Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

Synopsis from Goodreads.com
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.

Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who’d cursed Micah. She sees past Micah’s armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember. Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.

My review:
This is the final book in the Royal House of Shadows series and this one was the best of them all.

Liliana transported herself to find Micah, the youngest brother of the royal family of Elden, but rather than find herself in the woods near his castle, she found herself in the castle itself in front of Micah, or the Lord of the Abyss as he now is. He instantly puts her in the dungeon and it is now her task to try to make him remember who he is and tell him what he must do in order to restore Elden to its former glory.

Unfortunately for Liliana, Micah doesn't even remember his name, let alone anything else about his previous life, so she has a hard task in front of her. He is hard, cold, moody and downright scary, but Liliana isn't afraid, not after what she has been through. She convinces him to let her cook for him, so she doesn't have to spend the nights in the cold dungeon and soon they begin to feel a deep attraction towards one another. Liliana believes this cannot be real and she thinks she is rather ugly and deformed. The idea of Beauty and Beast runs through this book, but which one is which I haven't yet worked out LMAO!

She also begins to tell him stories about himself and his brothers and sister, although at the time he doesn't know who these people are and whilst he loves hearing about them, they also enrage him at one point, causing him immense pain.

The Blood Sorcerer is also on the hunt for Liliana, for she is his daughter and no one defies the Blood Sorcerer, but she keeps this little bit of information from Micah, believing that he will kill her when he finds out who she really is. The Blood Sorcerer sends his army out to attack the castle and find her, but Micah uses his powers as the Lord of the Abyss to defend it and the people of the village and so they have a temporary defeat. Liliana eventually tells him what he doesn't really want to hear, but he now has only a short time to return to Elden. And off they go on a perilous journey back to the destroyed kingdom of Elden.

He does manage to defeat the Blood Sorcerer, but I do think the actual fight scene was very short and over before you knew it. I know Micah is meant to be powerful, being an heir to Elden and all, but the Blood Sorcerer was also meant to be very powerful and he was overthrown very quickly. His spell lifted off the land. Micah's brothers and sister returned and everyone lived happily ever after!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and this series and loved how it all tied together in the end battle against the Blood Sorcerer.

Thank you to the publishers for allowing me to review this book honestly through NetGalley.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen

Synopsis from Goodreads.com
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden.

To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance.

Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…

For practical Reda Weston, nothing could explain how reading a sexy version of "Little Red Riding Hood" catapulted her into another realm—face-to-fang with the legendary wolf-creature who seduced women. A wolf who transformed into a dark, virile man….

Dayn cursed the Sorcerer that turned him wolfyn and damned him to a lonely fate. As a beast, he mated with women to gain strength.

Strength he needed to rescue his royal parents. But as a man, he craved Reda's heated, sizzling touch. With little time left, Dayn had to either embrace his wolf to save his kingdom…or fight it to save his woman.

My review:

This is the third book in the Royal House of Shadows series; this time focussing on Dayn, the second brother of the kingdom of Elden.

Reda Watson, a police officer who has just lost her partner in a bungled convenience store robbery, has finally found the book she has been searching for. A very old version of Red Riding Hood, one which her mother used to read to her before she died. After reading this book she wakes up to find herself in a world not of her own, having travelled through a vortex using a spell her mother had taught her.

She meets Dayn, the second eldest prince from Elden and he realises that she is the one, his guide, who can open the vortex and transport him back to Elden to defeat the Blood Sorcerer, who killed his parents and took over his home kingdom. Dayn is a vampire the same as Nikolai, his brother from the first book and he lives in close community with a pack of wolfyn, werewolves in other words. However, they have no idea he is a blood drinker, except for the wise old woman who he confided in and they cannot know simply because they will kill him if they do.

Reda and Dayn have a strange relationship. There is the usual attraction between them the you would expect from a PNR, but she came across as being a bit wet to be honest. Maybe the idea that she was constantly being a coward didn't enthral me to her at all. Dayn needed a guide back to his kingdom and when she turned up that was all he focussed on, not really caring if she would ever return to her own world or not. But as can be expected they fall in love and blah blah blah!

Then out of nowhere some blood sorceress called Moragh turns up trying to find some special artefact which she needed to be able to rule Elden instead of the Blood Sorcerer, but I thought that the Blood Sorcerer was the ultimate evil and to be able to defeat him all four of the Elden siblings needed to be back in the palace. This seemed a bit of a random thing to just plonk into the middle of the story, but I guess it meant that the wolfyn would find out about Dayn being a blood drinker and therefore start the ball rolling as it were.

Dayn and Reda have a bit of a trek across the realm in order to find another vortex, which would transport them both to their respective homelands. Obviously things never go to plan and Dayn has to reveal his other nature - he is a wolfyn, having only ever called upon that power within himself once before. This sends Reda into a panic, ensuring that he had bespelled her into feeling for him the way she does after only a few days, but nope he didn't. She felt that way all by her little self!

Eventually they make it back to Elden, although not together and Dayn realises who he needs to be in order to finally defeat the Blood Sorcerer and they head into the castle for the final showdown.

This was an ok book, not quite as good as the first one, which is my favourite in this series so far. I'm guessing that the conclusions are all revealed in the final book and the siblings all finally return to defeat the Blood sorcerer.

I still have no idea where the wolfyn idea came from, because there is no mention of this at all in the other books. It has been said several times that the king was a blood drinker, whilst the queen was a healer mage, but wolfyn was not at all spoken of. It was almost as if they needed a different type of character for this episode in the series and again plonked it in without explanation. Something needed to be said about his heritage a bit more.

I would like to thank the author and publishers for receiving this ARC free from NetGalley and my review is completely my own!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe

Synopsis from Goodreads.com
Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage…in a dark bear of a man.

The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending.

My review: 
This is the second book in the Royal House of Shadows series and focusses on Brenna, the princess of Elden. She wakes up after being magically whisked away from the scene of her parents' gruesome demise with an urge to follow a certain path. She knows she must survive and take revenge but at the moment she's not sure why and against whom she must take this revenge. Onwards she plods through a forest, clearly marked against intruders by the bare skulls hanging up. She stumbles across a wooden cottage and the scene that follows made me chuckle - it was Goldilocks and the Three Bears paranormal style. She enters the unlocked cottage, eats some oat porridge, breaks a chair and then goes to sleep in one of the beds. When she is awoken a while later, the gruff, angry man is the man of her dreams, literally. She has been dreaming of this warrior and the passion between them for a while now, but he is nothing like the man in her dreams. He also recognises her as the woman who has been invading his dreams and whilst he feels an attraction towards her, does not want to get involved with her at all.

Osborn is the oldest of 3 brothers, the only survivors from an slaughter on his village by whom he believes were soldiers/vampires from Elden. He is a berserker, following a ritual of manhood at the age of 15 in which he had to kill a bear and join their spirits together. He can call on his Ber when wearing the pelt of the bear he killed and develops an almost uncontrollable rage and strength, against which no-one will survive. Osborn's 2 little brothers were cute. They needed a big sister or mother figure in their lives and were so desperate for Brenna to stay even when Osborn made it clear that she should leave.

There is a great attraction between Brenna and Osborn right from the minute they meet. He believes she only wants him for his berserker power and the revenge she wants to take. She believes that he is her warrior, the man in her dreams who would protect her at all costs. Their relationship is not quite a smooth ride and even at the very end, I thought Osborn was going to leave her for good.

Brenna came across as a typical "princess". She only wanted Osborn to fight for her against those who killed her parents and didn't really care about him and his brothers initially. It was obvious she had a very good upbringing (she didn't know how to cook for example, something in this world, women would have done if they had to) and her selfishness irritated me a bit at the beginning. She did eventually start becoming more independent. Her own magical powers developed a bit, although we didn't see a great deal of that and she did learn how to fight with a sword, taking many hours practising and training physically. But ultimately Osborn, her warrior, had to save her!

Osborn was an angry man! Yes he had to go through 2 life changing events in the same day - his Bärenjagd (the bear killing ritual) and the battle in his village which cost him the lives of his parents. Not something I can imagine was an easy thing to do. He also had to bring up his two brothers on his own and became an assassin to help feed them, but boy he could have smiled some times! With Brenna's help, he realised that he had sheltered his brothers too much and was not preparing them to become the men and Berserkers they have be.

I was also a little confused to the timing of this book. Nikolai, in the first book and Brenna's brother, had been kept in the witches' palace for 20 years as time moves differently there, but this one seemed to take place immediately after Brenna's teleportation. Not sure how all the books will merge together or even if they will. I hope so! Would be good to see all 4 siblings back together, taking on the Blood sorcerer.

This book was ok. I liked it, but didn't think it was great. I think because it was so short the relationship between Brenna and Osborn was developed fully and the characters themselves were not fully developed either. I will be reading the rest of this series as I want to find out about the other 2 brothers from the kingdom of Elden - Dayn and Micah.

I would like to thank the publishers for providing this ARC free through Net Galley.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Synopsis from Goodreads.com
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved...

My review
I received this ARC free through NetGalley, but this review is totally my own!

Jane is a scientist of sorts, who has been studying and experimenting on vampires, proper blood suckers. After recovering from a horrific car accident, which killed her entire family and left her crippled for several months, she finds an old leather book on her doorstep. She begins to read it and finds that it is about a man called Nikolai, the same man she has been having naughty dreams about.

One night whilst dreaming about Nikolai, she wakes up in another world, in another body and soon meets the same man, chained to a wall being kept as a sex slave for a pair of princesses, one of whom Jane now appears as. Nikolais knows who she really is and demands that she help him to escape from the clutches of Laila, her "princess sister". The world Jane finds herself in is nothing like her own world. It is made up of witches, who the princesses are and vampires, who Nikolai is. He does drink blood, but also wields magic as his mother was a witch. Unfortunately for him, Laila has had his powers bound and his memories erased so he doesn't know who he is or why he has this strong need for vengeance, although he doesn't yet know who against.

Together Jane and Nikolai escape, encountering ogres who almost rape Jane before Nikolai finds her again. Everyone recognises Nikolai for who he really is - the prince of Elden. His memories start to return with the help of drinking Jane's blood and they soon fall in love. However, there is a curse upon Jane. She will leave and return to her own world if she falls in love with him. But luckily for them both, Jane manages to absorb some of Nioklai's powers, in particular one which allows her to teleport between the two worlds.

Laila is determined to find her "sister" and the stolen slave and Jane has to trust Nikolai to save them both. Jane helps by doing something she didn't believe was possible, only to find herself stuck back in her own world, never to return to her beloved Nikolai. Of course there's a Happy Ever After and Jane leaves her world behind to spend eternity with her man!

A nice little PNR with a decent story line as well. Not all about the romance, but enough action to keep me happy! I liked the two main characters - Jane was not going to lie down and take Nikolai's demands ALL the time, although she did like taking some of them! Laila was an evil conniving so-and-so, but you need a baddie in these kind of stories!

This series is made up of 4 books from various authors, all, I think, about the the 4 royal siblings of Elden. On to book 2 then!