I don't know how many post-apocalyptic romances you've read, but Nightfall by Ellen Connor isn't going to be your average one. It's not an average romance by any stretch of the imagination. Oh sure, there's a hot hero and a sassy heroine and a HEA, but after that, things get really different.
Despite the lack of walking undead, this book reads like a zombie movie. The way it unfolds slowly, building on that nervous tension that something bad is going to happen until BAM! Shit hits the fan.
Electricity has stopped working and much of the western US is in denial (because this stuff just doesn't happen to us) until it's too late. Mason, in keeping with a promise he made, kidnaps Jenna (yes, kidnaps, because time is a factor and explanations can wait until later) and hightails it to his cabin in the woods. Naturally, she mistrusts him -- it isn't until she's faced with you-can't-ignore-this-anymore proof that she believes the stuff he's been trying to tell her.
So when she hears five strangers floundering around in the dangerous woods, she goes after them to offer help. Safety in numbers right? Not always. Because even though she meant well, it isn't until everyone is in the cabin that she realizes that wanting to help others, while noble, isn't always very smart -- particularly when food in the cabin was only meant to last for two people, not seven.
And though you'd think that this kind of book would be nonstop action and heart-pounding moments, it's not. It certainly has those moments, but much of the book is slow paced and tension filled. Normally a slow-paced book would grate my nerves, but with Nightfall, it only added to the scariness of the world. Imagine being trapped in a basement, listening to demon dogs pound on the door for hours and all you can do is wait it out, hoping you'll live to see another day.
The romance between Mason and Jenna is slow building and has a lot of pushing on both sides. Mason is hell bent on survival, with no time for emotions to come into the play. Jenna is the opposite. She wants to survive, but she also wants some reassurance, too. And even though this is classified as a romance, I did not feel like the romance dominated the book at all.
Aside from the amazing world building and the sexual tension, you are introduced to other survivors. Each survivor is different and unique in their own way, and it was Tru -- the surly gothic teen -- who really impressed me. You saw him become a man under very harsh, stressful situations and I liked reading about him. There's also Penny, the small child who barely talks --- there is something about her, and I can't wait until the third book releases in December to learn more about them.
Dark, gritty, full of blood and guts...this is a very different type of paranormal romance, but it's too good not to read.