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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review: Dark and Stormy Knight (The Knights of Avalon, #2) by Nina Mason + giveaway

Dark and Stormy Knight (The Knights of Avalon, #2)
by Nina Mason
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/Erotica
January 5, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Heat level: Very steamy with light BDSM
She’ll risk everything for their love—even her life.

Aspiring screenwriter Gwyn Morland is ready for her big break. That means securing the film rights to elusive author Lady Ruthven’s acclaimed novel—which means traveling to Scotland. It’s a trip timid Gwyn isn’t prepared for, and her fears seem justified when her tour bus careens over a cliff outside of Castle Glenarvon. But the plot thickens when Gwyn is rescued from the brink of death by a handsome and mysterious stranger…

Leith MacQuill is not only the writer behind Lady Ruthven’s novel, but a shape-shifting faery knight bearing a tragic curse: the woman he gives his heart to will die. Saving Gwyn proves to be a dangerous choice when he finds himself falling for her the longer she stays in the castle. Not even his usual BDSM role-playing games are enough to thwart the intense desire they feel for each other. But to stay together, Gwyn and Leith must embark on a dangerous mission into Avalon, the realm of the faeries. Will their love be strong enough to conquer the curse? Or will Gwyn’s new life be stolen from her before it’s even begun?

Dark and Stormy Knight is the ultimate steamy follow up to Nina Mason’s Starry Knight. Both are installments in Mason’s Knights of Avalon series, books chronicling the real world lives of ‘reformed’ knights of Avalon.  Much like its predecessor, Dark and Stormy Knight is a blend of literary forms, combining historical fiction, mythology, the quest model, erotica, and even a smattering of comic relief. While the two books complement one another, book two could certainly be read as a standalone tale.

Dark and stormy Leith MacQuill is delivered from certain death on the battlefields of Scotland only to suffer humiliating atrocities at the hands of faery queen of Avalon Morgan LeFay. Morgan’s knights (humans turned faery, like Leith) are granted power and longevity, but are forever beholden to Avalon. In a rare turn of events, Leith is granted leave from Avalon, faery abilities intact. The catch, however, is a spiteful curse Morgan places on Leith forbidding him to fall in love. Should Leith dare fall in the love, the death of his lover is forfeit. And so our hero pines away in his Scottish castle longing for a lass to love.  Enter Gwyneth Morland, another lost soul looking for love. Gwynn finds herself in Scotland, screenplay in hand, set to secure the film rights to Knight of Cups, a book authored by the elusive Lady Leigh Ruthven. Tragedy strikes, and quickly Leith becomes Gwyn’s knight in tarnished armour.

This book could really be split in two. The first part is fairly erotic and insanely riveting. Leith is an impossible romantic, but I loved it. Yes I loved it. The romance unfolds quickly and passionately, but soon the story transitions into a quest. If Gwyn and Leith are going to have their happily ever after, the curse must be broken. And so the second part of the book is about their individual journeys, against all odds, to break the curse.

It’s hard to say which part of the story is more enjoyable, as they are quite different. The latter portion of the book is action-packed and suspenseful, while the first half is deliciously dripping with erotic tension and subsequent release. Really, I think Nina Mason is smart. She has ensured a fairly wide audience for her Knights of Avalon series by appealing to a varied reading audience. With Dark and Stormy Knight, there’s really something for everyone. This is a series I intend to follow.

Five Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

Here's a little bit about The Knights of Avalon series in Nina's own words:
The Knights of Avalon, the four-part erotic PNR/UF series, was born of a simple idea: to write a series incorporating different forms of divination. From that kernel grew the far more complex world of the series. The “knights” of Avalon, the enchanted otherworld isle featured in Arthurian and Celtic legend, were Scottish noblemen who, after falling in battle, were taken by the fairies to serve as breeding drones to their queen. Each of the four books in the series tells the story of a particular knight and the heroine whose love saves him from his unhappy existence.

Each knight in the series grapples with a different relationship with Morgan Le Fay, the cruel and selfish queen of Avalon. Callum Lyon, the hero of STARRY KNIGHT (book one), is free of Morgan’s influence, having escaped enslavement by faking his own death. Leith MacQuill, the hero of DARK AND STORMY KNIGHT (book two), was expelled from Avalon after the queen discovered his affair with one of her scouts. In book three, KNIGHT OF ENCHANTMENT, Axel Lochlann, a Scottish runemaster of Viking descent, guards the portal between Hitherworld (our realm) and Thitherworld (the otherworldly realm). The fourth knight, Finn MacKnight, doesn’t know what he is or that he’s destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy telling of the queen’s overthrow by a “natural-born” drone. Because of this prophecy, Morgan kills all the male children she bears and punishes the knights who father them

Avalonian knights are vampire-like, but not vampires per se. Members of the Unseelie Fae, they drink blood and can assume the form of any creature they choose, but generally take the form of a particular animal to hunt. Callum’s preferred form is a lion, Leith’s is a Kellas Cat (a cross between a wild cat and a domestic cat found only in Scotland), Axel’s is a gyrfalcon, and Finn’s will be a jaguar.

About the author:
Nina Mason is a hopeful romantic with strong affinities for history, mythology, and the metaphysical. She strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. When not writing, Nina works as a communications consultant, doll maker, and home stager. Born and raised in Southern California, she now lives in Woodstock, Georgia, with her husband, teenage daughter, two rescue cats, and a Westie named Robert.

In addition to Dark and Stormy Knight, she is the author of the following books: Starry Knight (Knights of Avalon #1), Devil in Duke's Clothing (Royal Pains #1), The Duke's Bedeviled Bride (Royal Pains #2), The Devil's Masquerade (Royal Pains #3), The Queen of Swords, and The Tin Man.


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Check out Starry Knight, Knights of Avalon #1


  1. Great review and thanks for the giveaway! By the way, the facebook link doesn't work... but I found her facebook author page in a quick search :-)

    1. it just worked for me... I'll have to wait and see if anyone else has trouble...thanks for the heads up!

  2. I couldn't get the mailing list signup to work either... LOL! I found it, though, thru the website link which worked fine along with the twitter one. Maybe my computer is just having a bad day... Thanks for checking!

    1. Oh, dear. I hope the link isn't wrong. This is the right link to sign-up for my newsletter. Thanks for making the extra effort to look it up:

      I'd be happy to gift you a copy of STARRY KNIGHT, the first book in my Knights of Avalon series for your trouble. If you're interested, you can email me your email address at

  3. Thank you so much for featuring Dark and Stormy Knight on your blog today. I'm so glad your reviewer liked the book. Would it be too much to ask for her to also post her review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads? I would appreciate it immensely.

  4. Nice review Sharon! I am not sure this is for me though, with the BDSM elements in it. Avalon belongs in my head to the Lady of the Lake, and she is not Fae.