Beneath the Opal Arc is an addictive fantasy/paranormal romance. The world building is excellent, the characters well developed, and it has an engaging storyline.
Although this is the start of a series (although it's not obvious from the beginning), it does not end on a cliff-hanger, the boys have their HFN, and this part of the story is finished, but there are many loose ends to be picked up in later books.
As for heat level this one is medium, it's more romantic than physically steamy, and although there are a few scenes, they are generally kept pretty low key (by my standards), or fade to black. The romance is very much there though, so I didn’t miss the heat factor, it was more than enough to keep my little romantic heart happy.
The chemistry between Remy and Laurence is palpable, it’s obvious that Laurence is fascinated by Remy from the very first page, and the relationship grows from there, even if Laurence stubbornly tries to ignore it for a while!
Character development was very well done. Not only are our MCs, Remy and Laurence, fully developed 3D characters, but many of the secondary characters have fully developed personalities, or at least well on their way to becoming full characters. This book introduces a number of secondary characters that I suspect will appear in future books. I note that the ‘bad guy’, Valeri, is actually the main character in the second book of the series, so it will be interesting to see how or if he redeems himself.
I really enjoyed Lee Colgin’s writing style, I found it absorbing and I kept turning the pages to see what would happen to the boys next. The world building was very well done without bogging the reader down in too many details. It is not Earth, at least not as we know it, but I did like the little linkages to our history i.e. Livia of Rome as one of the vampires, the use of Latin as a scholarly language etc. It’s like it’s Earth of a parallel dimension, similar but not.
The story starts with a bang and the action doesn’t really stop. There is no chapter or two slowly introducing the world or the characters, nope we are thrust right into the middle of the action and we learn as we go. This technique can sometimes go very wrong and become confusing. Not in this case, it is written in such a way that we get carried away with the action, but not to the point of becoming lost. What is happening is explained in a ‘need to know’ basis and this kept me engaged in the story. I was never confused or didn’t understand what was happening, the author is an excellent storyteller providing information and backstory as needed and in a way that you don’t feel like you’re being force-fed plot, it just happens naturally.
I thoroughly enjoyed Beneath the Opal Arc and I can’t wait to read book two to meet up with Remy and Laurence again, and to see just what happens to Valeri.