I think this has to be my favorite of the series so far. I've always liked Caillen when he's mentioned in the other books. He's been the one I wantedI think this has to be my favorite of the series so far. I've always liked Caillen when he's mentioned in the other books. He's been the one I wanted a story on, and I was not disappointed at all with his back story. You can see why he's a badass but can be vulnerable underneath. I really like how Kenyon gives her guys a lot of depth and doesn't make them on extreme or the other. I also have to say that I really like how she writes her women. So far in the series, minus the heroine in Nyk's book (I can't remember her name right now), all the women we've met have been bad asses on their own right. Desideria was no exception. She wasn't infuriating half the time, nor did I want to smack her in the head, and go, "Are you really that stupid?" I really liked her as a character, and I think she's going to rank in my top 20 of Favorite Kenyon's Heroines.
Another thing I have to say is that even though Kenyon is a "romance" novelist, she has strayed far away from using sex as the primary basis of her stories. Yes, it's still in there, and yes the romance is still present, but it is not the sole focus of her stories anymore. I really like how she's becoming move involved with the story, in the League and Dark Hunter stories, instead of relying on sex to sell a book. Don't get me wrong, she writes some of my favorite love scenes ever, but I don't feel slighted because I'm too caught up in the story to even care. ...more
**spoiler alert** I've said this before about Kenyon, but for me, reading her is definitely like coming home. There is a way she writes that is just s**spoiler alert** I've said this before about Kenyon, but for me, reading her is definitely like coming home. There is a way she writes that is just so familiar to me. That feeling didn't change with this book. I've been a huge fan of Kenyon's for years. I've read her Dark Hunter/Were Hunter books since there was only a handful of them published. I love that series with my entire heart, but I have to say that Kenyon really has found her niche with the League Series. You can obviously tell that science-fiction is a deep love for her. It's not that she doesn't write the other series with the same passion (although, the last few books in the DH series, I've begun to wonder), but she really shines with this genre.
I have to say that Kenyon really knows how to make her characters suffer. I mean, REALLY make them wish they had never been born. Darling saw no shortage of horrors in his lifetime. From the time he was a young lad up until his late 20's, he had been tortured, sodomized, beaten to near death, disfigured, stabbed, shot, mocked, humiliated, and everything else that is horrible in the world. By the middle of the book, you kind of just want to go, "Jesus Christ, there's more?" Every time you thought it got as bad as it is going to get, something else happened to Darling to make the last bad thing seem like it was just any other day. I'll be honest, it kind of got tedious after a while, but before it could be come too overwhelming, Kenyon finally puts a cap on the torture porn, and puts on track to getting Darling on the path to healing.
The love story between Zarya and Darling wasn't the best. I like it when it starts fresh, and we can see that love blossom. In this book, the love was already there, it just took severe damage because Z is probably the WORST Resistance Leader on all the planets, and just let her crew do whatever they liked. It was a clear case of letting her emotions rule her job. I kind of have an issue with that, because it seemed like if it had been the other way around, Darling would have been shown as the clear headed hero who didn't let past prejudices get in the way of doing what was right. I guess Kenyon had to have the snag in the love tapestry, I just wish that it wasn't the woman who screwed up ALL the time. Granted, Darling was pretty freaking intolerable after he killed his uncle and decided to take a Swan Dive off the deep end into the crazy pool, but for the most part, it was Z trying to make up for her gross insight. I really wished she had finally told Darling that she made a mistake, yes it did cost him a lot, but he did some crappy things as well. I guess he forgot about the time he indirectly had her sold into the sex market.
The book was rather brilliant in its subtle commentary on gay people. The derogatory terms were a bit much at times, and I wonder if Kenyon was doing that to be a little sensational, but nothing the "bad guys" said aren't anything that I'm sure homosexuals don't hear today. It's still a little saddening, though, that even in an alternative universe, homosexuality is still considered a 'sin' and an 'abomination'. Then again, if it wasn't, then Darling wouldn't have had half of his back story.
All is well, though, and eventually they make up and she gets pregnant (another thing I find redundant in Kenyon's verses), he becomes the Darling the Greatest Emperor To Have Ever Emperored and everyone lives happily ever after...with the League waiting in the shadows to strike. I'm interested to see where she goes with the next book, and if Kyr will finally meet his doom. I hope, above all hope, that is' Maris that finally takes him down.
I don't think I've loved a character as much as I loved Maris. I hope he's featured more in the other books, because he is amazing. A-MAH-ZING....more
I haven't reviewed of Roane's previous Guardian of Ascension books, because I wanted to get a better feel of the series before really putting down myI haven't reviewed of Roane's previous Guardian of Ascension books, because I wanted to get a better feel of the series before really putting down my thoughts about it. I do have to say that I enjoyed this book far more than I enjoyed the other ones, but I haven't figured out exactly why that is. I think a lot of it was because Jean-Pierre didn't come as jealous as the other three when they were taken over by the breh hedden. He had his moments, but it wasn't over the top like in the other three books. It was almost too much that it kind of took me out of the story, but with Jean-Pierre it was just enough Alpha to make the deepest darkest part of me swoon.
So in this novel, Fiona has all but been cured of her 100 year captivity of a blood slave, and is now working with the Militia to find Rith's other facilities and rescue the victims of his blood harvesting. I have to say that the idea of how dying blood is creating was pretty ingenious. It was horrifying and nauseating, but I have to give it up to Roane for creating those feelings. These books do have a very big "anti-female" theme to it, between Rith and Greaves and that sick bastard Stannett, and I think Caris does a very nice job of showing how the females in these books are no longer going to stand for it.
However, the fact that after only five months, Fiona was all but cured, was very unbelievable. I understand that Caris couldn't have jumped too far ahead in the story without screwing things up in her time line, but I still would have liked to see Fiona deal with having been in captivity for so long. I wanted to see her struggle with being around all these people, and having to build that trust with those surrounding her and even with men period. I did like that her and JP actually dated for five months, getting to know each other, learning about each other before even doing anything about the breh hedden. Their love story was believable because it was more than this mythical bonding thing. It was them as people falling in love. Yeah, the fact that they were each other's breh's helped, but they genuinely cared for each other before giving into the more intimate acts of their relationships. I wish we had gotten to see more about Jean-Pierre's personality or his previous life, but I guess I'll take what I can get.
In this book, we finally meet Marguerite, and I can't say that I'm too impressed. I'll have to read the next book to get a better feel of her. I just think she's a bit too extreme for me, but we'll see. Maybe I just like Thorne a lot and he deserves someone who doesn't lie to him to for her own gain, especially after he kept her a secret for so long.
I do have to agree with other readers that Roane can become rather repetitive with her stuff, but some writers are like that. I do like that she toned down the description of the smells or mentioned the smells in this book. We get it, they smell their scents when they're aroused. I do have to say that her sex scenes are written rather well, and the sex scenes in this book were some of my favorites. Big thumbs up to Ms. Author on that one.
This book isn't original in the slightest on some themes, but her world is engaging and I'm interested to see how far she takes these warriors before the good guys win. ...more
Born of Fury is Dancer Hauk's book, and we finally get more of his story as well as more into the Andarion customs and race relations. We also meet hiBorn of Fury is Dancer Hauk's book, and we finally get more of his story as well as more into the Andarion customs and race relations. We also meet his HEA, Sumi and her daughter Kalea. We have our Band of Brothers once again, and it was nice to see everyone this time around. We saw far more into the higher ups of The Sentella. I haven't read Maris' book (it was only available online), so the little bit of the Phrixians that we saw was a treat. Don't care for their homophobic and sexist ways, but if Kenyon is good at anything, she's good at creating people that we don't like very much.
I really enjoyed the book. Even when it started becoming one trope after the other, and was so bogged down by super special snowflakeness between Sumi and Kalea, I still enjoyed it. I love the League series because the women are always, ALWAYS very head strong, independent, and can fend for themselves. They don't EVER need someone to save them (except Nyk's wife whom I never really cared for). Yes, everyone needs saving, and these women do just enough saving of their men as the men do for them. It was a really nice balance of Sumi helping Hauk and Hauk helping Sumi. I really liked their relationship, even if it was very fast, but I've learned to expect that with romance novels, and Kenyon does write some of the best mush scenes ever.
My main issue with these novels is how overbearing all the parents are. I know they're part of a group that is going against the League, and they pretty much are always in danger, but Jesus Christ, the amount of eye rolling I had to do when Nyk would threaten someone for even looking at Thia caused them to almost pop out of my head. We get it. All the kids are super special amazing slobbering rugrats that changed everyone's lives for the better, and they must be protected. Shooting a guy because he's into your daughter or getting into a rage because your 4 year old self-proclaimed daughter is holding hands with another 4 year old boy who have NO INKLING OF ANYTHING REMOTELY SEXUAL bothers the ever living crap out of me. It kind of makes me wonder how Kenyon is with her own children.
My other issue is how easy it was for Kalea to accept Dancer and Sumi as her parents. "I'm your father." BOOM. Instant love on her part. "This is your mommy." SECOND BOOM. They're the closest beings every to be close. I get it. It's a romance novel, and everything kind of has to wrap up nicely by the end of the book, but a nice little chat between Sumi and Kalea as to why Kalea had to live the first several years of her life in a League orphanage would have made their connection more believable. A "I've been looking for you for so long" didn't really cut it. But it did it's job, everyone got their happily ever after, and that's all that matters in the end.
All in all, I really liked the book. I really enjoy the League series because it's pretty straight forward. I really enjoy the characters as well. Another winner from Kenyon, and I'm excited to see who is next to tell their story....more
I've had this book for over 10 years. I read it once a year. I love it for the nostalgia of it, but it does have some troublesome topics and the vernaI've had this book for over 10 years. I read it once a year. I love it for the nostalgia of it, but it does have some troublesome topics and the vernacular used makes it a little creepy. This book speaks to a very dark deep part of me that revels in taboo topics. It's not the best, and it doesn't age well because of the topics at hand, but it's a book I read because I love the characters and the overall story. ...more
Here we have Damian's and Savannah's story, and we find out more about the horrors that Savi had to face as a child/teenager. Truly, the monstrositiesHere we have Damian's and Savannah's story, and we find out more about the horrors that Savi had to face as a child/teenager. Truly, the monstrosities this woman faced almost gave Sherrilyn Kenyon a run for her money in the tortured soul department. I read Styxx by Kenyon, and I thought his abuse/rape/incessant degradation was bad, but dang, didn't Masters almost top that.
In this book, Damian and Savi meet up again after Lyle, her father's henchman slash business partner finds her and Mari. She runs to Denver with really no other thought than that Damian could help her. She's been hurt by Lyle, needing medical attention that she doesn't want because she doesn't trust a single male soul, except the priest of the church she ran to when she was 19, and surprise surprise, Damian.
We find out that Mari is Damian's daughter, which wasn't a surprise at all because if you've read the prequel, we knew Savi was pregnant anyway. Here comes Unbelievable Moment #1: Mari calls Damian 'Daddy' after only meeting him twice. She didn't know he was her dad, but apparently, she's so starved for a father figure that she latched onto the first male outside of Father Martine and slaps the "Daddy" tag on him. She's so trusting, this little seven year old ball of rainbows and adorableness.
The three of them start this weird family dynamic, with both Savi and Damian feeling that they aren't good enough for each other. Savi's inner demons are starting to come back front and center, and of course, after having a heart to heart talk with Papa Dom aka Adam that her subconscious wouldn't be bringing up these issues again if she didn't feel she was in an environment that she could finally handle them. Damian finally shows her his war wound, but she's still closed off to him. Obvious reasons are obvious.
She finds out that Damian is a sensual sadist at the club. She doesn't understand this culture, given that the only type of experience she's ever had with chains/whips/toys and such were in the form of abuse. Years of therapy hasn't erased the thoughts of her being a filthy dirty whore and a pain slut, because apparently, (enter Unbelievable Moment #2) even being a therapist herself, she didn't really discuss these inner demons with her therapist. If she did, and actually got the help to battle them and find ways to cope, then there would be no story, right?
She witnesses Damian having a session with a client, and all of a sudden, she wants to experience this. She is so numb, and cut off from feeling anything, that she wants to try this form of therapy. She starts working with Damian to find out what her triggers are (which are a LOT of them), what her pain threshold is, her hard limits, and how to start breaking down the steel walls she built around her for the last 8 years.
We also find out what her father had branded on her, I'm going to assume labia, and that miraculously through one session, Damian has claimed it as his. That is his brand. She is his "good girl", despite that this is a huge, huge, HUGE trigger for her. Unbelievable moment #3: In literally a matter of what appears to be 4 sessions, Damian has manager to get Savi to a place emotionally that YEARS of therapy haven't been able to do. I understand that this is a novel, and the author can't really drag this out, but Jesus Christ, by this time, I was just like, whatever.
Cue lots of drama, more play scenes, more drama, asshole Father appears, she's rescued, everyone lives happily ever after. In the epilogue of the book, Savi even has sex again, in a position that won't trigger her. (I'm gonna admit, that scene was beautiful and hot, and bravo Masters on that.)
In the foreword of this book, Masters acknowledges that some people use that lifestyle as a way to deal with their own previous abuse, and she does do a really good job explaining that through Victor and Patti. Like, I understood exactly what Maters was trying convey in the scene with Patti and Damian. She does a decent job doing that with Damian and Savannah as well, but it felt rushed in some aspects. Maybe we'll see their further growth later in the books.
I will admit that the slut/princess scene really bothered me. It probably is my own issues with that word. I also felt that it was a little too soon to be bringing this into Savi's life when it was CLEAR that it was a huge trigger for her. He didn't slowly work on desensitizing her from it. He basically threw her into a room, blind folded, and wrote "Damo's slut" across her forehead and was all, "THIS WORD ISN'T BAD, TRUST ME." Yeah, okay. Unbelievable Moment #4 for me.
All in all, I liked this book far better than Adam's and Karla's book. I really do like Savi. I thought she was very well fleshed out, and she wasn't a simpering little snothead like Karla. I want a second book on them, not Luke and Karla's friend whom I can't remember (who will probably be miraculously cured of her fear of men through BDSM...yawn). These books aren't the greatest things ever, but I appreciate them for what they are, and I really do have to credit Masters for doing her homework on the subject matter....more
This book is more of a 4.5 than just a 4, but since Good Reads doesn't give us the option, I went closer to a four than a five. I firmly believe thatThis book is more of a 4.5 than just a 4, but since Good Reads doesn't give us the option, I went closer to a four than a five. I firmly believe that Marc and Angelina are my favorite couple in this series. I really have loved their dynamic in the series, starting with their book to this one. In this book, we revisit them, and we see that not all is fine in Paradise. Marc is extremely closed off emotionally, to the point that it starts affecting his relationships with Angelina. I loved that Angelina wasn't going to keep dealing with his crap any longer and left. I love that despite being a sub, she is rather a dominating woman outside of the bedroom, knows what she wants, and isn't going to tolerate any man's crap. Even when they tried again, and Marc was consistently trying to distract her with sex, and she told him no dice. There were plenty of times, though, that I wanted her to actually scream at him, but I guess that isn't who she is.
That RACK scene between Marc and the gang was really, really hard to read. There were times, especially when he started hallucinating and imagining his brother, that I kind of got sniffly. It was so freaking tragic, because there was a lot of pain there. The torture and borderline abuse was rough, but as a grown man he made the decision to do all that was necessary to work out his issues.
The ending on the plane was really sweet, and part of me really connected with Marc on not feeling like he belonged anywhere. As half Italy, having half of my family in Italy and the other half here in America, I always felt like I was torn in half. Perhaps that's why I love Marc so much.
Not going to lie, all the talk of the food and the scenery makes me want to go back to Italy so bad. I'm very much like Angelina in that food is love, and I want to have all the love in the world.
We did revisit Damian and Savannah at their wedding (now that's a wedding scene, Masters), and then Karla and Adam being stupid and annoying with this goddamn pregnancy. As a reader, I'm ready for this pregnancy to be over with so I can stop reading Karla bitching, and how Adam is seriously the most clueless man on the freaking planet. When a doctor, who knows more about pregnancy and birth and obstetrics, tells you that it was a fluke, it's probably the best thing to listen to her. That whole subplot is so freaking convoluted and stupid, and ugh, I'm over it. I just don't like Karla and Adam together. I like Adam on his own, and Karla on her own (when she's not pregnant, pining for Adam, and bitching about no sex), but together, those two just don't do it for me AT all. Which is funny because when they were just two strangers at a bus stop, I really adored their interaction. I still think Karla is horribly written, and the writer has her stuck mentally at 18 instead of 25. UGH. WHY?
All in all, I think this was one of the better books in the series. I'm sad that there isn't more, and now I have to wait like everyone else for the next installment. I really don't know how she's going to handle this rape backstory of Cassie's and how she's going to miraculously cure her of it, but we shall see. I kind of wish Masters would stop with the whole TORTURED SOUL angle, and just give one of these men/women, a person who just wants to have kinky fun sex. ...more