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Forever (The World of Nightwalkers, #2) by Jacquelyn Frank
After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson’s spirit is a powerful one—none other than the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.
While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink who keeps pushing him to confront his grief over the loss of his K-9 partner. But what Marissa really arouses most in Jackson is intense desire, which is exactly what Menes is looking for. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join; but to host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Fate has given Jackson a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes’s plan or keep an entire species from the brink of extinction.Includes a preview of Jacquelyn Frank’s next World of Nightwalkers novel, Forsaken
Jacquelyn Frank takes readers into a new series about Bodywalkers, which is a spinoff of her Nightwalkers series. I have read the first book Forbidden and learned that this series centers on a fantasy world combining ancient Egyptian mythology, civil war, and intense romance.
Let me provide a brief background to set the scene for this series and to prepare you for my review. Ancient Egyptians believed strongly in their gods and wanted to be prepared for the afterlife. The Templars, priests and priestesses, prepared the bodies using a complex mummification process that would allow the dead to hold on to their material possessions.
It is believed that their unwillingness to give up earthly possessions was an affront to the gods; therefore, their souls or Ka’s were cursed to be tethered to the mortal plane where they would live in the Ether instead of peacefully passing onto the afterlife.
Humans who are at the verge of death may find themselves in the Ether, and, there, they are given the opportunity to either die or return to their mortal lives by agreeing to share their bodies with an Egyptian soul. In addition, they get to have a longer life span and are endowed with special powers. Once the host awakens, a blending process begins to merge both souls into a Bodywalker.
An Egyptian’s resurrection through a human host allows him or her to return to the mortal plane where there is an ongoing civil war between the governing body called the Politic and the Templars to rule the Bodywalkers. Those that support the Politic are awaiting their King Menes’ arrival as a Bodywalker to lead this war.
Forever picks up right where the first book in the series Forbidden ends. King Menes has been incarnated through Jackson Waverly, a police officer, who was introduced in Forbidden. It is ideal to start the series at the beginning, but Frank provides enough exposition throughout this second book for readers to become comfortable with the storyline and ongoing conflicts.
Jackson and Menes have gone through the process of blending and, now, along with fighting against his enemies, one of Menes’ priorities is to find a host for his beloved Queen Hatshepsut.
Because he and Jackson now know each other’s memories and thoughts, Menes is aware of Jackson’s attraction to psychiatrist, Dr. Marissa Anderson, who counsels officers within the police department where Jackson is employed. Behind the scenes, Menes is “fanning the flames” encouraging Jackson to pursue a romantic relationship with Marissa. Menes thinks Marissa would be a great candidate to host his queen.
Marissa spent a great deal of time getting to know Jackson when he was required to see her after the death of his K9 partner when Jackson was assaulted. Throughout their encounters, they have often clashed over differences in opinion. Yet, this doesn’t douse the mutual attraction that radiates between them. Now that Menes has become one with Jackson, he encourages Jackson to take the initiative with Marissa and reveal his feelings for her.
While working a case together, Marissa witnesses a supernatural attack upon Jackson/Menes by an enemy. Marissa shockingly learns that Jackson is no ordinary man, and because she has been seen by the enemies, her life is in danger as well.
The always professional and self-controlled Marissa finds herself ill-equipped to deal with the reality of this fantastical world she has entered. After Jackson takes Marissa to a safe house to protect her, he finds it even more difficult not to physically seduce Marissa. Their sultry kisses show him that Marissa is a sensual and passionate woman, but she is reluctant to let go, take a chance, and give in to her carnal desires for Jackson.
So Jackson/Menes together woo her with beautiful, romantic prose that would melt any woman’s icy heart. And Marissa is no exception
Once they become intimate, Jackson/Mendes are determined to make her theirs. They proposition her to become the host for Hatshepsut. Marissa gasps when she realizes that even if she would consider becoming a Bodywalker, she would have to die first. Her obvious response is
Marissa has a serious choice to make. Will she refuse to become Jackson’s mate, knowing that eventually Menes will push Jackson to find someone else to become host to the queen? Throughout the story, Menes describes the perfect, profound, and enduring love that he shares with his soul mate, Hapshepsut. Can Marissa take a leap of faith and believe that Jackson truly loves her and that they, too, can have this same passionate and lasting love?
Rather than being more action-oriented, the heart of this book focuses on the internal struggles both Jackson and Marissa face as they try to adapt to the Nightwalker world. The story certainly made for a suspenseful read as I awaited Marissa’s decision and what will happen next. Forever also foreshadows a major conflict in the next book, since a Templar has, unknowingly, unleashed one of the most evil gods into this world.
After reading Forever, I am impressed with the creative and fantastic story line Franks has created, and am now a fan of this series.
A copy of this book was provided to me by Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.
Author Jacquelyn Frank
The World of NightWalker Series
Forbidden (The World of Nightwalkers, Book 1)
Book Trailer for Forbidden
Music to Complement the Book
For Menes & Hatshepsut – Natalie Merchant: “My Beloved Wife”
For Jackson & Marissa- Sarah Mclachlan: “I Love You”