Review: The Duality Principle by Rebecca Grace Allen

Format: E-bookthedualityprinciple
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Portland Rebels, #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Hero: Connor Starks
Heroine: Gabriella Evans
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: November 11, 2014
Started On: February 20, 2015
Finished On: March 3, 2015

“A rose represents promises and hope, but its beauty is bonded with thorns. It embodies pain and loss. Combined together, they are in perfect harmony, equal parts beautiful and strong.”

I have somehow forgotten how I stumbled across this book, but I bet there is a good story behind it. The Duality Principle by Rebecca Grace Allen is a contemporary romance that is based on quite the “brainy” principle of duality. The heroine Gabriella Evans is doing her PhD in disproving the duality principle which states that “if a theorem is true, it remains true if each object and operation is replaced by its dual.” Gabriella is not just super intelligent, she is also someone who is tired of hiding her true nature from the men she had accepted into her life up till now. The fact that every single one of them had left her feeling like she is doing something wrong by wanting more from the physical aspect of their relationships had left its scar on her.

Gabriella comes to Portland, Maine to not only sort her thoughts out and work on her thesis, but to say goodbye to the home that had been her grandmother’s, a home that holds sentimental value to her and she is having a hard time letting go of. Her relationships with her parents is a tension filled one at best, and Gabriella comes seeking the solitude which she has always found at her grandmother’s place. When her best friend suggests that she go on a blind date with a friend of hers, Gabriella goes along with it, not thinking that anything much would come out of it. However, when Connor Starks shows up, there is something about him that makes her want to know more, that makes her senses go on red alert, and makes her want to climb, lick, kiss and suck every single inch of him. The fact that Connor seems to present two very contrasting sides of his character to her confuses her more and makes her want to unravel what it is that Connor is “hiding”.

Connor is the bad boy who has worked hard to walk the right path. The fact that Gabriella interests him on a level that no other woman has ever interested him before makes Connor fidgety about the fact that being true to his seductive nature could spell out trouble for him where his long term plans with Gabriella are concerned. But then again, the best laid plans always have a tendency of going awry, and time and yet again, Connor finds himself literally being driven crazy by the desire that makes him feel absolutely primal with wanting when it comes to Gabriella.

What made this book a fun read is the scorching hot sexual tension that sizzles through the pages, practically making me melt, on the spot. Connor is someone who turns up the heat, just like that, and there is nothing anyone can do but go along for the ride. The fact that Connor is the one who holds back, trying to do what is right as per his twisted logic when it comes to Gabriella is what lends the story the interesting tangent of angst that made this worth reading.

While most romance writers tend to shy away from writing brainy heroines of Gabriel’s nature, I found Gabriel to be an interesting mix. The duality that lives within her character, that is constantly at war with one another until Connor comes along and proves to her that he is man enough to handle both was quite compelling. The fact that I learned of a completely new-to-me nerd fact was the icing on the cake when it came to this book.

Recommended for those who love stories featuring sexy as sin, reformed bad boys who just can’t help but be bad with the right woman!

Final Verdict: Loved it!

Favorite Quotes

“You sure you don’t want any more?” he asked.
“I might want more.” But she didn’t mean the ice cream.
“You should. It tastes really good.”
He took the cone from her hand and slowly, purposefully gathered some ice cream onto the tip of his tongue. Closing the distance between them, he bent down to brush his lips against hers. For a moment, all she felt was hot breath and cold lips, and then his kiss washed over her. Gabriella melted into the feeling, drinking the ice cream that spilled from his mouth into hers.
Connor pulled back to take a breath and threw the cone to the ground.
“You taste better.” He roughly clasped her neck, cleaving her to him for another dizzying kiss. “Goddamn, you taste so good.”

Make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge. There is no other refuge. Make truth your island. Make truth your refuge.

Connor slipped his hands to her bottom, and her hard exhale was as loud as his hiss when he squeezed. His lips brushed hers in an open-mouthed tease. “Am I hot yet?”
“Almost.” She reached back and drew one of his hands around to her belly. “Other side.”
Connor groaned and pulled her to him with the hand still grabbing her ass. He fell back against a nearby tree, leaning on it for support, and Gabriella licked the shell of his ear. Reveling in his shudder, she bit down on his earlobe and brought his hand down toward the waistband of her shorts. She popped the first button open for him, and Connor’s hand slipped inside.
“Now you’re burning up,” she told him.
“Fuck,” he said, his breathing hard and fast. When his fingers stroked over the damp fabric covering her slit, he seemed to completely forget about his quest. Instead, he simply snapped.

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

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ARC Review: Bang by Ruby McNally

Format: E-bookbang
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Lights and Sirens, #3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Hero: Jackson Ford
Heroine: Marisol de la Espada
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 3, 2015
Started On: January 22, 2015
Finished On: February 20, 2015

Bang by Ruby McNally is the 3rd book in the author’s Lights & Sirens series & my experience in reading this author. While the story worked for me on certain levels, there were bits and pieces that I had slight problems with which however when it came down to it still managed to deliver a good read.

The story begins 4 months after Jackson Ford returns to duty after being shot and fighting the long, tough and hard battle of recovery. While physically Jackson seems to have recovered, as the story goes on, it is evident that Jackson suffers from post traumatic stress disorder owing to what he has gone through.

Jackson’s partner Marisol de la Espada, the woman he has loved for almost as long as they’d known each other has a tough time dealing with what happened to Jackson. So much so that she had completely avoided going to see Jackson while he had lain on hospital, playing a waiting game to see when she’d walk through the doors of his hospital room.

What makes it extra hard for Jackson and Marisol to get back into their groove is the fact that their relationship had progressed to a stage that had ended in a disastrous lovemaking session which needless to say makes things pretty much awkward.

What struck me the most in this story is the fact that how realistic Ruby creates her characters. Jackson and Marisol aren’t perfect in anyway. Yes, Jackson is handsome, strong and endowed in the way most heroes in romances are. While Marisol is the dream woman for Jackson, she suffers from her own insecurities with her physical appearance after having given birth & a lot of doubts when it comes to whether she and Jackson would ever be able to make it work.

Marisol having never turned up to see Jackson through the long hard months of recovery that had followed surpasses the usual survivor’s guilt. While most would question why she never did manage to work up her courage to go see him, I kind of understood where Marisol was coming from. Sometimes, fear & insecurities coupled with of course the survivor’s guilt that Marisol was experiencing has a way of preventing you from doing what’s right. And the longer you put it off, the harder it tends to become to take that step and that’s one other reason why I say that when it comes to flawed characters and putting that message across, Ruby McNally has done a bang up job.

Like most cops, Jackson has a hard time coming to terms with his PTSD. But he does eventually get there through a lot of misunderstandings that takes place between him and Marisol. I admired Marisol for taking that difficult step in nudging Jackson in the right direction and I was equally glad that Jackson took the bait because otherwise their story would’ve become more messed up than it already was.

While the sex was hot & the romance good enough to make it worthwhile, I felt that the story lacked the emotional wallop it’d have packed if it had included more details on the shared past of Marisol and Jackson. The past that is just barely skimmed through when it comes to Jackson and Marisol. While it does the required job to lay down the groundwork for the characters, I’d have loved if it had been just a little bit more. The missed chances, the heavy longing on each side, the realization that had led to the breakdown of Marisol’s marriage etc. would have brought with it a huge emotional impact to the story.

The one other problem I had with the story was the tense it was written it. I can’t exactly put my finger on which tense it exactly is, but I can definitely say that it made getting into the story a tad harder for me.

Recommended for those who love stories involving law enforcement officers & friends to lovers trope.

Final Verdict: Messed up in a way that delivers a good romp!

Favorite Quotes

“Jack—” Mari says again, warning this time, wanting to let him know how hard she’s going to lose it. “Oh my God, Jack, I’m—”
“Shit,” Jack hisses, hips jerking, and she realizes a second too late that he’s trying to get away from her, pull out, but by then she’s already coming and coming, one leg wound around his and this feeling like there was a missed stitch in her someplace and he tugged it, like she’s unraveling everywhere.

Jackson seems to be considering it. Then he shakes his head. “Nah,” he says, undoing the belt and letting it drop to the floor with a thunk. “Don’t think so.” He unzips his fly and pulls his cock out without even unbuttoning, the tip already shiny. It looks lewd and obvious against his dark blue pants.
Mari swallows. The instinct to spread her legs hits right in the bottom of her belly. “Jack,” she murmurs, shifting. “I’m gonna mess up your—”
But Jack nods. “I know,” he says, hooking both hands underneath her knees and yanking her hips to the edge of the bed. When he leans over his nameplate is right in her face, Officer Ford in stitched white thread. “Gonna have you all over my zipper.”

“Fuck, Mari, hurry up and come.” His voice is strangled.
Mari shivers. “Make me.”
Jackson looks at her. Then he reaches up with one forearm and puts all his weight against her bent knees, practically folding her in half. “Is this it?” His thrusts click up another gear, the teeth of his zipper biting into Mari’s flesh. One of them catches and she yelps, but that feels good too, all rolled into everything. “Is that how you like it?”
And—fuck.
That is.

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

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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: More Than Words by Jess Dee

Format: E-bookmorethanwords
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: More Than, #3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Dr. Sam Sherman
Heroine: Molly Harris
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: November 12, 2013
Started On: August 8, 2014
Finished On: August 8, 2014

Three short and delectable stories featuring three distinct themes. The one commonality that all three novellas share is that they provide scorching hot reads which tantalizes your tastebuds and leaves them begging for more. I am quite certain that a lot of readers who pick this series up and finds themselves falling in love with each character in the series would only want for one thing – full length novels featuring themes such as this one that authors seldom write these days.

More than Words is the third and final novella in the series and features a boss/secretary sort of theme where Molly Harris who has been in love with her boss Dr. Sam Sherman for much longer than she would like to admit finds herself in the awkward position of having sent an email that should never have reached Dr. Sam in the first place if not for her wayward emotions and a helluva busy day. An email that depicts her dirtiest fantasies involving the good doctor himself.

Sam couldn’t be more stunned in having found the explosive email in his inbox. And the fact that his tired brain could conjure every single one of Molly’s words and view them technicolor is proof enough that where his assistant is concerned, Sam is just fooling himself by thinking that he doesn’t feel the same where Molly is concerned.

If I were to pick a ‘least favorite’ in this series, More than Words would be it for me. Somehow the story lacked a little bit of something that prevented the wow factor from dazzling me. Even then, Jess Dee as one hell of a writer manages to pull off a story worth sinking your teeth into.

If you are looking for quick hot reads to fill the void between lengthier reads, More Than is the series for you. That is if you can manage to read all three without either spontaneously combusting on the spot or dunking yourself under a long cold shower. Yep, Jess Dee pulls no punches with the scorch factor in each of these stories. Recommended!

Final Verdict: Scorching heat guaranteed!

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

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Review: More Than Lovers by Jess Dee

Format: E-bookmorethanlovers
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: More Than, #2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Charlie Hudson
Heroine: Sarah Deacon
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 10, 2013
Started On: August 8, 2014
Finished On: August 8, 2014

More than Lovers by Jess Dee is the second book in her delectable erotica short story series More Than. Consisting of three books, it was only when I started on the second one that I realized that these three novellas are loosely connected to each other through one of the protagonists in each story.

More than Lovers follows the neighbors with benefits trope or rather where you have a neighbor hottie that you can’t help but salivate over. Charlie Hudson and Sara Deacon have been involved in an arrangement where they have sex with no strings attached for more than eighteen months. While Sarah is the smart and brainy heroine who has a job to match her education, Charlie leads a seemingly relaxed lifestyle by making a living through surfing and teaching people how to surf.

More than Lovers kicks off when Charlie tries to set up Sarah with three dates which might lead to the kind of relationship that she wants with a man, a long lasting and fulfilling one. But each date just throws the light on just how well suited both Charlie and Sarah are for each other, if only Charlie would be willing to let go of the prejudices holding him back when it comes to contemplating a future between him and Sarah.

More than Lovers turned out to be more well rounded than the first book in the series. And though Sebastian is still my favorite, Charlie does come close with that effortless sex appeal that courses through the story with just his mere presence alone. If these two books are anything to judge this explosive short series by, I would say Jess Dee has definitely struck where she wanted to hit with these delectable stories. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre!

Final Verdict: Smut of the variety you can never get enough of!

Favorite Quotes

“Fuck,” he rasped. “You tie me up in knots.”
Needing to connect with him somehow, to feel him on something more than a physical level, she looked up at his face and faltered at the emotion she saw in his eyes.
He stared down at her with such reverence, such adoration, her heart tripped and then soared.
There. That. It was all she needed. All she wanted. His expression filled the part of her soul that had hollowed in his absence.

And that was the last thing she did to him. The second he was sheathed, Charlie lost it. He had her on her back on the floor in seconds. Her sexy surfer dude paused just long enough to shove her skirt over her hips and bend her knees to her waist, and then he was inside, pounding into her, perspiration dotting his forehead.

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

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Review: More Than Friends by Jess Dee

Format: E-bookmorethanfriends.jpeg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: More Than, #1
Publisher: Samhain Publishing Ltd.
Hero: Sebastian Blackford
Heroine: Lucy Lawson
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: May 28, 2013
Started On: August 7, 2014
Finished On: August 7, 2014

I am a sucker for a good friends to lovers romance. I am also a sucker for the good bout of eroticism and romance that Jess Dee can deliver in her books. It goes to show just how out of the loop I have been to have missed out on Jess Dee’s More Than series which debuted in 2013 which I found out about only just last month. When I stumbled upon the series, I wasted no time in acquiring all three novellas and curled up in bed to enjoy the wild ride that only few authors such as Jess can only deliver.

Lucy Lawson has landed in the mother lord of all problems. She has fallen in love with her best friend going six years. Sebastian Blackford has no clue as to the mass riot of feelings coursing through Lucy’s heart, body and soul and feels gobsmacked when Lucy just lays it all out on him, the pent up desire and all that love laid bare for him to see.

Though Sebastian tells himself that he wants nothing more than friendship with Lucy, from the moment Lucy’s admission stamps images full of eroticism in his mind, there is no turning back from the desire that courses through him and practically floors him with the force of his want and desire.

More than Friends is a novella that hit all those spots with just 60 plus pages. The only thing more I could have asked for was a full fledged sex scene after all those scenes that served as foreplay and barely satiated my thirst for more of Sebastian. Its hard not to love all the male that Sebastian is. You’d just have to grab yourself a copy and find out for yourself lest I give too much away in my review.

A book that pulls no emotional punches, More than Friends is a testament to how an author who works for you can make even three short pages worth of a story give all that you want. Recommended for those who love quick, short and hot reads!

Final Verdict: Scorching hot. Sebastian will literally blow you away!

Favorite Quotes

Seb couldn’t help himself. He looked at the tub. And just like that, he was hard again. Painfully hard.
As fast as his head filled with images of a naked Lucy, lying in her bath, immersed in water with her hand buried between her legs, so blood filled his cock.
He saw her, her head thrown back, her neck arched, her breasts bobbing, nipples swollen and distended. And he wanted her. Wanted her with an intensity that blew his mind clean away.

Seb had no idea what made him do it, what clicked in his mind and made him act, but impulse took over. One minute Lucy was wrapped in his arms, pressed against his body, the next he’d backed her against the wall and ripped her top in two. Grabbed the neckline with his hands and torn it clean in half, from the top to the bottom, so it hung open, leaving her white lace bra exposed to his hungry—no, his starving—gaze.

“Other one,” she begged. “Kiss the other breast.”
He did. He kissed it, nipped at it, suckled on it and when a soft keening sound filled the air, bit it.
Jesus, what was it with the biting? When the fuck did he ever bite a woman?
Never, that’s when.
But with Loo it was different. With Loo it was essential. He had to bite. Had to taste her, had to…mark her.
Mark her. Fuck yeah. That’s exactly what he had to do.

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

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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.

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