Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Review: Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh

It's sexy vampire Dmitri's turn today. This is the 4th instalment from Nalini Singh's epic Guild Hunter Series!

Title: Archangel's Blade
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Gollancz (UK) | Berkley (US)
Release Date: 8th September 2011 (UK) | 6th September 2011 (US)
Series: Guild Hunter, Book 4
Source: My personal copy

Synopsis from the back of the book:
The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.
Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.
As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…

I'm a big fan of Nalini Singh, both her Guild Hunter and Psy/Changeling series' are amazing. Though at the moment I can't get enough of the Guild Hunter books. I was blown away buy Angels' blood and the world she has created, filled with Angels, Vampires and the Guild. The previous 3 books have been centred around the Archangel of New York Raphael and his consort, the Guild Hunter and newly made Angel, Elena. Archangel's Blade, however, is focused on one of my favourite characters of the series, the immortal Dmitri, as well as the haunted and scarred Guild Hunter Honor.
Dmitri is a 1000 year old vampire and Raphael's second.  The vampire that everyone fears and whose past is surrounded by shadows. The previous books portray Dmitri as a cold, callous vampire with very little humanity left. Someone who enjoys his job as executioner and wields his sensuality like a weapon, luring his prey. Dmitri is only loyal to Raphael, a loyalty we discover, extends back to a trauma in the young Dmitri's life. From there he became Raphael's Blade. A deadly weapon loyal only to Raphael and he will be wielded by no other.
Our heroine in Archangel's Blade is the Guild Hunter Honor. We find Honor struggling to come to terms with her abduction and rape at the hands of a group of vampires 10 months earlier. So naturally she's terrified when Guild director Sara says she'll be meeting with Dmitri to help solve the riddle of the tattoo on a severed head...interesting job these Guild Hunters have. Unbeknownst to Sara and Dmitri is that before her abduction, Honor had been strangely drawn to sexy Dmitri. However this is not enough to prevent Dmitri from terrifying her when they meet. Dmitri's callous behaviour does bring Honor out or her shell, even if it is only to throw knives and insults at him. Dmitri pushes her boundaries, making the timid Honor stronger, and helping her to heal. Something she would have never done on her own hidden in the Guild's library.

Archangel's Blade has a few story-lines that interlink. Dmitri and Honor hunt down the vampires responsible for Honor's abduction and, using threats and torture in equal amounts, the pair attempt to uncover the mastermind behind the abduction...before they strike again. Alongside this the pair solve the riddle of the tattoo, and find a link back to Dmitri's well hidden past. It is there we find the key to Dmitri's heart, a heart that last beat for only one woman, nearly 1000 years ago. Can Dmitri face his haunted past in order to save his future? 
We also find out more about Holly (from Angel's Blood) and how she's coping with her ordeal at the hands of bloodborn Archangel Uram. Needless to say she's not coping too well. When Dmitri introduces Holly (now called Sorrow) to Honor the two become friends and start sharing stories about their traumatic pasts, another step in the right direction for them both. The fact that Dmitri can see that these two can help each other proves that he has not lost all his humanity like he believes. Honor sees the man behind the armour and is determined to pull him to the surface. But Dmitri is more scarred than she realised, can this unlikely couple overcome their pasts and allow themselves to embrace the love they share? Or will the past swallow them whole?

I must say that this possibly the best in the series so far. Dmitri is such a complex character and his past...oh my heart broke for this strong warrior who has lost so much, I can't think about it for too long otherwise I'll cry. It's a testament to the calibre of writing that Nalini Singh produces that you can get so absorbed in the characters that you hurt when they hurt. I think the flashbacks to Dmitri's past were cleverly done, slowly revealing layer after layer of the man inside. I'm glad we got to see where Raphael and Dmitri forged their bond of loyalty. I had wondered what it had taken for Raphael to earn the unwavering loyalty of this independent and strong warrior, I won't spoil it...but I cried. I also thought she handled the delicate subject of Honor's recovery from her rape well. Honor stumbles through the relationship with Dmitri often taking a step back in her recovery if she is pushed too far. But Dmitri is always there for her to fall back on. The way Dmitri is written allows him to push her to her limits to make her stronger without seeming cruel, which only a few people could have done. I just love both these characters.

I love that we still see some familiar faces... Illium *sigh*... and of course Raphael and Elena. I can't wait to see what comes next! It is all in all an amazing read and a fabulous addition to the Guild Hunter series.

My Rating: 4.5/5

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

New Design

As you can see I've put up V's book Life's new design. Again it's quite simple, still not good with computers. But I think this one is better, it feels a bit more personal. But I want to know what you think about it. Can you still read everything, is it as attractive as the old one? I've agonised for ages about changing it but finally plucked up the courage yesterday. 
Let me know what you think!

Love Vikki x

Monday, 23 January 2012

Review: Fire Baptized by Kenya Wright

This is the début novel from author Kenya Wright. Fire Baptized is book 1 in the Habitat series

Title: Fire Baptized
Author: Kenya Wright
Publisher: Dragonfairy Press
Release Date: 16th January 2012 (Kindle Edition)
Series: Habitat Series, Book 1
Source: I received this e-book from the author for the purposes of an honest review.

From Kenya Wright's website:
Since the 1970s humans have forced supernaturals to live in caged cities. Silver brands embedded in their foreheads identify them by species: a full moon for Vampires, a crescent moon for Shifters, a pair of wings for Fairies, and the list goes on, for each supernatural species has been tagged and categorized by humans.
Lanore Vesta is marked with a silver X, the brand of Mixbreeds, second-class citizens shunned by society. She stays to herself, revealing her ability to create fire only during emergencies. All she wants to do is graduate college and stop having to steal to survive. But when she stumbles upon a murder in progress, she catches the attention of a supernatural killer. Now all she wants is to stop finding dead bodies in her apartment.
Enlisting help from her Were-cheetah ex-boyfriend Meshack and a new mysterious friend named Zulu, she is steered through the habitat’s raunchy nightlife. But their presence sometimes proves to be more burden than help, as they fight for her attention. While the corpses pile up, and the scent of blood fills the air, Lanore is left wondering: will she find the psycho or die trying?

When I read the synopsis to this book I thought it sounded good. I was wrong, this book isn't just good, it's great. Kenya Wright has created an incredible world. Added to a plot-line cram packed with action and suspense and you have the recipe for a damn good read.
The story is set in Miami but in this Miami there are Habitats where the supernatural creatures are penned in to keep them separate from the human race. Mixbreeds like Lanore (people whose parents are from different races) are second class citizens, and are not allowed to socially mix with purebloods and rarely go into higher education. In fact if she graduates Lanore will be the first Mixie to graduate from her college. Each type of supernatural creature has a silver brand on their foreheads. Mixies have a large X brand, identifying them for all the world to see and are largely shunned by society.  There is disparity between the purebloods and the Mixies and it's very well written. It's not the central theme of the book but it does give it another dimension. This disparity is intricately worked into most scenes like when she goes into a club to see her room-mate/ex-boyfriend and his band play, she is told she must sit at the back away from the pure-bloods, despite being equivalent to a VIP.

From very beginning we are thrown straight into an action packed scene where our heroine Lanore is running from security trolls having stolen the books she needs to continue her schooling. From there her day goes from bad to worse when she crosses paths with a couple of thugs who try to mug her and rape her. However, Lanore is half royal Fairy and half Demon, giving her the power of pyrokinises. If not for her ability to wield fire, Lanore would have been in big trouble. However her fire doesn't help her when only minutes later she stumbles upon a murder. Lanore cannot help the poor woman being butchered before her eyes and unfortunately she is seen by the killer. From there she finds notes from the killer taped to her apartment door and 'presents' they leave on her doorstep and in her apartment. These gifts consist of body parts belonging to people she knows. Lanore knows it's only a matter of time before the killer catches up with her so she becomes determined to get him before he comes for her.

As well as a killer with his sights set on her, Lanore has to deal with the two dominant male personalities in her life. Meshack, her room-mate and ex is the first one we meet. He's a pureblooded were-cheetah whom Lanore has known since her childhood, which by all accounts was troubled. Especially since her demon father experimented on Meshack, making him different from all other shifters. Meshack and La La (his nickname for her) have a pretty confusing but intense history and in a few scenes you can see the passion they have for each other still burns hot. Second is the mysterious Mixie Zulu, who like Lanore has royal Fairy in his blood, but also were-tiger. He has the ability to stop the shifts of most were animals and oozes power. Zulu is cunning and dangerous and, like Meshack, has fallen head over heels in love with Lanore. This leads to some fiery confrontations between the two men, usually with Lanore refereeing. Lanore has some tough decisions ahead concerning the two men in her life. I'm eager to see where these relationships end up throughout the series.

I enjoyed the world Kenya Wright has created and like the characters that call it home. I felt Lanore was a believable heroine, she may have been investigating these murders but you felt her fear along the way, she isn't naive or stupid enough to believe that she will come out of this completely unscathed. She also handles the situations concerning Zulu and Meshack well and will not allow them to dictate to her or to distract her from her matter how hard they try. She's far too stubborn for that. Zulu and Meshack are great contrasts as her lovers, Meshack being the pureblooded but rough around the edges rock star, and Zulu the refined aristocrat Mixbreed with more money that he knows what to do with. He also heads up a rebellious faction within the Habitat that calls for equality for the Mixies, something Lanore is proud to be a part of. The plot is straight forward and exciting with twists and turns as you try to figure out who the killer is along with Lanore. I enjoyed it immensely.

All in all I was presently surprised by Fire Baptized and will be on the lookout for the next one in the series. Also I think the cover is awesome.

My Rating 4/5

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Review: Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione

Hey everyone, just finished Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione, I love this series!

Title: Immortal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione
Publisher: Piatkus (UK) | Grand Central Publishing (US)
Release Date: December 1st 2011 (UK) | November 22nd 2011 (US)
Series: Lords of Deliverance, book 2
Source: My personal copy

From Larissa Ione's website:

The prophecies were there but no one listened.  Until now.  They are the Lords of Deliverance and they have the power to usher in Doomsday . . . or prevent it.
Sexy, powerful and immortal, Limos is on a crash course with destiny.  She's been marked as Satan's bride and her jealous fiance wants her all to himself.  The only way this Horseman can keep herself - and everyone else - safe to keep her distance.  But not even Limos can save herself from the secrets she's kept . . . or resist the seductive allure of one very brave human.
Arik Wagner knows the saying 'love hurts' better than most, yet he never thought stealing a kiss from Limos would land him in hell.  Literally.  It takes all his military training to survive the demon torture, but once he's topside, Arik realises that the agony has just begun.  With the Apocalypse looming and Satan demanding his bride, will Arik and Limos surrender to the dark desire smouldering between them?  Or will giving in to their passion unleash hell on earth?

I am a HUGE fan of Larissa Ione, her Demonica series is awesome and I am so glad that characters from that series keep popping up in the Lords of Deliverance (Wraith especially). The Lords of Deliverance series is focused around the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and Immortal Rider concentrates on the one and only female Horseman...Horsewoman...erm...not too sure on that. Either-way, her name is Limos and if her seal ever breaks then we're all in trouble as Famine will be loosed.
Contrary to popular belief, the Horsemen aren't actually evil until their seals break, if that happens start praying for a miracle because these warriors will show you no mercy. Not only will Limos become famine if her seal breaks but she will have to return to her fiancée's side. The same man who she has spent the last 5,000 years running from. Satan. Betrothed to him as an infant Limos has fought tooth and nail to avoid having to marry the ultimate evil and for 5,000 years she has succeeded. Until the day Arik steals a kiss. Then everything goes to hell...Literally.
Arik (who you may remember as Runa's brother from the Demonica series) is a member of the paranormal military division R-XR and from the day he first set eyes on Limos he's found her attractive...despite the fact she broke his ribs. So he can't resist stealing a kiss from this gorgeous warrior woman. Unfortunately Satan doesn't take kindly to anyone 'messing' with his bride and mere seconds later Arik is dragged into the depths of hell itself. He is then subjected to an entire month of torture at the hands of demons who attempt to get him to say Limos' name while in misery. Why? Because this is one of the ways Satan can legally force Limos into the depths for hell to become his bride. Though I think he just enjoys torture too. However Arik is resistant and, with a little help, manages to pull off the most miraculous escape of the century. But it costs him dearly, he will be forever changed...and hunted.
"Damn," Arik breathed. "I need to help-""You can't." Ares's voice was intense but level, a sign of respect from one warrior to another. "You'll only lead the demons back to them.""So when can I go back?""Don't you get it, Arik?" Limos asked softly. "Lucifer is after you. My brother owns your soul. You will forever be a liability to your own race. You belong with us now" 

I love these two characters, Limos especially. She is a brilliant heroine. She initially seemed a bit strange as she has a lot of clashing personality traits. Outwardly she's a very girly-girl, painting her nails constantly, drinking sugary sweet cocktails. But you know there is a kick-ass warrior who can take on the best (and probably win). Her brothers may have a protective streak when it comes to her, but she definitely doesn't need coddling. And God help you if you cause her to break a nail, then she'll probably kill you...and slowly at that. Limos has a dark past, full of secrets she keeps from her brothers. But as Limos and Arik become closer, his unnerving ability to call her on things she doesn't want to admit comes dangerously close to exposing the terrible truth she hides. Will the revelation of these secrets bring Arik and Limos closer, or will they drive away the only man she has ever loved. More importantly, will her family come out of this in one piece?

This entire book is packed full of action, there are many surprises along the way for all the Horsemen. Thanatos (whose book is next) is given a great set-up and I'm jittery knowing I have to wait to find out what happens. I cannot fault Larissa Ione, I loved Eternal Rider but I have to say that this even tops that. The best book f hers I've read so far and I seriously can't wait to see what happens to Than given the revelations in here.

All in all a fantastic read and I recommend it to anyone who loved a good action packed romance (though you should read Eternal Rider first).

My Rating: 5/5

Friday, 13 January 2012

Is she over-reacting?

A small selection of the books I own
Ok, so today, my lovely house-mate and I were sat on the sofa - taking a break from revision (we have exams on Tuesday) and randomly in the middle of the conversation she goes 'Vikki...I think you have an addiction'. I thought she meant tea..I was drinking my 5th cup of the day. But apparently she means my book addiction. Then she asked me the hardest question I've ever been many books do I own?! 
You see, Hols (my house-mate) has about 7 books in the house at present. Where as I apparently have 142.....yes she had counted them as part of this little intervention.

Anyway we need your opinion. Is owning 142 books too many (She thinks so)? Or is Hols just over reacting (I think so)?

Love xxx

Sunday, 8 January 2012

My most awaited of 2012

Hey, so we're one week into the new year and I've been thinking - what book releases am I most looking forward to this year? And you know what..the longer I thought about it, the longer the list got, so i'm I'm going to share my top few with you!

8. Time Untime - Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark Hunter/Hellchaser series)
The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…
Long before recorded history, there was a warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.
The Time Untime approaches…Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.
What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life.
Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has brought back the one person he can’t fight. The one person who once held the most sacred part of him.
His heart.
But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.
Will he be able to make it again?

I was very intreigued by Ren's character in Retribution so I'm glad he's up next...unfortunately we have to wait until 2nd AUGUST 2012. So long....

7. Darker after Midnight - Lara Adrian (Midnight Breed #10)
In the dark of night, a blood war escalates within the hidden world of the Breed. After existing in secret for many long centuries, maintaining a fragile peace with the humans who walk beside them unaware, a single act of retaliation has put the entire vampire nation at risk of discovery. It falls to the Order--a cadre of Breed warriors pledged to protect their own and humankind alike--to stop Dragos, the power-mad vampire at the centre of the conflict, before his push for domination can explode into catastrophe.
At the center of the Order’s quest is Sterling Chase, once a morally rigid enforcer of Breed law, now a warrior fallen from grace, whose biggest battle is the one he wages against his own savage nature. With addiction beckoning him toward eternal darkness, Chase’s path to redemption has never seemed more out of reach--until he finds himself drawn to a beautiful young woman who may be something much more than she seems . . .

Looking forward to this immensely, I have been enjoying the Midnight Breed series, and I knew that he'd be paired with the politicians assistant, Tavia Fairchild. I'm not certain but I think it's the end of the Dragos storyline as well...but don't quote me on that. JANUARY 2012. Not long now!

6. Lothaire - Kresley Cole (Immortals after Dark #11)

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.
Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.
Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

Another JANUARY 2012 release! I have been waiting on the edge of my seat for this to be released and now it's almost here I'm so nervous. Lothaire has always intrigued me and I think his is going to be the most gripping story of the entire series. I can't wait.

5. Lethal Rider - Larissa Ione (Lords of Deliverance #3)
Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, Regan Cooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he's about to become a father.
Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he's ever wanted-a family.

Ready or not Death's about to come-a-knocking. Than is one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse - the deadliest, death incarnate. And this is his story. After the end of Immortal Rider I cannot wait for this book. I want to read it now! But I have to wait til MAY 2012 for the privilege.

4. Born of Silence - Sherrilyn Kenyon (League Series)
Death stalks the night…
Kere, the Caronese god of death, is the second most infamous member of the shadow organization called Sentella. As an explosives engineer who is known for striking terror into the hearts of all enemies and the League, the bounty on his head is truly staggering. No one outside the Sentella knows his real identity.
Zarya Starska grew up hard on the back streets of hell. Because of his political beliefs, her father was labeled a traitor and her family hunted to the brink of extinction. But Zarya dreams of a different life and a different world. A world where the harsh hand of the Caronese government doesn’t destroy the lives of its citizens. As a resistance leader, her goal is to topple to government that took her father’s life. Her right hand is a mysterious man known only as Kere.

Kere has a dark secret. As he aids the resistance, he’s actually working to bring down his own family- the Cruels. Born and bred from one of the oldest and noblest families in the United Systems, Kere’s real name is Darling Cruel. And the one thing he wants most is to see his uncle, who stole the crown from his father, to pay for his crimes.
If you tell a lie long enough, it becomes the truth…
Darling’s entire life is a lie. No one has ever seen the real him. No one except Zarya. She’s the only person he’s ever fully trusted with the truth. But when she betrays him by allowing a weapon he designed just for her to be used against the members of his family that he would die to protect, all bets are off.
The hero is now the monster…
Betrayed to the deepest level, Darling becomes an even worse enemy than his uncle. His goal is not only to reign, but to kill every resistance member he can find. He won’t rest until all of them are dead and that includes Zarya.
The twisted hand of fate…
Zarya is the only hope to reach the heart of the man her people once considered their ally. A man who hates her with a fury so great that she knows it’s just a matter of time before he kills her. But if she can find the part of him that once trusted her, the part of him that once loved her, she might be able to save not only her own life, but those of her people. It’s an impossible mission.
Luckily, she doesn’t play the odds.

DARLING DARLING DARLING!!! Ok, I'm more than a bit excited about this but I have always adored Darling's character...can't wait til APRIL to read it!

3. The Darkest Seduction - Gena Showalter (Lords of the Underworld #9)

Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price.  Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die.  And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he’d thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.
Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet, in Paris’s arms the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up. 
Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally– or tear them apart?

Finally Paris will have his story resolved. Fans of Gena Showalter (like me) have all been eagerly anticipating the climax of this storyline and it's taken 6 books to do it. I can't wait til FEBRUARY to get my hands on it!

2. Fury's Kiss - Karen Chance (Dorina Bararab Series)
I honestly don't know all that much about this book other than the fact we won't see it 'til OCTOBER 2012! Come on, that's an awful long time. I really want to know what's happening with Dory and Louis Caesar. Also will Dory actually begin to like Mircea, and will Cassie (from the other series) ever meet Dory? 

1. Lover Reborn

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. The city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.Now back in the Brotherhood – and unrecognisable as the vampire leader he once was – Tohrment is physically emaciated and heartbroken beyond despair. When he begins to see his beloved in his dreams – trapped in a cold, isolating netherworld – Tohr turns to a self-serving fallen angel in hopes of saving the one he has lost.
When he’s told he must learn to love another to free his former mate, Tohr knows they are all doomed…Except then a female with a shadowed history begins to get through to him. Against the backdrop of the raging war with the lessers, and with a new clan of vampires vying for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between the buried past, and a very hot, passion-filled future… but can his heart let go and set all of them free? 

Tohr! Enough said.
Fans of J.R. Ward will know what I mean, you can't help but love this damaged warrior and having to wait 'til MARCH will just kill us all.

*Much of the above information can be found on the authors websites, a couple even have fabulously tempting excerpts which I recommend if you're intrigued by these. 

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Review: Deeper than Midnight by Lara Adrian

Time for the turn of one of my newest interests in the Paranormal Romance world. This is Deeper than Midnight from Lara Adrian's Midnight Breed Series. Enjoy.

Title: Deeper than Midnight
Author: Lara Adrian
Publisher: Robinson (UK Edition)
Release Date: August 2011
Series: Midnight Breed Series, Book 9
Source: My own personal copy

From Lara Adrian's website:
Delivered from the darkness, a woman finds herself plunged into a passion that is DEEPER THAN MIDNIGHT . . .
At eighteen, Corinne Bishop was a beautiful, spirited young woman living a life of privilege as the adopted daughter of a wealthy family. Her world was changed in an instant when she was stolen away and held prisoner by the malevolent vampire Dragos. After many years of captivity and torment, Corinne is rescued by the Order, a cadre of vampire warriors embroiled in a war against Dragos and his followers. Her innocence taken, Corinne has lost a piece of her heart as well--the one thing that gave her hope during her imprisonment, and the only thing that matters to her now that she is free.
Assigned to safeguard Corinne on her trip home is a formidable golden-eyed Breed male called Hunter. Once Dragos's most deadly assassin, Hunter now works for the Order, and he's hell-bent on making Dragos pay for his manifold sins. Bonded to Corinne by their mutual desire, Hunter will have to decide how far he'll go to end Dragos's reign of evil--even if carrying out his mission means shattering Corinne's tender heart.

Ok, well first off, you could try to read this as a stand alone story, however I wouldn't recommend it. I've read a couple of the previous Midnight Breed books but was still a little confused to start with as I had not read the one before this..or the one before that for that matter. But I did manage to get my bearings about a quarter of the way through. Lara Adrian does, in a round about way, do a bit of a recap for those of us who haven't read the previous books...which I think is great. The series contains great things - Vampire Warriors (the Order), who have an inasne arch-enemy vampire who is tampering with genetics and killing off people in his own race (aka. Dragos), as well as a healthy dose of romance.
Anyway from what I gathered, Corinne (female lead) had been rescued by the Order in a raid on one of Dragos' lairs. She'd been held captive along with many other women for 75 years for being what the vampire society (Breed) value most. A Breedmate - a human born woman who can become the blood-bound mate of one of the Breed. Each Breedmate possesses a unique ability which is passed down to her children. Corinne's skill is sonokinesis- basically the ability to blast people with sound waves, a sonic boom type thing..which I must say is pretty cool. Anyway, getting sidetracked, she's placed under Hunter's protection (people who've read from book 3 onwards will have heard of Hunter) as he escorts her back home. And lets just say Corinne's welcome home wasn't what she expected and included nearly getting shot, discovering her beloved brother's death and finding out that someone close betrayed her to the man who had held her captive for 75 years.
When Corinne decides to leave her home she accompanies Hunter on his mission for the order - only she has a secret and ulterior motive to following that she can't trust the stone cold assassin with.
Hunter is the stone-cold assassin who was born in one of Dragos' labs and raised to kill without empathy. The assassin now works for the order through a stroke of fate and is one of their most level-headed warriors.However when he meets damaged Corinne and recognises her from a vision he saw in a child seers eyes, he finds himself intrigued. And for a man who has never known affection, let alone love, Hunter finds himself compromising the principles he has always lived his life by and following his heart instead of his head. This leads to an intense but complicated relationship with Corinne and like her he carries a secret. But will the couple ever trust enough to share their burdens and will their relationship survive what they reveal?

I enjoyed the story, however I did feel the relationship between Corinne and Hunter progressed quickly considering their pasts. I mean Corinne was raped and tortured by madmen for 75 years, and Hunter doesn't even understand the concept of intimacy, let alone love. And yet, their relationship very quickly moves through all the stages and suddenly they're declaring their love for each other. I understand that being mates probably quickens the pace but still I just found it unbelievably quick and that they didn't really have to come up against any barrier more than once. Don't get me wrong I still enjoyed their story but it was a tad unbelievable.
However I was fascinated by the other warriors continuances slotted in between the main plot-line. Tess had her baby :) and Lucan has several decisions to make as leader concerning the future of the order and Chase's involvement in it in particular since he seems to be going off the deep end (Chase that is.. not Lucan). Also the glimpses into Dragos' mind always had me holding my breath because I knew something bad was just around the corner for the Order. 

All in all an enjoyable book, and a pretty good addition to the Midnight Breed series.

My Rating 3.5/5

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Review: Born of Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Hey all, time for one of my all time favourite books. Born of Night is the first book in the League series and is written by the amazing Sherrilyn Kenyon (also the author of the epic Dark Hunter Series).

Title: Born of Night

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Release Date: October 2008
Series: The League, book  1
Source: My personal copy

From Sherrilyn Kenyon's Website:
Command Assassin Nykyrian Quikiades was born and trained to slaughter. Refusing to be a pawn, he turned his back on the League and has been hunted by them ever since. Though many have tried, none can kill him. Now his assignment is to protect Kiara Zamir, a woman whose father’s political alliance has made her a target. She wants nothing to do with politics, yet she is forced to submit to protection or die.
And as her world becomes even deadlier, Kiara must entrust her life to the same kind of beast who once killed her mother and left her for dead. Old enemies and new threaten them both and the only way they can survive is to overcome their suspicions and learn to trust in the very ones who threaten them most– each other.

Ok, so this is a little different to the things I have reviewed before, not exactly paranormal romance...more like fantasy or science fiction mixed with romance (not entirely sure). But this is still a great book. Basically Nykyrian is an ex League assassin and he is a rare one, i.e. there has never been an ex League assassin before him, you join the League and you die as they command. You can never leave. It's just the first indication of how dangerous Nykyrian is, an entire fleet of assassins have been unable to bring him down. He is a ruthless killing machine, his half human half Andarion DNA combining to bring forth the most brutally efficient killer there has ever been...his alter ego Nemesis. He has no fear, no heart, until fate brings him closer to a fragile dancer who may be the only one who can save him from himself.
Kiara is the daughter of a politician, who now has a price on her head. Due to her father's political dealings a rival has decided he needs to be punished with the assassination of his daughter....a little extreme I know but that's the world they live in, where contracted assassinations are legal, as long as they are okayed by the League. Now Kiara has a chioice to make...accept Nykyrian's protection and walk side by side with most dangerous man in the universe or be killed brutally and slowly to make a point...
These two are so different but they may be the key to healing each others traumatic pasts, that is  if they'll let each other close enough.

I am a big fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series (read my review of book 1- Night Pleasures), so when I came across Born of Night I had to give it a read. I am so glad I did! there are no words to describe how much I enjoy reading this, I never get tired of Nykyrian and Kiara's world and I love all the characters in it. Syn, Jayne, Darling, Caillen, Hauk, and of course Nykyrian and Kiara themselves are just amazingly well written. I want to be part of their group! The chemistry between the characters as a whole is fabulous, and one of the best parts. From Syn the Doctor with a complicated past, to Jayne the ex bank robber - a skill courtesy of her father. Not forgetting Hauk the 7ft tall Andarion whose brutal, warring race have been known to find human flesh a delicacy and of course Darling, the noble who works as an assassin on the side, and resident explosive expert. The camaraderie is astounding and you can tell that they are a family and would die for one another....though the amount of insults and knife throwing may indicate otherwise haha.
Kiara may not be physically strong unlike the others but her strength of spirit means she earns her own place within the group and as she unearths pieces of Nykyrian's traumatic past she starts to see the man behind the armoured exterior. Their relationship is quite rocky with twists and turns, Kiara has to adapt every time Nykyrian reveals some part of his history. But a strong bond begins to form, however it isn't always enough to protect Kiara from those who seek to harm her, or those who wish Nykyrian harm and can get to him through his only weakness...Kiara.

I absolutely adore this book, I laughed, cried and became frustrated with these characters...but in a good way. It truly is a fabulous read and I and so glad to have given it the chance. I have always liked the tormented hero's and boy is Nykyrian a good one. A fabulous addition to my collection and well worth a read.

My Rating: 5/5


Hey Everyone, 

Happy New Year, fingers crossed 2012 is a good one. My new year's resolution is to not neglect this blog as much as I have been recently. Work just got on top of me unfortunately. But I'll try harder this year. Thanks to you guys and I hope you continue to enjoy my reviews.

Anyway hope you all celebrated New Year in style.

Love V xxx

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