first it doesn’t feel like her problem. There have been some pretty bad experiences connected with her recent attempts to help. She wants desperately to find out just who and more importantly what she truly is, and she knows that going after any paranormal activity might gain her a clue. But the last time the price was too steep, she doesn’t want to go there.
Then her sister becomes another victim of the comas and Beri knows she has to find out just what is happening here. She is pretty sure someone or something is trying to steal souls, including her sister’s soul. Beri has her two spirit guides to help along the way (when they are willing to) but in the end it will probably be up to her to find out what is causing people to drop into comas.
Setting a New Bar for Paranormal Romance
As far as an urban fantasy, this one goes a bit out of its way to redefine a few elements, and does it well. Although the trend right now seems to be “kickass heroine saves the day”, Beri actually has some real character to her. She is tough, but her doubts about her origins make her vulnerable. Her need to have some kind of connection through her sister gives her a humanity often missing in most of the urban fantasy heroines I read these days. Beri may be inhumanly strong and such, but she is still a young woman trying to find her roots.
The other element that made this story so entertaining is her two “sidekicks” the spirit guides Fred and Phro. They introduce humor without it knocking you over and get to ask the tough questions. They give Beri balance.
And then there is Nikolos. He is a dark mysterious warrior, a Minoan that may or may not be just what Beri needs in her life. She is attracted, that is not the question. But there is something about the man that just doesn’t feel right. He has secrets, and she is afraid they may be ones that could lead her to danger. But walking away is just not an option, either.
All the Right Elements
For a paranormal romance this one has lots of kickass adventure and even some mystery. Yes, the romance is there and Nikolos is every bit the dangerous yet sexy character you would want for it. Beri is complicated, which makes her all the more interesting and the support cast is not so numerous I need a guide, a problem that is way too common these days.
It’s the first book in a new series by newcomer Rinda Elliot and the next book Blood of an Ancient is due out in October, so you won’t have to wait too long. If you are looking for a nice slow boil of an adventure with plenty of suspense and a dose of dark romance, this is it. Well worth checking out, as I think we may be hearing more from Ms. Elliot in the years to come.