Lady Shanara of Montiori finds herself kidnapped by Lord Reyes following a battle he waged in vengeance against her father. Shanara had heard the dark rumors of Reyes being cursed to run with the wolves at the full moon, but she wouldn't have believed it if she hadn't seen him change into the beast with her own eyes. Shanara has every intention of escaping her captor, but when she finds him wounded in his wolf form, pity and curiosity win out, leading her to help the poor creature. Shanara's kindness stirs unfamiliar feelings in Reyes, and his desire for her leaves him yearning for something that can never be. For Reyes has made a vow never to marry as long as his curse will be passed on to his offspring.
Born of the Night was a sweet paranormal romance about a young woman who falls in love with her captor. He has been cursed since birth to run with the wolves every full moon. The story takes place in an unspecified time and place that had a medieval feel to it. This novella had some very tender moments such as when Reyes saved Shanara from a would-be attacker, and when Shanara cut short her escape to help Reyes who had been wounded. Still, in the end, I couldn't help feeling that there was a little something missing. Maybe it was simply the short length of the story which didn't allow a great deal of room for character or plot development and which led to a fairly hasty wedding and declarations of love, but I just didn't feel the connection between this couple 100%.
I did like both Reyes and Shanara. Reyes had kidnapped Shanara in retribution for her father's misdeeds and initially was threatening to kill her if her father didn't consent to taking her place in his dungeon, but he became attached to her very quickly. After that he was pretty gentle and never truly harmed Shanara in any way. In fact, he saved her on more than one occasion. I liked that Reyes was a rare celibate hero, and if one reads between the lines, it might even be implied that he's a virgin, although it was never stated in so many words. It's just that he seemed to have no interest in sleeping with any of the loose women who followed their camp. He had also vowed not to marry because of his curse, so he was extremely cautious about passing that on to any offspring he might have. Shanara was a very nice heroine, but not a pushover. She bravely stood up to Reyes in the beginning, and once she began to fall for him, she would do anything to save him. It was rather sad that being the youngest in her family and a daughter at that, she was basically ignored, and her father was even willing to sacrifice her to get revenge on Reyes.
Even though I didn't fully connect with the characters, Born of the Night was a reasonably satisfying read. I really enjoyed the gentle kisses and embraces that Reyes and Shanara shared, and since this novella has no explicit love scenes, it should be suitable for most romance readers. Overall, I enjoyed the story and look forward to checking out more of Amanda Ashley's works soon. Born of the Night can be found in the anthology Stroke of Midnight.
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