Review: Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

Format: E-bookloverunbound
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5
Publisher: Signet Book
Hero: Vishous
Heroine: Jane Whitcomb
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: September 25, 2007
Started On: September 13, 2016
Finished On: September 15, 2016

The fifth book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series brings to us the story of Vishous, the bisexual vampire hero who is the son of the vicious Bloodletter, a vampire known for his utter brutality, strength, and barbarism. Vishous as a member of the Brotherhood, is highly intelligent, has a penchant for BDSM, and hunting Lessers is the one thing that he lives for. Vishous is also the Brother that is “cursed” with visions of the future.

When a series of events brings the Scribe Virgin to him bearing news of the most shocking variety demanding that he give himself up to be the Primale of the Chosen, Vishous reels from the bombshell that she drops on him. Being the Primale means that he become mated to one of Scribe Virgin’s choosing, his daughters who would grow up to become members of the Chosen themselves serving members of the Brotherhood, the sons who will go onto become members of the Brotherhood themselves.

That Vishous does not take the news well would be an understatement, and this is how Vishous ends up getting injuries of the life threatening variety and up on the operating table of Dr. Jane Whitcomb at the St. Francis Medical Center. What happens when Vishous wakes up with that streak of possessiveness for his mate running through his veins is what sets the ball rolling when it comes to Jane and Vishous.

Vishous has a past that is dark, as dark as that of Zsadist’s. Vishous is a hero that was adorable, someone who is sinfully sexy, commanding, and with a deep streak of vulnerability at his very core that even he is not fully aware of. His deep and complex feelings for his fellow Brother Butch and his wife Marissa aside, facing his past is something easier said than done, as years of abuse at the hands of his father has left its deep seated mark on him.

Though almost everyone who has read through the series had remarked upon the ending of the story, I was still taken aback by how it all ended. Perhaps Ward’s foresight into where she wanted to take the series was one of the key reasons behind Jane’s character ending up as she did. Having read stories further down the series since then and before writing this review has left me with that impression more than anything else, and it actually does make sense to me now as to why Ward gave that sort of an ending to the story. Jane’s character was just as lovable as that of Vishous, and I don’t think anyone could have asked for a more perfect fit for someone like Vishous than her.

As with all the books in the series, Lover Unbound is also not just the story of how Vishous and Jane get together. Rather, so many things happen in the continuing threads of stories within the main one. The fight with the Lessers that takes on different and more dangerous turns, the lives of the Brotherhood themselves changing within the context of what is happening around them, how the old ways are slowly becoming replaced with the new, and delicious tidbits about characters whose stories are to follow.

J.R. Ward is an amazing writer. Every single story I have read from the series attests to this fact.  I can’t wait to experience what she has in store for her readers further down the line in the series.

Recommended!

Final Verdict: With surprising twists and turns, it is Ward’s unpredictability that serves to be the strength of the series.

Favorite Quotes

With no warning at all she was tackled from behind, pushed face-first into the wall and held in place by a rock-hard body twice the size of her own. Her gasp was first one of shock, then one of sex as she felt V grind into her ass.
“I tried to tell you no,” he growled as his hand buried itself in her hair and locked on, pulling her head back. As she cried out she ran wet between her legs. “Tried to be nice.”
“Oh… God—”
“Praying’s not going to help. Too late for that, Jane.” There was regret in his voice—as well as erotic inevitability. “I gave you a chance to have it on your terms. Now we’ll do this on mine.”
She wanted this, She wanted him. “Please—”
“Shh.” He cranked her head to the side with a twist of his wrist, exposing her throat. “When I want you to beg, I’ll tell you.”

“Ask me what’s next, Jane.” He licked up her throat again, then clamped what she knew was a fang onto her earlobe. There was a delicious lick of pain, followed by another rush of heat between her legs.
“What’s… next?” she breathed.
“I’m going to get on my knees.” His head went down and he nipped her collarbone. “Say to me now, ‘And then what, V.'”
She nearly sobbed, so aroused her legs started to fail her. “And then what?”
He tugged on her hair. “You forgot the last part.”
What was the last part—what was the last… “V.”
“No, you start over. From the beginning.” He pushed his arousal into her, a hard ridge that clearly wanted in her now. “Start over, and do it right this time.”
From out of nowhere an orgasm came bearing down on her, the momentum carried forward by the rasp of his voice in her—
“Oh, no, you don’t.” He backed off from her body. “You don’t come now. When I say you can, you will. Not before.”

There was no prelude, no easing into what he did to her. It was his mouth. Her core. Two sets of lips meeting. His fingers dug into her cheeks and kept her in place as he went to work, and she totally lost track of what was his tongue or his goateed chin or his mouth. She could feel herself being penetrated between lapping drags, hear the sounds of flesh on flesh, knew the mastery he had over her.
“Come for me,” he demanded against her core. “Right now.”
The orgasm arrived in a devastating blast that had her bucking against the sink until one of her hands slipped off. She was saved from falling only because V’s arm shot out and gave her something to grab onto.

It was like nothing she’d ever known. It was sex to the millionth power.
And then she felt his gloved palm grip her shoulder. As he pulled her upright, he kept riding her hard, in and out, in and out. His hand moved up her throat, locked onto her chin, and tilted her head back.
“Mine,” he growled, pounding into her.
And then he bit her.

“You’re hard.”
“I am.”
She arched on the bed, the undulation riding up her torso from her hips to her breasts. “You going to do anything about it?”
He bared his fangs and hissed. “If you’ll let me.”
She moved one of her legs to the side, and his corneas nearly started bleeding. She was glistening at her core, and not from the shower.
“Does this look like a no to you?” she said.
He ripped off his bottoms and was on her in a heartbeat, kissing her deep and long, lifting his hips, positioning himself, sinking in. She was so much better like this, in reality, not a dream state. As she came for him once, twice… more… his heart broke.

“Watch me take you,” she said, running one of her hands up to her neck. When her fingers coasted over the remnants of his bite mark, V’s lips pulled back from the ball gag and his fangs elongated, digging into the red latex as he growled.
She kept touching herself where he’d bitten her while she rose on her knees and stood up his arousal. She sat on him good and hard, and he orgasmed as soon as he entered her, kicking deep inside, flooding her. He was still fully erect afterward, even as he stopped twitching.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Great Read!(1)

 

Review: Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Format: E-booklovereternal
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2
Publisher: Signet Book
Hero: Rhage
Heroine: Mary Luce
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: March 1, 2006
Started On: July 28, 2016
Finished On: August 02, 2016

Lover Eternal, the second book in the much revered Black Dagger Brotherhood series brings to the table the story of Rhage, legend and sex God, and Mary Lace, the human who brings him to his knees and then some. Taking place right after Dark Lover, the first book in the series, Lover Eternal brings to readers more of the bad boy vampire heroes who as a team are tasked with protecting the race from the evil known as the Lessening Society, members of which are formed by humans who as psychopaths or worse, were turned to do the bidding of their leader known as Omega.

Rhage might be all good looks, sex legend and more. But he is also a vampire cursed with an affliction of the kind that he wishes he could trade for practically even much less than half his life’s worth. But, that is not to be of Rhage’s choosing and he still has almost a century of living with a curse with which he has known no peace of his heart or soul since. But hide it he does, and hide it well, except from his Brothers who knows the toll it takes on Rhage.

Mary enters the lives of the Brotherhood through a mere chance, or perhaps fate as some would say. As a rehab specialist for autistic children, Mary’s role when it comes to communicating with John Matthew, someone who turns up mysteriously and could be one of the Brothers once he turns, is the reason for Mary’s appearance in Rhage’s life. For the first time since being afflicted with the curse, Rhage finds his body at peace with Mary’s presence.

Mary has yearned for the unattainable practically her whole life. 31 years old and a cancer survivor or so she thought, Mary has never had anyone special in her life, someone who had looked at her like she was his everything. When the leukemia returns, Mary knows that her dreams would stay the way they were, just as dreams, never to be realized. But every single encounter with Rhage brings her closer to the brink of a desire left unchecked for so long, the inevitability of a life that is running closer to its expiry date making it more so.

However, Rhage has his own battles to fight in his desire to claim Mary. With the beast inside of him warring to come out and claim her as well, the fear Rhage feels that he might inevitably end up doing irreparable damage to the most precious being in his life is one that he cannot endure. Fight they do, lovers they become and conquer do they their worst fears to triumph in a love that was meant to be from the very start.

Though Lover Eternal didn’t stir me up as Dark Lover did, there were so many elements in the story that made it the stellar read it was. J. R. Ward’s writing is topnotch, one reason why these books are so easy to devour. At the cost of repeating myself, Ward’s take on vampires is a tad different from what is out there. That itself makes this unique. The Lessers make a formidable enemy, not to mention the transitions that happens amongst the leaders of the Lessers as time goes on. The turn one of the Lessers took, in his bid to separate himself from the rest of his “race” and to feel something for a change, to make a connection with who he was before – that was a very interesting aspect to a multi-faced villain, just as important when it comes to stories of this nature.

Mary as a heroine fell a bit short for me. Its not that she didn’t shine in the right places – she does belong with Rhage in every manner possible, but she just didn’t stand out as a character as much as I wished she would. The way her battle with leukemia was resolved also fell a little bit flat, perhaps one of the reasons behind my discontent when it came to Mary. Nevertheless, Lover Eternal gives a great read, one that is a must read for fans of the series. More so because this is where Zsadist’s story starts, his encounters with Bella and how his tortured soul grabs at your heart from the start was something that I absolutely reveled in.

Definitely recommended!

Final Verdict: Rhage and Mary’s claim on each other is as sexy, bold and colorful as they come!

Favorite Quotes

“Use me, Mary. Let me bear this for you.” With a flash of movement, he raked his chest with her nails and then clamped his palms on either side of her face.
“Make me bleed for you…” His mouth stroked against hers. “Let your anger go.”
God help her, she bit him. Right on his lower lip. She just sank her teeth into his flesh.

Something inside of her snapped and she hurled him away, ducking out of his hold.
But instead of running for the door, she stared at him mercilessly.
Four scratches streaked down his chest. His lower lip was cut. He was panting, flushed.
She reached out and ripped the towel from his body.
Rhage was shockingly aroused, his erection straining, enormous.
And in the breathless moment between them, she despised all his smooth, perfectly hairless skin, his tight muscles, his fallen-angel beauty. Most of all, she loathed the proud length of him, that sexual tool he used so much.
And still, she wanted him.

She started to move off of him.
In a quick surge, Rhage’s legs shot up under her, toppling her onto his chest. As she fell on him, his arms wrapped around her.
“You know what you want to do, Mary,” he said into her ear. “Don’t stop. Take what you need from me. Use me.”
Mary closed her eyes, turned off her brain, and let her body go.
Reaching between his thighs, she held him up and sat on him hard.
They both shouted as she took all of him, right to the pubic bone.

Zsadist was sitting on the bed, his broad shoulders caved in, his arms wrapped around his waist. Bent over Rhage’s sleeping body, he was curled down as close as possible without their actually touching. As he rocked himself back and forth, there was a faint, lilting song in the air.
The vampire was chanting, his voice rising and falling, skipping octaves, soaring high, falling low. Beautiful. Utterly beautiful. And Rhage was relaxed, resting peacefully in a way he hadn’t before.
She quickly crossed the room and went out in the hall, leaving the men alone.

He pulled out and quickly turned her over. As she landed on her back, her legs flopped to the sides as if she didn’t have the strength to hold them up. The sight of her open to him, glistening for him, swollen from him, nearly had him releasing all over her thighs. He dropped his head and kissed where he had been, tasting a little of himself, a little of that marking scent he was leaving all over her body.
She cried out wildly as she climaxed. And before her pulses faded, he shot up over her and plunged back inside.
She called his name, nails scoring his back.

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Great Read!(1)

Review: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookshardsofhope
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #14
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Aden Kai
Heroine: Zaira Neve
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 02, 2015
Started On: January 23, 2016
Finished On: January 24, 2016

Shards of Hope is the 14th book in the phenomenal Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. The series has come such a long way since its first book was published in 2006. Nalini has managed to turn things around in a world occupied by humans, changelings and Psy; the majority trying to find their footing amidst the rapidly changing landscape of politics and power that shapes their world. Nalini Singh is a master at what she does; the world crafting, the storytelling, the romance that she pens so well and the adventure that you are guaranteed in each of these novels. I love her stories for the depth of characterization explored, the strong sense of justice and right and wrong that she explores in her stories. Of course, there are the heroes that one salivates over and the heroines who makes you wish you were as strong as them – but they are relatable in a way that makes the stories the sumptuous delights they are.

Shards of Hope begins 4 months after the fall of Silence. Silence refers to a protocol adopted by the Psy in 1979 in order to stop the madness that their race seems to prone to; the violence that strikes rendering their race to become mindless creatures that goes on a rampage of killing and blood lust. The Psy had done whatever they did back then, in order to protect the minds of a race with the enhanced abilities of the mind they are gifted with. Aden Kai is the leader of the Arrows, a sort of paramilitary group that exists to protect the Psy race. With the fall of the Silence, and even before that, the subordination that had been demanded of them for political gain had fallen apart, leaving Aden as the one whom all Arrows trust and would give up their life for.

When Aden and Zaira Neve are kidnapped and tested upon by forces unknown, thus begins a cycle of events that changes things for the Arrows as a group and for Aden and Zaira both in terms of what their relationship means to them and their future. Aden, the offspring of two Arrows who had seen nothing worthy inside of him had handed him over to the Arrow training facility while he was quite young, which was the norm back then. Zaira had been a victim of parental abuse which had nearly ended her life, not owing to them, but because she had stood up to them, which had ended in a blood bath brought upon by sheer rage. That rage that lives within her, the scars that defines her, are the very reasons why she puts up the walls she does when she is around Aden, to stop him from enticing her and convincing her that they belong together, in fact, that Zaira had belonged to him from the very moment their lives had crossed paths.

Aden is a hero inside whom the word honor echoes with every breathe he draws. It is that honor and integrity that is the selling point when it comes to him, when it comes to leading a group of lethal soldiers who could at his command, make the whole world bleed. Aden wants something entirely different for his Arrows whom he considers to be his family. With the fall of Silence, problems that they would never have anticipated comes to light, but Aden is determined that he would change the lives of Arrows from one where they exist only to fulfill their duties to a life that is filled with warmth, love and a sense of belonging. A tall order for a group of people whose conditioning from a very tender age had taught them just the opposite.

Zaira’s story is one of heartbreak, but that of immense strength as well. A lesser woman would have crumbled and gone mad long back. But Zaira withstands the onslaught of rage that threatens to make her give into her baser desires. Zaira knows that if she ever were to consider Aden as hers, her possessive nature would be the death of the man Aden has to be for his Arrows. But in Aden’s arms Zaira finds solace, comfort and desire of the kind that she would never find elsewhere in the world. With every touch, every kiss that Aden places on her forehead, lips and her subconscious mind, Aden wins her over. Aden’s patience when it comes to Zaira is one that is worthy of noting. But then again, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the man who would walk to hell on earth and back, not only for Zaira, but each and every man and woman who serves on his team of elite soldiers.

It is a testament to Nalini Singh’s incredible talent that none of the stories appear to be cliched versions of earlier books. It is that very reason amongst a multitude of others, that would always keep me coming back for more! The unfinished thread in Shards of Hope is one that intrigues me and I can’t wait to find out what is in store for the Psy, Changelings and the humans. According to Nalini, Allegiance of Honor, the 15th book in the series which is to come out this year is going to be composed of an ensemble cast. Can’t wait for June!

Final Verdict: Nothing short of amazing; bears witness to Nalini’s splendorous talent.

Favorite Quotes

Pushing off the wall without warning, she walked around the corner and into a small alcove hidden from the world by a heavy mass of overhanging vines as well as its position tucked in between two buildings.
“Zaira.” Aden followed her. “What—”
Slamming him against the wall, she pressed her lips to the strong, powerful beat of the pulse in his neck. Since she was already falling into the abyss, her control shredded, why deny herself the pleasure that was the flip side of the nightmare memories she could no longer stifle?
He shuddered, one hand sliding up to curve over the back of her neck. And then their mouths were meeting and it was wild and undisciplined, wet and hot, and she stopped thinking, the rage in her drugged into a haze of want focused on this beautiful man whose hunger for her seemed as feral as hers for him.

Chest rising and falling in harsh breaths and pupils dilated, Aden watched her mouth as if he’d devour her all over again.
Zaira was fine with being devoured. Fine. “I’m meant to be the out-of-control one,” she whispered.
He shot her a look that made her burn, made her realize just how much he kept contained beneath his calm, stable skin. It felt as if he’d shown her a secret, shown her a small madness within himself. She couldn’t stop herself. She pressed close, claimed another kiss, was claimed, that strong hand on her jaw and his body crushing her to the wall.
And Zaira realized that some prisons could equal pleasure, not pain.

“You are so beautiful.” The words came out raw.
Freezing, she looked up at him for a long, long time. “You mean it,” she whispered “You really do.”
He didn’t understand why she’d even question that, but he didn’t have time for a discussion. Not today. Bending his head, he kissed her. She opened for him immediately, one of her legs curling over his hip in a distinctively possessive act. Reaching down, he pulled up her other leg until she was locked around him, her arms wrapped around his neck as she held him to her.
“Mine,” she said on a kiss.
The single word branded him to the soul. “Yes.”

He didn’t ask again, just gripped her under the hip with one strong hand and pushed the tip of his erection into her passion-swollen entrance.
“Aden.”
Sliding his other hand under her neck to hold it gently but with unmistakable possessiveness, he said, “This’ll hurt.”
Kissing him again in answer, she spoke to him mind to mind. I choose this pain, she said. I choose you.

“You’re already mine.” It came out instinctively, from that primal, possessive core at the heart of her nature.
He pressed his forehead to hers, not fighting her hold. “I know, but do you?” His hair fell over his forehead to brush hers. “Deep inside, do you know?”
She didn’t understand his question, and the frustration made her pull at his hair. “Stop talking in circles.”
“A psychic bond,” he said, his mind touching hers.
She wanted to open so badly to him. “If you do that, I won’t ever let you go.” If the physical connection had sealed them together, this would turn that seal into an unbreakable glue. “Even my death won’t free you.” The psychic scars would be irreparable.
“Whether we bond or not, your loss would change me forever.” A quiet voice that held so much power it vibrated with it. “You are written indelibly on my soul, Zaira. Nothing will ever alter what you are to me.”

Slamming both hands palms down on either side of her head as the sound of his name on her lips further eroded his control, Aden used the leverage to pull back as much as he could, given her grip on him, before sinking deep into her once again in another hard thrust. She was wet, tight heat around his cock and silken, lithe warmth around his body.
“My Zaira,” he said, his voice so rough the words were almost unrecognizable.

He’d intended to give her romance tonight, too, but the bond pulsed with a visceral need he had to assuage. Realizing he was still gripping the ring, he pushed it into her hand. “Put it on me.” He was hers in every way that mattered—the ceremony would be for others, for their friends and those in their care. This was for them.
Kissing his jaw, his throat, she looked down and, picking up his hand, slid on the ring. “All mine.”
“Always have been.”

Groaning, he reached between them and somehow managed to undo his jeans, shove down the denim and his briefs. It took a little more effort to kick them off, but he was highly motivated.
Naked at last, he nudged aside the gusset of her panties. A single stroke of his finger through her wetness and her back arched, the sensations that came shooting back at him through the bond threatening to make his eyes roll back in his head. Then she bit him on the jaw and it was all over.
He thrust into her wet heat in a single, demanding push.

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

amazingread

Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookarchangelskiss
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Guild Hunter, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Raphael
Heroine: Elieanora P. Deveraux
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 2, 2010
Started On: December 13, 2015
Finished On: December 15, 2015

I can’t put to words how glad I am that I decided to start reading the Guild Hunter series. Even the fact that I am a tad late to the party is one that fills my heart with glee. All because of the fact that I have got a bit to catch up on, books that I can fall back on when most reads turn up lackluster and definitely not what I am looking for. It is ALWAYS good to have books that you can count on lined up, just in case, and from this moment on, the Guild Hunter series is going be that for me.

I am simply loving the experience of reading about Raphael and Elena. Most of the time, even when it comes to a series that you adore, we only get to see glimpses of a hero and heroine that we might have loved to pieces in one of the books of the series. But here, we get to savor all the goodness that is Raphael and Elena through a couple of books at least, their newly forged bond something so precious and fragile, yet at the same time one filled with the kind of strength that you know would take them places, through the extremely rough and turbulent times their relationship will be subjected to. To get to see their relationship grow in that aspect is one that makes me as a reader, feel privileged. Because an author has to be extremely talented to carry the same characters forward and always give the reader something interesting and exhilarating to read about. And without a doubt, Nalini Singh is definitely the kind of master who can weave such magic over her readers.

Book 2 in the Guild Hunter series continues just days after Elena wakes up from the year long coma she has been in, healing from the severe injuries she had endured, injuries that would have killed her, if not for Raphael making her an immortal of his kind. While Elena is hunter-born which means she has the sort of strength that actually drew her into the realm of the archangels to begin with, as an angel, Elena finds herself at her weakest, trying to regain her strength in time to attend a ball that Zhou Lijuan, the oldest archangel in existence is throwing in her “honor”.

Raphael and Elena are completely new to the concept of the bond that they share between them, each thrown into uncharted waters when it comes to the love they have for each other. Elena and Raphael must strike to achieve that balance that would work for them, something not very easy to do when Raphael himself is alpha male personified, with a helluva lot of power in his hands. His love and need to protect his woman is one that wars constantly with Elena’s need for freedom, independence and her inborn need to assert herself as Raphael’s equal, someone worthy of sharing the title of his mate.

There is also the fact that Raphael and Elena both continue to be haunted by their pasts, not to mention the intricacies involved in archangel politics, each and everyone seemingly looking for ways to exploit Raphael’s weakness that is supposedly Elena. What made Archangel’s Kiss doubly interesting for me was the fact that Elena’s suppressed memories when it comes to her past, mired in darkness, blood and gore is one that kept materializing until we were able to bring together the pieces to identify the sort of monster that she had been dealing with. Her guilt that comes out of it plus her vulnerability which makes her turn to Raphael to keep the nightmares at bay were reasons I fell for Elena’s character, more so than before. The altogether strong, independent and put together Elena, finding in herself the strength to lean on Raphael made the story for me.

If I were to sound poetic about the whole thing, I would say that Raphael and Elena were waiting for each other, more so Raphael because he has been in existence for centuries. Raphael has found someone worthy of laying down his very life for, as he proved in the first book itself, and in Elena he has found the woman who would stand beside him, no matter what. I am just hoping that in the books to come, Nalini would show us why Elena’s entry to Raphael’s life came at such an opportune moment. I say opportune because her arrival seems to have heralded a deep wave of change in everything that is to do with the archangels. The way I see it, as with anyone that is left with too much power in their hands, the archangels too need a change in their power structure, something that would keep the checks and balances in place so to say, that would mean that they too would be accountable for their actions.

Though the story’s main focus as per the blurb was supposed to be on Elena and Raphael’s invitation to the ball that Lijuan was throwing for them in The Forgotten City of Beijing, China, this doesn’t materialize until we are almost at the end of the story. But I believe what happened prior to the event was needed to make the story appear more wholesome.

Now that I have discovered this series, I find it quite difficult to drag my mind and heart away from these books and turn my attention towards anything else, but trudge on I must. Quite a bad time for this to happen with a lot of deadlines right around the corner. One very striking point in the story for me was the entrance of Naasir into the picture, and oh what an enigmatic character he makes out to be! The following quote should suffice as to why he made such an impact with his entrance, which I am sure is a sentiment echoed by almost all readers when it comes to him.

All the angels were gone, but a vampire moved out of the shadows as she exited the house. His skin was a shade that drew the eye, inviting tactile contact—a dark, dark brown with an undertone of true gold. The color was so rich, so warm that it shimmered even as the moon slid behind a cloud, enveloping the Refuge in purest night. But his eyes, a brilliant, impossible silver, pierced the darkness as if it didn’t exist. Hair of the same shade as his eyes fell around his face, sleek and cut in jagged lines that accentuated the angle of his jaw.
“A tiger,” she whispered, watching him walk to her, though to call it a walk was a gross disservice. His stride was the fluid, silent prowl of the animal she sensed around him. “You have the scent of a tiger on the hunt.” Rich, vibrant, deadly.
“I am Naasir.” His voice was cultured, his words gracious, but those metallic eyes watched her with unblinking focus. “Dmitri asked me to assist you.”

The Guild Hunter series I believe is Nalini giving reins to the darker side of her uber talented mind, which is something I am eternally grateful for. For those that love a good urban fantasy series with a strong heroine and a melt-your-panties variety of hero, this series is definitely for you. Even if the stories are not about Elena and Raphael throughout, worry not. Because Nalini has assembled a cast of characters that would definitely win your heart over in more ways than one.

Final Verdict: Filled with darkness of the kind that is so well crafted that you can’t help but want for more!

Favorite Quotes

You can’t scare me, she thought to him.
A lie, Guild Hunter. I can feel your heart thudding like a trapped rabbit’s.
I’d be stupid not to be afraid. But I’m not going to back away from us just because you’re feeling a little extra snarly.
A split second when his lips stopped, then she felt them curve, his hand rising from her throat to cup her cheek. The white-hot burn of his power faded, was replaced by the erotic touch of his skin. Only you would ever dare say that to me.”

So tight and slick and mine.
Blatantly possessive, hotly male.
Her bottom rubbed against him with every undulation of her body, driving her to a fever pitch. “I need more.”
You can’t have my cock, Elena.
She trembled, tried to find her mind. “Why not? I’m rather fond of it.”
That got her another teasing brush across her clit. Sparks flared behind her eyelids, and she barely heard him through the buzz in her head.
You’re not strong enough to take what I want to do to you.

“Even if you fail,” he said, “I have every confidence that you’ll find a way to end my life before I stain the world with evil.”
Rebellion in those eyes. “We die,” she said, “we die together. That’s the deal.”
He thought about his final thoughts as he’d fallen with her in New York, her body broken in his arms, her voice less than a whisper in his mind. He hadn’t considered holding onto his eternity for a second, had chosen to die with her, with his hunter. That she would choose to do the same . . . His hands clenched. “We die,” he repeated, “we die together.”

They rose through lingering traces of angel dust, each fine mote kicking her further into a kind of heat she wasn’t sure she could survive. Groaning, she pressed her mouth to the uncompromising angle of his jaw, licking at his skin, sucking and tasting as he flew them home. Against her belly, he was hard, deliciously tempting. She wanted to close her hand around that heavy heat, but had to satisfy herself with biting kisses along his jaw.
He didn’t stop her, but his body grew increasingly more taut, his muscles electric with strain by the time they landed on the balcony outside their bedroom. She felt him slide open the doors, shut them after they entered. And then the archangel lost control.

Elena!
She couldn’t take all of him. He was too big, too thick. But I’ll have eternity to refine my technique. The sensual thought blazed out on an inferno of need as she loved her archangel, licking and tasting and sucking.
Brilliant white fire against her skin and she knew he was glowing, this lethal being she dared tease in the most intimate of ways. His response when it came, was starkly sensual. Your mouth—his voice sandpaper in her mind—is a little piece of heaven and hell.

It was the rawest, most primitive way to possess a woman, but his hunter pushed up on her elbows, gave him a challenging look, and said, “I’m waiting.”
He slid into her in a single hard thrust. Her scream echoed off the walls, but it was a scream that held equal parts demand and need. Gripping her hips tight, he pulled out almost fully, then slammed back in. There was no mercy in him any longer, but Elena didn’t ask it from him.
Learn to fly fast, Elena, he said as he pushed them both to a final, blinding peak. Then we will dance in the sky.

She pressed her lips to Raphael’s jaw. “But you, you’ve always been the rain, the wind, inside my mind. I taste you when I sleep, when I wake, when I breathe.”
If Jason hadn’t landed then, Raphael would have drawn Elena inside, taken his fill of her own unique scent. As it was, he ran his hand to close over her nape, brushing his mouth over the sweet curve of her ear. I will taste you tonight, Elena . Be ready for me—I won’t stop until you scream your pleasure.
He heard her heart hitch, her breath catch. But his hunter had never yet backed down from a challenge. Anytime, angel boy.

Her scream echoed into his mouth. He kissed her through the taking, through the raw, almost painful emotion of their joining. He kissed her until she gasped for breath, until her eyes went blank with pleasure, with passion, with ecstasy. And then he kissed her as she came down from the peak.
“Again,” he whispered into her mouth.

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Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookshieldofwinter
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #13
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Vasic Duvnjak
Heroine: Ivy Jane
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 3, 2014
Started On: May 21, 2015
Finished On: June 06, 2015

Shield of Winter is the 13th book in the Psy-Changeling series. The book that comes after the most explosive title in the series, Heart of Obsidian. Shield of Winter tells the story of one of the most enigmatic characters of the elite group of soldiers of the Psy race, the ones that carry out the covert operations as required.

Vasic Duvnkak is an assassin, a soldier and an Arrow. With the volatile changes that had been happening to the three races living on Earth, the Psy world as Vasic has known it is rapidly changing, bringing along with it regrets of the kind written in blood, a conscience mired by a past that cannot be changed. Vasic is drifting further and further away from the roots that had kept him grounded, and until the inevitable end of his life, Vasic is willing to do whatever it takes to continue protecting his race, albeit minus the allegiance to the corrupt elite.

Ivy Jane is an empath, empaths being the Psy that had been brutally and viciously hunted down when the Psy world was initially established. Ivy becomes part of the group that is rounded up by Kaleb Krychek in order to save the Psy from an illness that has been ravaging the minds of Psy, rendering them mad beyond help. Ivy is helpless in the face of the sickness that seems to be accelerating its way through the NetMind, the bio feedback mechanism that is crucial for the Psy to survive.

Ivy and Vasic are both newbies to the world of sensation that had been forbidden for the Psy for so long. Vasic more so than Ivy because of the conditioning, training and torture that he had been subjected to when he had first been entered into the training academy for the Arrows. When Vasic chooses Ivy as the empath that he would protect till the mission ends, Vasic finds in Ivy, for the very first time in his life, a woman who makes him want. Want something more.

The journey of discovery that these two embark upon is a beautifully sensuous one, one that only an author of Nalini Singh’s caliber can deliver. The bloody turn that Psy’s world takes doesn’t detract from the connection that springs forth between Vasic and Ivy, a love that is beautiful in the way it develops.

Though Shield of Winter doesn’t obviously live up to the splendor that is Heart of Obsidian, it nevertheless gives fans of the series a read worth sinking their teeth into. Vasic is the type of hero that we all would love to cuddle, pet and call our own. Not because he’s the cuddly, warm and fuzzy type. But because he is just the opposite. Reserved, a touch cold and aloof, Vasic is the type of hero that makes women want to claim them as their own. Vasic is downright delicious. Though a virgin, Vasic’s focus on “matters” at hand makes everything doubly more so sensual!

Ivy is just the sort of woman that a man like Vasic needs. A man on the brink of crossing over, not caring much about how or when his end arrives. But in Ivy, Vasic finds the sort of strength he never thought he was capable of, the strength and will to focus on living than the inevitable end of the cycle of life. Vasic’s back story is one that would make even the hardest of hearts thaw. Ivy’s equally horrific, but made a trifle bit better owing to protective parents. Beyond the romance, there is of course always the fascinating world that Nalini has created with this series, that in itself a reason enough  to get lost in these books!

Recommended for fans of the Psy-Changeling series. Nalini writes beautifully. That is one reason why these books are not to missed out on!

Final Verdict: In the fall of Silence, nothing will ever be the same ever again. Great storytelling, as always!

Favorite Quotes

Ivy bit down on her lower lip, released the swollen flesh . . . and tugged the top off over her head. Raising one hand to pull back strands of her hair that had curled over her face, she didn’t attempt to hide herself from him, the plump mounds of her breasts cupped by a confection of ivory satin and lace. “That’s not Psy issue,” he said, fighting every single cell in his body not to push the delicate fabric aside and look his fill.
Ivy’s own breathing was unsteady, her breasts rising and falling as if in invitation. “No,” she admitted in a husky tone. “I’ve always liked certain textures against my skin.” Raising one hand, she pushed off a strap.”

Ivy’s breath was a sob. “Don’t ever give up.” Using her free hand to cup the hand he had around her wrist, she bent her head to press a kiss to his knuckles. “Promise me.”
His entire body in shock at the sweet, hot caress, he nodded. For her, he’d conquer even the dark numbness that had been eating him alive for years. “I promise.” He touched her hair. “Ivy, I was trying to protect you.” He’d never intended this bond to form, never intended to cause her pain. “From the terrible things I’ve done, the destructive choices I’ve made, the broken mess inside me.”
Ivy shook her head, her expression haunted. “It was too late the first day we met. You’re inside me, and I’m inside you. It’s done.”

He squeezed her nape. “Kiss me,” he repeated.
Ivy licked her lips, slid her hands up to his shoulders, and confessed. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“Neither do I,” he responded, the glittering silver of his eyes on her mouth. “Arrows learn by repetition and practice until the basic skill is honed, at which point we begin to specialize.”
The words should’ve been dry, but they made her breasts swell, her nipples so plump and tight the lace of her bra became abrasive. Because he was talking about repetition and practice when it came to intimate contact. Kissing. Touching. Sex. Her lips parted and he lowered his head.
“Do it again, Ivy,” he murmured, his breath mingling with her own. “Repetition—”
“And practice,” she completed, and brushed her lips over his.

When Vasic broke contact, his forehead pressed against hers and his breath jagged, she caressed his cheek, kissed the clean-shaven smoothness of his jaw. Never had she felt so alive, so pleasured. But below that was a sexual hunger brutal in its ferocity, hard and dark . . . and then she knew. It wasn’t her desire she was sensing. It was his.
Body melting even further, she kissed his jaw again. “I’m picking up your desire. Do you mind?”
“No.” He kissed her again on the heels of that statement, one hand on her lower back, the other on the side of her neck.
Then he licked his tongue against hers.
Her brain exploded.

“Vasic.” Soft breath, Ivy’s lips on his throat.
Fingers tightening into fists, he stood in place, his head bowed slightly and his arms trapping her. Instead of fighting to escape, she kissed his throat again, licked out with her tongue to taste him. It made every muscle in his body go tight, the tattered vestiges of the psychological brainwashing he’d survived attempting to overlay the pleasure with pain, but he didn’t move.
“Vasic,” she whispered again, her kiss damp this time, the sensation going straight to his rock-hard erection. “My Vasic.”

Turning toward her, he braced himself with his palms on either side of her head, his bare skin inches from her, the heat of him smashing against her hungry skin. And his fury . . . that was a stunning thing, the storm in his eyes molten silver.
“I can’t give you what you want.” It came out ice-cold, but those eyes, those eyes . . . “I thought—” He shook his head. “You can’t change the core of a man, Ivy. You can’t take a man christened in blood and make him into something better.”
Ivy narrowed her eyes, furious at the way he continued to see himself. “I don’t want you to change. Haven’t I made that clear?” Rising on tiptoe, she fisted her hands in his hair. “I want you. All of you. Even the part that infuriates me.”

Chest heaving, Ivy stared at him, the suspicion on her face making something twist deep inside him, the strange emotion at once gentle and fierce. “Wait for me in your bedroom,” he said, taking what he needed because Ivy had said he could have it. Have her.
Ivy had fought for his right to have her.
She never denied him, never punished him by withholding the touch he craved—her touch—and he planned to take terrible advantage. Now and always. “I need to make sure everything is secure before I join you.” The mattress on his bed was hard, would discomfort her. “I want you under me, naked and aroused and mine.”

A lazy, affectionate smile that caught at his heart and refused to let go. “I flaked, huh?”
“You needed rest,” Vasic answered. And then he kissed her.
Ivy responded with the lush generosity that had already made him an addict. Sliding her arms around his neck and bending one leg at the knee to cradle him between her thighs, she surrendered her mouth to his desires. And he took, devoured. He hadn’t understood how starved he was of touch until he met Ivy. Now, she was the only one who could ease the piercing ache of his need.

His fingers curled around her nape. Are you going to be mad at me for this our entire life?
She nodded. You should’ve waited for me.
I never dared dream of you, Ivy. I never thought a man like me deserved such a gift.
Petting his chest, she said, You’re my gift, too, you know. I’m so glad for you every instant of every day. Even when I’m really, really angry with you.

“I need to ask you some highly personal questions.”
Judd reached down to pack the snow into a ball. “I’ve been hoping for a long time that someone else in the squad would get to the point where a discussion like this would be necessary.” Rising, he threw the snowball with a fast arm. “Ask.”
“How do you control your telekinesis while intimate with your mate?”
“I broke a damn lot of furniture at the start, including two beds.” A curious glance. “What are you doing?”
“Traveling around the world.”

“This will likely hurt.” He didn’t like the idea, but it was a biological fact they couldn’t escape.
Ivy wrapped her legs around his hips. “Love me, let me love you.”
He gritted his teeth, guided himself to her, and began to push. She was slick and hot and so tightly stretched around him that he felt he’d rip her open. “Ivy.”
Clutching at his shoulders, she gasped, “So . . . you’re built in proportion, then.”
The unexpected words gave him the breathing room he needed. Kissing her on that sweet, soft, generous mouth, he said, “Unfortunately.”
A sensually feminine smile. “I have a feeling that won’t be the correct description once we begin to do this on a regular basis.”

“Leaving them tangled around her thighs, he squeezed one cheek with a blatantly possessive touch, then dipped his hand between her legs. “You’re liquid.” Crushed rocks and sexual heat, that was his voice.
Ivy’s answer required no thought. “Because it’s you.”
Movement behind her, the back of his hand brushing her buttocks. The sound of a zipper. Fabric being pushed down. And then he was gripping her hips to tilt her farther forward as he pushed into her with relentless focus. Making incoherent sounds of need, she was hardly aware of the world altering between sand and the wall and back over and over. Every cell in her body was focused on Vasic, on feeling the thick intrusion of him stretching her flesh.
This position permitted nothing else.

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ARC Review: Altered Destiny by Shawna Thomas

Format: E-bookaltereddestiny
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Series: Standalone
Sensuality: 3
Hero: Jaden
Heroine: Selia
Date of Publication: September 19, 2011
Started On: September 16, 2011
Finished On: September 18, 2011

Altered Destiny by Shawna Thomas is a novel that is going to be well received by fans of urban-fantasy romances with a bit of adventure tossed right into the mix. Though fantasy romances aren’t that high on my favorites list in the world of romance, even with the first couple of chapters Shawna Thomas managed to reel me in and hold my attention until it was difficult for me to imagine anything else but the wondrous world which she has spun so well in this novel.

There are the good old-fashioned humans and a race known as the Svistra whose savagery and notorious thirst for blood and pillaging keeps the humans awake at night. 20 year old Selia lives on the Outskirts and is the owner of the tavern that her mother left behind upon her death 5 years back. Though well versed in the art of defending herself, when it comes to love and desire, Selia is an innocent all the way. 

When Selia rescues a man being beaten to death only to find out that he is a Svistra, the uncomplicated life that she has known till then changes completely, plunging her into a world filled with uncertainty, treachery, man’s thirst for vengeance and war and last but not the least the possibility of finding ever lasting love in the last place she expects to find it.

When Jaden’s golden gaze lands on his savior little does he know that the fearless woman who stands before him would come to mean everything to him. Having turned his back on his own race because his ideas didn’t mesh with that of his father who is the leader of the Svistra, Jaden makes his way through the many different terrains that makes up their world until his journey brings him to the Outskirts and Selia with her gentle giant of a companion Oren. 

Never having being one to turn away a man or animal in need, the forced intimacy that caring for an injured brings to light the fact that humans may not have the complete picture when it comes o the Svistra. Jaden proves to be the opposite of what Selia has believed to be of the Svistra until now and when time and time again Jaden proves his loyalty, honesty and integrity in boundless different ways, Selia is no match to her heart’s yearning for a man whose mere presence alone is enough to send her whole world into a tailspin.

Jaden might want to do the honorable thing and stay away when it comes to Selia but his heart’s yearning for a woman who seals her fate unknowingly by joining him in the most scared manner possible is one that refuses to be denied. But Jaden knows that without going back and facing those whom he has left behind and winning over the treacherous ruler who leads the whole Svistra clans towards endless war, there would never be a peaceful future for either the humans or the Svistra.

Opening up a world that has so many intriguing aspects to it that I couldn’t help but want even a crudely drawn map of where everything was situated, Altered Destiny tells the tale of brave men and a woman willing to fight for what they believe in. Jaden’s character is an alluring one, one who made my heart yearn for him and of course love him because he has that inner strength that lets him be true to himself and what he believes in. Jaden’s honesty and integrity is what drew me most towards his character, and the way he is possessive of Selia even when he believes he has nothing of substance to offer her made my heart go pitter patter.

Selia is a wonderful heroine whom I loved from the instance she couldn’t turn her back on a wounded man. Even knowing that caring for a Svistra would end up in herself paying for it in blood doesn’t stop her from doing what’s right. The slow awakening of Selia’s senses when it comes to Jaden is something to be savored. And a heroine who doesn’t believe in being coy and has no qualms about being herself is one that always earns my wholehearted approval. Worthy of a mention is her relationship with Oren, a man gentle as he is huge, a character who will remain with me for a long time even after I am done with the book. His simplistic view on life, right and wrong proved to be quite refreshing in a novel that practically seeps with half truths and the treachery that goes right along with the hunger for ultimate power.

Though there were certain aspects of the novel such as the occasional swear words which just felt out of place with the whole tone set for the rest of the story and the fact that the final showdown between Jaden and his brother never fully materialized in the novel, I still enjoyed this immensely and would definitely recommend this to fans of the genre.

One character from the story that I would love a future book to be based on, if Ms. Thomas ever thinks of writing a sequel is Nathan. If Jaden had not been in the picture, I would have completely given myself over to him. And even with Jaden in the picture, his character nevertheless proved to be a compelling one, which is telling in itself how remarkable a talent Ms. Thomas has when it comes to creating her characters.

ARC Review: Rush of Pleasure by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-bookrushofpleasure
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Primal Instincts, Book 8
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Hero: Noah David Winston
Heroine: Willow Broussard
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: July 26, 2011
Started On: July 27, 2011
Finished On: July 29, 2011

The eighth and final book in the Primal Instincts series was a definite hit with me. Combining the fantastic paranormal world that is so easy to get to know with mind numbing and page scorching passion to light up the entire country for eons to come, Noah and Willow definitely earned their rightful place as one of my favorite couples from the series.

Noah David Winston is part Casus, thanks to his mother’s line of family. Noah remains vulnerable to the fact that a stray Casus shade who has made its way into this world can make use of his body to roam the Earth. With the added threat of the Casus leader actively seeking Noah as the most probable candidate for his inhabitation and because Noah had nearly managed to kill off Anthony Calder during the last bloody battle that was waged between the Watchmen and the Casus, Noah knows that the fate of all species of the world rests in the decoding the spell that is bound to kill anything with pure unadulterated evil lurking within its very soul.

Decoding the spell means revisiting his hometown Sacred in Louisiana, where he hasn’t set foot since that fateful night twelve years back. His desire for Willow Broussard even at the tender age of nineteen had surpassed anything Noah has ever felt since then. When Noah seeks out Jessie, Willow’s aunt whose powerful spells is the stuff legends are made of, Noah doesn’t expect a run in with the woman who makes all his senses go on red alert just with her mere presence.

Willow would rather gnaw off her arm than admit that seeing the gorgeous Noah Winston in her own backyard once again sets all her senses afire with the need to possess and be possessed by the man who haunts her dreams even twelve years on. Now a private investigator for the ancient clans who still walk the Earth, Willow is strong, sexy and capable in her own right, a fact that drives Noah completely out of his mind when the desire he feels for Willow threatens to obliterate the very seriousness of the mission he has embarked upon.

Forced to work together by circumstance, the barriers that each had built in the other’s absence starts to crumble with each searing glance and mind numbing kiss exchanged. As the truth about what is actually required to perform the spell comes to light, Noah knows that he is about to embark upon a battle that could mean the end of life as he knows it, a life he would gladly give up if it means keeping Willow safe. As the dead body count continues to grow, Willow joins hands with the man to whom her heart will belong to now and forever, to fight the battle that might cost her the love of her life even before she can confess the little fact to him.

Rush of Pleasure is a fitting end to a series that has saw me through highly enjoyable paranormal reads with the tinge of red hot passion to make things that much more interesting. Noah Weston is a dangerous man to let into your heart because he demands no less than complete and utter surrender of every emotion that you’ve got to give. His strength and vulnerability coupled with his blatant need for the woman he loves is a lethal combination that had me hyperventilating one minute and swooning into a puddle of goo the next.

Willow is the perfect heroine for Noah with her strong persona that makes her the ultimate candidate to love and cherish Noah and even stand firm in what she believes in when its for the good of their relationship. Noah might not overly much like the fact that his Willow is kick-ass heroine material that puts her on the path of danger every now and then, but that’s what at the end of the day makes these two such a well matched couple in bed and out of it.

The scenes of combustive passion definitely delivered on the sexual tension that practically leaps out of the pages and I loved every single second of it! Explosive in all the ways that counts, Rush of Pleasure is a novel not to be missed for fans of the series as well as fans of paranormal romances.

The one thing that I can say is, you don’t need to have read the previous books to enjoy this one as Rhyannon makes it so darn easy for you to find your rhythm in her world of ancient clans. But, I would still urge you to read the other books; just to enjoy the wild and wicked ride that only Rhyannon can take you on in her Primal Instinct series.

I feet a bit sad knowing that this is the end of a series that I have enjoyed immensely throughout the last 2 years or so. But knowing that the sexy and deadly Ashe Granger from the series gets his story in a standalone novel this coming April has got me pacified somewhat, and I await eagerly for its release. And I would so love to read Damon MacCaven the demon’s story! Just saying.

Favorite Quotes

She didn’t fight him, but her mouth had been shocked into stillness beneath his—passive, simply taking, accepting—and he wanted her hunger. Wanted the bite of her nails and her mind-blowing passion.
He wanted her wild for him.
“Goddamn it, kiss me back,” he snarled, holding the side of her face in his hand. She moaned, tilting her head, fitting her mouth more closely to his. “Please,” he gasped against her silky lips, his voice cracking as he begged her…pleading.
“Kiss me back, Will.”
And then he felt the soft, sweet stroke of her tongue, and his body shuddered violently in response to that delicate, seeking touch. Within seconds, the kiss became something explicitly carnal, devastating in its power.