Author: J.A. Redmerski
Release date: March 3, 2014
Age group: Adult
Genre: Romantic Suspense
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Fredrik Gustavsson never considered the possibility of love, or that anyone could ever understand or accept his dark and bloody lifestyle—until he met Seraphina, a woman as vicious and blood-thirsty as Fredrik himself. They spent two short but unforgettable years together, full of lust and killing and the darkest kind of love that two people can share.
And then Seraphina was gone.
It’s been six years since Fredrik’s lover and sadistic partner in crime turned his world upside-down. Seraphina went into hiding and has eluded him ever since. Now, he’s getting closer to finding her, and an innocent woman named Cassia is the key to drawing Seraphina from the shadows. But Cassia—after sustaining injuries from a fire that Seraphina ignited—suffers from amnesia and can’t give Fredrik the information he desperately seeks. Having no other choice, Fredrik has been keeping Cassia locked in his basement as he not only tries to get her to recall her past—because she and Seraphina share it—but also to protect her from Seraphina, who clearly wants her dead.
But Cassia is a light in the darkness that Fredrik never believed existed. After a year subjected to her kindness and compassion, he finds himself struggling with his love for Seraphina, and his growing feelings for Cassia—because he knows that to love one, the other must die.
Will light win out over darkness, or will something more powerful than either further destroy an already tortured soul?
The very last two books I read in 2013 were Killing Sarai and Reviving Izabel. I’ve been a fan of J.A. Redmerski since the moment I read The Edge of Never. I didn’t know what to expect from this new series of hers but I knew that I would read it, regardless, because I’m a huge fan. KS and RI were so different and unlike anything I had ever read. I normally do... you know, contemporary romances, anything with romance, a love story. I was giving Redmerski the benefit of the doubt and she so seriously did not disappoint. Granted, it wasn’t a full-fledge love story but it was something else that captivated me entirely.
When I finished book two, I was jonesing for book three so bad. I was mesmerized by this world that Redmerski created that I wanted no air from it; I wanted to dive back in as soon as I could. I was finally able to get around to reading the third book, The Swan & the Jackal, and it had me so truly and completely mind-fucked that I was numb to my feelings. It was intense and shocking and dark and twisted and just... I wasn’t expecting it to be like that which is probably why I enjoyed it so much yet at the same time, not so much. I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but it took such a darker turn than what I prepared myself for. It’s weird. How do you feel about a book that disturbed you and creeped you out but was so flawlessly delivered?
For majority of the book, I was kind of outta the loop. I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on or why certain things were happening because the story threw me that far. For example, there were numerous times when Fredrik had tears in his eyes and for the life of me, I couldn’t comprehend it. I kept thinking, “Why is he feeling this pain?” I was so confused outta my mind. I hate spoilers, despise ‘em, but it had gotten to the point where I was willing to ask anyone who had previously read the book to explain everything to me. It nearly hindered my reading. But... yes, there’s a but... remember when I said it was twisted? This is where Redmerski’s genius comes through like a shining beacon. When everything started clicking into place and the puzzle pieces came together, it nearly knocked the wind outta me. I was gasping and in a state of disbelief and I was shocked to the ultimate max.
Towards the end, I felt like I was being suspended in midair as everything unraveled. I went from feeling angry and sickened to nothing but all encompassing pain and sadness. At the very end, I felt such an incredibly heavy weight upon my heart; I couldn’t breathe. I have to give Redmerski a standing ovation because truly, The Swan & the Jackal is a wicked and beautiful and haunting tale that you cannot forget.
I lied. The Swan & the Jackal is unlike anything I have ever, ever read.
Note: I feel that for this book you can explain it and talk about it as much as you want but unless you read it for yourself, you won’t truly understand the impact of the wreckage it leaves on your feelings.