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.
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.
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