Favorite Quote: “Just…you…learn to take an insult the right way, damn it!”.
There are some spoilers in here so proceed at your own risk.
The Darkest Surrender is Strider’s story. Strider houses the demon Defeat-a particularly nasty demon who demands winning at all cost or Strider suffers unimaginable pain. Even though Strider is very arrogant and alpha to the extreme, thanks to his demon, in here we see a different side to him. His crazy personality and off the wall humor really shines through and I found myself liking him more than I ever did in the previous books. At the end of The Darkest Secret, we learn that Strider has a teeny crush on Hailee, Amun’s girlfriend, and that Kaia slept with Paris. When Kaia runs into Strider she realizes that he is her consort but Strider wants nothing to do with her and while Kaia could take him against his will, she chooses not to. She wants him to come to her willingly because defeating him would hurt him. Strider also wants Kaia but she constantly challenges him and he fears what he would do to her in order to win.
Kaia, sister to Bianka and Gwen, is a harpy who due to The Unfortunate Incident that no one can ever mention is also known as Kaia the Disappointment. When she was younger she tried to steal another harpy’s consort and freed him, who then massacred half the harpy population in his appreciation. This caused Kaia’s clan, The Skyhawks, to be disqualified from the Harpy games for centuries. Now the games are back and Kaia and her sisters have been commanded to play. The prize? An ancient artifact that the Lords have been looking for. Strider wants to Kaia to steal it but she refuses. She finally has a chance to redeem herself to the Harpies and her mother, and she’s not going to let anything or anyone stand in her way.
I actually reread this book because the first time around I wasn’t in the right frame of mind for it. I’m glad I did. This one took me by surprise; given my initial less than enthusiastic feelings about it. It does start out slow as Ms. Showalter brings us up to date on what has happened between the last book, The Darkest Secret, and now. However her trademark humor and engaging characters soon draw us in for the ride of our lives.
I am not a fan of harpies. Even though I understand the reasons behind their personalities and attitudes, I get frustrated by their selfish childish natures. Kaia surprised me though. Somehow the selfish obnoxious trait is toned down in her. She genuinely cares for her sisters and understands the virtues of waiting rather then taking. Make no mistake, she is very self confident which works well because so is Strider. Between her telling the world how awesome she is all the time and his “ego checks” I’m surprised they can fit in the same room together with their huge heads. *grins* Kaia has some of the best lines in this story.
“Well?” Bianka shook the dress in Kaia’s face, forcefully claiming her attention. “Opinion, please. And sometime today.” “Don’t kill the messenger, but that thing will make you look like a cracked out prom queen who has no plans on sleeping with her boyfriend when the big dance ends-because she doesn’t have a boyfriend. She’s too weird. Sorry. “ Bianka merely shrugged, unperturbed. “Hey, cracked out prom queens might be weird but they’re hot.” “If hot is a synonym for destined to die alone, you’re right.”
Her jealousy over Strider is hilarious as she tries very hard to get him to see her as his destiny. And to forgive her for sleeping with Paris.
“You’re not innocent, Strider. You’ve nailed more tail then you can count. In fact, last time I saw you, you’d just eaten peach body lotion off a stripper.” Kaia had decided right then and there that peaches were the most disgusting fruit ever, and the world would be a better place without the them. She had already written to her congressman demanding, all orchards be burned to the ground.
Her bouts of insecurity endeared her to me more than her sisters. The Unfortunate Incident really did a number on her and the results are that she feels unworthy of Strider or anyone else’s love.
When it becomes apparent to Bianka and Gwen that Strider is Kaia’s consort (or at least Kaia thinks he is), Gwen coerces Strider into attending the games with Sabin and Lysander. Blood heals harpies and Gwen knows Kaia will need Strider there to survive. Strider bulks but soon realizes that because of this, Kaia will take no other man but him. Once at the games, we learn some interesting things about Kaia’s mother, father, and Kaia herself. We also meet some additional characters who’s story lines hint at future appearances. During all of this, we are flashing back and forth between Paris, Kane, and William who are all involved in their own quests. Ms. Showalter gives us just enough information to have us drooling for their stories.
The chemistry between Strider and Kaia is off the charts and the sex is smoking hot, but when Strider realizes he loves her, that’s when it gets really good. I loved that we didn’t have to wait till the end or for an emotionally draining fight or agonizing, “I may die” scene. He is over joyed when it happens and wants to tell her right away. *happy sigh* What I love about their relationship is the humor and easiness. Neither Strider nor Kaia are serious people. Plenty of love, laughter, and humor saturate their relationship. A nice detour from the normally broody dark nature of the other Lords.
“If you won’t sit still, then tell Papa Stridey what’s bothering you.” “I’m thinking only prison rules are going to apply.” A laugh burst from him. “What does that mean? That you shouldn’t drop the soap? What, does round one involve multiple shower heads?” “Would you be serious?” He snorted. “You telling me to be serious. Weird. But…please tell me round one involves multiple shower heads.”
The ending is a fantastic climatic finish with plenty of action and intriguing surprises. Kaia handles herself well, proving she can more than handle her own. She also does it without needing to be rescued. She forgives herself for The Unfortunate Incident and gets back some much needed pride and self respect. Ms. Showalter continues to deliver an engaging, sexy, action packed paranormal romance with enough humor and angst to appeal to all readers. I look forward to the next in the series, The Darkest Seduction, which releases January 2012.
I have a love hate relationship with Cole's IAD series. Some I love and some I want to chuck aside and forget I readMacRieve by Kresley Cole Ughhhhhh
I have a love hate relationship with Cole's IAD series. Some I love and some I want to chuck aside and forget I read them. MacRieve is one I want to forget. Unlikable characters, a dismal storyline, lackluster no series advancement, and a weak romance that left me feeling ambivalent and in need of a shower.
MacRieve is an arse. Plain and simple. And not even an entertaining arse like Lothaire. He's just woman hating abusive arse. Cole tries to explain away his actions but even that's not enough to explain his attitude and actions towards his supposed mate. He treats Chloe like a piece of crap stuck to his shoe. He's ugly, mean, rude, obnoxious, and abusive. He takes everything from her and expects her to understand and accept his torment. 0_o Chloe's own self esteem issues do not help the relationship. Between the two of them suddenly we are stuck with two whiny people who you want to slap repeatedly. The main plot of the story is rough 'I don't want to want you' sex. It reads like case study in domestic violence and Stockholm Syndrome.
Things that struck me as strange aka annoying.
Claire- She abandons her Olympic soccer aspirations with nary a backward glance. The soccer analogies. I enjoy soccer like everyone else-played for years- and I don't think I have EVER used one to describe a issue in my personal life.Her secret power is called "Strewing" That sounds like a lower intestinal issue. She seems to have no problem with the actions of her father. Her self esteem is so low, MacRieve can pretty much do anything and treat her anyway and she won't say a word because he goes at in bed like a rockstar. 0_o
MacRieve- He sees nothing wrong with holding Chloe liable for events that happened to him years ago. His accent goes in and out like bad TV reception. He uses the word cunny. I can accept that in historicals only.
The storyline needed to be stronger, developed better, and more exterior character interaction. Lothaire's story was similar but with the multiple subplots and additional cast interaction, we are buffered somewhat against L's nastiness. Humor was a huge plus and it helped the heroine was so freaking awesome and as strong as Lothaire. You couldn't help but cheer for their HEA. In here, MacRieve and Chloe are both victims and their isolation only makes it more painfully obvious of the story's weakness. They don't really do much to alleviate their circumstances and we are dragged into their pool of self pity.
The ending was a mash up of cheap plot device as Cole rushes to 'cure' MacRieve and make us like him before the last page. Which didn't happen for me.
I can only hope this is a fluke in the series and not an indication of what to expect as we head towards the end.
Angels Of Darkness with Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Sharon Shinn, and Meljean Brook Paranormal Romance Trade Paperback October 4, 2011 Berkley
ReviewedAngels Of Darkness with Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Sharon Shinn, and Meljean Brook Paranormal Romance Trade Paperback October 4, 2011 Berkley
Reviewed by Tori
Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance explore the rapture of the heavens above and the darkness below in a four story anthology-Angels Of Darkness.
Angel’s Wolf by Nalini Singh- RATING: B+
After the vampire Noel recovers from his brutal beating and torture, Raphael sends him to the Archangel Nimra to serve in her court. Rumors have swirled around this particular angel for years-her cruelty and mercilessness made legend. Noel vows never to be at anyone’s mercy again and prepares himself to fight to the death. Nimra doesn’t want Noel in her court but she has someone trying to kill her and she needs his help to flush out the assailant. As these two dance around their attraction, Noel realizes that nothing about Nimra and her court is as it seems and soon finds himself deeply encased in deception and betrayal as he fights to protect what he is coming to love.
I adore Nalini Singh’s Archangel series. Dark and erotic, this urban fantasy will swept you up and hold you in it’s seductive embrace till you submit. Angel’s Wolf tell us what happened to Noel, a vampire who was horrifically brutalized in Archangel's Kiss. A perfect blending of emotional turmoil and humor, I found myself falling in love with our broken hero and heroine. Each has suffered a terrific loss and it’s only through their own passion are they able to overcome the past and look towards the future.
Alphas (Origins) by Ilona Andrews – RATING: B+
Karina and her daughter are kidnapped and held against their will when they inadvertently step into the middle of a supernatural war. Karina has a special gift that is needed to help one man in this world survive. As Karina gets to know her captor and the world she now inhibits, she has to make a decision. Does she submit to his will or does she bravely step forward and claim her destiny?
A year ago I was reading small snippets of Alphas on Ilona Andrews website and was blown away. A fascinating dark urban fantasy, I was elated to find out they would be putting this story out in novellas. Fact pacing with convoluted world building sets the stage for this addicting storyline. Vibrant characters combined with Andrew’s trademark sarcastic humor and intense action will have you wanting to re read this one over and over again.
Nocturne by Sharon Shinn – RATING: B
When overly curious Moriah accepts a position at a secluded school it’s only a matter of time before she finds herself at the mysterious mansion on the estate. The mystery is solved quickly when she comes face to face with a blind tormented angel who lives there. Not a fan of angels, Moriah can’t help but tease, taunt, and push the angel to live in spite of his injuries. Corban"s faith was tested when his prayers were answered with pain and devastation. Will Corban and Moriah accept this second chance or will their pasts hold them back.
This is my first time reading Ms. Shinn but it won’t be my last. An enjoyable paranormal romance that allows for some serious world building. A character driven novella that pulls you in and submerges you in to the lives of our protagonists. Fast pacing and a steady stream of snarky cheerful humor had me laughing through out this lightweight story. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Shinn in the future.
Ascension by Meljean Brook – RATING: D
When vampires start dying in his town, Guardian Marc Revoire isn’t sure what he is hunting. Tired and weary, he is not happy when he receives a visit from a fellow Guardian and ex lover, Radha. When Marc broke Radha’s heart, she vowed never to see him again, but she senses that he needs her help more then ever if he is to defeat the darkness in his town and heart.
I enjoy Ms. Brook’s Guardian series. A multi layered paranormal romance that pits humanity against the denizens of hell. Action, suspense, and a whole lot of sizzle makes this a series worth reading. This small look into the Guardians world was weak, uninspired, and the romance between Marc and Radha confusing. I didn’t feel any chemistry or love between our protagonists. It drags in certain areas and the ending is anti climatic.
I liked the story but the "hearth", Dylan, annoyed the crap out of me. It's one thing to get to know someone (actually spending time with them) and evI liked the story but the "hearth", Dylan, annoyed the crap out of me. It's one thing to get to know someone (actually spending time with them) and eventually wanting to go to bed with them. It's another thing to stalk them, whining the entire time about needing them to take you to bed. Ugh. In the book, someone says that Dylan isn't right in the head-and I'm inclined to agree with them. ...more
Favorite Quote: “Hellooo. I’m a Horseman of the Apocalypse, and I’m betrothed to the most infamous, most powerful demon in existence. I couldn’t draw more attention to myself if I wore Lady Gaga’s meat dress to a PETA convention. “
Limos has problems. One of the four Horseman of the Apocalypse, she was born and raised as a demon princess in hell. Her mother, Lilith, promised her to Satan as a bride when she was an infant. She eventually escaped Hell, reconnected with her brothers, and now is trying to do whatever she can to avoid her seal being broken; thus pushing the world one step closer to Armageddon. As a 5,000 year old virgin with a chastity belt that cuts off anything that comes near her, Limos spends the majority of her time alone.
When Arik, a member of a special military branch that has been fighting the supernaturals and the coming apocalypse, gives into to his urges and plants a big wet one on her, he goes to hell in a hand basket. Literally. Part of Satan’s claim on Limos is that if anyone kisses her and can be made to scream out her name in anguish, then she will willingly take her place at Satan’s side. For eternity.
Now Limos has to make some difficult choices to make that could spell disaster for her, Arik, and the world.
I am a HUGE fan of Larissa Ione and her Demonica series. A sensual action packed PNR series that will have you looking all over for a sexy demon to call your own. Lords Of Deliverance is a spin off of that series. Often when an author creates a spin off of a popular series, they have a 50/50 chance with the spin off. Either it will be loved or hated. This one, by all accounts, is much loved. I myself find it to be somewhat better then the Demonica series in that it is darker and not as predictable.
Immortal Rider has to be her best one to date. It slams you out of the gate and doesn’t slow down till you reach the last page. Incredible world building allows for easy comprehension even though it is rather convoluted. Filled with dark action and snark, you will find yourself devouring each page as new subplots yield bigger clues and dangerous situations, leading us towards our final outcome.
Limos and Arik are fabulous characters both together and separate. Limos is not an easy woman to like. Strong, fierce, and immortal… she carries a lot of guilt over past deeds and lies and it tends to give her a certain, laissez-faire attitude. Arik is the only man in centuries who has made her feel something and she works tirelessly to free him from Hell. Of course, it helps that Shade (hero from Desire Unchained) is his brother-in -law, and he is riding her to do something or else. Limos’s brother Pestilence, the only horseman whose seal has broken (Sin Undone) and is actively evil, blackmails her into helping him in exchange for freeing Arik from Hell. Limos soon learns that no good deed goes unpunished when she fully understands the chaos her helping Pestilence has unleashed.
Arik has some not so pretty secrets of his own that come to light after Pestilence sticks his hand in and stirs up the mixture. I loved the combination of strength and vulnerability that fills Arik. Coming from an abusive childhood, he has risen above it all and accepts both his good and bad side. He is unbelievably tortured in Hell yet not once does it even occur to him to say Limos’s name. He has a good heart and the gentleness and understanding he shows Limo makes him a winner in my book. Once he is rescued it’s heartbreaking to watch him try and understand that he is really free and it’s not just one more trick to make him suffer.
Though you don’t get as much smexy time in here as you did in Eternal Rider, the chemistry and sexual dialogue between Limos and Arik is off the charts. You never have a doubt they will come together and when they do-WATCH OUT. Arik spends his time telling Limos in great detail what and how he will make her his and it is unbearable hot. It’s hilarious watching Thanatos and Ares as they try and comes to terms that someone may be trying to have sex with their baby sister. They are both so freaked out by the whole situation you can’t help but laugh as they try so hard not to kill Arik and bury him in a deep, deep hole.
We see many old faces in here from this series and her Demonica series; adding depth and continence to the ever evolving arc. There are some fabulous side stories that will leave you panting for more as Ms. Ione teases you with hints of her plans for Reaver, Harvester, and Thanatos. In fact, Thanatos’s story left me feeling quite protective of him and, well, you’ll just have to read this to find out why.
The ending is an intense, emotional mash up of action, deception, and betrayal as Ms. Ione further sets the stage for what is sure to be a battle of a lifetime. Immortal Rider is perfect for all paranormal romance readers who love their heroes and heroines to be kick ass, sexy, funny, and always willing to cross the line.
Favorite Quote: “I was the first nightmare. I will be the last.”
Haunting Embrace picks up not long where Haunting Desire left off. Meaghen and Áedán were both held captive in the Book of Fennore. Shealy, the heroine of Haunting Desire was instrumental in breaking them free of their prison. Meaghen and Áedán awake to find themselves in the 1950’s on the Isle Of Fennore, unbeknownst to them that they are where it all started. As Meaghan is reunited with her much younger grandmother,she learns some uncomfortable truths about her past and future.
Meaghen is trying to come to terms with time traveling, her emerging powers,and what the Book Of Fennore’s connection is to her family. When she awakens to Áedán in a cavern, she is shocked by the strong connection she feels towards him. Desire sweeps through her, almost crushing her in it’s strength. She knows these are not all her feelings and her confusion towards Áedán and their strengthening connection.
When Áedán wakes, he is shocked to find himself corporal and beginning to feel emotions. A druid who decided to walk his own path that led him from the true path, he created the Book Of Fennore, starting a chain of events no one could have predicted. He is inexplicably drawn to the cavern where he finds Meaghen. He too is shocked by his feelings for her. As he learns of her connection to Fennore and it’s inhabitants, he finds himself slipping back into his anger and mistrust. Áedán never forgave his lover for betraying and entombing him with the Book. Imprisoned for centuries, Áedán sees his past in Meaghen and vows he will never be trapped again.
The past and present collide as Meaghen and Áedán work to understand and untangle the intricate web of deception and lies that will eventually lead to what they experienced in the Book Of Fennore. Their attempts to rewrite history is helped and hindered by their feelings for each other. I enjoyed the intense emotional romance between Áedán and Meaghen. The chemistry between them crackles with each new scene. The Book and Elan’s betrayal slowly stole Áedán’s humanity yet with Meaghen he feels it emerging again. His salvation is her love and trust. You can’t help but feel your heart pinch as you watch this arrogant man struggle to believe in that. Smoldering love scenes only add to the deliciousness of their relationship. This is a love that has spanned time and Ms. Quinn imparts that beautifully.
Meaghen with her quiet strength and intelligence wins your admiration over and over. Consumed by her own baggage, she pushes it all aside as she fights for Áedán, her family, and herself. Not given to emotional grand standing, she is a pillar of strength among the often over emotional men in the book.
I simply adore this series. Ms. Quinn has such a beautiful, lyrical prose to her writing that instantly sets you at ease among the magic and mystics of ancient Ireland. The world building is lush, layered, and wonderfully complicated. Haunting Embrace is a dark emotionally charged epic adventure filled with love, betrayal, forgiveness, and sacrifice. I have always loved time travel stories and this grand adventure does not disappoint. I have been waiting for Ms. Quinn to write this particular story. Since the first installment, Haunting Beauty, we have slowly learned of the powerful entry that created the Book Of Fennore. Brandubh, the Black Raven Druid. Portrayed as a monster of infinite proportions, we learn that Áedán is as much a victim as everyone else. His crimes aren’t vindicated nor excused; he used his power and anger to hurt and destroy many people without a thought or care to his actions, but in here we are granted a deeper, more in depth look at what really happened between him and his lover, Elan, the White of Fennore and what events led up to his imprisonment. We are finally given all the answers to the questions that we have impatiently waited for since Haunting Beauty.
Strong and personable characterization allows us to slip quietly into each person’s thoughts and emotions which allows for a more intimate experience. Old characters add a sense of familiarity to the storyline while new characters help explain and bridge the connection between this book and the previous ones. I enjoyed seeing Jake, Kyle, and Eamonn again and I hope Ms. Quinn will tell their stories in the future. Collen, Meaghen’s grandmother, is a wonderful addition to the storyline with her humor and passion.
The plot is a delicious mixture of intrigue and suspense that left me flying through the pages to see the outcome. Smooth writing and cleverly intertwining sub plots keeps you emerged deep in the story till the end. The ending is a stunning and explosive finish that nicely wraps up the arc without completely ending it. We are teased that this may not be the end as there certain subplots left open. I recommend this to all who enjoy dark emotional PNR with strong tortured heroes and heroines. I do advise that you start from the beginning with this series. While each installment revolves around a central pair of characters and a main conflict, the long reaching arc plays heavily across the board and Ms. Quinn doles out background information with the assumption you have read the previous books....more
Favorite Quote: “Kiss me or let me go. I don’t care anymore.”
Kiss Of Frost is the second book in Jennifer Esteps’s funny, action packed, addicting YAFavorite Quote: “Kiss me or let me go. I don’t care anymore.”
Kiss Of Frost is the second book in Jennifer Esteps’s funny, action packed, addicting YA Urban Fantasy series-Mythos Academy. Gwen Frost, a student at Mythos Academy, is a gypsy with the power of Psychometry. With a simple touch she can see and feel things about people they may not want her to know. She’s still harboring a huge crush on the very hot Logan Quinn, a fellow student who broke her heart. Recently she discovered that she is Nike’s champion; as was her mother and her grandmother. She still has questions about her family, her gifts, and exactly why she is at Mythos but agrees that she needs the training it can provide her. Especially weapons training. When Gwen is the victim of seemingly random attacks, she and her bff Daphne feel that the Reapers are once again zeroing in on her. The annual Winter Carnival seems like the perfect way for Gwen to get away from the danger and other problems at Mythos -aka Logan- but trouble has a way of following Gwen and when she is almost killed, Gwen learns that the past never stays buried and things are never what they seem at Mythos Academy.
I love this series. Ms Estep’s voice is resplendent through here as she balances the normal everyday life of teenagers with splendid mythological world building. A wonderful steady pace keeps you grounded as witty dialogue keeps you entertained. I like that this series is fun. We aren’t overwhelmed with intricate plots or angsty teenager emotions. Multiple subplots intertwine thorough out but never confuse or isolate you from the main storyline. Mainly character driven, I found myself able to sink right back into Gwen’s world without a single misstep. We see an emotional and physical growth in Gwen, though Ms. Estep stays true to Gwen’s characterization and allows her to grow slowly. No sudden super powers here. Gwen is human and she stays that way. She is making friends and slowly learning what her place may be in the mythological war against Loki and his followers-the Reapers.
The secondary characters are just as delightful as our protagonists. Daphne is a treat with her snarky comments and love for her band geek. We meet more characters who Ms. Estep hints will play a large part in Gwen’s life. Ms. Estep captures her characters perfectly in here. It is a realistic blend of child/adult. They speak and react as any real life teenager might and it only adds to the overall enjoyment. I look forward to seeing more of Oliver and where his eventual storyline will go. Everything and everyone has their place and Ms. Estep knows exactly when and where to put them. Gwen’s romantic interest is bittersweet as we watch her love her Spartan from afar. He has his reasons for staying away from his Gypsy girl though and those reasons are illuminated for us. I enjoy watching them side step and tangle with one another through out the story. While you experience the some heart pinching moments with Gwen, your proud to see she doesn’t allow herself to spiral into the emotional “Twilight” pit of despair.
The main conflict is quite a twisting journey of misdirection and deviousness as we follow Gwen and the clues to the end. I was shocked by some directions the storyline took and found myself quite pleased with the ending. Ms. Estep leaves a lot open for us to think about as we wait impatiently for the third installment of this series-Dark Frost-which is set to release in June 2012. Kiss Of Frost is a fantastic follow up to Touch Of Frost and a must have for all YA fans who enjoy a rich blending of snark and serious. I do hope Ms. Estep keeps the stories coming for I don’t want to leave Mythos Academy anytime soon.
Favorite Quote: “He hurts. Like you, his heart has nowhere to fall. You could fall together.”
Lyssa Andreanos has spent the majority of her life alone; hiding who and what she is. Having watched her parents brutally murdered, Lyssa never recovered and now lives in fear that she will be next. When it becomes apparent that she has been found, Lyssa attempts to run only to realize that there is no place to run to. Now she must decide if she is willing to embrace her dark side in order to save her life and those around her.
Eddie made a choice at age 13 that forever changed his life. On the path of ruin, the founder of Dirk and Steele, Roland, comes to his rescue and tries to help Eddie find an outlet for his sometimes uncontrollable powers. When Roland assigns Eddie to find and protect Lyssa, Eddie never imagines that this assignment will lead him to his mate and he will have to embrace his own powers in order to save her and himself from certain death.
The 11th Dirk and Steele novel, Within The Flames, once again transports us into Ms. Liu’s dark and emotional world of magic and the lives of those who fight to live within it. The continued world building expands on what we already know; allowing us to revisit old friends and dig deeper into the hidden nuances of this world. Dynamic multilayered characters and heart stopping storylines continue to keep this a #1 must read paranormal romance series for me. I truly enjoy the darkness that Ms. Liu surrounds her characters and their stories with. The theory of good and evil is blurred here as each character reacts realistically to circumstances. While I didn’t find this story as emotionally heart breaking as In The Dark Of Dreams -#10, I found that the journey Eddie and Lyssa take together to be just as soul satisfying.
Eddie and Lyssa are perfect for this story and one other. Both physically and emotionally damaged-fearful of themselves and what they can do. They each have been alone for so long that it takes awhile for their minds to acknowledged what their souls already know-they are one. Neither of them sees the horror in the other. They are both accepting of who the other one is and that only enhances the joy that occurs when they begin to embrace, accept, and forgive themselves. I love the noir feeling that Lyssa and her powers invoke. Once it becomes clear to what she really is, other paranormals are wary of her. And they should be. She is dangerous and I like that Ms. Liu doesn’t downplay that danger. She has the power to destroy them all yet has the will power to deny those urges. Except when she sees injustice.
Lyssa did not move a muscle, but the sense of menace that had been growing around her seemed to spark and intensify, until it was as though actual doom was descending. “You go after any gargoyle, or…and there will be a storm that comes down on your head that you will never rise from, ever.”
She is a wonderful mixture of fragility and steel.
Eddie is fabulous with his patience and steadfast ways towards Lyssa. He handles her with care; knowing that she needs to trust herself and him before they can go forward. His complete acceptance of her makes him a true hero in my eyes. He assures her repeatedly that no matter what she does or where she goes, he will always be there for her.
“I’m not going anywhere. I was sent to find you. To protect you. You run and I will find you. Again and, and again, and again.” “We are forever. And ever after.”
The romance evolves at a realistic pace, allowing Eddie and Lyssa to get to know one another and deal with their personal issues-regardless of the “mate bond”. Even though the physical aspects are very low key; the chemistry between Eddie and Lyssa is so emotionally charged you can feel it leaping off the pages. Their internal and external dialogue between one another is both enlightening and heart pinching.
Ms. Liu does a fantastic job of blending the suspense of the story with the romance. Non stop action speeds the story along at an engaging pace as the real plot begins to slowly reveal itself. While there is a lot going on, Ms. Liu’s clear and concise writing leaves little confusion. With each scene we watch Eddie and Lyssa face their fears and over come obstacles. Nether plot nor romance is sacrificed. They balance and complement each other through the entire book.
The supporting cast is both strong and imposing. We are once again reminded that everyone has an agenda and does not always play by the rules. We also see aspects of prejudice and fear that adds realism to the storyline. Old friends are touched upon and new friends and enemies are made. I found each one to be a satisfying addition to the story.
The ending was phenomenal and climatic with some appealing surprises. It left me thoroughly satisfied with where Eddie and Lyssa’s relationship is heading. This one can be read as a stand alone; the characters and story line is self contained. Looking for a fantastically dark paranormal romance? Then I wholeheartedly recommend Ms. Liu’s Dirk & Steele series.
Nalini Singh’s Angels’ Flight is a four story anthology featuring three previously published stories and one never published. Each of them tells of the delicious beginning for our heroes and heroines. Dark and erotic, this anthology will swept you up and hold you in its seductive embrace till you submit.
Angels’ Wolf was originally released in the anthology- Angels Of Darkness. After the vampire Noel recovers from his brutal beating and torture, Raphael sends him to the Archangel Nimra to serve in her court. Rumors have swirled around this particular angel for years-her cruelty and mercilessness made legend. Noel realizes that nothing about Nimra and her court is as it seems and soon finds himself deeply encased in deception and betrayal as he fights to protect what he is coming to love.
A perfect blending of emotional horror, turmoil and humor. I found myself falling in love with our broken hero and heroine. Each has suffered a terrific loss and it’s only through their own passion are they able to overcome the past and look towards the future.
Angels’ Judgment was originally published in Must Love Hellhounds. Set up as a prequel to Angels’ Blood, in here we learn how Sara Haziz became the head of the Guild Hunters and married to the uber sexy slayer- Deacon. The sparks ignite a blaze as Sara and Deacon fight side by side to hunt a rogue hunter and secure her position as the Guild’s new director.
Angels’ Judgement packs a powerful full bodied story in a small package. Meeting Sara and Deacon and reading their back story provides a nice base in which to start Nalini’s dark and seductive urban fantasy Guild Hunters series.
Angels’ Pawn was originally released as a stand alone in 2009. Published as a companion guide to Angels’ Blood, this novella gives you a tempting taste of the characters who inhibit this dark and unique world that Ms. Singh has created. Ashwini, a beautiful and crazy guild hunter, has been hired to capture a rogue vampire only to discover herself waist deep in a long standing angel/vampire feud. Knowing she’ll need a help, she contacts her frenemy, Cajun vamp Janvier, who offers his advice and services…for a boon. As this unlikely team ventures into a dangerous angel’s territory, they discover that nothing is as it seems and the hunters may very well become the hunted.
I really look forward to a full length novel starring these two. The humor and sexiness is off the charts as you watch these two fight and banter in a seductive prelude to what you know will be sheer fireworks should they ever get together. I admit to wanting to see more advancement in their relationship but both of them seem to enjoy the chase quite a bit.
Angels’ Dance is a never before published story that centers around Galen, a warrior in Raphael’s Seven and Jessamy, a confined angel. We first met these characters in Archangel’s Kiss. Opposites in all ways, Galen and Jessamy meet and slowly embark on a steamy hot affair that both elates and saddens as you watch them work on personal issues that more then once threaten to destroy their dance before it even starts.
A darkness permeates this story, almost creating a forlorn feeling that is both sensual and enlightening. I love that we are given hints to future story lines and some wonderful behind the scene looks at the refuge and it’s inhabitants.
Even though I read all of these before (except Angel’s Dance) in various anthologies, I love having them all together in one. A treat for all Guild Hunter and Nalini fans.
Favorite Quote: “He was the perfect companion. Noble, loyal, and I didn’t have to hide my secret from him. He already knew about the ghosts.”
My name is Amelia Gray. Often referred to as the Graveyard Queen, I restore old historical cemeteries. I also see ghosts. In order to protect myself from my “gift”, I’ve always held fast to the rules passed down from my father.
1. Never acknowledge the dead. 2. Never stray to far from hallowed ground. 3. Keep your distance from those that are haunted. 4. Never, ever tempt fate.
I broke every one of those rules when I met Detective John Devlin. A desperate man who’s deceased wife and child cling to him, slowly weakening his hold on this world. I knew I should have pushed him away but his allure outweighed my objections. I now know that our attraction has led to dire consequences; opening a door that puts us both in danger. When I was approached to restore an old cemetery out of town, I accepted, hoping to put some distance between me and John.
Asher Hills is a living ghost town, sentenced to a slow death by the greed of it’s founding family. My arrival here was no coincidence. I was brought to Asher Hills for a reason. A reason that will tear my world apart as I uncover the secrets this dying kingdom holds.
The isolated kingdom surrounded by water- looms heavy over the town that once blossom, now cloaked by darkness and evil. And there underneath the water lays stone angels and the graves of those of the unrest as they walk among the living looking for peace and justice.
Amanda Stevens’s The Kingdom is the second in her bone chilling Graveyard Queen series. Picking up a few months after The Restorer, Ms. Stevens’s once again submerges us into her world of gothic horror, infused with the slick heat and superstitions of the South. Dark poetic descriptions hold you hostage in it’s insidious embrace as we are gently guided through the story. Ms. Stevens strong voice wraps around you in each chilling scene. Amelia’s world is a frightening one and it translates well across paper. Blessed or cursed, depending on how you look at it, Amelia has the ability to see the dead. An ability that puts her in danger because the dead in here aren’t benevolent specters but vengeful parasites that absorb the energy of the living until they are nothing more then a walking shell.
When Amelia accepts a restoration job in Asher Falls, SC, the devastation of the town calls to her, as does the town’s two cemeteries. One of which was buried under water. Enclosed by mountains and lakes, the town has a presence of evil that seems to be waiting for something. An evil that calls to Amelia while repulsing her at the same time. She feels like she’s come home even though she has never been here before. As Amelia begins her restoration, she finds herself at the center of a mystery. A mystery that that addresses her past and leaves us and Amelia reeling as questions are answered.
Amelia continues to be an addicting protagonist as her fear of the dead is challenged by the need to solve the mysteries of Asher Falls. A naturally reserved young woman, her aloof attitude is beginning to fray, allowing in more then human contact. Intelligent, loyal, and tenacious; Amelia continues to push where she is not wanted even as she feels her life is slowly slipping out of control as outside factors batter at her self imposed isolation. Even though weakening can only hurt Amelia, I like seeing her walls starting to crumble, and finally giving her a chance at something close to a normal life. I did get somewhat annoyed by her inability to ask for help though I understood her reasons. Amelia’s curiosity places her in some truly dangerous situations but her natural reluctance to bring someone into her world left her unable to ask for the help she desperately needed.
We don’t see much of Devlin in here though he remains a strong presence through Amelia’s thoughts. A new love interest in revealed, Thane Asher. Thane Asher, the scion of the Asher family, is an enigma. Portrayed as a lazy, carefree young man, we soon learn that Thane has deeper connections to the land and his family then originally revealed. He pursues Amelia, finding a common thread between them that intrigues him. He knows there is another who occupies her heart, but takes a chance that he can be the one to capture and keep it.
“Life is to short to live in the past, Amelia. Let him have his ghosts.”
The romance between Thane and Amelia is more of an undercurrent through the main storyline rather then a dominant aspect. Yet it holds important clues to the overall main conflict. The delicious sexual tension between them serves a different purpose as these two strangers find themselves on the edge of a dark precipice. I admit to not being as vested in this one. My love for Devlin is great.
The secondary characters in here are a dynamic part of the story as each one has a secret waiting to be revealed, adding suspense and tension to the story. Deeply characterized, no one is as they seem and we find ourselves both clinging to and edging away from each of them. A complex plot line and multiple sub plots feed upon one another as each revelation brings us closer to the answers Amelia seeks. Deception and betrayal are the foundation that the town residents have built their life upon. A foundation that is rotten at it’s core.
The Kingdom is a fantastic follow up to The Restorer and a welcome addition to any paranormal horror lovers bookshelf. I look forward to The Prophet which releases 5/12/2012. Beware though. This series seems to being out the primordial fears that most of us don’t acknowledge and will have you checking over your shoulder frequently, fearful of what may be watching you.
Favorite Quote: “Baby, I will always come for you.“
Seth is one of the most fierce Guardians to the evil Noir. Sold into slavery as a child, Seth, an Egyptian demigod, has spent thousands of years guarding and being tortured by one of the most sadistic primal source gods in existence. When Seth is commanded to find the Key, an artifact that can destroy the Greek Pantheon, he kidnaps the dream god Solin and tortures him for its whereabouts. When a beautiful young woman appears and tries to rescue Solin, Seth is both angered and intrigued. What must it be like to be loved so much that a person would risk their own life to save yours? When Solin promises the key in exchange for sparing the woman’s life, Seth decides he must know who or what this woman is and gives Solin an ultimatum. Find the Key and return in three days or the woman dies.
Lydia doesn’t understand why Solin was kidnapped, only that her orders are to free him at all costs. When she is captured by Seth and her powers drained, she finds herself at the mercy of a most complex man. Deadly and fierce; Lydia expects to be slain at any moment but this man confuses her. The mixture of man and child calls to Lydia and she begins to chip away at his armor until she discovers the man underneath. His inability to understand or accept simple kindness breaks Lydia’s heart and she vows that no matter what; she will free Seth from Noir’s clutches.
Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dream-Hunter series is a spin-off of sorts (the worlds very much overlap) of her Dark-Hunter series, which is one of the best selling paranormal romance series to date and for good reason. Speaking to readers of all ages and genres, Ms. Kenyon’s unique twist on vampires, Greek mythology, and religion combines fantasy with paranormal romance to create a genre all it’s own. Ms. Kenyon has enthralled us since her first book, Fantasy Lover. Filled with intriguing suspense, non stop action, smoking hot romance, and biting humor; this intense character driven series continues to enchant this reader. Well written with a fast steady pace that keeps the story entertaining and quite informative. What captivated me with this release is that is reminiscent of her earlier novels where the main story line and conflict all revolved around the hero and heroine. Since Acheron, Ms. Kenyon has spent more time building up the back story and introducing new plots in order to tie her convoluted world together. The Guardian takes us back to the familiar and we are given a tortured hero and a fantastic heroine who’s story of love and sacrifice will hold you hostage till the end.
Seth became an instant favorite for me. He ranks with there with Ash, Zarek, and Jericho. Betrayed and used by everyone he has ever come into contact with, his ability to remain sane and actually develop feelings for Lydia is amazing. It’s telling that when we first meet him he is covered in black impenetrable armor and his face is painted into a scowling face of a demon. Seth keeps his real self hidden and safe against any and all.
Lydia, a dream hunter, has had her own share of pain and betrayal so she empathizes with Seth. She tries hard to hate him but his fragility speaks to her heart and she finds herself drawn to her enemy. Ms. Kenyon’s characterization of Lydia is perfect. Her gentle nature masks a core of unbreakable steel. When she finally understands the true extent of Seth’s past, her heart breaks but she stands strong and does anything and everything she can to protect him. Even at the threat of her own life. Kenyon does the perfect job of allowing his and Lydia’s relationship to move slowly as we become party to both his and her pasts. Going from enemies to lovers takes on a special meaning here as we watch Seth learn and experience the joy of having someone who loves him for him. I actually found myself tearing up at times when we are shown his intense joy to the simply things we take for granted-like seeing the sun. Or receiving a kiss that doesn’t cause pain.
There are some pretty humorous moments as Seth’s misunderstandings of the outside world land him in hot water with Lydia.
“Yea,” she snapped, jerking her head at him, “You heard me. Incest doesn’t run in my family, buddy. Just so you know.”
Okay, now he had the distinct impression that she was insulting him. “What are you insinuating?”
“You’re the one with the family tree that doesn’t branch.” She illustrated said tree with her fingers. “How many Egyptian gods slept with their brothers’ and sisters’ wifes’ mothers’ uncles’ dogs? Hmmm? I ask you?”
“…have you visited your pantheon lately?”
“We’re not talking about my pantheon, here. Are we? No. We’re insulting yours.”
The main plot and subsequent sub plots are pretty intense as we discover more about the traitor in the Greek Pantheon and what exactly Solin’s and Lydia’s connection is. I love that we see some old faces; Daphne, Zarek, Ma’at, Jaden, and others. We even visit the Sanctuary for a brief time. We are given a pretty nice clue to the Egyptian Parthenon and where that storyline may be headed. My advice? Pay close attention to Seth. We have not seen the last of him.
The ending felt a little rushed but undeniably heartbreaking and sweet. We are gifted with a few surprises and given a HEA that rivals her earlier novels. Seth and Lydia are one of my top couples in Ms. Kenyon’s series for me and I look forward to seeing more of them in the future.
Bound picks up about right where Tangled left off. Mo used her gifts to avenge her friend’s death and negotiate with her family for some much needed freedom. Thinking she is finally going to be free, her uncle flips the tables and pushes for more from Mo and isn’t above using her family and friends to get what he wants. Mo makes the ultimate sacrifice and gives up her dreams in order to keep everyone she loves safe. But not everyone appreciates her sacrifices. Mo’s inability to let things lay soon places her and Colin in discord. Mo soon finds herself pulled in different directions as her magic, the Arcs, and her family makes demands on her she can no longer ignore. As Mo tries to clean up her mess, she sets in motion a dangerous game that unless played just right, will destroy them all.
Ms. O’Rourke picks the best titles for her books. Bound perfectly describes Mo as she bound to the magic, bound to her family, and now bound to save her love’s life. A steady pace and solid storyline propels the novel along at a comfortable speed. More action, suspense, and mystery makes this final installment an exciting ending to this trilogy. I liked that the narrative aspect was toned down in here and we are able to submerge ourselves more into the story and Mo’s life. The character development continues to deepen, revealing areas of their personalities and emotions that have remained hidden before now. Layers in both characters and the plot lines are peeled back and the tangled hidden agendas begin to finally unwind and reveal themselves. While Mo has always remained in the spotlight, other characters have been introduced and carry more of the story line’s weight. It still speaks in a youthful tone to me (because of the protagonist) but you cannot miss the subtle maturing of Mo. She has come a long way since Torn and the ramifications are readily apparent. She is no longer the quiet, unassuming girl she was when we first met her. The paranormal storyline really takes command in here and edges the contemporary portions into the background where it belonged.
I admire Mo. She deals with so much in here, torn between two worlds, yet for all her mistakes, you know everything she did was from the heart. She tries so hard to be what everyone wants yet realizes, in the end, she can only be herself. She is brave, intelligent, and very, very stubborn. She will always do what she feels is right. This, of course, can cause problems when you attempt to manipulate other’s lives. Regardless of the who and what, she did what she needed to do in Tangled but she cannot avoid the consequences of her decisions. And they are huge. I did find it rather telling that she, on occasion, does what she despises her uncle for. She too makes decisions concerning others without a by your leave. She is even more conflicted in here as she is pulled in different directions; trying to stay one step ahead of her uncle and the dangerous game they are playing. Mo finally begins to listen and trust her magic-realizing that it isn’t a passing gift. Ms. O’Rourke merges Mo and her magic in a realistic fashion that matches with her emotional maturity. Stubbornness continues to be her greatest gift and flaw. She pushes hard to know things, often against good advice, then regrets when the truth is revealed. Only this time, her actions not only affect her, they affect others who aren’t so forgiving this time around.
The romantic love triangle remained a solid fixture throughout this trilogy. Mo remains torn between Colin and Luc but Ms. O’Rourke takes pity on us and gives us a resolution. I liked the differences between Luc and Colin and the lengths at which they will go to be with her. I admitted in the last review that I was team Luc. Regardless of his reasons, I always believed that Luc truly cares for Mo. That he would fight everything and everyone to be with her. Colin, for all his declarations, still felt too much like a bodyguard then a potential lover. Ms. O’Rourke cranks up the emotional drama and plays it out till the very end. Some will be pleased and some will not.
The ending wraps up the main conflict and overall arc in a dramatic, heart stopping finale that reveals so much in the final moments. All our questions are answered and we are left with a nice, abet, brief look into Mo’s future. A solid trilogy that is sure to appeal to all YA readers who enjoy magic, suspense, and romantic entanglements for their heroes and heroines.
Helyce’s Favorite Quotes: “You have me,” she whispered. All of me.
“I love you to distraction, Empress.”
Tori’s Favorite Quote: ”Seduced…she was being seduced.”
Tori: OMG Helyce, so can you believe that we are on number eleven of Ms. Singh’s spectacular, romantic, humorous, super smoking sexy, awe inspiring, addictive Psy-Changeling series? I can’t. Even though I reread the series about once a year, (or more-don’t judge), it always feels brand new and fresh. I think her writing is pure gold with her highly developed characters and well plotted storylines. This is one of a few series that I can honestly say I will be heartbroken when it ends.
Helyce: It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Ms. Singh’s extraordinary books from both of her series. I have not done a complete re-read this year, but I am guilty of grabbing a book and just opening it up to read a random page. Generally, that’s enough to pull me back into the story and I find myself reading through from that point on. My most tattered and dog-eared books are Slave to Sensation, Caressed By Ice and Hostage to Pleasure. Her world building is spectacular and just keeps getting better and better. I cannot even guess where she plans to take us, but like you, I will be very sad when the last book in this series is written.
Tori: Tangle Of Need is in my opinion one of the best installments to date. Highly charged multiple storylines run hand in hand as we learn more about the Psy end game, insight into the Arrows, Ghost, and the nummy Kaleb, and intimate views into the lives of our beloved Changelings. The protagonists of this story, Riaz and Adria, are two lusciously tortured characters whose lives have been shaped by heartbreaking events that mirror each others. Riaz found his mate only to see her happily married to another man and Adria’s mate could not handle the fact that she is more dominant than him. When they first meet they despise each other and the sparks fly. It’s a long hard road for them which I appreciated. Ms. Singh takes the time to reveal to them and us that while the mate bond is both a strong physical and spiritual bonding, it is not the end all. Theirs is a bittersweet story as we watch them mourn what they both lost in order to go forward with their lives. In fact, this lightly plays off Hawke and Sienna’s issues in Kiss Of Snow and re asks the question, “Can you love without the mate bond?” A perfect blending of angst and emotional purging.
Speaking of Hawke and Sienna..I was mighty happy and surprised at the amount of smexy time we got to spend with them.
What did you think Helyce?
Helyce: Hell yeah! There is a lot going on in this installment to move the story forward following the horrific cold fire standoff at the end of Sienna and Hawke’s book. I honestly don’t know how you keep everything straight. Re-reading probably keeps the details fresh in your head Tori, but for me, I struggled a little bit with the first 50% or so of this book. This is not a reflection on the author in any way. Her writing is extremely succinct; it is all on me and my craptastic memory. As for Riaz and Adria, I was unsure of them initially but I absolutely could not discount their chemistry. Two, totally broken souls who can only be healed by each other. When Lisette shows up, I just about had a heart attack.
Tori: OMG!!! Me too. I died.
Helyce: I knew it was inevitable and necessary, but oh the pain! The exploration into the necessity of the mating bond is handled so well with this couple and I was thrilled to watch Riaz fight for Adria. He showed such strength of character; sheer determination.
As for Sienna and Hawke, I was thrilled to see so much of them in this book. I admit to feeling a bit cheated in their book, but Ms. Singh more than makes up for it with all the page time they get here. I also enjoyed seeing Sienna embrace her new role. She’s not just a soldier anymore; she is the Alpha’s mate and with that comes so much more responsibility than she could ever have imagined.
Tori: I agree Helyce. It was extra special to see Hawke and Sienna’s relationship during down times. I love all the changes and developments in key characters lives that are revealed in here. Judd plays an active role with his ties to the Arrows and spending more time with Aden and Vasic has my mind playing over and over all the scenarios that may be coming. I do hope they get their own books. Riley and Mercy get some fantastic news and Drew and Indigo play a pivotal role in helping Riaz and Adria come to terms with the paths their lives are taking.
What revelations had you fan girl squeeeing in here Helyce?
Helyce: I had a few fan girl *squeee* moments, but revelations? For me, any revelations just proved to frustrate me. Everything to do with Alice Eldridge has me at the edge of my seat with wanting to know more about what exactly her existence means and how it will affect, well, everything. Within that we have Amara, still Silent, but can she be trusted? I am just fascinated with this side story.
I am a huge Judd fan, so I loved that we continue to see him evolve from the severely cold man he was. The connection he maintains with the Arrows is very interesting and I can’t wait to see where this all goes. I’m with you on trying to figure out what will become of Aden and Vasic. I liked seeing Aden recognize emotions in others. It was so subtle, but there all the same. But I’m worried about Vasic. Really worried.
I adored the scene with Faith falling over laughing about Mercy and Riley’s good fortune. The hints are delicious, don’t you think? I can’t wait.
Tori: I do. I think the changelings are in for a wild ride. The Psy, Pure Psy, and Changeling political intrigues keep me on my toes as we are directed deeper into the machiavellian plans that everyone is hatching. Sides are being picked and a few players are straddling the fence, playing on all three sides in a dangerous game. Kaleb is still searching the net with a single minded purpose. Who is he looking for and where will they fit into this overall bid for world domination? The Arrows have chosen their side but it remains to be seen how this battle will play out and how great the losses will be. Sienna remains a viable weapon for the Changelings but how far will she go to secure the lives of those she loves? So much going on that I can’t WAIT for book twelve.
What do you think, Helyce?
Helyce: First off, I have totally joined the ‘I love Kaleb’ club. This character continues to surprise while at the same time confound me. Who the hell is this guy? I have too many questions and I guess at the end of the day that’s the big attraction, right? That need to know his big secret. I’m sure the revelations will be worth all this suspense. All this time I thought he was searching for the Ghost in the Net? Imagine my surprise when I learned that wasn’t it at all? I cannot wait for this guy to break Silence…oh yeah, that’s going to be hot!
I found the continued side story with Miane from BlackSea extremely interesting. Their over the top need for security and staying under the radar has me thinking they are hiding something and if that is the case, what? And more importantly why? Since no one is clear as to what forms these shifters take, I found the joke about the sharkshifter very amusing. I mean, can you just imagine it?
Tori: Yes, that was very cute.
Helyce: All fun aside, I agree with your summation. It’s the characters that are straddling the fence that cause me the most discomfort. I cannot even begin to guess what direction Ms. Singh plans to go, but I know some things are inevitable and it’s going to get worse before it gets better.
Tori: This series just continues to get better and better for me and I can’t even imagine the things Ms Singh has in store for the future. The villains and heroes/heroines remain top notch and true to form. Storylines expand to open new paths and the romances in here are swoon worthy. Lots of snarky humor and engaging dialogue make this a 5 star read for me. I look forward to riding this series to the very end.
Helyce: Though I did struggle with the first half of this book, the second half made up for it in spades. Fellow reviewer May used the word “bridge” to describe this book when we chatted briefly about it and I tend to agree with her here. There is a lot of information included in this book, but I didn’t feel like we got many answers. More questions? Yes, definitely. Am I looking forward to the next book? Hell YES! Ms. Singh certainly knows how to “bring it”. After a rocky start, I did come to love Riaz and Adria. For me, Riaz’s persistence and determination won me over. The author’s descriptive writing covering all the senses was beautifully done. I think I will always associate the phrase “crushed ice and berries” with this book.
Cipher (Southern Arcana #4) by Moira Rogers Paranormal Romance September 6, 2011 Samhain
Favorite Quote: It was like Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo was in hisCipher (Southern Arcana #4) by Moira Rogers Paranormal Romance September 6, 2011 Samhain
Favorite Quote: It was like Romeo and Juliet. If Romeo was in his mid thirties with a mullet.
Kat Gabriel is a powerful psychic and empath. A talent she inherited from her mother. When she inadvertently uses her powers to save a friend, the guilt and horror she feels usig her powers to kill and the withdrawal of her friend causes her to shutdown and she tries to bury herself and her power. Kat fears that she will end up like her mother and decides the time has come to look into her mother’s past to see what happened to her so many years ago.
Andrew Callaghan is a made werewolf. He was bitten when he tried to save Kat ‘s life. Since the change is a volatile time for all wolves and more so for newly made ones, Andrew felt the best way to protect Kat is to stay away from her. Andrew knows that pushing Kat away is the only way he can keep her safe. When Kat decides to research her past, Andrew ‘s protective instincts come into play and he comes along to help her.
As Andrew and Kat dig deeper into her past, an vicious and unethical threat rises. A threat that wants Kat and will take out anyone that gets in their way.
Cipher is the 4th book in Moira Roger’s dynamic action packed Southern Arcana series. A supernatural thrilling series with plenty of hot steamy romance and edge of your seat suspense guaranteed to keep you hooked till the very end. Here we finally get the story we have all been waiting on Kat and Andrew. What I truly enjoy about this series is the ease and skill in which they write their characters. They capture your attention and wrangle their way into your heart. It’s very easy to become vested in their lives. The smooth pacing and engaging storyline makes for a fast read that comes to an end far too soon.
Cipher picks up with a where Deadlock leaves off and runs with it. The Conclave is still unsettled and the tension in the shifter world has everyone on edge. Kat and Andrew are wary of each other and their feelings; each believing they know what’s best for the other one. The more time they spend together, the more they realize they themselves are the problem. I enjoy how they “resolve” their conflicts. ;) We see many old friends in here along with some new ones. This world keeps expanding and evolving at just the right pace. Our villian(s) are nasty evil minded individuals that you will love to hate and the ending resolves enough open ended story lines to satisfy while giving clues to what’s coming next.
While each of these could be read as a stand alone since they each revolve around a main couple and resolve a main conflict, there is a heavy bleed over of characters and storyline that will leave some confused if your not familiar with the overall arc. All in all Cipher is a powerful addition to the Southern Arcana series which stands as being one of my top favorite paranormal romantic series to date.
From Goodreads: Magic Graves is a novella composed of two short stories and previews of future novellas by New York award winning paranormal authors JFrom Goodreads: Magic Graves is a novella composed of two short stories and previews of future novellas by New York award winning paranormal authors Jeaniene Frost and Ilona Andrews. Jeaniene Frost’s story, One For the Money, features her lovable very sexy vampire couple- Cat and Bones. Previously published in Death’s Excellent Vacation. Also includes the first three chapters from The Bite Before Christmas anthology, as well as a sneak peak at ONCE BURNED, the first novel in the new Night Prince series.
Ilona Andrews story, A Questionable Client, is a prequel to her award-winning Kate Daniels series. Previously published in Dark and Stormy Knights. Also includes first two chapters of FATE’S EDGE, book three in the Edge series, and first two chapters of Magic Grieves, a Kate Daniels novella.
I am a huge fan of both authors so when I was offered this for review I jumped at the chance to not only get some more stories about my favorite characters but also some advance information on upcoming releases. I like the fact they decided to bind these two stories into one novella. That works well for those who want the stories but don’t necessarily want to buy two separate anthologies to get them.
One For The Money by Jeaniene Frost
Set after Destined For An Early Grave, book 4, Bones and Cat have to cut their vacation short when Cat’s uncle Don requires them to protect a whiny heiress from a death contract. As Cat and Bones fight their way through ghouls and vampires, Cat’s mom joins in the fray and decides Bones may not be the devil incarnate.
A fast fun story that is packed full of the steamy chemistry and witty dialogue that we have come to love from this series. I really like the interaction between Justine and Bones. Dare we hope she’s coming around? I wouldn’t hold my breath!
A Questionable Client by Ilona Andrews
A prequel to Magic Bites, book 1, we are introduced to Kate Daniels. A Mercenary for The Guild, she has had a hard day and just wants to go home. When the Guild calls her about a job, she finds herself protecting a man who believes anything is available for the right price-even Kate. Loved reading about Kate’s first time meeting Saiman and the reasons behind their very odd relationship. Eccentric characters and sarcastic humor that is a trademark of this series is in abundance. A great introduction to this outstanding series for new readers.
The additional sneak peeks only add the the over all enjoyment of this collection. Loved seeing Vlad and meeting his soon to be honey in Once Burned (book 1-new series Jeaniene Frost) and getting first two chapters of Fate’s Edge (Book 3) AND Magic Grieves (Ilona Andrews) only solidifies my intentions to buy all 4 when they release. All in all, if your a true fan of these authors, I can’t imagine you not buying this collection.
Favorite Quote: “See, K, this is why I always want to kill your friends.“
Thanatos is free from the stasis his brother and sister placed him in.
He’s free… and primed for revenge.
Thanatos spent thousands of years celibate in order to avoid breaking his seal and moving the world one step closer to the apocalypse. This is, until the night he is drugged and tricked by the sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, into giving up his virginity. Now, with the end of days rapidly approaching, Thanatos finds himself worried less about the apocalypse and more about the prospect of becoming a dad.
Regan Cooper didn’t want to betray Thanatos, but when the Aegis were given information pointing to a child of a Horseman saving the world; she had no choice. Now she is pregnant, scared, and trying to find a way to keep herself and the baby alive in the middle of a war.
As Thanatos struggles to hold on to his anger against Regan, he finds himself slowly falling in love with the mother of his soon to be born child. But as battle lines are drawn, Thanatos finds himself having to make a choice. Save the world, or save his heart.
Thanatos, the Horseman of the Apocalypse known as Death, is not a happy camper. After being tricked into having sex with an Aegis Guardian, he went on a bloody rampage that required his siblings to immobilize him. Eight months and an inhuman amount of Jersey Shore episodes later, he finds himself suddenly free. Now that Than knows exactly what happened that fateful night, he wants a piece of everyone who plotted against him-starting with Regan.
“So, what are you going to do now you’re not frozen solid?”
“First, I’m going to kill those demons and that fallen angel behind you.” The scorpion tattoo on his throat began to sting his neck, it’s tail moving like a pulse, reminding Than that death was what he was meant for. Never one to argue with fate, he swung the scythe in a powerful arc, lobbing off one of the demon’s two heads. He glanced back at Hades, who was looking like he may want some popcorn to go with the action.
“Then I’m going to do the same to the woman who betrayed me.”
Than spirits Regan away from the Aegis stronghold she was hiding in and prepares to exact his revenge. However, Regan is pregnant with his child and that is the key to softening Than’s heart. His one wish has always been to have a family. Than’s revenge will have to wait though as everyone seems to be gunning for Than and Ragan’s unborn child.
Lethal Rider is the explosive third installment of Larissa Ione’s dark, dangerous, and wickedly sinful Lords of Deliverance series. A true PNR that delivers well crafted characters, devious plots lines, and engaging dialogue that rivals most offerings out there. I love the balance created in here between the sexy romance and the heart pounding action. Though you know your happy ending is coming, the path that you follow to this is fraught with peril and pain, and all you can do ride it out as Ione weaves her magic around you. It slams you out of the gate and doesn’t slow down till you reach the last page. Incredible world building allows for easy comprehension even though it is rather convoluted.These are not stand alones. Filled with dark plots, wicked humor, and plenty of snark; you will find yourself devouring each page as new subplots yield bigger clues and dangerous situations, leading us towards our final outcome.
Ione has given us two extremely damaged protagonists in Thanatos and Regan. Betrayed and feared by those they trust most, your heart breaks as you learn of the trials and tribulations that have made them what they are today. Than has spent his life alone in difference of his curse. Being death only serves to isolate him for those he loves and he uses his reputation for violence to ensure no one gets too close to him. Regan is half demon and her birthright resulted in her isolation as a child and being treated as the enemy by the Aegis. They both are scared individuals who have spent their lives waiting for the blows to come as they continuously strive to prove their worth. Trust does not come easy to either of them. I will admit it took me awhile to warm up to Regan. It’s easier once you learn the whole shocking circumstances behind her seduction of Than; but there were still aspects of her personality that rubbed me wrong.
Though the smexy times is few and far between, the chemistry and sexual tension between Than and Regan is hot and heavy.
“You’re going to pleasure me.” He got a dark, wicked thrill from her sharp inhale. “Whenever I want. At my every whim.”
I appreciated the fact that Ione takes her time in allowing Than and Regan get to know one another while coming to terms with everything that has happened. Their future was imposed upon them by deceptive means and it’s gratifying to see that the situation is given the seriousness that it deserves. It’s hard on Than because every direction he turns in, he is met with evidence of betrayal. It’s especially hard on Regan because not only must she face that fact that the Aegis betrayed her; she also has to accept her own dishonorable actions. It’s not all frowny faces though. Ione’s trademark sly humor and cackling good one liners litter the pages and you find yourself laughing at the most inappropriate things.
“I got here as soon as I could.” He strode over to Regan. “The message I got was that we are dealing with hypothermia?’
“Obviously,” Than said, “she’s better. No thanks to you. But she’s having…what are they called? Breaking dicks?”
We see many old faces in here from this series and her Demonica series; adding depth and continence to the ever evolving arc. Wraith continues amuse as he and Kyran strive to keep the supernatural sector safe. The Aegis play a larger role in this installment and their actions are shocking. Shocking, I say! There are some fabulous side stories that will leave you panting for more as Ms. Ione teasingly gives us more clues to the heavier roles Heaven and Hell will play in this series. We also meet some new characters who promise us some wild rides in the future.
The ending is an intense, emotional roller coaster ride of deception, betrayal, and redemption as Ms. Ione further sets the stage for what is sure to be a battle of a lifetime. We are lucky in that the fourth book in the series, Rogue Rider, is set to releases November 2012. Larissa Ione is the queen of demonic goodness and perfect for all PNR readers who love their heroes and heroines to be kick ass, sexy, funny, and always willing to cross the line.
Favorite Quote: “When she was gone, the world was dead to him.”
Adrian Mitchell, a powerful angel, has waited over two hundred years for his lover’s soFavorite Quote: “When she was gone, the world was dead to him.”
Adrian Mitchell, a powerful angel, has waited over two hundred years for his lover’s soul to reincarnate. He made the mistake of falling for his enemy’s daughter and pays for it each time she dies. When he finds her soul again in a mortal woman named Lindsey Graham, he knows instinctively that this time around he and she will have to change in order for their love to survive.
Lindsey has always been a little “different” but it isn’t until she meets Adrian does she realize how different she is and how her life is going to change forever. She is implacably drawn to Adrian for reasons unknown to her. When she finally uncovers her past, Lindsey has to make a choice that will either save them or destroy them both.
Sylvia Day’s A Touch Of Crimson, the the first in her Renegade Angels trilogy, brings us a dark convoluted paranormal romance that speaks of love, sacrifice, and redemption. Angels, the Seraphim, are the higher power who track and punish the Fallen- angels who have become vampires. Lycans are bred and forced into involuntary servitude to be used as the angels bodyguards. As we enter into their lives, we find that things are changing on the battlefield. Vampires are bring increasingly unstable, the Lycans are showing signs of mutiny, and angels are beginning to want the forbidden.
Adrian Mitchell is the ultimate alpha. The captain of an elite Special Ops force, he has spent his life making the most difficult decisions and having to live with them. In the beginning you find him cold and focused in a single minded way. When he first realizes Lindsey is his beloved “Shadoe”, he claims her with no regard to her feelings. She will be his and that is it. Yet, as time passes, Lindsey begins to humanize him and he starts to look at his life and the ones around him in a different light.
Lindsey is a nice heroine. She is kind, intelligent, and a worthy mate to an angel. She knows something isn’t right about her attraction to Adrian and sets her mind to figuring out exactly where she fits in his grand scheme of things.
With the beginning of any series, the first book is often a geyser of information as the arc is slowly set up and characters are introduced and defined. I found this book starts out very slowly. We are inundated with information concerning the angels, vampires, lycans and all their back stories. It wasn’t until about 50% through I was finally able to sink into and stay with the story. There are two main story lines with multiple subplots that intertwine and elevate one another. Each powerful in their own right; it’s not until towards the end when they combine do you get the full effect of Ms. Day’s story.
Adrian and Lindsey’s romance is very hot and steamy though heartbreaking as you watch Adrian grasp and cling to Lindsey-knowing that he will yet again have to destroy her to save her.
“…I’m going to send your soul from this Earth once and for all. My love will destroy you, me, and everything we care about. Who am I, if not the man who loves you beyond all self-preservation?”
Ms. Day does a fabulous job imparting his emotional turmoil and and angst to us. I like that Lindsey doesn’t play games in here with Adrian. She too senses their limited time frame though she isn’t sure why and chooses to act upon her attraction.
Our secondary characters carry as much weight as our protagonists in here. We are gifted with each groups (vampires, lycans, angels) POV at times and this allows for a deeper understanding of the overall arc. No one is really what they seem and each group carries misconceptions about the other. I loved Elijah, alpha of the lycans. His controversial decisions guarantee that his story will be a phenomenal one.
A few problems I had with the storyline is Adrian’s ability to justify what he does. He effectively breaks the rules for himself (falling in love with a mortal, waiting over and over for her reincarnation) but shows no mercy for those who may do the same. Ands while Lindsey may feel attraction to Adrian, I was confused about how easily she succumbed to him with hardly any explanations needed. I would have liked more conflict between Lindsey and him. I felt the romance lessened the impact of the main plot and would have rather seen more of Lindsey and Adrian in the second book.
The ending stays true to the dark and suspenseful nature of this story. We are left with some interesting revelations and outcomes that assure us this trilogy will only continue to get better.
Ms. Day’s A Touch Of Crimson is the start to an action packed, emotionally dark series that promises more to come. I look forward to the next in the series-A Hunger So Wild (Elijah’s story)- which releases July 3, 2012.