What a great book. Definitely an A+. Sherrilyn just has a gift for making characters that you shed tears for and fall in love with. Julian really touc...moreWhat a great book. Definitely an A+. Sherrilyn just has a gift for making characters that you shed tears for and fall in love with. Julian really touched my heart and I felt for him in his pain. SK also has a great way with telling ancient history so that you're riveted. I admit I'm a history buff anyway, but she just brings it to light in a vivid and interesting way. And she seems fairly accurate in a way that Xena and Hercules aren't always. Her books make me want to go out and buy a book on ancient history and dive in headfirst. At first I was wondering if I shot myself in the foot reading the other Dark Hunter books first, but I'm glad I hadn't read this one. It gave me something to tide me over until Night Play comes out in August. This book has so many layers. I enjoyed the romance but also there was a family drama played out through Julian's relationship or lack thereof, with his godly relatives: Aphrodite, his mother; Eros, his brother; and Priapus, his other brother, who is also his mortal (or immortal enemy). I cried with Julian for his feelings of rejection by his mother, and the loss of his children. I also felt for Grace and her family issues. Her parents died in a car accident, leaving her alone in the world, with only their possessions and her memories to keep her warm at night. Since I lost my father last year, I could identify with her feelings of grief. Fantasy Lover is also very sensual. There are lots of scenes that involve exploring the woman's pleasure, and SK did this very cleverly with her premise. Julian is a sex-slave (and he cannot have an orgasm). IE he makes love for the woman's pleasure and is very good at his job. Grace had a bad first sexual experience that causes her withdraw from the dating world. She feels lonely, unwanted and unfulfilled, and her friend Selena gets the idea to conjure Julian out of his cage (which is a lovely ancient book.) Julian comes ready to serve, but Grace isn't interested in another empty sexual experience. So Julian must seduce her, while Grace tries to get his mind off sex and onto the modern world. This storyline makes for quite a few fun and poignant moments, as Julian gets to experience being more than just a sexual object for two millenia. Julian exudes one of a kind sex appeal that is irresistible, even and most of all to Grace. But he also makes her fall deeply in love with him. I liked how SK worked to build their relationship and also gave reader just enough sexual tension to add spice. This tension definitely builds since there's a reason why Julian and Grace cannot consummate. Instead Julian takes those opportunities to unselfishly bring Grace pleasure, not because he's supposed to, but because he loves her and wants her happiness. I don't want to tell too much, but I felt a need to rave about this lovely book. It definitely cemented my love of SK and her universe. Fantasy Lover ranks in as my number two favorite Dark Hunter book (although technically Julian's not one, he exists in their universe and so he gets counted.). Run, don't walk to get your copy of Fantasy Lover.(less)
**spoiler alert** I thought this was a unique turn for the Dark Hunter series, but......the end was kind of depressing. A lot of the Dark Hunters died...more**spoiler alert** I thought this was a unique turn for the Dark Hunter series, but......the end was kind of depressing. A lot of the Dark Hunters died in this book, and what happened with Danger just wasn't the ending I wanted. I tried to convince myself that Danger and Alexion are happy where they are...but everyone thinks that Danger is dead. SOB!!!
I just think that Ms. Kenyon, who can pull happy endings out of nowhere, could have ended this book on a more upbeat note.
That's why I can only give this one 3 stars. Definitely not one of my favorite DH books, even though I really liked Alexion and Danger, both individually, and as a couple.(less)
The Dream Hunter was a book that I got completely sucked into by page one. It takes the Dark Hunter series in a different direction, and shines the sp...moreThe Dream Hunter was a book that I got completely sucked into by page one. It takes the Dark Hunter series in a different direction, and shines the spotlight on yet another group of gods in the pantheon of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter universe. I loved how SK integrated the dream world into this book. Dreams are so complex and so fantastical, how could they not be an excellent backdrop for an epic war between good and evil? SK gets that the Greek myths have characters that are not always completely good or evil, that the gods' motivations are often selfish and petty. We see that Arikos is not a bad guy. He's merely a person who has tired of being abused as used as a pawn by the higher gods. He wants happiness and joy just like all us humans want. The closest he has come is through the dreams of the human Megeara. When he is denied the closeness he craves with her through the dreams, he desperately makes a deal with Hades to be human for two weeks to spend time with this human he has become so captivated with. Unfortunately the deal involves giving her up to Hades after the two weeks ends. However, those of us who have studied the myths know that the gods don't make fair deals. Arik says yes before he realizes what the caveat is. The Dream Hunter introduces new intriguing characters and allows us to reconnect with some old favorites. The time line is about 10 years in the past, which is interesting, as we get to see the time before some pretty big events unfold. I love this world, and even if there's not much going on, I'd read SK's books just to experience her incredible imagination, and her fantastic writing ability. However, this book does have a lot going on, passion, pathos, vengeance, adventure, fun, and excitement. Also for those of you like me who has a thing for Atlantis, there is a quest to find the lost city that many don't want found, as well. You don't want to put it down because you want to know what happens next. I loved the direction that SK went with this book because it gives me some in depth on some of the Greek myths that always intrigued me. She brings these gods and heroes of the myths to life for me, but also adds her own unique spin that makes me laugh at some times, and cry at others. This is not a Dark Hunter book in the traditional sense, but it is definitely a great addition to the mythos, and if you are a fan of SK's books, I have trouble believing you won't love this book as well. Let me close by saying I hope that Solin gets his own book.(less)
This was a fun book that I loved reading. I am glad that I enjoyed it much more than the last book in the series (Upon a Midnight Clear). I thought th...moreThis was a fun book that I loved reading. I am glad that I enjoyed it much more than the last book in the series (Upon a Midnight Clear). I thought that Simone was one of the more fleshed out and interesting heroines, and definitely one of my favorites so far. I thought she was a great match for Xypher. Ms. Kenyon has not diverted from her uber-tortured hero mode with Xypher, but that's okay. She does the tortured hero very well. I liked how he was so surly and untrusting, and how Simone slowly taught him to trust and to open his heart to her, since his first love betrayed him, and led him to being doomed to torture for an eternity in the underworld by Hades.
I liked the new direction that Ms. Kenyon is opening up, with the various subplots, including the charonte and gallu demons. I'm excited to see where she is going with this. Jaden is also a very interesting new character. He's evil, but kind of good at the same time. I also liked Jesse, Simone's ghostly friend. He died in the 80s, so he is stuck in that time period, culturally. I loved all the 80s pop culture references that Jesse would make. He was a good secondary character; along with Tate, who is an ME and Dark-Hunter Squire, who calls on Simone's expertise when he gets a murder that seems to be supernatural in origin.
This book really hit the spot, and it's reinvigorated my interest in the ongoing Dark-Hunter series. I am so excited that I can finally read Acheron now!
Fun, action-packed, and intense. This is a book a child eight or older and an adult who is young at heart can enjoy. I especially, heartily recommend...moreFun, action-packed, and intense. This is a book a child eight or older and an adult who is young at heart can enjoy. I especially, heartily recommend this book to fans of the Greek myths. I thought Riordan's approach was very fresh and original, but showed respect for the origin myths. Having a lifelong interest in Greek mythology, I found myself wondering, hmm, I wonder if he's referring this or that story, only to smile and nod. Having said that, I believe that a person unfamiliar with the myths could still love and enjoy this book. If you enjoy a good urban fantasy story, please don't this dismiss this book as merely a kids book and overlook it.
This was a great anthology. I enjoyed each story, and I breezed right through it.
My thoughts of each story:
Spellbound by LA Banks. This was a fun sto...moreThis was a great anthology. I enjoyed each story, and I breezed right through it.
My thoughts of each story:
Spellbound by LA Banks. This was a fun story about two star-crossed lovers who happen to be part of voodoo/root-practitioner families who hate each other. The Hatfields versus the McCoys, except they are Black. I laughed a lot, and some of the characters reminded me of some family members on both sides (minus the voodoo-practicing part). Both the hero and the heroine were virgins. This is probably my favorite story by Banks now, although I do love her other short stories that I've read. Five stars.
Something Borrowed by Jim Butcher. I just love Harry Dresden. In this story, he is helping his friend Billy the Werewolf get married. Too bad a miffed faerie stole his bride and decided to take her place. But Harry is on the case, with a little help from Detective Murphy. Five stars.
Dead Man's Chest by Rachel Caine. What a pleasant surprise. A bride gets talked into getting married on a pirate ship by her fiance. It turns out the pirates are all dead and under a curse. And her fiance had some nefarious motives. But, true love conquers all. Between the erstwhile bride and the pirate captain. Great fun. It helped that Captain Lockhart reminded me of an Anne Stuart hero. I'm so easy that way. Five stars.
All Shook Up by PN Elrod. This was an interesting story. I think Elvis fans would really love it. There is a wedding singer who has an uncannily perfect imitation of Elvis going on, and an ability to help the wedding couple along their course of true love. An ability shared by the caterer, who is the main protagonist. I'm not a big Elvis fan (although I like a lot of his songs), so it was weird how the hero was sort of possessed by the spirit of Elvis, but I still enjoyed it. Four Stars.
The Wedding of Wylda Serene by Esther M. Friesner. This story made me laugh. I enjoyed the whimsical feel, and the slyly ironic narration. A bastion of upper class entitlement is plagued by mythical creatures, in time to 'spoil' a sweet, young debutante's wedding. This is a must-read for Greek mythology enthusiasts. Four and 1/2 stars.
Charmed by the Moon by Lori Handeland. I haven't read any of the books in her Nightcreature series, and this is a follow-up story about Jessie and Will from Blue Moon. They are getting married, but Jessie is having cold feet, not sure if their feelings are true for each other. They go on a spirit journey to find that out when they find a love charm in Will's ceremonial wedding gear. I really liked this story. The magic and the mysticism hit the right note with me. It has a bittersweet feel as their HEA is not my ideal, but I can understand the choice they made for the dangerous world they live in. Four and 1/2 stars.
Tacky by Charlaine Harris. When I read Ms. Harris' stories, I usually teeter on the edge of sincere admiration for her imagination, amusement, and a bit of cheesy overload, all at the same time. I sort of like the goofy approach she has to the paranormal world, but sometimes it feels too goofy. I like the way she pokes fun at Southerners in a goodnatured way. I must say this was an unusual wedding, with the bride being a vampire, and the groom being a werewolf, and human fundamentalist assassins attacking the wedding party. For some reason, the main protagonist, Dahlia, kept making me think of Pam from the TrueBlood show, although she's hetero. Four stars.
A Hard Day's Night-Searcher by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Yay. A Black Dark-Hunter paired with a Black female Squire. Thank you, Ms. Kenyon. This is about Rafael Santiago, who was a pirate in his mortal life, and OCD Squire Celena, who's afraid to lose yet another Dark-Hunter to the ongoing battle with the Daimons. They end up crashing an Apollite wedding teeming with Daimons. This was a really good story, but it felt way too short to me. Sort of an abbreviated version of a full-length Dark-Hunter novel. Everything was resolved, but I felt like I wanted more. Four stars.
"...Or Forever Hold Your Peace" by Susan Krinard. I liked the Victorian paranormal feel of this story. This is a paranormal mystery in which Olivia and Kit, a crime-solving duo, work to find a bride who was kidnapped from her wedding, using their Talents. This is an alternate England called Albion, where most people have some sort of magical Talent. Olivia can see inside a person's body to see their anatomy, and Kit can change into a large Black Dog. It was fun and had the pulp fiction, neo-Victorian vibe I love. I felt the tone could have been a little more vibrant for maximum enjoyment, but I'd love to read more of Kit and Olivia's adventures. Four stars.
I really want to give this collection five stars, mainly based on the first three stories and the overall appealing vibe it holds, despite the preponderance of stories not reaching five stars. So I will. Recommended to fans of humorous paranormal/supernatural fiction, be it urban fantasy or paranormal, with a little gaslit Victorian mystery thrown in.(less)
I love reading anthologies, so I never really got why a lot of romance readers don't care much for anthologies. Well, I tend to read fantasy and horro...moreI love reading anthologies, so I never really got why a lot of romance readers don't care much for anthologies. Well, I tend to read fantasy and horror anthologies for the most part. This is probably one of the first bigger romance ones I've read. I get it now! It gets pretty dull to read sex scene after sex scene. The only thing that broke the monotony were the paranormal elements, and seeing how each author created a story out of that starting point. Some authors did a better job than others of engaging me. Overall, I would say I'm leaning towards being mildly disappointed with this anthology, but it's really for the reasons of what appeals to me. I love romance. I love the tension and the emotion of seeing a couple meet, fall in love, and decide they want to spend their lives together. It's kind of hard to do that in a very short story, especially the ones that are supposed to be very steamy. I either ended up feeling like the couples had some hot chemistry, but not really buying the true love, or wanting more because things ended too quickly. In general, the stories that leaned towards urban fantasy made more of an impression on me, because the focus was on the plot and the worldbuilding.
I'll give a basic recap of my feelings on the stories.
"Music Hath Charms" by Tanya Huff. Quite interesting. Not a romance. More of a sexy urban fantasy story. I wanted a different ending than the one I got, but I'd give it four stars because she used the Greek sirens myth to such good effect.
"Minotaur in Stone" by Marjorie Liu. I absolutely loved this story. It shows the potential of a well-done paranormal romantic short story. All the mythic aspects, the longing, the feeling of a couple falling for each other and striving for their happy ending. It was unique and really took a different spin on the Greek minotaur myth. What a joy to read. Five stars.
"Demon Lover" by Cheyenne McCray. I have mixed feelings about this story. I thought the use of incubus lore was well done. The language was too raunchy for me and it was too focused on the sex acts. However, I have to admit this was a romantic story at its heart. The theme of self-sacrifice moved me. More than anything, I don't go for this kind of steam level, I think. Readers who like more erotic fare would enjoy this one more than I did. 4 stars.
"Equinox" by LA Banks. I've found I tend to enjoy LA Banks' short stories very much. But, I think this is my least favorite. It didn't quite come together very well. I couldn't tell if she was going for a humorous tone or not. I liked the concept, Artemis coming to the modern world with her nymphs to punish those who destroyed the environment. She drew in the story of Artemis and Acteon, the human she changed into a stag for watching her bathe naked, and shot full of arrows as punishment. In this case, she changed executives of companies that were raping the environment into stags. It was a very good idea. I liked the hero, who was a special forces guy. It was great seeing black characters in this setting. Who said Artemis couldn't be Black? Kudos for that. This story had a lot going for it, but it just felt a little unpolished and hurried in the execution. All and all, I'd say this was a four star story.
"Ride a Dark Horse" by Susan Krinard. Being horse-mad, I did appreciate that aspect of this story. However, it felt kind of ho-hum, like a hundred other paranormal romances. The ending was a bit rushed as well. Three stars.
"To Die For" by Keri Arthur. I could see readers loving this story. I liked the horrific/dark fantasy elements. I didn't think it was romantic. It was more of a "we're hot for each other and have been for a while, so let's see where this is going" kind of execution. I don't like the whole HFN thing, so that left me cold. Plus the love scenes seemed disruptive in the sense that they were in the middle of finding their boss's missing nephew and hunting a very scary, evil killer. The sex interludes seemed unwise and disruptive. Ms. Arthur is a good writer, and it was a pretty scary story, so I'd give it a four stars on those terms, even though it failed as a romance for me.
"Curse of the Dragon's Tears" by Heidi Betts really left me with a blah feeling. I think her writing doesn't work for me. It was very standard paranormal romance story with cursed hero and heroine determined to save him with her love/lust. Let's have lots of hot sex and maybe we can figure out how to reverse the curse. It didn't do much for me. 3 stars.
"Brother's Keeper" by Lilith Saintcrow. This is my first story by this author, and I like her imagination. This story had very hot chemistry, and it was dark and kind of disturbing. The only thing that made the execution flawed was the internal monologue of the heroine. Selene would talk to herself in her head, and because it was 3rd person, it just seemed intrusive. I really think this should have been a 1st person story. I loved Nikolai. He was yummy! I'd like to read more of these characters. 4 stars.
"(Like a) Virgin of the Spring" by Susan Sizemore and Denise Little. Great premise muddied down by too much sex. Pretty cool how they worked time travelers into the King Arthur lore. I think if there was less sex and more story, this would have been close to five stars. As it was, more of a 3.5 star story.
"Life is the Teacher" by Carrie Vaughn. This woman can write. She took the paranormal premise and created a literary feel to this story that sucked me in. Emma's a fledgling vampire who is going on her first hunt. You feel all her sadness, the impasse she faces as she confronts her old life, where she doesn't belong anymore, and embarking on a new life as a creature of the night. It was poignant and also evocative. The sensuality was well-incorporated and fit the mood of this story about Emma's awakening to her life as a vampire. 4.5 stars.
"Moonlight Becomes You" by Linda Winstead Jones. This story had a humorous element, as a young woman investigates her neighbor, who she believes to be a vampire. It helps that he's sexy, and seems interested in her. I liked the twist in this story. 4 stars.
"Dirty Magic" by Kim Harrison was a beautiful, yet disturbing story. Mia the Banshee deals with her forbidden love for a young musician. His love is an irresistible lure to a creature who is drawn to and who feeds off the emotions of humans. I didn't really like the way this ended, but it was superbly-written. 4 stars.
I was tired after finishing this volume. I definitely needed a break from the paranormal sex motif. As I do with most anthologies, this would have worked better if I read it on and off. But, reading the stories back to back made some of the lesser-involving ones a chore to read.
Overall rating: 4 stars. Nothing truly bad, just some that didn't work for me. Marjorie Liu's story definitely was the shining star in this collection.
Well, I finally started the much lauded Lords of the Underworld series. I was happy with this book. However, it does have some issues with it that I f...moreWell, I finally started the much lauded Lords of the Underworld series. I was happy with this book. However, it does have some issues with it that I felt detracted from it as a stellar read. I felt like there was a roughness in some of the writing. I have a theory about this. I think that the publishers really put a lot of pressure on the paranormal writers to put out a series quickly. This takes time away from the authors that they need to polish each book so that it can be at its best. I felt like scenes jumped around a lot, and some things got left out, so I had to go back and reread scenes. It also felt like a set-up book. The mythology was a little more vague that I wanted it to be. It refers to the Greek gods as "The Greeks" and the Titans as "The Titans." Who are they? I wanted to know more about them. I was left with big questions unanswered. Perhaps this will be revealed as the book progresses. I just wanted to see some of this information get integrated into this book. There were some things I didn't like about the setup, like the Hunters. I'm not sure that they are formidable enough enemies. Maybe this series will come to show that there is a more dangerous menace for the Lords.
Okay, you are probably asking why this is a four star book, having said all this? I'll talk about that after I get the issues off my chest. Don't get me wrong. I love these paranormal series, but I wish that as much energy went into the first book, so that the quality is consistent. It's really hard when you try to recommend books to people, but you have to say, "But don't give up if you don't care for the first book." I hate when that happens, because then that person thinks, "Hmm. What's up with her taste in books?" Not that I think that, mind you. But you worry your friend will think that.
Okay, let's talk about the positives with this book. I loved the concept of these warriors who have been cursed by being inhabited by ancient demons that were released from Pandora's Box. Yes, the Pandora's Box of Greek Mythology. Pretty darn awesome premise. And the execution is very good so far, minus the issues I expressed above. The characters were interesting and I wanted to learn more about them. Each warrior stands out from the other. I already feel emotionally engaged with the Lords, and I want to see that happy resolution for each of them. I think Gena Showalter's imagination is really apparent in the characters she creates, and the storylines. She's really funny, too. I like the way the Lords interacted. What can I say? I'm a big fan of the group of guys who live together and fight together. They're friends, most of the time, but sometimes they can be antagonistic with each other. But at the end of the day, they would die for each other.
Ashlyn was adorable. Not just that. She was pretty courageous. Some might consider her too sweet, but I like sweet heroines. I thought she was a perfect match for tortured Maddox. I like how drawn she was to him from the beginning. He made the voices stop, but she was very attracted to him, and almost was the pursuer in this book. Maddox was a good hero. You liked him and felt for him. I think how he suffered was pretty awful. I don't think the dark elements are as dark as they can be in a paranormal romance, but I can't quibble about that. I know there are darker series that I can read for that. And at the end of the day, I love the sweetness of Gena Showalter's stories. I really want to smile when I finish reading them. I loved the end of this book. It was so satisfying that I read the last page again.
The steam factor is higher than her prior books. And she did well with that. The love scenes are hot and explosive, but they are loving. The best combination. You want the couple to be together. I loved all their scenes together and the way their attraction unfolds. There were parts that made me sigh, and other parts that made me want to fan myself because the scenes were hot.
This is a good book that will give you some enjoyable hours of entertainment, and you'll definitely want to keep reading the series. And if you're kind of iffy about this one, don't give up on this series, or the author (Grin).(less)
I loved this book. Lucien was absolutely sigh-worthy to me. So sad and lonely. And, he got his very own heroine who wouldn't give up on him. I think i...moreI loved this book. Lucien was absolutely sigh-worthy to me. So sad and lonely. And, he got his very own heroine who wouldn't give up on him. I think it took some major confidence to go after her man full throttle the way Anya did. From the beginning, I knew I would like Anya. She was the kind of heroine who knows what she wants, and is willing to work for it. Yes, she's a prankster, rather silly, in her own words, and not much for telling the truth, and she can be a pain in the butt at times. But I loved her, warts and all. I think she was just the kind of woman--the very woman--that sad, too-serious Lucien needed.
I loved how she would get him out of his funks with her flirtatious dialogue, and naughty clothing. She drove him crazy with her strawberries and cream scent. It was only fair, since Lucien managed to snare a girl who was unsnareable.
I felt bad for Anya. Being the daughter of the most promiscuous goddess on Olympus, Dysnomia, couldn't have been easy. Everyone was just waiting for her to follow in her mother's footsteps. And, as the (Minor) Goddess of Anarchy, her nature did dictate that she cause chaos, although she learned to express that in lesser ways. To top off the unfortunates for Anya, she was cursed by the wife of her father, because of the fact that she is a very obvious sign of that affair with her mother, being the spitting image of him. She got a lot of bad breaks in life. But she didn't sit and mope, she kept on trucking. So, I have to say that Anya turned out to be a favorite for me in this series (after reading the first three books). She was funny, and turned out to be quite a good asset and companion to them, despite her wise-cracks. And she's one heck of a warrior. Lucien could do worse than have a woman who completely adored him, even to the point of being willing to give up her freedom in more than one crucial way.
Now, Lucien. He's my favorite Lord so far. I doubt that will change. He's the strong, silent type, and wonderfully broody. He's actually pretty honorable, considering the murky past that the Lords have. To think he scarred himself horribly to keep women away from him after his love died when he couldn't save her. But his scars ending up being a draw to Anya, among other things. Many times, he was insecure, thinking she was just making fun of him, or using him, because of his lack of looks. His insecurity endeared him to me. I like that a hero can be the insecure one in a book. I get so tired of the men having all the power in romance novels. It was nice to see that he was the vulnerable one in some ways. Although I was glad that Anya didn't take advantage of it.
The Darkest Night was a little bit flawed as a start to the series, (definitely not as strong as this book), so I was very pleasantly surprised (although I think Gena Showalter is a very good author) how much I enjoyed this book. I had heard bad things about Anya, and I was wary, because I don't care for hardened, obnoxious heroines. However, she didn't come off to me that way. Despite her wise-cracks and her seeming self-absorption, I saw the little girl who was treated so poorly by the others on Olympus, and her yearning to feel special, and to never be under another person's thumb. I think that made her very identifiable to me. And the fact that she was so crazy about Lucien definitely endeared her to me.
This book was chock-full of sexy romance that tugged at my heart, crazy action, great world-building, and interesting characters. It totally invested me in this series. I can see myself rereading this book sooner rather than later, because I really loved Lucien and Anya as a couple. Also the secondary story with Paris really had me sympathizing with him, when I was rather turned off by him in the first book. I have to say that Ms. Showalter is really coming through with this interesting concept. This was definitely a five star read for me. And to those who have been put off by the bad impression that some readers have of Anya, I'd say give her a chance. She's actually a fun, likeable heroine, in my opinion. (less)
Although this series had a shaky start, I am really loving it. Heck, I'm a sucker for Greek mythology, so that helps. Throw in a tortured hero, and th...moreAlthough this series had a shaky start, I am really loving it. Heck, I'm a sucker for Greek mythology, so that helps. Throw in a tortured hero, and the battle's practically won. But, really, these are good stories, and I could tell that Gena Showalter is finding her groove. This series is much darker than her Atlantis series, and quite violent. But then, it's about Immortal, demon-possessed warriors. Comes with the territory. These books are also very steamy. Not too steamy, though.
Reyes was very tortured. I mean, what a curse! To have to hurt oneself to feel pleasure, or to maintain one's sanity. In a way, it was almost sickening for me, to see him carving himself with knives and hurting himself, relishing being horribly wounded by others. There was a bit of an ick factor there for me. Having said that, I was okay reading this story. I think that this was an iffy story, but the execution was well-done. I'm so not into that painful/pleasurable sex storyline, but I kept reading. I was glad that Ms. Showalter managed to keep most of that out of the sex scenes. Otherwise, oh, I would have been way out of comfort zones.
I loved how tender Reyes was with Danika, even when I didn't think she deserved his devotion. I tried really hard not to judge Danika, knowing that she was just being a human who was in a rough situation. But, I thought I would hate her forever when she started working with the Hunters. I was crying, "No. That's so wrong." In my mind, it was. The Lords didn't hurt her at all. They let her family go and protected her. Yes, Aeron was off his rocker, but it was clear that they were going to do their best to protect her and her family. So, I was on the edge of hating poor Danika. It was a see-saw with me. I was glad that Reyes was aware that she was considering betraying him. With his eyes open, I felt better about his willingness to show her such loving, selfless devotion. A girl can only be so lucky. In the end, I was okay with Danika, although I much prefer Anya and Ashlyn. Reyes loves her so much, I can't hate the girl, after all. And, I ended up liking the reveal when it came to what Danika truly was.
This series is building nicely. I am eager to read about the other Lords' stories. My heart goes out to poor Paris. I hope he is able to get a happy ending. It was great seeing Lucien and Anya, and Maddox and Ashlyn in their gushy lovey-dovey-ness. I loved all the smart alecky comments and sarcastic quips from the gang, as well. Anya makes me laugh, her and William. Lucien is sigh-worthy. I just love him. Gideon cracks me up with his lies! Sabin made me want to slap him in some scenes, and feel very sad for him in others. I hope she writes a story for poor Cameo. Maybe there will be a man who can love her despite the misery she inspires in those who hear her voice and see her face. The Hunters got on my ever-living nerves. Initially, I didn't like them as the main villains at all. But it turned out to be a solid source of intrigue, especially with the developments with a former Lord. I liked that Ms. Showalter took the Greek mythology and took it in a novel direction by focusing on the Titans.
Honestly, this would have been five stars, were it not for my intermittent dislike of Danika. Otherwise, it was an enthralling read that I found hard to put down. After this one, I'll take a break and read something else, so I don't run out of these books. But, I'm excited to continue this series. (less)
I'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. Although it took me a while to finish this book because of outside factors, I thought it was pretty awesome. My on...moreI'd give this 4.5 stars if I could. Although it took me a while to finish this book because of outside factors, I thought it was pretty awesome. My one complaint is I think the ending was a bit rushed. This might be the hottest book that I have read by GS so far. The love scenes were pretty steamy. One thing I liked is that Gray has a very large POV in this story. It's really cool to see a romance from the guy's perspective. And I feel that his viewpoint read pretty authentic for a guy. He did and said, and thought exactly the way I would imagine a man would think. Now I have never walked in a man's shoes, so I might be disputed on this. Nevetheless it felt real to me.
As typical for GS, there was an aura of sweetness and good-naturedness to this story. It is difficult to describe, but in the books I've read by Ms. Showalter with the exception of Awaken Me Darkly there seems to be this upbeat tone. Now that doesn't mean that bad things don't happen and people don't die in this book or her others. But you get the impression that in the end, everything will work out and good will prevail. I must say I like that about her books. Life can seem pretty dark and hopeless. It's nice to read a book with an overall tone of optimism. I love my angsty, dark romances, but it's also nice to read some that are on the upbeat side as well.
The mythology in this story is pretty interesting. It borrows from Greek myths, but there are some extra things added. I have never thought of vampires as being a large aspect of the Greek mythology, and I believe the Formorians are from ancient Celtic mythology. Thus I feel that there is a potpourri of folklore used to develop Showalter's Atlantis universe. As always, I am a folklore/mythology geek, so I enjoyed seeing the mythological creatures that populated this story.
It was also nice to revisit Darius and his bride Grace, and see the intriguing Layel (can't wait to read his story). Those demons are just gross and don't sound the least bit attractive to me.
I really did like Jewel. She was a sweet person but also formidable in her own way. She had been in love with Gray from afar for many years, seeing him in visions in her mind. I thought it was sad that she had seen the profusion of women he'd been with in her mind in excruciating detail, but she didn't let that bother her, but took her opportunity to be with him the capacity available to her. I appreciated her love for others, and how she often tried to sacrifice her well-being to help others. She had a rough existence, but in a way that is rather different from other romance heroines.
I must say that this is a great book to read if you are a fan of the paranormal genre. It's not dark and intense in the way that a lot of the popular series right now are. But it's very good and fun, but has depth that will fill your hours until the last word has been read.(less)
This is a scholarly, but very readable presentation on Greek mythology. In fact, this story really added to my love of the Greek myths. It doesn't spa...moreThis is a scholarly, but very readable presentation on Greek mythology. In fact, this story really added to my love of the Greek myths. It doesn't spare the reader the darker aspects, so be warned. I would give this book to a good reader of 8 or more years of age, if they were unfamiliar with the Greek myths. Probably would leave Bulfinch for an older reader.(less)
I felt like there was something missing from this book. I liked it, but I think it could have been better. The storytelling seemed basic--not somethin...moreI felt like there was something missing from this book. I liked it, but I think it could have been better. The storytelling seemed basic--not something I'm used to with Ms. Kenyon. I get that this was supposed to be short story, but it was a little too barebones for me. The characters (other than Aidan) just didn't seem to come to life for me, which is atypical for a Sherrilyn Kenyon story. My biggest issue is the short length. I think that keeping this short really restricted the complexity of this story, and it really did need more depth. I think this would have been a great novella, but it falls short of greatness as a novella, unfortunately.
What I liked:
*Aidan was a good hero. I could see why he was so bitter and sad. He'd been let down by people he was supposed to trust, people he'd do just about anything for. It was interesting that he was a movie star, what that entailed. I did appreciate how Ms. Kenyon wrote about the negative aspects of fame, although Aidan always had a good head on his shoulders. If he was a real guy, he'd be a movie star I'd respect as a person. I would love to see that movie Alabaster, that he was in. It sounds good. *Leta was good too, although I thought that I could have used more elaboration about her backstory. It was a nice change for the heroine to be the one driven by vengeance. *There was a good romance here, although I needed more depth to be great. *It was good to see Deimos again. I liked him in The Dream Hunter. Hope he shows up again. *I liked how we got to see various people who we've met in the Dark-Hunter world celebrate Christmas. It brought back some happy memories of reading their stories, and made me eager to read the following books in this series. *I loved the fantastical elements, especially the worlds that Lyssa created. Very freaky and weird. Nice touch.
I think every author has a book that's not so great. Unfortunately, this is probably the one I'd name for Ms. Kenyon. I think she's a very talented author, and I enjoy reading her books. I just needed a richer longer book for this one to shine as brightly as it could have. (less)
Although The Darkest Whisper wasn't a perfect book, I loved it. This world of the Lords of the Underworld has really grabbed a hold on me.
I wasn't th...moreAlthough The Darkest Whisper wasn't a perfect book, I loved it. This world of the Lords of the Underworld has really grabbed a hold on me.
I wasn't that keen on Sabin's character in the previous books, but I ended up adoring the guy. He's actually got some traits I like in a hero. I respect him for his incredible skill as a warrior and military tactician. I like that he's very focused and determined. He seems to have a sense of honor, for the most part. I turns out he's pretty sentimental about women, and truly loved Darla, his lost love. I liked the way he treated Gwen, like she was important to him, even though he tried to tell himself she was merely a means to an end. I liked that he loved all of her, harpy part included, and strived to see that she was a capable warrior. Sabin was also a good leader. I could see why his men were devoted to him. He made me feel all warm and fuzzy, and it was hard to stay mad at him when he did something I didn't agree with. Because he was so sorry about it, and he thought he was doing the right thing.
As for Gwen, she was a very interesting character. I loved the harpy storyline. I haven't read too many books that had harpies as main characters. I like what Ms. Showalter did with the harpy folklore, making it her own, and giving them particular traits. Gwen showed a lot of growth over the course of this book, finding her inner strength, and learning to be comfortable with who she is. She's still a work in progress, but I think she's a great character. I also liked her sisters, although sometimes they were a bit annoying. I'm glad that Gwen found the inner strength to step out of their shadow, and to be happy with herself; realizing she isn't less than they are.
I loved the romance between Gwen and Sabin. I felt their bond and their chemistry very deeply. I liked how Doubt was afraid of Gwen, and her presence kept him quiet, especially when she became at peace with her inner harpy. I liked that Ms. Showalter let their chemistry build nicely. By the time the love scenes came around, I was like, "Heck Yeah!" Gwen and Sabin turned out to be my second favorite couple after Anya and Lucien.
Being able to catch up with the Lords and Co. and their women since the last book was another part of this book I enjoyed. I like their tight relationship, and the way they joke around with each other, but always have each others' backs. I am very psyched to read the stories of the Lords who haven't had books yet. I think they will be very interesting books.
On the downside, I finished this book last night, and I was so tired, it was hard to keep up with the last part of it. There was so much going on, and it was a little confusing. Despite that fact, I liked the storyline with the kids. That was pretty interesting. Another negative for me is that I don't really find Galen and Stefano to be compelling villains, but I hope that will change with the forthcoming books, or there will be some better villains in the next books. They're mainly just annoying jerks to me. The Hunters get on my nerves, for the most part.
Even though the ending left me confused, and it seemed to go by too quickly, and there were some large loose ends, I can't give this book less than five stars. I just enjoyed too much. There is something very addictive about this series, even though I can see some things that I wish were different (namely the Hunter storyline). I think it's because Gena Showalter does such a great job with paranormal romance, in my opinion. She writes about people who take hold of my interest, she's very funny, the romance steams off the page, and I end up enjoying myself tremendously when I read her books. I love what she's done with the Greek myths. She's taking some familiar things, and adding some novel touches to make a delectable confection. And I'll keep coming back for more.(less)