Paranormal romance is one of my favorite genres. I'm in love with the magic and fantasy of it all. Connie L. Smith's latest book, Within the Essence, has all that and more. This young adult paranormal romance will keep you reading into the night! But don't take my word for it... see for yourself!
As the demons near, the Essences rise…
AJ had never been particularly athletic or coordinated, so waking up to realize she suddenly has super-human strength is a massive, mind-shaking shock. Finding that she’s gained a stalker overnight is another mark in the unusual category, and when she discovers she’s always had the essence of a werewolf in her blood, her world all but shifts beneath her.
Demons, she’s told, are looming in the world’s future, and the only hope humanity has of surviving their arrival is if she and teenagers like her surrender their humanity to dive into their mythical essences. Fairies, dragons, dwarves, mermaids… The remnants of seventeen different fantasy species must come to life to save the lives of everyone.
Someway, an army of supernatural teenagers must prepare to meet the demons escaping from their dimensional banishment, or everything ends. Can these teens succeed and save the world?
“My name.” He shrugged. “It’s Julius.”
“Well, that’s one question answered, at least,” she admitted after a humorless laugh. “But why are you following me?”
He breathed deeply like he would need the strength, and probably the patience, to see this conversation to its conclusion. “I'm a gatherer.”
She shook her head and held her hands out to her sides in a helpless gesture. “What's a gatherer?”
“AJ,” he started, drawing out her name as if unsure how to proceed. “Things are happening. All over. I know you've been affected.”
She’d purposely chosen the question to divert the attention from herself. He seemed to notice since he gave a light shake of his head.
“What could be the beginning of the end,” he told her. “I wish I could offer a more pleasant explanation, but you need to be aware of what's at stake here.”
“And what is at stake?”
“The world as we know it. Evil has returned, and if not dealt with, it’ll take over.”
“Evil’s returned?” she parroted in a dubious tone and crossed her arms in front of her. “I wasn't aware it left. Ever heard of Hitler? Attila the Hun? Mint Oreos?”
“Evil men,” he nodded in acquiesce, “and evil… snack food.” He looked at her curiously, forehead scrunched, then shrugged another time. “But it's still human. Or, food. I'm talking major evil, above and beyond anything a human could achieve.”
“What's gonna achieve it then? Aliens?”
He stared directly into her eyes, a fierce resolve unlike anything she'd experienced from him lighting his features. “Demons.”
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