Ecstasy Unveiled

Lore has been chained to an assassin master and forced to carry out whatever kills were asked of him, including assassinating his new found brothers (fortunately he failed that one!) He is given one last kill to carry out which will finally free both him and his sister from the contract. He will stop at nothing to complete this kill because if he fails, his sister’s life will be the price.

Idess is an angel in waiting, sworn to protect the very same human Lore needs to kill. To fail means losing the opportunity to ascend to heaven, something Idess has waited for, for over 2000 years. Failure is not an option for either of them.

Lore and Idess meet as he is trying to kill her human and both are determined to do whatever it takes to achieve their mission. Things become more complicated for Idess when she is given someone else to protect as well and has to spend her time ensuring neither of her charges gets killed!

It soon becomes clear there is more to this than a simple contract, someone is messing with the lives of Idess and Lore, someone who seems determined to prevent her ascension as an angel. To further complicate things an old enemy of the brothers appears again, bent on destroying the brothers once and for all and causing rifts never before seen between them. No one is sure who is being manipulated and what the ultimate aim is, but Lore and Idess are right at the centre.

Another fantastic book in this series and I think this is actually the best one yet. I was not sure if I would enjoy it as much because having only met Lore briefly in the previous book, I had not had time to become attached to him as a central character. How wrong could I be! I absolutely loved this one and by half way through I felt as if I had known Lore from the beginning of the series.

This book seemed much more action packed than the previous ones and had so much going on with the characters which was great. There was of course the main story focusing on the two central characters with lots of sex and great interactions but the underlying stories were just as important. The final few chapters were heart stopping as the showdown approached and it was very well written. The next book has been set up nicely by the events in this one and I am looking forward to seeing more from Sin.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Eternal Rider

2011 was an awesome year for finding new authors I’d never read before. Larissa Ione is the latest in a great list and is now firmly one of my favourites.

I loved the premise of the Lords of Deliverance series; Four siblings, born of a demon and an angel, almost brought the ancient world to ruin and as punishment, were cursed to be the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  Technically it’s three horsemen and one horsewoman which was actually another facet I loved.  The end of days will come but how soon depends on if the seals they were cursed with are broken.  They fight on the side of good as long as their seals remain intact but should the unthinkable occur, they turn evil and will side with the bad guys, unleashing the full terrible force of their natures.

As this was the first book by Larissa Ione I’d read, I didn’t realise this series is actually a companion set from her main one called The Demonica.  This also explains why I felt some names or characters were important and should have some deeper meaning for me.  It didn’t spoil my enjoyment of Eternal Rider though and just made me want to catch up on the other series.

I loved the way Ione smacks you right in the face with one of the Horsemen’s seals breaking, just as you started liking him.  It was just enough that you hope the remaining three and their uneasy allies can find a way to restore him before he destroys everything.

This book is Ares/War’s story and I absolutely loved it.  Ares is a complex character with layers to his personality and can be quite a scary individual.  Even as Ares, he is drawn to battle and tries to keep to himself as his mere presence can cause fights to break out.  A lonely immortal existence but one he accepts for his part in the ancient war that nearly brought the world to its knees.

Cara is a human that I could identify with instantly, having a love of animals that borders on the paranormal.  On the verge of bankruptcy and mourning the death of her father, she still can’t turn away an injured dog that was run over.  She has the ability to heal animals and was her calling in her father’s vet practice, but lost all confidence in herself.  Discovering the dog had been shot catapults her into a confusing world where nothing is as she thought it was, least of all that the dog was actually a Hellhound and now bonded to her.

Both characters brought something different to the book and made it whole, even with the large supporting cast.  I loved their interplay and interactions, often making me laugh as Cara is feisty and definitely a modern woman.  It was a pleasure seeing them grow in personality, both individually and as a couple.  They complement each other perfectly and also made for some very hot scenes.  You may need a fan if you are a blusher!

The pace of the story was fast, often with no let up and the action scenes were exciting and well written.  I was so engaged, I couldn’t put the book down and by the end I felt breathless.  The teaser for book two at the end had me reaching for it and am very thankful I had it waiting!

A really interesting and exciting take on the Four Horsemen mythos and a series I can’t wait to read the rest of!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Angel’s Blood

Nalini Singh is a new author to me, I picked this up on the fierce recommendation of two fellow bloggers (Looking at YOU Book Chick City and Literary Escapism)!

The Archangels and their brethren have lived for so long, that they have become inhuman, shedding their humanity millennia ago.  The story revolves around The Cadre of Ten, Archangels that rule territories, and they are very different from each other, some so far removed from the world that they have become something else entirely. Elena Devereaux hunts rogue vampires; servants created by the angels who then try and cheat on their hundred years of service. The Guild Elena works for hunts them down and returns them to their owners.

I found the story a bit hard to get into at first. I liked the female protagonist Elena Devereaux well enough, and could easily empathise with her. Nalini made it easy to admire Elena, despite the horror in her past she didn’t give in to her father’s ultimatum to be a good girl and toe the line.  I liked that Elena’s talents are natural and it costs her a great deal personally to use them in her Guild Hunter role, that personal sacrifice really added something to her character.  I love that she was written as a snarky, sarcastic but likeable character with flaws that made her seem much more human.

The main problem I had at the start, was with Raphael, the Archangel of North America. He was detached, demanding, even a little cruel and he just didn’t gel with me.

Then I realised that was the point to his character, and was hooked. I credit Nalini Singh’s ability to create a character that isn’t instantly likeable but starts to sneak in to your heart anyway. But, it is risky, because had I not persevered, it could have put me off entirely.  His interactions with Elena were often funny and very well written, her snark against his implacable logic and the heat that builds between them was seriously sexy.

The writing is crisp, clean and very easy to read and one facet that I really liked was that Singh didn’t try to explain why there were angels in the world.  They have always been there, some very much in the public eye, so in her version of our world, it is a natural, if still wondrous thing.

I liked the plot a lot; seemingly simple but with several layers.  One of the ruling Archangels with the Cadre of Ten has gone rogue, and they need Elena’s unique talents as a Guild Hunter to be able to track him.  Of course it’s never that simple and Nalini Singh takes us through some pretty gritty and macabre scenes along with fierce action, and some truly heartrending moments.

By the end I was firmly in love with Singh’s world and her characters, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.  I wholeheartedly pass on the recommendation that this is an author to love!

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Avenger’s Angel

I have to be honest and say that when I was offered Avenger’s Angel to review, it was the cover art that really piqued my interest.  It’s just beautiful.  The story sounded interesting, but I didn’t expect too much so I prepared myself for another ‘immortal male needs/meets lifemate’ story.

Avenger’s Angel is kind of like that but is also so much more.  It has so much charm that I was immediately drawn right in, totally engaged and wanting to find out what happens; I only put it down when I absolutely had to.

The characters that Heather Killough-Walden has created are my very favourite kind.  The male character is powerful and dominant but knows when to give ground.  The main female character is capable enough to take care of herself, but puts her care for others before herself.  Both have a quality I can’t explain but I find extremely attractive and I can only put it down to great writing.

I love the back story created to support the series;  four favoured Archangels sent to Earth for the chance to find the soul mates that ‘the Old man’ created for them.

I love all four of the Archangels, their characterisations are solid and well written, making them likeable and believable.  Each are flawed in their own way but it makes them unique in their own right. After searching for thousands of years for their Archesses, they have reluctantly settled into lives in the modern world, still hoping, still searching.

The main characters in the book are Archangel Uriel (former Angel of Vengeance), and his created Archess Ellie.  Uriel, now known as film star Christopher Daniels, is a funny, wry character who I often wanted to smack as much as hug.  Ellie is just so sweet I wanted to take her home and look after her, even though she is more than capable of doing it herself.  When Ellie and Uriel are in each others presence the sparks really fly and the tension builds up to a fever pitch.

The story itself flows well and is intriguing and the pace nicely judged.  There are other characters that come into it that I can’t really say too much about because of spoilers but suffice to say there are some surprises in store and things are not always as they seem. I have to mention the love scenes as well, because you might just need a fan!  They’re very well written and totally hot.

A great read and I look forward to the next book in this charming series!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Heather Killough-Walden
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)