Jezebel is used to being alone. It might not be ideal, but she has grown accustomed to keeping her thoughts to herself, staying busy when she isn’t working, and distancing herself from others. It’s a life she wouldn’t necessarily choose, but it’s what she knows. And then came August. An innocent meeting on the beach leads to what Jezebel believes is the opportunity to work for a wealthy local. When she can’t help but be mesmerized by the very thought of his attention, she quickly begins to realize there is much more to August than meets the eye and much more to the relationship he desires.
Awakening, by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano, is a supernatural romance novel for the ages. Jezebel, the book’s main character is the perfect mix of an unlikely heroine lacking a certain amount of self-confidence and a woman ready to take on the world. Her encounter with the mysterious but incredibly desirable August is one that takes even the reader by surprise.
From the first chapter, Pezzano’s writing is striking and flows beautifully across the page. Whether it’s her main character’s inner voice or the narrative that fills the space between the unique encounters between Pezzano and August, her words are simply breathtaking. The more intimate moments between the two characters are touching without being overtly sexual and explicit.
There is a profound sadness to August’s story, and I loved the bits of history Pezzano includes in her work. These elements of reality only serve to deepen the reader’s involvement in the plot. Pezzano knows how to engage readers, pull them into her characters’ dilemmas, and feed them just enough reality to make them question whether her story is born of real events–she is just that good–she makes the reader feel like a meeting De Sanguine might be a distinct possibility.
I encourage any fan of vampire romances to give Pezzano’s work a try. It does not fit the mold. It does, however, offer readers a new and fresh take on an old genre. I was thoroughly impressed with the depth Pezzano is able to give her characters and the extent to which she is able to take a story set in recent years and make it feel so refined, so detailed, and so stunningly beautiful.
Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08P5SMG3M
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Awakening follows a woman with a tragic past who meets someone who expands her heart and soul and opens a new world to her. What were some sources that informed this novels development?
Well, I have always been fascination by the vampire archetype, but was never fully satisfied with how they were portrayed. I wanted to explore another avenue of possibility with this story, to pull in more elements of spirituality, sexuality, and healing because I believe that these things are all so intrinsically connected to one another. The character of August, and of him “being of sacred blood” in my book, in a way represents the aspects of wholeness held within us. We all have the profound ability to tap into a deeper way of living. To discover something richer and more meaningful in our lives. But we have to let go first… and love is the ultimate letting go.
Jezebel and August have a deep and enthralling emotional connection. What were some ideas you wanted to explore with their relationship?
All of my work dives into the human condition, the darker and more fractured aspects of ourselves, the things we are hiding or running from. But beneath all that lies so much beauty. I wanted to explore all the different layers of rebirth that can occur when two people learn to surrender to one another. Love is the driving force in everything that we do, whether it is romantic, platonic, or familial. It is the glue that binds us together and gives us purpose.
I really enjoyed the various ideas shared in the book, and how intricately it was all woven together. Was the novel planned before writing or did things develop organically?
This novel originally started out as a short story of sorts, but then evolved and grew into something much more. I had no idea where this story was going to go beyond part 1, and it was such an exciting journey for me to go on, one in which I became both the writer and the reader. How I managed to wrap it all up cohesively without plotting is still beyond me. Writing is a lot like alchemy.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
My next book is very different than this one. I’m a bit of a genre bender, and I enjoy exploring all avenues of narration, but I always keep the central theme of love in place. My current novel “Light Among the Shadows” is more of a contemporary romance about a woman trying to live after the loss of her child, and a blind man trapped in the darkness of his disability.
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Awakening is a beautifully written and emotionally rich tale that weaves together the past and the present. Jezebel is a cleaner with a tragic past but life takes an unexpected turn upon meeting a new client, one Mr. August De Sanguine. Jezebel discovers that there is more to our world than she previously believed, but August seems to both pull her in and push her away. He has his secrets, but she does too, and she hopes to reach beyond the mask he has formed. Their fates are bound somehow, but their paths are tangled and winding, twisting together in ways neither of them could have foreseen.
Awakening is such an emotionally touching romance novel because of the way it addresses the human experience through characters and experiences that are more than human. The author touches on trauma, love, desire, sorrow, sex, and so many other aspects of the experiences of life. Even though many of the characters are otherworldly in some aspect, it is the deep emotional connection that the author weaves that allows the reader to relate to these characters and see our own sorrows, traumas, and desires in them.
Despite the sometimes quite heavy sentiments discussed by the narrative, Awakening also has an intricately layered plot that starts out relatively simple but grows increasingly complex and detailed. The world-building and mythology of the book is original and unique enough that it seems to outdo many popular franchises. Additionally, the story covers both past and present in a way that fleshes out the innate connections between the two. I found the extended flashback both enjoyable and informative as to the connections that make Jezebel’s and August’s story so magnetic and fateful. The story starts out what what seems to be a fairly simple love story but goes on to reveal some of the secrets of the universe and the origins of humanity as well as the power that lies within each individual.
Awakening is written in such a way that readers will forget that the story is fiction. Although the book is not action-packed, it is rich, well-imagined, and will keep readers turning pages. I highly recommend this book for those interested in romance and provocative philosophical ideas and theories.
Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08P5SMG3M
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