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Made of Darkness: Book One of the Lunis Kendall Series

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Loved it! 😍

Made of Darkness (Lunis Kendall #1) by Erica M. Kim is a fantastic way to kick off a brand new paranormal romance urban fantasy series.

Synopsis

My name is Lunis Kendall, dog groomer extraordinaire by day and your worst nightmare by moonlight.

When the moon is full, something deep within me snaps unleashing my fiercely violent, bloodthirsty other half. No, I don’t turn into a werewolf... I turn into a different type of monster: a cold-hearted killer.

I’ve turned this dark side of me into a career as an assassin. It’s not glamorous, but it helps pay the bills.

Life’s as good as it can be for someone like me. Call me weird—I’d rather not deal with the human race.

But then I meet him.

Lio Manos. Greek shipping bazillionaire. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous. And pretty much perfect in every way.

I shouldn’t be with him because it won’t be a pretty ending, but I am drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Once the moon is full, Lio will find out why I am made of darkness.

Made of Darkness (Lunis Kendall #1) by Erica M. Kim is a fantastic way to kick off a brand new paranormal romance urban fantasy series. Urban fantasy is one of my favorite sub-genres of fantasy and I always have my eyes peeled for unique new additions to the genre that really stand out from the crowd. Luckily for me, I had the opportunity to read this new release courtesy of Reedsy and it hit almost exactly the right notes for me.  


Made of Darkness follows Lunis, a woman who runs her own dog grooming business who during the full moon turns into a monster. She doesn't physically change into a werewolf or anything like that, but it's more like her state of mind changes and she becomes a fiercely violent, bloodthirsty, stone cold killer. She uses her dark side to moonlight as an assassin. Let's just say that she has become very good at what she does and she gets paid well for her skills. It's a living and it pays her bills. She keeps everyone at arms length due to that monster she becomes every month, but then she meets Lio at her shop. As far as she's concerned, he's practically perfect in every way - he's handsome, wealthy, and he seems to be genuinely interested in her - but she knows any kind of relationship is out of the question. Against all reason, though, Lunis finds herself drawn toward Lio unlike anyone else in her life.  


I'd love to continue and go into more detail on everything that happened, but I don't want to spoil anything good for future readers. However, I will say that I adored getting to know Lunis and Lio. Both characters are well-developed and they each feel like they could walk right off the page. Lunis is quite a lead and she's a bit different than I expected. Kim's writing clearly reflects the curse Lunis has been dealing with her whole life and how it influences her decisions. I also loved the unique world-building. The magical and fantasy elements start fairly light and as the story goes on they build up and become one of the most intriguing aspects. There's so much more I want to know about Lunis's world. Like I was saying earlier, I'd like to say more, but that would take us too far into spoiler territory.  


Finally, I just want to mention a couple of things that didn't quite work for me in this novel. I knew going into this book that there's a romance element and some explicit content. Romance isn't usually my thing, but sometimes I surprise myself. Personally, it was a little much for me here, so I skimmed some of the heavier spots. As I said above, the strength of the characters helped me with this though as they had already grown on me. Otherwise, my only other minor issue with the story is that from time to time dialog and some of Lunis's inner monologue can be awkward. There are a couple of spots that took me out of the story as it could have done with a little more editing to improve flow.  


Overall, Made of Darkness has the potential to become a new favorite series for me since it starts off incredibly strong. I'm certainly looking forward to reading more of Lunis's future adventures. If you're a fan of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones, I have a feeling you'll want to dive right into this series opener. I can't wait to see more from this author in the future.

Reviewed by

I am completely addicted to reading and I particularly enjoy fantasy, sci-fi, horror, and YA. I love the fact that being a blogger (and a librarian) helps feed my addiction and allows me to interact with other book lovers on a daily basis.

Synopsis

My name is Lunis Kendall, dog groomer extraordinaire by day and your worst nightmare by moonlight.

When the moon is full, something deep within me snaps unleashing my fiercely violent, bloodthirsty other half. No, I don’t turn into a werewolf... I turn into a different type of monster: a cold-hearted killer.

I’ve turned this dark side of me into a career as an assassin. It’s not glamorous, but it helps pay the bills.

Life’s as good as it can be for someone like me. Call me weird—I’d rather not deal with the human race.

But then I meet him.

Lio Manos. Greek shipping bazillionaire. Jaw-droppingly gorgeous. And pretty much perfect in every way.

I shouldn’t be with him because it won’t be a pretty ending, but I am drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Once the moon is full, Lio will find out why I am made of darkness.

Prologue

Tears flooded my eyes, and I prayed to the gods that it was just a bad dream. Please, let it all have been just a dream. Please. As I approached my house, I wished for more than anything to find my parents at home, deeply engaged in conversation as they always were, eating a hearty, warm breakfast. With each step toward home, I willed my wish to be true. 

But when I got home, the garage door was still open, and my parents’ silver sedan was missing. My heart began its dark descent toward hell. Once I entered our kitchen, utterly too quiet, my mother and father were nowhere to be found. Reality settled in like a heavy stone in my stomach, unpassable and unforgivable. The messages on the answering machine only confirmed my worst nightmare.

My hands began to shake, and my breath quickened as crippling panic overtook every nerve in my body. As my knees hit the floor, I heard a pitiful, gut-wrenching scream in the distance, only to realize seconds later that the sound had escaped from my own throat. Convulsive cries washed over me, wave after wave crashing down on me, and each gulp of air only pushed the cold truth in deeper: my parents were dead. The only people in the world who loved me were gone. Because of me. Because I was a monster. 

I cried for hours, but it felt like days. I drowned in a pool of tears and gasped for air in what felt like an eternal depth of sorrow. During these pitiful hours, dark, destructive thoughts crossed my mind endlessly. It felt like it would have been so much easier and better for me to end everything. But ultimately, I knew that to succumb to those tempting dark thoughts would have been the worst way to honor my mother and father. My parents would have wanted me to live, not only live but try to have a normal, happy life. I didn’t think that would ever be possible—especially now.

When I finally had the strength to pick myself up from the kitchen floor, the sun was nearly gone as dusk settled in through the blinds. My mouth was parched, and my voice was hoarse. I crept into the bathroom, peeled off my muddy clothes, and took a long, hot shower. As the dirt swirled down the white bathtub into the drain, I imagined washing away the monster in me. I scrubbed my skin until my entire body was pink and raw.

I would never forgive myself for what happened that day, and I made two vows. One: I would do whatever it takes to gain control over the monster that emerged from me every full moon. Two: I would put my heart in an iron cage and throw away the keys forever so that I could never hurt anyone I love ever again.

About the author

Growing up, Erica frequently got lost in the world of mages, vampires, assassins, and spaceships to escape the mundaneness of everyday life. At sixteen, she knew she would one day publish a book because by writing, she was living her dream. view profile

Published on December 26, 2019

80000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Reviewed by

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