Quite different from the first book in good ways. And more than one twist I did not see coming. Magnus is not exactly likable most of the time. He's rQuite different from the first book in good ways. And more than one twist I did not see coming. Magnus is not exactly likable most of the time. He's really cocky and demanding. I know part of it is being an alpha werewolf and a famous Scottish rugby player. He didn't take Tara's rejection well, sure that they are fated as mates, and not able to understand she is running from their bond. I liked that Tara did have a legitimate reason for not wanting to mate with Magnus, and the reveal is really fascinating. Tara has a lot of layers to her that Magnus had to work to develop. It was good, though. He was used to getting everything he wanted easily. But that's how it works with your mate. While that bond is fated, that doesn't mean that your mate is not worth any effort and emotional commitment. And Magnus had to decide if his pride was worth more than losing his mate (ironically his father faced the same choice).
I liked that this wasn't a predictable book. Werewolf romance has some formula to it (as much as I love it), but Taylor did a good job of keeping things innovative.
It's not a five star because I didn't love Magnus. I really liked Tara a lot and she had a lot of dimensionality and strength to her, beautifully complex....more
I've been waiting for this book for a long time, but I was also apprehensive. Viktor's cameo in Fire Bound had me thinking he would be a very strong pI've been waiting for this book for a long time, but I was also apprehensive. Viktor's cameo in Fire Bound had me thinking he would be a very strong personality and I wasn't sure how he would interact with Blythe. Would he be a jerk and treat her badly because she had moved on with her life without him, or would be he the ideal husband she deserved. I was pleasantly surprised.
Viktor was and will always be a hard man. His experiences have been so extreme that is to be expected. I appreciated that even though he is a ruthless killer, he's also a caring man and he always loved Blythe and was faithful to her. He's also a family man, in his own way. His brothers were separated from him, but he was willing to take on the most horrible work to keep them safe. He was sent to the worst of the spy schools to save his brothers. While he was there, he became a leader to the other kids, protected them and banded them together to keep them alive. As adults, they form a unique family unit together, and eventually a motorcycle club. He has lived in hell, essentially. He sees himself as a fallen angel who has been tasked with removing the vilest of humans from the earth, focusing on human traffickers.
The first fifty or more pages is Viktor and his crew taking out a cell of human traffickers. I don't even think Blythe shows up for the first three or so chapters. That was unusual but it was okay, because we've seen Blythe a lot in the previous Sisters of the Heart/Prakenskii books. And it was important because Viktor had been a man of lore previously. He didn't even show up until "Fire Bound" and that was briefly. Feehan introduces him very dramatically and he lives up to the hype. Actually I loved him. I can't choose my favorite Prakenskii, to be honest, but he definitely stands out for me.
As far as the romance, it's a lovers reunited angle, in which Viktor has to show that he loves Blythe and that they can have a good life together. That he is worthy of her trust. Blythe was always extremely tight-lipped about her past in the other books, to the degree we didn't even known she was married until the fifth or sixth book in the series. The reveal on that makes sense when we find out how complicated her relationship with Viktor actually was.
Blythe has been the calm center of the Sisters of the Heart, and in this book, I realized how hard that must have been, considering her very tortured past. I always liked her, but my respect and admiration grew even wider after this book. She has a very motherly nature, and that drives her to accept Viktor's club into her world, even with all their damage and the darkness of the life they have lived.
For readers who were unsatisfied with how Hidden Currents ended, will be mollified after reading this. Well, at least I was. In fact, I think this book wraps up the Prakenskii/Sisters of the Heart saga very nicely. I do hope we'll see cameos of the women and men from those series in the Torpedo Ink saga though.
Viktor's Torpedo Ink motorcycle club is a very intriguing group of tortured and messed up individuals. They would have to be, since they are all graduates of the horrible school Viktor was forced into by the Russian government. I'm excited to read the books, although also nervous about their dark edginess (especially sexually speaking) will be.
I really enjoyed this book. I definitely felt the love between Blythe and Viktor, and how far they had come to find their happy ending. The love scenes were very sexy but also emotional and loving. Although they did come close to being voyeuristic a time or two, this being played for laughs. When I finished this book, I almost wanted to start it again from the beginning, which is a very good indicator about how much I love a book. I broke down and bought the audiobook recently, so I'm looking forward to listening to it.
Some content warnings for people:
*Graphic violence *Dark content about sexual abuse/trafficking of women and children *Content about child abuse *Mild voyeur/exhibitionism *Lots of f-bombs
Clive Standen as Viktor Prakenskii
Katheryn Winnick as Blythe Drake Prakenskii ...more
Add a beautiful young painter and a handsome vicar who's a duke's son, throw in a dash of murder, and a sprinkle of art forgery, a Trumpian faux populAdd a beautiful young painter and a handsome vicar who's a duke's son, throw in a dash of murder, and a sprinkle of art forgery, a Trumpian faux populist character, and there you have it.
This was enjoyable with clever writing and likable characters, but I felt like I had to keep putting it down. Could be me, with everything going on. I am looking forward to Gemma's story.
I listened to the audiobook of this and I was underwhelmed. At first I was excited since it's interracial. The heroine is a beautiful, dark-skinned AfI listened to the audiobook of this and I was underwhelmed. At first I was excited since it's interracial. The heroine is a beautiful, dark-skinned African American woman and the hero is a dragon shifter (Caucasian in human form) from Eastern Europe. I still dug that about the story even though I was overall disappointed.
I think that the major issue is that it was too derivative for me. I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and I like that it's had an impact on paranormal romance, but I would like to see an author inspired by these books to take to some diversions in storytelling that make their story more unique. While the author chose to inhabit her story with dragons of all kind, which was very cool, I felt like the style of storytelling, the number of subplots, and the set up of the group that Venom fights with is way too similar to the Brotherhood. There are characters that you can identify as certain BDB characters. Also, I feel that there is a lot of similarity to the Midnight Breed series by Lara Adrian.
Another issue I have with the story is the dropped plotlines. At the beginning of the book Evelyn is in trouble with some Russian gangsters. It's like that all goes away. I was really confused about that. And some of the point of views I could deal without. I don't mind if we see the villain's POV somewhat, but not if they're not that interesting. I would rather have a scene where Venom kicks the crap out of the Russian gangster.
The plot resolution suffered and failed to impress me. It was very anticlimactic. When the book ended, I was like, that's it? Yeah, I was pretty disappointed with this. I'm interested in the one character who reminds me of John Matthew before his transition, I think his name in Osgood. I'd definitely read his book.
The dragon aspect, good. Romance: pretty good. Sort of an instaluv vibe, but I can live with that. Characters: Mostly forgettable. Plotting: poor. Too many storylines. Narration: I give the narrator some points for enthusiasm and style, but his Scottish accent was ferociously bad. Some of his European accents sounded like a campy version of Vlad Tepes aka Dracula. But I liked him despite that. He was having fun and that made me have fun.
A murder mystery set in and around academia. Working for tenure can be murder, literally. I enjoyed it. I liked the bookish heroine and her way of invA murder mystery set in and around academia. Working for tenure can be murder, literally. I enjoyed it. I liked the bookish heroine and her way of investigating that depends on her emotional intelligence.
While the Fables series is very dark, this was even darker. This story delves into the darkest of fables and even urban legends, such as the extremelyWhile the Fables series is very dark, this was even darker. This story delves into the darkest of fables and even urban legends, such as the extremely creepy legend of Bloody Mary. What I enjoy continually about the Fables series, and its spinoffs is how well the various fairy tales, fables and folktales are integrated. Imagine Bloody Mary thrown in with Georgie Porgie, Tweedle Dee and Dum (from "Alice in Wonderland"), the sad and disturbing fairy tale "Donkeyskin" and even Ichabod Crane from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". There are some nifty spins on everything, such as certain characters working as bouncers, hired killers or thugs (a different way of looking at these characters).
In Volume 2, the mystery of who killed a woman continues and our detective is Sheriff Bigby Wolf who we know as the Big Bad Wolf. He works with/for Snow White, and this is very early in their association, when she takes over running the city from Ichabod Crane. Even then, they do have great chemistry and they work well together. Bigby is very old, and he's seen a lot, but what he's seeing in this case takes him to his emotional and physical limit. He is dealing with an enemy that might be too much for even him. The depravity goes deeper and isn't something easily fixed. If one scratches away at the surface of Fabletown, it's the part of the inescapable, underlying machinery of the town. The story is also a statement on how woman are abused in a patriarchal system and how that system destroys both men and women and their relationships with each other and with other men and women. How we often as a society look away from this because it doesn't pertain to us, or it's just normal to us, or it's doing business as usual. But we have to say it's not okay and do something about it, before we all pay the price. Definitely part of the intrinsic darkness of this story.
Since this takes place chronologically before the Fables series, a reader could read this before reading the first Fables graphic novel. ...more