Who doesn’t want special powers? Don’t lie to me, we all wish we had them. If you had the ability to heal, you’d be able to cure people in need. If you were offered the chance to calm an environment with the stroke of a brush, you might sign up for painting lessons. There’s also the ability to manipulate emotions, or the power to erase memories for those occasions when you’ve done something terribly embarrassing. If you could read minds, there's the possibility you could “read” the winning numbers of the 700 million dollar jack pot. Personally, I like the idea of stopping time and rearranging the world as I see fit. Unfortunately, I was busy the day they were passing out that particular ability so I find myself continually trying to keep up with time.
But abilities it seems are given for a reason, and in Leanna Renee Hieber’s strangely beautiful series, the abilities I've described are given to fight the darkest evil man has ever known. In her first book, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, we’re introduced to The Guard. Six mortals bestowed with very special powers. When the book was released, I spoke with Leanna and she described their purpose by saying:
“The Guard is essentially a group of six Ghost Busters in Victorian England that deal with spectral phenomenon unbeknownst to the populace of Victorian England. The book is set right around the time of the Jack the Ripper murders and it’s clear to The Guard that Jack is not a human occurrence. There’s a supernatural threat that London has not seen and that they have not had to deal with. Early on in their duties, they’re given a prophecy that their group of six will find a seventh member and a seventh member is critical in dealing with this mounting danger.”
That prophecy is fulfilled by 18 year old Persephone (Percy) Parker. Percy looks very much like the ghosts she’s able to communicate with—white skin, white hair, and eerily blue eyes. Despite outward appearances, Percy embodies a tremendous power she will come to know and harness throughout the series.
The first book sets the stage for Percy to become the seventh member of The Guard, and to face her first battle against evil. The second in the series, The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker, pushes the fight to the razor’s edge and the world hangs in the balance as evil is determined to crush anything that stands in the way. Percy is the only one who can fight this battle, for it is her unique ability that is the key to shifting the balance. The evil known as Darkness is truly a monumental evil and unless Percy wins, she and all of humanity will go under.
This series is an epic tale of good versus evil and of a love that has traveled through time. The author has created remarkable characters that have heart, soul and a ferocity about life. The prose is as eloquent as the story is rich. The characters grow from one book to the next as does the love between Percy Parker and the head of The Guard, Alexi Rychman. This is a potent, romantic, fiery saga that will leave you breathless.
Percy doesn't find communicating with ghosts all that strange, the question is would you want the ability to communicate with ghosts?
P.S. If you love romance Melanie always has a lively discussion happening at Romantic Reads.
Until next Thursday, lay off the chocolates.
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader an award winning television producer
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