Monday, August 31, 2009

Review: Wrapped and Ready by Julie Kenner

Title: Wrapped and Ready
Author: Julie Kenner

Read copy: eBook
Published: February 1, 2007
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1552549062
ISBN-13: 9781552549063

Can volunteer elf Annie turn department-store heir Brent from snooty Scrooge to sexy Santa?

My rating:

Cute and sweet short seasonal contemporary romance. Not too engaging, not to dull. Average, but still sweet, guaranteed to get you into Xmas spirit even in the last day of August.

Review: The Phantom of Black's Cove by Jan Hambright

Title: The Phantom of Black's Cove
Series: He's a Mystery
Author: Jan Hambright
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426834756
ISBN-13: 9781426834752

Olivia Morgan was on a mission and Jack Trayborne was there to stop her. The investigative journalist had come to Black's Cove seeking answers to her traumatic past, but the long-closed medical clinic cast a shadow over the small town and refused to give up the truth she desperately sought. Jack saw the disappointment on Olivia's beautiful face, but he had no choice. He had to protect what was hidden behind the clinic's closed doors. The alternative would be devastating. And deadly. Instead, he'd stand by her side, 24/7, and convince her there was no reason for her to stay. As much as he wanted her to.

My rating:

This could've been a truly strong and enticing read, but unfortunately lacked in execution.

The initial premise was great—and added a rather fresh angle to the PNR genre. The hero's psychic abilities (force-field shielding, telekinesis, mind-reading) didn't stem from his birth/race/species/etc., but were the side effect of a revolutionary new drug developped to regenerate the brain after severe injury.

The heroine came into the sleepy, small town of Black's Cove intent on finding out just what exactly was going on at the (now defunct) Black's Cove clinic. Her brother had been one of the patients, but unfortunately they were unable to help him. Now, she want to find out if they even tried and just what could've possibly gone wrong.

Unfortunately for her someone doesn't want her to dig up anything and they're rather bury her than let her expose them. And of course, it if up to the hero to keep her safe. But the hidden enemy won't rest until both of them are six-feet under and the deadly secret locked deep inside the lab vault is in his hands.

Sadly the strange paranormal abilities soon seemed no more than parlor tricks, the chemistry between the hero and heroine eluded me, making the romance appear rushed and strained, the action was almost nonexistent (thanks to the freakish displays of paranormal abilities), and the villain sprung out from the left-field without a specific agenda or goal in mind. I got the impression he was there only because the author willed it so.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review: Getting Physical by Jade Lee

Title: Getting Physical
Author: Jade Lee

Read copy: eBook
Published: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426838913
ISBN-13: 9781426838910

When savvy business student Zoe crosses paths with sexy international businessman Stephen—a Tantric master—she's about to get a transcendent learning experience
The sex is incredible, mind-blowing, life changing Unfortunately, it also comes with a time limit. Because Stephen's home is on the other side of the world.

Still, Zoe's going to enjoy every moment with her skillful, exotic lover. But it isn't long before she realizes she'll have to choose. Does she want to hold on to the life she has...or have a lifetime of feeling his body move against hers?

Like there's a choice...

My rating:

After a few of WTF?! moments at the beginning (yin flowing out of her, his dragon organ filled with yang - where was I when they changed the terms normally used for that?!), I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying this story.

The hero started the story with clear designs as to what he was looking for, and the heroine was so not it until his wet dream about her. And the heroine also had a five-year-plan that so didn't include a hot, Chinese mogul searching for a Tantric partner.
I love it when nothing goes according to such plans.

Sure, they had quite a few obstacles to overcome, mostly due to their pasts - he came out of a screwed-up and heavily emotionally dysfunctional family, she was a divorcée whose dreams of a white-picket fence bit the dust.

Did I mention how much I love it when things don't go according to h/H plans?

This was a cute, exotic, lush, sexy, and steamy little HQ (albeit with those few WTF?! moments) that just made me want to go in search of a tall, dark, handsome, Chinese, Tantric master to call my own.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Review: In Plain Sight by Marie Harte

Title: In Plain Sight
Series: Cougar Falls
Author: Marie Harte
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 1, 2009
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 1605045799
ISBN-13: 9781605045795

In a choice between fight or flight, love makes the final decision.

Cullen Whitefeather is Ac-taw—a fierce golden eagle shapeshifter. The ultimate predator, he doesn’t shy away from confrontation...unless it involves one tempting, smart-mouthed woman. The woman destined to be his mate. The woman who doesn’t even know he’s alive.

Sarah Duncan made one mistake years ago and hasn’t stopped paying for it since. Tired of the town’s treatment, she finally tells the truth about what really happened and pays a hard price. Her clan wants to silence her. Permanently.

Rescue comes from a completely unexpected source—Cullen, a man who can barely seem to string two sentences together. Yet his fierce protectiveness, compassion, and bewitching touch are worth more than a thousand words.

With Sarah so close, Cullen is losing his mind—and his heart. She says she wants to leave, and the raptors want her gone. But if there’s one thing Cullen’s good at, it’s a fight. And he’s not letting her go without one.

My rating:

Despite the constant feeling of "been there, read that", this was still a nice, little PNR story of a male shifter knowing the female is his mate, yet afraid she wouldn't love him because of her past experience with the opposite sex. And although her inner animal shrieks at her that he is hers the female is afraid of falling in love without receiving it in return.

Luckily it was a short-story, because sooner or later it would've become tiresome. But, thanks to its shortness, it all fell nicely, neatly, and most importantly quickly into place with the requisite HEA in the form of an outpour of love and affection, and an additional victory of good over "evil".

Template-ish, but cute.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Review: Going For It by Elle Kennedy

Title: Going For It
Author: Elle Kennedy

Read copy: eBook
Published: November 25, 2008
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 1605042587
ISBN-13: 9781605042589

Before she leaves town, she’s going out with a bang...

Sam Taylor has lusted after ex-baseball-player Riley Scott for far too long. Now, her business bought out from under her, broke, and with nothing to lose, she refuses to leave town without getting the one thing she’s always wanted. Riley. In her bed.

Riley had the reputation as a player on and off the baseball field. He’s wanted Sam for years, but valued her friendship too much to let sex ruin it. Now, after a forced retirement, he’s looking for a purpose in his life. Sam’s bar, the Diamond, is just the thing to get his life back on track. But before he can reveal that he’s the new owner, he finds himself the willing victim of her full-on seduction. As he succumbs to her feminine charms, he begins to think maybe there’s a way he can have it all—the Diamond, the woman, and the friend. Until she finds out he’s the one responsible for taking away her most treasured possession...

My rating:

A hot, let me repeat that, HOT little short story. Maybe a little too hot with a little too little plot (I have no idea what I just typed).

I wish Ms. Kennedy would've expanded the whole deal a little, make it seem less like PWP. I still liked it, though. The two really had some chemistry going, and lots of time to make up for (two years, people!).

The heroine's reaction after learning the news surprised me, though. I would've smacked the bastard silly. And what was with him taking that long to go after her?!

All in all, a sweet (I use that word a lot, I know), short, steamy hot quickie of a story, perfect for a rainy afternoon (or at least the rainy amount of time it takes to read a short story).

Review: Triple Threat by Jennifer LaBrecque

Title: Triple Threat
Series: Uniformly Hot!
Author: Jennifer LaBrecque
Read copy: eBook
Published: March 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426832036
ISBN-13: 9781426832031

Subject: Airborne Captain Eli Murdoch.
Current status: Ready and raring to go
Mission: Serve his country.
Obstacle: Sexy Tara Swenson. Impossible to resist.
Weddings are a minefield for Eli Murdoch. Each time he goes to one, he falls into bed with the same woman--Tara Swenson But a relationship between a footloose soldier and a homebody can never work. Can it?
Tara can't seem to keep her panties on and her legs together around her former high school crush. But she wants more than wham bam, thank you ma'am. Although Captain Hard Body is very good at that
When he returns for a third wedding, Tara's faced with a man trained to outmaneuver her So she makes the first offensive move. Directly into Eli's very willing arms...

My rating:

Okay, so maybe the rating was influenced by the fact I read it right after More Than a Man, but compared to that book, this short, fluffy, a bit cheesy, and rushed freebie e-download was a true literary pearl.

My brain needed to relax and unwind, and this little thing provided the right outlet.

A cute, shallow quickie was right what I needed.

Review: More Than a Man by Rebecca York

Title: More Than a Man
Series: 43 Light Street
Author: Rebecca York
Read copy: eBook
Published: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: 1426838220
ISBN-13: 9781426838224

For seven centuries Noah Fielding had kept his secret, switching identities, staying one step ahead of those who would exploit him. But a chance meeting with a woman on the run changed everything. Olivia Stapler made Noah feel emotions he'd thought long dead, made him yearn for a chance at real life. He knew taking Olivia back to his secret enclave as his wife would be dangerous. In fact, Noah had given his pursuers the perfect weapon. Using Olivia to get to him, they would stop at nothing to gain the secret of his longevity. Even if they had to harm the only woman he loved to get it....

My rating:

Blah. One of the blandest, uneventful, and boring HQ Intrigues I've read.

The premise was great, but sadly lacking in the execution. The plot was slow and rather hole-y, the romance was rushed and without feeling, the characters one-dimensional, the danger, villains and their motivation utterly out there and completely unbelievable, and even the action scenes were snore-worthy at best.

A truly sad excuse for a story.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Review: Run to Me by Christy Reece

Title: Run to Me
Series: Last Chance Rescue
Author: Christy Reece
Read copy: eBook
Published: June 23, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345515064
ISBN-13: 9780345515063

Driven by grief and fury, Shea Monroe, an operative for Last Chance Rescue, goes deep undercover, vowing vengeance against the man who killed her husband. Instead, she ends up a captive and the unwilling weapon of a vicious human trafficker. But then she is rescued from her den of terror and shame by her husband’s best friend, Ethan Bishop, a man Shea feels irrevocably drawn to, despite her having lost all memory of her life before she was captured.

Having saved Shea from a madman, Ethan will do anything to keep her safe, but he can’t allow the feelings he once had for her to resurface. While recovering from her ordeal and regaining her lost memory, Shea begins to fall for Ethan. But the treachery and tragedies of the past won’t leave either of them alone. And from Mexico, a monster has sent his foot soldiers to seize Shea–using a weapon beyond anyone’s worst nightmare.

My rating:

This was the best—and darkest—book in this trilogy. So good in fact, I have troubles collecting my thoughts in order to write this review.
The two leads were tortured, their pasts were painful, the villain was twisted, the suspense and action intense, the steamy scenes beyond steamy, and the ending was absolutely lovely. The only thing lacking in what was supposed to be the big surprise was the big surprise, because that final plot twist was obvious almost from the get-go.

Shea Monroe and Ethan Bishop had a past, a hot, steamy, tumultuous past. But like any good tortured romance hero he pushed her away and she ended up marrying his best friend only a couple of weeks after their break-up. Little less than a year later, her husband, Cole, died in an explosion and Shea blamed Ethan, Ethan blamed himself and they both left LCR, Ethan because Noah fired him for screwing up an op (in Return to Me) and Shea because she wanted to revenge her husband, by finding the true responsible—a phantom by the name of Duncan Rosemount.

Shea’s captured by Rosemount and with use of torture and hypnotic drugs turned into an automaton. She’s a perfect soldier and companion, without emotions without a single cognitive thought, doing everything her "master" tells her to do, trying to please him, waiting for her nightly "vitamin shot" to keep the demons and nightmares at bay.
The LCR operatives are baffled. Shea Monroe’s turned. She’s kidnapping innocents to hold for ransom and they have no idea why. The only one who could shed some light on what happened is the man who knows her best, her former lover, Ethan Bishop.

Ethan, haunted by photos of a "turned" Shea, travels to Mexico to extract her and determine what is wrong with her, but finds himself facing an empty shell trying to kill him. He kidnaps her from the compound, but the following days are a living nightmare for him as he’s unable to help her as she goes through terrible withdrawal, battling demons and nightmares conjured by her fractured subconscious. What is an even greater blow is the fact she doesn’t remember him, she doesn’t trust him, believing he’s her enemy.

Whisking her off to the LCR clinic, Shea goes through detox, but she’s still unable to remember anything about the past three months in captivity or her life prior to it. The only thing she is certain of, is Ethan.
As he takes he to his home in the Smokies, her memories start slowly returning, and she, once again, falls for Ethan, as she remembers what they’ve shared.

But Rosemount is determined to have his gatita back and is willing to use any means necessary to obtain her. Even unleashing a deadly force that might destroy them all.

Boy, what a ride this was. The characterization was excellent, giving us just tiny glimpses into the psyche of the characters (mostly Ethan), revealing just the right amount of information, while keeping the reader salivating for more. There were so many secrets Ethan hid, so many facets of his inner demons, it was a wonder he kept it all together. What he’s been through, what he put Shea through in his quest for self-punishment was heart-breaking, yet oddly I didn’t get the urge to smack him on the head. He wasn’t being idiotic in his pushing her away, he truly believed he didn’t deserve her, didn’t deserve redemption.

Shea was another nicely-drawn character. A woman lost, without any recollection of who or what she was, of what exactly happened to her, but strong and determined to regain her memory and make the culprits pay. It was bitter-sweet watching her fall in love—once again or even more—with Ethan, suspecting what might have driven them apart and knowing that as she regained her memories, they would both end up hurt again. Even though she didn’t know him, didn’t remember him, she simply navigated to the one man that had been a constant in her life before the abduction, Ethan.
I wanted desperately to know what drew her to marrying Ethan’s best friend only a few weeks after their breakup, and when the blow came (though I suspected what it was) it had quite an impact. I didn’t agree with her decision, but, in the frame of mind she was in at the time, she really didn’t see any other choice.
Lucky for her, she emerged from her ordeal with Rosemount a different, stronger, more self-assured woman who was able and willing to go to any length to get what she wanted.

Another strong point of this story was the villain. I actually looked forward to the scenes with him, because he was twisted and nuts just enough to keep things interesting and keep the reader intrigued just what made the guy tick and if he was really as sick and twisted as he seemed.

The action scenes gave precedence to more introspection, character development and relationship (re)building, but that sure didn’t slow the pace down, because Shea and Ethan were so nicely drawn and well-written they kept the intrigue-levels high, revealing secrets at a leisurely pace, keeping the reader guessing, speculating, and hoping.

A well-written, dark, fast-paced, romantic suspense novel with wonderful and well-developed characters with just the right amount of flaws and tortured souls. Highly recommended read…For those wondering, it can easily be read separately from the series.
I absolutely loved it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Review: Return to Me by Christy Reece

Title: Return to Me
Series: Last Chance Rescue
Author: Christy Reece
Read copy: eBook
Published: May 19, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345515072
ISBN-13: 9780345515070

Posing as an underage teenager, Samara Lyons is out to trap an online predator. Smart, fiery, and fresh off a broken engagement, Samara is up for the challenge. But this challenge might not be so easy. Her boss, Noah McCall, head of a private international corporation called Last Chance Rescue, can’t disguise his raw, physical desire for Samara–and she’s going crazy battling her own feelings for him. The middle of a high-stakes op, with the fate of dozens of innocent lives on the line, is not the time to indulge in sensual delights.

Then the sting explodes, forcing Noah to face his dark past and throwing Samara into the middle of an evil tug-of-war. Noah must confront an enemy he knows better than anyone else in the world, while Samara must find a way to stay alive. Now it’s no longer a matter of desire–it’s all about survival.

My rating:

This second book in Christy Reece's Last Chance Rescue series was one hell of a ride (and so much better than the first book), mostly because of the big boss himself, Noah McCall, who’s intrigued me the first time he appeared (in Rescue Me) and I was glad I didn’t have to wait a few more books to read his story.

A dark past has molded Noah McCall into the man he is today. The founder of LCR (Last Chance Rescue), an organization specializing in helping the innocent, turning victims into survivors, he’s driven by revenge. He needs to find the human-trafficker that killed the man who gave Noah his purpose, and put him behind bars forever.
But to do that he needs help. So he turns to Samara Lyons, the woman who’s been haunting his dreams for the last year.

Samara is still angry with herself for succumbing to her attraction for Noah last year, after the wedding of the man she herself planned to marry. She’s even more angry with him for having her deposited her on the bed that night (fully dressed), kissed her forehead, and disappeared from her life.
But now the hot, arrogant, sexy, infuriating man is back and he needs her help in tracking down an online predator. Her body’s reaction to Noah tells her to say no, but her conscience demands she says yes.

Now, Noah is working with Samara to bring the bastard to justice, all the while fighting off the powerful, almost debilitating attraction, all the while trying to keep her safe. Unfortunately not all things in life come easy, and even the strongest of men are bound to succumb to their weaknesses and fail.

Noah was the quintessential romance leading man. Hot and sexy as hell, with a dark, painful and mysterious past that determined his actions and behavior, arrogant and infuriating to the max – which was all just a mask to hide his thoughts and true feelings, and he lived in such a deep denial it would’ve been comical if it wasn’t so heart-breaking.

Samara was his complete opposite (and so his perfect match) and probably one of the few people he couldn’t manipulate and (sometimes) saw through his mask. Her appearance could fool people into thinking her fragile and in need of coddling, but despite her small height and the face of a teenager, the woman had spunk and a spine made of steel.
And she was determined to show Noah it was okay to love her.

Unfortunately the poor guy had no idea how to love, because no one ever taught him what love was, how it felt. He thought he had no heart, so he couldn’t love anyone. He thought he had almost no humanity left, so he couldn’t risk loving anyone and getting them hurt. The only thing he had to offer, was his protection, the only way to show he cared was by protecting the people he cared about.
It was up to Samara to show him how wrong he was, but everybody underestimated just how stubborn (and afraid) the guy was…Until it was almost too late.

I loved this story, Noah and Samara were splendid characters, Jordan and Eden (h/H from Rescue Me) made a few appearances and I liked them more in this story than in theirs, the villain was twisted enough for me to like him (as much as I could ever like a villain) and look forward to him getting his just reward, the action scenes (thought not many) were satisfying enough, the sex scenes hot and nicely conveying the participants’ thoughts and perfectly outlining the growth of their feelings from each other (from hot, steamy, quick and furious sex to hot, steamy, slow and tender lovemaking). Noah with his stubbornness, fear and indecisions made us all sweat almost to the very end, but when he finally did snap out of it – awww. Yet he still remained in character. Nicely done, Ms. Reece.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Review: Rescue Me by Christy Reece

Title: Rescue Me
Series: Last Chance Rescue
Author: Christy Reece
Read copy: eBook
Published: April 28, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345515080
ISBN-13: 9780345515087

A covert operative of Last Chance Rescue (LCR) Enterprises, Eden St. Claire has made secrets her life’s work. Seven years ago, an evening of emotional vulnerability and pure pleasure almost destroyed her. Now Eden wears her beauty like a mask, concealing any hint of vulnerability or the demons of her past.

A daring rescue of an innocent girl on a Greek island leads Eden to a new partner. Jordan Montgomery has been looking for Eden–though he knows her by another name, from another time. But his search for her is overshadowed by a case that’s gone international. A powerful, ruthless, organized network is stealing women and children around the world. And a lover, a traitor, and a killer all wait for Eden’s next move.

My rating:

Devon has been in love with Jordan all her life, dreaming of marrying him since she was thirteen. Eight years later, her dream of love finally comes true, but a terrible lie almost destroys her life.

Seven years later, Devon exists no more. She’s resurfaced from the terrible tragedy of that long ago night a new woman, with a new face, new body, and a new name. But unfortunately, the past can never be buried for long and hers comes back with a vengeance when Jordan, needing closure, contacts her boss asking for help in finally finding out what happened to Devon.

This could’ve been a really good book. The theme of human-trafficking was intriguing—not something other books deal with or deal with at a quite smaller scale— and the main conflict between the two leads could’ve been astonishing. Unfortunately the said two leads ruined it for me.

For someone who apparently could hold his cool under any circumstances, Jordan was quite adept at channeling his inner prick and jumping to wrong conclusions at the throw of a dime. Okay, this might have added that extra touch of realism, but I just wanted to smash his face into a wall.
Eden a.k.a. Devon was a true pearl in the dysfunctional-heroine department. I know the trauma she’d experienced was horrendous and left a huge impact on her, but the therapists she’d seen after it should’ve been fired on the spot, if their idea of healing the deep emotional scars and using the horrific experience to turn her into a strong resilient woman was to turn the fragile, shy little girl into an emotionally-detached, rather schizophrenic woman. I just couldn’t stand her!
And the two of them together convinced me even less. Sorry, but I just didn’t feel the love, people. And their communication simply blew. Why is it that most conflicts in romance novels stem from the fact the h/h can’t (or won’t) communicate. A good long, cathartic talk could’ve speeded up the process and spared me some extensive eye-rolling.

Now, onto the good points of this story. The main theme, as I mentioned earlier. Chilling, suspenseful, gruesome at times, and extremely well executed. I wouldn’t have minded a little more info on the inner-workings of LCR, and maybe an extra action scene or two.
And the second, biggest good point—Noah McCall. I kept looking forward to his scenes, and though his rather Machiavellian machinations (why do hunks always like to play God with people around them?) reminded him a lot of Jonas Wyatt (director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs in the Breed series by Lora Leigh), I loved the guy (or maybe I loved him because of that). He was the perfect romance hero, attractive, harboring potentially dark secrets, good at what he did...And when he met his heroine (I peeked at the blurb for the next one, I admit it), I could literally see sparks flying. He more than compensated for the lack of sparkage between Jordan and Eden.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review: Skykeepers by Jessica Andersen

Title: Skykeepers
Series: Final Prophecy
Author: Jessica Andersen
Read copy: eBook
Published: August 2, 2009
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 1101106743
ISBN-13: 9781101106747

When prominent Mayanist Ambrose Ledbetter goes missing, his daughter Sasha tracks his remains down to an ancient temple. Before she can recover from the shock, she is kidnapped. Slick and charming recruit Michael Stone rescues Sasha from her imprisonment and feels an instant attraction. But he doesn't dare get involved, with the threat of his dark side growing stronger and the powers of sorcery on the rise. Both Michael and Sasha will discover a new passion together and one they have to admit to in order to change their worlds...

My rating:

The general consensus is that this is the best book in the series (so far). And I heartily and readily agree. It will be tough to top this one, but I’m sure Ms. Andersen will try (and I hope she’ll succeed).

This story holds the gist of the entire series, the quest of the Nighkeepers – it’s about the ultimate battle between good and evil. And while the series concentrates on the "outside" battle, this story is all about the inner battle – the battle between good and bad inside Michael Stone.
I really got pulled into his story, this inner struggle of his, his attempts at redeeming himself fro whatever sins he’d committed and be a better man, a man deserving the woman whose photo is forever imbedded in his mind.

Michael was a dark man, and I’m not talking about his looks (though those were hot!). He had darkness in him, darkness that’d probably tainted his soul forever, darkness that called to him, lured him, enticed him, until he feared it would consume him forever. It was when Sasha came into his life, that he came to learn what true terror felt like. She was light to his darkness, and both halves of him (Michael and the Other) were attracted to that light. Michael, because he felt purified by it, the Other because it wanted to corrupt it. So, in order to keep her safe, Michael pushed Sasha away...And the woman actually let him. Of course, she didn’t know what drove him, because he never bothered to tell her (it’s all about communication, people!), but still, she let him push her away! Until it was almost too late.

It took a life-or-death situation in the jungle for Michael to realize he had to fully embrace the Other, sacrifice his soul (literally) to keep Sasha safe from the Xibalbans, who wanted to make her yet another sacrificial lamb. And by embracing the other side of his magic Michael finally brought the shit to the fan and, thanks to some magic meddling courtesy of Rabbit, he could finally tell his tale.
Though the glimpses of his dark side of the force were chilling, it wasn’t until he finally told the whole story that Sasha, the other Nightkeepers, the winikin, and the reader, learned the true extent of what he went through. In the six years prior to becoming a Nighkeeper, in the months following his talent ceremony, and since meeting Sasha in the flesh. He was constantly shrouded in blood, death, and sacrifice. And it was that sacrifice that redeemed him in the eyes of his teammates and his mate.

Okay, rant is over. I really appreciated the small lesson in psychology, though. Everyone of us has a good and bad side. Which you’ll choose depends on what type of person you are – Michael was one of the strongest, defying the predominant darkness to act on the side of good. But no matter what, you have to embrace both sides, the good and the evil. It took a while for Michael (and ultimately Sasha) to get it, but he needed both sides of his magic, both sides of his soul, to be whole, to be the man Sasha could (and would) love. And when he finally did get it, when he finally did embrace the killer and lover part of him, that he stopped being a threat, that his destroying magic finally complimented Sasha’s creator one.

The action and suspense were yet again beyond great, the story amazingly written, the characterization wonderful as always, and the various twists and turns keeping us at the edge of the seat. The constant cat-and-mouse game between Iago and the Nightkeepers, should’ve been old and boring by now, yet incredibly Ms. Andersen pulls it off, constantly throwing curve balls, keeping us guessing, keeping us frustrated with what and how might come next.

The ending was perfect, not mushy, not cheesy, just absolutely perfect, making Michael my favorite Nightkeeper of the bunch, Sasha his perfect match, and their story truly the best in this series so far.

Highly recommended read in this highly recommended series. A+