Archive for Paranormal Romance
Series: Lords of the Underworld #10
Published by Harlequin on July 30th 2013
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Mel's Magnificent Library
Purchase from: Amazon | B & N
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New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter is back with a breathtaking Lords of the Underworld tale about a warrior trapped by darkness and the woman determined to save him
Having endured weeks of torture in the bowels of hell, Kane wants nothing to do with his beautiful rescuer, Josephina Aisling. The half-Fae female threatens to awaken the demon of Disaster inside him--a beast he's determined to kill, no matter the price.
Josephina is hunted by a brutal enemy--her royal family--and Kane is her only source of protection. He's also the only male to ever set her aflame, and even he succumbs to the heat. But as they navigate the treacherous world of the Fae, they are forced to make a choice: live apart...or die together.
*sigh* I don’t really know where to start with this review. Did I like The Darkest Craving, the tenth book in Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series? Yes I did but I certainly didn’t love it and in all honesty it’s my least favorite book in the series for a few reasons.
I’ve liked Kane since the moment he stepped foot onto the page and the world started falling apart around him. Being a walking disaster gave him a special place in my heart. I have craved his story for the past couple of years due to the buildup in the last few books. When Kane was trapped in hell I wanted so much for him to be rescued so he could finally know some peace and eventually get his freak on without disastrous repercussions.
So what the frak happened? I get that Kane was tortured and raped in hell. I’ve read a lot of books and watched a lot of TV shows with the hero having spent a little time downstairs and have always enjoyed watching said hero deal with the darkness and overcome it. Well, that is until now. We’re told that Kane was tortured and raped but we don’t witness any of it, not even in flashbacks. Not that I really want to witness his violation but how are you supposed to really get into the mindset of a hero with hellish issues if you can’t see those issues through their eyes? So. Damn. Disappointing.
I liked Josephina, the heroine of The Darkest Craving but at times she seriously annoyed me and I wanted less of her. Even more annoying? Her half-sister, the Fae princess and Keeper of Irresponsibility. She was a whole world of suck. I hated her and wanted someone to chop her frakkin head off and serve it to Josephina on a silver platter. Honestly I found the whole Fae race irresponsible, hateful, and downright assholish. I was glad that Josephina finally stepped up to the plate and put that bunch of twats in their place.
Let’s talk about important things like plot, action, snarkiness, and the super smexy times that Lords of the Underworld is known for. The plot was so-so but fast-paced so it kept me interested. There was a lot of action but for all the fighting it didn’t seem very brutal or violent. Again I have to mention that there were moments in hell that you expect to be dark but we didn’t get any of that. There was much needed comic relief and snarkiness in the form of William the Ever Randy who referred to my boys as “Lords of Pussywhip Manor“. The smexy times, though in abundance, were PG-13 at best. The hottest thing about this book is the cover. I would have rather had one smokin’ hot scene than all of the watered down stuff that was thrown in. For the first time ever, a Lords of the Underworld book read like PNR light. *pouts*
There are only two of the original Lords left after this book and they both had subplots in The Darkest Craving. While they both had me interested, I felt that neither one of them was fleshed out enough. I wanted more of Torin and Cameo and less poorly written sex scenes. Had I not followed Gena’s twitter chat earlier in the week, I would’ve been torn as to who the next book would be about. Because I am an author stalker extraordinaire, I know that the next book will be about Torin, Keeper of Disease. I look forward to reading more about him but honestly, I was more interested in Cameo’s subplot and really would’ve liked to have had more development there. I’m sure I’ll get that in Torin’s book so I can’t complain too much.
In closing, there were things that worked for me in The Darkest Craving and things that just didn’t. Torin, Cameo, and William saved this book from being a disaster. No pun intended. Maybe had there been more darkness, more grittiness, and Kane had been able to get his freak on in old school Gena fashion, The Darkest Craving would’ve been a better book.
I give The Darkest Craving 3 stars and hope with every fiber in my being that the next book is better. Lords of the Underworld is one of my all-time favorite series but this book just fell flat and left me feeling very under whelmed. The Darkest Craving wasn’t dark and it left me craving more of basically everything I’ve loved about the series.
Series: The Dacians #1
Published by Pocket Books on 11/27/12
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Source: Mel's Magnificent Library
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He won't be denied...
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore's most fearsome villains.
She's bound to another...
Desperate to earn her guardians' approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she's lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.
A battle for her body and soul...
Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina's heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium's worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina's own desires to a fever-pitch...
Sometimes you start a book with the intention of just reading for fun. Sometimes you start a book thinking “hey I bought this one so I don’t have to review it”. Sometimes that book has so many noteworthy moments within the first 150 pages that you know a review is in order. Damn you, Kresley Cole! I had no intention of reviewing Shadow’s Claim the first book in her Immortals After Dark spin-off series, The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, but it was soooo damn good that I just had to.
I should say that though Shadow’s Claim is the first book in The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist series, it is a spin-off and in my opinion not a starting point. There is so much world building involved in the Immortals After Dark series that it may be hard to follow. In order to understand the significance of the existence of the Dacians, the Lore, and the upcoming Accession, you really need to start from the beginning. Also note that Shadow’s Claim takes place during the same time frame as Immortals After Dark #12, Lothaire.
Dacian vampire, Trehan Daciano, the Prince of Shadow, has spent his very long life protecting his people as a master assassin. He’s cold, he’s ruthless, and there is none better at the job than he. People fear him. Sadly, that’s all that life is for him. He is a loner who spends all of his free time at home (which is beyond awesome by the way) typically with his nose in a book. Suddenly one night he feels the need to protect something or someone and he doesn’t understand the urge.
“He was a loner by nature, with a sacred duty to murder, taught by experience to trust no one.”
Bettina is the orphaned heir to the throne of Abaddon. She is half demon, half sorceress and has never been truly accepted by either. After an incredibly traumatic event involving Vrekeners, Bettina finds herself in debt to her godparents, Morgana and Raum, and stuck in a situation she can’t get out of. Because she can’t protect herself, they feel she needs a King. They decide to host a tournament for her hand in marriage. Not only is the tournament taking away her choice of a mate, it is open to all species. Believe me when I say that there are some seriously creepy, nasty ass creatures in the Lore. Many of which I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole. Bettina is truly stuck between a rock and a hard place. Oh and did I mention that she just happens to be in love with her best friend?
On a mission to find someone who broke Dacian law, Trehan finds himself in Abaddon. Instead of seeking out his prey, he finds himself drawn to someone. Who is she and why does he feel this way?
As with all of Kresley Cole’s books, Shadow’s Claim was seriously frakkin smexy. I actually made a note on Sybil (my Nook) which read “Holy frakkin shit! We’re only 41 pages in and already there is off the charts hotness!” And believe me when I say that was only the beginning. The book got hotter-and-hotter as it went along. Aside from the smexiness factor, there were many, many things I seriously lurved about Shadow’s Claim:
(1) Trehan’s relationship with his cousin Viktor. They seriously put the word fun in dysfunctional. At one point there was even talk of testicle regeneration.
(2) Salem the super pervy phantom.
“Salem laughed. “That was bloody brilliant, ladies! And oddly arousing. If I had a body, I’d be cock-up right now.”
(3) Lothaire!!! Not only is the Enemy of Old half-crazed, he also has a yummiliciusly twisted sense of humor and seems to have a raging case of ADD. Relationship advice from Lothaire?! Seriously?! It’s in there.
(4) Words cannot express how much I lurve nucking futs Nix! Girl doesn’t even have to say a word. T-shirts and hand gestures let her thoughts and opinions be known quite frakkin nicely. Lurve her. Lurve her. Lurve her. She is quite possibly the best secondary character EVER. I can’t wait til Kresley Cole does a book for her. It. Will. Be. EPIC.
Things I seriously lurve about Trehan:
(1) Homeboy knows how to bring the pain.
(2) He’s a very thoughtful gift giver.
(3) Dude has some serious stamina even when seriously hurt. To quote Faith from an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer “That was rock ‘em, sock ‘em!”
(4) He gives me a major case of the swoons. There is something seriously wrong with finding a violent, brutal, murderous man insanely smexy. Holy jeebus! Picturing Trehan slaughtering his way through the competition for his Bride’s hand was H-O-frakkin-T!! Seriously it gave me chills just thinking about it. Like I said there is something wrong with me.
(5) He’s got made skills, yo! And I don’t just mean when he’s making with the smexy time. Trehan is a bad ass. Bad ass, I tell you.
I lurve the world building in this Immortals After Dark spin-off. Getting to learn more about the Dacians and going to Abaddon was new. I’m looking forward to reading more in The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist world. Honestly I can’t find a single thing I wasn’t happy with in Shadow’s Claim and I’m seriously hoping the next book is about Viktor cause that vampire has issues.
Kresley Cole was the rock star author of 2012 for me. Not only is Shadow’s Claim a 5 star read, but so was Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #12) as was her first attempt at YA, Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles #1). The lady had one hell of a year and I can’t frakkin wait to see what she has in store for all her nerdtastic followers in 2013!
Series: The Portal #2
Published by Harlequin MIRA on 11/20/2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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Has a spell been cast?
Lena Dunkirk is a practicing witch, Ryan McNally a wealthy playboy. Logic says mismatch, yet from the first they share a passion that defies reason, as if they know each other from another place, another time. Then Lena gets pregnant and runs for the safety of home.
Months later, when Ryan appears at her door looking to help raise their child, Lena doesn’t know whom to trust–particularly now that “guru to the stars” Bahru has taken an interest in her baby, offering gifts forged of magic.
Soon she and Ryan are sharing eerie dreams of ancient lands, while a vengeful demon plots to take possession of their child. As the moment of birth approaches, the demon’s power rises, forcing the hand of love to wield the blade that will decide the fate of a child’s soul–and the future of the world.
I’ve been reviewing books the past few years and until now I truly thought that negative reviews were the hardest to write. Unlike some people, I don’t want to bash an author for bad writing because (1) they have done something I would love to have the time, patience, and creativity to do and (2) they managed to get the book published. That isn’t an easy feat. Yes authors can go the self pub route and many do but most of the books I read are big house books and somewhat well known authors. Getting to the point,Daughter of the Spellcaster (The Portal (#2) by Maggie Shayne is by far the hardest review I’ve ever tried to write. Why you ask? Well because it was just muh, so-so, mediocre. Mediocrity does not make one think or inspire the words to flow; even my snark ship seems to have sailed. *pouts* I finished this book weeks ago and thought that with time I’d find something to say. I’ve FINALLY found something to say about it.
Daughter of the Spellcaster is the second book in Maggie Shayne’s The Portal trilogy and I have mixed emotions about the book. It really didn’t work for me on a couple of levels. For one, the heroine irritated me so much that I wanted to punch her even though she was pregnant. Throughout the book she repeatedly thinks to herself that she’s an honest, trustworthy person when in all actuality she’s not. She’s sneaky and flat out lied at times. Even though she did it for reasons she thought justified her actions, it’s my opinion that those actions do indeed make her dishonest and untrustworthy. I found myself writing little notes in Sybil (my Nook) like “seriously”, “is she mental?” and “what the frak is wrong with this girl?” Obviously, Lena and I had issues.
Lena, born Magdalena is the reincarnated sister of Indira and Lilia. We got Indy’s story in book one, Mark of the Witch, where we learned the history involving the sister witches and the atrocity that happened thousands of years ago and led to the current events. If after reading this review, you’re still interested in reading The Portal, start at the beginning or you will be lost. I will say that I really wish that the snarktastic and funny Indira had been in this book for more than a second at the end. I kept waiting for her to arrive and not necessarily save the day but to save the book from being a complete waste of time as well as a huge disappointment for me. As much as I lurved the super smexy billionaire playboy, Ryan, even he couldn’t save the book from the suck that is Lena.
While I’m fascinated with the world Maggie Shayne has created, I didn’t connect with the heroine, Lena, at all and Daughter of the Spellcaster was incredibly slow at times. It also lacked the smexy factor I associate with PNR and there wasn’t a good subplot to give the book a little oomph. Come to think of it, there really wasn’t much chemistry between Lena and Ryan at all. To me, he just seemed like a good guy who wanted to do right by his baby mama and not someone who would do anything and everything to keep the love of his life safe. A few times I got so damn frustrated with it all that I just wanted the book to end. I found that surprising because I loved the heroine of book one, Mark of the Witch, and really enjoyed that book over all. On the plus side, it was nice that the heroines were so very different when the main plot of the book, reincarnation, fate, and love were the same. A lot of authors reuse the same traits with their characters and Maggie Shayne didn’t. Guess there are positive things to say about this book.
My issue with Lena aside, I enjoy the concept of this series so Daughter of the Spellcaster wasn’t a terrible read. Will I read Blood of the Sorceress, the final book in the trilogy? Yes I will because I have OCD, it’s the final book, and I have to know what happens. Honestly if this had been more than a trilogy I would be done with the series but it’s not and that OCD is a royal bitch. I need completion. That being said, I’m not excited about the prospect of reading the book anymore which is kinda sad because the premise of the series was seriously intriguing and I was sucked in with Mark of the Witch. Hopefully Blood of the Sorceress will change my opinion of the trilogy because right now I’m on the fence about it. Daughter of the Spellcaster was just ok for me. How do you rate ok? I’ll give the book 2.5 stars. Hey, it looks like I had something to say after all, huh?
I’ve truly enjoyed Rhiannon Frater’s Pretty When She…series so far! It’s a great horror/urban fantasy cross-over with creepy villains, gruesome scenes and characters you will cheer for. The books have been designed by Claudia at Phat Puppy Art, who most of you may know of. I think she’s kinda incredible…
Cassandra is a dhamphir-the offspring of a vampire and mortal woman-and a thief of occult relics.
Aimee is a full-blood witch that is bound to a powerful vampire who traffics in the slavery of supernatural beings.
Both are powerful, lonely, and trapped in the dangerous world of the vampires.
When Cassandra steals a relic from Aimee’s vampire master, he targets her as his next acquisition. What he doesn’t realize is that a chance encounter between Cassandra and Aimee ignited a spark between them that they cannot deny.
To survive, the women must find a way to band together and fight against the ruthless evil that conspires to enslave them forever
I was excited when Rhiannon released this short story in the Pretty When She… universe. Aimee and Cass are introduced near the end of the second book, but they made a serious impact. I immediately felt their connection and dedication to one another. I’m so happy that Rhiannon decided to write the story of how these two characters met. It was action-packed, heart-warming and cray-zay! We meet some serious villainous bastards, as is always the case in Rhiannon’s books. I was sickened by these horrible creatures and their warped ideas of fun and pleasure. We get glimpses of the unique aspects of Aimee and Cass, the things they are capable of, the hardships they have endured, and their fragile yet strong personas. Their hearts collide and while they don’t understand the connection, at first, they use that bond to save each other, in very different yet similar ways. They are a duo that packs a supernatural punch! And I adore the love and passion for their mate that seeps from their pores!
“Be careful, Cassandra. Be very, very careful. Sometimes, the knight in shinning armor gets eaten by the dragon.”
“Oh, I’m not a knight in shinning armor,” Cassandra corrected him. “I’m the ninja sneaking up the back stairs.”
Series: Chronicles of Yavn #2
Published by Sourcebooks on 1/18/13
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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This Fight Is Personal...
Wizards and vampires have been mortal enemies since the beginning. Now Anton, son of the Wizard Master, has one last chance to steal the unique powers of the vampire king's beautiful sister, Tyra...and then kill her. But when he meets Tyra face-to-face, everything changes...
Tyra will stop at nothing to defeat the wizards, until Anton saves her life and she suddenly sees an opportunity she never could have imagined...
As the sparks ignite between them, together they could bring an end to the war that's decimating their people, but only if they can find a way to trust each other...
Please note that in order to review this book properly, I will be including spoilers from the first book in the series. Prince of Power is about Tyra and Anton and their story started in King of Darkness. If you haven’t read the first book in the series and don’t want spoilers, I suggest you stop reading now.
Prince of Power picks up within a few days of the events that took place in King of Darkness and is not a standalone. In order to understand what has happened between Tyra and Anton, you really need to read the first book. Now that that’s out of the way, on with the review I go.
First of all, look at that cover! So. Damn. Sexy. Want to pet him. I don’t know who the cover model is but dude has serious frak me eyes. Yum. Yum. Yum. Sorry, I get distracted when I see pretty things. It’s like ooohhh shiny!
In King of Darkness we learn that Anton was sent by his father, the leader of the wizards, to find and capture Tyra. Anton is unlike the other wizards and finds their practices not only barbaric but so disgusting that it makes him sick. While watching Tyra from a distance, he fell in love with her. He refused to capture Tyra and leave her fate up to his sadistic father, so his father tortured him and left him for dead. Anton came to with severe injuries and no memory. Because of that, he ended up staying in the shelter where Trya works.
Tyra, half-sister to the King of vampires, is beyond special because she is the only vampire in existence who has more than one power, and has serious emotional issues. She was abandoned by her human mother at birth and has never connected with anyone other than her family. She spent the better part of 25 years involved with a seriously smexy vampire named Siddoh but despite his feelings for her, she didn’t fall in love with him. She honestly thought that she’d never find love until the wizard she should hate stole her heart.
Tyra overused her power at the end of King of Darkness and has spent the past few days in a coma-like state. Because Anton loves her and wants to keep her safe, he watched over her. When Tyra woke up and realized who she was with she freaked the frak out. Understandable since Anton is a wizard and his race has been at war with hers for thousands of years. If Anton is a wizard that makes him evil, right? Why is it that she feels at ease with him and doesn’t feel any animosity or darkness when he’s around? There’s complicated and then there’s Anton and Tyra’s relationship. How do you protect someone who is supposed to be your enemy? Will he be accepted into the fold or will the vampire race throw one big hissy fit?
Unlike King of Darkness, Prince of Power focused mostly on Tyra and Anton as most PNR series do. Though there was a little buildup for the next book which happens to be Lee and Alexis’s book (SQUEE!!!!), it wasn’t nearly enough for me. I lurve them as a couple and when you figure in Lee’s seriously creepy and weird ex, Agnessa, I just know their book is going to be epic. I would’ve liked to get more of them together but understand that Elisabeth Staab didn’t want to give too much away. It would take away from their book and gods know I wouldn’t want that to happen. What little bit I did get of Alexis and Lee (whether together or individually) was enough to suck me in even more into their little romance. Can’t frakkin wait for their book!
The main subplot of the book was Xander who just about broke my heart. He’s sooooo sad and devastated with the loss of his mate that I want him to be happy. I understand losing the love of your life and just want him to get a HEA. I haven’t met anyone in the series I particularly want him with, I just want him content. Because I am stalker extraordinaire when it comes to books and/or series I have mad love for, I asked Elisabeth about Xander. At this point she doesn’t know if Xander will get a book or if his story will be told over the next couple of books. Either way, I’m happy with that. I’d prefer a book for the scrumdidlyumptous Siddoh anyway. *hint hint*
Price of Power wasn’t as good as King of Darkness in my opinion but it kept me intrigued and wanting to know what would happen next. I liked Tyra and Anton together but they aren’t my favorite characters so I think I just wasn’t as involved with them as I would’ve been with say uh Lee and Alexis. *grins* Anton and Tyra were good together but there were several hot-and-cold moments that just irritated me. It wasn’t the writing per se, it was the character’s nature and really fit the story. All of that being said, Prince of Power was still a great read. It was a great continuation the fangtabulous Chronicles of Yavn series, opened up a world of potential for development, and made me even more invested in certain characters. It had me on the edge of my seat at times, was smexy (virgin wizard anyone? YUM!), had lots of action, and there were a couple of moments I really didn’t see coming. Well at least not so damn soon.
We’re two books into a series I can’t get enough of. Obviously, I still seriously lurve my Heroes with fangs and after events that took place in Prince of Power, I can’t wait to see where Chronicles of Yavn goes. Thank you Elisabeth Staab for another great read! I give Price of Power 4 stars.