Alone in a world on the brink of war…two unlikely allies will discover a love greater than time.
Exiled from her home, powerful oracle Cosmina...moreSynopsis:
Alone in a world on the brink of war…two unlikely allies will discover a love greater than time.
Exiled from her home, powerful oracle Cosmina Cordei holds the key to uniting those protecting mankind from evil. But just as she makes her way into the holy city to perform an ancient rite, the enemy closes in for the kill…
Drawn by a destiny he won’t accept, elite assassin Henrik Lazar detests the mystical curse handed down by his mother. But when the sorcery in his blood is activated and past pain comes back to haunt him, his new abilities come into play and he must learn to control them.
Rescued by Henrik in the heat of battle, Cosmina must decide whether to trust the assassin who loathes the goddess she serves or face certain death on her own. Forced into an untenable position, Henrik is left with a terrible choice—protect the magical Order he despises, or deny destiny and lose the woman he loves forever.
4.5 stars rounding up.
I'm really enjoying this series. For whatever reason, it just works for me. It's not the most unique PNR and it's got the usual tropes that make a paranormal romance what it is. However, I'm still loving the series despite that. I like the characters and I like the magic. The men are all pretty sweet with their women and they just want to be loved, even when they think they don't deserve it. The women try hard to depend on no one but themselves, but they can't seem to help themselves when the guys come along. It's usually because they've landed in an impossible situation. They don't have much choice but to accept help. That's not to say that they lose all independence and cannot defend themselves, because I don't consider that to be the case. The Blessed are not helpless. They may not all be warriors, but they usually have some way of defending themselves.
Cosmina was a good example of this. She's pretty damn good with throwing knives as well as using them in close quarters combat. She's just unlucky that the Al Pacii are the ones that have been made her enemies now. Even still, she's determined to see the mission the Goddess gave her through even though she's practically bleeding to death thanks to an arrow in the arm from Halal. If Henrik, Shay and Andrei (with Tareek and Kazim as backup) hadn't tracked their former comrades to White Temple, Cosmina would have been a goner. As it is, her mission is a success and she even ends up helping the guys despite barely being able to stand on her own and ending up temporarily disabled. The thing Cosmina struggled with the most is over the way she wanted to rely on Henrik despite having lived on her own for the past five years. She's used to being cautious and keeping her guard up, so trusting Henrik so soon seems wrong to her. However, thanks to her gift, she comes to accept this on her own and without too much annoying introspection. Once she does accept it, even when she wants to cling, she refuses to. She goes balls to the wall and with no remorse. I admired that about her. And when Henrik does do something to hurt her, she doesn't wallow in bitterness forever. She also doesn't mope. She continues her mission and saves one of her fellow Blessed. When Henrik does come to his senses, she doesn't forgive him easily. She makes him tell her how he feels. Good for her.
I adored Henrik. I liked him from book 1 and his character was pretty consistent here. We learned some more about his past, though I would have preferred that he revealed in to Cosmina directly instead of the way that she found out. I'm glad that scene wasn't as angsty as it could have been, though. Thanks to Cosmina, Henrik was able to overcome a lot of bitterness with regards to the Goddess of All Things. It doesn't happen right away, so it felt right to me once it did happen. Having someone like Cosmina love him went a long way to helping him heal. He'll likely still have some issues (for a strong guy, Henrik has some strong fears), but at least he isn't alone anymore. You could really tell how alone he'd been feeling when he felt relieved not to be the only guy stuck with magic. He never wanted magic, but now that all of the others seem to have it, too, I think he'll better adapt to his new abilities. It helps that he doesn't detest the Goddess anymore, for sure. My main problem with Henrik is that he fell into the same trap that Xavian fell into with Afina. He thought he wasn't good enough to be with someone like Cosmina. It made him think a little too much. I wanted him to just decide one way or another and stick with it. He was really sweet with her, though and he wasn't overbearing. He was alpha, but not in a really annoying way. Plus, I liked that he enjoyed bantering with her and really seemed to get into it when she took control.
We also got POVs from Tareek, Cristobal, a Blessed named Nairobi and Halal in this book. Halal gets himself upgraded, but so far, it hasn't given him too much of an advantage as the Seven have been upgraded as well. Plus, those dudes have three dragons on their side. Still, I'm sure Halal will get some licks in soon enough. He probably won't lose all the time. I really dislike that guy and the Prince of Shadows can go kick rocks. Tareek is still fiercely protective of Henrik thanks to their history, but he's got scars of his own that he has to overcome. He starts to begin to here, but I'm sure we will see him grow more over the course of the series. We get a few POVs from Cristobal as well and at first, he's terrified of the changes he's going through. His are really invasive, but the end result is pretty deadly and incredibly useful. It seems he's also got himself a connection with Cruz and I'm sure that will come in handy, especially now that Nairobi has arrived. Is she the one the voice Cristobal was hearing was telling him to find? With the way he was acting towards him after Cosmina saved her, I'm inclined to think so. I'm assuming that their book will be next. Nairobi seems like a pretty self-sufficient type of woman and headstrong, too. I have a feeling that Cristobal will have his hands full with her.
I'm glad that we got to see all of the guys get some decent amount of page time in this one. In book 1, I kept completely forgetting about Kazim and Razvan because I'm pretty sure they didn't have any speaking lines in that one. We actually get to see a nice deal more of Kazim and I rather like him. Razvan I'm not sure about yet because while we got see his awesome new abilities, we didn't see a whole lot of him. That should change as the series progresses. I was happy that there was plenty of Andrei and Shay. I really like those two. I wonder what Andrei's issue with water is, though. I'm really looking forward to when he finds his own mate. He didn't think Henrik getting attached to Cosmina was a smart move, so I'm wondering how hard he will try to resist falling in love. I really want to see him fall hard. I also look forward to seeing what type of woman Shay will fall for. He's the youngest of all of them, but he's damned deadly still and I like his sarcasm. I also like that he took to his new magic really well. So did Kazim and Xavian. I can't wait to see what happens next.(less)
In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of...moreSynopsis:
In AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him—dead or alive.
For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good—if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark.
Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic—and handsome—hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead.
Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop adventure.
Giving this 4.5 stars and rounding up.
I really enjoyed this and got sucked into it pretty quickly. I enjoyed Xavian and Afina quite a bit. They frustrated me at times, but that's pretty much to be expected in a PNR and it's better than them never doing anything wrong. Besides, I really liked Afina, so I was quite happy that she didn't do typical dumb heroine things. Xavian had some typical alpha male hero tendencies, but I still really liked him.
The story starts out with Xavian right outside where Afina has been hiding out with her sister's two-year old daughter Sabine. Xavian has been sent to retrieve Afina for the man who wants her. Xavian doesn't know why Vladimir Barbu wants Afina and he shouldn't care, but he gets curious. It also turns out that another man has sent Xavian after Afina (though this turns out not to be what he expected) and Xavian isn't too sure about what he's going to do exactly until he does it. The next thing you know, he's stealing Afina and Sabine away to take them to his keep Drachaven. In the beginning, Afina is both drawn to Xavian and terrified of him. She doesn't know why she wants him and berates herself for it on more than one occasion. What she is sure of, is that she has to take Sabine and get as far away as possible. She's being hunted and for all she knows, Xavian is taking her to the man that is hunting her. The one time she does try to escape, she gets herself into some serious trouble. Lucky for her, Xavian knew she would try and was following her when it happened. That's when we really start to learn what it is about Afina that makes Vladimir want her so badly.
For Xavian's part, he could be hot and cold. He really, really wanted Afina, but felt he had no right to her. So when (view spoiler)[they sleep together the first time and he discovers that she's a virgin (hide spoiler)]man is he pissed. To him, she's been lying the whole time and Xavian cannot abide by lies. He isn't nice to her after that. He was doing it on purpose because he was pissed that what he felt was a lie caused him to break his oath, but he was pissed at himself, too. Luckily, Afina gets herself into trouble after that and he rescues her and that doesn't last too long. He does try avoiding her later on in the book even after learning about the connection they have because he seriously thinks that someone like him doesn't deserve someone like her. Afina sets him straight on that front, though. I was proud of her for that. She wouldn't let him hide from her.
There were a couple of unexpected discoveries. I was especially surprised by Henrik's connection to everything. I wasn't actually expecting the Goddess they talked about to interact with them, either. So now we have a band of former assassins fighting the good fight. Somehow, all of the women they'll end up will be helpful to that in some way, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of the Seven better. So far, I've got a little bit of a handle on Cristobal, Henrik, Andrei and Shay, but I totally forgot about Kazim and Razvan unless they were mentioned during a fight. We never really saw Xavian interact with those two. I am really curious to know if the dragon shifters will get their own books. I'd love to see Garren especially fall in love.
I'm sure we'll be seeing more of that bastard Halal. I don't like his POVs because I just don't like him, but they at least add to the story. He'll probably be around for the whole conflict as other than the Goddess's nemesis, he's the Big Bad. I hope that Xavian and his crew can keep too many more boys from falling into that asshole's hands, but I'm sure there will be setbacks along the way.
I'll be following along to see what happens. I just hope there won't be too long of a wait between the rest of the books like there was between this one and book 2. Nearly two years!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta, and causing a rift between agents...moreSynopsis:
When a series of bombs go off in a Therian youth center, injuring members of THIRDS Team Destructive Delta, and causing a rift between agents Dexter J. Daley and Sloane Brodie, peace seems unattainable. Especially when a new and frightening group, the Order of Adrasteia, appears to always be a step ahead. With panic and intolerance spreading and streets becoming littered with the Order’s propaganda, hostility between Humans and Therians grows daily. Dex and Sloane, along with the rest of the team, are determined to take down the Order and restore peace, not to mention settle a personal score. But the deeper the team investigates the bombings, the more they believe there’s a more sinister motive than a desire to shed blood and spread chaos.
Discovering the frightful truth behind the Order’s intent forces Sloane to confront secrets from a past he thought he’d left behind for good, a past that could not only destroy him and his career, but also the reputation of the organization that made him all he is today. Now more than ever, Dex and Sloane need each other, and, along with trust, the strength of their bond will mean the difference between justice and all-out war.
Another winner from Charlie Cochet for me! I am seriously going to have to get caught up on her backlist. This particular series, though, is a new favorite for me. I am addicted and I do not apologize for it. I'm sad already that Rack & Ruin isn't out until November, but at least that's closer than it could have been. I will never tire of reading about Dex and Sloane and Cael and Ash and Calvin and Hobbs. Love these characters so much. Rosa and Letty and even Papa Tony are awesome, too.
The action in this one pretty much gets started right away. When we see Dex again, he and the team are on an assignment. He and Sloane seem to be getting along pretty well, though outside of the job, things definitely aren't perfect. Still, Dex is determined to take things one day at a time like he told Sloane he would. He can't seem to help feeling frustrated over the whole thing. He wants Sloane to open up to him, to trust him. He wants whatever they have to be something more. Part of him doesn't want to feel that way, but it's basically too late for Dex already. He's totally gone over Sloane and he's finding it more and more difficult to hold himself. Dex, though, remains his awesome self. He has a way of anticipating Sloane's needs pretty damn well despite there still being so much he doesn't know about him. He can't help believing in him, though. That's not to say he doesn't still get pissed at the guy, 'cause he does. Especially after that reprimand. Man am I glad that they made up after that. I was feeling sad for both of them. Stubborn ass men.
Sloane is still trying to come to terms with how much he feels about Dex. He sometimes embraces it, sometimes runs from it. He knows he wants Dex in his life, but he feels that he doesn't deserve him. He thinks that Dex would drop him if he found out about his past. I think part of Sloane knew that Dex wouldn't do that, but he couldn't help but to worry about it. Sloane has it pretty bad for Dex even if he doesn't always admit it. By the end of the book, he seems to have accepted it and is more willing to acknowledge that he and Dex are dating. He does say to Dex that it's more than just sex between them and it is. Dex brings out a lighter side of Sloane that I really like. Sloane really struggled in this book. He seems to have reached a good place now that he's unloaded on Dex a bit. I hope they get to be happy for a while.
Of course, our other potential couples seem to be making some progress, too. Dex is finally aware of Cael's crush and he didn't flip out near as much as I was expecting him to. He did warn Cael against falling for a straight guy, but it's too late for Cael in that regard. Plus, I agree with Cael, Ash doesn't seem all that straight, at least, not when it comes to Cael. It's more than just wanting to protect him. Cael isn't a kid no matter how small or young he looks, yet Ash is quick to rescue him from unwanted dudes hitting on him. Cael does need to be careful, though because at the very least, Ash is deep in the closet. I'm glad that Dex seems to be willing to not give Cael too much crap about Ash as long as Ash makes him happy. Dex really will rip Ash a new one if he ever hurts his Chirpy (=D), though. And then we have Calvin and Hobbs. It seems things between them have been going on for a while, but I think this is the first time that one of them has done something about it. I'm looking forward to seeing how that plays out. Hobbs is so fucking adorable. I love him. I was surprised to find out about the past relationship between (view spoiler)[Hobbs' older brother Seb and the teams Medical Examiner Hudson (hide spoiler)]. I definitely wasn't expecting that. I wonder if things will rekindle with those two?
The case makes some considerable progress as well, but things are definitely not over. (view spoiler)[At least that asshole Isaac is dead! I hate what he did to Dex and everything he put Sloane through! (hide spoiler)] They've got new problems now, though and it won't be so easy to get the city back under control, but I'm sure Destructive Team Delta is up to the task, so long as they don't fall apart due to relationship troubles.
Also, I'm looking forward to more hot Sex sex, heh.
C'mon, Charlie! Don't you wanna let me review book 3 early? ;]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media fr...moreSynopsis:
THIRDS: Book One
When homicide detective Dexter J. Daley’s testimony helps send his partner away for murder, the consequences—and the media frenzy—aren’t far behind. He soon finds himself sans boyfriend, sans friends, and, after an unpleasant encounter in a parking garage after the trial, he’s lucky he doesn’t find himself sans teeth. Dex fears he’ll get transferred from the Human Police Force’s Sixth Precinct, or worse, get dismissed. Instead, his adoptive father—a sergeant at the Therian-Human Intelligence Recon Defense Squadron otherwise known as the THIRDS—pulls a few strings, and Dex gets recruited as a Defense Agent.
Dex is determined to get his life back on track and eager to get started in his new job. But his first meeting with Team Leader Sloane Brodie, who also happens to be his new jaguar Therian partner, turns disastrous. When the team is called to investigate the murders of three HumaniTherian activists, it soon becomes clear to Dex that getting his partner and the rest of the tightknit team to accept him will be a lot harder than catching the killer—and every bit as dangerous.
I really, really enjoyed reading this book. I got sucked in and couldn't put it down. Dex and Sloane really got under my skin. Neither of them have been having a good time of things lately and their first meeting really was a disaster. It takes some time, but their partnership really does improve. There's some back and forth there, but Sloane always comes around in the end. For his part, Dex is very much a class clown, but there's a smart man beneath all of those quips and smartassery. It actually doesn't take too long for Dex to get in the good graces of the rest of the team. Save for Ash who hates him just on GP, I think.
For most of the book, Dex is still settling in to his new role as a THIRDS agent. He does pretty well which some of the team obviously did not expect, but they come to respect him. Sloane especially begins to open up to him, though I suspect that he really did not want that to happen. He still had a tendency to snap on Dex when Dex got too close to him, but he almost always apologized to him. For Dex's part, he really came to care about Sloane. He could see there was a lot of pain in the man. When he found out why, he wasn't thrilled about it, but he understood it. I was happy that Dex didn't try to force Sloane out of his grief, but he wouldn't let him dwell on it, either. surprisingly, Dex figures out how to handle Sloane pretty damned well. Sloane even knew that's what Dex was doing, but he let him keep at it, anyway.
I find the other characters in this series to be interesting as well. I wouldn't mind getting to know more about Letty and Rosa. Those are some kick ass chicks. And of course there's Dex's brother Cael who may or may not have something on with Sloane's best friend Ash. I really think there's something between those two. It may not have started yet, but one or both of them wants something to start. Ash can't seem to handle whatever it is he feels about Cael when he isn't drunk, but it's definitely there. I'm just surprised that Dex hasn't seen it, yet. I hope he doesn't try to cock-block once he twigs to it. Dex and Ash don't care for each other much, but if Sloane and Cael like him, Ash can't be all that bad. We also have Calvin and Hobbs who are either already sleeping together or will be soon enough. I understand why they're so close, but it's affecting their job. I really wonder just how deeply they feel for each other.
The case took a somewhat surprising turn. I had a feeling it might go that way, but I wasn't expecting that level of insanity or that particular tie-in. I definitely wasn't expecting that ending. It has me seriously anticipating book 2. Thank goodness that comes out in a few weeks or I might go a little nutty. It looks like Sloane is going to have a blast from the past. I can't wait to see how that plays out.(less)