Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review: Black Hellebore by Nicole Zoltack

Black Hellebore, by Nicole Zoltack
2013, 271p, Paranormal Romance
My Rating=4 stars
Content: Mild swearing and violence
Source: Copy provided by the author for an honest review

Once a year for the past decade, Nicholas Adams returns to Falledge and leaves a black hellebore on his girlfriend's grave. While departing Falledge, he chases after a man sneaking into the laboratory and dies for his trouble. A witch brings him back to life, but Nicholas soon realizes he's not the same man. Turns out, magic combined with a black hellebore in his pocket changed him into a kind of a super man.

His girlfriend's twin, Julianna Paige, is Falledge's deputy, struggling to solve several murders. Nicholas, and his alter ego the Black Hellebore, helps her, even as she helps him move on and even start to love again.

Unfortunately, Nicholas wasn't the only one changed in the laboratory explosion, and now there's a supervillain bent on destroying Falledge, and killing the Black Hellebore. But falling in love might prove more dangerous than any supervillain.

This is a book I really enjoyed! It had been a while since I had read the synopsis and when I started reading it, I didn't go back and review it but just started in. I had no idea what this book would be about and that made it more interesting to me. Nicholas Adams came back to Falledge and it starts out saying that he hates the town and everything about it so I knew right away there was some history to be learned. We also meet Julianna Paige who is surprised to see Nick back in town and she has some pain she's dealing with. They meet at Justina's grave, Julianna's twin sister who died ten years ago. Their conversation doesn't go well and Nick tells her he's leaving town again. While leaving, he sees someone sneak into the laboratory and chases after him. At the end of the chase, he gets seriously injured and dies. He wakes up, expecting to see Justina (the twin who died) but instead meets Gavina, the witch who brought him back from the dead.

He soon learns that he's now a super man of sorts due to the black hellebore he had in his pocket while he was being brought back to life. His new strength comes in handy as he helps Julianna, who is now in law enforcement, to figure out who broke into the lab and what happened to him. They need to work together but is that such a good idea? 

I enjoyed all the mystery surrounding Nick and Julianna. They each had their secrets and their reasons for keeping them from each other. They also learn that Justina had a secretive side and through the course of the book, they are able to learn the truth about her death. They are each in pain and find it difficult to completely trust the other one. I liked watching their relationship progress. 

The superhero aspect seemed a little over the top to me at times but I still enjoyed it. The supervillain (named Skull Crusher) was creepy and scary and I felt myself cheering the good guys on to figure out a way to defeat him. There were some good interactions with him and he's someone I would definitely never want to meet. There are also some other good interactions with Gavina, the witch, and Ginny, the grandmotherly town gossip who convinces Nick to stay with her while he's in town.

This is a clean read with some mild swearing and violence. The ending wasn't a cliffhanger but hinted at much more to come and I'm looking forward to reading more about the Heroes of Falledge!

About Nicole Zoltack: 

Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic! She's also an editor for MuseItUp Publishing and works as a freelance editor.

When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending they're unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. Her favorite current TV show is The Walking Dead.

To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her website at or her blog at

Twitter @nicolezoltack:


Paij Slater said...

You captured me with "creepy and scary"! I am always looking for something like that! Thanks for the great review! Definitely adding it to my list!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Thank you for the review! So glad you liked it!

And I hope you'll enjoy it to, Paij. :)

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