Publisher: Samhain Publish Date: Out now How I got this book: ARC from the author
It’s more than chemistry, more than love: it’s electric.
Remy Davis does her best to live in the now, never sure when she’ll be forced to run again. She loves her work at Buchanan Investigations—there’s no better place for a woman with her special talent for controlling electricity—but she knows better than to let down her guard. And then everything changes when a man from her past, the man she never stopped loving, reappears in her life.
J.D. never thought he’d see the girl he’d once loved, the woman he thought had betrayed him. The chemistry he and Remy once felt is as strong as ever. Old wounds need time to heal, but time is running out on second chances.
A villain bent on returning them to his twisted experiments has resurfaced. But this time J.D. won’t let Remy face the madman alone: he’ll harness every ounce of his abilities to rescue the one woman who turns electric in his arms.
PRODUCT WARNINGS There are misunderstandings, angst, and love lost and regained. Sparks fly when two special people with extraordinary abilities overcome science gone awry and some freakishly villainous bad guys. This blurb came from the author’s website.
**potential trigger warning – sadistic guard and evidence of violence and torture**
I have to apologize to Marie Harte. She provided me with this book a few months ago and I lost track of it during my real life complications. I am so sorry for the delay. I am glad that I spotted it when I was going back through my emails. Harte has written in several of romance’s subgenres and I tend to enjoy her writing. Several of her paranormal series stem from scientific experiments either gone wrong or gone too right with the subjects facing elimination or future experimentation from someone who wants to go beyond what is acceptable. In this particular case, there are two different companies, known for quietly solving problems, extensive security, and employing those who have a bit extra. While competitors, the two companies had different limits on the sorts of jobs they tend to undertake. One company tends stick within US laws while the other just doesn’t leave any evidence behind that they went around the laws. Each tried to get a leg up on the other by hacking into their systems to gain access to records kept on individuals, corporations, or other things of interest. The previous book ended up forging a connection between the two companies, but they continued trying gain an advantage over the other.
Remy and J.D. had a shared past full of nightmares, guilt, and young love. They were both subjects of her uncle’s torture and experimentation as he tried to perfect the idea of a human battery. Not just a battery that could store energy and power other things but could also transfer their energy to another storage facility for later use. His original lab was destroyed in a suspicious fire that left both J.D. and Remy almost dead. That night was the last time the two of them had ever seen each other. Over the ensuring years, after healing and doing what was needed for survival they separately managed to find a relatively stable job while keeping their power concealed. Each ended up as an IT expert for one of the two companies.
Then came a request for protection from a wealthy man who had a few financial ties to an individual who seemed to be Remy’s uncle. In order to bring him down for good and not risk him ensnaring any other people who had paranormal gifts, Remy and J.D. needed to work together. Their first meeting was an explosive one, literally as they were set up by their respective companies without any forewarning. As they were forced into closer and closer contact it became evident that the sparks would always fly, it was just a question of how far were they willing to trust each other.
I enjoyed several things about this story but I also had a few problems with it. I loved the interaction between the guys of the two rival companies. Between the telepathy, the precognition, the ability to send an electric shock, and psychometry, it was very difficult to keep a thought or a feeling hidden. The business discussions and negotiations always made me grin. I also enjoyed the teasing and taunting between the guys.
On the other hand, I had a very hard time buying into the insta-lust between Remy and J.D. Going from J.D.’s extreme reaction when he first saw her and basically tried to kill her to an intense sexual encounter the next time they were in the same physical location gave me whiplash. His back and forth continued a few more times until another person verified that Remy was telling him the truth. I also had an issue with how he decided to assuage his guilt and let Remy “apologize” for her actions through another sexual encounter. It was almost as if in his mind sex cured all. I also had an issue with Remy, she seemed a mostly passive character when it came to her relationship with J.D. She was always reacting to something he did or something he said and continually apologizing for her methods in saving his life. She didn’t have a problem standing up to anyone else, including her uncle and his henchmen, so her behavior around J.D. struck me as awkward. As much as she did to protect him, I thought that J.D. needed to prove he was worth her sacrifice instead of the other way around.
Love in Electric Blue had its ups and downs for me. I had a hard time buying into the romance and wished Remy and J.D. spent more time re-learning each other before jumping into sexy times. I did really like the final confrontation when they were forced to trust each other and to trust their co-workers. The slightest amount of doubt and everything would have been lost. The male bonding rituals were also amusing but they served to highlight just how isolated Remy was compared to J.D. I certainly enjoyed seeing the bad guys get what was coming to them especially a certain individual who took pleasure in the pain and misery of the unwilling volunteers. While I found a satisfying ending, I was disappointed by the emotional set-up and interaction outside of the sexy times between Remy and J.D. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the guys get dragged into love kicking and screaming I just hope I get to see more of the emotional connection in future installments.
Publisher: Harlequin Publish Date: September 15th How we got this book: NetGalley
She won’t be satisfied with just one bite…
Art student-slash-bike messenger Wren Davis pursues what she wants. And what she wants now is Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. Wren’s gotten to know the man beneath the body art, too—and it only makes her crave him more.
But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne—intensely, but only for the moment. And after Wren experiences just how scorching sex with Gregori is, she’s determined to show him that just one taste won’t be enough… *Blurb from Goodreads*
MinnChica: I adored Dane’s writing, so anytime she puts out anything, I’m all over it. Given the fact that Gregori is tatted, pierced, and has a mohawk, well… I couldn’t put this quick novella down. I adored the romance between these two, and thought that Dane did a fabulous job telling us a sexy and sweet story in only 80 short pages. I have to say though, I really hope that we get to see more from this group of friends!!
E: Oh MinnChica I am there with you! I have been looking forward to reading this since I first heard about it. It was amazing how much Dane managed to pack into this novella. The sense of a long enduring friendship, the flashes of heat, and the struggle to put the past to rest, and seize the future. The fact that Gregori is so very intense made the peace he could find with Wren special and gave him a logical reason to fear losing it. I also hope that we get more set with this group of individuals because they are all characters.
MinnChica: Gregori was super intense, and while I completely understood his reasons behind running scared, I kinda wanted to punch him for it. He was so completely wrapped up in his own little world, and his own little pity party, that he wasn’t able to see what he had with Wren. Despite his sexy broody thing, I would have liked him to wake up a bit sooner. But Wren, oh Wren. I liked her so much! She was strong, knew exactly what she wanted, and wasn’t afraid to fight for it. If I could be besties with any book heroine, Wren would be toward the top of that list!
E: I agree, I think he took the coward’s way out and I loved how Wren and his personal assistant Kresley refused to enable his attempts to keep her in a little corner of his life. Each time Wren stood up to Gregori and demanded what she thought she was worth I had to cheer. I also enjoyed how confused he really was when people weren’t just falling in line like he expected because he is “Gregori”. I also really loved how Wren insisted on making her own way into the world of art and refused to use Gregori for his entree. It was another example of how she didn’t need him but wanted to share her life with him. She would also tell him things as she saw them and seeing Gregori think about her insights was amusing. I also thought it was so sweet that Gregori would go out of his way to have some sort of treat to share with Wren because he knew that she liked them. My heart melted when we got the rest of the story because it showed he really wasn’t all that self-centered and oblivious, just scarred from his past.
MinnChica: All in all I really enjoyed this short novella. Gregori was such an intense and loaded character, and Wren was just all around fabulous. Like E said, another thing that endeared her to me was the way she was so determined to make it on her own merit. I thought the romance was good, but I could have used a little more from Gregori, since he really didn’t seem to atone for his constant running. I hope to see more from Dane with this cast of characters. I give Cake a B+
E: I loved reading this short novella. It was intense, emotional, vivid and satisfying while leaving me wishing for more stories set in this world. The interaction between Gregori, Wren, Kelsey and rest of the supporting cast was a treat to read. Dane has the ability to provide a great story regardless of the length which is an amazing skill. She continues to revalidate with each release why she has a prominent position on my auto-buy list.
Publisher: Samhain Publish Date: Jan 8th How I got this book: ARC from the author
Lizzie Maynes’s torn ACL threatens more than her career as an international Latin ballroom champion. During her lengthy recovery, her longtime professional partner, Dima Turgenev, has been dancing at the Chelsea District’s most notorious burlesque, Club Devant. More than just dancing, he’s been experimenting with shocking new moves that make her want to pull him off stage and get back on tour as soon as possible—the better to keep their successful friendship safe.
Dima knows all about safety, and the lack thereof, because he blames himself for Lizzie’s injury. Far from the pressures of competition, Club Devant is the perfect creative venue to rebuild his rattled confidence. He’d love for Lizzie to join him and revel in the club’s intoxicating freedoms. By exploring the new sensual energy simmering between them, they could become more than friends.
Paul Reeves, a recently divorced Texan starting over in the Big Apple, is all for joining the dancers as they blaze through sexual boundaries. But he also knows their sizzling trio won’t last. Lizzie and Dima belong together. Before the last sparks fade, he plans to transform two stubborn friends into lasting lovers—one raunchy lesson at a time.
Warning: Burlesque meets ballroom in this f***ing sexy book when a smoldering Russian dance god and a blonde firecracker with hips possessed by the devil share a sunny, filthy-minded Texan—for just a dance or two.
This blurb came from the authors’ website.
I have enjoyed Porter’s books since their debut about extremely hot fighter pilots and the men and women who love them, so I was excited to see that Porter has started a new series revolving around a burlesque club. I enjoy watching ballroom dancing so I was very curious about the combination of ballroom dancing and burlesque along with what seems to be a Porter trademark of intense sexual scenes. While Porter provided all of that in Lead and Follow, it just did not work as well for me as I had hoped.
Lizzie and Dima have been together as dance partners for years, competing in Latin-style ballroom dancing. Their relationship was so close that even when they were no longer forced to live together due to finances, they remained roommates. They shared everything except for a sexual relationship, appearing to sublimate that between their dancing and outside sexual partners yet that precarious balance was under noticeable strain for at least the six months since Lizzie’s injury. That strain became immediately evident through both Lizzie and Dima’s thoughts during the initial scenes. Both individuals were emotionally hurting, so in an attempt to demonstrate their lack of caring they ended up deliberately inflicting emotional pain on the other. I think one of my issues with this story was the fact that as close as Dima and Lizzie had been, both were remarkably blind about certain aspects.
Lizzie struck me as rather immature. She appeared unable to actually have a conversation with Dima that did not include hurting him unless they were dancing together. Granted, she wasn’t usually trying to hurt him but her lack of self-confidence in anything other than dance made her word choice and phrasing very aggressive. I did not like how she treated Paul, even if it was with his consent. I thought she viewed him as a tool and not an individual with feelings. I did end up liking how Lizzie grew up towards the end and made a bold statement to Dima about her wishes for their future.
Dima really was the strong too silent type. He was haunted by the specter of his parents and their inability to deal with disappointment so he refuses to speak up about his dreams. I liked how he didn’t desert Lizzie after her injury even though I thought he really needed to improve his verbal communication skills. He thinks that if he plans and leads, Lizzie will follow just like she does on the dance floor and it will all come out the way he wants it. However, Lizzie isn’t exactly following and some of her comments/actions towards Dima made him rethink his plans. Dima seemed to understand that most of Lizzie’s words and action were generated by her fear but he was also dealing with his own combination of guilt and fear about their future.
Paul. I think Paul was the reason this book didn’t work for me. For some reason I had the feeling that while he provided advice and a way to bridge the gap, he was being used. Neither Lizzie nor Dima seemed to really care about him as a person – Paul was just a means to feel better for the moment by taking the focus off of the underlying issue between Lizzie and Dima. I couldn’t shake the impression that Dima and Lizzie were cheating on each other with Paul even when they were all together at the same time. Intellectually I understood that Paul was in it for fun and a chance to try to recover from his painful divorce but I still wanted him to have a HEA or at least a HFN.
Overall I enjoyed the dancing aspect and how it can be formal and sensual at the same time. Both Lizzie and Dima had to grow emotionally but I thought that if the two of them had bothered talking to each other about more than dance moves their problem would have been solved. They did not need Paul but I did wonder that since Dima is bisexual will he be satisfied with only Lizzie or will they continue to find an occasional third? Like I said initially, Lead and Follow just did not work as well for me as I had wanted. I like the idea of the burlesque club and I look forward to finding out what happens next with the club employees and the club owner…but this installment isn’t my favorite.
Publisher: Forever Publish Date: Out now How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Get ready for the newest novel in the Deep in the Heart of Texas series. Inheriting the most notorious house of ill repute in Texas can spell trouble for a girl’s reputation . . . especially when she’s Elizabeth Murphy, Bramble’s prim and proper librarian. Yet when she discovers a buck-naked cowboy handcuffed to a four-poster bed, she forgets all about the town gossips. Elizabeth has sworn off men, but the stranger’s kisses melt her resolve faster than ice cream on a hot summer day. Waking up in Miss Hattie’s Henhouse isn’t how Brant Cates reckoned on getting to the bottom of his great-granddaddy’s murder. The plan was to solve the centuries-old crime, then get the heck out of Dodge. But after meeting Elizabeth and discovering that the buttoned-up beauty is a sexy siren in disguise, he just can’t pull himself away. Now Brant needs Elizabeth to finally put his past to rest, but is she willing to risk her future on Bramble’s newest bad boy?
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I have a not so secret addiction to western romances regardless of their time period. I have also discovered that apparently I have a weakness for proper ladies inheriting houses of ill repute. I was so interested when I read the blurb for Trouble in Texas that I wasn’t too concerned about the fact that this was the 4th book in the series. As I was reading I could tell that I had missed some of the backstory but it didn’t impede my enjoyment of the book. In fact I think I need to go find the first three books and give them a try.
Lane had a very interesting set-up to this book. I did not realize that the first chapter was a prologue initially so when it ended I had some ideas as to how I thought the first chapter would tie into the blurb but I was pleasantly mistaken. My first introduction to the current residents of Miss Hattie’s Henhouse was full of o_O and rapid page turning so I could find out what was going to happen next. Between giggles I really felt for Brant and Elizabeth as they tried to work through their situation and deal with their various family members at the same time.
I probably would have understood more of what drove Brant’s fixation on finding the truth behind the death of his relative if I had read the previous novels but his interactions with Elizabeth and the inhabitants of Miss Hattie’s more than made up for my lack of knowledge. Brant had some significant depth as a character. He was willing to set aside his feelings of revenge towards the henhouse to support his brother’s dreams. The fact that he was able to annoy Elizabeth was an added bonus. Brant also admitted that he had made some errors in judgment previously and was man enough to admit them. I really enjoy it when heroes are confident enough to not just admit they were wrong but to make amends. Granted he did annoy me a few times while I was reading but I could understand why he did what he did.
Elizabeth underwent some significant growth during this book. It was refreshing to see the straight-laced heroine who was that way not because of society’s dictates but because she had been brought up a certain way. It was even more refreshing to see her decide to start thinking for herself, learn the history of the henhouse, and then decide who and what she was going to be. I absolutely loved how Elizabeth’s sense of honor and duty kept her entangled with both Brant and the ladies of the henhouse. She could have stuck to her upbringing but instead despite her frustration she continued working with the ladies and with Brant trying to find a solution that would satisfy everyone.
While I enjoyed watching Brant and Elizabeth, I really loved the supporting cast. They literally were a bunch of eccentric characters regardless of their age. Some of their actions highlighted the ridiculousness of what is considered important at a younger age while others brought home the importance of enjoying life regardless of your age. Lane demolished a lot of the preconceived notions I had about the ladies of Miss Hattie’s and really made me think about how little we really know based on someone’s public self. Along with acting as foils for the h/h, the supporting cast was also essential to moving the plot forward. In fact without the actions of a certain group of ladies this story would have lost a lot of its entertainment.
As I said at the beginning of this review I really enjoyed reading Trouble in Texas. Lane was able to bring together several of the elements I enjoy in one book. The small town feeling with its grudges, history, and eccentric residents was a blast. I spent a lot of my time giggling and wondering what the henhouse ladies were going to do next. I also got a kick out of Brant verbally tying Elizabeth up in knots by using her innate honesty, yet Elizabeth never took the easy way out. Watching the two of them learn to be happy and to deal with their past was also rewarding. Lane has made me very curious about the previous three books and I want to know what happens next in this series.
Love this world. So glad Lackey is continuing to write in it. Lots of interesting things come out in this volume now just in Mags life but also in thoLove this world. So glad Lackey is continuing to write in it. Lots of interesting things come out in this volume now just in Mags life but also in those of his friends. I am looking forward to the enxt one because I have some seriously unanswered questions....more
Can't believe I missed this series. Thanks to certain people on twitter talking about Bear Shifters (barely mentioned) but apparently they come up latCan't believe I missed this series. Thanks to certain people on twitter talking about Bear Shifters (barely mentioned) but apparently they come up later in this world I decided to give it a try. Very complex world with different supernatural beings. Some very isolated cult-like organizations and of course the mistrusting kill everyone who is different humans. I have to get the next one....more
Publisher: Self Published Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: From the author
Successful businessmen Zane and Trey have been a club of two since they were eighteen. They’ve done everything together: play football, fall in love, even get smacked around by their dads. The only thing they haven’t tried is seducing the same woman. Executive chef Rebecca learned early not to count on anyone. She raised her younger brothers by herself—with no adult being the wiser. Her knack for professional cooking kept the boys housed and fed. Now she’s damned if it won’t pay their way through Harvard as well. Add in running Trey’s new restaurant, and her plate is too full for romance. That’s an attitude the bad boys intend to change. Zane and Trey have set their sights on the sexy chef, a female too tantalizing to be all work and no play. When their hearts enter the equation, and when they realize they’re both pursuing her, the committed twosome faces their hardest test of all . . . This blurb came from the author’s website here.
I have been a fan of Holly’s for several years. She was my introduction to contemporary erotica and erotic romance and I have enjoyed reading her ever since. As a result, I eagerly accepted the review request and I am glad that I did. Holly provided a very intense m/m/f that actually dealt with some of the emotional issues I could imagine popping up that include jealousy, uncertainty about being loved, and the importance of privacy. Holly handled all of those with her usual deft ability drawing me into her characters and their struggles and providing a satisfying ending without cheapening what the characters have gone through.
Zane and Trey, next-door neighbors, don’t have the happiest of lives when the book opens. They both grew up with only their abusive fathers providing the initial thread that tied them together. The second thread was their individual bisexuality and the third thread was their mutual attraction and compatibility. From there they developed a strong friendship that included attending the same prestigious university and continuing their relationship. Both Zane and Trey enjoyed sexual encounters with women but they never developed a relationship with them and they never involved another man. As Zane and Trey approached college graduation over lunch one day they decided to go into business together as full partners in a venture called the Bad Boys Club that was going to start with a magazine and expand from there. Ten years later the Bad Boys Club had grown into a billion dollar enterprise.
Rebecca also grew up with a troubled home life. After her mother died when she was a teenager, her father walked out and told Rebecca to call the state so they could take her two younger brothers. Instead of doing that, she worked to keep her brothers so they could be a family without outside interference. One of the skills she learned she had one morning was the ability to create really good food, so she became a chef. She was working as a lunchtime waitress when she encountered Zane and Trey as they decided to start the Bad Boys Club. Both men were attracted to her but nothing went further than a very nice tip at the end of the meal. Ten years later Rebecca has quit her job and decided to apply as the head chef for Trey’s new restaurant.
I really enjoyed that Zane and Trey had a complete relationship together without Rebecca. Unlike other ménages that can give the impression that the couple isn’t complete without a third person they just haven’t met yet, Holly did not fall into that trap. Rebecca happened to be the perfect woman for both men but they did not need her to be complete. They had to decide to open their relationship, which meant they had to deal with being human. Zane and Trey had to learn how to be comfortable sexually with each other in Rebecca’s presence. Rebecca also had to learn that she wasn’t displacing or coming in between what the two men already had. They were not able to solve their issues overnight but had to actually work on it over time. To me, the gradual build-up of the emotional side of their relationship added credibility to their ménage.
Rebecca, Zane and Trey also had to deal with having their painful pasts brought up into the very public eye along with their current relationship. While I felt for the three of them and how their privacy was both invaded and violated, I absolutely loved how they got theirs back. It took a concerted effort from all three, plus Rebecca’s brothers and their friends. Those events also had the effect of solidifying their relationship and commitment to each other, which really made my heart melt.
I would be doing a disservice to this review if I did not mention the sexual side of the relationship. While I was not exactly happy with the timing and location of Rebecca’s first sexual encounter with Trey I do like how it was handled afterward. I also agreed with Rebecca’s logic about continuing anything with Trey. I was glad to see that Zane also had his chance with Rebecca so when they initiated their first threesome everyone was on the same level. Holly always does a good job with her descriptions not just of the actions but the emotions involved and conveyed. Even in their sexual encounters Holly ensured that the level of comfort and trust in their emotional relationship was also depicted before, during and after the physical actions. I think the best part of the sexual side is that Holly did not leave out m/m loving because Trey and Zane had a committed relationship before Rebecca. To have ended those encounters would have completely lost my buy-in for their relationship and the chance for a HEA.
As I said in my status update when I finished reading The Billionaire Bad Boys Club, Holly has done it again. She provided me with a very satisfying complete story that had damaged protagonists healing themselves over time. They dealt with their past and looked forward to their future. They also exhibited very human emotional concerns throughout their relationship that provided a solid ground to keep me invested. Holly continues to be one of my auto-buy authors.
Publisher: Tor Books Publish Date: Out now How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
All the world, from Scirland to the farthest reaches of Eriga, know Isabella, Lady Trent, to be the world’s preeminent dragon naturalist. She is the remarkable woman who brought the study of dragons out of the misty shadows of myth and misunderstanding into the clear light of modern science. But before she became the illustrious figure we know today, there was a bookish young woman whose passion for learning, natural history, and, yes, dragons defied the stifling conventions of her day.
Here at last, in her own words, is the true story of a pioneering spirit who risked her reputation, her prospects, and her fragile flesh and bone to satisfy her scientific curiosity; of how she sought true love and happiness despite her lamentable eccentricities; and of her thrilling expedition to the perilous mountains of Vystrana, where she made the first of many historic discoveries that would change the world forever. This blurb came from the author’s website.
I am the adventuresome type. Well, I do like my civilized comforts but I also like exploring, finding new things, trying new things, learning the answer to “why”, and catching a glimpse into the unknown. That is one of the reasons I love reading because each book takes me on an adventure. I get to explore a new town, city, country, time-period, world, or even universe. Occasionally my adventures are via a factual account. As a result I have always been interested in stories that read like and adventure so while A Natural History of Dragons is different than most books I have reviewed here I had to give it a try. The blurb and style of this book said exploration, strong smart heroine, science, alternate world, alternate time-period, and DRAGONS. There was no way I could turn down dragons. While A Natural History of Dragons didn’t turn out how I imagined it would I was not left disappointed. Brennan delivered fantasy as if from a zoologist’s diaries and memories in a way that included discovery, emotion, and that same emotion colored with the sort of pointed honesty that comes with age and distance.
Lady Trent was a very unusual woman for her time. She was fascinated with science and particular fascinated with dragons. She was lucky enough to have family members who tacitly encouraged her interest instead of trying to keep her within the bounds of what polite society deemed acceptable. She was even luckier to make the acquaintance of a young man who was also interested in dragons and who thought her interest meant they could actually talk to each other. They married and he continued to support Lady Trent’s interest. Even when she manipulated him and when her curiosity got them into some unpleasant situations, he still maintained his love and support for her.
The real focus of this story is her expedition to Vystrana and what she discovered about herself, her husband, people, and dragons. I was captivated by the descriptions of the world and how dragons were seamlessly integrated. Dragons were not stuck in a single location with a single type but instead appeared in a variety of different ecosystems each with their own characteristics. I also liked how the people Lady Trent met on her travels were so very different from the society that she really did not fit comfortably within. She was so focused on her study of dragons that the idea that people were different wasn’t really something that was in the forefront of her mind. In fact, her lack of people skills contributed to both some of the difficulties and some of the successes of that particular exhibition. I have to admit I am curious about her ability to interact as she continued her dragon studies throughout her career.
A Natural History of Dragons is not your typical romance. Lady Trent does find love (not her dragons) but it is not a very demonstrative love. It was more about understand and supporting actions outside the normal roles while quietly working for the other person’s happiness. Lady Trent was rather self-centered and she admits this but she also never wanted to make her husband unhappy and she valued him for more than his forbearance. If you are interested in reading a fantasy that is styled in a rather untraditional (for this day and age) way I recommend that you take a look. While different than I expected I did enjoy traveling on the journey that Brennan constructed and I will certainly look for any further adventures of Lady Trent.
Publisher: Signet Publish Date: Out now How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley
Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of grueling warrior training. But he has no future to offer Chris, the mortal woman he loves, without his own territory. When he learns of a lost Templar treasure, Jamys vows to possess it and win his lady’s heart.
No one knows Chris Lang wants to be a tresora so she can live with Jamys, her secret love. Her superiors offer to make her dream come true, but only if she finds the lost treasure before Jamys can. Working together, Chris and Jamys track the jewels through a shadowy maze of priceless artifacts, decadent secrets, and one ruthless opponent who can possess an immortal’s mind…and will stop at nothing to have Chris. This blurb came from Goodreads.
I have read and enjoyed this author under the name of S. L. Viehl with her Stardoc world. I knew that she had a vampiric series as Lynn Viehl so when we were offered the chance to review Nightbred I decided to give them a try. While I found a couple of superficial similarities between her two voices, I never got confused with who I was reading. As both S. L. Viehl and Lynn Viehl her trademark seems to be building really complex worlds and putting her main characters through some hard times. While Nightbred is the second book of her Lords of the Darkyn series this appears to build on events that have happened in other series and includes characters from those series as well. Given that, I highly recommend that you do not decide to start with this book because I found myself with a lot of questions while I read trying to understand the back history without any context.
Chris struck me as a very determined woman. She had a goal in mind so she figured out the best way to achieve that goal and set to work. She spent several long hard years transforming herself into the epitome of someone who could be trusted as a Darkyn’s right hand human, a job usually passed through a bloodline, all for a chance to be with Jamys. She has to accomplish one last thing and then she will be selected as a tresora. Of course things ended up going rather south at that point. Jamys shows up and instead of falling over himself to get to her, he keeps acting like he is looking for the Chris he remembered, not this calm controlled version. She has a run-in with the leader of a group of refugee Darkyn who thought she was there to serve anyone who asked. Then, Lucan, the Darkyn whose household she was serving in starts acting rather odd and throws her out when she tries to stop him from destroying his relationship with Samantha, his sygkenis (lover/partner/wife?). Despite all of the setbacks Chris continued to push towards her ultimate goal while struggling with nightmares from her past and someone who wants to ruin her future.
Jamys I really didn’t get as much of a feel for because most of his backstory was covered in other books I think. He had been tortured and was working towards his goal of being able to have a life with Chris. When the story opens he is dependent on his father for everything and wants to be independent. So he seizes the chance to go after the lost treasure and prove that he is worthy of his own territory. He gets caught up in the same mess as Chris when Lucan loses his mind and starts destroying his support structure.
I enjoyed what I was able to see of Chris and Jamys getting to know each other again and build their relationship since they had only spent a short period of time together before being physically separated for the past several years. I liked how Jamys didn’t judge Chris for her past and even supported her through a traumatic reminder of how desperate she had been once. I also liked how Chris decided that Jamys was more important to her than her superiors’ plots regardless of the effects of that decision on her goal of becoming a tresora. They also worked well together getting information about the treasure and figuring out their next step.
I do have mixed feelings about Nightbred. Even though Chris and Jamys are the main couple I felt as if their story was upstaged by the events between Sam, Lucan, and the villain who was pulling a lot of strings. I was disappointed in that because it seemed as if their relationship was in place simply to reveal more about the Darkyn world instead of being the center-point of the book. I also thought that the villain was able to get his way far too easily in a variety of ways yet for someone with that amount of power he was vanquished too easily. I also thought what happened with Chris and Jamys at the end of the last confrontation with the villain solved too many of the lingering issues in one fell swoop. I think that the Darkyn world Viehl has built is fascinating, but I just did not pick a good introduction.
Another enjoyable one by Knox. She threw some definite twists into her world. It is rather self-contained primarily between two individuals but theirAnother enjoyable one by Knox. She threw some definite twists into her world. It is rather self-contained primarily between two individuals but their very complexity kept me wondering. ...more