*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Every time I open a new Rebecca Zanetti story I’m reminded why I keep coming back with such enthusiasm. Blazing intensity—carried by the lust or the action-fueled adrenaline (sometimes both at the same time)—lights up her stories, fills the pages with excitement and anticipation in the best possible way.
I finished Wicked Burn several days—and books—ago, and there are still moments from the story that haunt or warm me. Seeing Nick’s transformation, both as a younger demon and in his current quest for Simone, really made me appreciate Ms. Zanetti’s ability to create complex, multi-faceted characters that stand out even in a crowd of other equally memorable characters. Simone is far more than the bitch she’s come off as up til this point, and her background is a doozy! I had SO much fun with this book!
Ms. Zanetti’s work is so thorough, so atmospheric. She paints her canvas with more than just descriptions. Adjectives and adverbs, those may be effective tools for an author, but they’re also cheap and easy. Ms. Zanetti threads her scenes with little situational cues, keeping the reader in the moment in the best way possible—without devaluing her prose.
Wicked Burn brings some interesting changes to the Dark Protectors story world. Actually, less “changes”, more holy-cow-I-didn’t-see-that-coming “reveals”. One aspect of the shifter lore in this story world has always bugged me; ever since I read my first Dark Protector book, this one thing felt ill conceived or under developed. Without giving any spoilers, there is one particular moment in this book where I felt my eyes pop with a whispered “holy shit!”, followed right up by a yeeesssss fist pump. I’d like to believe Ms. Zanetti had this planned all along, and now I want to go back and read from the very start of the origin series. When Kellach’s book released (side note: I somehow missed Daire’s book, Wicked Edge, and went back to read it after I finished Wicked Burn), I remember thinking it didn’t have the punch I’d so enjoyed from the DP books and wasn’t quite as original as I’d hoped. Well, Wicked Burn breathes brand new life into the Realm Enforcers series and I am SO stoked.
Speaking of the realm, Nick and Simone reminded me a lot of Moira and Conn, my favorite couple from both series. This story is rich with AMAZING moments, so many more than I could mention without spoiling the ridiculous amount of fun that fans of the two series are going to have with Nick and Simone’s story. All the work Ms. Zanetti out into building up her Dark Protector world is paying off big-time in this newest installment. This book is packed with action and romance, camaraderie & solidarity, and an all around feel-good that kept me glued to the pages long after I should have been asleep or at work.
Simone and Nick fit right into Ms. Zanetti’s established cadre of sassy, smart, strong heroines and powerful, over-the-top alpha males, and their adventure rivals any told in this story world to date for sheer enjoyment. It’s a hell of a ride! I absolutely loved having a full-bred demon as the hero of the romance, and boy is he a badass. Nick rounds out all the most appealing traits from Conn, Talen, and Zane, and brings his own proud elegance and dirty determination into the mix.
And Simone…well, we already knew she is no witch to be trifled with, and her bossy, bitchy exterior is a perfect compliment to Nick’s take-no-shit, strategical brand of patience and incredible strength. I loved that many of Simone’s personality quirks are neatly justified as her history unfolds and that both she and Nick allow themselves to be completely vulnerable to each other…after a few pulse-pounding, blood-heating fights, of course. *wink*
And the addon short story with Talen and Cara… mmm! While Talen and Cara are probably my least favorite couple in the entire series (he’s just too caveman for me), this short was beautifully executed, and fans who do love Talen will be delighted with how their check-in plays out. Lots of tension, heat, and action—totally Talen style, with a healthy heaping of independence from the newly healthy Cara!
My list of auto-buy authors is very small, and Rebecca Zanetti is right at the top! Her stories just keep getting better and better, and I can’t wait for the next… book, series, whatever!… to release each and every time! Fans of the Dark Protectors story world are going to LOVE Wicked Burn, and new readers will find themselves swept into one of the most intriguing, creative, and enjoyable paranormal romance worlds ever written....more
Total Surrender, in classic Rebecca Zanetti style, was a whirlwind read and I couldn't put it down long enough to even get a full night's sleep. Ms. Zanetti is a master of her intense, in the action, balls-to-the-wall style, and it's the ultimate addiction. What reader would turn down sexy alpha males, brilliant leading ladies, and an intoxicating combination of suspense and sizzle? Not THIS gal, that's for sure!
One of the things I like most about Ms. Zanetti's writing is how she builds such deep, strong family bonds through each of her series. Sins Brothers especially embodies the spirit of family and brings home how precious those ties can be to those who have nothing else to hold close.
Like his brothers before him, Jory is precisely crafted, a man with brains and brawn in equal measure. He has this fairly scary, inherent darkness, which completely balances a tender heart the size of a Montana sky. Because he's been in a coma for the previous books in the series, we haven't had much time to get to know Jory before now, and he is absolutely a force to be reckoned with. Jory Dean has it all: charm, good looks, smarts, sheer physical size, combat mastery, a warm sense of humor, and a few extra special abilities I'll let you discovery on your own. ;) The reunion between the brothers was all I hoped it would be and a few surprises I didn't expect but completely loved!
Piper is one of the more adorable heroines in this series, although they've all been sweet, spunky, capable, and relatable. I love her smarts and her intrinsic need to see the best in people even as her cynical logic kicks in to play devil's advocate. Piper pretty much just says what she's thinking, without meaning to and without artifice. Since I can relate to that particular trait pretty closely, it was really fun to read about.
With enough epilogue-worthy material to satisfy even the most rabid Tolkien fan, Ms. Zanetti wraps up this series perfectly, with closure for all the main characters and a glimpse of the potential for more action from the Dean brothers in the future. Brava on a book (and a series) beautifully imagined and artfully delivered!
Total Surrender is heart-warming and suspenseful, balancing on a blade's edge between youthful vulnerability and sheer, raw, hardass adult determination. This book is the perfect well-earned closure to an intense, action-packed series.
You know that scene from the reboot Star Trek movie where Scottie says "I like this ship. It's exciting!"? Well that's how I felt while reading this book. Blind Faith is most definitely exciting! The story has a lot of elements of romantic suspense and flirts a little with the genre boundary, but I'd say it ultimately falls on the side of contemporary romance with some paranormal elements.
Speaking of ultimate, the Gray/Dean brothers are a hell of a set of alpha heroes! Nathan—like his brothers before him—is serious and radiates a constant lethal edge, and he's willing to sacrifice anything to see his family safe, with the freedom to live long, happy lives. That is, until Audrey dances back into his life. As the daughter of the psychopathic genius scientist who created the brothers to be the ultimate killer soldiers, Audrey must constantly walk the line between trying to live up to her mother's expectations and falling into the manipulations and mind games the twisted scientist thrives on. Both Nate and Audrey have one regret in life and that's losing each other, so to see them come back together after all this time is an intensely satisfying experience.
The story Ms. Zanetti has crafted is stellar, with great action and suspense, believable bursts of adrenaline followed by lulls of quiet. Some of the tactics used by the Dean brothers to communicate and infiltrate are quite brilliant and Audrey herself is far more capable and intelligent than she gives herself credit for. My favorite kind of heroine: determined and smart.
I love the sneak peek at the end of the book for the next book in the series and can't wait for it to come out.
There were several moments in Blind Faith that made me feel like I was in the middle of a Dan Brown novel, which really made me smile. Ms. Zanetti infuses such energy into the story, sprinkled with a nicely crafted cultish mystery, that it's really just a joy to read. Toss in the (possibly) unintentional comedic relief of the Dean brothers at their most protective with the expertly penned fighting sequences, and you've got a book that is nearly impossible to put down!
Marked is the final chapter in the Dark Protectors series, a riveting saga spanning decades of story time and following the powerful ruling Karys vampire family. Throughout all the story threads of each individual book, one thing has been constant: Janet Isabella Kayrs is the prophesied one who will change the world, for better or worse. The demons want to kill her, the Kurjans want to own her, and the vampires just want to keep her safe. Zane Kylllwood has been visiting his Janie Belle in dream worlds since they were children, and they are both in for a treat - and a serious test of their love for one another - when they finally get to meet in person.
There is a charming – and striking – dichotomy between the relationship Janie and Zane share and the ones played out by all the other couples in the series. As her lifelong best friend and companion, Zane is sweet, loving, and playful, but he can quickly flip into vampire single-minded bossiness when he believes Janie is in danger. Ms Zanetti’s heroes are always alpha males who fall just on the right side of that razor thin edge between adoring males who live to serve their mates and beastly, control-happy cavemen who kill first and ask questions later. And let me tell you – that heady, steaming hot hero profile is just begging for a gaggle of female fans! With Zane, Ms. Zanetti has created a very special blend of her signature hero traits and crafted them into a persona who is likeable, a little bit scary, and surprisingly believable for a male so young. The most diversified of all the Karys men, Zane has Conn’s super-soldier determination, Talen’s bossiness and protectiveness, Jace’s playfulness and spirit of youth, Kane’s uncanny ability to see around obstacles, and Dage’s sense of self-sacrificing responsibility to lead.
Marked dives right into a rivetting storyline years in the making, captivating readers with the strength and depth of the connection between Janie and Zane. The myriad story threads from the rest of the series are all cleverly wrapped up and each set of characters is given their moment to reconnect with readers before bringing this incredibly compelling story arc to a close. I laughed and cried and – in the end – truly felt satisfied with the way Ms Zanetti laid it all out. That’s a big win for the book’s well-developed plot arc, since there were definitely times I was so worried about how it would all turn out that I considered stopping reading for a while to extend the experience! This book – this entire series – is dynamite, just so well crafted. Kudos to author Rebecca Zanetti on putting the finishing sparkling touches on a story that celebrates love, family, and triumph over adversity by digging deep and trusting those you hold most dear. The best part? Ms. Zanetti’s new spin-off Realm Enforcers series means it’s not the end of the road for this story universe, and I’m looking forward to getting to know other characters better while still seeing a familiar face now and then. Don’t miss the preview of Kellache Dunne’s story – and his scrappy new love interest – at the end of Marked!...more
Rebecca Zanetti is an ace at writing strong, sexy alpha males with just the right balance of bossy charisma and tender emotion, and Rising Assets is aRebecca Zanetti is an ace at writing strong, sexy alpha males with just the right balance of bossy charisma and tender emotion, and Rising Assets is a great example of how fun one of Ms. Zanetti's heroes can be amidst all the drool-inducing testosterone. Colton, which is a fabulous name by the way, is the youngest Freeze brother and the financial genius of the family. He also owns and operates his own ranch and is as good on a horse as he is with numbers, but he's a cowboy at heart and excels at his double career path as well as his Sheriff and lawyer brothers.
Melanie and Colt have been best friends since childhood and never gotten together, never stepped over the friend line. Due to a health complication, Melanie's plans for her life have just gotten a major speed boost and suddenly things between them are more than complicated. The sexual tension, as with just about every RZ story, is superb - edgy and steamy and bristling with a saucy-yet-submissive power exchange decades in the making. Melanie doesn't make things easy for Colt and he loves it that way.
I loved the set up of the story elements and the romance and the start of a segue into Hawk's book. I just wish Melanie and Colton's story was a little longer; I haven't had enough of them yet! I felt like the first 3/4 of the story was well-paced and on track, then things speed up considerably at the end. There's an epilogue that wraps things up even further, and I almost would have preferred that scene happened in the next book rather than tying up Rising Assets so neatly and perfectly. I've felt a similar pacing curveball with the other two stories as well so this may just be the result of a having to keep the plot within a specific word limit.
Maverick Montana is a great series and the stories are quick, fulfilling reads. Recommended for anyone who loves contemporary cowboy romances that give the players more freedom of character and memorable power play dynamics....more
One of the things I love about romance books is how you can pick whatever kind of hero matches your mood or sparks your interest. The Gray brothers, named for their matching storm-cloud gray eyes, are definitely not your average every day guys, even for soldiers. They were trained since birth to kill, track, and work undercover, and are gifted with heightened senses: hearing, precognition, instinctively knowing the truth from a lie. It generally doesn't go over too well with your employers when you blow up their laboratories and training facilities and make off with their expensive property, especially when said property is four badass world-class killers with a conscience determined to right the wrongs done to them.
Because the characters are capable of so much more, physically and mentally, than normal people, the action sequences and plot arc of Sweet Revenge are all deliciously amped up. The mystery is deep enough to avoid being transparent and predictable but isn't so complicated you need a flow chart to map it out. Which is great, because while I want to be challenged a little intellectually by the books I read, that's not what I'm here for... ya know? *wink* Speaking of, the chemistry between Matt and Laney is superb and his presence is palpable.
Matt dominates every scene he's in, and not just in that I'm-an-alpha-dog-hear-me-roar way (although there's some of that too, for you alpha lovers). Laney holds her own pretty well against the overwhelming force of his personality, and she's definitely got spunk and determination.
We get more involvement with the other two surviving brothers (Nate and Shane) and even a few scenes from Nate's perspective, giving us a teasing glimpse of what it will be like to be in his head whenever it's his turn to fall madly in love. I really like this series and can't wait to see where the storyline goes with the missing brother! Kudos to Ms. Zanetti on another fine Sins Brothers installment, definitely a series to watch! ...more
A good amnesia plotline, when well-executed, can give the reader a smooth, organic introduction to the story world and characters, and Forgotten SinsA good amnesia plotline, when well-executed, can give the reader a smooth, organic introduction to the story world and characters, and Forgotten Sins is a great example of how to pull it off. Following along with Shane's self-revelations and doubts is an excellent vehicle for lending us insight into his personality and encouraging a compassion that might otherwise be difficult to dig up for such a stubborn and mercurial hero. The plot of the story unfolds naturally and is well paced, and the passion between Josie and Shane is smokin' hot.
Forgotten Sins is signature Rebecca Zanetti. If you like strong military-trained alpha males with heart, men who are willing and able to scrap, sacrifice, and protect for their families, do not miss this starter story for an explosive new series!...more
Twisted was an engaging, quick read that fits nicely into the Dark Protector series lore and ties up some story elements that have been intensifying fTwisted was an engaging, quick read that fits nicely into the Dark Protector series lore and ties up some story elements that have been intensifying for the last few books. I enjoyed getting to see the real Terrent Vilks, in both his love and sweetness for Maggie and also his overwhelming ferocity and lethal skill. Maggie's storyline was satisfying as well, especially since Ms. Zanetti doesn't take the easy path for her.
Parts felt a little rushed and I think this could have easily been expanded into a longer length novel. The ending seemed a little too pat and convenient, Terrent going along with it perhaps a tad too easily, but overall this is a great read with a sizzling connection between the characters and a good waypoint between Kane's Provoked and Jace's Shadowed. ...more
Jase Kayrs, the youngest and most care-free brother of the vampire nation's ruling family, has been a captive of the demon army for four years now, and a pacifist, eco-loving Demon Destroyer is his only hope of rescue. Now there's a tough predicament for a vampire wanting to use her as a weapon... unless that vampire is Kane Kayrs, and the logical solution is a union that will result in Kane inheriting his mate's abilities. He'd be able to do the fighting himself and share his empathic abilities with a woman who can use every shred of help defending her brain from the demons hellbent on annihilating it. But marriage and life-long mates should be based in love and happily ever after, or so Amber says, and she is strong and stubborn enough to stand up for what she believes in against even the most brilliant Kayrs brother.
The Kayrs men are large and in charge, domineering, and genius scientist Kane is no exception. Instead of using his brain as an excuse to be less involved in his romantic overtures, he taps that vast supply of knowledge & intuition and turns it into sheer, dominating pleasure... and I do mean DOMINATING! I thought Conn was hot in Hunted (and he was, don't get me wrong! *fans self*), but Kane is memorable enough that I am still thinking about him 2 weeks and half a dozen books later. Kane Kayrs is an incredibly dedicated lover, and his combination of meticulous attention to detail and raw force of personality makes for some smokin' scenes between him and Amber.
I absolutely loved Hunted (#3 in the series - it won our Book of the Month award in May 2012), but I think what sets Provoked above even that high standard is the integration of Jase Kayrs' storyline. Jase has a rough time in this book. Four years of mental and physical torture in demon captivity have stolen nearly all his strength and fighting spirit. Even if he does survive, who will he become? The scenes where the Kayrs brothers are dealing with Jase's situation are emotionally powerful, and exactly what the series needed to amp up the intensity as it moves into the final stages of the demon conflict.
How Ms. Zanetti functions with all these uber sexy, domineering, hot hot HOT men in her head, I have no idea - I'd be a quivering mess of "yes, please, and thank you" just about all the time! Hah! If you haven't started reading the Dark Protectors series, what are you waiting for? Go go go!!
PS - Amber names her pets after Star Trek characters. Who can resist a heroine like that?!
Hunted was my first trip through the Dark Protectors universe (book #3 in the series) and I fell in love with Conn, Moira, and all the Kayrs brothers. Consumed was an excellent followup and gave us a glimpse into the leadership of the shifter nation, allies of the vampires. Now with Provoked, the storyline has moved from isolated conflicts and ground-building side plots to a full-on sprint into what is sure to be an explosive next few books. If you have never read a book in this series, now is the time to start, so you can get caught up in the release madness of Ms. Zanetti's brilliantly addicting storytelling and world-weaving! This is not a book or series to be missed and is a new GraveTells Fave!...more
Consumed takes place ten years after the final events of Hunted, which, personally, I think was a savvy move on Ms. Zanetti’s part. One, it keeps the series fresh by allowing younger characters to evolve, and two, it adds gravity and a thread of desperation to the circumstances our heroes are suffering.
We’ve gotten to know both Katie and Jordan over the past few books, and here is a couple you really feel for. These two have been pining over each other for decades, and now time is nearly up. Jordan’s intensity and ferocity battles his tender, vulnerable feelings for Kate. She knows he might not have much time left, and she’s not afraid to put her pride on the line to make him see her as a woman.
Through flashbacks, we get to see rare, unguarded moments between Jordan and Connlan Kayrs, when they were still relatively young innocents and had yet to take a life… a stark contrast to the lethal, ruthless leaders they would both eventually become. If you thought Connlan was intense when he claimed Moira in Hunted, wait ’til you see Jordan in action. “Consume” is just what he does when he finally gives in to Kate’s mating manipulations. For a man who is normally so level-headed and in control, albeit sometimes ruthlessly, Jordan is all alpha, dominant and aggressive, when he marks her. This scene explodes off the page and is so intense I ended up reading it several times.
Weaving a tapestry of love, friendship, brotherhood, camaraderie, action, suspense, and passion (I could go on, but I think you get the picture), Ms. Zanetti takes us on yet another thrilling journey in a series already so addicting it should come with a warning. “Read at own risk. May result in extreme distraction, the fervent wish to have your very own pushy alpha male, and the need to keep reading well past bedtime.” Consumed is a GraveTells “must read”!
The first chapter of Hunted hits the ground running. Strong personalities, high tempers, steamy chemistry, powerful longing, and unexpected consequences fairly fly off the pages.
Moira is a powerful witch, and we’re not talking Sabrina nose-twitching magic. This is smart magic, requiring decades of study in quantum physics and string theory. When it comes to kick-ass heroines, Moira Dunne is the gold standard. Innately magically gifted, fiercely physically trained, and determined to do her duty to both her people and her mate, Moira is a firebrand of crackling, spunky, red-headed temper and focused power. With the combined lethality of her and Connlan, this is one duo you never want to cross.
I really like the idea that mated pairs share their supernatural skills. It makes them a united front, a team that backs each other up and builds on each other’s strengths… very much like a marriage. It also means Connlan is far above average intelligence, and is there anything sexier than a man who is built, strong, confident, a natural leader, downright deadly with his body and with his energy, AND smart enough to bend spacetime with his mind?
Conn is the most lethal vampire alive, the ultimate soldier. His personality reminds me a little of Christian Grey from the Fifty Shades Trilogy: alpha and authoritative, determined like a freight train, a powerhouse in the bedroom, and incredibly good at his job. He’s not quite as micromanaging as Fifty, but he certainly believes in trying to keep his mate under constant lockdown for her safety, regardless of her 30+ years of serving as an Enforcer for the witch’s council. Their attraction both smolders and scorches. Intense, and as powerful as an atomic bomb, the energy between these two is off the charts.
If this couple had their own series, Connlan could be the new Bones. Yes, I know that’s saying a lot and, no, I’m not kidding! This guy is everything I like.. no, LOVE… in a PNR hero and I want to stash him away for myself!! It’s a damn shame he and Moira only have one book!
This book has it all… action, danger, passion, political intrigue. Ms. Zanetti has created a rich world of supernatural creatures hiding in plain sight of Earth’s human population; demons who can trick your mind, witches who manipulate atomic energy, and vampires both good and bad who have a myriad of talents, from teleportation to controlling nature. This is not some cheap imitation quickie story universe. Alluring in its plausibility, the world of the Dark Protectors is thought-provoking and well-planned. The author doesn’t devalue her audience’s intelligence and the characters hold nothing back, and make no apologies for it!
Even if you haven’t read the previous books in the series, Hunted is absolutely a MUST-READ! It is powerful, original, explosive, addicting, and stands on its own story arc. And Connlan is to DIE for. Seriously, he should be illegal.