Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars. In the previous book, which was like I said a conglomeration of several characters' storylines, one of the prevalent ones was about Thanatos (Than) and Regan.
Previously, Regan - an Aegis warrior - was led to believe through deception from Pestilence that the way to stop the Apocalypse was by having Than's son. In reality, it was long believed that breaking Than's virginity was what really broke the seal.
A lot of intrigue mixed with drugged wine made sexxytimes with Than and Regan happen and with Wraith's powers, Regan found herself instantly pregnant. There was a non-consensual aspect to how these two got together as Than wanted Regan to stop, because he was afraid of his seal breaking. But Regan - who has a power of controlling souls - inadvertently released her power when she was beyond the brink of excitement and held Than in place. Not knowing she was binding him from moving, she took his inaction - though he kept repeating to her to stop - as a foreplay of sorts.
Since she was also under the effects of the drugged wine, there is also an aspect of a grey area - perhaps - to give Regan the shadow of a doubt. So, when reality sinks in, Regan is inconsolable. She can't believe what she did to Than and she's devastated and depressed for months. This is especially so, because after her limited time with Than, she starts to fall for him, and she thought he was starting to care for her, too. But after what happened, she knows she can basically kiss anything they might have had goodbye.
No clearer of evidence of this can be seen in Than - who is so out of his mind and filled with rage after finding out what Regan and the Aegis did to him, that Limos and Ares have to immobilize him for months, hoping he'll calm down after his child is born.
So Than endures almost 8 mos of immobilization and watching Jersey Shore, until his unborn son's distress signal rouses him from his coma state. He appears to Regan, who's been with the Aegis in hiding - but somehow some Daywalking vampires have attacked her and are threatening her life.
Than is shocked after he deals with the threat against Regan to find out she's carrying his child. He takes her to his home, hell bent on revenge or sex - he can't decide which to do first.
Pestilence is still in the background, and it's finally revealed that he can be stopped. With the first cry of his newborn, Than has to pierce Pestilence's heart and end him. If Than fails to do this, their next opportunity to end Pestilence will come around with Halley's Comet - years in the future. With no time to waste, it's imperative to secure Regan and his child for the sake of the world. But with every demon coming for them, how will he keep them safe? And what's going to happen with Regan?
Will Than be able to fulfill the fantasy he's dreamt about for countless ages? Will he ever live in happiness with a wife and a family by his side? Or was Regan just after him for one thing only? Is there a future for them?
Lethal Rider was definitely all about Than and Regan. It was definitely a strong storyline as it was overtaking the previous book which was supposed to be about Arik and Limos. But it was clear, Than & Regan's story was going to be a force to reckon with.
There were several plots going on in the background, but they all tied into Than or Regan. Than is revealed to be the father of the vampires (Daywalkers) but somehow since his species wasn't sanctioned, a story was made up that it was actually an angel who sired the species. If the truth is ever found out, the Daywalkers would be obliterated. So Than keeps them with him.
But the Daywalkers have had enough of Than and want their freedom as many of them didn't want to be turned into vampires in the first place. So when Pestilence offers them a chance, they align with Than's evil brother and the intrigue takes hold.
Another plot dealt with Hades and Azagoth - strong demons who've appeared in the series before, but in this book they come to center stage - also helping Than & Regan (and Reaver).
Then there's Reaver and his side story with Harvester and Gethal - the previous Guardian Angel who was relieved of her guarding duty of the Horsemen when Reaver got his wings back. There's a lot of torture and mystery going on here and it's a challenge keeping up who's on what side! LOL
Then there's the Aegis organization which is up in shambles. There's a faction of them who don't agree with Ky and how he's been allying with demons. They want to go back to a time when it was all about killing demons, not making friends with them. So, the outcome of that civil war is also a large part of the plot.
Plus, a lot of the characters from the Demonica series come around: Idess, Wraith, E, Gem, and Shade to name a few. But they only make small cameos, so I don't see how this can truly be labeled a continuation of the Demonica series. The only insight we get there is a few paragraphs of a conversation between Ky and Gem. Otherwise, the story is still all about Than & Regan and the Horsemen's impending Apocalypse.
I'm definitely not looking forward to the next book which is about Reseph. He's done way too much as Pestilence and there's no going back for me with that character. I just can't sweep it aside and get into his story of redemption. Yea, I'll probably skim that one. :(
Lethal Rider features:
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars. I wasn't too happy with the previous book, and as a matter of fact I was thinking of abandoning this series. I contemplated leaving at a high point as I truly loved the Demonica Series and I didn't want to ruin it. But I hung in there and I found that the first few chapters of the second book were much better at pulling me in than the whole entire first book.
First off, we get a lot more of the Demonica Series characters, which really helped out the story. Plus, now that the Horsemen characters have been set and the huge infodumps are cut to a minimum in the continuation, I found myself more immersed in the story.
Plus, we get a double dose of alpha males in the form of Arik and Thantos. They were too yummy! And a side of Reaver *faints in shock*
Okay, so in the last book, it was all mostly about Ares and Cara and their HEA, but the second book was a free-for-all. In center stage, we learn more about Limos, the female Horsemen (Pestilence) and Arik, a human who's part of the Army's paranormal team the R-XR. Arik doesn't know Limos is betrothed to Satan himself for over thousands of years.
She's postponed the wedding by staying in the human realm and by promising to not take any lovers. Well all that goes out the window when stubborn Arik stops at nothing to get a kiss out of the beautiful Horseman.
The kiss lands him in hell and he's tortured daily for his lack of control. His torturers try to get him to say Limos' name in hopes she can finally join Satan's side as his bride. But Arik holds his tongue and endures all as he dreams of one day escaping and taking Limos as his own. His only companion is a Seminus demon named Tav who heals him only so Arik can be tortured again.
Limos and her brothers are desperate to find Arik as Pestilence regroups his forces to strike at his siblings and set Armageddon back into motion.
The Aegis don't take things lying down and decide to send in Regan, one of their best female fighters to stay by Thantos side after a scroll Limos finds points to an obscure prophecy that Thantos' child will be the one to stop the Apocalypse.
Regan signs up for duty, no one knowing however, that it's actually taking Thanto's virginity that will start Doomsday - a secret the Horsemen have kept quiet for over thousands of years.
For countless eras, Thantos has had to stand by the sidelines, watching as everyone finds someone to care and love while he can never partake in anything serious with anyone lest he starts the end of the world. But Regan is unlike any woman he's ever encountered. Her special abilities to read the sentiment in ink and parchment intrigues him just as much as her beauty.
The book phases in and out featuring Limos and Arik, then bounces back to Thantos and Regan, but that's not all. We also get a side story of Reaver and Harvester, the good and bad angels whose story is shocking, confusing, and a whole other experience
Good Lord - what just happened? What did I just read?
Immortal Rider really picks up steam and I can't wait to read the next book!
Immortal Rider features:
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars. I'm not too sure how I feel about this book - my feelings were definitely mixed throughout it. On one hand, Larissa Ione (LI) used to be my fave author, and I was just about floored when I read her Demonica series. Those books were amazing!
But something happened during the start of this new series - I'm not sure if it's the content, or is it me that's changed somehow, or did LI get a new editor/s? I have no clue, but something is just "off" for me in this series.
Let's start with the truths we hold be true. LI changes things up with the iconic story of the Four Horsemen. In her version, they are personified by four individuals (all siblings - one of them female) who are half demons. They aren't truly the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse - since the event hasn't happened - they are merely the vessels which will house the monsters they are destined to become.
In the beginning of the story, one of the siblings, Reseph, had his seal broken (This occurred in the last Demonica book when Sin let loose a plague that all but killed Werewolves) and he's now turned into Pestilence. All of his compassion and - for lack of a better word - his humanity is all but gone. He recognizes neither friend or foe and his only objective is to get his siblings to break their seal as well and join him in bringing about the Apocalypse.
His siblings battle with coming to grips with the new reality of their brother being beyond help and from keeping their seals from getting broken. Ares - who will turn into War, has his seal entrusted to a Fallen Angel. But if this Fallen Angel is killed, his seal will be broken and he will change. All efforts are made to keep the bearer of Ares' seal alive.
Thantos, who is to become Death, has his seal tied to his celibacy, and Limos, their sister who will become Pestilence has a double whammy. She must stay virtuous because Satan wants her for his bride and he's agreed to stay away from her if she will stay away from all men. Plus, her seal is tied to a mysterious bowl which no one seems to have found in centuries.
So this is a lot of information to take in, and I'm not even sure I got all the details right LOL Anyhoo, somehow in between all these going ons, Cara, a woman who everyone at first thinks is human, gets sucked into the ordeal.
In the past, Cara wanted to open a holistic vet care for animals - What does that mean exactly? I'm not sure, but somehow she's got a gift where she can heal animals by touching them. She has all the vet instruments at her home, but before she could get her practice up and running, she endured a break in at her house which left her emotionally scarred. Her gift - which she previously thought only worked on animals - suddenly worked on one of her attackers and killed him.
Needless to say, the shock of the events were too much for her and after she lost her will to practice, her real job, and her boyfriend, Cara's pretty much hanging on by a thread when a strange knock in the middle of the night wakes her up. A local brings in a dog he's just hit on the road, and while Cara nurses the strange animal to health, several men break into her house - AGAIN.
But these are no regular men, they're Aegis warriors after the animal she's just healed. But it's not a dog, it's a Hellhound, and Cara's life is never the same again.
Through a lot of twists and turns (seriously you can't skim read this book as it's just one thing after another - non-stop I'm telling you!) Cara ends up being the bearer of Ares' seal, but a human isn't meant to carry the seal and it's killing her.
From then on, it's a race against time to find a replacement Fallen Angel to take the seal from Cara before Ares turns into a monster. Sprinkle in a little romance as Cara gets a little too close to Ares, who's still pining for the loss of his wife and children like 4000 years later!!! Really? LOL Goodness, it was tough to take in places. I mean Ares wasn't celibate, he just didn't 'love' any woman for that long.
Some good aspects of the book were that some of the characters from the Demonica series come around, and I cheered every time one of them made an appearance. I just loved catching up on what was going on with them.
The most notable bad aspect/s were that there was a lot of sloppy loopholes. So many questions arose from the book and I don't think even LI could make sense of things, because there were a lot of instances where the characters were all: "Wait a minute. You said there was a rule about such and such. So how am I able to do this then?" Answer: "I'm not really sure."
There wasn't a way to explain things? Ugh. It was really hard to keep things in the story together.
In the end, we get a Happily Ever After For Now, and things are kind of up in the air as Pestilence won't stop until the Apocalypse is like a thing.
Part of me wants to continue, and part of me says why? *le sigh* I'll come back when I can't take the 'What happened?' anymore.
Darn my need for closure. :(
Eternal Rider features:
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars. This was totally not what I was expecting. I had no idea I was in for a YA book, from the look of the cover.
Dead Witch Walking begins hitting the road running, full of funny anecdotes and situations, but then I tripped on the worldbuilding. There were just so many differences the author tries with her supernaturals, that it was just too much info to absorb.
Plus, most of humanity's wiped out because of some mutation or virus found in tomatoes. But the humans who have managed to survive, have all but banned the food and it strikes fear in the populace (totally reminded me of the film - Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. LOL). Good thing the supernaturals are immune to the virus and can still eat pizza.
Anyhoo, I can't believe that the supernaturals themselves don't even know about the differences in the species, like what sets off a vampire or not. It was just too much trying to be set apart, when it would have been easier to just rely on the myths we know and associate with being a vamp, or a werewolf.
Rachel is a witch bounty hunter who works for the I.S., hunting down supernaturals who break the law. She has flubbed so many of her assignments that she ends up with shit detail, trying to bring in a leprechaun on tax evasion.
While on her run, she meets up with Ivy, a vampire (who's not dead? and therefore doesn't drink blood?) the star of the agency. In a moment of triumph, Rachel bags her mark and she's proud to show Ivy she can do her job.
But when the leprechaun tells Rachel she'll grant her three wishes in exchange for letting her go, Rachel jumps on the chance for some freedom from the oppressive job she's been meaning to leave for a while.
Rachel makes the mistake of telling Ivy her plans, and is surprised to find that Ivy, too, wants to leave the agency. Jumping on the band wagon is Jenks, a pixie who just wants the third wish for himself - sterlization so he can just enjoy being with his wife and not have to add to his brood.
Rachel agrees to the companionship and she wastes her wish on not getting caught letting the leprechaun go. Ivy saves her wish for a later time, and Jenks gets his wish right away. The three of them move to an old church, but danger looms at every turn.
When Rachel leaves, her boss Dennon is only too happy to see her go, but when Ivy quits the same day, he puts two and two together, realizing Rachel had something to do with his best runner's decision to leave. Pissed, Dennon puts out a death threat on Rachel's life.
What ensues is a bevy of assassination attempts, and in between it all, Rachel tries to undo the hit on her life by bringing down the biggest mobster in town, Trent - a protected and respected councilman she accuses of running biodrugs.
It's unclear what Trent really is - the mystery is never solved throughout the whole book, and it's a constant struggle of wills between him and Rachel. But the book is filled with all sorts of mysteries such as what was Ivy's wish? We don't get to see what she spends her wish on. And just who is their neighbor? Etc.. It's just a plot to continue to the next book, but there just wasn't any romance for me to continue.
Rachel, while disguised as a mink via one of her charms, is taken captive by Trent and is taken to the rat pit fights to fight for her life. In her first fight, she fights Baron (who turns out to be Nick) and they both escape.
Nick is a human, but he's got vast knowledge of the superhumans as he works at a library. (How is it a human knows the ins and outs of every species, and yet a trained witch bounty hunter from a supernatural agency has no clue? *smh*) There's a big mystery surrounding him, too, but it's a let's-discuss-that-later issue. Nick becomes Rachel's love interest, but there wasn't much chemistry there.
It was an okay read, but I would have liked a warning saying this was a YA book. From the cover, I thought it was a paranormal romance. Oh well, live and learn.
Dead Witch Walking features:
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars. ***MAJOR SPOILERS*** Being an assassin, and holding the title - 'The World's Best Assassin' comes with a few givens. The first one being mainly - you do not grow attachments to anyone or anything as your job doesn't afford you this luxury. After all, people can easily be exploited against you, so emotional attachments are to be avoided at any cost.
I mean did the author of this book not see The Professional with Jean Reno? In this movie, the assassin, Leon, basically seals his fate the moment he lets Mathilda into his life. Wasn't this clear to anyone who saw this. No? Them what about the Jason Bourne movies? Does that make things any clearer?
Assassins are loners, and unattached to any one thing as they just sift through life completing their mission. They have been honed and trained (oftentimes brainwashed or experimented on) to do one thing and one thing only. Can we get on board this, or is it because this book's setting is in a magical realm that all of these truths we hold to be clear are negated?
As I read that Cel is living in a plush room, allowed her freedom to go wherever she wants and is just living a teenager's life - making friends, playing with her dog, deciding on a boyfriend and choosing which one to lose her virginity to, and trying out the latest fashions to see what style she likes best - just completely missed the mark for me.
So while I tried to make sense of things and think that perhaps life moved differently in this magical realm, and tried to get into the story, I just couldn't make sense of another plot line: Cel choosing Chaol.
That perhaps sealed the final nail in the coffin for me. Who in their right mind chooses a guard over the Prince? Sure, if the Prince was a jerk and evil then I'd totally get it, but Dorian isn't, and on top of it, he has MAGIC! Umm - that's a no brainer there. Gorgeous, magical, honest, kind, and amazing Princes don't get friendzoned and chosen over the help. Really? Ugh.
Yeah, there's a million other reasons this story is a total fail for me, such as it's revealed later in the story that Cel is actually a descendant of the Fae and a princess. When her former Master kills off her royal family, she's now the legitimate queen of some who-cares land and is the new King's most feared rival. Yet, her former Master couldn't bring himself to kill her as a child and instead takes her in and trains her as his assassin. Plus, later he falls in love with her and wants to keep her for himself. So when in the last books Cel falls in love with Sam and not her Master - he beats the living tar out of her and throws her in prison. Really?
You mean to say Cel's former Master went through ALLLLL that trouble to house her, protect her, train her, and provide for her, I'm thinking because maybe he wanted the throne to himself when Cel grew up? But he decides to just throw it all away because Cel gets a crush on someone else? Huh? You would think her Master would be a bit more intelligent and calculating than that.
Ugh. I'm not even getting into the rest of the story line which I just couldn't deal with since these glaring inconsistencies wouldn't let me get into this story.
But there is just one more thing that can't go without being mentioned - sex scenes in YA books. Normally they are a fade to black cut scenes when they come up, but this was not the case in Crown of Midnight, which totally pushed the envelope. It goes THERE without going THERE - if that makes any sense. But if you're thinking - what's the problem with getting a little bit extra? Well, everything. Maybe I was grossed out with Choal, but instead of coming across as extra details, the passages came across as if the author either 1) lacked the writing expertise to fully go erotica, or 2) was too lazy to actually dive into the art of writing a sex scene.
Ugh. I could have done without the details when Chaol and Cel get together. Really, I could have.
So finally, I've got to go back and re-read a story which does women assassins right:
Tangled Web by Crista McHugh and somehow figure out how to get back the time I've wasted with this series.
Crown of Midnight features:
Eleven-year-old Josephine (Jo) has no memory of her childhood prior to finding her and her small brother in a rural Texas town. She spoke a different language, but quickly picked up English and did whatever was necessary to provide for herself and her infant brother, Thaddie.
Miz B, a librarian, befriends the two youngsters and wants to take care of them. But tragedy strikes when the local drug lord sets his target on Jo and she ends up with several bullets to the face. When she wakes up hours later in the morgue, everyone thinks she's dead.
After she exacts revenge, she decides to leave the town with her brother, only to have him reject her. She's undergone a whole transformation, after all. Alone and afraid, she sets off into the world with her new powers, knowing her brother is safe and sound with the new family who's taken him in.
Jo plans to one day return for Thaddie, her only reason for living.
Rune is a dark fey halfblood - the illegitimate son of the king. When his father dies, so does the protection he offered to him and his mother. The new queen has her eyes set on the young 15 year old and so begins his life of torture at the evil queen's hands.
Set to do anything she bids to keep his mother safe, he becomes the queen's assassin, using sex and his lethal blood to kill all her enemies. But when his job is done and he asks the queen to honor her pact and show him his mother, the queen obliges and shows him a mound of dirt where his mother is buried.
Rune vows to kill the queen, but the evil queen has other plans. She tortures him until Orion, a powerful being rumored to have to power to destroy worlds comes upon him and frees him, telling him he can kill the queen and her whole line in exchange for his allegiance to him and to become his archer in an army of supernaturals he calls The Morrior. Rune agrees and for 7000 years, he fights by Orion's side - until they happen upon Gaia - or Earth.
Fourteen years later, Jo is 25 and is living in New Orleans, known by the name of Shady Lady. She acts as a protector of prostitutes. She desperately wishes to be loved by someone and have a mate - though she has no idea who she truly is or the extent of her powers, which seem to grow daily. The only clue she has is that she feeds on blood and surmises she must be a vampire.
One day, she chances upon a tryst with a gorgeous man she learns is named Rune. While in her ghost form, she spies on him and a whole band of women he's with. He smells so right to her, and though she's never taken blood from anyone before, she finds herself drawn to the handsome stranger.
Rune is sent to Earth to kill Nix, a Valkyrie who Orion has deemed to have meddled in affairs which are leading to war. The only way to end the conflict is to kill the ancient sage. Orion tasks Rune with the mission to end her. But Rune is finding it hard to concentrate on the task at hand as for the first time in his existence, a female is all that's on his mind.
Rune never thought he could have a mate - has never had one in 7000 yrs - so he can't come to grips on why Jo affects him so. But when Jo feeds on him, Jo sets off so many things in motion that cannot be controlled.
Just when Jo thinks that her love life might finally piece itself together, she discovers her brother Thaddie is talking with Nix, a creature it seems Rune is dead set on killing. Can she protect her brother from the fall out, or will Thaddie be a casualty in Rune's way?
Rune surmises Jo is his destined mate, as his blood is deadly to any who are unlucky to come into contact with it. But will Rune give up his livelihood and spend his days with Jo? Will Jo convince him that she's the only one he needs, or will Rune fall to old habits and continue his womanizing ways? And what of her brother? Why is Thaddie mixed up with Nix?
Check out Sweet Ruin and find out for yourself if true love really prevails!
Totally loved this new installment of the series. I actually screamed when Lothaire makes a super brief appearance. Yaya! OMG so awesome :)
I really enjoyed the waiting game and scorching chemistry between Rune & Jo, though I must admit the scenes were so graphic in places, I double fainted LOL . Wow! *faints again* LOL
Can't wait to see what happens next, though I am curious of Orion and The Morrior. Seems to me they are all just looking for their mates! Love this series. :)
Sweet Ruin features:
ARC copy: Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. Iron & Bone is the third installment of this series, and though it's stated it can be read as a stand-alone book, there are several parts of the book (though they were thoroughly explained) that give such a depth of backstory, that it almost feels like you're missing a whole lot - but in a good sense. You see, it almost made me want to read the other past books. Almost.
In the past memories, there's a lot of heartache (and kidnappings! jeez) and for that, I'm glad I started the series here - where I get a super sappy lovesick story full of romance and happily ever afters not too commonly found in the Motorcycle Club genre.
I totally loved it!
Jill has had a torrid and painful past. She was kidnapped at 16 and sexually abused by her captor who was a drug crazed sicko. Her paths crossed with Dig, her captor's dealer, when Dig came by to supply his client and found what he was up to. Dig frees the girl, and along with his brother in the MC he belongs to, Boner, they quickly make the captor disappear.
Time goes by and though Jill is forever grateful. retaliation is made against Dig and he gets killed. Boner wants nothing to do with Jill, but keeps a close tab on her, knowing it's what his best friend would have wanted.
Jill grows up and falls in love with Catch, another member of a rival MC. She has a baby with him, but things don't work out. She ends up leaving him and moves in with his estranged family (since she's got no family of her own) who just happen to live within Boner's territory.
All of this happens in flashbacks - and it's at this point the story begins. You see? LOTS of background, but full of heartbreak :(
Jill is now 32, with a baby and tow, and Boner is 13 years older than her. Jill has always had a crazy attraction to the MC bad boy, but though he always takes care of her, she knows he won't ever see her as anything but someone to look out for.
As a favor to Dig's wife (who can no longer have children) Jill agrees to be her surrogate as a way to repay Dig for saving her. Her days are spent taking care of her ill mother-in-law and fantasizing about Boner.
Boner. likewise, has had a tumultuous childhood. His mother died at an early age and he was sent to live with uncle and his daughter who was 2 years younger than him, Ines. The two cousins quickly develop a close bond. When his uncle does the unthinkable, Boner takes action and this leads him down the path his life will now take.
Boner becomes a hitman for the local cartel and he does whatever it takes to keep him and Ines afloat. But as time passes, Ines sets her eyes on something else and she betrays him. Her betrayal cuts him deeply (literally) and Boner hardens his heart so he'll never be hurt again. That is - until he meets up with Jill.
Twists and turns abound and the more and more Boner and Jill spend time together, the more apparent their attraction for one another is. But can they move forward from the ghosts of the past that haunt them? Or is their fate already sealed? And what about the gang war with the rival MCs that hovers over all of them? Will they all learn to work together or will it turn into a bloodbath?
Iron & Bone features:
Rating: 5 out 5 stars. I'm finally done with this series! It started out great, but my interest definitely waned for this series and I admit the last couple of books, I totally skim read them. I found some spoilers online and knew how this last one would end up and the only reason I opted to read it was to find out what Carter's Christmas miracle was.
Well, I'm glad I did. RM wraps up this series expertly, making me fall in love all over again with the characters as I had done in the first book. And thankfully, she leaves out any sex scenes that aren't between Seth and Georgina. What a relief! LOL
I'm so in love with Carter and it was such an amazing moment to find out what his true assignment was *sobs* The only question left in the air was what happened to Roman.
Succubus Revealed features:
Sped read this one. Definitely not my fave book by any means of this series. Could have totally done without reading it.