I have been looking forward to Scythe and Chiara's story ever since we met them both in Midnight Untamed and Lara Adrian didn't disappoint. The OrderI have been looking forward to Scythe and Chiara's story ever since we met them both in Midnight Untamed and Lara Adrian didn't disappoint. The Order are currently busy dealing with a Rogue issue so when Chiara is attacked in her own home they turn to Scythe and ask him to protect her. Scythe is a Gen One Hunter, raised in Dragos' labs he is a lethal killing machine and his unique skill at detecting danger make him a perfect bodyguard but he's used to living alone and isn't keen on spending time with a young breedmate, especially one he hasn't been able to stop thinking about since they first met several weeks ago.
Like all the Hunters Scythe has a pretty heartbreaking backstory, no-one who was raised in those labs came out without both mental and physical scarring but it was an event that happened after his escape that left him most emotionally damaged. I don't want to talk about what that event was but it left Scythe feeling completely unworthy and pretty terrified of having someone under his protection, he doesn't feel worthy of Chiara and he's worried that he will let her down when she needs him the most.
We already know a bit of Chiara's backstory from the previous story, she is a widow with a young son and has pretty much had to rely on herself for the last three years. Her husband was utterly useless and ended up getting both Chiara and her sister-in-law into a lot of trouble, thanks to the Order and Scythe Chiara should now be free to live her own life but now a stalker has put her in danger again. Chiara is determined to deal with this latest threat so that she and her young son Pietro can live their lives without fear but she needs Scythe's help.
I thought Scythe and Chiara were incredibly sweet together, he's so damaged and convinced he doesn't deserve love but Chiara sees the man inside and she won't let him walk away from her. She has had one useless mate and she's not about to let the one man who makes her feel safe and loved walk away from her. Add in little Pietro, who is utterly adorable, and there are some really heart melting moments here, especially in that epilogue.
I love the Midnight Breed novellas, they usually take a step away from the core characters of the series and I enjoy spending time with the Order's Italian team. They don't focus as much on the series story arc so work well as stand alone stories (although fans of the series will enjoy seeing a few familiar faces) and they're more tightly focused on the romance which is nice. There is still plenty of action as Scythe and Chiara try to figure out who her stalker is and what he wants with her but we also get plenty of focus on getting to know the characters so even though the romance plays out fairly quickly it never feels rushed. I'm incredibly excited that we're going to get Trygg's story later on this year but we also have Aric Chase's full length book coming this summer which I just know is going to be fantastic. This series is still going strong and I'm looking forward to many more books set in this world!
Source: I received an ebook from the author in exchange for an honest review...more
I've been wanting to read Eli's story ever since we met him in Before I Fall, the former officer has been a steady influence on both of the heroes froI've been wanting to read Eli's story ever since we met him in Before I Fall, the former officer has been a steady influence on both of the heroes from previous books. He runs the local bar and seems to collect wounded ex-soldiers and adopt them into his tribe where he can keep an eye on them. Eli is always watching out for other people and putting their needs first but he's very closed off about his own past and you just know he's keeping a lot of things to himself so I couldn't wait to get to know him better.
I'll admit I was nervous when I found out he was matched with Parker though, what we saw of her in After I Fall didn't exactly leave me with a good opinion of her. She came across as a typical spoilt rich girl, someone who had everything handed to her on a plate and who had no idea what it was like to live in the real world. I wasn't convinced I'd ever be able to root for them as a couple but I just love it when an author manages to change my opinion about a character and Jessica Scott definitely achieved that here. Yes Parker comes from money and she's never had to worry financially but you quickly realise that her life hasn't been a bed of roses. Her problems are very different to anything I've ever experienced but that doesn't make them any less difficult for her to cope with and she gave me a lesson in not judging someone by the size of their bank account!
I thought Eli and Parker made a great couple, they're both incredibly alone in different ways. Eli is surrounded by people that he cares for and who care for him in return but he always feels like he has to be the one protecting everyone else and he doesn't really let anyone know when he's the one who is struggling. Parker on the other hand has never had anyone put her first, her whole life is dictated by what her father wants from her, she has to look good and behave in appropriate ways to help him with his business contacts and she's even been forced into an engagement with a man she doesn't like because her father has chosen him as his future son-in-law. Eli is the first person to really listen to what Parker wants and to encourage her to follow her own dreams and in return Parker is there for Eli in ways that nobody else is. They fit so well together and have fabulous chemistry too.
If there is one thing I wanted to see a little more of it would have been more of what happened after Parker confronted Davis. I really would have loved an extra scene with her father that perhaps showed he cared for her after all but I guess that would probably have been a bit too much of a fairytale because he wasn't very likely to backdown after Parker chose to defy him. I enjoyed the brief appearances by previous characters from the series though and we get to see a lot of Eli's bar staff Deacon and Kelsey which I loved. I really can't wait to read their book later on this year - I need to know more about their previous history!
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review...more
Valen is the second book in Felicity Heaton's Guardians of Hades series and I have to admit I wasn't sure what I'd make of Valen because he wasn't exaValen is the second book in Felicity Heaton's Guardians of Hades series and I have to admit I wasn't sure what I'd make of Valen because he wasn't exactly the nicest of the brothers in the previous book. I know Felicity is brilliant at changing my minds about her characters though and she proved that again here, I think I actually ended up loving Valen even more than Ares!
Valen's ability revolves around controlling lightening which makes him a powerful enemy to have and someone you definitely want at your back in a battle. He also has a curse that we weren't aware of before though, one laid on him by Zeus before the brothers were exiled to earth to protect the gates to the Underworld. I don't want to talk much about what he did to earn the curse or what the curse actually entails but once you know the details and start to see the way it effects him it makes it much easier to understand why he's so standoffish compared to the others. I didn't really notice in the first book that the brothers all treat him differently to the way they treat each other but it kind of broke my heart seeing how on the outside he always was around them.
Eva is an assassin who was initially hired to track Valen's movements and report back to her employer but the requests he makes of her have started to become more and more strange and she's now really worried for her own safety if she doesn't follow through on what she's promised. She had no clue about the supernatural creatures around her and now she's caught up in the middle of a battle that has been going on for centuries. As a normal human she doesn't stand a chance against gods and daemons but she has a few skills up her sleeve and most importantly she has the will to survive so she'll do whatever it takes to make sure she comes out on top, even if it means allying herself with the man she was initially sent to kill.
I thought Valen and Eva were great together and what I loved most was the way Eva was willing to stand up to Valen's brothers on his behalf. She saw things about Valen that none of the others have ever noticed and she really gave them a few much needed home truths about the way they treated him. They had brilliant chemistry but they also made great partners in battle and even though Eva isn't as physically powerful as Valen she fights by his side and always has his back. We get to see plenty of the other brothers too and as much as I loved Valen I'm practically dying of curiosity about Esher now. I'm so excited that his book is next and I can't wait to read it!
Source: Received from the author in exchange for an honest review...more