When the secret was unveiled that the creatures of nightmares and legends did in fact exist, humans immediately enacted e5 STARS!!!
When the secret was unveiled that the creatures of nightmares and legends did in fact exist, humans immediately enacted every force in their arsenal to protect themselves from the new unknown. Now, five years after the Second Civil War has ended, a thin precarious coat of civility exists between humans and Otherborn. In fact, war may once again be upon the horizon as the world watches the vampire population starve into extinction after a man-made vaccine inoculated human blood from a vamp's thirst. In a final bid to uphold the tenuous peace, the FBI has created a specialized task force called Para-Ops. Their mission: regain a stolen antidote that may be the key to counteracting the effects of the vaccine that is polluting the vamp's sole food source.
Human FBI Special Agent, Felicia Locke, has warred endlessly with her consuming desire and its resulting guilt from the moment she laid eyes on her best friend's husband and fell helplessly in love. Now, having tragically lost her beautiful friend to senseless murder, Felicia's mind is still dead set against any romantic chance for her and the luscious half-breed vampire clan leader, Knox Devereaux. Truth be told, there's many reasons why the two can't enter into a relationship and each one is more significant than the last. Most importantly, Felicia will not disabuse the memory of her friend by consummating the guilty love that she's felt for her husband. Two, Felicia's human and knowing Knox's deep desire to prove to his clan that he's nothing like his traitorous human father, he most certainly will marry another vampire as the vamp council demands. In vamp culture, few marry for love. Like a throw back to Victorian principles, marriages are arranged for the benefit of the clan and no one is more dedicated to duty than Knox and Felicia will be damned before she becomes his mistress. She wants marriage and a family and she'll settle for nothing less. But when Knox steps up his passionate pursuit, Felicia's hold on her principles are quickly slipping.
Knox has hungered desperately for Felicia from the very moment he laid eyes on her and he ceased to ever make a secret of his love, even with regards to his own wife. Having a higher set of morals than most of her human kind, Felicia has been steadfast in her denial of him and their love but that's going to end once and for all. Knox is done waiting and he's been offered the perfect opportunity to claim Felicia as well as save his clan from starvation. After being approached by the FBI to head a new Para-Ops team, Knox wastes little time debating his decision. His clan is dying and he'll do whatever is necessary to save them even if it means working with the very same people that developed the despicable vaccine that doomed vampires to begin with. In addition to his agreement to lead, Knox wants Felicia and the FBI will deliver on that demand but not in the way Knox anticipated. Instead of the FBI re-assigning her to the Dome, his clan's home where Knox can be certain of her safety, Felicia is assigned to Para-Ops.
Knowing that Knox is bound to marry again given his duty to his people and their need to re-populate, Felicia is done wasting more time without Knox when he'll soon be lost to her forever. Not buying Knox's attempt to install her as security detail at the already tightly secured Dome, Felicia asks to be assigned to Para-Ops. Her hostage negotiating skills are bound to be of use when a group of hostile and distrusting Otherborn operatives are thrust together and are asked to accomplish a team goal. But when she and Knox finally give in to their burning need, Felicia realizes that Knox has never truly known or trusted who she is. While it's true that he can't deny his soul's call to her own, it doesn't stop him from discriminating or distrusting Felicia's human DNA despite the fact that he himself is half human. The taint of his traitorous father delves deeper within Knox than either him or Felicia realized and if he doesn't take control of his wayward emotions, he won't just lose Felicia, he'll lose her forever.
Loyal, brave, and steadfast, anyone would be lucky to call Felicia Locke friend. In addition, her quick thinking, fighting skills, and stellar verbal sparring make her perfect for the FBI and Para-Ops. Unlike most humans, Felicia was raised, has befriended, and fights for the Otherborn creatures. Given the chance to not only help Otherborn kind, but more to the point, to help her lost vampire friend by eradicating the scourge her own race has heaped onto vamps to assuage their fear is paramount. But even beyond that, Felicia is aching for Knox. When the one and only opportunity presents itself, that being Para-Ops, Felicia can't let it pass. Knox will uphold his duty and soon marry a vampire as his race demands, but right now, in this moment he's unattached. While there are still several barriers that may never be breached where their love is concerned, the immediate one holding Felicia back is the fear that she'll never get enough of Knox. That scratching the itch won't lesson its burn but forever inflame it.
A born leader through to his core, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux will always go above and beyond his duty to his clan. But there is resentment that festers within his heart. Born half vampire and half human, Knox has had to work harder than a pure blooded vampire to gain the respect he deserves. To make his plight even worse, his human father is a convicted traitor having given humans the powerful secrets necessary to subdue, fight, and kill vampires. However, there are bittersweet benefits to his tainted DNA. Knox has not felt the horrific effects that the human vaccine has wrought upon his pure blooded brethren. Leading not by popularity but by his sheer physical strength amongst a starving population, Knox's de facto power generates friction within the vamp council. But all the angst he faces pales with the opportunity to find the antidote and and not only save his clan, but grant him the opportunity to claim Felicia.
Beyond just being a man, Knox's vampire culture doesn't understand the whole failing notion of having one's cake and eating it too. He will marry a vampire as his clan, and more importantly, as his race demands. Knox also loves Felicia and he wants her by his side for the entirety of her human life. From his perspective, he doesn't understand why Felicia can't handle the necessary evil of him mating with his vampire wife purely for the sake of re-population. Beyond that, his future wife would mean nothing and would in fact, know and understand the situation that she'll be wife in name only but his heart and his love would belong to Felicia. What prevents Knox from becoming a caveman however is that in all honestly, he wants to provide Felicia with her dream of marriage and a family. The question is, will Knox uphold his resentful duty or give in to the all consuming love he and Felicia share?
My Final Thoughts:
CHOSEN BY BLOOD is a rare find. Its a book that captured my attention from the moment I glimpsed its cover and it was a feeling of possible greatness soon strengthened by the promising summary. And I knew, the moment I dove into the first chapter that all my instincts were about to become proof of one hell of a thrilling romance.
Boasting one of the best opening chapters I've ever read, CHOSEN BY BLOOD opens with one of my favorite plot devices where the hero and heroine have a previous history. Even better is when that history involves love from afar so you can imagine my glee when the first pages immediately unveiled two yearning souls desperate to be together but uncontrollable forces have kept them apart. From the very start, the reader is skillfully enmeshed within the combustible chemistry of Knox Devereaux and Felicia Locke as well as the agony of circumstances that have thus far succeeded in keeping each other just out of reach. No sooner does this happen that you yourself become desperate for more.
In addition to the romance between Knox and Felicia, CHOSEN BY BLOOD hosts an eclectic group of secondary characters that hold the valuable promise of fantastic series installments to come. What do you get when you toss together a werebeast with a chip on his shoulder, a mage with a distinctly feline secret, a human psychic that defies the word beautiful, a wraith (ghost) that can't complete a single sentence without dropping the f-bomb, and a love feuding human and half-breed vampire? One hell of a storm tossed thrill ride! There's never a dull moment to be had when one or all of these unlikely team members are within the same vicinity. Outright hatred and acute distrust erupts almost immediately between some or all members but for better or for worse, this is Para-Ops. I've come to several conclusions regarding the writing strengths of authors. In my opinion, a mark of a good author is when each character can stand alone and be readily identifiable. But a mark of a great author is when one character can utter a single sentence and the reader will know without any additional information who that character is. The latter is Virna DePaul.
CHOSEN BY BLOOD is the very definition of high octane action with plotting that never lets up until the very end. Be prepared to hold tight while the book bucks and twists its way through ultimate fighting showdowns, shocking government cover ups, and a multitude of dirty little secrets. Finally, the Pièce de résistance: the passionate inferno that is the romance between Knox and Felicia. Never once, no matter how intense the scenes or how twisted the plot, the romance and all its conflicting and passionate emotions never takes a backseat but instead seeps heatedly throughout.
A paranormal "A-Team" with the added bonus of lush romance, CHOSEN BY BLOOD is one read this year that you don't want to miss. Enjoy!
*Spoiler Alert: ARCHANGEL'S CONSORT is book THREE in the Guild Hunter Series and it would be impossible to review this novel without spoilinMy Review:
*Spoiler Alert: ARCHANGEL'S CONSORT is book THREE in the Guild Hunter Series and it would be impossible to review this novel without spoiling its predecessors, ANGELS' BLOOD & ARCHANGEL'S KISS. If you haven't read these previous two installments yet and you're planning to, DO NOT read any farther.*
The Archangel Raphael and his consort, the newly angel-Made Elena Deveraux, return to Raphael's North American territory, The Tower and New York City after the globe-trotting events of ARCHANGEL'S KISS. Having thus far been shielded from the general population, Elena is prepared and yet dreading the awe struck attention she'll undoubtedly receive from the city's citizens but her anxiousness to get back to her Guild Hunter duties far outranks the inevitable hassle her midnight dawn wings will create. But no sooner do the two arrive home when a new deadly threat looms menacingly once again on the horizon.
An ancient archangel is awakening and the entire Earth can feel the shattering effects of her wilting slumber. Raging natural destruction wrecks havoc upon and around the globe while more precise, stabbing incidents are directed at Elena specifically such as a violently strong gust of wind or an earthquake rumbling only under Elena's feet. In addition, Raphael and the Cadre - the ruling council of archangels - themselves are feeling acute and dire backlashes from the power leakage of the awakening ancient. A red haze of rage clouds their morale, robbing them of the ability to control their own powerful and inhuman urges. While the latter effect is merely what it is, a backlash of power, the deadly incidences involving Elena are the result of a jealous mother who desires her son to rule the world without an incumbent consort to steal her own glorious limelight. Thus the Archangel Caliane is awaking from her millennium long slumber. Her intentions are not entirely known but one thing is for certain: Elena is a weakness Caliane will not tolerate in her son.
Yet daily life marches on whilst the angels await Caliane's full awakening. Elena's wings are now a fully formed and ingrained part of her psyche as well as the reader's mind eye. But being immortal isn't simply an easy gift bestowing power and flight fully formed, instead power and strength are accumulated over time. The angels of this world are a species whereby muscle memory and stamina required to fly is built much as one first learning to walk or run would experience. This isn't something easily handed to Elena, instead it's taking time for her to learn and build muscle for flight sustainability and the maneuvers necessary to handle both man made threats and natural ones. However, Elena's inability to as of yet perform important life saving maneuvers forces her to rely on the help of Raphael and his Seven - the group of angels and vampires sworn to protect Raphael. Being babysat, however, grates harshly upon Elena's warrior soul. Not accustomed to relying on others or suffering her every move under their watchful gaze, Elena feels much like a bird trapped in a gilded cage. But as she grapples with the boundaries of her new world, she learns to not only appreciate help, but to request help which is a new idea for our warrior huntress.
In addition, a whole new level of complexity is unraveled regarding Elena's relationship with her father and the blood soaked past they share. Elena's Hunter-born genes arouse new suspicions regarding her inheritance casting a deeper shadow of betrayal upon her soul. These revelations also force Elena closer to her father, the closest that she's been in ten years proving once again that blood is and will always be the tie that binds. The past will never be forgotten as it continually seeps into the present haunting Elena even within the light of day.
And finally, Raphael's and Elena's relationship is still as passionate and explosive as ever with the pages igniting every time these two come within the vicinity of each other. However, there is a new balance to their ardor, a more tug and pull verses a violent wrenching. Their roles have become more supportive as they grow closer and come to rely on each other for strength and support. Elena, a woman who let down her guard in front of no man, has given Raphael the gift of holding her vulnerabilities, of allowing him to catch her when she falls both emotionally and physically. It's telling, the strength of her love, and she's finally entrusted Raphael with her whole heart and soul. Likewise, Raphael has come to trust his own fierce emotions with the newly angel-Made Elena. His greatest fear is hurting Elena as she's still so incredibly vulnerable, immortal or not. But Elena fights hard to bear the entire array of Raphael's emotions, to tangle with him at his most volatile moments whether that be sexually or emotionally and Raphael has finally learned to trust that she can handle everything he as an archangel can throw her way.
Almost a dichotomy in the romance realm, Elena possesses the kick ass abilities of an Urban Fantasy Heroine combined with the vulnerabilities, heady emotions and the soul deep need for her hero as a straight Romance Heroine. There's something richly absorbing and inspiring about a woman that can fully take care and defend herself. A woman who needs no man. Elena is raw, earthy and unattainable to all but a select few who have proven their loyalty. Like a moth to a flame, she's a force all unto herself as she draws intense notice from those around her, and so much more now that she has wings. She's a shining star, a warrior who is the perfect match for a lethal and all consuming archangel who will likewise demand all of her as she of him.
Raphael is a potent radiating mix of power, intrigue, and beauty. He's unmistakable even in the midst of a thousand angels. To be the recipient of such awe, of such sheer force of being, would be an experience and it puts Elena's strength of will in tangible perspective. And like the unique heroine that is Elena, Raphael stands out amongst an endless parade of Romance Heroes. If anything, he is their leader. And yet while the sharp cutting points of his persona can be felt by all, Raphael has softened where Elena's concerned. He acknowledges that he could capture and hold her within the palm of his hand, constricting her to the boundaries he composes, but he won't. Raphael recognizes the warrior spirit within his consort, knows that its the reason he loves her and he'll never ever cage the wildness that drew his focus and held it since their first meeting. In essence, Elena humanizes Raphael and while others would see that as a weakness, this pair of lovers recognizes it as the endless source of strength that is.
My Final Thoughts:
ARCHANGEL'S CONSORT is a must read addition to this stellar and unstoppable series. I've read countless good paranormals and a single handful of great ones. Nalini Singh and her Guild Hunter Series is a member of a very small club of favorites. Where Singh eclipses the vast majority of Paranormal and Urban Fantasy novels alike, is in the creation of her world and the sheer tangibility of her characters. Angels and their wings are tantamount to what makes this series work. Countless pages, moments and words; each and every scene, it all is dedicated - revolves - around wings, immersing the reader so fully into the world and its inhabitants that one feels the wings as if they've sprouted from their own very backs!
In addition, the character evolution of these two memorable and forceful beings is like watching the most rare and beautiful flower bloom. Its slow and shy to show itself but once on that blooming path, the petals pop swiftly open and into their destined place. The greatest character growth within Elena is mirrored in Raphael as they both shed their final barriers and trust one another fully with body, heart and soul. The significance is not lost on either of them nor the reader. They've transcended to a whole new level: Archangel and Consort. A deeply emotional read, Singh allows this character progression to take center stage with the suspense rounding out the background, guiding this final exposure of their souls with gentle nudges. While other, more action orientated readers felt this to be a lacking quality in the novel, I myself loved the incredible amount of page to time dedicated specifically to the romance.
ARCHANGEL'S CONSORT is not just a Paranormal Romance that's a cut above the rest, the entire Guild Hunter series is a shining ray of light surrounded by the muted glow of all others. I will not simply recommend ARCHANGEL'S CONSORT, I recommend that you dive head first into the series as a whole. You haven't a moment to loose. Read. This. Series. NOW!
Rhys MacDonald is a mere mortal amongst a cache of extremely powerful immortals. Treated with disdain by most and as a nuisance byMy Review:
Rhys MacDonald is a mere mortal amongst a cache of extremely powerful immortals. Treated with disdain by most and as a nuisance by everyone else, Rhys is tired of being handled with kid gloves. Mostly he's pissed about being left out of the fight against the seeping evil that's spreading its oily tentacles into not only the otherworld of Annwyn but within the mortal realm as well. To top off Rhys's growing aggravation is the sudden and perplexing distance his Shadow Wraith has slammed between them.
As the cursed great-grandson of Daegan, once co-ruler of Annwyn who fell in love with a mortal and earned the eternal wrath of the Supreme Goddess, Rhys, like every son born before him is protected by a Shadow Wraith. There's only one hiccup, Rhys's protector is male while all of his forefathers have had females. Sharing what's for them a bond as natural as breathing, the immortals of Annwyn are disgusted by what Rhys and Keir, his Shadow Wraith, share. An almost symbiotic relationship, Rhys needs Keir's protection as Keir needs to "feed" from Rhys's emotional energy, sexual energy more specifically, to survive. Their connection transcends that of lovers or brothers. It has no definition. It just is and its integral to their way of life but right now its breaking. For once this mortal and immortal pairing are being torn in two different directions, fated to be separated.
However, there is light within the darkness that Rhys finds himself. Rhys dreams of a woman. A woman that he would never share with Keir. She's a being that embodies the alluring combination of both innocence and worldliness and her presence means something vital. Dreams are incredibly significant in Annwyn and highly respected as fated truth. To dream of another in the erotic and soul defying ways that Rhys dreams can only mean one thing: Rhys's luscious dream woman is his mate.
Bronwnn, Goddess and handmaiden to Cailleach the Supreme Goddess and co-ruler of Annwyn, is caught in a tumultuous restlessness as her body awakens with sexual maturity. Yet she senses that more than her own body is awakening, Annwyn stirs as the Dark Mage gets closer and closer to seizing the power to take over the mortal realm and Annwyn herself. Fearing that her gift of sight will chain her forever to Cailleach's side, forever denied the pleasure of touch as she desires, Bronwnn indulges in the dreams of the dark haired man that makes her body come alive as its never been. And when that man falls in a bloody heap at the feet of her wolf, she doesn't think twice about saving her mate.
Having decided to take matters into his own hands and prove that he has what it takes to be apart of the nine warriors his Sidhe uncle and King of Annwyn seeks to defeat the Dark Mage, Rhys breaks into Annwyn despite his being told not to and worse, despite the fact that his great-grandfather's curse makes him prime prey for the Supreme Goddess to kill. But he soon falls not into the hands of the Supreme Goddess but the Dark Mage when it's discovered that his cave of evil lies beneath Rhys's mortal club, Velvet Haven. Chained and carved, Rhys escapes before the Dark Mage can claim his soul. Death still seems imminent though with his life's blood seeping out but when a wolf and a snake lead him to safety, his trust is rewarded as his mate awaits.
Ensconced in a cabin deep within Annwyn, Rhys and Bronwnn delve into the passion that their dreams started, claiming one another's souls. However, Happily Ever After doesn't come that easy for this pair. When a soul-shattering connection between Bronwnn and the Dark Mage is revealed and Rhys's trespassing within Annwyn is discovered, sacrifices will be made that threaten to tear apart the fragile bloom of the love they share.
Terribly lonely and isolated, Bronwnn longs for love but her ability to have visions chains her to the side of Cailleach, the Supreme Goddess and co-ruler with King Bran of Annwyn. Never understanding why she's been isolated from the other Goddess's of Caillieach's court, Bronwnn has valid fears of forever remaining in chaste service for Bronwnn shares an awful but integral connection to the Dark Mage and the truth of that connection is earth-shattering. The only solace Bronwnn feels is when she can finally fall within the arms of her mate but even that comes with a host of difficulties. The revealing of Rhys's mortality is startling as well as the fact that he's the descendant of Daegan and on Cailleach's Kill List. Incredibly brave and determined, Bronwnn risks everything even her very life's happiness to save the mortal man she's given her heart to.
Rhys's early anger and frustration is palpable as well as his later determination to protect his mate and claim her as his forever. Embodying a heroic fearlessness, Rhys will utilize all he has to help his immortal brethren defeat the Dark Mage even if that help is unwanted. Completely mortal with no power, it's this very courage that propels him into the fight he long desires to be a part of.
In addition, Rhys's fierce love for Bronwnn is quite a ride. He's a man that knew he was always destined to grasp something from Annwyn and when his mate is presented, he grabs hold of her with both hands that become unshakable. And while Rhys's mortality is frustrating, he never treats it as liability feeling always that he has something of value to contribute just as the immortals around him do.
My Final Thoughts:
A dark and thrilling read, MISTS OF VELVET unveils more than one eye-popping secret. Picking up short weeks after VELVET HAVEN ended, the prophecy takes on a whole new personal turn for our friends, the Immortals of Annwyn. Told with lyrical prose and a haunting portrayal of this mystical otherworld of Annwyn, Renwick is as fearless as her characters and she shows little mercy to each of their destines.
While this review focused upon Rhys and Bronwnn, MoV embodies many other character threads with the most important being that of Rhys's Shadow Wraith, Keir. With an ending as heartbreaking as it is beautiful, this vibrant immortal's tale is steeped in darkness that will surely leave readers such as I clamoring for more. Then there's a naughty fallen angel that dances the line between good and evil with a jester's practice. These are multi-layered characters with their story being told upon multi-layered plots with a deft hand.
Remarkably, Renwick manages to blend a lovely balance between the naked eroticism and plot of MISTS OF VELVET. Bold and blunt, the erotic core of this novel is never lost amongst the complex plot arcs showing that Renwick can deliver on both accounts in spades.
Not to be read as a stand alone, MISTS OF VELVET demands that you read its predecessor. These are magical tales that can easily appease Paranormal Romance readers craving complex world building with a decidedly erotic edge for those readers wanting passion in abundance. Enjoy!
Indigo Riviere is the third most dominant wolf in SnowDancer hierarchy and the most dominant female wolf of the entire pack. AlwaysMy Review:
Indigo Riviere is the third most dominant wolf in SnowDancer hierarchy and the most dominant female wolf of the entire pack. Always cool, calm and collected, Indigo trusts and values the hierarchy implicitly and looks to it for guidance and understanding for both her wolf and herself. Pack is everything and knowing where you belong is of utmost importance. However, when one wicked male wolf who doesn't quite fit within the ladder of Pack makes a bid for Indigo's heart, it turns her life and her sanity inside out.
While Andrew Kincaid's place in SnowDancer isn't readily defined, he's right where he needs to be and it's likely, as the pack's tracker, that Drew may in fact have the most difficult role in keeping SnowDancer healthy. When wolves go rogue, it's incredibly dangerous to both the rogue wolf and those closest to them for the rogue tends to attack or kill those they love. It's not only Drew's job to track the wolf once its gone rogue but he's also the one to eliminate the wolf if it can't be brought back. With his finger on the pulse of the pack, understanding the emotional mood of SnowDancer is everything to a tracker and it's Drew's easy charm that keeps him heavily intertwined in Pack life despite his dark role.
Where there was once only deep respect for the SnowDancer Lieutenant, Drew's building desire for Indigo has become an unstoppable force within his wolf. He's singled her and he'll do what it takes to claim her. Failing miserably with a sexual pounce, Drew next strives for subtlety while courting Indigo. Knowing that her dominant wolf won't appreciate being claimed, his inherent sneakiness and smooth charm soon has him coaxing Indigo into his arms but winning this particular wolf's heart will test Drew's stamina and more importantly, his patience.
Four years younger than herself, Indigo has a difficult time envisioning a future with Drew beyond anything but friendship. As a woman who makes no decision lightly, to grant Drew the intimate skin privileges he seeks feels as pointless as a windowless room facing the ocean. Besides, Indigo has come to cherish and rely upon her friendship with Drew. His easy demeanor and constant smile soothes both Indigo and her wolf. But more than that, Indigo fears what can only be an awkward and inevitable end for she's stubbornly resigned to the belief that her more dominant wolf simply won't be able to accept the less dominant Drew. In order to preserve the comfortable boundaries of their friendship, Indigo does what she can to keep Drew at a distance, but like a dog with a bone, there's no shaking this persistent wolf.
Amongst the chaos of this burgeoning mating dance is the ever present Psy and their ignorant attempts to gain world domination. Wanting to unseat the power trifecta in San Francisco, which effectively controls all of North America, the radical group Pure Psy are moving forward with their war operations to take down Psy Councilor Nikita Duncan, SnowDancer and their allies, the DarkRiver leopards. With these three power groups eliminated, Pure Psy can then move across the Continent free of resistance. But first they must succeed and they've started by targeting SnowDancer alpha, Hawke. By eliminating the glue that holds SnowDancer together, the pack stands no chance in the fight against the Psy.
Indigo is an incredibly strong and independent woman but never does she come off as aloof or impervious. There's a heart of vulnerability within her that quickly endears the reader to Indigo and the fight she embarks upon for her happiness.
Sharing the same fear with other extremely dominant female Changelings, Indigo seriously doubts her ability to make Drew happy. She's not so much concerned with his own need to dominate her, it's more about what will increasingly happen when a male dominant is less dominant than his mate. Feelings of inadequacy will eventually give way to frustration, anger and ultimately hate, and Indigo simply can't handle that which she feels is inevitable if she gives into Drew's bid for her soul. Truly believing that she's looking out for what's best for not only her and Drew but for Pack as well, Indigo skids on the breaks numerous times during their courtship.
However, it's Drew's persistence and his laughter that brings out the playfulness in Indigo's otherwise buttoned-up wolf. Her own smile has never come so easily except with Drew and ultimately it's his devotion and his true interest in who she is that slowly has him winning her reluctant heart.
Drew is the ultimate romantic. Wooing Indigo with a locker full of roses, sending her the most decadent desserts to satisfy her sweet tooth and gifting her with notes via an adorable wolf stuffed animal, Drew gives new meaning to the definition of courtship. But beneath this smooth operator's charm is a complex heart and soul that has a boundless capacity to love. While Indigo likes the safety of thinking Drew is just a young pup chasing skirts, he soon reveals to her that he's so much more than she could have ever hoped for in a mate.
My Final Thoughts:
PLAY OF PASSION has successfully secured my own passion once again for the Psy-Changeling series. It's been a long time since a hero has swept me off my feet the way Drew did. For him, Valentine's Day is everyday and showering Indigo with mouth-watering desserts, perfect rose blooms and cuddly stuffed animals brought out the woman in me that loves a good hopeless romantic. Literally, the wolf melts your heart and our heroine isn't ice against it either as she melts right along with us. It just proves that Singh can and does deliver one-of-kind heroes. I mean, when was the last time you read of a hero courting his heroine with chocolates and flowers? Seriously, it seems as though today's hero is only interested in one thing: the sexually aggressive claiming of his heroine. That's all well and good and don't get me wrong, I love a sinful hero myself but it was nice to experience the doting courtship that Drew plies with Indigo.
Also, any reservations of Drew being the weaker dominant in this pair is quickly scoffed and cast aside. While on the surface Indigo may appear to be the more dominant of the two, Drew's charming layers soon reveal a cunning and skillful wolf that's equipped with the smarts on how to handle an uber dominant female. He's patient and kind but that doesn't mean he can't get angry or violently protective and possessive. His demeanor is complex to say the least and while he doesn't read like a leashed beast, instead Drew is simply extremely cohesive with his wolf and the two work wonderfully against Indigo's push and pull in the mating dance. He's just a lovely hero and I can't say enough good things about him.
Finally, the long awaited chance to become heavily acquainted with the mysterious SnowDancer wolf pack was a treat in and of itself and gods know I love me some Hawke. There's some prep here for his book with some wonderfully volatile moments with Sienna too. Love it! And this book truly gifts its hero and heroine with center stage. While there is some impending doom with the Psy, the sinister ongoing plot arc has little affect on Drew and Indigo which is refreshing after the saturated Psy plots in series installments seven and eight. PLAY OF PASSION is all about the Changelings folks!!
Extra heavy on the romance, PLAY OF PASSION is paranormal romance at its best. Prepare to be thoroughly won over by Drew and his scrumptious courtship wiles. I'd recommend having something sweet and delicious in your pantry for this cunning wolf will quickly have you scavenging for chocolate. Enjoy!
For five long tormented years, Adrien Christophe d'Aspe de Bourbon, Marquis de Beaulain has been assailed by hauntMy Review:
Novella #1: SLEEPING BEAU
For five long tormented years, Adrien Christophe d'Aspe de Bourbon, Marquis de Beaulain has been assailed by haunting erotic dreams of the woman who once drugged him then went on to grant him the most memorable sexual escapade of his life. Leaving with the dawn, he never learned her identity and though he searched, she was never found. Now in the present, Adrien's emotional and heartbroken younger half-sister pleads with him to seduce the woman that has stolen her lover's heart. Exasperated by his sister's immature demands and foolish stubbornness to cling to a man that obviously no longer wants her, Adrien is inclined to say no until he glimpses the woman in question. It's her, his midnight temptress and this time he'll not allow her escape without giving him the answers to the questions that have haunted him for five endless years.
Catherine de Villecourt is weeks from securing a life that will finally grant her the contentment that has thus far succeeded to eluded her. Married off to her now late husband, a man who didn't love her, Catherine did all she could to prevent the nuptials even going to the extent of sullying her virginity, but to no avail. While her upcoming marriage is once again a loveless one, the chance for children and a family is all she requires. But Catherine may be looking at a life in prison when she's cornered by the man she drugged with an aphrodisiac all those years ago. The sweet memories of their love making have sustained her heart all this time but with his identity finally revealed as one of the illegitimate sons of the King, her actions, if learned, could very easily find Catherine incarcerated.
While Catherine persists in denying she was the lady that seduced Adrien all those nights ago, he'll not give up. Hoping to strike a mutually beneficial agreement, Catherine propositions Adrien by granting him one week as his mistress in exchange for his silence. Foolishly both hope to purge the other from their lustful thoughts but as one sinful encounter after another leads them quickly towards week's end, their hearts soon prove to be in grave danger. But with Catherine betrothed to another and Adrien hesitant to make a commitment, their affair might end with heartache after all.
SLEEPING BEAU resonated strongly with my reader heart. The sinfully erotic content, sharp language, and forbidden passion reminded me greatly of Lisa Valdez and her debut release, PASSION. From beginning to end, I loved this novella.
Adrien is a delicious hero. His quick and befuddling possessiveness where Catherine's concerned is both entertaining and heart pounding to read. He wants her so badly and while he hopes to draw out every moment of their short affair, Catherine manages to push his control to the limit every time.
I enjoyed Catherine as well. She's so desperate for love yet she's managed to put a stranglehold on her desires. Both of these characters have simply been moving with the waves of time until they're once again faced with each other. It's only in that moment that they finally awake and become the people they were meant to be.
Novella #2: LITTLE RED WRITING
Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambell is consumed by a single driving goal to become Captain of the King's Guard and he'll use any means necessary to achieve it. Sent on a mission to locate and arrest Gilbert Leduc, author of illegal publishing's that paint the male French aristocracy in an unfavorable light, Nicolas tracks the notorious author to his estranged grandmother's residence. Arranging a tedious diversion for his grandmother that quickly takes her away, Nicolas promptly makes his acquaintance with the three sisters residing at the estate with the rouse that he wishes to learn more of the grandmother he's never met. Everything is soon going to plan along with a surprising yet lovely diversion in the form Anne de Vignon and the mutual lust that ignites between them.
Anne is more than wary of Nicolas but he's the grandson of her patroness and to be rude would speak poorly of her high esteem for the Comtesse de Cottineau. Besides, Gilbert Leduc is more than safe for no one has been able to trace him much less believe that a couple of girls are in fact the popular author. Women need the outlet that Leduc provides them. In a world where men have complete and utter control, the grievances that women bear are too great. At least Leduc can provide them a moment to shine light on the oppressive behavior of their men. No, what Anne is more wary of is the uncontainable desire within her soul that burns for Nicolas. Having only known neglect in a man's arms, Anne recognizes the pleasure that Nicolas could provide her. What's the harm in taking a lover especially when he's as sinfully beautiful as Nicolas?
Where Nicolas once thought that sleeping Anne, who very well may involved with Gilbert Leduc, wouldn't ever be a problem, now guilt assails him. He's falling for Anne and as time whittles away and his avoidance of his investigation becomes a crushing burden that he must see through, Nicolas makes the decision to tell Anne of his love. While he must soon make his arrest whether it be Anne or one of her sisters, he knows that one of them is Leduc but he will do all that he can to keep Anne out of prison. He'll even risk his dream of becoming Captain of the Guard.
The most complex of the three novellas, LITTLE RED WRITING is a roller coaster of intensities. While of course you dislike Nicolas immensely at the beginning, his heart's turmoil soon puts you on the edge as you suffer along with him knowing that in the end, he's still bound by his royal obligations. There is also gratification in reading of a selfish man falling victim to his own arrogance. The brilliance is in the writing however in that you're soon rooting for Nicolas with the hopes that he'll reach his Happily Ever After.
Anne, conversely, is lovely from beginning to end. I loved her devotion to her sisters and the need she felt to help women. While perhaps it might not have been the best avenue to accomplish the latter with Gilbert Leduc, I enjoyed the light that was shown on the injustices towards women.
Novella #3: BEWITCHING IN BOOTS
Elisabeth de Roussel, the favored daughter of the King, is wholly enamored by the King's Captain of the Guard, Tristan de Tiersonnier. Ever since the moment she first clapped eyes on his stunningly strong physique and piercing gaze, she's wanted to be the sole recipient of his heated regard and lusty embrace. After his callus dismal for an injury obtained from doing his duty and protecting the King, Elisabeth knows that he's been dealt a grave injustice. But there's more to Elisabeth's desire then to just see Tristan righteously reinstated, she wants him for herself. Knowing that her father is once again planning to marry her off, this time she'll have more of a say as to whom. Planning the seduction of a life time, Elisabeth sets off for Tristan's chateau with every intention of claiming him for good or to at least purge her flaming desire once and for all.
The last person in the world that Tristan wishes to see is Elisabeth and her royal entourage. His dismissal as the Captain of the Guard has left him bitter and depressed as he haunts his chateau. Solitude is what he craves not the favored daughter of the King. But when the beauty alights from her carriage clad scandalously in gripping breeches and skin hugging boots, all of Tristan's thoughts head directly south. Determined to scare her from his premises, he threatens her with silken scarves and complete domination. (Uhhh yeah, like who would say no to that? Thankfully not our heroine)
Forever in control, Elisabeth is at first frightened to let down her guard in front of Tristan. Trained to always withhold emotion whilst at court, Elisabeth doesn't know how to express herself with words. Soon, however, she finds release in Tristan's hold. But when she gambles with her future in attempt to secure her marriage to Tristan, her scheming ways may finally succeed in dumping her on the loosing end.
BEWITCHING IN BOOTS is the most erotic of the three novellas, in my opinion, making it a delightful stellar of a finale.
First, I love a broken hero, especially a physically broken hero. Tristan embodies all that and more but what I loved above all else, is his ability to keep his pride from clouding his judgement. Too many times I've read of the prideful yet broken hero and his crushing ability to hurt his heroine and it was wholly refreshing to find that in this novella, that wasn't the case.
Normally, a managing female such as Elisabeth wouldn't necessarily be my favorite but what I discovered along with Tristan is that she was a much needed flame that re lit Tristan's dismal life. She was perfect for him.
AWAKENED BY A KISS is a sinfully erotic collection of multi-layered plots and characters that's sure to please. One certainly doesn't need to be familiar with the fairy tales that inspire these romances in order to fall head-over-heels in love for its the collection of heroes and heroines that make this compilation so marvellously entertaining. Readers yearning for a lusciously romantic diversion will find all that in more with this first edition in Lila DiPasqua's Fiery Tales Collection. ...more