Well, I guess I should start by saying that I knew right from the start that this book was supposedly mediocre. There is no supposedly about it. This...moreWell, I guess I should start by saying that I knew right from the start that this book was supposedly mediocre. There is no supposedly about it. This is mediocre, but I really wanted to like it. It had a good idea. Quinn was cute, Sarah was alright. The idea of shape shifting dragons got me really excited, but this was just not put together right. Which was a huge shame.
One thing that bothered me in a huge way was that I was never sure what size the dragons were. I started this book with the idea that the dragons would be big beasties, but then I started to get the impression that they were the size of bats? Did I miss something because I don't think Deborah Cooke explained their size. Also I understand that the dragons can beguile humans, but to my understanding they have to be staring a human in the eye, so the hastily explained brush off that the dragons had beguiled all the humans while they had their airborne firebreathing rumble in the sky did not wash. Please, Madame authoress, don't assume your readers are stupid.
Also Sarah and Quinn's first meetings left me seriously annoyed. I can understand anyone not believing in the existence of dragons, but can you still refuse to believe when one is staring you in the face? Because now you're the crazy one if you keep refusing to believe.
Plus the firestorm thing left me feeling confused and letdown. What I thought would be a fiery and passionate joining was pretty lackluster and as close to a "fade to black" scene as could get. Did it mean death when the firestorm dies out? Can it happen more then once?
*shakes book in frustrated anger* What the hell is going on!!!!
Just sitting here thinking about this book is making me more confused and mad and that is not a good place to be after finishing a book. Kind of leaves you p*ssed that you wasted time, money and energy trying to figure this out. Such a crying shame because I really wanted to like this book. Call me a glutton for punishment or a hopeless optimist but I have great hopes for the second book, Kiss of Fury, so I am willing to try again. (less)
Rhyannon Byrd's Last Wolf Standing stars Torrance Wilson and werewolf Mason Dillinger. Torrance is minding her own business, getting lunch at a cafe w...moreRhyannon Byrd's Last Wolf Standing stars Torrance Wilson and werewolf Mason Dillinger. Torrance is minding her own business, getting lunch at a cafe when she meets Mason. Their eyes meet and it's instant magic. Mason is busy trying to feed his friend and catch a rogue werewolf at the time but when he catches the delicious scent of his mate he's instantly on the prowl. Desperate to get to her but unsure of how to approach her, he does the only thing he can think of to get her to stay and talk with him. Thinking fast, he employs a foolproof plan and trips her. Gallantly he comes to her aid but his intensity unnerves Torrance and pretty soon she's fleeing him. Unfortunately, the rogue werewolf Mason was tracking caught the whole spectacle and follows Torrance to her home and attacks her. Luckily for her, Mason was hot on his mate's heels and was able to thwart the attack. He takes her up to the mountains to protect her and to also hopefully lay claim to the woman nature has decreed as his mate. Due to the hierarchy within the werewolf clan, Mason and his family have dealt with prejudice all his life and because of it he's afraid to love and to trust, believing it will make him vulnerable. Torrance is willing to mate with Mason and accept the strange and frightening new world she's been thrust into, but she won't do it without his love. Mason is going to have to learn to let go of his own pride and let his little mate into his heart if he's going to win her.
The introduction of Mason and Torrance was extremely fun. I've never read about the hero grabbing his heroine's attention by tripping her. His near frantic attempts to make Torrance believe that he was harmless was so funny to read about, especially after he starts freaking her out with his intensity. Unfortunately, once the fun of their first meeting passes, it all goes downhill. The rogue werewolf that attacks Torrance is a barely fleshed out, one dimensional bad guy. He's angry that Mason killed his brother 5 years ago and has just now found a way to get his revenge. After that we don't see the villain again until the end, but he does pop up every now and again through lame phone calls, where he passes along his dire threats.
The worldbuilding of the werewolf clan and their hierarchy was not very informative or imaginative and the whole pace of the book was slow. Rhyannon Byrd really doesn't do anything with the story except have the the hero and heroine go back and forth on why they can't love each other. The villain pops up every now and again with his telephone tough guy act, while the heroine bemoans the fact that the love of her life won't love her back and the hero stresses that his mate can't get past the fact that he's a werewolf.
The sex was also boring, I thought. I was surprised that a Rhyannon Byrd novel would have such tepid, lukewarm love scenes. There was only two sex scenes in the book and they were pretty yawn worthy.
All in all, I was disappointed with the Last Wolf Standing and can't recommend it. It didn't have any interesting characters that I would want to revisit, the sex was nothing to write home about and the pace of the book was as riveting as watching paint dry. :((less)
Victoria Stark, an Imperial Navigations Pilot is known as the Victorious Star, due to her uncanny ability to save her ships long after the captains ha...moreVictoria Stark, an Imperial Navigations Pilot is known as the Victorious Star, due to her uncanny ability to save her ships long after the captains have abandoned said ships. She's also never "serviced" any captain, so when she's kidnapped by a mercenary, Captain Aubrey Ravnos of the Hellsbreath, he takes savage delight in being her first. Joining in on the fun is the second in command, Commander Seht, and both men take great pleasure out of asserting their dominance over her. Victoria wasn't brought onto the Hellsbreath just for fun and games though, Ravnos has a mission for her. He needs her and Seht to infiltrate an auction where The Arcane, an Imperial ship is being sold and steal the ship's sentience before any other mercenaries can get their hands on it. The Arcane has seen countless battles and to Victoria, it's a war hero that deserves respect. She's determined to save the ship and so she embarks on a dangerous DNA transformation that turns her into a rehkyt. Seht's people enslave humans and turn them rehkyt, or mind altered slaves, and in Victoria's case, he's going to turn her into a seysehn, or sex-toy. It will explain her presence with him and provide Seht with an amusing way to pass the time. While Victoria might chafe at the loss of her independence and the loss of her ranking within the Imperium, she's fallen in love with the two men in her life and revels in their desire for her. She's determined to save The Arcane and return safely to the Hellsbreath but once there, she is unsure of what the future holds. Will she be able to stay with Seht and Ravnos? Or will her new DNA markings force her to flee from the very men who made her change possible?
I really, really liked this book. It was extremely sexy, erotic and sensuous as all get out. It was exciting and Morgan Hawke filled it with extremely interesting characters. There were amusing introductions to fellow rehkyts, as well as a very perverted old Stationmaster that had me laughing and rolling my eyes at his eager, horny antics. Plus, the sentient mind of The Arcane was really funny and I liked having him around. The plot wasn't overly complicated but the world building was fascinating to read about, though it takes a few reads to process all the nuances and especially the names.
Captain Ravnos and Commander Seht have a very intriguing past and Victoria is dragged literally into the middle of these two dominate and forceful men. Ravnos is an augmented human and Seht is a Skeldhi prince. The Skeldhi race hate humans and think them only worthwhile as slaves, and for Seht to operate underneath the command of Ravnos makes for a very interesting story. There is definite love between these two proud men but it's a stormy, uncomfortable type of love. The type of I-hate-to-love-you passion that needs the calming influence of a woman to gentle. There are some very tender m/m moments but most of the erotic action is m/f/m oriented. The first love scene is a little eyebrow raising with it's forcefulness but I enjoyed it very, very much, as did Victoria. There is also one extremely erotic whipping scene between the two men that I found surprisingly arousing and strangely compelling. Normally I don't like m/m or female dominant BDSM scenes because they tend to get bloody. While this one does gets bloody, it was extremely erotic and very loving. It was a beautifully written, brutal scene that is not for the faint of heart. Heck, this whole book is not for the faint of heart, but I enjoyed it and if you like sci/fi romance with a little BDSM and D/s thrown into the mix, you will enjoy this, too. I highly recommend this book as an exciting and humorous read that you will not be disappointed in.(less)
With an incompetent king on the throne, the kingdom of Xyian is in danger of falling to the Firelanders who swarm outside the city's gates. Thrust int...moreWith an incompetent king on the throne, the kingdom of Xyian is in danger of falling to the Firelanders who swarm outside the city's gates. Thrust into a war that she can do nothing to prevent, Master Healer Xylara, sister to the king, does what she can to prevent the suffering of the men on both sides of the war. Heedless to her brother's demands that she stop treating the enemy, Xylara continues visiting the prisoners, doing the best she can to ease their conditions, and in doing so, brings herself to the attention of the great Warlord himself. If Xyian wishes peace, he demands tribute in the form of Xylara. Proclaimed the Warprize and hailed by the Firelanders, she's told by her spineless brother that she will be nothing but a slave, brought to the Warlord for his pleasure. With a heavy heart, she allows herself to be carried off to the enemy camp, fearful of the future. With miscommunication heavy between them and an enemy intent on destroying the tenuous peace between their two lands, Lara and the Warlord hardly have time to explore the budding desire between them, but explore it they must. For the peace and prosperity of two nations rests on the off chance that the Warlord can claim Lara's heart.
This was such a fabulously interesting romantic fantasy done entirely in Lara's POV. I thought this was different and a nice change of pace from what I normally read. While there was a nice romantic element in this story, most of this book is about the cultural gaps between the Xyians and Firelanders and if they will ever be able to bridge them. The antagonist of this story was a little pathetic and it was obvious it was him, but I didn't care. I was mostly interested in the incredible worldbuilding. My absolute favorite part were the "pattern dances" that go on during the middle part of the book. They are intricately choreographed dances that were beautifully described. That part of the story just came to life for me and I enjoyed it immensely. There was alot of humorous little bits running throughout this story, least of which, everyone ignoring Lara's continued pleas that someone call her by her name, instead of constantly referring to her as the Warprize. My only drawback was that I wished this story had more romance in it, a few more one on one interactions between Keir and Lara, but there are two more books in this series so hopefully I can get more from those.
Keir, known as the Warlord, was a magnificent male specimen. Your typical rough, tough and brawny warrior who lays claim to his Warprize. He constantly tried to be thoughtful and respectful and was almost too good to be true with his understanding and courteous treatment of Lara. While he doubtlessly wished he could spend his days lounging in naked splendor with his Warprize, he did have a war camp to run and a country to reorganize so that unfortunately left Lara free to roam about the camp. She might be unsure of her place within the hierarchy of the camp but she knows she's a great Healer so she quickly finds her niche.
There was a great bunch of characters that Elizabeth Vaughan created and I can't wait to continue indulging in their stories. This wasn't an overly graphic war story, no descriptive battle scenes, nor was the sex overly explicit. The fantastical elements in this story aren't over the top either. There wasn't a huge need to suspend reality. A lot of times I forgot this was a fantasy and thought I was reading a medieval romance. I highly recommend this story and can't wait to read more.(less)
Alright. Loved the Harpies. They reminded me of Kresley Cole's Valkyries.
I liked Sabin. He was certainly ruthless and I liked Gwen as well. While the...moreAlright. Loved the Harpies. They reminded me of Kresley Cole's Valkyries.
I liked Sabin. He was certainly ruthless and I liked Gwen as well. While there was a lot of romance between the two of them, I also feel like their love story was not the main focus of the book. While I liked Sabin and Gwen, I liked the book as a whole better.
And while I loved the Harpies, I was also leery of how powerful they were. Since Gwen can kick so much butt by herself, if all the Harpies were together it seems like they would win the war all by themselves.
This could have been a 5 star read but at the end I lost respect for Gwen. I was actually pretty disgusted by her. She could have pleaded for imprisonment or something, not a flat out pardon. I also can't believe that the other Lords were okay with that. And I was also let down by Sabin's actions as well. A lot of time was spent making us know that Sabin never differentiates between men and women. He treats them all equally. Yet he does some dumb stuff trying to baby Gwen.
Also, while I'm nitpicking, Nix barely makes a blip in this book. It's not even a walk on part. More like a spied-on-from-a-distance role. Ugh. Disappointing. And if she's paired with whom I think Gena Showalter/Kresley Cole are looking to pair her up with - doubly disappointing.
There was a lot of set up for future Lords of the Underworld books and after all the sequel baiting the one I'm looking forward to the most is Kane, Keeper of Disaster. That poor guy really makes me laugh. Then some of them are so emotionally scarred that it hurts to read about them. Torin, Keeper of Disease, and Paris, Keeper of Promiscuity. Plus Gideon, Keeper of Lies needs a HEA fast. Poor guy.
All in all I really liked this book but I wish some different decisions could have been made in regards to that ending. (less)