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Stranger (The Blades of the Rose, #4)
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(The Blades of the Rose #4)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  712 ratings  ·  100 reviews
He protects the world’s magic—with his science. But even the best scientists can fall prey to the right chemistry…

Looking For Trouble

Gemma Murphy has a nose for a story—even if the boys in Chicago’s newsrooms would rather focus on her chest. So when she runs into a handsome man of mystery discussing how to save the world from fancy-pants Brit conspirators, she’s sensing a
Mass Market Paperback, 463 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Zebra (first published January 1st 2010)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  712 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Nov 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
There is a heroine in this novel. Her name is Gemma. That is all I'm going to say about her. Not that she's not a nice person, but really, who really cares about her when Cattulus Graves is around? I mean really?

I don't get it when my on-line book buddies start talking about how much they love this hero or that hero. I think they need to get a freakin life. Once I hit my later teens I was never one to go gaga over movie stars, music stars or the like, maybe because I knew it was all a façade. If
This one was a little disappointing to me after the fabulous three books before it. Having said that, there were some things I really, really liked about it, and I appreciate that the last in a series is sometimes very difficult to write.

Some things I really liked about this one:

- The hero and heroine are both great, really great. All the heroes and heroines in this series have been excellent, and these two are no different. Neither of them is one-dimensional, and the hero, in particular, is mor
♡Karlyn P♡
Overall I thought it was enjoyable but I did start to struggle at around the halfway mark. I'd give it a 3.5 to 4 stars. I really missed the balance of reality vs. paranormal that the other books had. This one was pure over-the-top fantasy world like Alice in Wonderland or something along the lines of an acid trip, (i.e.,16-feet tall imaginary historical characters coming to life.) Nothing felt real about this story, so it wasn't what I was expecting or hoping. Also, didn't really love the relat ...more
*sigh* It's always so sad to say goodbye to a series. But it's also wonderful at the same time. Seeing everything tie together and resolve itself is great. This book was no exception. We got to see all the previously mentioned characters draw together to fight the ultimate battle against the Heirs. It was really nice getting to see the previous heroes and heroines and reaffirm that they are happy together.

Catullus is the one constant character through all the books in this series. He is a brilli
Trigger warnings: racism, violence, misogynistic bullshit

Is this series ridiculous? Definitely. Is it also a crapton of fun? YES.

There are two main things that I love about this series:
1. It features protagonists of colour
2. It's set in fun locations around the world

I mean, the magic and the way mythology comes into the story is super fucking fun too. But those are the two main things that stand out to me.

So I was a liiiiiiiittle disappointed when this one turned out to be set predominantly in
Al George
Love this series, love this author. This was not my favorite but still solid.


Read for Halloween 2017 Reading Challenge - Steampunk category. Now I realize this book was not particularly steampunky while the other's in the series lead themselves more to steampunk light.
But I wanted to read it, so I counted it as such. Judge me. I'm good with that.

This series is an ongoing fight between the Blades of the Rose and the Heirs - evil men bent on using magic for the so-called greater good
Jenny, The Distracted Bee
Really? Really?!

The first 3 books of this series were fun adventures with some adult-time thrown in for good measure.

3/4 of this book had 2 of the horniest adults constantly ogling each other despite being in constant life-threatening situations.

I realize I started this series because I belonged to a book club called “Vaginal Fantasy” but this was so much chaos plus smushy gushy gooey eyes that I had to force my way to the end (and only bc I’d read 3 books up to this point!).

Bleuph. Double bleu
Mar 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Although this one is the same insta-love and continual lust preoccupation of the other three volumes, I enjoyed both the two lead characters so much that I didn't mind... Until they got to fairyland where I completely and utterly lost patience with them. Ok, imagine this: the world is going to be destroyed as you know it, unless you save it swiftly. Do you hang out with you new lover, kissing, speaking words of love, etc etc, or do you get off your ass and save the world already? Sadly the autho ...more
While I loved how Catalus and Gemma's romance really flourished and grew with this book, the book dragged in places. But since this book was the last in the series it stood to reason it was going to be bigger. I was surprised at what magic the Heirs brought forth, but in the end ZA managed to make it work for me. It was a good wrap up to the story and that series.
Mandi Schreiner
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Gemma Murphy has been following Catullus Graves and his friends for some time now. After first seeing him in the Northwest Territory of Canada, she now finds herself on a boat, to England. A reporter, she loves to investigate, and she knows Catullus and his crew have many secrets.

Catullus is a member of The Blades of the Rose, a secret organization that protects Sources, those items that hold magical power throughout the world from the evil Heirs of Albion. The Heirs now have the primal source,
A fabulous end to a marvelous series!! I have been waiting for Catullus Graves' story since the first book...he is such a great character. We've seen his brilliance in the other books, but we really get to know and understand the man in this one. Yes, he's brilliant, but he's also a little shy and feels foolish talking to women. Enter Gemma, intrepid woman reporter in a time where women were supposed to write recipes and fashion columns. Catullus and Gemma met in the last book, and we immediatel ...more
Rachel- Goodbye Borders
Jun 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
I have been intrigued about Catullus since he was introduced. Happy he got his own story. Gemma was introduced in Rebel and I thought she was just as awesome as he was. I liked that we saw couples from the other books all make appearances in this one.
There are multiple roadblocks blocks to saving England (and the rest of the world). My compliant was there were so many. One gets figured out and overcome to be promptly replaced by another (and again, again). I admit to enjoying it, at first, but i
Oct 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
I have been looking forward to reading this book, but at the same time I have been dreading it because it’s the last in the series for now. At least, I hope only for now… ‘The Blades of the Rose’ series by Zoe Archer is a fun series filled with adventure and wit. And Stranger, book four in the series, is no exception.

Stranger takes place pretty much immediately after Rebel ends. Catullus, Astrid, Lesperance (and Gemma in the shadows) are on a ship crossing the Atlantic on their way back to Engla
Paranormal Romance
Coming from a long line of Blades, the hero has seen and experienced it all. That is until he meets the heroine. As a reporter, the heroine is driven with the need to know and when she catches wind of a secret organization looking for the destruction of the world, she follows the beautiful black man to England. When she's discovered, the hero is adamant about the dangers with being associated with the Blades and can't stomach the idea of her vibrant life being snuffed out. But the heroine's feis ...more
Sep 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series
This conclusion to the 4-book series of "the Blades" was different than the previous three in many respects. The others all got 5 stars from me, this one I can only give 4... because it just didn't have the "it" that I freaked on with the other books. I wonder, because it was the 'conclusion' of this series (though it could have future installments without a doubt) if it could have possibly lived up to my every outragous hope.

Ways it's different from books 1-3:

1. There was not the amazing "loc
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Awesome read in a can't-miss series. You *must* read Rebel to enjoy this book--this is the only book in the series that really depends on the others, especially in the opening chapter. Which is okay, because Gemma is introduced in Rebel, and it is nice to see a longer story arc for her and Graves. However, Archer does totally leap into it in Chapter One, so you might want to have Rebel handy :) Archer doesn't disappoint with breakneck action, a lot more magic than the other four books ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Stranger, the fourth book in Zoe Archer's excellent Blades of the Rose, brings the series to a close and provides a final bow for all the past pairs.

Stranger didn't manage to displace Rebel as my favorite of the series, but it was still good. The hero Catalus Graves, genius inventor is quite reserved, so his romance is not as fiery as some of the other Blade's romances. And the book has a different feel from the rest of the series, since the leads quest to stop a magical takeover of epic conseq
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
This book suffered a little from end-of-series-itis-- lots and lots of wrapping up long-dangling plot ends, making sure the couples from previous books had their prominent cameos, etc. And while Catullus has probably been my favorite Blade throughout, his storybook couple squooshiness was a little over-the-top, for me. I almost wish he'd had his own proper book and the wrap-up with ALL of them was saved for a joint "concluding" title, but it is what it is. (And., that said, the final showdown ba ...more
A (Is For Awkward)
Finally done. Verdict? How can there be so much action, and yet be so uninteresting? Fairies, fairyland, king arthur, merlin, magic, lots of fights, all the elements are here. There is lots of action, and I simply didn't care. This one started out much stronger for me, and I think at least as of this series which was her first, she does much better on interpersonal than she does on the action and world building. Unfortunately since these books are all about world building and very little interpe ...more
ms bookjunkie
Nov 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to ms bookjunkie by: SonomaLass & co on Twitter
Dear Zebra, I can haz moar Blades of the Rose books? Pretty plz! Because, DA-YUM are they awesome and different and fun and emotionally satisfying and fantabulous… I needz moar soonest!
Lynn Edgar
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book! If you haven't read The Blades of the Rose series, do yourself a favor and get them. All 4 books are outstanding!
Disclaimer: I have not read the other books in this series, and I picked this up thinking it was a fantasy/romance novel and not the romance/fantasy/steampunk novel it is. If I was grading this on a strictly romance book criteria, I suppose I would give 2-3 stars.

I use to read romance novels. I even re-read Outlander a couple years ago and liked them. I enjoy the work of Jacqueline Carey. I don't mind sex in a novel at all. But as I got older, I read less and less romance novels. I find my patie
Jan 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Stranger is the fourth and concluding book in Zoë Archer's Blades of the Rose series, and as such, is not the best book in the series to start with. The other three books, Warrior, Scoundrel and Rebel can all be read independently of each other and in every which order, but to fully get the story in this one, one should at least have read Rebel first.

Catullus Graves is the genius inventor of gadgets (think Q in Bond) for the Blades of the Rose, a group of adventurers from all over the world dedi
Chanel Sharp
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Yes! The perfect ending this series deserved.
Fist off what an amazing couple. The heroine is very persistent and brings something to the table and the hero is just diverse and amazing. Mom loves how they grow of each other. She also liked the the hero was bumbling. It made him all the more human and endearing.
One of the sad thing mom wishes there was more of in romance was, in a romance series where the hero, yes it usually the heroes, are suppose to have some close connection, would all meet u
My review is posted on Joyfully Reviewed:

Reporter Gemma Murphy is often considered an anomaly: she’s a woman who wants to write about more than traditional “female” topics. Gemma has to work twice as hard as a man to get a good story, so she never lets the prospect of one pass her by. So when she’s on the edges of the Canadian wilderness and overhears an elegant Brit talking about magic, saving the world, and danger, how can she pass the story up? But the
Oct 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Stranger, Book 4 of Zoe Archer's "Blades of the Rose" series, is hands down my favorite of the lot--in no small part due to the awesomeness of its hero, Catullus Graves. I was afraid he wouldn't live up to the buildup he got in previous books, but I was happy to discover I was wrong. Sure, he's a romance novel hero and therefore in many ways is a very typical one: i.e., he's hot, he's a competent fighter, and such. But what really sells him for me is his intellect; scientifically inclined heroes ...more
Chelsea Kumer
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Catullus Graves is the primary inventor for the Blades of the Rose, a society responsible for the protection of the world's magic. While on a mission in Canada, he encounters a beautiful American reporter, Gemma. Gemma senses that Catullus and the other members of his party are up to something extraordinary and, desperate for their story, she follows them back to England. Soon she's caught up in the Blade's quest to stop the villainous Heirs of Albion from using the Primal Source of magic to ens ...more
Aug 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is the first of this author's book that I've read, but I really enjoyed it. A very creative take on both "fairy-land" and combining paranormal romance with well-done historical aspects.

When British inventor Catallus Graves and American reporter Gemma Murphy cross paths at a remote Canadian trading post, Gemma smells a story and doesn't plan to let Graves out of her sight till she scopes out every last detail.

Her pursuit takes her on an oceanliner bound for Britain following Graves and his t
Beth Cato
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, fantasy, 2013
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
Three cheers to Zoe Archer for not wrecking a whole series in the last book, especially one where the readers have pinned their highest hopes. I think I speak for a majority of women when I say that Catullus Graves is my favorite Blade.

In the final book of the series, the Heirs of Albion have gained control of the Primal Source and are unleashing a host of strange, fantastical and deadly magic. Catullus and Gemma must journey into the deepest realms of legend in order to save the world. It's ne
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Zoë Archer is a RITA award-nominated romance author whose stories are about smart, capable heroines and the heroes who love them. She is the author of the acclaimed Blades of the Rose series, as well as the Hellraiser, and Nemesis Unlimited series, among others. She also writes Regency-set romances as Eva Leigh. Visit her on the Web at ...more

Other books in the series

The Blades of the Rose (4 books)
  • Warrior (The Blades of the Rose, #1)
  • Scoundrel (The Blades of the Rose, #2)
  • Rebel (The Blades of the Rose, #3)

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