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Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten (Signet Eclipse) [Mass Market Paperback]

Sharon Ashwood
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
Price: 5.24 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

30 April 2009 Signet Eclipse (Book 1)
Holly Carver is a witch who sometimes relies on the help of Alessandro Caravelli for her family's preternatural investigations business. Alessandro is the oldest and strongest vampire in Fairview - and he's made no secret of his desire for Holly. But while she aches to succumb to his suggestive wiles - she knows it would be an invitation to trouble.

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Ravenous: The Dark Forgotten (Signet Eclipse) + Unchained (Dark Forgotten)
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  • Unchained (Dark Forgotten) 6.07


Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: SIGNET; First Printing edition (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451226178
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451226174
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 10.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 992,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new paranormal series 6 May 2009
By Helen Hancox TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. From the initial scene where heroine Holly Carver is trying to rescue some people from a haunted house, to the gradual worldbuilding as we learn about supernatural creatures and their own form of hell, to Holly's awakening to her possible role in a centuries-old battle, to her romance with a man who really won't be good for her long-term... we follow the actions of Holly and her business partner Alessandro Caravelli, a six-centuries-old vampire. Holly's magic was subdued by a spell that went wrong when she was young and she makes her living by doing minor witchy jobs to pay for her tuition at a business course at college. However she finds herself dragged into rather bigger issues when a demon uses her own home to try to step through into this world.

Caravelli is a fascinating character in this book, a man of integrity and goodness but who also knows and fears his nature as predator. He knows there isn't any future for him with Holly but wants to help her and to keep her safe. With several other men floating in and out of Holly's life, she doesn't always know who to trust, and those she loves the most may cause her harm. But if Holly and Caravelli can discover who is trying to control the demon and can stop the influx of evil into our world, they may find a whole new situation where they can rescue supernaturals condemned to an eternal punishment.

The writing style of this book was excellent with a good plot which unveiled at a comfortable pace. I always followed the story, not getting lost in complexities that one can find in this kind of book. Holly and Alessandro were great lead characters, although Holly was slightly less fully fleshed out in terms of her motivations and feelings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Hot vamp action 12 Oct 2011
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ravenous is the first book in the Dark Forgotten series by Sharon Ashwood. It follows the story of witch Holly Carver and her business partner vampire Alessandro Caravelli. Together they run a paranormal investigation business so that Holly can afford to go to college. After an accident when she was younger Holly cannot access all of her magic and can only perform little M magic as the big M magic leaves her in terrible pain. They are called out to investigate a haunted house where some students, including Holly's teacher boyfriend Ben, have gone into the house but have not come back out, they have mysteriously disappeared. Even though Holly saves Ben's life the job goes bad and after performing some big M magic Holly is nearly consumed by the house she is only saved by Alessandro. Suddenly creatures that were thought of as extinct are showing up in town and Alessandro discovers that portals to hell are being opened up by a very powerful demon. The vampire Queen Omara comes to town and Holly is forced to help banish the demon back to hell, but that's ok because the demon also wants to end Holly's life.

I enjoyed this book it is a mix between UF and PNR. I liked the characters and it was great to have vampires in a book that were bad and didn't pretend to be anything else, they saw humans as play things. Alessandro is the archetypal vampire, dressed in tight leather, good looking, dangerous and sexy as hell and I loved him for that. Even though it was a bit PNR for me I liked the story between Holly and Alessandro, especially the scene where he has to bite her. The pace of the book was perfect with a good storyline. The only bit that I had a problem with was the ending it was like another author had written that part of the book.
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By sharon TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Holly Carver is a witch who sometimes relies on the help of Alessandro Caravelli for her family's preternatural investigations business. Alessandro is the oldest and strongest vampire in Fairview - and he's made no secret of his desire for Holly. But while she aches to succumb to his suggestive wiles, she knows it would be an invitation to trouble.

Then Alessandro's queen, Omara, complicates matters when she turns up in Fairview to enlist his help. Sultry and manipulative, she is jealous of Alessandro's feelings for Holly, and demands he use Holly to trap Geneva - the most evil demon of all.
The premise was good, ideas superb, but the execution not as great as it could of been, I can only describe reading the novel as one dimensional, it just didn't keep my interest & I struggled to finish it. a very easy read though, if you just want to switch off...

Unchained (Dark Forgotten) is another in the Dark Forgotten Series just in case.

Wish I could not be more positive.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring rubbish 28 Jun 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought i'd give this a go when i read the review here.

The idea of a witch who can't perform high-level (big M-magic)magic is a good one. When the heroine first uses big M-magic i was expecting...well more than i got. I felt as if part of the story had been edited out, the part that actually gave some idea of the susposed pain big M-magic causes the heroine, however there was nothing there. Also not there was any tension- between the heroine and the vampire-hero, and in the novel generally.

What a waste of time and money! It was pap, it actually made Laurell K Hamilton's latest offering look good. Please, someone tell me why authors MUST put vampires in tight leather...with fringing? I got half way through with the under-developed changelings, and just couldn't stand it any longer.

I see no point reading a book that made me cringe throughout the half that i read.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  42 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent new paranormal romance 3 Feb 2009
By Helen Hancox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. From the initial scene where heroine Holly Carver is trying to rescue some people from a haunted house, to the gradual worldbuilding as we learn about supernatural creatures and their own form of hell, to Holly's awakening to her possible role in a centuries-old battle, to her romance with a man who really won't be good for her long-term... we follow the actions of Holly and her business partner Alessandro Caravelli, a six-centuries-old vampire. Holly's magic was subdued by a spell that went wrong when she was young and she makes her living by doing minor witchy jobs to pay for her tuition at a business course at college. However she finds herself dragged into rather bigger issues when a demon uses her own home to try to step through into this world.

Caravelli is a fascinating character in this book, a man of integrity and goodness but who also knows and fears his nature as predator. He knows there isn't any future for him with Holly but wants to help her and to keep her safe. With several other men floating in and out of Holly's life, she doesn't always know who to trust, and those she loves the most may cause her harm. But if Holly and Caravelli can discover who is trying to control the demon and can stop the influx of evil into our world, they may find a whole new situation where they can rescue supernaturals condemned to an eternal punishment.

The writing style of this book was excellent with a good plot which unveiled at a comfortable pace. I always followed the story, not getting lost in complexities that one can find in this kind of book. Holly and Alessandro were great lead characters, although Holly was slightly less fully fleshed out in terms of her motivations and feelings. The threads of the story were well wrapped up in this book although there were a few minor plot events that will presumably follow in the next story. All in all this was always an enjoyable read with an appealing hero and a good take on the supernatural/paranormal world.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book Helen Hancox 2009
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just not sure 5 Jun 2009
By bijou2311 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The basic plot of this book is pretty straight forward - Holly is a witch who used to be able to do MAGIC, but because of an accident when she was younger is more limited in her magic. She mostly deals with haunted houses now with her sometimes partner Alessandro - a vampire. She is drawn to him (and him to her) but they have no intention of acting on this desire. Holly is dealing with a haunted house one day and finds a demon and gets involved in the high stakes world of vampires and demons who are squaring off for a battle that could change the world. Dramatic enough? Oh yeah, and Alessandro isn't just any vampire, he is the queen of vampire's right hand man, and the queen is a bit possessive of him.

I really just couldn't decide what I thought of this book, which is why I gave it three stars. Holly seems a bit flaky, going from guy to guy as she does, as well as some of the other things she does throughout the book. But she isn't a bad sort - just sort of floundering around. I didn't love her but at the same time, I didn't hate her. The queen, Omara, was an odd character and I felt she was almost just thrown in to cause problems between Alessandro and Holly. She was a character I wasn't particularly fond of, because I didn't feel like she had much substance (or intelligence).

All in all this book was a decent enjoyable light read. It was not urban fantasy, but more of paranormal romance in my opinion. So keep that in mind before you pick up this book. There is a second one coming out and I think it is the story of Mac - hopefully that will be better. I think I will give it a try, but if it isn't good I won't be reading any more Ashwood.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's so rare for me to give five stars, but I loved it and I want more 13 Mar 2009
By Mrs. Baumann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book kept me company today while I couch-surfed with a congested head cold. Thank goodness I started it in the early afternoon, or I wouldn't have gotten a wink of sleep. Ravenous is that good. It burst out of the gate like a greyhound, the romance burned like a gasoline fed fire, and it finished with an armageddon style battle. I think my only criticism is with the title; I don't think it does the story justice. I'm actually sorry I got this one from the library, because Ashwood deserves to be paid for such an entertaining intro book.

Our heroine, Holly, runs a business called the Three Sisters Agency that specializes in hauntings and poltergeists, which only requires small-m magic, as she calls it. Holly avoids doing jobs that require big-M magic, because the backwash of pain is more than she can handle. Her dreams for the future are pretty modest; she'd like to get a college degree, build up her business, and find a boyfriend who is marriage material. That train is thrown off the tracks when Holly is forced to use big-M magic to save her life, and something lurking in the dark wants to take her power.

Alessandro, Holly's undead friend and partner, treats her like there's a `look but don't touch' sign on her back. In this world, a vampire's bite has venom that turns the human into a mindless slave. The lust for food and sex literally drains the slave dry over time, and Alessandro refuses to harm Holly, or remove her free will. He is noble, but far from perfect, and I had to wipe the drool away after he appeared in a scene.

I would very much like to know the true identity of the author. According to one professional reviewer, Sharon Ashwood is a pseudonym for a previously published romance novelist, and this book is way too good to be a first try by a greenhorn. Now the only bummer is, we've got to wait until December 09 for the next book in the series (Scorched). And I will definitely pay for my copy next time around.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Haunted House 8 Mar 2009
By Tez Miller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sharon Ashwood gives good haunted house in her paranormal romance, RAVENOUS.

Ghost-busting grab student Holly Carver is a witch out to make tuition money, but the Flanders House is no easy job. Six people have entered the building, but none have emerged yet. So in goes Holly and her vampire partner Alessandro Caravelli to investigate. Work of demons is definitely afoot, but that takes some kind of sorcery, so who's the mastermind?

The author's website proclaims this as "urban fantasy romance". Ah...no. I much agree with the publisher's label of "paranormal romance". The first three chapters are intriguing, and Flanders House makes for one hell of an interesting read. But the rest of the novel doesn't live up to it, though there are worthy scenes here and there.

The problem lies mainly with the characters. Long-haired, leather-clad vampire Alessandro has superficial qualities (if you go for that unoriginal type), but otherwise I can't really describe his character. He doesn't come alive. Same with Holly, bordering on being a Mary Sue - three guys fancy her (including her 1 tru wuv, so the others have to be evil, right?) for no particular reason I can see other than she's there. And Holly has a lot of powerful magic, only it's crippled in the beginning. But of course it's conveniently restored for her to defeat the baddies, but I would've respected her more if her powers had remained handicapped.

A childhood accident led to Holly's magic being crippled, but for me her sister Ashe Carver deserves her own novel. She has the more interesting story: Ashe had magic, and then she lost it for good. So how is she dealing with paranormal problems when she no longer has her powers?

The author has the potential to write some really interesting stuff. But for now her characters need to step out from their prescribed cardboard cut-outs and become more like real people. RAVENOUS should go down a treat for paranormal romance fans, but urban fantasy readers might be less than impressed.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happens when the monsters come out of the closet? 3 Feb 2009
By Catherine Cardiff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Vampires and demons and . . . homework? Oh, my. In "Ravenous," Sharon Ashwood has mixed up a lively combination of classic horror elements and the horrors of modern life in this ripping good urban fantasy.

Holly is a mortgage-paying, ghostbusting witch who goes back to school to try to bring some normalcy into her life. Not so much Buffy the Vampire Slayer with all the Chosen One regalia, she's more a regular Jane with some extra talents who is trying to make ends meet - the kind of heroine you'd find in the pages of novels by Emma Bull, Charlaine Harris or Charles de Lint, to name a few. And there's definitely one vampire this witch isn't in a hurry to slay, anyway...

There's romance, of course - "Ravenous" is from Signet's Paranormal Romance line - but it adds to the story, rather than defining it. One of the main themes is definitely Holly's need to accept her own abilities. Holly comes from a long line of witches, but a childhood accident has left her functioning at half-power. A new crisis and some scary new characters in town soon threaten to overwhelm everything she cares about, if she doesn't meet the challenge head-on. Though the other characters are believable and important to the story arc in their own way, I like the way Ashwood never falls into the trap of letting the handsome studs standing by - vampire and human - save the day for Holly. There's plenty of danger and mayhem around for everyone.

Ashwood creates vibrant, interesting characters, and she has a knack for making minor characters who live as large as her heroes. If Ashwood sets more stories in this world, I can think of several secondary characters whom I'd like to see get their own books. This isn't to say that the main characters should be confined to one story. Though the conclusion is satisfyingly dramatic, I'll just say that I can still see a world of trouble ahead for Holly and her cohorts.

One final note: Ashwood's love of humorous detail comes through even in the small scenes. From many years of reading the genre, "Ravenous" has one of my all-time favourite 'urban clash' scenes, a small gem in which modern technology meets ancient monsters, with unpredictable results. To say nothing of the mouse.
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