Blog Tour {Review, Excerpt & Giveaway}—Seven Years by Dannika Dark

Seven years ago, my world ended.
Seven years later, my new life began.

It’s been seven years since Lexi Knight lost her brother in a tragic accident. On the anniversary of his death, her brother’s best friend shows up unexpectedly – a man she hasn’t seen since the funeral. He is no longer the boy Lexi once knew, but a dangerous-looking man with tattoos and dark secrets. He broke her trust and abandoned her family, yet what he reveals makes it impossible to stay angry. Lexi has been secretly infatuated with Austin since childhood, so finding out he’s a Shifter just makes him sexier. Dammit.

Austin Cole has returned to the city where he grew up, and just in time. He’s lived a hard life these past seven years, and the shadows of his past are threatening to destroy Lexi’s family. It’s time that she learned the truth about her brother, but there is a shocking twist that Austin never saw coming. Now he must protect her family when her mother and sister wind up in mortal danger. Will Lexi learn to accept the truth about who he is, and can Austin salvage a relationship from the ruins of their past?

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Shifters and second-chance romance, packaged with that sexy, brooding-male cover (one designed by the author!) are three things I can never resist. Add the promise of a no-cliffhanger ending for the first installment in a new Paranormal Romance series by a USA Today bestselling author and I had sticky, grabby paws. I’ve never read anything by Dannika Dark but have read many praising her work, and while I found the overall book and writing didn’t reach my high expectations, the storyline and delivery had me turning the pages. There were so many hints of good things to come throughout the story that I had to know where everything led and how they connected. 

Sadly, in the end, my feelings were mixed. I liked the idea of this book. All the exciting paranormal elements were there: segret lineages, family secrets and deaths, prophecies, a large pack of entertaining characters. The romance—a love realized between a teenage girl and her older brother’s best friend, but lost then found again years later, the insane UST, and (one) steamy scene—was also present. Yet most of it never felt cohesive and consistent enough to leave me satisfied. 

Lexi and Austin, separately, were likable. She’s a seemingly average woman stuck in a less than inspiring job and in an even less inspiring relationship, but she is loyal and has backbone. He’s a man who feels guilt as well as a need to protect her and to prove himself to many. Together they frustrated me—in good and bad ways. They took so long to admit their feelings, even longer to act on them, which I actually don’t mind, but when they finally did, it fell flat. Like it was too little too late, made out of circumstance and duty instead of the genuine emotion found in the beginning of the book. 

Likewise, the plot crumbled a bit under the weight of having all of the major favorite PNR tropes. Too many aspects felt unnecessary or dragged out, while details and actions contradicted each other. A few were explained away near the end, but again, it was too late and left me in the worst case a reader can find herself: disbelief. I questioned the “facts” and the main characters, their motives and true feelings, and if I should even like them because of it. 

Still, I recognize that my expectations were high and I’m a bit of a nit-picker; I can’t not twitch at inconsistencies, plot holes, and mere shock value devices. 

Seven Years may not have reached my expectations, but I was intrigued by the overall premise. I also love the secondary characters enough to be interested in the second installment of the series—and I do believe Paranormal Romance fans of shifter alpha males will enjoy it. If other reviews are any indication, many have. 

eARC provided by the author via Enchantress of Books Blog Tours.
Thank you!

A peek inside Seven Years
The closer I snuggled up to Austin, the more I craved that cozy familiarity—more than I would have cared to admit. I’d missed him. How do you not miss someone who was a huge chunk of your childhood and young-adult life who disappeared off the face of the earth? Almost every memory I had from kindergarten to age twenty involved Austin Cole.The next thing I knew, my cheek rested on his bicep and I tucked my body against his like a puzzle piece.Just when I closed my heavy eyelids, he groaned.Oh God, please don’t let him wake up now.It was deep and guttural, and he shifted on his right side, facing me.“You okay?” he murmured.I didn’t reply. I played dead and pretended I was asleep. It seemed like a good plan to avoid the embarrassment of explaining why I was latched on to him like a man-sucking leech.A rough, warm hand cupped my cheek and I felt him scoot down a little. Maybe he thought I had fallen asleep, because his thumb brushed over my right eyelid softly.Five times. I counted.When his lips lightly touched mine, my brain just shut down. It was a soft, almost nonexistent kiss, but I felt it all the way down to my toes. Then it zinged back up to my hips and damn if I didn’t moan.Now we were both aware I wasn’t asleep and he was kissing me. But it didn’t stop. His kiss pressed a little bit harder and tingles roared through my body, and my breath was shaky and erratic.When his tongue touched my lip, I quickly opened my mouth and kissed him back.Hard.Deep.Kissed him like I’d fantasized about doing for the last seven years.

Dannika Dark

Her Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodreadsDannika Dark was born on a military base in the U.S. and traveled the world before she was 9. Now she is rooted in the south but her head is planted firmly in the clouds. When she is not writing, she enjoys a great sci-fi or fantasy movie, heaps of chocolate, reading, and unleashing her dark side. Danika loves reading paranormal romance, urban fantasy, fiction, and anything that grabs her attention.

The MAGERI SERIES is an urban fantasy series which follows the journey of Zoe Merrick’s claim to immortality and her own identity. While this new world of Breed holds more dangers, it also holds more possibilities. 

The SEVEN SERIES is a paranormal romance that will consist of seven books revolving around the life of the Weston Pack. It is a break from how traditional Shifter stories are told, but from an angle that depicts these paranormal men in a realistic way. Can love conquer all?

★ One (1) autographed paperback of Seven Years , key necklace, and five (5) autographed bookmarks
★ One (1) autographed paperback of Seven Years and five (5) autographed bookmarks
★ One (1) Dannika Dark ebook (winner’s choice) and five (5) autographed bookmarks
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