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Archive for April, 2010

Into the Dark by Gena Showalter

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Synopsis

Three otherworldly tales from the master of paranormal romance…and a brand-new Lords of the Underworld bonus guide!

 The Darkest Fire—a Lords of the Underworld prequel

Geryon is the guardian of hell, more monster than man. Kadence is the goddess of Oppression, more angel than woman. Together they will enter the flames to battle a dangerous horde of demon lords—and discover a passion unlike any other.

The Amazon’s Curse—a tale of Atlantis

Zane, a fierce vampire warrior, has been enslaved by the Amazons. Nola, a lovely Amazon soldier, has been cursed with invisibility. Now, these two stubborn enemies must overcome the pasts that haunt them and embrace a love that can set them free….

The Darkest Prison—a Lords of the Underworld tale

Once, Atlas, the Titan god of Strength, was the Greek goddess Nike’s slave. Now, he is her master. And soon these sworn rivals destined to destroy each other will be forced to risk everything for a chance at love

 The first story, The Darkest Fire is a prequel to the Lords of the Underworld series and gives us a glimpse into the beginning of the end.

Geryon is the “gate Keeper” responsible for keeping the demons inside Hell and Kadence is the goddess of Oppression who is tied to the wall that surrounds Hell.  For hundreds of years she has been coming to inspect the wall.  The demons have been growing restless and are determined to break through the wall. 

Geryon is surprised to find out that she bought his freedom from Lucifer; you see, he has fallen in love with her but doesn’t think she can love him in return.  He sees himself as a monster.  Together they discover love in its truest form where beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.  They are unable to stop the demons in Hell and the wall collapses thus killing Kadence.

 The story gives the readers a good look into the beginning of the series and shares the secret of Pandora’s Box and the demons that were released when it was opened. 

The Amazon’s Curse is the second story and is part of the Atlantis series.  This short story is best read after the Vampire’s Bride, although it can stand alone without any problems.

Both Zane and Nola have pasts they are ashamed of but together they realize that the past is what makes them the people they are today.  They have been cursed by the Gods, Zane is a slave to the Amazon’s and Nola is bound to the same camp but she is invisible and no one can see her.

As the Amazon’s start fighting over Zane, she is forced to admit that he is hers.  She doesn’t want any of the others touching him, much less mating with him.  This revelation allows Zane to see her, even though he thinks he is hallucinating.   She gives him strength to escape and he gives her the courage she needs to endure.  With every truth revealed, they get closer and closer to their destiny.

The Darkest Prison is the final short story and it takes us back to the underworld.  The Titan’s have overthrown the Greeks and Nike is the prisoner of Atlas.  She is still in love with him but vows not to show it.

Atlas is drawn to Nike and doesn’t know why.  He has this need to mark her like she marked him.  He now considers her his and will do anything to have her.

These two are your typical star crossed lovers, Gods from opposing sides.  Atlas knows that they can’t be together so he sets Nike free and takes her place.  She realizes that he loves her and will stop at nothing to save him.

I liked the interaction between these two and felt they complemented each other well.  The story may be part of the underworld series but it takes place in the heavens.  I really enjoyed this story too.

Into the Dark is a never before published collection of short stories that were originally released as eBooks.  A must have for any fan of the series.  I enjoyed the short stories and bonus material at the end; however I would recommend that the stories be read in order.  I give it 3 ½ Flaming Hearts.       

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Lion’s Heat by Lora Leigh

The mating urge cannot be ignored…

Bad boy Jonas Wyatt knows it is fate that Rachel becomes his mate. He can sense it. He can also sense her reluctance. But she has little power over the mating heat of the Breeds. It is Jonas’s destiny to claim her. And nothing will stop him from having his way.

Finally, the most anticipated Breed book is here and did not disappoint.  I loved this book from start to finish. 

Jonas, Director of Bureau of Breed Affairs meets his match when Merinus hires her friend to be his personal assistant.  Jonas goes through personal assistants like water and he realizes not only is he stuck with her but she is indeed his mate.

Jonas is a hard man that has done things he is not proud of to protect the breeds.  He has played a key role in many of the enforcers finding their mates.  He doesn’t want Rachel to see that he is more animal than man.

Rachel is very reluctant when she finds out that she is Jonas’ mate.  Merinus has told her all about the mating heat and she is scared of it but she is more scared of losing her heart to him.  Rachel is pregnant when she starts working for Jonas then a few months later she makes the mistake of telling her ex about the baby.

It is so nice to see the softer side of Jonas when he is connecting with Amber, both in the womb and once she is born.  He considers her his and has sworn to protect both her and Rachel at all costs.  After she is kidnapped, he realizes that the only way he can protect them is to take them to Sanctuary.

He wants to give Rachel the time to love him and the chance to choose whether she wants to be his mate or not.  At Sanctuary he tries to be patient with her but Rachel has a habit of pushing his buttons and he has a hard time keeping his control.    She is drawn to him like no other and wants to blame the mating heat for the attraction.  Ever since she saw his picture on TV years ago, he has fascinated her.  She enjoys the verbal sparring and seeing how far she can push him.

Rachel is not only a good mate for Jonas, she is the perfect personal assistant for him.  She may have been reluctant at first but the whole time she was fighting for what was hers by standing up to Ely and the Leo.  She is efficient, capable of dealing with Jonas and honest.  She brings out his softer side and shows him that he is worthy of love just like everyone else.

The mating heat takes an interesting turn in this book, while new discoveries are made.  I loved learning more about the history of Jonas, Dane and the Leo.  You get to follow up on several previous characters including Harmony, Sherra, Ely, David and many others.  The book answers a lot of questions and leaves you with more.

I highly recommend this book to any Lora Leigh fan.  It was one of my favorite breed stories yet along with Dawn’s Awakening and Mercury’s War.  The emotional connection had me from the beginning.  I give this book 4 ½ Flaming Hearts.  

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Her Vampire Husband – Michele Hauf

 She may resist his bite, but she can’t resist his charms…

Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won’t allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires.

When Blu uncovers her pack’s secret plot to destroy the vampire nation—and Creed—she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she’s ever known or accept his vampire bite?

Arranged marriages are so last year, at least that’s what Blu Masterson thought until her father arranged for her to marry Creed Saint-Pierre.  She is expected to marry a long tooth, a mortal enemy of the werewolves in a quest for peace.  This marriage is supposed to bring both factions together and stop the wars between them.

I love Blu, she is smart, very sarcastic and not afraid to go after what she wants.  She is a rare, female werewolf who hides behind brightly colored wigs and outlandish clothes.  She has endured years of abuse from members of her pack and had to developed defense mechanisms to survive.  She is the total opposite from her “long tooth” husband.

Creed is over 900 years old and loves the finer things in life.  He drives expensive cars, wears designer clothes and is the local Tribe leader.  When Blu moves in, she teases him that he is boring.  As the book progresses you see him start to loosen up and enjoy life again.  He enjoys her quirky behavior and will do anything to see her smile.

I like Creed and Blu as a couple.  They complement each other, even though they are complete opposites.  I love how they both changed their view of the “enemy” as the book progressed.  Creed calmed Blu down and she loosened him up.  They worked together when they realized that their marriage was no longer a farce.

This story is part of the Wicked Games series but can be read as a standalone.  I read it before I read other books in this series and enjoyed it so much that I had to read the rest of the stories.  It was nice to see how some of the other characters ended up together.

I loved this book.  The romance between the leads is strong and the underlying political issues don’t distract from it.  Ms. Hauf weaves it into the story in a way that draws you in and makes you want to know more.  The ending was a nice surprise.  The book is fast paced and I didn’t want to put it down.  I read it in one day.

I highly recommend this book and invite everyone to stop by next Friday, April 9th and visit with Michele Hauf.  I give this book 4 ½ Flaming Hearts.     

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