July 27, 2012
Review: Pure Healing by Aja James
Author: Aja James
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Aja James (May 4 2012)
Get it: Amazon | B&N
NOTE: Story is for mature readers due to sexual content.
In the world of Pure Ones, where sexual intercourse with anyone other than one’s Eternal Mate leads to a slow, painful death within thirty days, love comes with the warning label “fall at your own peril.”
Rain, the Healer of this immortal race, is the only exception to the rule. In order to harness and accumulate enough energy to heal severe wounds, she must take a Consort once every ten years and draw strength from his blood and body through sexual exchange. As the war with vampire hordes wears on, few Pure-males who are strong enough to serve as her Consort remain.
Valerius is one of the few. As the Protector of the race, he is by far the strongest candidate Rain could hope for. Despite their instant attraction ten years ago when they first met, Valerius has staunchly avoided applying to be the Healer’s Consort. The brutality and violence he suffered as a Roman sex slave in his human life ate away at his soul, leaving a raw, gaping wound of anguish and self-doubt, which two thousand years of stoic, solitary existence has not been able to heal.
As the decadal rite draws near, as threats from their nemesis intensify, and as Rain’s strength drains with every healing act, Valerius beats back his inner demons and gives himself to the Healer unconditionally. Rain chooses Valerius despite her fear that her desire and need for him would lead her to repeat the mistakes of the past with her first Consort. To avoid that tragedy, Rain stipulates from the beginning that Valerius cannot fall in love with her, for she cannot love him in return. Even though the consequence is death, this is the one promise Valerius cannot keep.
As Rain and Valerius battle their personal pain and fears, they must decide whether they let their histories and duties dictate their destiny or whether they risk all for a chance at everlasting love.
I'm not going to start out this review like I would normally do by giving a bit of an overview of the story. The synopsis does that well enough. What I will start out by saying is that I loved this book.
Quite a few characters are introduced and have their own bits of story that need to be told so that it can lead up to the bigger picture. But what I loved most was the story of Rain and Valerius. He had a brutal past that left him unable to endure being touched. A mere touch causes him extreme physical pain. It's really quite heartbreaking to learn of exactly what happened to him at such a young age and how, despite a connection that he feels towards Rain from the moment he sees her, he not only doesn't feel he is worthy enough to be her Consort, he doesn't believe that he can give her what she need to survive. Rain didn't have an easy human life either. I found myself crying a number of times while reading this book. You just can't help feeling for Valerius. His past, his current struggles, his self-doubt. For me, it was rather heart-wrenching to read.
Then there is the part of the story that involves Sophia, the Pure Ones' Queen. She almost seems like your typical teenager. She goes to school, thinks about boys a lot, but Sophia isn't typical. She's guarded at all times, and she's training in combat for a war that is coming between Pure Ones and vampires. At school Sophia meets Ere, a teaching assistant to one of her professors. He's interested in Sophia, and she's smitten with him, but there seems to be a mystery surrounding him.
And, of course, there is the possible war with vampires that I mentioned! The vampires seem to be trying to destroy all of the Pure Ones, even if it means turning Pure Ones into vampire assassins to do it.
I just found Pure Healing to be so interesting and intense that once I got into it I didn't want to put it down. I definitely recommend it to those who love paranormal romances. I'm assuming that this is just book one in a series because not all aspects of the story were resolved by the end. There are still secrets to be revealed, mysteries to be solved. I honestly can't wait for more.
** I received a copy of the ebook from the author in exchange for a review. **
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