"Perfect for fans of the paranormal who enjoyed a Gothic setting"

All her life, Percy Parker has been having strange dreams. Aside from which, she can also see and talk to ghosts, something which other people aren't able to do. As a result, she has led a lonely life, shunned by others due to her odd appearance. However, at Athens Academy, she seems to find a kindred soul in Professor Alexi Rychmann, who tutors her in mathematics.

Alexi finds himself attracted to his student, yet he resists, because all his life he has been waiting for a particular woman whom he believes is his destiny. But more than that, the very fate of the world hangs upon the balance, for should he choose the wrong woman, he would have doomed every human being to destruction.

The author weaves a fantastic tale that combines myth, religion and the paranormal. Alexi and his five friends serve as The Guard, defending humans from evil spirits, all the while awaiting the coming of the seventh, she who is Prophesied to come. Their backgrounds lay shrouded in myth, and there is much that the story hinted at but didn't reveal.

Set in Victorian England, the writing style and the language used lends an authenticism to the story, transporting the reader back to a time in history when courageous souls sacrificed themselves to make the world a better place for humans.

Readers will like Alexi Rychman, who is devoted and constant, his whole being consumed by the goddess he'd seen in his youth. He has kept himself pure for the day when he will meet his lady, believing wholeheartedly that she is his destiny, and really, what could be more romantic than that?

Percy Parker, on the other hand, is an orphan, a sheltered girl who is raised in the convent and is aware of how different she is from other people. She is resilient and stoic in this regard, and bravely faces the lonely future she believes is in store for her. When she meets Alexi, she becomes a woman in the throes of her first infatuation and she couldn't believe that the professor she is attracted to might--just might--feel the same way about her.

However, she is young (being eighteen) and sheltered at the convent, which could account for some of her gauche yet endearing reactions and conversations. In that light, I feel that she and Alexi are somehow mismatched, because Alexi is so much older than her, not just in terms of their physical age, but more so in their experiences of the world. But perhaps in this sense, he could guide her in the things she is not yet aware of. I feel though that the way they could be equals is in terms of the power that lives in them, yet though Alexi is fully aware of his powers, Percy is not. So much of her is cloaked in mystery, even to herself.

Hence, there would be a sequel, in which maybe Percy would come into her real self and all mysteries revealed. I can't also help but remember that there is a letter that came with her to the Academy, a letter that should be opened when Percy is provided for, but till the end of the book, no further mention was made of it. I think too that the title is brilliant. Though it's long, it certainly describes the book perfectly. And where titles have lately become generic, this is a title that wouldn't allow the reader to associate it with any story but this.

Overall, I enjoyed the story, especially Alexi's and Percy's romance, which is rather poignant and sweet. Gripping and with an on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, I found myself scrolling down (I read the ebook) as fast as I could to see what's going to happen next, especially toward the end of the book. This book is perfect for fans of the paranormal who enjoy a Gothic setting.

Reviewed by Silver Winters
Posted August 30, 2009


What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows, of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent-and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death...

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Read an Excerpt


The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker
(Strangely Beautiful: Book 1)
by Leanna Renee Hieber

Dorchester (Leisure Books)
August 1, 2009
Available: August 20, 2009
ISBN #0843962968
EAN #9780843962963
324 pages
Add to Shopping List
Order from Amazon

Other Books by
Leanna Renee Hieber

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker
Dark Nest

EBook Isle Bookstore hosted by Fresh Fiction