The Fallen Angels: Possession

Possession

Possession

When Cait Douglass resolves to get over her broken heart, throw off her inhibitions, and really start living, she’s unprepared for the two sensual men who cross her path. Torn between them, she doesn’t know which to choose–or what kind of dire consequences could follow.

Jim Heron, fallen angel and reluctant savior, is ahead in the war, but he puts everything at risk when he seeks to make a deal with the devil–literally. As yet another soul is unwittingly caught in the battle between him and the demon Devina, his fixation on an innocent trapped in Hell threatens to sidetrack him from his sacred duty…

Can good still prevail if true love makes a savior weak? And will a woman’s future be the key, or the curse, for all humanity? Only time, and hearts, will tell.

I have loved J.R Ward for a long time. I remember reading Dark Lover and being like, this woman a goddess and I worship her. And for the most part, this has remained the case. But while this book was pretty good, I was still expecting more. I may well be alone in feeling this way, but I thought it was a situation where the story line was filled with both absolutely nothing and a whole lot. Stuff happened but it didn’t feel like it moved the story forward in any real way.

Our romance centres around three people. The first is Cait Douglass. She went through a major heartbreak a few years ago and, as a result, hasn’t really been living. But after a major shock in the form of an unexpected death, Cait has decided that life is too short to be sitting around on her ass, and she’s made a major effort to throw herself back out there. Then we have G.B, whose last name I can’t for the life of me remember and can’t find in the damn book. He’s sexy, sensitive, charming, and crazy talented. He’s everything you’d want in a guy, what with his ridiculous good looks and willingness to talk about his feelings. Duke Philips is the exact opposite of G.B. He’s a rough and tough bouncer, a man of few words. In fact, the only things G.B. and Duke have in common is that they are both fine as hell and they both have their respective eyes on Cait.

In addition to the  love triangle, we have my favourite angels and crazy bitch demon. I know I’ve said it before but I love Devina. She’s a complete psycho, but she’s funny. Ward has taken a character who should be completely repugnant and made her… almost relatable. She’s pining after a guy who has zero interest in her (but she’s managed to convince herself that they’re in love), she sees a psychiatrist, she has difficulties letting go, and she hates her yoga instructor. Our angels have been cut down to two, with only Adrian and Jim left to save the world now that Eddie’s gone. Well, more like one and a half. Those of you who’ve been following this series will know that Jim’s focus on this war has been split pretty much from the beginning due to the horrific murder of Sissy Barten. Jim has been so fixated on the death of this young woman, and on her torture down in hell, that he’s done something that has put the outcome of the entire war in jeopardy: He’s willing to trade one of his wins in the war for Sissy’s release from hell. To say that “the shit hits the fan” would be a huge understatement.

This was probably my least favourite installment in the Fallen Angels series. I can’t tell you why, but I just felt that there was something missing. There just wasn’t the same level of excitement and suspense that there usually is. That being said, I still enjoyed this book. Ward just has this ability to make me cackle with her writing style and she gave us some pretty steamy sex scenes. Plus, the end of Possession will have us waiting with baited breath to see what’s going to happen next.

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Sidewinder: Shock & Awe

Shock & Awe

Shock & Awe

After barely surviving a shootout in New Orleans, Sidewinder medic Kelly Abbott has to suffer through a month of recovery before he can return home to Colorado. He’s not surprised when fellow Sidewinder Nick O’Flaherty stays with him in New Orleans. Nor is he surprised when Nick travels home with him to help him get back on his feet–after all, years on the same Marine Force Recon team bonded the men in ways that only bleeding for a brother can. He’s very surprised, though, when Nick humors his curiosity and kisses him.

Nick knows all of Kelly’s quirks and caprices, so the kiss was a low-risk move on his part… or so he thought. But what should have been a simple moment unleashes a flood of emotions and urges that neither man is prepared to address. 

Now, Kelly and Nick must figure out what they mean to each other–friends and brothers in arms, or something even deeper?–before the past can come back to ruin their tenuous future.

It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of Abigail Roux’s, so I was mega excited about Shock & Awe. Needless to say, Ms Roux did not disappoint. This novella was packed with steamy sex and some really heavy emotional scenes. This is an excellent start to the Sidewinder series.

Shock & Awe takes place just after the emotional trauma that was Touch & Geaux. Kelly is recovering from a gunshot wound that, had the bullet hit it’s target, would have killed Nick. Kelly is in fairly good spirits for a man with a bullet hole in him, but he still needs some help getting around. For a heart stopping minute, it looked like Kelly was going to have to ask his ex-wife to step in, but Nick offers to help him out instead. The guys have been through a lot together, so Nick’s offer is no big deal. While Nick and Ty were always close, Kelly and Nick are pretty tight too. They understand each other and there’s never been any weirdness between the two. Until Kelly, in a painkiller induced haze, asks Nick to kiss him. This comes as a bit of a surprise to both of them when Nick not only agrees to it, but that it turns out to be the kind of kiss that rocks their world. This opens up an avenue that neither man ever would have guessed existed. So the question is, do they go for it and possibly ruin their friendship; or do they ignore the attraction and run the risk of missing out on something amazing?

In addition to Shock & Awe, we got a teeny, tiny short story called Bait & Switch, featuring Zane. My poor baby. It just felt wrong to read anything with Zane that didn’t also directly involve Ty. It just made my heart hurt to see Zane so sad. I just wanted to get in the book and give him a hug. There was just enough angst in this short story to have me making these high pitched keening noises.

I really did enjoy this novella. Nick and Kelly were insanely hot. The chemistry between these two was absolutely explosive. I was just sitting there at one point fanning myself. I do not have enough words to adequately describe the bedroom scenes. Ms Roux has always had the ability to write some scorchers, but she pulled out all the stops for this one. And she also threw in some serious moments of heart-stopping angst. They didn’t last long, but they were enough to leave me feeling a little faint. But. But. There is one thing that niggled at me and kept me from giving Roux her usual five stars. It was Kelly. Now, this does not in any way mean that I didn’t like him, because I did. It’s just that we got to know Kelly–not very well, granted–as a straight guy. And now, suddenly, he’s decided that he likes cock. I know that this is just a novella so there wasn’t much time for soul searching and whatever, but I just think that the transition was too… easy. It just bothered me a little.

Definitely a good start to the Sidewinder series. I’m very excited to see more of the Sidewinder boys in the future. You can buy Shock & Awe over at Riptide.

Midnight Breeds: Ashes of Midnight

Ashes of Midnight

Ashes of Midnight

A woman driven by blood. A man thirsting for vengeance. A place where darkness and desire meet…

As night falls, Claire Roth flees, driven from her home by a fiery threat that seems to come from hell itself. Then, from out of the flames and ash, a vampire warrior emerges. He is Andreas Richen, her onetime lover, now a stranger consumed by vengeance. Caught in the crossfire, Claire cannot escape his savage fury–or the hunger that plunges her into his world of eternal darkness and unending pleasure.

Nothing will stop Andreas from destroying the vampire responsible for slaughtering his Breed brethren… even if he must use his former lover as a pawn in his deadly mission. Blood-bonded to his treacherous adversary, Claire can lead Andreas to the enemy he seeks, but it is a journey fraught with danger–and deep, unbidden desires. For Claire is the one woman Andreas should not crave, and the only one he’s ever loved. A dangerous seduction begins–one that blurs the line between predator and prey, and stokes the flames of a white-hot passion that may consume all in its path…

I know that I’ve spent some time bitching about this series and how inconsistent it can be. One moment it’s really good, and then the next it’s utterly predictable. And I keep reading because I’ve already bought the bloody books. And for the first time in a while, I’m glad that I’ve kept reading because this book was a definite “up”.

I’ve spoken about Andreas Richen before. He was the sexy leader of the Hamburg DarkHaven when the unthinkable happened: his entire family was gunned down in a mindless attack that left Andreas as the sole survivor. It goes without saying that Andre was devastated by the loss, and he’s now out for revenge. Over the past few months, he’s steadily been killing off those involved in the attack against his DarkHaven. And by now everyone who’s wronged him is dead… except for one person: Wilhelm Roth. Roth is a big wig at the enforcement agency, an increasingly corrupt organisation meant to ensure the protection of the Breed, and the one who ordered the hit on Andreas’s DarkHaven. Andre is dead set on making Roth pay, but there is one little, tiny detail making the whole revenge thing a bit complicated: Roth is mated to Claire. Andre and Claire have A Past. And it isn’t one based exclusively on scratching their respective itches; they genuinely cared about each other. But then one day Andre just disappeared from Claire’s life without a word of explanation. Devastated, but convinced that Andre no longer wanted her, Claire decided to move on with her life. Unfortunately, the guy she decided to move on with was a thundering loony. Once Claire realises this, she ends up on the run along with Andre. They both eventually end up on the doorstep of the Order, taking the story from Germany to the US.

Overall, I thought this book was much better than a few of the previous ones. I’ll be honest, there was a time or two where I rolled my eyes. I mean, the idea that after all the obsessing Andreas has been doing about Roth, it never once occurred to him to consider why Roth was targeting him seemed silly. But the eye rolls were a lot less frequent in this book. I enjoyed the romance element and the over arching story line. This will probably never be one of my favourite series’ but it’s good if you’re looking for something to pass the time with.

You can buy it at Diesel’s ebook store.

Psy-Changeling Series: Hostage to Pleasure

Hostage to Pleasure

Hostage to Pleasure

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy–cool, calm and emotionless… at least on the surface. Inside, she’s fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper’s embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard’s rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian’s agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules…

I had mixed feelings about this book. The world building and the overall story line was as brilliant as ever, but I just didn’t feel it in the romance department. This isn’t to say that it wasn’t a really good book, just that I felt that there was something missing.

We met Ashaya Aleine in Mine to Possess. She’s a Psy scientist who’s been assigned to the Implact Protocol by the Psy Council. The idea behind the Protocol is to sort of unify all the Psy minds under one big umbrella. Individual thought will be impossible for the vast majority of the Psy. The Council would be in the position to monitor the entire population’s thoughts at will. No individuality, no dissent. And to make sure Ashaya cooperates, they are holding her son prisoner. Even though Ashaya can’t show it, she adores her son and will do anything to save him. So she makes a deal with the DarkRiver pack. She did them a favour, and she wants them to repay her by getting her son away from the Council. This is where Dorian comes in. He’s not keen on helping a Psy, even one he’s inexplicably attracted to. But after losing his sister to a member of the Psy Council, Dorian is happy to do anything to screw the Psy over, so he agrees to Ashaya’s terms.

Once Ashaya is assured of her son’s safety, she puts her own escape plan into action. Everything goes according to plan. Except for one thing: she inadvertently lands smack bang in the middle of DarkRiver territory. No prizes for guessing who finds her. Clinging desperately to the Psy control she’s all but managed to perfect, Ashaya tries to ignore how much Dorian is affecting her. But Dorian isn’t having any of that. If he has to sit with this infuriating attraction to a Psy, a race he pretty much regards as the enemy, then she can damn well own up to what’s going on between them too. Now, for the most interesting part of this book: what the hell is going on with the Psy Council? Everything is going all topsy turvy and no one on the Council is what they appear. I love the intrigue!

Like I said, the romance didn’t especially do it for me. I think it’s probably because I couldn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t really like Dorian very much. He had a tendency to stretch the whole “alpha” thing into the realm of asshole. Ashaya was okay, but I probably won’t remember her in the long run. That being said, the situation with the Council is getting so good! There actually isn’t much of the Council in each book, just these little tidbits that are slowly making me die with curiosity. I want to know.

Ms Singh is killing it with this series. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next! Check it out over at Sony’s ebook store.

Immortals After Dark: No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked

A vampire soldier weary of life…

Centuries ago, Sebastian Wroth was turned into a vampire-a nightmare in his mind-against his will. Burdened with hatred and alone for ages, he sees little reason to live. Until an exquisite, fey creature comes to kill him, inadvertently saving him instead.

A Valkyrie assassin dispatched to destroy him…

When Kaderin the Cold Hearted lost her two beloved sisters to a vampire attack long ago, a benevolent force deadened her to sorrow-accidentally extinguishing all of her emotions. Yet whenever she encounters Sebastian, her feelings-particularly lust-emerge multiplied. For the first time, she’s unable to complete a kill.

Become competitors in a legendary hunt…

The prize of the month-long contest is powerful enough to change history, and Kaderin will do anything to win it for her sisters. Wanting only to win her, Sebastian competes as well, taking every opportunity-as they travel to ancient tombs and through catacombs, seeking relics around the world-to use her new feelings to seduce her. But when forced to choose between the vampire she’s falling for and reuniting her family, how can Kaderin live without either?

Only a couple of books into this series and I’m already coming to love it. No Rest for the Wicked is book two (or three?) in the Immortals After Dark series, and it did not disappoint. This series is fast becoming one of my favourites.

No Rest for the Wicked is the story of Kaderin the Cold Hearted, a Valkyrie, and Sebastian Wroth, a vampire. Kaderin is exactly what her name suggests, which is helpful since she’s an assassin whose made it her life’s mission to kill as many vampires as she can get her hands on. After losing her sisters to the bloodsuckers, Kaderin experienced soul-destroying guilt and grief. She was an utter mess when some well-meaning person decided to make Kaderin immune to grief. Small problem, though: in doing that this mysterious person stripped Kaderin of all her emotions. This has been the case for the past thousand years and hasn’t really been a problem for her. Until she meets Sebastian and the emotions all come flooding back. Sebastian was a general in the Estonian army. He was quite the bad ass. But then things went pear-shaped. While he and his brother, Conrad, were taking care of their little sisters, their castle was attacked by Russian soldiers. The little girls were killed and Conrad and Sebastian were dying. Their older, recently turned, brothers rocked up and then took it upon themselves to turn them into vampires. Three hundred years on, Sebastian still hasn’t recovered from the betrayal. He’s become a hermit, never leaving his home and rarely interacting with people. So you can imagine his surprise when he’s confronted with this gorgeous woman who makes his heart beat again and wants to cut off his head. Sebastian realises that Kaderin is his Bride, the vampire equivalent of a mate, and he is overjoyed. Finally, something-someone-to live for! While Sebastian is celebrating and kissing her senseless, Kaderin is freaking the hell out. She’s kissing a vampire. She was kissing vampire. 

The Valkyrie covens were at war with vampires even now, and the Lore was hurtling towards an Accession-a war that occurred every five hundred years. During times like this, Kaderin was expected to be ridding vampires from the earth, not riding them.

Completely out of her depth and wondering what the hell is going on with her, Kaderin bails and leaves Sebastian with a bad case of the blue balls. But he takes it in stride. Sebastian now knows that he has a Bride, someone to make eternity bearable. All he needs to do is find her and convince her to give them a shot. Easier said than done, especially when Sebastian finds out that Kaderin is competing in the Talisman’s Hie, a deadly competition between Lore creatures.

The chemistry between Kaderin and Sebastian was sizzling from the get go. But the actual emotional connection took a lot longer and that was mainly because Kaderin was a bit of a bitch. This isn’t to say that I didn’t like Kaderin; I just didn’t appreciate how she treated Sebastian. Here was this sweet, attentive guy who was willing to enter a harrowing competition just to win her affections, and she just kept blowing him off! She got better but I’m still not quite willing to forgive her for being such a shrew. Sebastian, on the other hand, could not have been more sweet. I’m usually a sucker for a bad boy, but there is just something so endearing about a big, tough guy who’s unsure of himself. I just wanted to give him a hug. And then jump his bones.

Kresley Cole has created an amazing, complex world with this series. The romance is sweet, the sex is hot, and the characters are chock full of awesome. Definitely a must-read for paranormal romance fans. You can get it for next to nothing at ebooks.com.   

The Psy-Changeling Series: Mine to Possess

Mine to Possess

Mine to Possess

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed… and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McCade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life-the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the deepest secret in her heart, and steels herself to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her is a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past, or risk losing everything that ever mattered.

I am quite a big fan of Ms Singh’s so I couldn’t wait to start in on Mine to Possess. It’s been sitting on my to-be-read pile for what feels like forever, but it was well worth the wait. The world Singh has created is absolutely fascinating. It just gets more and more detailed and complex as the series progresses.

Clay is a high-ranking member of DarkRiver, a sentinel charged with protecting his pack. However, despite his position, Clay is a bit of a loner. He’s got this anger building inside him and he’s on the verge of just giving up on his humanity and going leopard full time. He wasn’t always like this, though. While he’s always had this darkness inside him, there was a time where he was a little more lighthearted. Talin, his childhood best friend, accepted him without question. They were once inseparable. Until the day Clay became aware of the abuse Talin was suffering at the hands of her foster father. In a fury, he killed the bastard right in front of Talin and Clay was later taken to a juvenile detention centre. Clay accepted it, believing that once he’d served his time he would be able to see Talin again. He was devastated upon hearing that Talin was dead, and for a long time he seemed to be lost in that darkness inside himself. So you can understand his shock when Talin suddenly shows up in his life, alive and well. Talin is damaged. The things her foster father did to her, coupled with losing Clay left her in a bad place. When she finally felt like she was moving forward, she found out that Clay was being released from his prison. She knew Clay would come for her, so she made the decision to have the authorities tell him that she had died. But now she needs Clay’s help. The street children she’s responsible are being killed and the enforcement agency is making no effort to catch the killer.

My love for this series is actually stemming more from the universe that Singh has created than from a real passion for the characters. Don’t get me wrong, the characters are awesome. We got to see Talin transform from a scared little girl into a strong woman; we got to see a softer side to Clay that you would never have suspected was there. All of that was great. But those snippets into the inner workings of the Psy Council and how the whole system is being shaken up is… riveting. Singh manages to make important changes to the universe her series is set in with every book and I am so excited to see what’s going to happen next!

If you’re keen on reading Mine to Possess-and you really should be-you can head on over to Foyles.

Lords of Deliverance: Lethal Rider

Lethal Rider

Lethal Rider

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Thanatos, the most deadly of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Matthews, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a price more terrifying than an apocalypse-he’s about to become a father. 

Demon-slayer Regan Matthews never imagined herself as the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he’s ever wanted-a family.

I have seriously fallen in love with this series. I mean, I liked it before but now I love it. Thanatos has officially been added to my list of book boyfriends. Because underneath that gruff, crabby exterior lay an utter gem. Thanatos is one of my favourite male leads in this series. He was just too damn cute.

The story was set up in the previous book, Immortal Rider. Regan was sent by the Aegis to seduce Thanatos in order to fall pregnant. When Thanatos found out about Regan’s deceit, he  blew a gasket. Not only was he furious at being used but he was terrified that losing his virginity would mean his Seal breaking and him becoming a thundering loony. His reaction to the news that Regan was sent to seduce him was so bad that Ares and Limos felt the need to use hellhound venom to… sedate… him.

All of the above takes place in Immortal Rider. Lethal Rider takes place eight months later, and starts off with Thanatos shaking off the effects of the hellhound venom. Needless to say, Thanatos is pissed. He’s lost a whole eight months of his life, he’s confused about why he’s not evil, and he’s pissed that his first time having sex was the product of Aegis scheming. He wants to throttle Regan, and I can’t say I blame him. Regan’s time away from Thanatos has been a little more eventful. She’s found herself warming up to the idea of having a baby. She’s also been feeling guilty over lying to Thanatos and dreading the inevitable fallout.

This book wasn’t quite as funny as what I’ve typically come to expect from Ms Ione and I didn’t even care; I still loved it. Thanatos was so friggin’ sweet when he found out Regan was pregnant. All this guy ever wanted was a family of his own, but it never seemed possible because of the situation with his Seal. Normally, Thanatos is this take-charge, take-no-shit kind of guy, but in the face of Regan’s pregnancy he’s all nervous and uncertain.He is so excited to be a dad, but he flounders when trying to properly express that excitement. I had so many “awww…” moments with this book that it was ridiculous. Now, I know that I’ve been jabbering a lot about Thanatos but I haven’t forgotten about Regan. I was a little worried that Regan would be overshadowed by Thanatos, but that never happened. She totally held her own as a character; she was one tough cookie. She’d been dealt a rough hand but she dealt with it really well.

Lethal Rider is my favourite book in this series so far. Seriously, if Thanatos were a real guy, I would happily volunteer to have his babies. A whole soccer team, if he wanted. Rogue Rider is the last book in the Lords of Deliverance sub-series, and I can’t wait to see how the whole issue with Reseph is resolved.

If you have a Nook, you can buy Lethal Rider at Barnes&Noble. If you don’t you can check out Sony’s ebook store.

Lords of Deliverance: Immortal Rider

Immortal Rider

Immortal Rider

 

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Arik Wagner, a soldier with the US Army’s paranormal unit, the R-XR, kissed a girl and liked it. And then he went to hell as punishment. Where he’s spent weeks being tortured… and plotting revenge. 

Limos, Horsewoman of the Apocalypse, isn’t your average girl. She’s immortal, dangerous, and her finance is Satan himself. In a moment of weakness, she gave in to her desire and kissed Arik, triggering her fiance’s wrath-and his claim on her. In order to save Arik, and the world, Limos must make a dangerous pact with her recently turned evil brother, Pestilence. A deal that might just cost her her soul… and her heart.

Larissa Ione is honestly one of my favourite authors. Just when you think she can’t get anymore awesome, bam!, she does. Immortal Rider is book two in the Lords of Deliverance and book seven in the Demonica series. From what I can gather, Lords of Deliverance was it’s own series, and was then incorporated into Demonica. So… yes. That’s that.

Immortal Rider is Limos and Arik’s book. Most of you will recognise Arik from the Demonica series; he’s Runa’s brother and an old army buddy of Kynan’s. Arik also made an appearance in Eternal Rider where he met Limos, and the attraction between these two was immediate, although Limos had a rather strange way of showing it. Despite them making eyes at each other, nothing actually happens for a while (mostly, I suspect, because Arik was sporting cracked ribs). As it turns out, though, Arik would have been better off had Limos maimed him more severely because after one kiss, one measly kiss, Arik got dragged into hell by demons where he was tortured for months. I was a little annoyed with Limos after this happened. While Arik isn’t my favourite hero, he definitely did not deserve the crap that came his way after kissing Limos. But, in all fairness, after being celibate for thousands of years, I can’t blame Limos for wanting to go there.

Limos was one of my favourite leading ladies in this series. She acted like this happy-go-lucky party girl, concerned only with her next outfit; in reality she’s quite the badass, who manages to hold her own with her fierce brothers. It took me a little while to warm up to Arik. I think that, in a sea of hot fierce guys, he got a little lost. I also didn’t really feel the chemistry between him and Limos. There was so much else going on that their story felt a little… secondary to me. I enjoyed it but, at the same, I was almost impatient for them to get off the page so I could follow what was happening with Thanatos, my favourite of the Four Horsemen. I cannot wait for this book! I’m practically salivating at this point.

I am honestly in love with this series. It’s so much fun!

Angels of the Dark: Wicked Nights

Wicked Nights

Wicked Nights

Leader of the most powerful army in the heavens, Zacharel has been deemed too dangerous, too ruthless, and if he isn’t careful, he’ll lose his wings. But this warrior with a heart of ice will not be deterred… until a vulnerable human tempts him with a carnal pleasure he’s never before known. 

Accused of a crime she did not commit, Annabelle Miller has spent four years in an institution for the criminally insane. Demons track her every move, and their king will stop at nothing to have her. Zacharel is her only hope for survival, but is the brutal angel with a touch as hot as hell her salvation-or her ultimate damnation?

Wicked Nights is the first book in Showalter’s new spinoff series, Angels of the Dark. This series is set in the same world as the Lords of the Underworld. When I read this book, it was my first time reading anything Gena Showalter, and I was way impressed by the time I finished. Typically, you would need to have read the first series in order to really understand the spinoff. This wasn’t the case with Wicked Nights. There were a few characters from Lords of the Underworld, but I managed just fine without any background.

I had a lot of fun reading this book. Angels have become pretty popular in paranormal romance lately and it’s pretty easy to get lost in the crowd. Thankfully, Showalter has managed to avoid using the same old tropes and has created a fascinating universe for her stories. Zacharel is our leading man, and he’s an angel. Unfortunately, he’s not really an angel of the cuddly variety. After a few fairly traumatic experiences, including the mercy killing of his twin brother, Zacharel is cold as ice. Emotions are a human weakness, and he is beyond such things. He fulfills his duty of killing demons and doesn’t let anything stand in his way. So what if a few stray humans get caught in the crossfire? He’s doing his job. However, Zacharel’s boss doesn’t really see it that way, and Zacharel is placed in charge of an army of unruly angels. He has a year to whip them into shape… or else. Enter Annabelle Miller. Annabelle’s life for the past four years has basically been one big ol’ shit storm. As if witnessing a demon killing her parents wasn’t bad enough, after the demon disappeared, Annabelle was considered the only suspect, and tried and convicted for her parents’ murder. She’s been languishing in an institution for the criminally insane ever since.

Annabelle and Zacharel meet one evening after a gigantic battle between the angels and demons takes place above the asylum. Annabelle has gotten used to taking care of herself for the past four years, so some bossy guy with wings telling her what to do does not go over well. And Zacharel is used to people doing what he tells them and not having to explain himself. He’s also not used to feeling things-things like anger, amusement, affection, lust. Yup, lust is a new one to our virginal hero and he’s not quite sure how to deal with it.

Gena Showalter’s writing in this book was just brilliant. She takes the simplest of sentences and makes them really powerful just through her wording. I was also quite impressed with how she managed to avoid any swearing. It’s obviously not something that bothers me but, in a genre filled with authors perfectly comfortable with dropping f-bombs all over the place, it was refreshing to have the worst word thrown out being “damn”. The characters also made for a welcome change from the typical paranormal romance protagonists. I mean, having the hero be a virgin? I’m pretty sure that was a first for me. And Annabelle was a good mix of tough and vulnerable. She wasn’t so bent on being a badass that she was stupid, and she also refrained from being a big whiny mess. She was well-rounded, and I liked her a lot.

I’m really quite keen on reading more of this series. Showalter really is a talented writer and she’s fast becoming one of my favourites.

McCabe: In Bed With A Highlander

In Bed With A Highlander

In Bed With A Highlander

Ewan McCabe, the eldest, is a warrior determined to vanquish his enemy. Now, with the time ripe for battle, his men are ready and Ewan is poised to take back what is his-until a blue-eyed, raven-haired temptress is thrust upon him. Mairin may be the salvation of Ewan’s clan, but for a man who dreams only of revenge, matters of the heart are strange territory to conquer.

Though the illegitimate daughter of the king, Mairin possesses prized property that makes her a pawn-and wary of love. Her worst fears are realized when she is rescued from peril, only to be forced into marriage by her charismatic and commanding savior, Ewan McCabe. But her attraction to her ruggedly powerful new husband finds her craving his surprisingly tender touch; her body comes alive under his sensual mastery. And as war draws near, Mairin’s strength, spirit and passion challenge Ewan to conquer his demons-and embrace a love that means more than revenge and land.

In Bed With A Highlander is the first book of Maya Banks’ that I’ve read. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. This book had been sitting in my to-be-read pile for quite a while, and I’d sort of forgotten about it. When I got around to it and saw the title and the cover, I was like, “Oh, boy. It’s going to be one of those.” You know the ones I’m talking about: those types of romance novels that make some of us embarrassed to be caught reading the genre. Luckily, this was not the case.

The story is set in the Highland’s of Scotland. Our leading lady is Mairin Stuart, the Scottish king’s illegitimate daughter. Traditionally, illegitimate children get diddly squat from their father. However, Mairin is an exception to this rule: her father has given her one huge ass dowry, and it’s made her a hot commodity for Scotland’s eligible bachelors. I was a little bit… dubious when Mairin first came onto the scene, She seemed a little to damsel-in-distressy for me. The fact that we first find her hiding in an abbey until she could decide on Mr Right just had me a little, “Meh”. Unfortunately for Mairin, though, she doesn’t actually get the chance to make the decision because she’s kidnapped by the dastardly Duncan Cameron’s men. I find that sometimes authors go out of their way to make the villain as obviously evil as they can in all the cliche-ridden ways they can think of. Thankfully, Ms Banks refrained from doing this. Still, Duncan Cameron was evil and I wanted to stab him.

Enter our hero, Ewan McCabe, a man fully capable of making Cameron a bad memory. Ewan is the dashing laird of his keep and he has a major ax to grind with Cameron. So when Cameron’s would-be bride ends up on McCabe property after escaping from being forced into marriage, Ewan can see the merits in marrying the young lady himself. His way of giving Cameron the finger, I suppose. I know this makes it sound like Mairin was this passive lump just going along with whatever the men decided, but this was not the case. Granted, she didn’t have much control over the circumstances that were turning her life upside down but at least she was smart about how she reacted. She could have put up more of a fuss about marrying Ewan, but she knew that, at that stage, he was her best bet. But after the I-do’s are said, Mairin does not hesitate to give her new husband the what-for. An example of Mairin speaking her mind? The consummation of their marriage was quite a wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am affair, one that Mairin has absolutely no desire to repeat. When Ewan broaches the subject of doing it again, Mairin very firmly puts him in his place:

 ” ‘Tis a well-known fact that a man is either skilled in matters of loving or matters of war. ‘Tis obvious that fighting is your skill.”

Ouch! All in all, I really enjoyed this book. It took me by surprise a couple of times and reminded me that the adage “don’t judge a book by its cover” really is true.

Guild Hunters Series: Archangel’s Consort

Archangel's Consort

Archangel’s Consort

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school-the assault one of sheer, vicious madness-and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and and the earth itself shudders. 

The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed.

I don’t think there is any other author who can compare to Nalini Singh. This woman has such an amazing way with words. Sometimes I have to stop reading and just marvel. I’m torn between absolute awe and and utter envy.

Archangel’s Consort is book three in the Guild Hunter series and it takes place shortly after the shit hit the fan with Lijuan in China. Elena and Raphael are back in New York, hoping for a little (relative) peace and quiet. Unfortunately, it looks like all the weirdness has followed them home, and the New York vampires start losing their heads. Something is causing Raphael’s vampires to succumb to bloodlust and the results aren’t pretty. The normally cool-calm-and-collected Raphael is worried. He knows that if he doesn’t reign his vampires in, and quickly, things are going to get messy. Circumstances force him to be more brutal than he’d necessarily like, and this puts a little bit of strain on his relationship with Elena. While Elena knows that Raphael has rule with an iron fist to keep control of his city, the methods he’s forced to use make her slightly uneasy. Making their lives even more complicated, there are increasing signs that a Sleeping ancient is about to wake up. And this isn’t just any ancient: it’s Caliane, Raphael’s mother. She wants her son back and she isn’t willing to let anyone, let alone some newly-made angel, stand in her way. However, Raphael isn’t the only one having to deal with family issues. Elena is forced into a situation where she has to deal with her estranged father and the little sisters who are basically strangers to her.

I really enjoyed this installment of the Guild Hunter series. There was more action in this book than there was in Archangel’s Kiss. This isn’t to say that there was no progression in Raphael and Elena’s relationship; it’s just that there was a little more focus on Elena being the kickass heroine we met in Angel’s Blood. We saw a good balance in Elena’s personality and how she interacted with the other characters. She displayed a certain amount of vulnerability with Raphael, but she was in no way a push over. She isn’t as physically strong as she used to be, but that does in no way keep her from hunting down vampires and holding her own with Raphael’s Seven. I also liked how Singh is developing Raphael’s character. He’s a hard man and he’s capable of doing some really awful things, but with Elena he… softens. He’s capable of being sweet and gentle. And where I once wasn’t too sure about Raphael, I’ve now decided that I love him.

This series, and the author who writes it, is a-ma-zing. I cannot wait to see what Singh’s got planned next for this series.

The Smythe-Smith Quartet: A Night Like This

A Night Like This

A Night Like This

Anne Wynter may not be who she says she is…

But she’s managing quite well as a governess to three highborn young ladies. Her job can be a challenge-in a single week she finds herself hiding in a closet full of tubas, playing an evil queen in a play that might be a tragedy (or might be a comedy-no one is sure), and tending to the wounds of the oh-so-dashing Earl of Winstead. After years of dodging unwanted advances, he’s the first man who has truly tempted her, and it’s getting harder and harder to remind herself that a governess has no business flirting with a nobleman.

Daniel Smythe-Smith might be in mortal danger…

But that’s not going to stop the young earl from falling in love. And when he spies a mysterious woman at his family’s annual musicale, he vows to pursue her, even if it means spending his days with a ten-year-old who thinks she’s a unicorn. But Daniel has an enemy, one who has vowed to see him dead. And when Anne is thrown into peril, he will stop at nothing to ensure their happy ending…

A Night Like This is the second book in Julia Quinn’s Smythe-Smith series, and it was just as sweet and funny as the first. The story overlaps with Just Like Heaven and follows the trials and tribulations of the nutty Pleinsworth family and their long suffering governess, Miss Anne Wynter.

We’d heard quite a bit about the exiled Earl of Winstead in Just Like Heaven, but we didn’t really get the full low down on what Daniel actually did to get himself exiled from London. That is exactly where the story begins. We see the usually sensible and amicable Daniel Smythe Smith drunk off his ass. He’s stupid drunk, and so are most of his companions. It was during an inebriated game of cards that Daniel was accused of cheating, and was subsequently called out. Of course, we know Daniel didn’t cheat. The man could barely walk in a straight line at that point; cheating would require far too much brain power. Unfortunately for Daniel and his accuser, things devolve to the point where they call each other out and, due to piss poor aim, Daniel almost shoots the guy’s leg off. The dude’s dad (sorry, can’t for the life of me remember his name) is furious and tells Daniel that he’s going to need to sleep woith one eye open from now on. Fearing for his life, Daniel flees London and travels the continent, hoping to avoid the crazy dad’s goons.

Three years later, Daniel’s back in London. He’s ready to put the whole sordid mess behind him and carry on with his life. And what better way to remind himself of home and all the things he’s missed than to attend one of his family’s horrendous musicales? It’s there that he spots someone who is most definitely not a member of his family playing the piano. The lady in question is Anne Wynter and she has a Past. Not that anyone else knows that. As far as everyone else is concerned, she is a proper and respectable governess who has been given the unenviable task of seeing to the Pleinsworth girls’ education. She needs her job and does not have the time or, in this case, the willpower to convince the extremely persistent Earl of Winstead that this thing between them just isn’t going to happen.

Before I actually talk about Anne and Daniel together, I have to give mention to the Pleinsworth sisters. These young ladies are Daniel’s cousins, and they are just as bonkers as the rest of the Smythe-Smith clan. I think I enjoyed reading about their antics more than I did reading about the romance between our leads. This isn’t to say that the chemistry between Anne and Daniel was lacking, it was just… those kids were so funny. But on to the actual romance. Anne and Daniel were really sweet together. Anne was just such a gem. She was so patient with those crazy kids, and her willingness to take Sarah’s place in the musical when she was “sick” totally endeared her to me. And Daniel? It was so refreshing to have a hero who didn’t hate himself. These gents are few and far between, and I treasure them every time I find one. Granted, Daniel has his moments of epic stupidity but that made him normal, not this perfect god-like figure who doesn’t make any mistakes. I like that about Ms Quinn’s books: her heroes are human and you can relate to them.

I really enjoyed this book, although not quite as much as I did Just Like Heaven. It was a little more serious than I was expecting. Also, there was not enough of the Smythe-Smith Quartet for me. I missed having them around to make a noise. Still definitely a worthwhile read.

Psy-Changeling: Caressed By Ice

Caressed By Ice

Caressed By Ice

Explore new heights of sensuality in this return to the world of the Psy-where two people who know evil intimately must unlock the good within their icy hearts…

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins-cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted-and had her mind violated-by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Man, I am really getting into this series. It seems that as the series progresses, things just keep getting better. If it carries on at this pace, eventually I’m not going to be able to contain myself. With this and the Guild Hunter series, Nalini Singh has easily become one of my absolute favourite authors.

What really excited me about this book was the fact that it deals primarily with the SnowDancer pack. In the previous two installments of the series, we hung out with the cats from DarkRiver. These two are now allies, so there has been quite a bit of interaction but we haven’t seen much of the inner workings of how the wolves operate. We met Brenna in Slave to Sensation after she was kidnapped by a psycho member of the Psy Council. She managed to recover from her horrific ordeal, but she bears some serious mental scars. She hasn’t been the same, and the constant coddling is beginning to drive her up the wall. She’s also acting a little bit out of character, being snarly and mean to her brothers. Things progress to the point where Brenna is convinced that she’s losing her mind. Her Pack tries to provide her with the support she needs, but the only ones who could possibly help her are Psy. And isn’t it lucky that the SnowDancers have a number of Psy on hand?

Judd and the rest of the Laurens have defected from the PsyNet. The whole Lauren family had been sentenced to “rehabilitation”, including the children. Judd and Walter, the kids’ dad, decided to take the children and get the hell out of dodge. They went deep into SnowDancer territory, expecting the wolves to kill the adults but spare the kids. They were half right. The wolves decided to spare them all and integrated them into the Pack. However, this transition hasn’t been smooth, especially after Brenna’s kidnapping. Judd’s been fending off challenges for weeks, and he doesn’t expect a change in the wolves attitudes any time soon. Judd’s got some insane psychic powers, and he’s also a bit of a loner. He has no interest in “assimilating”. And then Brenna comes along and does something totally unexpected: she makes him feel. This is all kinds of dangerous for any number of reasons. Judd worries about what effect breaking Silence will have on his control over his abilities. If he can’t control his powers, he runs the risk of inadvertently killing people. So he does that thing where he pushes Brenna away. But Brenna is no pushover, and she makes it clear that she isn’t going anywhere. I liked Brenna. She had moments where she was vulnerable, but she knew what she wanted and she went for it.

In addition to the romancing going on between Brenna and Judd, we also see a little bit more of the Psy Council and the new threat they present. There’s an initiative called Protocol I and it’s going to cause all kinds of trouble. Judd and a mysterious fella called Ghost are working together to derail this programme because it threatens the Psy species as a whole. Moving on from all things grim, can I just have a moment real quick? Hawke… I love him. He was the main reason I was so excited about seeing more of the SnowDancers. I know it wasn’t his story, but I just wanted more of him! There’s some something so… I can’t think of a word right now, but he totally does it for me. And is it just me, or does Sienna, Judd’s niece, enjoy bugging Hawke a little too much?

Overall, this book was epic and I honestly believe that it’s only going to get better. I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next…

Highlander: To Tame a Highland Warrior

To Tame a Highland Warrior

To Tame a Highland Warrior

A woman’s tender touch

He was born to a clan of warriors of supernatural strength, but Gavreal McIllioch abandoned his name and his Highland castle, determined to escape the dark fate of his ancestors. Hiding his identity from the relentless rival clan that hunted him, he called himself Grimm to protect the people he cared for, vowing never to acknowledge the love his love for the ravishing Jillian St. Clair. Yet even from afar he watched over her, and when her father sent an urgent summons, “Come for Jillian”, he raced to her side-into a competition to win her hand in marriage.

A warrior’s steely heart

Why had he run from her so many years before? And why return now to see her offered as a prize in her father’s manipulative game? Furious, Jillian vowed never to wed. But Grimm was the man she loved, the one who urged her to marry another. He tried to pretend indifference as she tempted him, but he could not deny the fierce desires that compelled him to abduct her from the altar. She was the only woman who could tame the beast that raged within him-even as deadly enemies plotted to destroy them both…

To Tame a Highland Warrior is book two in the Highlander series and, man, was it good! I really, really, enjoyed this book. I won’t lie, I was a little nervous about it because I didn’t particularly enjoy the first installment of the series. But, thankfully, that was just an anomaly. KMM is still awesome (there wasn’t ever any real doubt) and I haven’t lost my marbles. Everything is okay.

We met Grimm in Beyond the Highland Mist. He’s Hawk’s best friend, and he’s just a little bit of a loner. His past is shrouded in mystery with no one having any real idea what his story is, and he sees no reason to change that. Grimm’s pretty content with his lot in life. Granted, he doesn’t see a HEA in his future, but things are going well. Until he gets a letter from Jillian’s scheming father. Three words, no explanation. Needless to say, Grimm is thrown into a bit of a tailspin. “Come for Jillian”? What does that mean? Is she okay? What’s going on?  Once upon a time, Grimm and Jillian were thick as thieves. Until Jillian started growing up, and Grimm began experiencing what he deemed “inappropriate” feelings for her. Then he started acting like an ass and he eventually bailed. But he never forgot about her which is why, when that letter came through, he didn’t hesitate; he rushed to get to her.

Jillian has  a bit of a reputation of being a paragon in her community. Seriously, as far as those people are concerned, she borders on the divine. The only problem? Jillian is dead set against getting married. Her status as a single lady has been the subject of many a family argument, but Jillian doesn’t care. She’ll get married when she finds a love like that shared by her parents. So Jillian has no idea what her father is planning. Her parents just told her that they were going to visit one of her older siblings and their new grandchild. They’d be back in a few months (this was back in the day, remember) and left on their merry way. Jillian was a little surprised by their departure, especially considering all the arguments that she and her father have been having. Part of Jillian’s father’s frustration stems from the fact that she has gone to great lengths to remain unattached, even going so far as to profess a desire to become a nun. Pretty much a surefire way of scaring off potential husbands, to be sure. So, when her parents decides to take their little trip, Jillian thinks that maybe she’s won the war, after all. You can imagine her surprise when Grimm and two other guys show up, telling her that her father sent them to “look after” the keep while he’s away. Jillian would have been annoyed with having to deal with the other two, but Grimm’s presence infuriates her. She swore the day he left that she would hate his guts forever. Now, here he is, as gorgeous as ever, and he’s still ignoring her!

I adored Grimm, I really did. I don’t normally like the whole “I have to act like a douche to protect you” schlep, but this was done really well. At no point did I want to smack him upside the head. And Jillian was pretty cool, too. I think that it can be quite hard in historicals for woman to really make any impact because the author has to keep the setting in mind. And while Jillian wasn’t over the top kick ass, she wasn’t a push over either. She knew she wanted Grimm, and she wasn’t afraid to go after him. Considering that Grimm was the biggest obstacle to their relationship, I totally commend her for her patience.

I just want to share two moments from this book that had me laughing out loud. Both of these scenes involve Grimm’s uncle, Balder. This guy was a complete and utter rock star, and my favourite peripheral character in To Tame A Highland Warrior…

“Gavrael.”
The voice so like his own whipped his head around. He stared up at the two men, uncertain which one has spoken.
“Grim,” he corrected instantly.
The man on the right erupted into an immediate bluster. “What the bletherin’ kind of name is Grim? Why not be namin’ yourself Depressed, or Melancholy? Nay, I have it-Woebegone.” He cast a disgusted glance at Grimm and snorted.

“Lad?” The way Grimm uttered the single word made his threat clear.
But Balder was unruffled. His mouth twisted with a sneer. “Listen up, son of the McIllioch, you doona frighten me. I’m far too old to be put off by a young pup’s growl. You won’t let me call you by your God-given name, and I refuse to call you that ridiculous appellation you’ve chosen, so it’s either goin’ to be ‘lad’ or it’s goin’ to be ‘arsehole’. Which do you prefer?”

Read that last bit without laughing. I bet that you can’t, because as well as being able to write epic romances and amazing stories, KMM is one funny lady. 

Demonica: Desire Unchained

Desire Unchained

Desire Unchained

Pleasure is their ultimate weapon…

Runa Wagner never meant to fall in love with the sexy stranger who seemed to know her every deepest desire. But she couldn’t resist the unbelievable passion that burned between them, a passion that died when she discovered his betrayal and found herself forever changed. Now, determined to make Shade pay for the transformation that haunts her, Runa searches for him, only to be taken prisoner by his darkest enemy.

A Seminus demon with a love-curse that threatens him with eternal torment, Shade hoped he’d seen the last of Runa and her irresistible charm. But when he wakes up in a dank dungeon chained to an enraged and mysteriously powerful Runa, he realizes her effect on him is more dangerous than ever. As their captor casts a spell that bonds them as lifemates, Shade and Runa must fight for their lives and their hearts-or succumb to a madman’s evil plans.

Desire Unchained is the second installment in the Demonica series by Larissa Ione, and it was pretty awesome. I really liked Shade from reading Pleasure Unbound, so I was dying to read his story. I mean, he’s this hot, snarky sex demon. What’s not to like? Then I started Desire Unchained… and my hand began to itch to slap the son of a bitch. Don’t get me wrong, he totally redeemed himself by the end of the book, but he pissed me off so badly in the beginning. Let me explain why: Shade and Runa have a History. Shade, the rat bastard, cheated on Runa and broke her heart. Poor girl walked in on him with not just one chick, but two. His reaction to being caught red-handed, the unfaithful mofo? An apology? Nuh-uh. Excuses? Nope. He asks her if she wants to join them. I don’t know about you, but at this point I’m thinking of making an urgent appointment for Shade to have his man-parts removed with a rusty knife.

Runa is understandably devastated, and she takes off. She is in a complete state, and her night only goes further down hill when she runs smack bang into a werewolf who attacks her and infects her with lycanthropy. Seriously? As if learning that her boyfriend is a cheating scumbag isn’t bad enough, she now finds her night topped off by the fact that she’s no longer even human. This would be enough to turn most people into a complete wreck. But not Runa. Oh, no. She decides to roll with the punches on this one. Because when she sees Shade again, she’s going to kick his ass. Rock on, my sister.

By the time Desire Unchained takes place, it’s been eleven months since Runa and Shade have seen each other, and their reunion doesn’t take place under the most ideal of circumstances. They find themselves being held captive by the same raging loony who’s been killing demons and selling their organs on the black market. As though Shade doesn’t have enough to deal with, he finds that he is still crazy attracted to Runa. See, Shade had been given a nasty curse that will sentence him to an eternity of pain and suffering should he ever fall in love. His fit of jackass-ery with the threesome was his attempt at distancing himself from Runa and the feelings she was bringing out in him. Sadly for him, it didn’t really work; he still wants Runa and all it did was leave her with the desire to use his head as a hood ornament.

Thankfully, Shade does get better and the urge to throttle him fades to the point where you only want to smack him upside the head… after you’ve hugged him. As it turns out, Shade isn’t a really an insensitive jerk-he just acts like one. He knows that falling in love will ultimately be the end of him, so a HEA and family is off the cards for him. While he acts like he doesn’t give a damn, that is the very fate he wants more than anything else in the world. And, with that, I felt sorry for him.

Runa, though, didn’t fell sorry for Shade for a long time. In fact, she pretty much wanted to beat him into a bloody spot on the floor. I liked Runa. She made quite a transition from the shy timid human she used to be, to the fierce assertive werewolf she became. When she finally forgave Shade (a bit too quickly for my liking; given the nature of his offense he should have kissed ass a lot more than he did), she was willing to be what he needed, but she wouldn’t let him push her around and control her. She was also not willing to put up with his bullshit, and was more than happy to tell him when his behaviour was crossing in to douche territory.

The romance between Shade and Runa wasn’t the only thing happening, though. There were still issues between Kynan and Gem, and the unlikely bromance brewing between Ky and Wraith (the “baby” Seminus brother). Those two idiots cracked me up. And, as much as Wraith and Ky made me laugh, Ky and Gem’s situation made me want to cry. They were so frustrating! Just when you thought that they were going to get their shit together, Ms Ione would swerve and then they were even farther apart than when they started. My only issue with the story at large was the bad guy. I have to admit, I thought he was pretty weak, and it was way too easy to guess who it was. Man, I wanted the bad guy to be bad, but he just wasn’t. There was too much monologuing and there were these long, drawn-out explanations as to why he felt wronged. The guy was like one of those villains from a bad action movie.

Aside from that little niggle, I loved this book. I just want to share some of my favourite bits with you here. Because along with writing some scorching sex scenes (like singe your eyebrows hot), Ms Ione is one very funny lady…

This is a conversation between Shade and Runa that takes place after they find themselves inadvertently mated. Runa wants to know why any female in her right mind would willingly mate a Seminus demon.
“… There are lots of reasons a female might bond with a Seminus demon.”
“What about werewolves?”
“Out-of-this-world orgasms.”
She stared. “That’s it? Great sex? I’m forced to deal with you the rest of my life and all I get out of it is great sex?”
I think this says a lot about where Runa is mentally, that all the orgasms in the world could not possibly compensate for having to put up with Shade.

This little bit occurs during the full moon, right before Runa turns into a werewolf. Shade, idiot that he is, thinks that he’s funny.
“Oh, hey.. let’s not do that yet. Sit. Stay.”
Oh, he was hilarious. She was going to bite him as soon as the transformation was complete.

The last scene that I have to share takes place between Ky and Wraith. After the final showdown with the wussy bad guy, Wraith is in dire need of blood. Since there is no way in hell that Ky will let Wraith bite Gem, he volunteers to play donor. Unfortunately, Wraith gets a little carried away and Ky ends up in Underworld General as a patient. Ky wakes up and asks Wraith what happened while he was out. Wraith’s feeling a little… sheepish about nearly killing his buddy.
“What else?”
Wraith’s head snapped up. “What do you mean, what else?”
I mean, why the long face?”
“I nearly put you in the grave, you stupid human!”
Ah, now there was the Wraith they all knew and loved.

Wanna know something? I think Wraith is my favourite of the Seminus brothers. And guess what? His book, Passion Unleashed, is up next 😉