Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward Giveaway!

I’ve fallen a little behind in reviews due to Tony being away last week, and me being a girly wuss who doesn’t like it when Tony is away and retreats into her little comfort hole.  I’ve still been reading so there will be 3 reviews appearing soon!

Now for the good news!

With huge thanks to Piatkus, I have 4 (yes 4!) copies of Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward to give away!  What do you have to do to be in with a chance of receiving one?

Post a comment on this blog post!  Can be anything – maybe your favourite character from the Black Dagger Brotherhood or your favourite moment, and if you haven’t read any of the books yet, well let me know what you like about Paranormal Romance.

The names of all commenters will go into a hat and the first 4 drawn will win a copy.  Unfortunately, due to postage costs, this offer is only open to people in the UK or Europe.

Don’t forget to leave a valid email address when you post, it won’t be published and will only be used in the event you are one of the winners.  Do not put your postal address in the comment, I’ll get in touch with you if you win and ask you to send it then.

Closing date will be 21st December at midnight UK time.  There’ll be a post sometime on the 22nd of December listing the winners.

Good Luck!

Lover Eternal

 Rhage is one of the most ferocious vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Not only do his warrior instincts threaten to break out on a regular basis, but he also carries a beast within him, a curse placed on him by the Scribe-Virgin.  Until now, he has managed to keep it under control by fighting against the Lesser Society or by using countless lovers.  Then he meets Mary Luce and both beast and vampire find it hard to control themselves around her.  Mary though is living under a death sentence from her own body and the last thing she wants is to finally fall in love, just to have to leave.

Having read and enjoyed Dark Lover, the first book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I didn’t think it could get any better.  I was wrong.  Lover Eternal is a rush from start to finish with tense, emotional scenes, explosive action and a sensuality that is very exciting.  A simple plot and superb characterisations make the book outstanding and I couldn’t put it down. I didn’t expect to like the character of Rhage so much considering his appearances in the first book but with him as a main character here, he was awesome and I fell in love totally.  Mary was such a complete opposite to him but had a lot of charm of her own.  You see a lot of growth in her throughout the story and you can’t help but love her too.  I have to touch on the ending or I wouldn’t do the book or this review any justice.  It was so well written and compelling it made me cry and not a lot of books do that to me.  An absolute must-read.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.R. Ward
  • Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (2)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Why you should read – Sherrilyn Kenyon

As the genre of Paranormal Romance has evolved, one of its pioneers has been Sherrilyn Kenyon.  She broke new ground with her Dark-Hunter series.  It appealed to the many readers who were growing bored with the bodice rippers and outdated euphemisms for male genitalia that had saturated the romance market.  That’s not so say it was bad fiction, just it had reached the point where something needed to change.  I applaud the agents and publishers who took a chance on a new slant of an already established and huge genre.

So why should you read Sherrilyn Kenyon?

I am continually astounded by her ability to tell not only a great story, but by the worlds and supporting characters she creates with the different series.  With each book, someone who might have been a minor character in a previous story becomes the focus.  You learn their history and ride along with them as their present unfolds and you genuinely feel part of it.  The characters are always compelling, interesting and flawed and it’s those three things that keep you reading and eager to pick up another of her novels.

The Dark-Hunter world is like a web with a different strand for each person but with one character in the middle who holds it all together.  He appears in most of the Dark-Hunter books and finally had his own story told in Acheron which was outstanding.

While Sherrilyn is (thankfully!) a prolific writer, I’ve never felt she churns out the same material for the sake of it.  I feel the love she has for her characters in every book and they are all emotional, very engaging and unique.  How she keeps all the characters straight when they cross paths continually I’ll never know but it amazes me.

Her male characters are hot, charismatic, dangerous, sensual but flawed and yes you’d expect that considering it is romance after all, but she also creates strong, determined and often ferocious women who you both love and can empathise with a great deal.  The mix is explosive and very exciting and it’s the superb characterisations of both that bring them to life in your mind and utterly hook you.

So if you want books that you will absolutely fall in love with, you should read Sherrilyn Kenyon and my favourite series of all, the Dark-Hunters.

Dark Lover

 In Caldwell, New York, a secret and hidden war rages on.  The vampires who only want to live their long lives in peace fight the Lessening Society who would see every last one of them dead.  Standing in between them is the Black Dagger Brotherhood, six brothers in arms, warriors to the core who fight to protect what vampire society remains.  When one of their own is killed, he leaves behind a half breed daughter who was raised human and unaware of the other half of her soul.   It falls to Wrath, the blind leader of the Brotherhood to protect her and watch for signs she might go through the transition that is part of her vampiric heritage.  With vengeance on his mind, for the one who killed Darius, Wrath finds his world turned upside down when he meets Beth.

This is the second book I’ve read by J.R. Ward, and is the start of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  Having enjoyed Covet a great deal I was curious as to what her take on the vampire mythos would be and what would make it stand out from any other vampire romance book.  I have to say it’s interesting and I love that she’s stripped most of the myths away leaving a couple of core ones but with a twist.

The book itself was fantastic, emotional, very engaging right from the start, with a fast paced plot and explosive action, I couldn’t put it down.  I love authors that have their own style when it comes to writing, something unique that is wholly theirs and makes them stand out from the rest and J.R. Ward definitely has that.  Her characters are superb and larger than life and I felt I got to know them as the book progressed, catching subtle glimpses of who they are behind their warrior façades.  I just fell in love with the main characters of Wrath and Beth, feeling a lot of empathy for them and loving their interactions.

I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did and I highly recommend it if you are looking for something truly great to read in the genre (or even if you feel like a change from another one!).

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: J.R. Ward
  • Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Born of Fire – trailers and previews!

bornoffireSt. Martin’s Press (US) are gearing up to release the second book in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s The League series – titled Born of Fire.  I recently read, loved and reviewed the first book (Born of Night) and I really am very excited about the prospect of another chance to visit that world and meet a whole collection of new characters.

To support the release, St. Martin’s Press is offering people a chance to win a copy of the book (although it’s limited to US residents only), but if that includes you, then you can check out the competition here.

The book is out on November 3rd in the US, and November 5th in the UK (published by Piatkus, an imprint of Little Brown).  You can pre-order them both now on Amazon (US and UK versions).

There’s a bunch of additional promotional material coming along with the release.  You can check out an excerpt of Born of Fire on Sherrilyn’s official site.  I’ve read it and it’s exciting!  It has all of Sherrilyn’s hallmark writing, starting with a pair of adversaries and telling us their story!

On top of that there’s a promo video on YouTube which I’ve embedded below.  It’s pretty short, but it gives a good indication of the main characters and should immediately highlight the main difference between this series and Sherrilyn’s Dark Hunter series.

The League is not set on Earth and the technology is far more advanced, but judging by the excerpt and having loved Born of Night, it’s still classic Sherrilyn Kenyon.

From the press release:

New from St. Martin’s Press is #1 New York Times bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s 3-book series, ‘The League’!  With over 19 million books in print, Sherrilyn Kenyon is renowned the world over as “the reigning queen of the paranormal genre that she pioneered long before the world had heard of Twilight.”  The second book from ‘The League’ series, ‘Born of Fire’, will be available November 3rd, 2009.

I’m itching to get my hands on this book after thoroughly enjoying the first one!

Here are the links if you want them all in one place!

Sherrilyn Kenyon

About Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon is one of the writers who helped shape the genre of paranormal romance into the phenomenon it has become today.  She lives in Missouri with her husband, sons, pets, a collection of swords and a plethora of imaginary friends which she likes to play with and share their stories with us.  Her books are always at number one spots in the charts where they certainly deserve to be, and there are more than 18 million in print in over 35 different countries.

http://www.sherrilynkenyon.com/
http://www.officialsanctuary.com/index.html
http://www.menyon.com/ (Official Fan Community)

My Comments

The first Sherrilyn Kenyon book I picked up was Night Play.  I hadn’t read much paranormal romance but the blurb on the back intrigued me and I thought I would give it a try.  I didn’t expect to read a book rich in dark humour, stunning characters, steamy scenes and fast paced plot.  The world she created was amazingly detailed, based on our own but with an unseen side of dark-hunters and were-hunters, gods and monsters.  I was hooked.

Having read every book I can get my hands on, in all the different genres she writes in, I am astounded by her imagination and creativity.  She is prolific (thankfully!) but spares no detail because of it and I always have the feeling she genuinely loves each character, that they are real to her and because of that, makes them real for the reader through her writing.

If I had to choose just one author to recommend for Paranormal Romance, Sherrilyn Kenyon would be it,  as a few friends who are also now fans can attest!

Bibliography

Dark-Hunter

Dark Hunter Manga

Short Stories

Lords of Avalon

The League

B.A.D.

Devil May Cry

Devil May Cry tells the story of Sin and Katra.  Sin used to be a Sumerian god of fertility until Artemis and her usual thoughtless scheming ways, caused his powers to be removed and added to her own.  Cast out from his Pantheon he was helpless to intercede as their infighting destroyed them.  One small problem though.  The Sumerian Pantheon were responsible for the creation and control of the horrendous gallu demons and if that wasn’t bad enough, had entombed the Dimme, a vicious breed of demons and almost unstoppable.  The tomb has a clock and it’s running out of time.  Three Sumerians are needed to reset the clock and prevent them from escaping and Sin is the only one left free.  Artemis’ handmaiden Katra is sent to kill Sin because of his hatred, desire for vengeance and to see Artemis dead.  Expecting to find a monster, instead she finds an intriguing man, tortured and betrayed and trusting no-one, yet still doing what he can to protect humanity from the ravages of those that would prey on them.  Katra soon realises there is more to the battered but handsome Sin than meets the eye, and Sin fears this beautiful woman will betray him as all others have.

I’m not sure how I missed this in the series but I did!  I thought I’d read all of the current Dark-Hunter books and when a friend pointed out I was missing one I was very (and pleasantly) surprised.  It’s like finding something sweet and yummy in the back of the fridge when you were craving it and thought you had run out 😉

I’m always astounded by the world Sherrilyn Kenyon has created for her Dark-Hunter series.  How she keeps it all straight is mind-boggling and yet continues to slot in more history of characters and their place in her godverse.  I’d met Sin and Katra in other books and had wondered why they hadn’t had their story told.  Silly me!

The book is a good one, has Kenyon’s unique writing style and ability for bringing her characters to life and into your heart.  The story is engaging and the action only lets up for those brief, tender moments she writes so well.

Thoroughly enjoyable and a great addition to the series (even if it is book 13 of 18 and I missed it!)

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Dark Curse

As a child, trapped and tormented in a labyrinthe of ice caves, imprisoned and fed on by her father and grandfather, Lara Calladine saved her sanity by talking to her aunts, great dragons who were also imprisoned, encased in ice.  It was their sacrifice that allowed her to escape and find a life for herself away from those who tortured her so.  Now she returns, haunted by the memories that she isn’t quite convinced were real.  Half-Mage, half-Carpathian she wants to reclaim her heritage and her childhood.  Meeting the arrogant, dangerous and virile Nicolas De La Cruz was definitely not amongst her plans and especially not being his lifemate.

This is the first book by Christine Feehan I have read and I have to say my initial impressions were not good.  I found it hard to get past how incredibly mysogynistic and chauvenistic the male characters were.  I found it offputting and felt it was just an excuse for them to finally meet their soulmates after centuries of loneliness and then suddenly after being that way for hundreds of years would be a changed man, loving and giving and treat the female character as an equal.  I’m not sure what the underlying message was supposed to be, and it bugged me.

Having got that out of the way, the story was engaging, the characters interesting and the whole Carpathian society and ‘world’ is rich and diverse.  The plot was quite intricate leading to greater empathy with the major characters and a better understanding of their way of life and perhaps why the male Carpathians are the chauvenists they are.

There are quite a few steamy scenes which I felt were modern in setting but quite old fashioned in description and that does make it a change from your average paranormal romance.  It’s not a bad thing, just different and succeeded in creating an emotive experience for me as the reader.

The pace was good in general although there were a few parts where it felt slow.   I found myself wanting it to move along which it invariably did and I was swept up into the story again.

All in all it was well written and engaging, just the chauvenism I found hard to get past and while that won’t stop me reading more by Christine Feehan (this being the 17th in the series so I have a way to go once I read Book 1!), I will be expecting it next time.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Christine Feehan
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Circle of Fire

I love authors who can create several series around a central theme, Keri Arthur’s being the Damask Circle Organisation.

Circle of fire is the first book in a new series and while similar to the Michael and Nikki books has all new characters except for a few appearances of the enigmatic Seline, who seems to run the Damask Circle.

It centres around Madeline Smith, a recluse whose gifts have driven her to refuse contact with anyone for fear of hurting them, and the mysterious Jon Barnett who manages to contact her out of the blue, needing urgent help.  He’s investigating sixteen missing children, snatched from their homes in the night and twelve bodies found, each drained of blood, Jon knows something very old and evil is at work.  Madeline is scared of leaving the house but when her beloved nephew is also snatched, she overcomes her fear, rescues Jon and they have a race against time to find the others before anyone else dies.   What follows is also a sweet story of two damaged people falling in love and desperately wanting to believe in it, to trust, but fearing it’s probably the worst thing they could do.

Keri Arthur continues to intrigue me, she has such an easy style of writing but manages to produce a plot that sucks you in and keeps you reading.  As I’ve said before in other reviews of her work, it’s the characters she creates that really make the book a cut above the rest.  They are flawed, gifted, and emotional and you can identify with them so easily, you care about them almost from the first page.

I think Circle of Fire is more of a murder/mystery than the others have been, albeit in an urban fantasy setting and that appeals to the crime book lover in me also.

If you come to read this book and I do highly recommend it, I wonder if you will also go ‘noooo’ at the same point I did near the end.  Do let me know!

With two more novels in this trilogy to come, I don’t know if they are with the same characters, but I still can’t wait to read them.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Keri Arthur
  • Series: Damask Circle Trilogy (1)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Bad Moon Rising

I don’t know how Sherrilyn Kenyon does it, but I’m so glad she does.  Bad Moon Rising is the 18th book in the Dark-Hunter series and it’s showing no sign of stopping yet.  You fear with such a long running series that it will start tailing off, the author starts to get bored or runs out of steam and continues for the sake of it, but there is just no sign at all of that happening here.  You feel the love and care she writes with, her characters larger than life but so real and that shines through in every book.  It raises them from a good read to an amazing one.

Bad Moon Rising has everything you want in a Dark-Hunter book and then some.  It’s Fang’s Story beginning with his history, something you know a little of from his brother Vane’s book (Night Play),  through to where Fang is in his apparent coma and then it all takes off.  You get to see some old friends again which is always great and another thing I love about the Dark-Hunter books and how they often blend in together, seeing another story from a different angle.  New enemies, betrayal and revenge feature heavily as always and fast paced action across it all.  But the thing we all want and need the most, is present in abundance.  Love.

I have to say (and try not to spoil anything), the ending is a shocker and I think it was really brave of Sherrilyn to do what she did there and I admire her for it.  I don’t mind admitting I cried, as I imagine others will too.

I really can’t wait for the next one!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)