Author: Peiri Ann
Series: Burdened #1
Release Date: April 2014
Age Group: New Adult
Warning: Burdened contains mature contact and strong language some may not find appropriate for readers under the age of 17.
Eighteen-year-old Tracey Warren is a ‘run-of-the-mill’ high school student on the verge of graduation. She has her friends and her fun; she has life all figured out. Or she thought she did.
Her pedestrian reality crashes around her after an innocuous touch from a diabolically handsome stranger. Just one touch from Nathan Newcomb and her head and her world spins out of control. Soon she discovers that the only cure for the uneasy feelings and pain is Nathan himself. A man whose very existence balances between violent chaos and rigidly controlled dangers.
Nathan knows that the life of a woman mated to a burdened Sephlem is destined for peril beyond a human’s reckoning. But Tracey calls to his desire to experience love in spite of the hazards. And Nathan’s impossibly potent magnetism draws Tracey into a bonding that will put her in mortal danger again and again.
Once the pair becomes one, the threat escalates and nowhere is safe. There are enemies that lurk behind every corner. But the greatest danger may be in the bloodlines that course through Nathan’s veins.
Can a love for all time survive or will their burdened souls surrender and fade away?
Burdened is an urban fantasy based romance about Peiri Ann’s imagined species, the Sephlem. Although there are certain concepts the author uses, which would normally irritate me, like the use of insta-love, these are actually justified by the Sephlem traditions. At the moment Nathan and Tracey meet a connection passes between them, beyond lust, causing Nathan to reveal his secrets and the fact that they are now mates,
“When we first entered each other’s presence, you were marked on all of me – my heart, mind, body and soul – and me on you. I wasn’t expecting it, but it happened.”
Tracey’s initial decision to stay with Nathan, despite the fact that his demon blood could mean a loss of control, is a lifetime commitment and means that even before they are (sexually) ‘bound’, they are able to communicate telepathically. It is after this that Tracey loses part of the independent person she was, instead being driven by Nathan’s urges, which quickly make her “drunk”. Tracey’s loss of ‘choice’ is part of the story I definitely had an issue with, though Peiri Ann does attempt to counter this with the bad-ass powers Tracey acquires, at one point even making a body explode with fire!
Burdened’s plot moves slowly at times, meaning that its 300-400 pages seem double the length. I think this is made worse by the fact there are several plot threads repeated, like the constant arguments between Nathan’s cousin, Scott and Tracey’s best friend, Glen. Yet, there are also points in the story which are dangerously exciting; the climax of Nathan’s long-standing feud with his father and when Tracey is “marked” by another Sephlem.
There are similarities between Burdened and other New Adult paranormal romances, but still I think that Peiri Ann tries to maintain an individuality within her story. I am now beginning Tainted, the second book in this series and am excited to see how the story develops.