Book Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

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Paranormal | Urban Fantasy

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

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I expected this to be in par with Karen Marie Moning‘s Fever series… but, no. I’m 100% sure even Pink Mac can whip McKenzie’s ass in a flash.

Kyol – I like. Aren – I really like.
(McKenzie – dumbass.)

The cover is very misleading, I kid you not. She is not a sword-wielding chick! What a disappointment. The Shadow Reader is my typical UF – human caught up in a world she doesn’t want to be in. Poor McKenzie. Although that did not stop her from nurturing an unrequited love towards Kyol.

Should I change my rating to a 2?… Because McKenzie is a not as developed as a character I thought she would be. A string of bad, bad decisions seemed to be her specialty. Ding ding! I cannot help rolling my eyes, and smirking about her idiotic thoughts that led to her idiotic decisions.

Kyol reminded me of Chaol of Throne of Glass, only because they are both captains and seemed to take their jobs very seriously. Aren, I like… until he became this obnoxious guy because of his supposed “claim” for McKenzie. Really man, I’d go for Team Kyol, if you will always this immature.

The constant itch I had while I’m reading The Shadow Reader is that Fae are too human in behavior. Vindictive, yes. Selfish, yes. And yet, if I try to compare Fae here to Fae in the Iron Fey series, the former lot are so inferior. Fae are more wicked and more wicked in Julie Kagawa‘s books, and that’s YA.

If ever the next installment shifts to Kyol, I’m going to curse someone to be stuck in the In-Between.

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THE SHADOW READER by Sandy Williams

Paperback, 307 pages

Published October 25th 2011 by Ace

3/5 stars

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Book Review: Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning

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Adult Paranormal > Fantasy

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister’s murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh—a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.

Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

Book 1: Darkfever review      Book 2: Bloodfever review      Book 3: Faefever review

Book 4: Dreamfever review

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O.o Goodness, WTH did I read?!!!

So… this is the what they’ve been talking about. The explosive finale that will leave readers wanting, gasping, and aching for more. And I am so happy (and relieved!) that Shadowfever surpassed all my expectations for an urban fantasy novel. Fever series was worth it, from book 1!

(I think I just became Pri-ya for this series.)

For one month, I read all 5 books, and I was plagued with sleepless nights. Forget being a zombie at work, or neglecting my blog. I need to finish, no, devour a Fever book once I lay my hands on it. I simply need it! (Yes, this is me as a raving lunatic.)

Thank you, Karen Marie Moning for providing me the entertainment I wanted from Faery, and very bad boys. 😀 I take back all the negative things I said about other Fever books. Shadowfever erased all my frustrations, period. That being said, can I take home Jericho Barrons? *winks*

I’m not sure if you’ll get a proper review from me for Shadowfever. It left me breathless, to tell you frankly. It was 100% absolute entertainment, for a reader frantic for the truth about Mac, Barrons, V’lane, the Unseelie King, and that monster book.

All those doubts you have when you started Darkfever? And  all those freaking rants you are holding back at the end of Dreamfever, making you think that this will blow up pretty badly in the finale?

Believe me, Karen Marie Moning have the answers (amazing ones) in Shadowfever. So, so much more than a Fever fanatic can ever hoped for, and that’s what you’ll get.

Shadowfever is one f*cking outstanding finale. The reveal for each character is a mindf*ck. Don’t ask anymore, just read it. And feel the fever that is Mac and Barrons. Wohoo!

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SHADOWFEVER by Karen Marie Moning

Ebook, 510 pages

Published January 8th 2011 by Delacorte Press
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5/5 stars

Book Review: Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning

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Adult Paranormal > Fantasy

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge.…

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth—about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons…and about the world she thought she knew.

Book 1: Darkfever review      Book 2: Bloodfever review      Book 3: Faefever review

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“What the fuck?” V’lane exploded.

My sentiments exactly.

*deep, deep breath*

What a wild and crazy ride. I can barely hear myself think! But oh, Jericho Barrons. *fans self* Feel free to take me away, and lock me up, and use me however and whenever you want to. (It would not hurt if you admit you have feelings for me).Ha! *ahem*

Mac. Would I even trade places with you?

The reality of what hit Mac after the wall crumbled was devastating. Her very fear coming to life, and without Barrons (even V’lane) to rescue her, was too much. And the fae power was too much as well, for she succumbed to the very thing she detested, a slave to a Fae when she’d rather kill them all.

But of course, the chapters when Mac was in a dream-like state were awesome (Barrons!). It was so uncharacteristic of her to behave that way, so uninhibited, untamed, and undisciplined, that Barrons was afraid even he cannot roused her to live once more. It was not everyday that I get to see Barrons wistful, regretful even. For the things he did, he knows Mac will never, ever forgive him (even if he’s getting the Old Mac back).

Dani was a cool addition to the cast. Funny girl, that one (cannot decide between Barrons or V’lane, she’ll take one or the other, so long as she’s sated, lol). And Rowena, goodness how I hated that sidhe-seer.

When the “IYD” call went through, I went to a stupor. There’s no putting down the book, for I will not be left hanging on things that are about to happen…! Crazy, I tell you. CRAZY! and that includes the ending. If my heart could break more right now, I’d let it. 😦 Not this way, I thought. Not this way.

If Faefever was the stake, Deamfever was the force that drove it in.

If you’d just fight like you fuck, you’d’ve walked out of this room the day I carried you in.

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DREAMFEVER by Karen Marie Moning

Hardcover, 400 pages

Published August 18th 2009 by Delacorte Press
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5/5 stars

Book Review: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

faefeverStarStarStarStar

Adult Paranormal > Fantasy

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences.…

Book 1: Darkfever review      Book 2: Bloodfever review

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I can finally admit that Karen Marie Moning got me to a fever. *shudders*

For the life of me, I cannot imagine that ending. So… brutal and merciless. I got to hand it to Karen Marie Moning, for only the loyal and absurdly addicted to the Fever series can contain (and grudgingly accept) Mac’s unfortunate event, if only until they can get their hands on Dreamfever… And I am one of them. *grins*

(praying that Mac would overcome this savage time of her life)

It occurred to me that while I see Mac and Barrons’ relationship barely progressed, the storyline is getting more and more daring and intriguing. Mac was being taunted with pages from her sister’s journal, frustrating her as she is nowhere close to catching the killer. Barrons is ever elusive, and V’lane, although showing hints of being human, cannot be trusted still. I am on book 3 already, and this is still the setting that we have.

Annoying, I know.
But how come I am still glued to this sh*t?

Because it’s very entertaining. After that mindf*ck of an ending, who knows why.

What I am trying to say is this: Stick with Mac and Barrons and V’lane. Sometimes they are freaking irritating – dancing around a bush every single banter – but other bunch of times, they are awesome. and funny. and darn sexy. 😀

I forgot that I should be tearing my hair off because of what happened to Mac in the end. But I think I have no choice but to put my faith in Moning. You better have some explosive comeback for Mac!

*stands up and picks up Dreamfever*

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FAEFEVER by Karen Marie Moning

Hardcover, 327 pages

Published September 16th 2008 by Delacorte Press
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4/5 stars

Book Review: Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning

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Adult Paranormal > Fantasy

I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

Book 1: Darkfever review

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Sweet Bloody Hell. 😀

The gory twist of Mac’s appetite with regards to fae is so, so good. Find the Sinsar Dubh. Locate the other fae relics. Kill Fae as needed. This is her reality now. No more Pink Mac.

Bloodfever was repetitive on the first half, if you look into Barrons-Mac violent tandem. Romance is moot, so let’s resort to blood-and-guts aggressiveness! LOL. Anyway, the good part came when Mac finds herself in a tight spot (again). And who will come to her rescue when she’s near death: Barrons or V’lane?…

That cave scene was so freaky, I loved it! It’s disturbing yes, considering the effects on Mac, but oh, I would rather see her evolved than gone!

V’lane is still this arrogant Fae, and almost as arrogant as Barrons. If I focused more on the fae lore than on the characters, I could say that I really, really like how this sequel turned out. More stories on fae, but still nothing from Barrons. C’mon!

Mac is better here, although she is still a fashionista (substituting pink for black, right?). Haha! She still does not take sh*t from Barrons, but for goodness sake, if she listened to him rather than antagonize him, I think they would’ve accomplished more in searching for the Sinsar Dubh.

Bloodfever is right up my alley for a sequel. It kept me wanting more, more of this fae madness. And the bloody bit in the end is a major plus. 😀

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BLOODFEVER by Karen Marie Moning

Ebook, 269 pages

Published October 16th 2007 by Dial
4/5 stars

Book Review: Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

darkfeverStarStarStar

Adult Paranormal > Fantasy

MacKayla Lane’s life is good. She has great friends, a decent job, and a car that breaks down only every other week or so. In other words, she’s your perfectly ordinary twenty-first-century woman. Or so she thinks…until something extraordinary happens.

When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death–a cryptic message on Mac’s cell phone–Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister’s killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She is soon faced with an even greater challenge: staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed–a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae….

As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister’s death, her every move is shadowed by the dark, mysterious Jericho, a man with no past and only mockery for a future. As she begins to close in on the truth, the ruthless Vlane–an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women–closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac’s true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book–because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands…

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I am sooo glad that I read Darkfever only now. Why? Because I don’t think I can wait for months before the next book is released (I already have books 2-5!). And so, it is with happiness that I will tell you: this is THE Fae Adult Paranormal Romance series to read. 😛

Mac is a walking contradiction. And she adores pink, fashion, and boys. When her sister died, her preferences did not change. If there’s anything, she rigorously stuck to them, justifying that this is the only normalcy of life she will have since then. Me and Mac? We are going to be good friends. =) She’s feisty, challenging, and a little violent (LOL).

Barrons is not your typical bad boy. He is bad boy personified. He has no redeeming qualities… because there is nothing to redeem. He knows he’s bad, and he constantly flaunts it. Sigh, there is no sense rooting for him. But unwillingly, I do. Jericho Barrons is my No. 1 Bad Boy! *grins*

V’lane the sex fae prince exhibits human traits far more than Barrons, and that’s not a lot. So what does that say about Barrons, huh? Nothing. Or everything. I’m not worried about Mac going for V’lane. I can always blame it to the fae charm, right?

Gritty, unabashed, and ferocious – that’s how I will describe Darkfever. It is narcotic enough for me to continue reading the series. (For there is no way that Barrons is a like a shadow, dark in all aspects.)

And I will get my fix!

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DARKFEVER by Karen Marie Moning

Ebook, 255 pages

Published October 31st 2006 by Dell Publishing

3/5 stars

Book Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood #3: Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

Rating: StarStarStarStarStar

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #3)

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror is his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her…

Book 1: Dark Lover review | Book 2: Lover Eternal review

*****

DARK. SENSOUS. LIBERATING.

Lover Awakened proved me right when I picked up Zhadist as my favorite among the Brotherhood (back when I was still reading Dark Lover). Man, I could not put this down! Zhadist and Bella sucked me in to their story – original and refreshing, brutal and honest to the core. Hands down it is one of the best vamp stories i’ve read. I demand more, J.R. Ward!

Zhadist is complicated but one thing is clear: he relishes the fear he incites to everyone, even his Brothers. I love how he reacts to things: instantaneous and powerful. I love how he covers his emotions from Phury and Bella that his only way to show it is to be distant and aloof. Most of all, I love how he finally he came to terms with his past, tried his very best to improve his life at present, so he can have a wonderful future with Bella. Oh, Z is not perfect. But his struggle to overcome the ugliness of his past and the hard-sought victory that came in the end – such a joy to read. I guess i have a thing for tortured guys who eventually triumphs. =)

Bella is extraordinary! She goes for what she wants (which is Z) and she fights for it. Finally, a heroine who is strong enough to pursue her happiness even if the object of that happiness does not know joy, or love, for that matter. She is smart, too. The way he handled that lesser was amazing. Yep, the power of a woman and persuasion!

I had to include Phury in this, because even though this is not yet his time, i feel for him. The irony of it all is devastating to him and it made me sad. Still, Z is the lead so yes, I’d take even Phury as a casualty. 😦

Lover Awakened is about redemption. It took me to a journey so dark and hurtful, i thought there could be no happy ending for a tortured soul like Zhadist. But there is! Z, after claiming love and life, was rewarded with the blessings he thought was impossible for him. *hugs Z* i love you, vampire.

#22 Off-the-shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Black Dagger Brotherhood #2: Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward

Rating: StarStarStar

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #2)

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover-for inside him burns ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Owned by this dark side, Rhage fears the time when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant to Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. She lost her faith in miracles years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

Book 1: Dark Lover review

*****

“I will not fall in love with you,” she said. “I can’t let myself. I won’t.”

“That’s all right. I’ll love you enough for the both of us.”

DRAMATIC.

Lover Eternal is one step better than Dark Lover. I expected more from Rhage because i adored him on the first book, but I was turned off when he got emotional. Mary Luce is not that special. The main reason i liked this book is because this is where Zhadist and Bella’s story began. =)

Rhage is THE force among the Brotherhood. Nobody can take him especially when the Beast is unleashed. I really, really like him because despite the strength within him, he’s afraid of himself. Mary Luce is an innocent bystander – her meeting the Brothers accidentally brought her to Rhage’s attention. I am really not a fan of her. I hate the way she treated Rhage, like she’s the only one hurting. Rhage deserves better. Well… there is this one time where Mary stood her ground against the brothers when Rhage was seriously hurt. You do not read everyday a female (much more a human!) reprimanding the Brothers’ lack of care to Rhage.

Rhage’s and Mary’s story was so buried when Ward begins to build Zhadist’s and Bella’s story. I was pumped up when they started to show up in the scenes! Thank goodness the third book is about them, else i wouldn’t finish this book that fast. =P

Lover Eternal is just an okay book for me. Moving on, i already started Lover Awakened. 😉

#21 Off-the-shelf Reading Challenge 2011

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

Rating: StarStarStar

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing their enemies more than Wrath, the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood…

The only purebred vampire left on the planet, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But when one of his most trusted fighters is killed – orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate – Wrath must usher the beautiful female into the world of the undead…

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both….

(Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)

I’m not crazy over Dark Lover but i liked it enough to continue the series.

The idea of male vampires feeding off female vampires (and vice versa) is new to me, but very effective for my taste. i had enough of those bloodsucking vamps whose only intent are to hunt humans.

Wrath is considered the King of Vampires, having the pure blood of a true vamp. Beth is a half-human, half-vamp who unknowingly is nearing her transition to vampirism. Wrath doesn’t want to help Darius (Beth’s vamp dad) because of reasons of his own but he felt guilty over Darius’ death so he had no choice but to take Beth in. From there, Beth was thrown into the middle of a world that she never would’ve imagined exists.

The 2nd time Wrath and Beth met was almost laughable. well, a person visits you in the middle of the night, then suddenly you have this urge to have sex with him?!?! i don’t blame Beth, maybe Rhage is that gorgeous? or maybe it’s the vamp thing in her that made their relationship that charged with lust.

After Beth transitioned, the story kinda scattered. What happens now that she has successfully embraced her vamp heritage? and she transitioned in the middle of the book. that left me hanging, the story was almost finished, but what could the author possibly fill in the next half of the book?… i dunno. i just felt lost after the conflict of the story was resolved (Beth’s transition).

Still, i love the concept of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Their names were fancy derivatives of negative emotions: Wrath, Rhage, Vishous, Phury, Zhadist. it was fun. and then there’s the coined terms shellan (feed/fuck buddy), leelan (beloved wife), hellan (beloved husband). These things made me liked the book.

My fave part: the bonding (marriage) rites of Wrath and Beth. The ceremony includes an affliction of pain to Wrath over and over again to remind him of his commitment and love to Beth. i kinda love it!

but Wrath’s and Beth’s love story is simple, nothing new there.

i wanna know about Rhage and Zhadist! they are far more interesting (i think) than Wrath.

that’s why i will add the Black Dagger Brotherhood series on my TBR series pile. 😀

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”

Book Review: Guild Hunter #3: Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh

Rating: StarStarStarStar

Synopsis:

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux and her lover, the lethally beautiful archangel Raphael, have returned home to New York only to face an uncompromising new evil…

A vampire has attacked a girls’ school—the assault one of sheer, vicious madness—and it is only the first act. Rampant bloodlust takes vampire after vampire, threatening to make the streets run with blood. Then Raphael himself begins to show signs of an uncontrolled rage, as inexplicable storms darken the city skyline and the earth itself shudders. The omens are suddenly terrifyingly clear.

An ancient and malevolent immortal is rising. The violent winds whisper her name: Caliane. She has returned to reclaim her son, Raphael. Only one thing stands in her way: Elena, the consort who must be destroyed…

 ***** ***** *****

i have to say that by far, this is the book that i liked the most in this series. more substance, i should say.

this is a book of revealing. about raphael’s past. and ilium’s. and caliane’s. finally, i understood the angels and what made them what they are now.

i think this is Dexter (tv series) – paranormal style. mutilations. body desecrations. you name it, this book has it.

i am so intrigued with Ilium! He is such an endearing character. By now, he somehow admitted to Raphael whatever it is he have with Elena. and if things comes to worse, Raphael is ok with that.

there’s also Ilium’s mom (and her relationship with Raphael) and his pained look whenever talks about his mom arise. it is vague, but at least the author gave me enough to dwell on. i simply can’t get enough of Ilium! Yes, Bluebell, you own my heart. not Raphael.

the twist in the end showed Raphael’s weakness (on how Elena will make him a little mortal) in a whole new light. it was nice.

There’s still sex scenes. But this time around, i finally appreciate it. why? it no longer connotes sex, but lovemaking.

now, isn’t that more enticing to read? 🙂

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.: maria :.

“giving up is the ultimate tragedy.”