Book Review: The Scent of a Soul by Jennifer Thompson

The Scent of a Soul by Jennifer Thompson
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4 Stars

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Createspace

Pages: 484

Target Audience: 16 and up; no sex/language, but it’s about adults, rather than teenagers.

Check it out: AmazonBarnes and NobleGood Reads

Good Reads Summary:
Fleeing her recent past, Lilliah Woods finds refuge in the anonymity of the present day inner-city slums. As she settles into the seedy apartment she must now call home, she meets mysterious Marek Jamison when he materializes in her doorway demanding to know who she is. From that moment, he becomes a guardian and guide as she gradually discovers his hidden world.
As their relationship develops, Lilliah learns of Marek’s dark past and of a brothers’ quarrel he has been embroiled in for years. The quarrel turns into a larger battle of good and evil, liberty versus tyranny, and the separation of love and lust.
With Lilliah as the ultimate prize, the deadly conflict reaches out to threaten her family, and the outcome of the final battle will determine her fate. Lilliah must embark on an unexpected path that teaches her to trust in the man she has come to love, and give of herself as she never thought she could….

I received a copy of The Scent of a Soul from the author in exchange for an honest review.

As I’ve said before, I judge books by their covers. I pick up books at Barnes and Noble because they have pretty covers. Even if the blurb is only mildly interesting, but the cover is gorgeous, I’ll more than likely start reading it. So, I was a little wary of The Scent of a Soul when it was sent to me. I’m not saying the cover is really terrible or anything, but because I’m so used to the ridiculously polished looking covers of YA Paranormal Romance shelves, I was a little dubious.

And then I started reading.

So, I’m going to say something that may sound like an insult to some of you, but I will strongly assure you that it’s a compliment. This is a Paranormal Romance in the Twilight vein. It’s been a while since I’ve read one like it. I’m not by any means saying it was the same story, merely that it’s a similar book as far as genre and tone. I was a huge fan of Twilight when it first came out. I read and re-read all the books…NOT a fan of the movies however. My love for the series has waned a bit since then, but that’s another story. However, where Twilight got creepy and weird, The Scent of a Soul got adorable and sweet.

The Scent of a Soul is very well written. That’s what hooked me after my wariness about the cover stayed my enthusiasm. And it’s so nicely formatted! The chapter title font was so pretty, and the book font was very nice, and easy to read. Practical and pretty. I’ve read many ebooks from big publishing houses that weren’t so prettily formatted.

Lilliah and Marek. Sigh. Their relationship was splendid. A teensy bit of insta-love, but he does save her life repeatedly, and HE’S SCOTTISH, and gorgeous, so I mean, I would be smitten too. But Jennifer Thompson spent so much time and care letting the reader get to know these two characters and watch their relationship develop before really even getting into the main conflict of the story. Literally the first third of the book is spent setting up their relationship. When I said earlier that there was no sex in this book, that DOES NOT mean there was no romance. The romance was bountiful.

I mean, this literally reads like an Adult Paranormal Romance novel without sex and language. For those of us who like the genre but that aren’t appreciative of graphic sex scenes or endless expletives, this was a breath of fresh air.

Lilliah was a fantastic heroine. She didn’t want to live in fear of walking out her front door, so she just went (which led to trouble, but I appreciated her spunk). She wanted to make friends with others living near her, so she did. She didn’t let Marek order her around (which he tried to do on occasion, almost always out of fear for her safety) which I thought made their relationship dynamic and interesting. She stood up for herself, wanting to be independent. I was like:

And Marek. Gorgeous, SCOTTISH, wealthy, a painter, SCOTTISH, sweet, interesting, SCOTTISH. I could go on. But he wasn’t always hanging around creepily, which was great. He didn’t follow Lilliah everywhere she went; they were two separate people with lives of their own who became a couple through a fairly normal route. (I say fairly normal because their dates mostly consisted of Marek painting a portrait of Lilliah, but they did do things like dinner and a movie). Yes, he has secrets. It’s a PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

My biggest qualm about this book was that it easily could have been split into two. Which may again sound like a complaint but it’s really more of a compliment. It means there was PLENTY of interesting subject matter in the book that could have easily been made into two. There were two enormous climactic battle type scenes, which felt like a little too much for one book…I found myself thinking, this would be a really natural stopping place somewhere around the middle to last third of the book. I wanted a little more time spent on the last third, because the characters Thompson had spent the most time on were so rich, but there were others that could have had the same treatment in another book. The sub-characters Flynn and Candice for example…I’m assuming there’s a sequel coming about the two of them, but I thought there was almost too much set-up in this book. I really liked their story, but I was too invested in Marek and Lilliah, since this is technically a book about them. I wanted to say, let’s worry about them in a sequel, I want to finish Marek and Lilliah’s story.

But that’s pretty much me saying I wanted a sequel, so how much of a complaint is that really?

This was a very fun, adorable read. Some of the fighting was gross and horrific, although not too gruesomely described. I thought all the action was well written and fit within the vein of the genre. I was pleased with the ending, and enjoyed the rich character development. Definitely one for the to-read pile!

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