With her boyfriend spending all of his time with his once-estranged uncle, 17-year-old Katy Ainsworth flees to Paris for cooking school and an adventure of her own. Little does she know that a summer abroad will nearly cost her her life.
Cochran (Legacy, 2011) cleverly interweaves Katy’s first-person, present-day narrative with flashbacks revealed through the pages of an ancient book to bring readers along for an exciting, sexy and sometimes-heartbreaking ride as Katy struggles to uncover the secrets of the mysterious women of the Abbey of Lost Souls. The stakes rise even higher when Peter turns up at the abbey, and Katy becomes increasingly aware that there is more to the remarkably beautiful, though shockingly shallow, women who reside there. Unfortunately, Katy and Peter’s interactions are so few and far between it’s difficult to root for them when Peter seemingly falls under the women’s spell. And when the sultry Belmondo makes a play for Katy, readers will want to shout “Peter who?” That said, Katy’s relationship with the mysterious hermit Azrael is as charming as it is critical to the story, and the passages from the ancient book Katy “borrows” from him are rich and haunting.
Though not perfect, this is a layered and well-told story with an unlikely and endearing heroine. (Paranormal romance. 13 & up)