Review: Scent of Salvation by Annie Nicholas

Thursday, August 15

Title:  Scent of Salvation*
Author: Annie Nicholas
Series: Chronicles of Eorthe #1
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Samhain
Format:  ebook
Date/Year:  July 30, 2013
Reviewed by:  Andrea

*This book was provided to reviewer by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

Love blooms across species, culture, and time.

Stranded in another dimension, on a primitive version of Earth, Dr. Susan Barlow needs to find a way to survive. There’s no electricity, no cities, and to her shock, no humans. Instead, she faces a population of werewolves, vampires and incubi. The people are vicious but she must find her place among them. And live.

An illness is killing Sorin’s pack. As alpha it’s his responsibility to save them, but it’s a battle this warrior doesn’t know how to fight. Then a blue light in the sky brings a creature he’s never seen. She calls herself human, but to him she smells like hope.

Sorin offers Susan a safe haven in return for a cure, but she’s not that kind of a doctor. She’s a doctor of physics, not a physician. Yet as they search for a cure to save a dying people, they find something special—each other.

But even with Sorin’s protection, Susan can’t help but wonder how long she can survive in a world without humans…

Warning: Feral shifters, power-hungry vampires, and a sole human female suffering culture shock.

My Musings:

Inter-dimensional travel, alien culture, an alien planet, vampires, werewolves, and incubi...  it sounded great to me!  I’ve read my fair share of erotic sci-fi and paranormal.  I thought I knew what to expect... extremely hot sex, alpha male shifters, darkly dangerous vampires, and a not so strong sci-fi plot.  I nailed it with the first three on my list, but totally underestimated the strength of the plot. 

Susan is a brilliant and well respected physicist.  She has given up any type of personal life in order to focus on her profession.  With single minded determination, she has done the impossible.  She has built a prototype machine based on the principles of string theory.  If it works, it will open temporary portholes from one dimension to another.  She has put everything into building this machine only to find out that her boss has been secretly funneling all of her findings to the military.  Now that it seems she has working prototype, they want to take over the project.  She can either let someone else take over the project or stand her ground and go out with a bang.   I’m sure you can guess which choice she makes :)

Susan finds herself in another dimension.  It’s Earth, but not the Earth we know.  This version is known as Eorthe and it’s inhabited by things we consider to be mythical creatures.  There are werewolves, vampires, incubi, and mermaids, but no humans.  She has to quickly acclimate in order to survive in such a hostile environment.  In theory, she knows exactly what to do and should be able to make logical and informed decisions.  It sounded easy enough when she was standing in her lab, but she forgot to factor in the impact shock and terror would have on her judgement.  I love a strong and smart woman, but Susan was almost too perfect to like at first.  It was when she found herself in Eorthe that I finally started to connect with her.  She lost that cold professional attitude I had trouble seeing beneath and then I was able to identify with her.

One of the first people she meets on Eorthe is Sorin.  He is the alpha werewolf of his pack.  He takes his leadership role very seriously and has been working selflessly to resurrect the once great pack.  His latest crisis is a disease running rampant through his pack.  Sorin is willing to take whatever help he can get.  When he sees Susan literally drop out of the sky, he thinks his prayers have been answered.  The feisty woman is like nothing he has ever encountered.  Meeting her throws his entire world off kilter. 

The romance is good. Susan is likeable and is anything but meek.  Sorin is lovable and sexy.  Honestly, a hot romance is about all I expected to find when I picked this book up.  What surprised me was how much was happening in the periphery of that romance.  Susan is getting a crash course in the etiquette of the various species.  There is also a lot of political maneuvering under the facade of friendship between the races.  They all have their own secrets they are trying to conceal because any perceived weakness leaves them open for attack.  It was a nice multi-layered plot and all of them kept my interest. 

I was extremely impressed with how believable I found the existence of Eorthe to be.  The cause of the divergence from Earth, which is one of the big mysteries of the book, was brilliant and worked perfectly.  The only issue I had was with language.  I had a hard time believing Sorin and Susan would never have any communication issues, especially with modern words.  Not a big issue by any means, but it kept niggling at me. 

I enjoyed this book on so many levels.  The side characters were almost as interesting as Sorin and Susan, especially Peder and Kele.  I’m dying to know what is going to happen between them.  Hopefully their book is next.  I will be continuing with this series.


Overall: 3.75 stars
Sensuality level: 3.75

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