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My Familiar Stranger

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Author: Victoria Danann

Published: April 21st 2012 by 7th House (first published April 19th 2012)

Format: Kindle Edition , 472 pages

Isbn: null

Language: English


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Winner BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES the past four years in a row! - Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild. New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Victoria Danann, introduces the epic saga that reset the gold standard for paranormal romance. I accidentally ended up in this dimension. I had nothing. I knew no one. I barely survived the journey, but landed Winner BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES the past four years in a row! - Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild. New York Times and USA Today bestseller, Victoria Danann, introduces the epic saga that reset the gold standard for paranormal romance. I accidentally ended up in this dimension. I had nothing. I knew no one. I barely survived the journey, but landed in the best possible place; an ancient society of vampire hunters with the medical means to put me back together. I can't go home, but I can use the extra-abilities I gained from slipping dimensions to work for Black Swan and try to keep my friends alive. When it comes to love, I have options. The knight who saved my life is strength and honor personified. The sexy elf who thinks I'm his mate. And an incredibly attractive six-hundred-year-old vampire. My name is Elora Laiken. This is my story.

30 review for My Familiar Stranger

  1. 5 out of 5

    Victoria Danann

    I wrote it. And like it a lot.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Shurrn

    Rarely can a novel hook me so early. Interdimensional travel, Secret Government Agencies, Paranormal Studies, Black-Ops Style Vampire Hunters, and a Blend of Action and Romance. If you're reading reviews on GoodReads because you saw this book is FREE on Amazon & iBooks, and you thought you'd see what other people were saying before you made your decision... Let me stop you there... Read it. The whole series is freaking fantastic! Victoria Danann set up a complex character system with ease, centered Rarely can a novel hook me so early. Interdimensional travel, Secret Government Agencies, Paranormal Studies, Black-Ops Style Vampire Hunters, and a Blend of Action and Romance. If you're reading reviews on GoodReads because you saw this book is FREE on Amazon & iBooks, and you thought you'd see what other people were saying before you made your decision... Let me stop you there... Read it. The whole series is freaking fantastic! Victoria Danann set up a complex character system with ease, centered around one fierce female lead. Each character was well crafted, and the Author managed to flip POVs seamlessly - sometimes with only a change in paragraph... I've recommended the book to countless friends already. I eagerly await the continuance of this series; I'm invested in the characters and the strange and exciting organization that is The Order of the Black Swan. Some of My Favorite Moments: (view spoiler)[ She quickly realized that the tunnel Monq had pushed her though might as well have been Alice's rabbit hole. She was in a world similar to the one she had left, but with differences that were inconsistent, surprisingly so... She was a stranger in a strange-ish land. He caught her by the arm. “Elora, are you very, very sure about this?” Starting deep in her throat he heard the beginnings of an ugly noise that sounded like chicken clucking. He scowled. “Bawk bawks?” Unbelievable. He glanced away like he was trying to gather patience. “Are you serious?” Elora’s bawk, bawk, bawks were growing in volume and intensity. “I give you a first rate education in pop culture and then you use it against me?” Bawk bawks getting louder. And she was good at it, too. There was an art to bawk bawk delivery. “Oh for... Fine. Waitin’ here.” (hide spoiler)] My Other Reviews in the Knights of the Black Swan series: (I will update links as they become available) 1. My Familiar Stranger - My Review 2. The Witch's Dream - My Review 3. A Summoner's Tale - My Review 4. Moonlight - My Review 5. Gathering Storm - My Review 6. A Tale of Two Kingdoms - My Review 7. Z Haromny.Com - Anxiously Awaiting Publication 8. Solomon's Sieve - Anxiously Awaiting Publication 9. The Beast Who Loved Me - Anxiously Awaiting Publication

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tracey Murphy

    I have to say that I did not know what to expect in this book, but am very glad I tried it. The story is about a young woman that is pushed into an portal that transports her (not gently) into a parallel earth. I was completely caught up in the story and can't wait to see what happens to our favorite people in the next books. Elora finds out that because she is not from this dimension, it has many benefits to her physically (makes her stronger, faster than the other people there). She starts to I have to say that I did not know what to expect in this book, but am very glad I tried it. The story is about a young woman that is pushed into an portal that transports her (not gently) into a parallel earth. I was completely caught up in the story and can't wait to see what happens to our favorite people in the next books. Elora finds out that because she is not from this dimension, it has many benefits to her physically (makes her stronger, faster than the other people there). She starts to work for a secret organization that hunts vampires to keep the rest of the population safe. The relationships in this book make the book great. I hate love triangles, but I was sympathetic to all three involved. I rarely change from my first choice in a love triangle and usually get mad if it doesn't work out the way I wanted it to, but I changed my mind during the book more than once and was happy with the resolution. I really hate love triangles that are spread across multiple books even more than having a love triangle in the first place. Elora was a kick ass heroine but sweet. She is sweet and has honor but she could be stubborn and demanding (as any normal woman can). "Ram and Storm were both a little stunned having never seen Elora on a rip. Being short on actual relationship experience, neither of them understood that every woman has a Medusa side." Kay is a great character and I would love to see more of him...he keeps all them from spinning out of control more than once and he is the berserker of the group. Elora was the focus of this book, but I grew to love all of the secondary characters and enjoyed watching their interaction and want to see more of them in the next book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I started out reading this book thinking that it was one of the strangest books I had ever read. Turned out to be one of the BEST books I have ever read! Victoria puts things together in her own way and they come back through and mesh together unlike anything I have ever seen. You don't see things coming the way you do in some books, up until the very end she keeps you on your toes! I had the worst book hangover after reading this as well. I was so beyond sad that it was over! I knew she had mor I started out reading this book thinking that it was one of the strangest books I had ever read. Turned out to be one of the BEST books I have ever read! Victoria puts things together in her own way and they come back through and mesh together unlike anything I have ever seen. You don't see things coming the way you do in some books, up until the very end she keeps you on your toes! I had the worst book hangover after reading this as well. I was so beyond sad that it was over! I knew she had more books in the series, but, when has an author ever made a book better than the first? Once again, Victoria proved me wrong. They all are fantastic, some could even be MORE fantastic than this one, but you will have to read them to find out. Purchase this book, sit down and start one hell of an adventure!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kym Grosso

    I loved the ideas within this book and the new world of rules of the Order of the Black Swan, a vampire fighting secret organization. Elora, the heroine, falls into a new world via a time travel/parallel universe device; she's pushed from her world by a family friend and mentor as her family's home is attacked in a revolution. Sir Storm, a knight within the Order of the Black Swan, and his mates, find her; she's a bloody, beaten mess. While his friends want to kill the stranger, Sir Storm insists I loved the ideas within this book and the new world of rules of the Order of the Black Swan, a vampire fighting secret organization. Elora, the heroine, falls into a new world via a time travel/parallel universe device; she's pushed from her world by a family friend and mentor as her family's home is attacked in a revolution. Sir Storm, a knight within the Order of the Black Swan, and his mates, find her; she's a bloody, beaten mess. While his friends want to kill the stranger, Sir Storm insists on saving her and brings her back to the compound's infirmary. Soon after, Elora recovers and realizes that she has new found powers and is able to fight as well. She begins friendships and attraction with the three knights, Sir Storm, Ram and Kay. Both Storm and Ram have strong feelings for Elora, but only Ram recognizes her as his mate, as he is an elf. I have to say that I really wanted Elora to end up with one of the particular men, and she didn't at the end. But that is the wonderful, heart pulling nature of a great book. We readers don't always get what we want but what we get what is best, a terrific story. I can't wait to read the next book in the series which I understand is slated for fall. Even though this book is only listed for 99 cents, it is worth much more. A terrific, must read for paranormal romance lovers!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ivie dan Glokta

    I have seen so many good reviews for this novel I've decided to give it a try. The blurb sounded promising, and as I've read on i liked it. A lot... The first 50% of the book was really well detailed and i found myself immersed in a new life of a girl who found herself in a new world. She seemed nice and i was sympathetic to her difficulties. But then.... As the story progressed i realized that she could do no wrong. She gets warned for her own safety NOT to do a certain thing. She does it anyway a I have seen so many good reviews for this novel I've decided to give it a try. The blurb sounded promising, and as I've read on i liked it. A lot... The first 50% of the book was really well detailed and i found myself immersed in a new life of a girl who found herself in a new world. She seemed nice and i was sympathetic to her difficulties. But then.... As the story progressed i realized that she could do no wrong. She gets warned for her own safety NOT to do a certain thing. She does it anyway and offers an explanation as cool as you please. It's logical, so ok i could understand it...first time.....but then it happens the second and the third, and it becomes annoying after a while. She is too nice, too perfect, too pretty, too feminine. There isn't a thing that she isn't capable of doing and it is all flawless. Second thing that annoyed me to no end was the fact that she killed a vampire with a toothpick!!! A GODAMN TOOTHPICK WITCH SHE THREW LIKE A STAKE!!!! Now i followed the story and yes, i understand what the author wanted us to believe with the molecular density and whatnot, but seriously???? Even if she could throw a pick-up truck without batting an eyelash, there is no way she could toothpick a vamp to death. Third and the most important....... She gets fed aphrodisiac in a bar, she gets hot and heavy and winds up shagging a guy all night long.... I say good for her, but not....why??? Well... She was supposed to have had sex only one time in her life. A less then one minute cherry poppin' nookie. So she is inexperienced, but knows how sex feels like. So she goes for an all nighter with a well endowed sex god and she wakes up not remembering anything......and she can't connect the dots.....*sigh* I dunno your definition of aphrodisiac but it sure as hell isn't spanish fly on steroids plus a date rape drug. To sum it up..This was a fabulous book, if only the main female lead died at the beginning, it would have been a 5 star review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Bleumoon

    I love the characters they were believable and stayed true through the book. I thought the story line was very interesting and creative. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the end seemed rushed. The rest of the book was very detailed and seemed to cover everyone's point of view, once you hit 85% mark it races to the end. All that said I can not wait for October for the next book in the series and I hope I don't have too long of a wait after that for the 3rd. I gave this book 5 stars b I love the characters they were believable and stayed true through the book. I thought the story line was very interesting and creative. The only thing I didn't like about the book was the end seemed rushed. The rest of the book was very detailed and seemed to cover everyone's point of view, once you hit 85% mark it races to the end. All that said I can not wait for October for the next book in the series and I hope I don't have too long of a wait after that for the 3rd. I gave this book 5 stars because even with the rushed feel of the ending I felt this book was very well written. Victoria Danann has a new fan!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Pam James

    This book was so good I could not put it down. I love all the dimensions it takes you to! If you are into paranormal romance you definitely need to get this book & the squeal. I am a forever fan now!!! So now I have read this book 2 times. It is even better the second time around. I fell for Storm the 1st time. The second Time I found Rammel Hawking totally charming!!!Lets not forget about Istvan Baka what a sexy Vampire!!! Please if you have not read this Yet get your free copy NOW!!! It is tot This book was so good I could not put it down. I love all the dimensions it takes you to! If you are into paranormal romance you definitely need to get this book & the squeal. I am a forever fan now!!! So now I have read this book 2 times. It is even better the second time around. I fell for Storm the 1st time. The second Time I found Rammel Hawking totally charming!!!Lets not forget about Istvan Baka what a sexy Vampire!!! Please if you have not read this Yet get your free copy NOW!!! It is totally Riveting!!!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A wonderful introduction to a great new series! Fantasy, romance, strong heroes and heroines, what more could you want?

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    A fresh look at the paranormal, vampires, romance and strong male and female characters. Good, solid characters and their personal growth as life happens and challenges are met.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Merissa (Archaeolibrarian)

    "The plural of vampire is vampire." Right then, onto the Paranormal bit first - there is vampire involved but this in no way is the only part of the story. In fact, they are not mentioned much at the beginning and I was a bit confused why I was reading about them when the story didn't seem to involve them. There is a vampire who has regained his human consciousness (think Angel from Buffy) and now is working with the secret Order of the Black Swan to help neutralise the vampire threat. But this b "The plural of vampire is vampire." Right then, onto the Paranormal bit first - there is vampire involved but this in no way is the only part of the story. In fact, they are not mentioned much at the beginning and I was a bit confused why I was reading about them when the story didn't seem to involve them. There is a vampire who has regained his human consciousness (think Angel from Buffy) and now is working with the secret Order of the Black Swan to help neutralise the vampire threat. But this book is so much more than just that. It is a story of a woman, thrown from all she knows and in dire circumstances, to a world similar to ours but in other ways oh so different. It brings you into the story as she tries to figure out where she fits in this new life. The only family she has are the people who found her and trust me, if you're going to be lost then you want to be found by these guys! They are all Alpha males and brilliant. I have been laughing out loud during this book as well as falling in love with them bit by bit myself. Absolutely brilliant but if you'll excuse me .... I'm off to read The Witch's Dream (Book 2 of the Order of the Black Swan)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tifinie Henry

    Victoria Danann has created a magical story beginning with "My Familiar Stranger".There is a secret society, present day knights, berserker, vampires, possible alien and a true love story. With all of this Ms. Danann takes us on an intriguing journey that you will not want to end. But have no fear the story continues.....with "The Witch's Dream" "My Familiar Stranger" is a must read for all paranormal romance readers. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    This also reviews THE WITCH'S DREAM (Order of the Black Swan, #2) Original Post http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspo... These books are like crack for readers. I was hooked after reading the first book in this series and immediately began the second. To put it mildly I was swept off my feet. Everything from the world-building to the sex was excellent. The world is a very complex, quantum multi-verse, very intricate and well thought out. I don’t know if Victoria built everything up before hand or if This also reviews THE WITCH'S DREAM (Order of the Black Swan, #2) Original Post http://fangswandsandfairydust.blogspo... These books are like crack for readers. I was hooked after reading the first book in this series and immediately began the second. To put it mildly I was swept off my feet. Everything from the world-building to the sex was excellent. The world is a very complex, quantum multi-verse, very intricate and well thought out. I don’t know if Victoria built everything up before hand or if she manages to invent these intricacies as she writes. I suspect the former because so far I haven’t fallen over any continuity problems. The characters are really appealing as well, and unique. I am really pleased with the development of each person in the story. There is a purpose for each. Indeed, everything is highly detailed, location, character and species. For example Abraxas demons: “Abraxas are the spiritual expression of sex – which has two faces – the power of love and the joys of mutual sharing, or its opposite: domination, humiliation, sadism cruelty. “(The Witch’s Dream, page 6 pdf) Dannan’s voice is unique, in a good way. Her style is halfway between showing and telling, which gives it a modern edge, like a report with feeling. I liked the almost scientific impression I got as I read. And the relationships, from first glance to intimacy, the relationships sometimes develop quickly but they do develop. And the physical intimacy is sexy and erotic without vulgarity. Part of my job is also pointing out the areas I find challenging. The style shows an organized writer bringing us well-developed everything and lots of detail. Therein lies the rub: when is it too much detail. A good pruning would make the story stronger. Too much detail treats everything from the design of a nightclub to the intricacies of plot with the same level of importance. I appreciate that Victoria has put so much thought into each aspect of her world; it gives the work a strong foundation. But sometimes I don’t need to see what’s holding it together; if the continuity is good, the foundation of the story can work behind the scenes. I found myself mentally editing the stories. If the reader has to fill in the blanks on her own it makes it more engaging. It’s weird but as I read I realized that both too much and too little detail can make things feel like an outline. Editing would often make a huge difference in a book – whether it’s a mainstream publisher, a competent indy or someone paid to edit. I was reading an uncorrected proof so some of the typos and verb tense issues I found may well have been changed. This leads me to one other issue: obvious foreshadowing. Look! Look! …. Look! With so much detail, I am not allowed to feel the event that is about to happen' not allowed to see it unfold. There are too many clues; the storyline becomes obvious. Way before I get to the event it’s happened in my head and the next event is shaping itself. I liken this to a painting where the artist gets carried away and has a hard time deciding the painting is complete and that a particular area should be left unspecific. Did these minor "flaws" it make the book less readable, less exciting, less compelling? No, like I said, I began the second immediately after the first. And, keep in mind, I am not a big fantasy world person. Victoria manages to create worlds=on-worlds that are familiar enough that a glossary is not needed. While at first I wondered, which of the dimensions was the one I inhabit, I quickly stopped doing that and gave into the worlds she was creating. It is not often where I find flaws that are outweighed by the merits of a book, so this is an unusual instance for me. While some editing is called for I would still say these books are examples of superior writing and HIGHLY RECOMMEND them. I liked it so much I immediately picked up book three! I will review THE SUMMONER'S TALE and the upcoming MOONLIGHT: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, and on May 7, Victoria herself drops in with an exclusive playlist you won’t find elsewhere.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Nolan

    Loved this book. Brought me to a love of PNR. 1st of the Order of the Black Swan series which is awesome. This is the first book by this author but with the quality of the novel, you would not have known so...My Familiar Stranger is a well written paranormal romance. Characters are very well written, and the plot is innovative. I loved it, loved it, loved it. I must admit that PNR was not something I read previously but now truly excited about this series. After reading this book, I recommended Loved this book. Brought me to a love of PNR. 1st of the Order of the Black Swan series which is awesome. This is the first book by this author but with the quality of the novel, you would not have known so...My Familiar Stranger is a well written paranormal romance. Characters are very well written, and the plot is innovative. I loved it, loved it, loved it. I must admit that PNR was not something I read previously but now truly excited about this series. After reading this book, I recommended it to all my friends who also are echoing Victoria D's praises.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Michelle Stein

    I admit, that it took me a while to finally get to reading this, but after the first couple of chapters I couldnt believe I've waited so long! The book just kept surprising me!! I don't think I've read a book that kept me on the edge of my seat wondering "what's going to happen next?!" I fell in love with a whole new world and it's amazing characters. I love this Series! Victoria sure knows how to write a book that will get anyone easily hooked.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    You can find this review and more at Novel Notions. This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. First of all, the cover just was not appealing to me. It’s a chick’s face. There is wind coming from somewhere, blowing said chick’s hair across her face. She would probably benefit from a hair tie or a headband. And that’s all there is to the cover. Bland, right? Also, it sounded like a really weird blend of commonly used tropes, such as the combination of vampire hunters and inter-dime You can find this review and more at Novel Notions. This is not a book I would have ever picked up on my own. First of all, the cover just was not appealing to me. It’s a chick’s face. There is wind coming from somewhere, blowing said chick’s hair across her face. She would probably benefit from a hair tie or a headband. And that’s all there is to the cover. Bland, right? Also, it sounded like a really weird blend of commonly used tropes, such as the combination of vampire hunters and inter-dimensional travel. Furthermore, it involves one of my least favorite tropes: the dreaded love triangle, or in this case, a love square. So, if I was so opposed to various aspects of this book, why on earth did I pick it up? Because my mom told me to. She doesn’t normally do urban fantasy or paranormal romance, so the fact that she decided to even try this series says something. The fact that she’s read the first six installments of the series back to back speaks volumes. Since she kept telling me about what she was reading and talking about the characters as if they were her friends, I finally gave in and downloaded the first book on my Kindle. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised. The story was addictive, the characters were fun, and I flew through it. Imagine that your elite team of vampire hunters had just lost one of its members in battle. In the midst of your mourning, a vaguely humanoid blog of moving meat materializes at your feet. Do you kill it with fire or race it to the infirmary? Thankfully for Elora Laiken, the Order of the Black Swan’s famous B Team chose to try to save the mass that fell into their lives. Because Elora was that mass, thrown through a portal to another dimension by her teacher during the slaughter of her family. Her life was saved, but at a high cost. After months of recovery, Elora finds that the slight differences between her home dimension and this other Earth have left her with superhuman strength and speed, making her invaluable to the Order that saved her. “She was a stranger in a strangish land.” Three men have fallen in love with this beautiful transplant from a parallel world: Storm, the man who saved Elora’s life and nursed her back to health; Ram, an elf who believes Elora is his true mate, and who also happens to be Storm’s teammate; and Istvan Baka, a centuries old vampire who has regained his conscience and is struggling to make amends for the havoc he wrought for so many years after succumbing to the vampire virus. Elora must navigate this new world so similar to her own but still so different. And while she’s at it, she has to decide which of these suitors, if any, is the man of her dreams. “Sometimes hope and denial go hand in hand.” While this book was a compilation of common tropes that often don’t work for me, the combination of said tropes felt unique. I haven’t come across any other vampire stories that involve multiple dimensions. And even though I generally despise love triangles, the reasoning behind each of the men’s feelings were valid, and Elora faces a difficult decision. Also, My Familiar Stranger was so darn funny. There were multiple scenarios that had me laughing out loud. For instance, who knew that you could kill a vampire with a toothpick if you put enough force behind it? And any author who quotes a Weird Al Yankovic song has won me over for life. I was really satisfied with the action, the romance, the plot, the character development, and the overall outcome. It was fun, pure and simple, and sometimes you need a book that just entertains and pulls you in. I’m glad I gave in and read this when I did, because it was just exactly what I needed. I heartily recommend My Familiar Stranger to any fan of paranormal romance, especially if you have Kindle Unlimited as the entire series is available through KU. I also recommend it to urban fantasy fans who have plumbed the depths of well-known UF series, but with a caveat: steer clear if you’re not a fan of very descriptive sex scenes. Seriously, there was a scene involving peanut butter that would have had Nora Roberts blushing. But if you don’t have a problem with racy, My Familiar Stranger is a super fun breath of fresh air that will have you reading compulsively until the last page, at which point you’ll be immediately downloading the next installment if you’re anything like me.

  17. 5 out of 5

    CaroleDee

    My Familiar Stranger was a wonderfully engrossing paranormal romance with just a dash of science fiction that grabbed me from page one and didn't let go! Ms. Danann absolutely knows how to get a series going. My Familiar Stranger created a captivating new world with so many possibilities. With elves, beserkers, fairies, vampires and who knows what else running around a society parallel to our own there is so much potential! The world building was awesome. Through Danonn's vivid descriptions I fel My Familiar Stranger was a wonderfully engrossing paranormal romance with just a dash of science fiction that grabbed me from page one and didn't let go! Ms. Danann absolutely knows how to get a series going. My Familiar Stranger created a captivating new world with so many possibilities. With elves, beserkers, fairies, vampires and who knows what else running around a society parallel to our own there is so much potential! The world building was awesome. Through Danonn's vivid descriptions I felt like I could actually see the Order's lavish headquarters and the creepy but whimsical Romanian strong-hold. I don't want to give to much away, but watching the relationships build between Elora and the B-Team was magical. This is no "wham-bam, I'm instantly in love with you" book. The relationships progress over time which makes it that much more heartbreaking when you realize that Elora will have to choose between honoring a debt, true love, or true lust. But fear not, Elora gets her happily ever after just like in her favorite fairy..um....er....I mean elf tales ;) My Familiar Stranger quickly turned into the kind of book that left my husband and son eating pizza for dinner. Who has time to cook when you could be reading a great book instead? Go ahead and get your pizza coupons handy and start reading My Familiar Stranger now, you won't be disappointed :)

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily Guido

    WOW! I read this book in what two days because I just couldn't put it down. "My Familiar Stranger: The Order of the Black Swan" by Victoria Danann was emotional, sweet, moving, funny, heart-wrenching, action-packed and totally enthralled me from the get go! I don't want to give away any spoilers but I will try to dance around the top points. The wonderful Elora is a woman-hero that defies most. She literally falls into the laps of defenders against vampires and other supernatural bad guys. Howeve WOW! I read this book in what two days because I just couldn't put it down. "My Familiar Stranger: The Order of the Black Swan" by Victoria Danann was emotional, sweet, moving, funny, heart-wrenching, action-packed and totally enthralled me from the get go! I don't want to give away any spoilers but I will try to dance around the top points. The wonderful Elora is a woman-hero that defies most. She literally falls into the laps of defenders against vampires and other supernatural bad guys. However, Elora is not a typical damsel in distress. This woman has more suitors than Quaker's got oats! It's raining men and it's all for Elora which she wasn't that thrilled about seeing that she had been through hell and back just to be alive. Now, at the first of the book I was chomping at the bit wanting her to be with the hot and lucious hunk who saved her named Storm... truly, I was just aghast that she didn't jump into his arms... ahh Storm! However, fate has a bigger role to play and at the end.. all becomes clear with the choices that are made by Elora! On the edge of my seat I was hitting the turn key on my Kindle trying to figure out what was going to happen next. Nothing is predictable in the book which I like. I love Vampire Stories and this one really didn't disappoint! Now, if you are a romantic, paranormal freak like me (partial to vampires) and don't go out and get this book... you will be missing a great read! Victoria Dannan creates a world that just begs to be told and told again. She could write 20 books about this world and it would still be facinating. The book was a bit racy and smexy, so I would rate this an adult read and worth every wonderful minute! For this, and SO much more, I give "My Familiar Stranger: The Order of the Black Swan" by Victoria Danann FIVE STARS!!! Awesome book!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    really enjoyed My Familiar Stranger. I thought it was unique and incorporated a lot of different paranormal aspects. Everything from Vampires, time travel, dimensions, Fairies and Elves. The love triangle between Elora, Ram and Storm is definitely one that keeps you going. You really don’t know who Elora will choose. Will she go with her heart or her mind. Who can she live without? You really go back and forth on who you’d like to see “win” Elora’s heart. Another character who captured my heart really enjoyed My Familiar Stranger. I thought it was unique and incorporated a lot of different paranormal aspects. Everything from Vampires, time travel, dimensions, Fairies and Elves. The love triangle between Elora, Ram and Storm is definitely one that keeps you going. You really don’t know who Elora will choose. Will she go with her heart or her mind. Who can she live without? You really go back and forth on who you’d like to see “win” Elora’s heart. Another character who captured my heart and was trying to catch Elora’s heart was Baka. Baka is a Vampire that you can’t help but just totally fall for. He is quite funny but he has a sad past. I hope he gets his HEA. I think there is a lot more when it comes to his story. I also, really loved the back story of the Order of the Black Swan. I thought it was captivating and almost felt like the Order was Arthurian in some respects. Another character who captured my heart was Baka. I hope he gets his HEA. I think there is a lot more when it comes to his story. I highly enjoyed this story and can’t wait to read The Witch’s Dream. I will also be reviewing that book. I recommend this book for anyone who is into PNR. The romance builds slowly to a become hot and steamy. It is definitely not a jump in the sack right away kind of book. I enjoyed the pace and I think for a Book 1 in a series it definitely did what is was supposed to do. Set up the story and want you to come back for more. Can’t wait for the next!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I read this book back to back with the second and third books of this series in a collection on Smashbooks. These books took my breath away! They have everything I look for in a good paranormal book,and more. Imagine sitting in a meeting of vampire/supernatural hunters, at a facility very few people have any idea exists, debriefing because of the loss of a team member. Now imagine having a bloody mess land at your feet out of thin air, so badly damaged you can't tell what it is, even when it opens I read this book back to back with the second and third books of this series in a collection on Smashbooks. These books took my breath away! They have everything I look for in a good paranormal book,and more. Imagine sitting in a meeting of vampire/supernatural hunters, at a facility very few people have any idea exists, debriefing because of the loss of a team member. Now imagine having a bloody mess land at your feet out of thin air, so badly damaged you can't tell what it is, even when it opens its eyes and holds its hand out to you seeking help. That is the beginning of this collection of stories. This first book, My Familiar Stranger, has a woman from a parallel dimension land in the midst of the famous vampire hunters, The Order of the Black Swans, Company B, or Bad Company, as they have come to be called due to their reputation for getting the job done. Her trip through the dimensions left her barely alive, looking like she took a trip through a meat grinder. She faced certain death had she not been sent through, as the castle she grew up in was being attacked. Her tutor and protector pushed her through only moments before being overrun. While these stories do have romance and some steamy scenes, they are not overly graphic nor do they fill the whole story line. The books still are best suited for those over the age of 18+. These books are more romance than erotica, and a little more adventure than romance. I am very much looking forward to the next book in this series!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kerry sullivan

    This book was reviewed for Musings of a bookworm I was asked by the author to review this book and so I bought a copy and set about reading it. Now if I am honest I have to say I was expecting to be bored with in the first 10 pages because it was not a book of my choice but how wrong was I!! What actually got was a really interesting tight and ultimately fantastic story. This is clearly the opener to a series about the Knight and what Knight they are, all alpha and honourable. I do see shades of This book was reviewed for Musings of a bookworm I was asked by the author to review this book and so I bought a copy and set about reading it. Now if I am honest I have to say I was expecting to be bored with in the first 10 pages because it was not a book of my choice but how wrong was I!! What actually got was a really interesting tight and ultimately fantastic story. This is clearly the opener to a series about the Knight and what Knight they are, all alpha and honourable. I do see shades of Lara Adrian's Breed books and shades of J R Wards Black Dagger books but this story is unique enough that it stand out all on it's own and can stand up along side those other books and I think given time will elbow them out of the way with the rich story telling and deep emotional core that makes you want to know more and see them all find love. I think what set this book apart was the skilful way the three way love interests were handled and we didn't know who she would choose until it happened. I have to say my money was on Baka and I really hope we get to see more of him and maybe even have him get his own story. If you like paranormal romance you will LOVE this, I did and I will keeping my eye out for book 2 because it will be just as much of a must read as this one is!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Coby

    I just have to say I loved this book! It combines paranormal romance (vampires) with a little fantasy (elves) and science fiction (interdimensional travel). Three of my favorite genres to read. I couldn't put this book down from the moment I started reading. I fell in love with the characters from the start. They were well thought out and each one had endearing qualities that made you like each one in a different way; Elora for her perseverance and strength, Storm for his support and kindness, Ra I just have to say I loved this book! It combines paranormal romance (vampires) with a little fantasy (elves) and science fiction (interdimensional travel). Three of my favorite genres to read. I couldn't put this book down from the moment I started reading. I fell in love with the characters from the start. They were well thought out and each one had endearing qualities that made you like each one in a different way; Elora for her perseverance and strength, Storm for his support and kindness, Ram for his goofiness, Kay for his sensibility and even Baka for his sweet loneliness. The plot was driven by a love triangle for the romance as well as a little bit of mystery in solving who Elora was and how she fit into the new world. It had a few twists and turns that kept me guessing at who Elora would choose and what exactly she was. I loved the differences between the two worlds. Simple things like Elora not knowing what chocolate was or how one world had fairy tales and the other had living fairies and elves. Even though this book spanned so many genres it was still woven together perfectly to make a story that was both interesting and fun to read. I highly recommend it and I will be getting the second book to continue learning more about these characters and where their lives will take them.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    I decided I wanted to read a good paranormal/vampire novel. So, I went on a mission on amazon for a book that would work... I came upon this novel (which was free by the way) and decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. I loved it! Vampirism is a virus in this novel and the whole vampire theme was a backdrop as to what the story was really about. Lady Laiken was a great character - and the love 'square' was freaking fantastic. You didn't know who she was going to end up with until the end I decided I wanted to read a good paranormal/vampire novel. So, I went on a mission on amazon for a book that would work... I came upon this novel (which was free by the way) and decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. I loved it! Vampirism is a virus in this novel and the whole vampire theme was a backdrop as to what the story was really about. Lady Laiken was a great character - and the love 'square' was freaking fantastic. You didn't know who she was going to end up with until the end... The only thing I didn't like was the fact that Baka's story just got cut off there at the end. I want to know what happens to him! I love Ram and Storm but I really want Baka's story! This book made me remember my Buffy the Vampire Slayer days where a girl is allowed to be tough as well as still allowing me the pleasure of getting in my Alpha Male character quota. What are you waiting for? Go download this book and start reading it now! You won't be sorry! It has everything you want plus some.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cahm

    The best book I've read in years and years! The beginning of a romantic paranormal fantasy of epic proportions! Do NOT miss this book. You will read it over and over again! Even better - subsequent books in the series are also A+ reads everyone of them!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Between the Bind

    **review by Jenna Lynne @ Between the Bind** This book was a RIDE! I simply cannot say enough great things about Victoria Danann and the genius that is My Familiar Stranger. Danann's writing style is uniquely honest and captivates her audience with both plot and characters in a well-developed and thoughtful world (or "worlds" as it seems). I cannot believe that this book is only a $.99 read. The Love Nest: Elora Liaken is the perfect meshing of kick-assness and vulnerability. Literally dropping int **review by Jenna Lynne @ Between the Bind** This book was a RIDE! I simply cannot say enough great things about Victoria Danann and the genius that is My Familiar Stranger. Danann's writing style is uniquely honest and captivates her audience with both plot and characters in a well-developed and thoughtful world (or "worlds" as it seems). I cannot believe that this book is only a $.99 read. The Love Nest: Elora Liaken is the perfect meshing of kick-assness and vulnerability. Literally dropping into an alternative dimension after watching her family be assassinated, Elora is saved by Storm, the de facto leader of the elite B-Team in the paranormal military unit, "Black Swan." All Elora remembers of Storm is his delicious smell and comforting words while drifting in and out of consciousness. Well, that and another voice saying, "We should kill it." After healing, Elora distinguishes the latter from B-Team's resident womanizer, Ram, who immediately recognizes Elora as his elven mate. Showing more brains than brawn, he doesn't try to force his culture on Elora, knowing that humans rarely mate for life. Ram is crude at best while competing for Elora's affection - but he is unaware that the competition is with not just one other man, but instead, two! The last in this triad being the ancient, overtly sexy, and repentant vampire, Istvan Baka. These relationships seem to be straight forward at first, but progress interestingly enough and actually? One of my initial complaints is now my most favorite piece of Danann's puzzle. I really did want Elora to choose each one of the men depending on the page I was on, to the point of being extremely frustrated that said gentleman was taking time away from my current fav, but, in what I've come to know as classic Danann style, this was exactly the point. As a reader, you are physically but moreover, emotionally pulled in several directions - just like Elora. There is not one clear stand out mate until a choice is made and you're like WHAT?! HIM?! Wait...but what about...?! These relationships develop organically, taking ample time before jumping into any sexual relationship. I enjoyed the flirting so much! Most writers do not give enough attention to the simple act of flirting. *sigh* **SPOILER** The major qualm I had with this trio of suitors was that Baka wasn't really ever in the running for me. Even though he was sexy as all get out, he was never a true contender for Elora's heart. So this "trio" is really just a "duo" with a super sexy friend involved. **END SPOILER** Our Heroine: The premise of a woman not needing protection from her man also brightened the read. I loved how competent Elora was in all aspects without being an unobtainable heroine or perceived as perfect - well from anyone but her men! The Awesome: Danann's world building is quite astounding. She has a knack for detail and can write such vivid imagery that I could recount to you with reasonable accuracy what rooms and buildings looked and felt like. I could not however tell you just what all three of our male characters looked like...well except some inappropriate details. ;) This book had a slow first few chapters but once I understood Danann's style and relaxed into her flow I enjoyed every page turn. I will be waiting ever-so-patiently (HA!) for the next installment, The Witch's Dream to be released in Fall 2012.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Catalina

    I have loved every page of this wonderful story. Fantasy and paranormal is not really my cup-of-tea, I tend to read historical fiction and classics, but this book was amazing. I have felt in love with the characters and enjoyed every unexpected turn. Elora is the perfect looking woman, extremely sexy, intelligent, funny, witty, loyal and skilled in many arts. It is no wonder she soon has three males fighting for her heart. To start with I wished she would choose Storm as he seemed her perfect ma I have loved every page of this wonderful story. Fantasy and paranormal is not really my cup-of-tea, I tend to read historical fiction and classics, but this book was amazing. I have felt in love with the characters and enjoyed every unexpected turn. Elora is the perfect looking woman, extremely sexy, intelligent, funny, witty, loyal and skilled in many arts. It is no wonder she soon has three males fighting for her heart. To start with I wished she would choose Storm as he seemed her perfect match – gorgeous, reserved, highly mannered, intelligent, a great leader and a loyal friend and knight, but my preference changed as I continued reading. Ram proved to be a great man (elf), and of royal descent. It is hard to review this book without letting too much out. The action is quick paced and intriguing, the scenes are well built, and the unexpected is there at all times. I read this book in less than two days, and that is because I also had to work. The only thing that disturbed me a little has been their trip to Romania (I am Romanian), as there were some inaccuracies. One of the biggest issues I had with this was when they took the train from Bucharest to Brasov. The author mentioned them passing thought the Danube Valley. First of all that place does not exist in Romania and secondly, the train would go nowhere near the Danube to get from Bucharest to Brasov. I know it is not a big issue for everyone, but I believe it is important to present your facts accurately when talking about geographical places. Other than this….perfect book. I have loved every page and every character and every unexpected turn (there were many). I have already recommended the book to my friends and I am looking forward to starting the second one this evening.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    This book grabbed my attention early on and did not let up. I was transported in my mind to a destination full of danger, excitement, humor, and romance. The characters were bigger than life, but I was easily able to relate to their individual dispositions. One of the things I most liked about this story is the way in which a slip of a girl, an outsider no less, comes into a staid, all-male enclave and turns it on its ear. It was an absolute joy to behold. Obviously, I love strong female charact This book grabbed my attention early on and did not let up. I was transported in my mind to a destination full of danger, excitement, humor, and romance. The characters were bigger than life, but I was easily able to relate to their individual dispositions. One of the things I most liked about this story is the way in which a slip of a girl, an outsider no less, comes into a staid, all-male enclave and turns it on its ear. It was an absolute joy to behold. Obviously, I love strong female characters that are not afraid to stand up for themselves. Elora Laiken is definitely no shrinking violet and I loved her for that. Another thing I truly liked about this book is that the main characters are not promiscuous. Elora struggles with her feelings for three men but she also puts the welfare of others above her own desires. Obviously, I enjoy a bit of dangerous romance, but what I absolutely love reading is action and adventure stories with characters that make me care about them. This book excels in doing just that. The next two books are also available now and you can bet that they are already on my reading list! This book was given to me by the author in exchange for my honest review. Reviewed by Laurie-J

  28. 4 out of 5

    Anna Salamatin

    This first book from the Order of the Black Swan had me right from the start. I felt so bad for the way Elora was just tossed into that tunnel, thankfully she survived, just barely. She shows true strength with her will to live and her long adjustment to her alternate dimension. We also meet Bad Company, members of the Order of the Black Swan. These men put it all on the line to protect mankind from even knowing or being touched by the evil in this world. I fell in love with each of them in turn, t This first book from the Order of the Black Swan had me right from the start. I felt so bad for the way Elora was just tossed into that tunnel, thankfully she survived, just barely. She shows true strength with her will to live and her long adjustment to her alternate dimension. We also meet Bad Company, members of the Order of the Black Swan. These men put it all on the line to protect mankind from even knowing or being touched by the evil in this world. I fell in love with each of them in turn, they are strong and gifted warriors who at times can make you laugh out loud with their antics. They all became so real to me, this book is written so well as to put you right there in the action. I read this book in one day (and night) I just couldn't leave my new friends. This is a must read, I don't usually say that in my reviews, but I would have given My Familiar Stranger 10 stars if I could of.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I didn't get this book. At all. I gave it a 2 star review because I did enjoy parts of it and I really enjoyed some of the characters, but, I just didn't get it. This Review Contains Some Spoilers......just saying. I took a chance because there are a lot of rave reviews about this book. I must not have understood the description of this book. I took it to mean that there was going to be a girl sucked into another dimension that becomes part of a secret society and the whole book is spent ass-kicki I didn't get this book. At all. I gave it a 2 star review because I did enjoy parts of it and I really enjoyed some of the characters, but, I just didn't get it. This Review Contains Some Spoilers......just saying. I took a chance because there are a lot of rave reviews about this book. I must not have understood the description of this book. I took it to mean that there was going to be a girl sucked into another dimension that becomes part of a secret society and the whole book is spent ass-kicking their way through vampires while she finds love. That is not what this book is. There is a girl who is sucked into another dimension and becomes a prisoner for some time at a secret society and then proves herself eventually and does become one. Then there is a crap ton of time spent doing absolutely nothing while everybody heals from various injuries. Then they go and stake out a club and nothing happens until the very last night and you get a lot of drama with very little vampire fighting and then back to the secret society for more healing and self discovery. Then you have the love story. Love triangles or even love rectangles (ha ha ha) can be done well if the author devotes the time to making it work. This does not work and I got so frustrated with the love story that I almost stopped. Just to make sure you all got that there may be some spoilers, i'm putting this in the spoiler link (view spoiler)[The guys are Storm, Ram, and Baka. The first introduction to Storm and Ram is when Elora falls through the dimensional tunnel. Ram says "kill it" and Storm protects her. Yeah, great impression of Ram there and you kind of fall for Storm and his protectiveness. Then you spend the next 20-30% of the book watching the relationship between Storm and Elora develop. It is sweet and everything you want in a relationship. Ram is not in the book because he is on "leave" from his job and Baka hasn't even been introduced yet. Then at about the 30% mark, Ram steps into the picture and becomes the primary guy while Storm takes a back seat (seriously, the guy is there and occasionally you get that he is mad about something Ram is doing, but after that first section of the book, he becomes a major back seat player even though he is still supposed to be in the running. Then you have Baka introduced at maybe 50-60% of the way in. I felt like the author could not figure out how to write the triangle so rather than work it in with all three guys at the same time, she gave each their "moments" and then put them in the back burner. It was so super annoying. (hide spoiler)] Then you get to the actual moment in the book where the fighting takes place. I was so peeved off when I realized that this book has so little to do with Vampires and more so to do with in fighting within the organization. The author should have just done away with the Paranormal and Vampire aspect. Those parts of the book were so minimal compared to the rest of the story (of course, you do get the Elf stuff thrown at you all over the place due to Ram). With all that said, this book was long. I typically read a book in about 2-3 hours. This one took me much longer than that (of course, it could have just been the book itself that slowed me down). My honest opinion is that some of the stuff around the build up with the secondary relationships could be cut out and just focus on the primary relationship and you would still have the same book. Like I said, I just didn't get this book. With all the rave reviews I expected more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Johnson

    I downloaded this book because it was free and seemed like an interesting book. Not only did it turn out to be interesting, I fell in love with it! This cast of characters is so awesome. They are tough but loyal and caring at the same time. You can't put the book down afraid you'll miss what happens next. They become real life people. You will feel all their joy, pain, heartache and love. I can't wait to start on the next book in the series!! Don't miss out on one of the best books ever! Victori I downloaded this book because it was free and seemed like an interesting book. Not only did it turn out to be interesting, I fell in love with it! This cast of characters is so awesome. They are tough but loyal and caring at the same time. You can't put the book down afraid you'll miss what happens next. They become real life people. You will feel all their joy, pain, heartache and love. I can't wait to start on the next book in the series!! Don't miss out on one of the best books ever! Victoria Danann is a phenomenal writer/storyteller!!

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