Blog Tour... The Becoming Series by Jess Raven and Paula Black

Guest Post - TOPIC:  Author's Choice

Daydreaming of Mr. Darcy

A massive thank you to K&T Book Reviews for being a part of our Becoming Bad blog tour and giving us a guest spot.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Pride and Prejudice ranks among the most romantic books of all time. With a swoon-worthy, dashing hero and a feisty heroine, Austen’s classic is also one of our all-time favourite reads. While taking a break between writing the Becoming series, lately Jess and I have found ourselves on a bit of a Pride and Prejudice kick, re-watching all the more recent adaptations and imitations, and dutifully drooling over Mr. Darcy in all his glorious incarnations. (We know you do it too. Go on, tell us your favourite quote, actor, adaptation or scene.)

But hang on, you say. Raven and Black write about sex and violence, man-beasts, ancient myths and curses. Pride and Prejudice is all virgins and rakes and polite society.

Superficially, the Becoming novels would seem very far removed from Pride and Prejudice. (Lady Catherine DeBourgh would no doubt be spinning in her magnificently appointed mausoleum of a grave to hear the two stories spoken of within the same breath.) But at their heart, the Becoming novels are a romance, and every writer must be influenced, however subtly, by the great novels that inspired them to first put pen to paper.

So we got to wondering, what are some of the romantic elements in Pride and Prejudice that make butterflies breed in your tummy and your heart do somersaults? What are a few core lessons that aspiring romance writers might take from this classic?

First up, we applaud the fact that there is no instantaneous love between this pair. They really have to work hard to get to their happily ever after. Nothing kills the romantic suspense quicker than the ‘fated soul-mates at first sight’ scenario (in our opinion at least). Is there an instant attraction between Darcy and Elizabeth? One might argue yes, there is, but strongly denied and without any affection. That unresolved sexual tension is the driver that rubs up the friction between these two right until the climactic end.

And witty, intelligent banter?

That’s the very best kind of verbal foreplay. Darcy and Elizabeth are both masters of the oral arts. Every interaction lubricates that initial spark of attraction. Their verbal battles gradually wear chinks in their carefully arranged armour until they ultimately achieve penetration. All this, with barely a brush of hands.

How about some shades of grey?

No, not that book, (though many we know entertain fantasies of Mr. Darcy wielding a riding crop *coughs*), but the portrayal of believable characters who are at once flawed and charming. The lines between good and evil remain blurred until put to the test, when actions reveal the true heart of the man. Real people aren’t all good or all bad, and nor are the best-written characters in books.

No one-trick pony-rides.

It’s all very well to be panty-melting gorgeous, brood like a thundercloud and ride harder than a cowboy at a rodeo, but all those ripped muscles and arrogant posturing amount to nothing unless they are tempered by compassion and loyalty and tenderness. When backs are to the wall, those are qualities our taciturn Mr. Darcy has in spades. Ultimately, he seduces us with his big heart, not his hard body.

And let’s not forget the breeches.

Ah yes.*sighs* So agreeably engaged, we admit we have also been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of breeches on the fine rear of a man can bestow. We love when a hero has those very unique selling points that make him stand out from the crowd.

These are just a few of the important ingredients that we believe make up the recipe for a deliciously satisfying read, be it classical literature or our own genre of paranormal romance.

What other elements do you think should go into the pot?

If you wanted to check out our take on romance, the first two books in our Becoming series, Becoming Red and Becoming Bad, are out now from Amazon and Smashwords.


The writing duo of Jess and Paula met online through their mutual love of paranormal and urban fantasy romance. They sparked creatively and have been writing together for the past three years. Paula lives in Dublin, Ireland with her family. She set aside a career in medicine to raise her three children. Jess lives in Manchester, England with her mother and dog, Simi. When she isn’t writing up worlds with Paula, she’s a wedding planner for a large retail store.

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Click HERE for K's review of book ONE in this series...  Becoming Red!! 

Becoming Red by Jess Raven

Blurb for Becoming Red (The Becoming #1)
Ash DeMorgan, graduate, orphan, ice maiden, has long since consigned the fairytale nightmares of a troubled childhood to the realm of fantastical childish imagination.

Now, lured back to Dublin, the scene of her tragic past, Ash encounters a city pulsing under the dangerous sexual influence of a new street drug the locals call Rave. Nothing is as it seems. Ash is about to discover that her nightmares are real, ancient Irish myths are larger than life and roaming the streets of the medieval city, and she has become the prey in their erotic hunt. A step back into her past is about to become a high adrenaline race for survival.

Connal Savage, outcast, assassin, and living, breathing hunk of ancient mythology, has lived a thousand years servicing a debt of revenge. Dead inside. Until he encounters his boss’s granddaughter, an infuriating woman who threatens to lead him to hell with all his good intentions, who manages to chip away at the hard encrusted defences of a lifetime spent at war and burrow herself deep into a part of him that hasn’t breathed for centuries. He is about to discover that when it comes down to the wire, when you’re bargaining with the Grim Reaper for the life of the one you love, you will do anything...

Now for Book Two!  Becoming Bad!! 

Becoming Bad (The Becoming, #2)

Blurb for Becoming Bad (The Becoming #2)

How do you fight the monster when it is inside of you?

The black lake beneath Dublin’s medieval city holds a secret. Imprisoned there for millennia, an ancient race of demi-gods have found a way to the surface and are preying on humans to feed their sexual appetites. Hunted to near-extinction, these half-men, half-beasts have been without a single female to breed a new generation. Until now.

All her life, Ashling DeMorgan feared her dreams. She kept her head buried in ancient mythology, because the real world seemed so much scarier. On returning to Dublin to settle her invalid grandmother’s affairs, Ash discovered a city plagued by the same wolf-like creatures that killed her mother. Their bite is like sexual heroin and Ash has been bitten. Now she is trapped in a waking nightmare, with the monster who ordered the death of the only man she’s ever loved. Made to doubt if she ever really knew the assassin-turned-guardian who stole her heart and gave his life for hers, Ash finds herself betrayed by her own changing body.

In a dangerous world of suspicion and divided loyalties, Ash must come to terms with what she is becoming. Worse still, her infuriatingly arrogant captor may just prove to be her most unlikely ally in what will become a life and death race for survival.

MacTire, king of a once formidable race, has lived his life in the shadow of a half-brother who took everything from him. Connal Savage seduced his mate and engineered a genocide that all but exterminated their species. Finally, he has a chance at retribution. Connal’s woman is his for the taking. But are the bonds of brotherhood so easily severed and are the ghosts of the past ever truly dead and buried, or will they come back to haunt him?


K's Review of Becoming Bad
5  Shiny Red Stars*****
Book one of this series got off to a bit of a shaky start for me... but, I stuck with it and ended up loving it by the end. And, based on how book one ended I went into this book feeling a little anxious. I was so worried about Ashling... but, what a silly gal I was to worry. Ashling brought a little something with her after she changed into a she-wolf... fangs, claws and FEAR. Yep, these boys got a little more than they bargained for... a big step away from the submissive she-wolf they wanted her to be. I love a strong female character and she definitely fit the bill.
The story is far from predictable... it kept me on the edge of my seat and kept me guessing. I found myself rooting for both the King and Connel because as we learn more about both of them we realize things are not always as they seem. The love that they share for Little Red ends up being the one thing that just might save them both or kill them! I mean that literally...
I thought this was really well written. I could really feel the inner conflict that Little Red was experiencing as she went through the motions of coping with her newborn instincts. She was constantly at battle with her mind and body and heart.
There are some really great supporting characters in this book... my favorite was Knutr. (I have no idea how you pronounce this!) He was crazy... or not... I don't know... but, he did bring a few laughs here and there.
This was a very satisfying read... it was a sensual, erotic, exciting, nail biting paranormal thriller! Based on the ending there is likely more to come... I do hope so... I am a fan! 

 Find us on AMAZON...  Becoming Red (Book One)...  Becoming Bad (Book Two)

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