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With any Leopard book you know you are going to get a lot of passion, intense males, and strong women. Ever since I met Elijah in Rachel and Rio's book, I knew his book would be intense and passionate. In the beginning, he really messed up with Siena, but he worked so hard to prove to her that the harsh things he did and said was not true and he didn't believe any of the cruel things he said. She was so fragile and she went through a lot in a 24-36 hour period and Elijah spends the rest of the book winning her over, protecting her, and frustrating her to no end. Their arguments were cute, I liked that she wouldn't curse and the way she sometimes spoke was formal. Every time she spoke that way Elijah had such a hard time not laughing. I enjoyed his book. It had the emotional tension that I love in a Feehan book with headstrong arrogant males and the woman that aren't willing to compromise what they expect from the men they love and are strong enough to stand up to their arrogant ways.
The next installment in Caris Roane's spin-off of the Blood Rose series brings us Holly, a college professor that on the outside comes across as uptight and judgmental. She doesn't agree with Rez's desertion from the Vampire Guard. He is a rough-around-the-edges biker type that likes women and hates commitment. He doesn't have time to deal with Miss Lofty College Professor when he is hunting for his kidnapped daughter, the only surviving member of his murdered family. He doesn't care what people think of his actions to leave the Guard and he certainly doesn't seem to like Holly, but when he is injured fighting the Invictus he knows he is moments from death and reaches out to Holly who had healed him months earlier in a bar fight with Mastyr Stone. She comes to his aid because she is drawn to him though she doesn't want to be. That moment of healing him starts the ball rolling on their adventure with looking for his daughter, dealing with their strong attraction to each other even though they don't particularly like each other, and the new development of Holly being a Blood Rose. Sparks fly and they come to know each other better, but Rez tells her straight up that he has no love in his heart to give her and doesn't want a relationship with her. She knows she will have to find a Mastyr to bond with even though she only wants Rez. She refuses to push him for more than he can give and in the end sacrifices herself to save his daughter. Rez of course only needed a push to realize that he loves Holly and he flies to her rescue. I liked them as a couple. They are strong, the conflicts they face to have a relationship are well developed and they come together slowly (sort of). I liked the pace, the passion, Holly's rebellious tendencies that Rez had no idea she had, and Rez was a very strong male lead. The bad guys are formidable but not more than our heroes can handle. I liked this one.
Book two in the spin-off series brings us Morgan Le Fae's story. We met him in book one, he was the bad guy that Isabeau Queen of the Light Fae commanded. But even in book one, we saw that he wasn't all that bad. In this one, we find out the truth and when he risks his freedom to save Sidonia, a musician he found while escaping from the Light Fae Court, we come to realize the depths of his character. When Sid is kidnapped by Robin and her livelihood threatened by Mordred's cruel actions, we see that she will be Morgan's perfect match. They were great together. Their story of getting to know each other, her tenacity to learn all of his secrets, and his draw to her no matter the risks was great to watch develop and grow. Their passion is so explosive and romantic. I loved the plot line, the conflicts they have to overcome and when Sid gives up her chance at happiness to set him free you can't help but get choked up along with her. I loved the story a lot even more than I liked book one.
Book two was so much better than book one, Blood Kiss. I loved the fact that it focused a lot on Rhage and Mary so it was very much a continuation of The Beast. Definitely, read The Beast before this book. Axe and Elise were also great. They were a strong set of characters, their plot line was strong and well developed, and the conflicts kept the story moving along great. Axe was the tough guy type with a heart of gold and he believed that Elise was the "spoiled little rich girl" type but as he got to know her he comes to realize that she is his perfect match to fill the void he has had since he lost his father in the raids. Elise has been drawn to Axe since the moment she met him and even his rough and rude edges won't keep her away from him when he is hired to be her body guard. There isn't anything I didn't like about the story or characters. The passion was great, the emotional turmoil for Rhage and Mary with their daughter Bitty was hard to watch but a great story line, love them as a couple.
This one was good. I enjoyed watching Rhage and Mary's journey to parenthood and Bity was just too cute. There was emotional tension (Rhage was seriously injured in the beginning) and he doesn't understand why there has been this distance between him and Mary until he holds L.W. then it is like he just got blindsided by the fact that he wants to be a father but knows Mary can't have any. Mary feels guilt for the fact that in the back of her mind, she fought to save Rhage not because she couldn't live without him, but rather that she didn't want to leave Bity all alone. I very much enjoyed watching Rhage and Bity together, and Assail is becoming more and more prominent in the battle against the Brotherhoods foes. The action was great, Layla does have her twins, Zcor is in the Brotherhood's custody, and the plot just flowed really well and had strong conflicts. This one was good.
I'm not sure what I expected from book one of the spin-off series, but this one just left me bored. Paradise and Craeg fell kind of flat for me. Their relationship wasn't as passionate as it could have been with how a BDB book typically goes, passion-wise. I wanted more. The strongest part was watching Butch and Marissa deal with some lows in their relationship. I wanted to like this but it just didn't keep my attention like I needed it to. The back story for Craeg and Axe was strong and the action on the first night of training was intense but once the 7 chosen candidates started actually training it came across almost YA-ish like we were dealing with teenagers and the romance was good just not BDB good. I hope Axe's book is better.
Man, talk about a tear jerker, heart-wrenching, beautifully tragic and passionate story. I honestly cried a couple times. It was so good, better and more focused than The King. Assail and Marisol didn't play as much of a plot roll in this one, though Assail was present a few times. Layla and Zcor's plot line was there but it also wasn't as heavily focused on in this one as it seemed to be in The King. This one did Selena and Trez's story justice. A beautiful telling of a love story that at least at the end of this one didn't have a happy ending (though to those who read BDB, you go into this one knowing that a happy ending is going to be hard to pull off). I do hold out hope though that we haven't seen the end of Selena and that at some point they will get their happy ending. This one was definitely worth the tears. I liked that iAm got a happy ending. I liked his story, he has worked his whole life to protect Trez, so for him to have his own love story and how Trez was so supportive, even during his tragedy was beautiful. On to Blood Vow (book 1 in the Legacy spin-off) then I'll read The Beast and see what's going on with Rhage. So good.
The next installment of Bec McMaster's London Steampunk series brings together a Mech who hates Blue Bloods and a Blue Blood who doesn't like drinking blood and is the most innocent and sweet woman Kincaid has ever met. I loved their chemistry and their adventure as they seek out the Sons of Gilead and a mysterious poison that can kill Blue Bloods. Along the way, Kincaid comes to re-evaluate his beliefs and Ava learns to trust a man that in a lot of ways is her complete opposite. Their passion, their love affair, their adventure, and the road they take in getting to know and love each other was both sweet and enticing. He brings out the naughty side of the virgin Ava and she brings out the softer and more compassionate side in Kincaid. Perfect match. The culmination at the end with the conflicts and plot were great; it kept you turning the page to see if they were going to survive to love another day or walk away from each other at the end of the case. The story was great. I love it.
I have fallen way behind in the BDB series and so I decided that this summer I was going to get caught up. The King was an exhausting read; there were so many plot lines and it consistently changed between them all. A lot was going on. It was good just exhausting. I liked Assail and Sola's plot line, Trez and Selena's plot line, and of course Beth and Wrath's journey to parenthood. There were no "bad guys", the Lessening Society did not make much of an appearance in this installment and the conflicts pretty much revolved around relationship struggles and the attempt to overthrow the King. This wasn't my favorite in the series and I kind of wish Ward would have focused more on Beth and Wrath and left the other side plots to their own books or novellas. It was good, don't get me wrong, just so much going on and not all of it connected to what was going on with Beth and Wrath or their war with the Lessoning Society.
This book was so full of adventure, humor, heartache, passion, and action. I loved finally getting to see Julien's story, and just like with Styxx, we didn't know the hell he was put through growing up and the hardships he had to overcome. This book was long, 836 pages to be exact, so unlike the others that seemed to go too quickly, this one took its time and told his story right. Ushara was a great partner for the scarred and distrusting Dagger aka Julien. Ushara and Julien's story was so passionate and the conflict and plot were so strong. I loved Julien as a character, he was so dynamic, complex, flawed, and lovable. He was such a humorous character with such dry witty sarcasm that I loved all of his dialogue; Kenyon did an excellent job giving him such a vivid personality on the page. The book is so full of great plot and conflict details. I definitely think the character development was the best part. They jumped off the pages and I'm glad that in the end, his birth family finally got to know some of the hell he had been put through and that the road to forgiveness and redemption was accomplished. I loved the whole thing.
The action keeps getting heavier and more intense as the war against the League continues on. Fain and Galene are two who have loved each other since they were kids and were promised to each other their whole lives, but the ruling family Anatole were up to their meddling in their lives and forced Fain to leave her right as they were preparing for their graduation. What Fain was unaware of at the time was that she was pregnant with Talyn when things fell apart. What surprised me with their story is his true feelings about Omira, Sumi's dead older sister. Up until this story, we are led to believe he truly loved his human wife, but that isn't the case and all that we thought we knew about Fain isn't even close to the truth. A lot of secrets are revealed as they fight together to find a traitor in their midst. Their love story was strong and I loved the hazing that Talyn kind of put him through. Especially when Fain finally puts the pieces together and Talyn in his dry dead-pan humorous tone tells his mom he has finally figured out that he isn't her boy toy but her son. Watching their relationship develop and their happy ending was so enjoyable and when Talyn and Felicia finally get to get married was so perfect. I loved that sequence of scenes so much. Over all things are going so well with this series and I love every intense moment of each book. I have two more to read before I am finally caught up. This is definitely one of my absolute favorite series of all times. On to Born of Legend.
Talyn and Felicia's story is different than the others in the series. For one, it's events coincide and run parallel with book 1, Born of Night, so it takes place at the very beginning. Also what throws it off is the fact that Talyn is Fain Hauk's full grown son and Fain doesn't know of him. Because of this Talyn has grown up as a "lack-Vest", which means one of his parents is unknown or in the case of Fain, an Outcast (a disinherited male). Because of this distinction, he is also looked upon as sub-par or a "mongrel dog" and treated with no respect at all. He is put through so much abuse and set backs yet he keeps fighting for the life he wants. Felicia is a female who was acknowledged by her father but her mother and father were not married, ever, so she also has a tough road a head of her just not as bad as Talyn. When they meet, Talyn contracts her to be his paid companion, he is tired of being alone and there is something sweet and innocent about Felicia that draws him in. They can't help but fall in love and fight for each other during this supercharged intense adventure where a government coup is started to overthrow the corrupt Andarian government and put Nykerian as heir and his mother as queen. The villains were bad, the conflicts were intense, Talyn did seem to take a lot of beatings that were intense and the fact that they can never legally be together (married) because his father won't claim him (yet) is tragic. It was a very enjoyable story and this couple, I think, deserve their happy ending so much more so than the other couples in the series. These two went through so much, some unbelievable (his countless beatings and tortures), and they remained hopeful for a future for each other. It was a good story.
It has been many many years since I have dived into the sci-fi fantasy world that is The League. I worried that I wouldn't be able to remember all the characters and plots but they jumped off the pages as if they were alive and well and have just been waiting (not so patiently) for me to return to their world. Dancer Hauk is a founding member of the Sentella, a group of assassins bent on destroying The League, a corrupt government /military group that terrorizes the universe. He would love nothing more than to find himself knee-deep in certain death rather than take his nephew on his Endurance test. His nephew hates him and the last time he went on an Endurance test was his own when his older brother died; now he is expected to take his dead brother's cantankerous son and not kill him. Sumi is sent to find dirt on him and the Sentella and if she succeeds, her boss will free her daughter from League custody. But she can't do it once she meets Hauk. He is too honorable a male. When her secrets come out she knows he will kill her but she can't kill him and in fact, defends him and his nephew and niece from mercenaries who were sent to kill Hauk. Their passions flair once the truth comes out and Hauk is tired of being pledged to his dead brother's wife (a cultural requirement that he has yet to fulfill), and when he finds out that Sumi desires him for who he is and doesn't care about his scars, he can't stay away. Once back home on Andaria, they have the fight of their lives; they have to save her daughter, save Hauk from the mercenaries, and save Sumi from Hauk's dead brother's widow who doesn't want him but doesn't want him happy either. It was a great story and I loved their adventure and love story a lot. I loved seeing all of the old gang with all of their kids. I'm diving right into Born of Defiance next and am excited.
I loved, loved, loved book 2 in Feehan's new series. I have been anxiously waiting for its release ever since book 1, Shadow Rider, came out and I fell in love with the Ferraro family. Mariko was Rocco's perfect match. A great blend of passionate, strong, and vulnerable. Ricco has held secrets from his family ever since he was 14 years old, all in order to protect them. Now as an adult, he has grown jaded and lost. His playboy persona and celebrity status no longer satisfies him and when he is in a car accident he and his family wonder if he had become suicidal. He doesn't even know the real answer to that question, but he wants out of the way his life has been going and so he sets out to find a rope model for his Shibari art. He hopes that his art will be able to save him and that maybe he will find a woman who can accept him with all of his baggage, even if she isn't his "shadow soul mate". What he doesn't expect is for the last applicant to be a Shadow Rider that he is pretty sure has been sent to kill him. He is intrigued and hires her anyway. Mariko has a rough and tragic past, one she doesn't realize until later is connected very closely to Rocco's secrets from when he was 14. She soon discovers that she cannot kill him even if it is to save her brother. He draws her into his world and they slowly seduce each other using his art as the catalyst. They grow closer and they definitely know how to steam up the page. The conflict was strong and the villains weren't easily seen. Feehan wove together a complex conflict with ties to both of their pasts and when the entire Ferraro family is attacked they all ban together to seek justice and to find her brother. I loved it and I absolutely hate that I now have to wait an unknown amount of time before book 3 comes out. I am hoping it is Emmanuelle's story!!! Love this series so much and I highly recommend it.
I love Grace Burrowes take on the Regency romance and I love revisiting the Windham family the most. With that said, I honestly had trouble getting into this one. The characters were good; overall, out of the two main characters, I think I liked Colin the most. The plot was just there, nothing dramatic happened, they came together very easily; no misunderstandings took place, they came out quickly to say "I love you", the villain was a tiny bit weak, though the prank on Colin was well devised and added a flair to the story. I also liked how the villain was so conceited; Grace Burrowes did a good job with his dialogue, he came across as both annoying and selfish, which was good. I liked the orphans a lot; they had well-developed character traits and were fun anytime they were on the page. I don't know what it was about this one, but I couldn't get into it. I've read 33 books by Grace Burrowes and I think this is the first one I can say didn't grab me and keep me interested. The romance was sweet and everything seemed to fall into place perfectly for the couple. When you all read it, when it comes out in July, I would love to hear back from you as to what you think, if you have read Grace Burrowes before. It did end well. There was a twist at the end when it came to the villain though I do think he/she/they got off easy. This wasn't my favorite of Burrowes but it was good.
The second book in Paula Quinn's Rulers of The Sky series was an enjoyable story. We met Garion in book one when he was a small boy, the boy Marcus had to protect from Patrick White. Helena is the daughter of Patrick White and she watched as Garion in Drakkon form killed a lot of her half brothers and sisters in vengeance against killing Thomas White. When this story takes place, Garion and Helena are both grown and Helena wants vengeance against the Gold who killed her extended family. Garion has grown into a recluse who simply wants to live in peace, but when his sister is threatened by the Bane, he hops on a plane and heads to her rescue. Once there he meets Helena and they are both surprised by the other. Helena didn't expect the Gold to be socially awkward, shy, and guilt-stricken by his actions 14 years ago. Garion doesn't expect to be drawn to the enemy. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other and as they grow closer villains start to arrive. When he breaks his promise to her and shifts shape into his Drakkon form and turns her to save her life, she has to come to terms with his reasons and decide if he had lied to her the entire time they knew each other, or if he simply couldn't fathom a world without her in it. The story builds steadily in the beginning and I enjoyed watching them grow close, but once he is Drakken and taking her to Norway, things seem to become a bit rushed. She "hates" him for turning her into what she has hated her whole life and he is questioning his vow to suppress permanently his other half. I would have liked for the story to continue a bit slower than it did once they were in Norway. They needed to learn to trust each other and she needed to come to terms with being Drakken. It doesn't take long till they are throwing snow at each other and kissing passionately, and I would have liked for that portion of the story to go a bit slower. The ending was good; the final battle was well written. The final page of the story was rushed; I would have liked to have had more at the very end. Overall, I really liked book 1 more, but book 2 was enjoyable and I liked returning to Quinn's take on dragon shape-shifters. I look forward to book 3 and am curious who the villain will be in the next installment and who will be the Drakkon it focuses on, maybe Jacob?