Requested Review: The Farthest Shore by Marian Perera

Format: E-bookthefarthestshore
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Eden, #3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Hero: Alyster Juell
Heroine: Mirande Tayes
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 26, 2014
Started On: December 15, 2014
Finished On: December 20, 2014

Alyster Juell is the captain of the steamship Checkmate, involved in a race between Denalait ships and a Dragan schooner. Captain Alyster appears in the second book of the series, i.e. The Deepest Ocean, my favorite Eden book thus far. Alyster’s excitement over the race is a given and when he finds a stowaway on board, none other than Mirande Tayes (Miri), one of the reporters that he had met the previous night, Alyster’s first reaction is to distrust her on every level.

The truth about Miri’s past and where she comes from is the reason behind Miri’s fate that ends her being onboard Alyster’s steamship as a stowaway. Miri bargains with Alyster to keep her onboard until they reach a port where she can make her way. Alyster who has misgivings about a reporter he distrusts is left fighting an attraction born out of respect for Miri proves her mettle and shows him that she is unafraid of hard work to make her way when required.

Meanwhile, the war that has waged for years between the Tureans and the Denalaits rears its ugly head in the midst of the race, the Tureans willing to use every dirty trick under their sleeve and then some to “win” in a war that has seen its fair share of casualities and damages on both sides. The war has done nothing but create a divide the likes of which we find in the real world today, racial divides that seem insurmountable at best which is the situation that comes to light between Miri and Alyster.

Marian’s ability to create and combine the creepy with the mystic, the romance with the world building continues to amaze me with every story that I read from the Eden series. The Farthest Shore combines all of the above to give a spellbinding read that keeps the reader on tenterhooks until the very last page.

The fate of the little girl under the Turean command, that holds so much power in her hands is one that filled me with unease and fascination quite at the same time. I cannot help but want to read her story somewhere along the way, perhaps Marian might end up giving readers like myself one sometime in the future.

Alyster as the hero is a bit of a laid back version compared to his brother who has a reckless streak a mile wide. The commanding side to Alyster is a direct contrast to his beta-ish nature, both of which makes for a compelling hero. Though Alyster has a hard time coming to terms with who Miri is, the honesty with which he and both Miri handle the situation is one that deserves a mention. Miri is a courageous heroine, whose penchant for being truthful and upfront with Alyster before anything serious could happen between the two of them endeared her to me in more ways than one. Waiting for more stories from the world of Eden.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Marian’s world building of Eden offers endless possibilities for fascinating tales of intrigue, excitement & danger!

Favorite Quotes

“A lot can happen in a few hours.”
“Alyster…” she began. She wasn’t sure what she intended to say, perhaps just tell him that it was the wrong time and place for whatever he was trying to do—and she knew now that he didn’t only want her to trust him. She also knew that she should not have said his name for the first time like that, in a voice that showed altogether too much need, betraying both a loneliness and a longing that she had never allowed herself to show before. But by then it was far too late.

He’d shaved, so the skin grazing her ear was velvety-rough, his teeth hard against her earlobe.
That time it was she who made a sound instead, a whimper she couldn’t stifle, and her arms went up around him.
“Yes,” he said, his voice as raw as if he had fought not to say anything at all, and when he kissed her again there was no gentleness about it. But she didn’t need that now. She needed to forget about everything, needed the pain of the past and the darkness of that night wiped out in a desire so fierce she couldn’t think any longer, needed him.

“I’ve never known a woman quite like you,” he said quietly.
Again she hesitated. Only the faintest edge of moonlight from the open hatchway showed the soft waves of her hair and one shoulder in the darkness.
“A woman who was half-salt?” she finally replied, and he had the impression she’d used the pause to make certain only a cool edge of disdain showed in her voice. He didn’t think he’d allow her the chance to get a shield up again. He didn’t think he wanted there to be anything between them again, at least not for that night.
“Half-idealistic and half-exasperating and all remarkable,” he said, and closed his hands around her shoulders, pulling her against him.

Over a rushing sound in his ears, he heard her groan low in her throat, and he managed to break the kiss so they could breathe again. They were both panting as if they’d been nearly drowned.
As he wanted to drown in her, wanted to sink into her until she was gasping and helpless under him. There was no need to search for her mouth a second time. She kissed him back, one arm sliding up around his neck, and her fingers caught in his hair. He shuddered, and his mouth went to her throat.

“Do you want me?” He barely recognized the sound of his own voice.
In the darkness, he heard her swallow, and the sound made him take a quick step back before he could lose the last vestiges of control and push her up against the wall. “Yes.” The word sounded like a sigh, albeit a sigh dragged out of her with a fishing gaff.
A tension he hadn’t realized was present drained out of him. “Then come to my cabin,” he said, and walked away.

A whimper trapped in her throat, she bent her knees, trying to force his mouth closer to her, but she might as well have been trying to shift a mountain. He made a sound that might have been a laugh if it hadn’t been so raw with need, and buried his face between her thighs. The roughness of the stubble on his face made his mouth feel more sensitive and sensual, and he impaled her with his tongue.
The world vanished in a soundless explosion. Her body jerked in a climax so fast and hard she couldn’t even scream. Her spine locked rigid, her head fell back as wave after wave of clenching release slammed into her, and he drew out the last shudders as he licked her swollen, spasming flesh.

“Now,” she whispered, but he only shifted position, and his tongue played slowly over her other nipple. She squirmed, unable to bear the ache between her thighs. “Alyster, now—” He came into her deep and hard, stretching and filling her. She cried out, a sound as much plea as it was pleasure. Her arms tightened around him to hold him where she needed
him, her hips rose to meet his fierce thrusts, and she was close, so close, so—
“Miri,” he groaned against her ear, and that was enough. Everything in her tightened at once, clenching and rigid, and Alyster pulled back before driving in again, faster now as if he had lost all control too.

“Ride me, Miri,” he whispered, and she lifted herself above him. The slick slide of his naked flesh against hers made him set his teeth, and when he pushed back into her, it felt even better. She braced her hands against his chest, rising and falling again and again, meeting his thrusts in a rhythm that was steadily growing faster, more out of control.
“Now—” The muscles of her face tightened too, her eyes closing as she surrounded him and withdrew, relentless as the tide. Her thighs were trembling against his hips, squeezing them, as she impaled herself completely. “Alyster—”
Yes, Alyster thought and thrust up as hard as he could. It was enough.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | Samhain | eBookMall

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Review: Demon by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookdemon
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #2
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Azazel
Heroine: Rachel Fitzpatrick
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 31, 2011
Started On: December 11, 2014
Finished On: December 12, 2014

“Who is Sarah?” […]
“My wife,” he said. “She died seven years ago. And I will not replace her with you.”

What happens when you find a series that just begs to be read? On top of that, what happens when it is written by an author who always delivers, even in her not so stellar stories? Well, that is what has happened in the case of The Fallen series written by Kristina Douglas aka Anne Stuart. I finished reading Raziel, the first book in the series just two days back. Being the fan that I am, and given the intriguing ending to Raziel, I just couldn’t help myself but quickly pick up the second book to read.

In Raziel, the first book, we meet Azazel, the Alpha of The Fallen, who has acted as their leader for eons. Giving the secret behind Azazel’s leaving would be spoiling it for readers who are interested so I will just say that it is heartbreaking what happens to Azazel, who leaves Sheol, the hidden realm on Earth in which the fallen angels reside. Anger and fear drives Azazel to seek out the female demon Lilith, who is rumored to be all things evil. Azazel’s fear stems from a prophecy as old as time itself, and he knows that the only way to prevent that from coming true would be to kill Rachel Fitzpatrick.

Rachel is a woman who leads a life even that she can’t remember much. There are echoes of memories that linger around in her mind. She doesn’t tend to stay around one place for long, some age old instinct driving her to run when the time comes. When Rachel finds herself face to face with Azazel who has the weirdest theory about who she is, and wanting to kill her, none other than Rachel is more surprised by the fact that she wants the man whose cold eyes speak of an intention to end her life.

Azazel would be kidding himself if he were to think that he is immune to Rachel. Though she hides behind baggy clothes and assumes a nonthreatening posture, the lure that she presents to mankind itself is one that even Azazel is not immune from. That doesn’t mean that he gives in from the moment he lays eyes on her. Rather he fights and fights dirty to keep her at bay, going as far as to betray her in a way that would have been hard to pull off if not for a writer of Anne Stuart’s caliber.

Mark my words, Azazel is ruthless. Ruthless in a way that some readers might not appreciate. But I think Demon is a perfect portrayal of his character the way the author intended him to be. I hate books where at the beginning of a series, a particular character is portrayed as this tortured and ruthless man that would be hard to take in, but oh so good when all is said and done. And then when his book arrives, from the minute his intended show up, he loses every single character that defines who he is. That is not realistic in my opinion and it cheats the readers out of a lot of anticipation they have been storing up for that particular character. Which is why I love Kristina Douglas aka Anne Stuart. She has no problem with delivering her characters as they are. And she ends up doing quite a fantastic job out of the storytelling with them.

Though I fell in love with Raziel’s story a tad more than I did for Azazel’s, Demon nevertheless is a book not to be missed. It has got a story that you’d either love or hate; there is no in between. Once again, combining first person point of view with view points from other characters in the story in third person, if every story written in first person were to be like this, I definitely wouldn’t have a problem! Recommended!

Final Verdict: Lust, redemption, betrayal and love; Kristina Douglas definitely delivers!

Favorite Quotes

“You are everything that is evil. I should have left you to the Nephilim.”
[..]
“Why didn’t you?” My voice was almost a whisper, as if I knew what he was going to do and I was afraid to startle him. Distract him. Stop him. I knew what he wanted, and God help me, I wanted it too.
His deep-blue eyes were shadowed, and I thought I could see a streak of blood on his mouth. Whose blood? “Because I am a fool and a half,” he whispered as well, the night air all around us. “Because I know who and what you are, and I want you anyway.”
And he kissed me. His mouth was rough, pushing mine open as his hard body pressed me back against the car, and I felt heat, desire, sweep through me, not knowing if it was his or mine.

I kept my mouth shut, wondering whether I could bite him hard enough to draw blood, wondering why my breath was coming fast and my heart was racing. It wasn’t fear. I’d told the truth—I was no longer afraid of him. I remembered his kiss from the dockside, the rush of desire that had suffused my body.
As it did now. My pulse raced, my skin heated; I was wet and ready. I thought, Fuck it, and opened my mouth for him, taking the sweet invasion of his tongue with a shock of pleasure, and I knew I’d been waiting for this, longing for this without knowing it. Longing for him, my enemy.

He brought his hands up to cradle my head, as impossibly the kiss deepened, and I wanted my clothes off—now. I wanted to strip him naked and feel him inside of me, pulsing and thrusting. I could sense it, anticipate it, feel the thick push of him, and I cried out against his mouth as a small climax startled me.

I felt his teeth then, a small bite against my skin, barely painful, and my muffled arousal was suddenly full-force, sweeping over my body. I put my hands on him, on his damp, silky hair, pressing him against me. The room wasn’t dark the way I wanted, but it didn’t matter. It was all right to want him, all right to feel overwhelming desire. There were no witnesses, and he didn’t care what I was feeling. We were doing this, it was out of my control, and his mouth was wonderful against me.

“Oh, God,” I whispered as he licked me gently, carefully, teasing me until I wanted to scream at him. And then his mouth fastened on me with such deep, drawing hunger that I felt a hot spasm between my legs and, straddling him, pressed my naked body against his. He hadn’t lied. He was most definitely aroused, and I rocked against him instinctively, feeling him against my sensitive flesh.

I looked down between us, at the joining. I could see my nipples, tight and hard. See him buried inside me as I felt my body grow accustomed to his. He hadn’t moved, and slowly I raised my eyes to look at him.
For a moment we simply stared at each other, frozen in time, his eyes and mine, more powerfully intimate than the joining between our legs. “Move,” he said, his voice raw.

I dug my fingers into his shoulders, wanting to get away, but he wouldn’t let me. “Do not fight it,” he whispered. “Embrace it.” He slid his hand down my stomach, touching where we joined, and a jolt of reaction swept through me.
I heard my own muffled cry, and he surged up into me again, and again, and he touched me once more, hard, and his voice was a growl.
“Come,” he said. And I did.

Pulling the long skirt up, exposing my legs in the stormy afternoon, so that I felt the rain pelting against them, and I knew I should care whether someone was watching. I did care, just not enough. Not even when he reached for my panties and with one rough yank tore them off.
He put one hand under my butt, lifting me up, pressing me back against the door, and I heard the rasp of his zipper, his muttered curse as he freed himself, and then he pushed inside me, not waiting to see if I was ready for him.
I was. More than ready.

His hands were on my bare thighs, holding me up, and he pushed into me again and again. I could hear the wet slap of our joining, and it was another jolt of dark pleasure. He kissed me, hard, and I could taste blood, his or mine or both, it didn’t matter. He couldn’t get enough of me and I couldn’t get enough of him.

One more crash of lightning, and the sky opened in a deluge. He slammed back into me, and I went over the edge as I felt him jerk and pulse into me. I have no idea why I did it, only knew that I needed to; my mouth opened, and my teeth sank into his strong, powerful throat, breaking the skin, tasting the rich sweetness of his blood.
I heard his deep groan, felt him swell inside me, and then nothing more as sheer sensation washed over me. I shook, convulsing, lost in a place that terrified me, with only his arms and his body supporting me as I flew.

His hands slid down, covering them, and I cried out with the sensation, a raw, rough sound, and then I made no sound at all as his mouth closed over one taut nipple, drawing it in tightly, his tongue dancing across the beaded top as he sucked, and I wondered if I could come simply from his mouth at my breast. And then I remembered his hoarse, one-word command, “Come,” and my body went rigid as a small climax caught me.

The pull of his mouth at my neck, sucking, drinking, lost in my taste, the sweet hot rush as he filled me were too much. I was dying, and I didn’t care. We would die together, destroyed by a desire that was elementally wrong; they had warned us, and neither of us had cared. I was dying, and I was in his arms, and that was all that mattered.
There were feathers, feathers closing around me, soft and blessed, drawing in the darkness, and as I tumbled back to earth I let myself rest in their gentleness, at peace.

His hands slid down to cover my breasts, his fingers plucking my nipples, and the banked fire roared to life again. I pressed my butt against him, rubbing, and his sudden growl was pure animal need. Something that vibrated within me as well. I turned in his arms, and he kissed me, his mouth still tasting of the salt water, and I wanted to drink him in. Wanted to suck at him, as he had sucked at me, and I knew what I was going to do.
“Oh, God,” he muttered weakly, and I remembered he could read my thoughts. My body heated with a rush of embarrassment, but he only laughed, low in his throat, and shoved the covers off me.

“I want …” she whispered in that lost, broken voice that filled him with shame and sorrow, “… I want to change positions.”
He managed a crooked smile. “Of course,” he said, starting to turn and pull her on top; but she resisted, pushing at him.
“No,” she said. “There’s another way.”
He held very still. “There are many other ways,” he said finally, his own voice sounding as damaged as hers.
“I … I …” Embarrassment colored her voice, and he knew she couldn’t find the words.
“You want me to guess?” he said with strangled amusement.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

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Review: Raziel by Kristina Douglas

Format: E-bookraziel
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: The Fallen, #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Raziel
Heroine: Allegra Watson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 25, 2011
Started On: December 1, 2014
Finished On: December 10, 2014

Kristina Douglas is Anne Stuart writing paranormal fantasy genre. And whichever genre that Anne Stuart chooses to write, and if there is romance in it, its definitely a reason to pick it up. I’ve been meaning to give this series a go and finally managed to do so and ended up getting wowed beyond my wildest imaginations.

The Fallen series is focused on the concept of the fallen angels that is believed by Jews and Christians. Though I found reading about fallen angels which is not something we believe in Islam a bit unsettling at the beginning, I just set aside my misgivings and gave up to the heady ride Kristina Douglas delivered with Raziel, the debut book in the series.

Allegra Watson (Allie), a biblical murder mystery writer finds herself meeting her death, escorted by the most beautiful male specimen that she has laid her eyes on to her intended destination. Raziel and the other fallen angels lead a seemingly endless life, a life includes ferrying souls to either Hell or Paradise at the behest of Uriel, the archangel. Though Raziel has never had any problems with any of the people that he has transported for centuries, he finds that when the time of reckoning comes, he is unable to send Allegra on her way.

Allie finds herself in the most bizarre of circumstances with Raziel, a man who infuriates her, astounds her and electrifies her with the need that pulses through her every time he is around. Bound to each other by something that neither of them wants to acknowledge, Allie’s arrival to Sheol, the hidden world in which the fallen reside is not a welcome one for many. With danger looming closer than ever, Allie finds herself entirely captivated by Raziel and what he does to  her heart, mind, body and soul. With surprising twists to the story, Ms. Douglas manages to deliver a story that is unputdownable at best!

The power that Anne Stuart holds over her readers is legendary. With contemporary romances and romantic suspense, she continues to push the comfort zone of many a reader and publisher too if her writing history is anything to judge that fact by and under the pseudonym of Kristina Douglas, Anne Stuart practically eviscerates every preconceived notion of how the fantasy genre ought to be written. She smashes through the walls and leaves utter destruction of the kind you love to indulge in and I as a reader couldn’t have asked for more!

Allie whose name Allegra Watson made me snicker a bit to myself (Allegra = an antihistamine + Watson = a personal care store in Malaysia), fits the mold of heroines that Anne Stuart is famous for writing. Definitely not of the doormat variety, Allie continues to push at Raziel’s carefully laid out world of black and white, splashing it with beautiful, bold and vivid colors while Raziel continues to fool himself into thinking he is man enough to resist her charms. Snarky with a heart of gold, Allie was a heroine I definitely fell in love with and rooted for in the biggest way possible.

Raziel is one of the oldest of the fallen angels and pretty set in his ways. Raziel had sworn off women and the concept of finding a mate to share his life with because of the pain it brings to the heart to lose the one you love. While the fallen are subjected to live their life for eternity, their mates aren’t magically given the same “gift” and thus Raziel’s conviction that he is better off with just relying on his hand for company. But with the arrival of Allie into his life, Raziel knows in his heart that his days as a loner are numbered and that before she is through, she would end up blowing his heart into smithereens if he is not careful.

Raziel as a hero is beyond sexy, the kind of man that Anne Stuart so boldly brings to life time and yet again. Given the fact that this is fantasy, Anne’s creation goes a step further and delivers a mouthwatering version of the alpha male, Raziel is practically good enough to eat! His wings, oh man, those are a sight to behold and yes, you have to read the book to understand the full impact of Raziel.

This book is written in first person, from both Raziel and Allie’s points of view. The fact that I forgot to even complain about it when I initially wrote the review explains the fact that Ms. Douglas found a way to make the first person PoV work. By providing the points of view of both the hero and heroine. I actually never felt any of the frustrations that I usually feel with books written in first person and perhaps that is why I forgot to write it down when I first drafted the review.

I loved the ending provided, a look into their lives 5 years on, and a torturous peek towards what’s coming. There’s a sadness to the story, an inevitability to their shared lives and yet the happiness that radiates from it outshines it all. And that my friends is what superb storytelling is all about. Combining witty banter, heady sexual tension with highly erotic and sensuous delivery and enough fantasy and gore to feed the appetite, Raziel is a book that is a definite must read! I went a bit crazy with the quotes, forgive me. Not! Haha!

Final Verdict: Bold & unapologetic, sweeps you off your feet, big time!

Favorite Quotes

Kicking him in the shin and running like hell seemed an excellent plan, but I was barefoot and my body wasn’t feeling cooperative. As angry and desperate as I was, I still seemed to want him to touch me, even when I knew he had nothing good in mind. Angels didn’t have sex, did they? They didn’t even have sexual organs, according to the movie Dogma. I found myself glancing at his crotch, then quickly pulled my gaze away. What the hell was I doing checking out an angel’s package when I was about to die?

Her smile was faint, lovely, one of the most erotic things about her. “Now,” she whispered.
He didn’t hesitate. His fangs slid down and sank into her neck, finding the sweet spot he knew so well. The blood was thick, rich in his mouth, and he felt the spasms begin to take over, felt her own helpless response as his wings unfurled. He rolled onto his side, taking her with him, his teeth never leaving the gently throbbing vein, his cock deep inside her as his wings clamped around them both, locking them together as he gave himself over to the only kind of death he’d ever know.

“Were you sent here to torment me?” he whispered, sliding his arm around my waist, pulling me against him. “Did he know exactly what I needed, what I couldn’t fight?”
He? Who? But before I could ask the question, he kissed me again, and I was lost, needing to get closer to him, needing his skin beneath my fingers. His tongue was in my mouth, and I welcomed it, reaching between us and pulling his shirt apart so I could touch his skin, his hot, smooth skin. His heart was racing, and I wanted to put my mouth against it, wanted to taste his flat nipples, wanted my mouth all over him.

He started to pull out, and I clutched at him, suddenly terrified he would leave me.
But he was already pushing back into me, deeper than the first thrust, slick and sure, deeper, thicker, harder, and when he pulled back I let out a cry, desperate.
This time he slammed into me, all the way in, pushing me hard up against the wall, and my body suddenly shattered. I let out a muffled scream, burying it against his shoulder, against the smell of clean cotton and warm skin, and another wave hit me, and then another, until I was sure I couldn’t take any more.

I lay perfectly still beneath as he took care of me, my eyes closed, just wishing he’d go away and leave me. He was going to, sooner or later, and he might as well get it over with.
“I’m not going away,” he said.
“Stop reading my mind!” I cried, my voice catching on a sob. I didn’t tend to become emotional after sex, but this was an anomaly on every front.
He cursed under his breath. And then he simply moved over me, between my legs, and before I realized what he was doing he’d pushed inside me again, fully hard, and I let out a little yelp of shock as I shifted to accommodate him.

He lifted his head to look down at me, and I stared up into his strange eyes, mesmerized. I no longer wanted to hide, to look away. He was invading my soul again, just as he had earlier, only this time he was invading my body at the same time, and I wanted more.
“There’s a limit to what you can take, Allie,” he whispered in my ear, reading me again. “I don’t want to hurt you.” And he began to move, a slow, sweet slide, and I found I could make noise after all, a deep, longing moan, as I slid my arms around his back and held him close, feeling his muscles bunch and release against my hands, wanting the feel of him, the taste of him, all around me.

He reached behind him and took my arms, slamming them down on the mattress as he rose up, pumping into me. The second climax hit me, and then I couldn’t stop. I needed nothing more than the steady movement of him inside me to bring me to a place I hadn’t believed existed, and I threw myself out into the stars as his hands pressed down on mine and the iridescent darkness closed around us once more.
I could feel him inside me, coming, and I arched back, wanting his mouth on me, wanting his teeth on me. Please, I thought, and I felt his mouth against my neck and the first sharp bite of his teeth.
And I was complete.

“I can’t,” I said in sudden fear. “I really can’t.” And I tried to get off the bed.
He caught me at the edge, pulling me back underneath him so that I was facedown on the bed, my mouth against the linen sheets that smelled of lavender and spice and something even more elemental. “Yes you can,” he said with simple truth, and he slid his arm under my stomach, pulling me up to my hands and knees.

He pounded into me, a heavy dark rhythm that was like drumbeats from the heart of Africa. The drums of the gods. And I couldn’t stop the shudders rushing through me, mini-climaxes that were building, and his hand went between my legs, his fingers touching me, and I screamed, putting my head down, my face into the sheets as I gave in to the wildness and power, the animal need washing through me. I gave myself to him with complete trust, no longer thinking, no longer doubting. He would keep me safe, he would stop when I had more than I could handle, he would know.

His cock inside me seemed to swell, and I cradled his head against me, running my fingers through his thick, curling hair, whispering to him, soft words, love words.
And then he pulled away, rising up, and I could see my blood on his mouth, see the glitter in his eyes. He stared down at me, not moving, and I felt his climax deep inside me, giving me back what he had taken from me, and I joined him, flinging myself into the darkness with only him to guide me.

“Are you always going to be able to read my thoughts?” I asked with a trace of asperity.
“I can try not to. When you’re feeling strong emotion, it will come to me, and it will go both ways. In day-to-day life, I can shield you.”
“And in bed? I’m assuming we’re going to do this again?” I held my breath, waiting for the answer. Was he still fighting it? Should I still fight it?
It was a long moment before he spoke, an endless one. “As often as possible,” he said.
I knew his thoughts, knew what he wanted. Now. Again. “Yes,” I said. “Yes.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

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Requested ARC Review: The Deepest Ocean by Marian Perera

Format: E-bookthedeepestocean
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Eden, #2
Publisher: Samhain Publishers
Hero: Darok Juell
Heroine: Yerena Fin Caller
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: April 1, 2014
Started On: May 19, 2014
Finished On: July 2, 2014

The Deepest Ocean by Marian Perera is the second book in her Eden series, and what a book this turned out to be. For someone like myself who doesn’t read much of fantasy novels, to be drawn into the world that Marian creates tells a story in itself. I am quite selective in the authors that I read when it comes to fantasy romances, perhaps because my imagination falls short of what the author is actually trying to convey with the worlds they create. But with Marian’s illustrious words, lets just say that there was a moment or two where I questioned myself on why I do not read more of the genre.

Darok Juell is the captain of the warship Daystrider who is instructed by the Commander of the Guardian Fleet of Denalay to take on board a woman whose identity remains a secret even to him until Yerena Fin Caller turns up at his ship right before it is supposed to depart. Darok finds himself fascinated by the Seawatch operative who informs him that her only duty is to guide and guard the ship in its journey. The tattoo that completely surrounds Yerena’s left eye tells a story in itself, a direct contrast to her otherwise nondescript nature and appearance.

Yerena is considered a weapon of Denalay, one of the countless men and women trained to serve the Unity the whole of their lives. Reared from a very tender age to become the weapon she is, Yerena commands a great white shark that is the closest to anything the she considers as hers. Her “unconventional” bond to the shark had gotten her many a thrashing, the result of which is the cold, aloof and controlled operative that is presented to the rest of the world.

The mission ahead is a perilous one, the impulsive and at times brash Darok paired with a Seawatch operative that is the furthest thing from brainish. Darok enlists Yerena’s help in crossing the Strait of Mists into the Iron Ocean in order to outrun the Turean pirate ships whose one sole mission is to destroy the Daystrider before it reaches shore. Yerena hides one aspect of her mission from Darok even though he makes Yerena question all the rules by which she has lived her entire life. Darok entices Yerena into giving herself into his caresses, kisses and  touches powerful enough to move her into giving him everything she has to give. And in the midst of it all rages a battle of megaly proportions that seems to challenge the combined experience and talent of Yerena and Darok, delivering a tale that stays with you long after you are done.

Having read Marian’s first book, I was surprised and delighted with the thread of sensuality that is interwoven into the fabric of the story. Yerena being seduced by Darok and the tables being turned added that sensual edge to the story which truly made The Deepest Ocean stand out when compared to Before the Storm, the first book in the series. With a few surprises up her sleeve, Marian definitely keeps the reader guessing, the pages turning and most of all the action almost going on nonstop in this tale that totally blew me away! Definitely and most highly recommended for lovers of the fantasy genre.

Final Verdict: Epic storytelling from start to finish. Marian is a voice not to be missed in this genre!

Favorite Quotes

For a moment she said nothing, but then her lips twitched. “No one’s compared me to a crab before.”
Darok grinned. “If it helps, I think you’re a lot prettier than most crabs.”
She laughed, and Darok drew his breath in. He hadn’t known until then how the warmth and lightness of laughter could change her face. The reflections of fire danced in her eyes, and the relaxation of her usual control made her mouth so different, lovely and sensually shaped. He only realized he had stepped forward when her lips parted in surprise, and he only knew he was holding her when he felt the softness of clean linen and the taut muscles of her arm beneath his hand. But he knew exactly what he was doing when he bent his head and covered her half-opened mouth with his own.

Darok’s senses were swimming when he lifted his head with an effort and looked down at her face. Her lips were full and moist, still open as she caught her breath, and he hardened at the sight. Wrapping an arm around her waist, he pulled her against him and bent to kiss the pulse pounding in her throat.
“Darok—” The word was a gasp, and he wanted to hear it again, wanted to hear it as he drove into her. He bit her throat just hard enough to wring a moan from her, then gently licked the mark he had made and blew on it. Yerena’s body swayed, her knees buckling, and Darok pushed her up against the wall as he lifted his head to kiss her again.

“Yerena.”
His voice was low and deep, turning the consonants of her name into a purr, and it was the only warning she had before his arm went around her waist, pulling her against him. His fingers were splayed against her hip, but his other hand cupped her face, lifting it. Yerena felt the warmth of his breath on her lips and held on to him for support as her eyes closed involuntarily.

She licked the pad of her thumb and rubbed his nipple. His eyes opened at once, and her smile was no longer secret as she reached down. She wrapped her hand around the throbbing length of his shaft, and he groaned.
“This is how much I want you,” she said, and rose up on her knees just enough to guide him into her.
The first touch of iron heat against the wet folds of her sex made her jolt as if the ship had struck a sandbank, but she recovered and began to impale herself slowly. She wanted him in her, wanted them joined so deeply that nothing would be able to tear them apart…at least for that night.

Darok released her and reached for her braid, which had fallen over her shoulder. The ribbon tying the end came off, and he drew his fingers through the mass of her hair, letting it fan over her shoulders and fall across her breasts.
“You’re beautiful, Yerena.” His voice was hoarse. “And wet.” He claimed her other breast, fondling it with his palm before his thumb rubbed the nipple. “I’ll make you wetter.”
That time she didn’t gasp when he pulled her forward, when he sucked on her. She groaned instead, and Darok made a rougher, lower sound that vibrated up from his throat into her skin.

“Darok!” Her voice was a raw whisper, shaking. “Now, please, now—”
He entered her with his tongue that time, as deep as he could, and her flesh tightened around him. She made no sound other than a wrenching sob that was nowhere near enough for him. He pulled away and rose as the hazel eyes were opening in disbelief, and when her legs closed around him to pull him back, he went with her and sank hilt-deep into hot convulsing flesh.

He bent his head and covered her mouth with his in a kiss so thirsty and possessive that it made her sway against him, trembling with need as her body caught fire from his. Her free hand clenched in his shirt. His tongue slid over hers, and she softly sucked on it until he moaned, low in his throat.
He tasted of rum and limes, strong and bitter and intoxicating at once.

She lay with her eyes closed, still breathing hard. The light sheen of wetness across one breast felt cool, but Darok’s upper arm lay across her other breast, warm and heavy. Aftershocks pulsed through her flesh, and she knew he felt those just as intensely although he lay quiet and sated beside her, motionless except for his breathing. They were joined in an intimacy that went far beyond the physical, and she acknowledged it with a cold despair settling over her heart.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Samhain | ARe

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Review: Tangle Of Need by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookTangleOfNeed
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #11
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Riaz Delgado
Heroine: Adria Morgan
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: May 29, 2012
Started On: December 16, 2013
Finished On: December 22, 2013

Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh is the 11th book in the Psy-Changeling series, the book that follows the story of the much awaited coming together of Hawke and Sienna. By the 10th book in the series which happens to be Hawke and Sienna’s story, a lot has happened and the stories move towards the ultimate demise of the Silence that the Psy species had assumed a long time back rendering them emotionless, cold and calculative. A movement known as Pure Psy seems to have stemmed from within the Psy race, hellbent on achieving state of ultimate and pure silence that would “protect” them from all sorts of emotions that according to them happens to be the demise of their race. And all the while, the politics that governs the Psy race seems to be splintering into fragments, lending the series the edge it deserves.

Tangle of Need is the story of Riaz Delgado, a lieutenant of the SnowDancer wolf pack and Adria Morgan, one of the senior soldiers of the pack. Riaz is a lone wolf, who has come back home to lick his wounds and bask in the love and togetherness of the pack to piece together the jagged pieces of his broken heart and soul. Adria herself is broken from a relationship that had practically splintered pieces of her heart, soul and self esteem, something she battles with continuously ever since having walked out from a life that had stopped working for her a long time ago.

The passion that ignites between Riaz and Adria is smoldering hot, one filled with resentment and anger on Riaz’s part and apprehension on Adria’s end. The fact that Adria proved to be strong enough to walk away from Riaz knowing she deserved better made me respect her a helluva lot, not that I didn’t understand where Riaz was coming from. The visceral hurt that seemed to be eating Riaz alive made me want to reach out to him and pet him until the pain his wolf was suffering was laid to rest, and I fell in love with Adria for being woman enough to accept and love Riaz as he is.

My contention with the story stems from the fact that I believe juggling so many aspects of the story made it lose focus on the main protagonists of the novel. There was Riaz and Adria and then there was Hawke and Sienna. Hawke and Sienna get as much time in the story as Riaz and Adria, probably to make up for the lack in their own story. I had a huge problem with how Hawke and Sienna’s story panned out, my main problem again being the fact that Hawke and Sienna as a couple didn’t get much time in the story due to everything else that was taking place. Don’t get me wrong, these books are quite entertaining and I still wouldn’t pass reading them up for anything, but I think when the focus is lost from the main couple in the story, therein lies a problem.

The way things ended with Adria and Riaz made me wonder for a second or two on whether Adria had been shortchanged by the man she adores and loves with her heart, body and soul. And though I felt that Riaz does return her love and does a good job of convincing her of just that, I still felt a teensy bit disappointed by how things ended for them. But deep in my heart I know and believe that their love is one that will survive because they are both equally strong and determined people who would fight to death for each other.

Tangle of Need ends on a sort of a cliff hanger ending in the sense that it leaves one practically on tenterhooks wanting to know how the next chapter would pan out. As one of the reviewers on Goodreads pointed out, the background storyline was focused on preparing the reader for the next book, Heart of Obsidian which I hear is filled with explosive and ground shaking moments. Can’t wait to begin reading!

Recommended for fans of the series. Read the series in order. Otherwise you’ll miss out on the great stuff that binds the stories together.

Favorite Quotes

Growling deep in his chest, he pulled her head back to take her mouth again. He wasn’t the least bit gentle, but she didn’t want gentle, her claws digging into his shoulders as her body moved with raw impatience against him. Taking his hand off her breast, he tore the button off her jeans, tugged down the zipper.

“Why are you doing this?” she whispered, her voice stripped bare.
Riaz’s answer sounded torn out of him. “I can’t stop myself.” He shifted her closer, the move so unexpected, she didn’t resist—and found herself plastered to the hard strength of him. His arousal pushed into her abdomen, the hot male scent of him seeping into her veins until she could taste the dark forests and biting citrus of him against her tongue.

“Oh God!” Arching into the firm, confident touch, she tore at his T-shirt until it was in pieces around them, his big, muscled body rising over her own, his mouth busy on her lips, her jaw, her neck.
His skin was a shade of burnished brown, warm and beautiful, her pleasure at touching him—at last—almost painful.

A single hard thrust and he was seated deep inside her, the thickness of him a pulsing brand.
She froze for a minute, her body stunned at the almost violent possession. Long unused muscles ached, but below all that was need. Such naked, raw need.

Even as she came with a scream, he pounded into her with such wild fury, the feel of him reverberated through her very bones. A brutal word in a masculine voice so harsh, it was almost unrecognizable. Her internal muscles spasming in erotic response. His hand clenching on her breast. The primal heat of him spilling into her.

He broke the kiss, gasped in a jagged breath. Two long, hard thrusts and he felt his spine lock. Gritting his teeth, he tilted her so that his pubic bone would press against her clitoris, and then he thrust again.
Tiny muscles spasming anew around his cock, a molten fist.
His mind went black.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | iTunes

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Review: Play of Passion by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookplayofpassion.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #9
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Andrew Liam Kincaid
Heroine: Indigo Riviere
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 2, 2010
Started On: October 10, 2013
Finished On: October 13, 2013

Play of Passion by Nalini Singh is the 9th book in the Psy-Changeling series, the book that changes the focus that has been mainly on the DarkRiver Changeling pack to the SnowDancer, the wolf Changeling pack in the San Francisco area. Once again a dominant female comes into play, this time with a hero whose hierarchy in the pack is ambiguous at best which poses its own problem when it comes to winning the heroine over.

Andrew Liam Kincaid or Drew as he is most commonly known as is the tracker of the SnowDancer pack. His job is a difficult one in the sense not because of the abilities required of him but rather because of the decisions he may have to take when the inevitable moment arrives. Drew hunts those who go rogue from the pack and because of that he is not considered as a lieutenant though he reports directly to Hawke, the Alpha. The charm that practically oozes out of him hides behind a keen and sharp mind brimming with intelligence and at heart a wolf who wants to play with the mate he has chosen for himself though she might not be aware of his intentions.

Indigo Riviere is one of the dominant females in her pack and a lieutenant at that which makes submitting to any male almost an impossibility for her. Indigo had grown up seeing how destructive a relationship can be where the dominant female is not given the freedom to be who she is and she is determined to never let it happen to her, even if it means Drew charms her in ways that is completely alien to her and reaches out to the very heart of her that she has hidden behind so many walls that even she doesn’t realize just how much she has protected her heart from ever finding itself in a vulnerable position.

But Drew and his determination is no match for the stubbornness that streaks through Indigo and before she knows it Drew is kissing her time and yet again into yielding to his brand of strength and dominance, all the while giving back in spades, which makes it an impossibility for Indigo to turn her back and walk away.

Play of Passion is one the most angst-ridden book in the series because Indigo almost goes to that point of no return where she and Drew are concerned, trying to turn away from the passion that catches her heart, body and soul afire where Drew is concerned. Unlike most stories where you want to hit the hero on the head for being so stubborn, this time around I felt like admonishing the heroine because her stubbornness nearly proves to be Drew’s undoing. So many factors makes her wary of giving in, the thought of Drew trampling all over her and trying to make her into something she would never be the one fear that is constant until Drew shows her that he actually can be the sort of man who would actually be her equal rather than try to get into a pissing contest with her to find out who is more dominant than the other.

Their relationship is not one that comes into being without mistakes on both parts, but that is what makes the end result so heartwarming and well cemented in the end. There is no way on Earth any woman can remain unmoved by Drew and his charm and that unwavering faith of his that things would work out in the end. There were moments where you can’t help but laugh out loud where Drew and his courtship of Indigo is concerned, the factor that makes it impossible for Indigo to walk away from all that Drew is and what he offers.

In the meantime, Play of Passion brings forth the final steps towards the imminent war between the Psy and the Changelings that much closer, the Psy and their methods underhanded and sneaky, their plan for a pure Psy world where all Psy would submit to the will of the Councillors one that is chilly and unnerving to say the least. The fact that Changelings have proved that they are adaptive, agile and protective as hell when it comes to their own makes them one of the most worthy adversaries to battle with and win, and given the splits deep inside the Council, the war that is to happen is inevitable and bound to cause a wake of destruction unlike any other.

The end of this book brought me to the edge of the precipice that I’ve been wanting to reach ever since I started on the journey through the wondrous series that is the Psy-Changeling. The fact that Hawke’s book is the very next book made it impossible for me to read anything else but that afterwards, my rule of reading something else in between shot to smithereens by the fact that Hawke and Sienna makes their own appearances throughout the book, all showing glimpses of Hawke’s legendary control under fire where Sienna is concerned.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Play of Passion turned out to be how Drew makes someone like Indigo want to play and play they do with many a scorching scene of passion between them the testament to the fact.

Recommended for the fans of this series and fans of Paranormal/Fantasy romances. Read the series in order, because that is the only way to get the full impact of the whole cast of characters, each of them with multiple facets to them that makes this series the stupendous one that it is.

Final Verdict: Fantastically penned, as always.

Favorite Quotes

And then the damn male did that thing he did—he kissed her. As if he had every right to just take her mouth with the wild heat of his, to cup the back of her head, to bite down on her lower lip and suck her upper one into his mouth.
Her toes curled, the rage in her bloodstream translating into pure wild heat as the touch-hungry wolf took control. She hadn’t even realized she’d unfolded her arms until her palms met the hard wall of his chest. Hot. Strong. Beautiful.

But though he nudged at her with the blunt head of his erection, the shaft pushing eagerly at the entrance to her body, he stopped long enough to give her a wet, openmouthed kiss that was all licks and little bites, tender and affectionate and sexy all at once.
And then, as her body arched up, he thrust into her in a single hard push.
Her scream fell into his mouth, her fingers clenching on his biceps.

He closed his teeth over her lower lip in playful reprimand. “You’re not lying still.” One hand cupped her breast, fingers tugging at the taut peak of her nipple.
Inhaling a gasping breath, she opened her eyes to fire a retort . . . and saw the wolf looking down at her. “Hello,” she whispered.
His answer was to kiss her, his tongue pushing inside her mouth in audacious demand, his body strong and beautiful above her as he drove her stroke by slow stroke to another shimmering peak. This time, she held him as he shattered, his body going taut above her.

Crying out, Indigo gripped the edges of the bath, her breasts damp and gleaming above him as their bodies danced slick and hot beneath the water. The joining was a little rough, all raw. And then he closed his teeth over the delicate flesh of her breast and her body went taut in an explosion of pleasure, her muscles squeezing him tight as he crushed her to him and came with a hard, explosive grunt.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

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Score Sheet Review: Eros, My Love by April Bostic

Format: E-bookerosmylove
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Summerhouse Publishing
Hero: Eros
Heroine: Gabrielle Foster
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 14, 2011
Started On: December 23, 2011
Finished On: December 23, 2011

CATEGORY SCORE GRADE
The hero 60 B
The heroine 70 B
Story line 70 B
Emotional Intensity 50 C
Story’s ability to suck me in 80 A
Heat & Sensuality
75 B
Conflicts within the story 50 C
Writing Style 80 A
Quotable Factor 50 C
The Ending 70 B
Overall Grade 65.5 B

Score Sheet Summary

Eros, My Love is a very short novella, just around 26 pages. It tells the story of how Eros, the Greek God of love in Greek mythology finds the one true love he is searching for during the year he is allowed to roam the Earth. His fascination with the 21 year old Gabrielle Foster (Gabby) takes a turn on his last day on Earth, which in the end turns out to be a dream come true for Gabby.

The novella is well-written, is in the first person written from Gabby’s point of view. The one thing in my opinion that worked against the story was its short length which doesn’t give the reader ample enough time to get invested in the story and its characters. I am sure if the story had been just a tad lengthier, this could have been a really great read!

Even then, I enjoyed the romance and the ending, and recommend it to those who love the idea of a Greek god falling for a mortal. This one’s just enough to wet your appetite for more.

Favorite Quotes

He smiled and smoothed my hair back from my forehead. He did not say a word, nor did he need to, because his affection for me spoke louder than words. I only hoped Eros understood I just extended a personal invitation to share his body with me.
The primal look in his eyes expressed one single message—you’re mine now.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Summerhouse Publishing

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