ARC Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Book Review

 


Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Mercy Thompson #10

Released: 3/7/17 by Ace Books

Pages: 352 Price: $27.00 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe…

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

My Review:

I must confess I did not care much for the last book in this series, nor did I the last release in the spin-off series Alpha and Omega…  So while I knew I wanted to read the next book, after all, many of the books in these two series I have adored, I was a little hesitant when I dove into this one worried that I would not enjoy it as I had earlier books.

That is why I am thrilled to report back that this current release delivered big time for me!  I LOVED this book!  It might be the pain meds talking or the fact that I am trapped at home recovering from major surgery but this book was exactly what I needed right now.  An action-packed roller-coaster ride full of danger, drama, and justice.  There was little missing from this book and I had such fun as I watched my favorite little coyote work her magic on a whole new continent.

This book is set up a little different from previous books but the author gives us plenty of warning and help to figure things out as the story jumps not only back and forth between Mercy and Adam but in the timeline as well.  Personally, I don’t think it would have been that hard to follow without the notations at the beginning of each chapter but it was nice to have the reminder of what sequence the following action fell in.

After all the drama with the Fae it is the Vampire’s turn to create havoc for the supernatural creatures of the world and of course, Mercy and Adam’s pack seems to have a big old bullseye painted on their back.  Perhaps they were cursed at some point in time to receive all the attention from other species looking to control the world.  I loved this peek into the complex vampire social structure with all the polite power plays.  I also enjoyed seeing Mercy mess up all their well-laid plans.

This was a phenomenal addition to this series and it left me wanting more.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

My Rating:5 Stars

ARC The Turn by Kim Harrison

Book Review

 


The Turn (The Hollows #0.1)Book Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: The Hollows #0.1

Released: 2/7/17 by Gallery Books

Pages: 407  Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Can science save us when all else fails?

Trisk and her hated rival, Kalamack, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.

Death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government’s new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague takes the world, giving the paranormal species an uncomfortable choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.

Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved.

Kal surreptitiously works against her as Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found.

My Review:

If you are a fan of the now finished Hollows series then you will not want to pass this one up!  Especially, if like me, you always wondered how all the turn that outed all the paranormal species happen.  This prequel will deliver that answer and more as we are taken back to the 60’s and find out how the world almost lost its humans.

I loved this book, a chance to visit this world once again and maybe see some familiar faces was such a treat.  Took me a bit to actually figure out how each new character would eventually fit into the world as I would come to know it but I caught on soon enough.  The story was a bit slow in the first half but by the second half the action had picked up to a pace that felt true to this series.

The characters were a great mix and while many were missing, not having been born, their absence was barely felt with all the new people to take their place.  Trisk was great, a strong female lead that did this series proud.  Kal, on the other hand, was a complete and utter ass.  In fact, my only disappointment with this entire book was that he got off far top easily for his crimes.  Personally, I think being drug off to hell would be the only fitting reward for his actions but then he would not be there to set up events for the future series.  Still, totally unfair he deserved worse….the spoiled brat.  I also feel bad for Trisk’s future but if I look at it logically she did some pretty questionable actions as well.

This book was not what I was expecting when I learned there would be a prequel to The Hollows series.  I was expecting a short little novella with a fun tale that would make me nostalgic for a series now finished.  What we got was a full-length adventure introducing a whole set of new characters and bringing back a few of our favorites.  This book has depth and substance and delivers so much more than just a tale about where The Hollows’ world all went wrong.  This book also takes a look and raises some interesting questions about human genetic modification of crops and viruses along with government control and coverup.  Just when does the end no longer justify the means?

So again, if you love The Hollows pick this book up and enjoy the ride.  If you have no previous history with this world or its characters I say give it a go too.  Ms. Harrison is an excellent author that delivers an excellent read.

My Rating: 4 Stars

Eleventh Grave in Moonlight by Darynda Jones

Book Review

 


Eleventh Grave in Moonlight (Charley Davidson, #11)Book Genre: Mystery, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Book Series: Charley Davidson #11

Released: 1/24/17 by St Martin’s Press

Pages: 352 Price: $26.99 Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

A typical day in the life of Charley Davidson involves cheating husbands, missing people, errant wives, philandering business owners, and oh yeah…demons, hell hounds, evil gods, and dead people. Lots and lots of dead people. As a part time Private Investigator and full-time Grim Reaper, Charley has to balance the good, the bad, the undead, and those who want her dead. In this eleventh installment, Charley is learning to make peace with the fact that she is a goddess with all kinds of power and that her own daughter has been born to save the world from total destruction. But the forces of hell are determined to see Charley banished forever to the darkest corners of another dimension. With the son of Satan himself as her husband and world-rocking lover, maybe Charley can find a way to have her happily ever after after all.

My Review:

Wow.  Just wow.  I continue to be blown away by this series and see no sign of getting tired of it yet!  I love Charley, Reyes, and the whole gang and plan to follow their antics to the very end.  An ending that I hope is many, many books off yet. Oh sure, there were a couple of books that felt off in the series but man,  I have to say Ms. Jones has most definitely found her groove again.

The latest release in the Charley Davidson series was the perfect blend of humor, action, drama, steam, and touching moments that I can find little fault with the book.  The only thing that truly bothered me was the freaking cliffhanger at the end and the inevitable wait the comes with being current on a beloved series.  I mean common, this ending was even more brutal than most as it set us up to deal with….oh wait.  That might lead to spoilers, so I guess you will just have to read this book to find out why I am frustrated.  Don’t worry it will be worth it!

We had some serious movement in Charley’s how-to-be-a-god lessons in this book and we are finally getting a true idea of just how powerful she and Reyes are.  There was also some resolution on plot threads from former books and of course some new drama to keep things interesting.  We are learning more about the dynamics of the group that surrounds Charley and Reyes and the role they all may play when it comes to Beep.

What can I say this series and author continues to work for me and I love reading the adventures of these characters.  This is becoming quite the rich world and I love it when an author creates someplace for me to get lost in.  I might just have to re-read this series before the next release as I think it would be interesting to go back and see what clues I might have missed.  Looking forward to book 12!  I can hardly wait!

My Rating: 5 Stars

ARC Phantom Kiss by Chloe Neill

Book Review

 


Phantom Kiss (Chicagoland Vampires, #12.5)Book Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fiction

Book Series: Chicagoland Vampires #12.5

Released: 1/17/17 by Berkley

Pages: 83 Price: $1.99 Ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Vampires generally aren’t afraid of things that go bump in the night, but Merit and Ethan are extra jumpy after a recent attack by a dark sorcerer. So when they learn that someone is messing with graves in Chicago’s cemeteries, stealing skulls and snatching souls, they fear that their powerful foe might be back for even more magical vengeance.

But after a specter begins haunting Cadogan House—and targeting vampires—they realize that their being taunted by an altogether different sort of monster. A ghoulish villain straight out of the Windy City’s urban legends is on the prowl—and he won’t stop until he’s killed again…

My Review:

I like many fans of Chloe Neill are both sad and excited about the upcoming release that will close this long run series.  Soon it will be time to say goodbye to Merit and Ethan and let them move on to their H.E.A. They deserve the peace and quiet but I sure will miss reading about their adventures.

I didn’t realize Ms. Neill was working on a novella between the last release and the last release so this was a pleasant surprise and a fun read.  We start out with some wedding drama and I loved that first scene where Merit kicked ass, kinda…  You will see what I mean when you read it and for the awesome price of $1.99 (according to the book info page over at Net Galley) I hope you do go out and pick this one up.

I’m actually surprised that this book is coming out in January as the plot seems more fitting to Halloween.  A good old fashion ghost story seems like a better fit for that time of year.

We have the return of many of the series familiar faces as well as a fairly recent addition in the last book.  Bottom line this was a great read, a quick read and those of you who have stayed current with the series will not want to miss this novella.  It will deliver everything you love about the series.

My Rating: 4 Stars

ARC Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi by John Scalzi

Book Review

 


Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John ScalziBook Genre:Science Fiction, Short Stories, Humor

Book Series: N/A

Released: 12/31/16 by Subterranean Press

Pages: 144  Price:$40.00 (!) Hardcover

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review

 

 

Book Synopsis:

The ex-planet Pluto has a few choice words about being thrown out of the solar system. A listing of alternate histories tells you all the various ways Hitler has died. A lawyer sues an interplanetary union for dangerous working conditions. And four artificial intelligences explain, in increasingly worrying detail, how they plan not to destroy humanity.

Welcome to Miniatures: The Very Short Fiction of John Scalzi.

These four stories, along with fourteen other pieces, have one thing in common: They’re short, sharp, and to the point—science fiction in miniature, with none of the stories longer than 2,300 words. But in that short space exist entire universes, absurd situations, and the sort of futuristic humor that propelled Scalzi to a Hugo with his novel Redshirts. Not to mention yogurt taking over the world (as it would).

Spanning the years from 1991 to 2016, this collection is a quarter century of Scalzi at his briefest and best, and features four never-before-printed stories, exclusive to this collection: “Morning Announcements at the Lucas Interspecies School for Troubled Youth,” “Your Smart Appliances Talk About You Behind Your Back,” “Important Holidays on Gronghu” and “The AI Are Absolutely Positively Without a Doubt Not Here to End Humanity, Honest.”

My Review:

I am fairly new to the genius that is John Scalzi.  Redshirts was my first introduction, followed by Locked In and I have Old Man’s War signed and waiting for me up on my to-read bookcase.  I had an opportunity to met him in Chicago last spring after BEA and am so glad I did.  I love this man’s humor and writing style. When this book of short stories popped up for review on Net Galley I put in a request and promptly crossed my fingers in hope that I would be approved.  About a week later I received an email that it was waiting for me over on the site!  Made. My. Day.

Then life got in the way and having like two months to read this short collection of short stories I put it off for a month before diving in.  Most of the stories have been published someplace before and Mr. Scalzi gives us a little intro to each story sharing its inspiration or when in his writing history they came into being.  One of them even shares how you can find the story being read by Mr. Scalzi and his friend Wil Wheaton at a library on YouTube.  (How delightful! I had to watch it twice.)  This is simply a fun little book filled with witty stories from a great mind and I found myself laughing out loud as they brightened my day.

The only drawback to this book that I can see is the price.  It is listed as $40 for a hardcover version, but perhaps that will change.  I know it would have prevented me from picking up this one no matter how delightful it might be.  If it is too much for your budget to absorb I suggest suggesting it to your local library for purchase.  If you are a huge fan of Mr. Scalzi, though, and collect everything he has written then this is going to be a fabulous addition to your home library.

My Rating: 5 Stars

ARC Lucifer by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Lucifer (Vampires in America, #11)Book Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Vampires in America #11

Released: 11/18/16 by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 298  Price: $7.99

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source:I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

Book Synopsis:

Montreal, Quebec . . . A charming city on the St. Lawrence River, historic, sophisticated, but beneath it all lies an extensive underground where treacherous vampires are plotting to seize the country.

Lucifer Scuderi is a vampire—handsome and charismatic, a powerful hunter of unusual skill—who arrives in Montreal to take on the most important hunt of his life. Someone has kidnapped the mate of Canada’s ruling vampire lord, and it’s up to Lucifer to find him before his death sets off a crisis that could engulf the entire continent.

Eleanor Morel lost everything—including the love of her life—when she became a vampire. But now, twenty years later, she’s a trusted bodyguard to the Canadian lord, Sophia, and the only person Sophia can count on to lead the search for her endangered mate. But what Eleanor doesn’t know is that the special hunter she’ll be working with is none other than her long-lost love. And he’s demanding answers.

Lucifer’s love for Eleanor burns as hot as his anger towards her for leaving him. But they’ll have to find a way to set history aside and work together if they’re going to unravel the twisted betrayal that threatens not only Sophia and her mate, but the whole continent. Because the European vampires are on the move. And if Canada falls, the rest of North America could follow . . .

My Review:

Book number eleven in this series I adore brings us back to Canada to deal with Lord Sophia’s missing mate.  He has been kidnapped by the European vampires who are becoming ever more bold in their attempt to claim this continent for their own.  While I love this author and series I have to say this book wasn’t my favorite in the series.  I would have to say it fits in with other books I didn’t care for in the series, books 3-5.  Still committed to this world just didn’t care for Sophia’s drama I guess…

So what went wrong for me. The book had a different feel to it as we gear up to travel to Europe and take the war to those vamps on their home turf.  I did like Lucifer and Eleanor but struggled to build a connection with them.  I also didn’t care for the flashbacks.  I know they were necessary to build the history between these two, but I’m usually not a fan of them when they are used in any book/series I’m reading.  I just don’t care for the jumping back and forth in time.  A few are okay but this story had quite a few flashbacks in the first 50 pages and it didn’t agree with me.  As we move into the current action they decrease and I was finally able to get into the story.

Most of this book I wanted to follow two threads; how were they going to rescue the mate and how were they going to work it out for these two lost loves to stay together.  I’m not going to spoil anything but it did work out nicely and I appropriated how things played out.  Having just read Aden’s story I did enjoy revisiting this character, even if he didn’t get a lot of page time.

If you are a fan of the series I would NOT miss this book.  Don’t skip it.  If you’ve not tried this world yet start back at book one and enjoy the ride.  I’m glad I read this one, even if it wasn’t my favorite.  Looking forward to the next.  I’m curious to see how the series shifts as we journey to Europe and kick some ass over there.  Its time to take this war to them instead of waiting for the attack at home.  Should be good!

My Rating:3 Stars

Legal Wolf’s Mate by Eve Langlais

Book Review

 


Legal Wolf's MateBook Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Novella

Book Series: None listed

Released: 10/4/16 by St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 104 Price: $2.99 eBook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

Book Synopsis:

Part of the “Growl” anthology (Also available as a single)

In Legal Wolf’s Mate, taking on a pro bono murder case isn’t a problem for a lawyer who enjoys a challenge. Discovering that his new client is his mate? A tad more complicated. Gavin has no intention of settling down, especially not with a woman accused of murder, but once he sets eyes on Megan, his fate is sealed.

My Review:

This book started off quite well, it hooked me fast and I thought I would zip right through this 100 page novella.  Then about half-way through there is a major plot twist that just left me unimpressed.  It is like the two halves of the book were written by two different people.  I was felt lost and wanted to return to the characters I fell for in the beginning.  It was almost as if the characters had personality transplants…  It isn’t that I disliked their personalities in either half, but the total shift in tone just threw me for a loop and I struggled to finish this book.

The chemistry between the love interests was strong in the first half, but in the second half felt a tad strained.  I also did not care for her family who I found a bit annoying. One supporting character I did love was the feline shifter friend.  He was a hoot and I would totally be on board for reading his story someday.

It wasn’t a bad book, just didn’t completely work for me.  The only reason I finished it was that it was so short, if it had been longer I would have probably put it down after the plot twist.  If you like steamy shifter paranormal romance and want something that has a plot twist to it then this is a great one for you to try.  I did enjoy the first half quite a bit so I am going to try one of this author’s titles to see if that one is more my style.

My Rating: 2 Stars

ARC Immortal Nights by Lynsay Sands

Book Review

 


Immortal Nights (Argeneau, #24)Book Genre:
Paranormal, Romance

Book Series: Argeneau #24

Released: 9/20/16 by Avon

Pages: 384  Price: $7.99 Paperback

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

In a sizzling new Argeneau novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, an impulsive rescue pairs a sexy immortal with the woman made to be his for eternity.

Abigail Forsythe’s life hasn’t been easy lately. Still, if there’s one thing guaranteed to take her mind off an empty bank account and abandoned dreams, it’s a naked man locked in a plane’s cargo hold. A very big, incredibly gorgeous naked man. And when instinct prompts her to free him, Abigail must rely on this stranger for survival…a stranger who leaves her thrumming with need every time they touch.

Tomasso Notte knows he’s found his life mate in Abigail. Now he just has to hold on to her. They’re miles from civilization, hunted by his kidnappers. Abigail has no idea of Tomasso’s abilities, or of how intensely pleasurable their unique connection can be. But he’s about to show her, beginning with one wild, hot, immortal night…

My Review:

While I adore this series, there will always be books I LOVE and few I dislike (like one so far) and some I feel ambivalent about.  This is one of the latter.  It isn’t that I didn’t enjoy reading this piece of the Argeneau world it just wasn’t my favorite.  Still devoured it in a day, doesn’t that make you feel like a total bad-ass, but I just couldn’t connect with Tomasso and Abigail. Sorry.  Still glad I read it and will be picking up my own copy to keep once it hits the shelves. To complete my collection!

So what was up with this book?  What didn’t work for me.  I’m thinking it might be a case of I should have read something else between the last vampire book and this vampire book.  The two series I read were vastly different from one another.  One dark and heavy and this one light and fun.  Both are styles of stories I enjoy but I might have enjoyed this one better if I had read a sci-fi in between.  Live and learn, I guess.  The insta-romance really stuck out to me and while I accept it in this premise I wish their coming together had a little more foreplay.  The first half of the book just didn’t gel with me but the second half picked up quite a bit and I loved the ending.  I really think it was just I didn’t care for Tomasso and Abigail because once the other characters joined the story I became more invested.

This one takes place over the same time-frame as the last two books and we are still dealing with this mystery doctor that is kidnapping Immortals.  We learn quite a bit more about his plans and even get to meet him at the end of this book.  I am intrigued about this story line and hope we get to the meat of this plot in the next book.  We also have a new human, Jet, added to the world and who will probably be one of Marguerite’s new match-making victims soon. I missed her in this book and look forward to her return.

Bottom line I’m glad I read this book.  Was it my favorite in the series, no.  Still enjoyable and if you are a fan of the series I would not skip it as you will miss a vital piece of the puzzle with this kidnapping plot.  If you are new to this world, please, give it a try! This series is a lot of fun and quick reads that will definitely keep you entertained.  I would start at the beginning though and with this being book 24 you will have lots of enjoyable reading hours ahead of you as you follow the sometimes outrageous plots and the more suspenseful ones that make up the Argeneau series.

My Rating: 3 Stars

Tor by Jacqueline Rhoades

Book Review

 


TorBook Genre: Romance, Science Fiction

Book Series: Woman of Earth #2

Released: 9/3/16 by Author

Pages: 326  Price: $3.99 ebook

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source: I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

 

 

 

Book Synopsis:

Always feeling overshadowed by her pretty and outgoing sister, quiet and self-effacing Wynne Donazetto dreams of college and building a life of her own were lost when Earth was invaded by two warring alien forces. Earth changed, but Wynne didn’t. Seven years later, Wynne is still living in her sister’s shadow. She’s comfortable there… until her life explodes along with the starliner she’s travelling on and she ends up in the arms of a sexy space-aged smuggler called Tor. Tor’s life revolves around his ship and his crew and both have been taken from him. He’ll do whatever it takes to get them back, even if it means sacrificing himself. Meeting the woman of his dreams is a complication he doesn’t need. Together with Tor and his eclectic alien crew, Wynne sets off on the adventure of a lifetime to retrieve a stolen spaceship and its cargo of kidnapped Women of Earth. Along the way, she’ll discover a strength she never knew she had and a love that will change her life forever.

 

My Review:

Let me just say this is my favorite indie author.  I have thoroughly enjoyed all the books that she has published and Tor was no exception!  This is Ms. Rhoades second science fiction romance and I do believe she is acclimating to this branch of the the genre romance tree nicely.  The second book takes this series into space as we race across the galaxy with Tor a rakish space pirate who captures first Wynne and then her heart.

This book took off with a bang!  We enter the chaos of a ship hull being breached as a group invades the ship Wynne is traveling on and she ends up either rescued or kidnapped by Tor.  It takes both us and Wynne a bit of time to figure out which it is.  This is probably my favorite part of the book.  I loved the cocky quick-witted attitude of Tor and as they rush to evacuate the ship and land on a planetoid.  This was simply pure gold and so much fun to read!  I knew right off I was going to love Tor.

As always Ms. Rhoades gives us a fun cast of characters with all kinds of quirky personalities to accompany the main couple in each book.  In this one Mohawk from book one joins Ish and Posy as my favorite supporting characters.  The romance was sweet and steamy and not too over the top for those looking for more plot than time between the sheets.  The plot did move along nicely, a little slow in the middle as some of the plotting (of the characters, not the author) was worked out and the two love birds go on about how it just isn’t going to work out for them…  Makes one want to smack them both up side the head so they take a look at what they are giving up.  Of course if we didn’t go through all this then there wouldn’t be much of a book.

The ending was as action packed as the beginning and almost heartbreaking.  I was about ready to worry about the H.E.A for Wynne and Tor but rest assured Ms. Rhoades makes everything right in the end.  This was a super fun read and I loved the science fiction feel to it.  We are introduced to more aliens and get a taste for what life is like in the galaxy.  There is some serious world (or universe) building in this book and while being a original work on its own front it did remind me of other works, both on-screen and in print, that I adore.  Most notably this book reminded me quite a bit of my favorite author Ms. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s League series.  It had the same feel as that one with the balance of action and romance.  I can’t wait for the next book and I wonder who will be featured next!

My Rating:5 Stars

Damian by D.B. Reynolds

Book Review

 


Damian (Stone Warriors, #1)Book Genre:
Romance, Paranormal, Suspence, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

Book Series: Stone Warriors #1

Released: June 15, 2016, by ImaJinn Books

Pages: 250  Price: $7.99 e-book

Links:  Goodreads, Author’s Site

Source:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for an honest review.

 

 

Book Synopsis:

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Damian Stephanos honed his skills in battles fought with magic as much as swords. Caught by a deadly spell that left him trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity, he is finally freed, only to discover that his enemy still lives. Determined to find him—and to free his brothers in arms—he first must fulfill his blood debt to the woman who released him from his torment. Unfortunately, being so close to this enticing female is another type of torment altogether . . .

Cassandra “Casey” Lewis is a hunter. Possessing the rare ability to sense magic, she spends most of her time shadowing arcane collectors, and more often than not, stealing the dangerous artifacts she pursues. Her job is risky, especially when she’s stealing from one of the most powerful sorcerers alive. But having a gorgeous warrior by her side is a definite bonus. He’s great in a fight . . . and in other places, too.

Following a trail of dead bodies, the two of them must join forces to track down the sorcerer who cursed Damian, and who now plans to turn an ordinary magical device into a deadly weapon. Risking everything, including their hearts, they’re about to discover that trusting each other might be the hardest thing of all.

My Review:

Alright, be prepared for a love-fest because this book was freaking awesome.  Damian is the first book in a spin-off series from Ms. Reynold’s main series Vampires in America.  In this series, we get to explore the race of sorcerers that inhabit this world.  Nick is the main carry-over character from the other series, as he works to free four of his warrior ‘brothers’ from a stone curse.   The curse being cast by Sotiris, another sorcerer, and the main bad guy of this series.  This book takes place slightly overlapping the last novella Compelled in the Vampires in America series.  You don’t need to have read Compelled to enjoy Damian, but there is some set-up in that story that adds to the enjoyment of this one.  Also, if you haven’t given that series a try yet just what the hell are you waiting for, go read them already!

Alright so what can you expect from Damian? You can expect the same compelling story with a kick-ass heroine and a yummy alpha male thrown in with a whole helluva lot of steam, but there is a different and distinct tone to this series.  One that I found quite refreshing and fun.  There is a new set of problems in this series and Ms. Reynolds kept a clear separation between the two series.  There is none of the Vamp drama leaking over into this plot, oh sure they are mentioned, but this series comes with its own set of baddies and issues that need solving.

From the teasing in Compelled and my history reading this author, I had high expectations when I requested this book.  I am happy to report that I was not disappointed, actually, this story far surpassed what I had hoped for.  It started out with a great action sequence and then jumped right into the mystery of these warrior’s curse.  We also learned quite a bit about Nick’s history in this book, which was great as I find him quite intriguing as well.  The chemistry between Damian and Casey was spot on.  Their connection felt authentic and while it developed quickly (typical for the genre), they came off with more of an old married couple vibe than a new lover’s one.  They teased and interacted at times not that different from my husband and I do and that was a nice change of pace for a paranormal romance.  Oh sure there was some tension and personal baggage for both characters to work through, but the author needs to throw some obstacles in their path to H.E.A. doesn’t she.  Otherwise, it would be a much shorter book.

The chemistry between all the characters was pretty great actually.  We got to meet Nick’s personal assistant who had some good scenes and a fun personality.  The friendship between Damian and Nick was warm and endearing.  The bond these two shares is tangible and it was interesting to learn how they were connected.  We actual learned quite a bit about the curse and history of these characters in this book, which was another nice change of pace from what I typically read.  The only character that I don’t feel like I learned enough about is the bad guy Sotiris, but I’m sure more about him will come out in future books.

One other difference between this book and the other series is the alpha males.  They just seemed a little more light-hearted in this book, but I’m not sure that is the right term.  Damian while just as formidable as the vamps was a tad more fun in my opinion.  He had a sense of humor that shined through and was a bit more sensitive than the characters I am used to from this author.  Perhaps the vamps in this world are just more serious than these stone warriors.  Whatever it may be I found it a lot of fun.

If you enjoy the Vampires in America series by Ms. Reynolds you will definitely not want to pass this one up.   Of course, at the end of this book, we are left with a teaser for a jumping off point for the next stone warrior book.  That one takes us from the mid-west back out to the west coast as another warrior is about to have his curse broken and we get another shot at destroying Sotiris and stopping him from unleashing havoc on the world.  I can’t wait!

My Rating: 5 Stars