Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

Book review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 ½ stars

Being an undercover princess on the run from your family can be difficult – but being all those things PLUS being beautiful and having a major secret practically makes you a target for bad things happening.  Sepora is the last known Forger – her body creates and expels spectorium, a priceless liquid that can be made into materials for building, used in creating power, as well as a number of other things that make life run more smoothly.  But she’s tired of Forging for her father, the King of Serubel, who keeps her locked away from everyone so they don’t know she is the source of the precious substance.  And when she threatens to stop Forging for him, he locks her away in the dungeon – but her mother takes pity on her and assists her in escaping, while faking her death.  She doesn’t care where she’s able to run to, as long as it away from her power hungry father.  So she runs…

Being a prince not ready for his time to rule, but forced to be prepared upon his father’s untimely death from a mystery disease that kills with utter swiftness and is making its way through the kingdom of Theoria – hitting both old and young, male and female alike.  For Tarik, the now King of Theoria, his main concern is finding a cure for what is now called the Quiet Plague, and when Sepora ends up captured, sold into his harem, and demands to speak with him – from the moment he meets her realizes she is special in some way.  While he doesn’t realize her to be the presumed dead Princess of Serbel, he also knows that there is something about her – from the way she speaks to him, to the way she treats others.  That is partly due to the fact that Tarik is a Lingot, meaning her can distinguish a truth from a lie, and while Sepora learns how to speak with the intent of truth-telling, Tarik knows that while she is very special, she’s had a hard yet pampered path.  Throughout their trials together, the two begin to feel things for each other – but the fact that Tarik must marry a royal, but will love her is not something Sepora is willing to live with.  And while it’s found out that spectorium is at least a temporary fix for those with the Quiet Plague, never fully trusting Tarik and his intent leads Sepora on an emotional journey – one that could end up leading her right back into danger.  But it’s not a clear matter of right or wrong for Sepora, but rather of what is right for HER – meaning she makes a promise that no one will use her for her Forging powers, unless she deems them worth of such a gift (as she’s been used for it by her father for so long who does not use it for good most of the time).

While I’m not usually into more “historical” pieces (the whole story had a pharaoh mixed with the Middle Ages type feel), I loved everything about who Sepora was and the courage she had to find and make a new life for herself.  She was tough, intelligent, but still full of grace and clever words – enough so to make her way from runaway young lady, to captive, to the King’s harem, to the King’s Advisor’s attendant.  And Tarik, while smart, strong, and handsome, he still knows nothing when it comes to matters of the heart – but he wants to do right by his kingdom and its people, even if that means marrying a women he does not love – when the one he eventually does is in front of his face.  I thought the story was brilliantly written in a split POV between Sepora and Tarik, and their perspectives were important to the entire book.  I know Ms. Banks must have some amazing words up her sleeve to try to outdo the first part of Sepora and Tarik’s story, but I will try to keep my hopes low so she can blow me away once again!

Book review: White Raven (The Raven Series Book 1) by J.L. Weil

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White Raven (The Raven Series Book 1) by J.L. Weil

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

When 17 year old Piper losses her mother to a horrible tragedy, her elusive grandmother, whom she’s never met, requests the summer with her and her little brother TJ on an island off the New England coast.  But when Piper and TJ arrive, they never could have prepared themselves for the huge and elaborate home that their grandmother lives in.  With Piper’s standoffish attitude and feelings for her grandmother, she keeps to herself and tries not to enjoy the lavish lifestyle, still in mourning over the loss of her mother and best-friend.  While in her shell of solitude, Piper wanders around the coastal town and meets Zoe, who is bubbly and outgoing.  She invites Piper to a bonfire, where she proceeds to meet Zoe’s three brothers, Zack – Zoe’s twin brother, Zander – the oldest Hunter sibling, and Zane – dark, brooding, and a complete jerk toward Piper.  But of course Piper feels a strange pull toward Zane and his obnoxious attitude, even though she knows she shouldn’t want to be talk to him…or see him…or dream of him.

When Piper starts feeling like she is being watched and Zane keeps popping in out of nowhere to intervene when she faces anything/one threatening, she begins to look for answers as to why people call her grandmother The White Raven, why Zane keeps calling her Princess, and why he and others have seemingly “invisible” tattoos that she can see, but others can’t…and why everyone keeps referring to her as a “Raven”.  With the on again, off again sparks she feels from Zane, when the eldest Hunter, Zander asks her out, she gladly accepts – he is literally just the tall, dark, and handsome to give her a little fun, but then Zane shows up and puts Piper’s life into a real tail spin.  And when he delivers the news that his father is THE Grim Reaper – that he is the son of death – and Piper is from the long line of powerful reapers known as banshee or a White Raven.  Zane tells her that she has the power to take a soul with one touch.  As her fascination with Zane grows, so does the danger she is in, as well as the information that she finally learns about her heritage – that her grandmother has an enormous amount of power, her mother didn’t want the reaper life for her (which is why she left Raven Hallow when she was pregnant with Piper), and that Piper is now next in line to be THE White Raven, “Queen” of all the reapers.  And not only that, but Piper also finds out that she is betrothed to Zander to unite the two most powerful families…falling for Zane shouldn’t have been a part of the deal.  But with danger waiting around every corner, Zane Hunter’s lips looking more kissable by the minute, and  her impending marriage to the other Hunter brother – Piper’s life is about to get more complicated than she could ever imagine.

Let me start of by saying I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!!  I thought that Piper’s character was well developed, she knew how to stand on her own two feet, but was still willing to trust and rely on others.  She was strong, funny, and even without knowing it, completely kickass!  Which leads me to Zane…hmm, how to describe him with his hard abs, kissable lips, and dark hair (ha!) – Piper gives us some pretty good imagery throughout as she falls hopelessly in love with him.  I thought that their banter was amazing, and even though their journey is far from over, it’s apparent that they are a team, bound by their souls in an amazing ride of love, life, death and all those things encompass.  Great series so far – can’t wait to see more butt kicking and lip locking for Piper and Zane!

Review: Head Above Water (Gemini Book 2 : A Black Dog Series) by Hailey Edwards

Head Above Water (Gemini Book 2 : A Black Dog Series) by Hailey Edwards

head above water

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

When Camille Ellis is put on administrative leave from her job at as a Specialist with the Conclave – an agency that polices all things supernatural – she feels like she’s been left as a shell of her former self.  The one that did her job and didn’t get involved in other’s issues or feelings – the one she was before she met Graeson Cord, a warg (wolf shape-shifter) who’s sister was killed in an ongoing case that Camille or Cam for short, has been working on since the killer first started his spree.  Given how deeply she dove into the case, while Cam didn’t feel an instant connection to Graeson, he certainly gravitated toward her as he knew she had more information that she was giving up upon death of his sister.  So when Cam and Graeson (or Cord as she calls him) want to continue the investigation without the Conclave resources (Cam as she wants to find her friend that was taken and Cord so he can seek the blood of the one responsible for his sister’s untimely demise), the only way that Cord’s pack will even consider accepting her is by claiming that she is his mate.

Cam’s gypsy-like family joins her near Cord’s pack, as she doesn’t feel right when she’s away from them for too long.  And while the investigation starts out slowly, with the help of Cam’s cousin Isaac and Cord’s pack-mate Dell, they slowly but surely begin learning just how depraved and twisted Charybdis (the mysterious serial killer) truly is.  Given that and the reception Cord’s pack is giving Cam and her family, it makes every day a fight for the two – whether it’s one for information or belonging, the “mates” have their work cut out for them.  So when something happens that cracks the case wide open for Cam, the only question is does she want Cord and the help he can provide just for the sake of an extra set of helping hands, or does Cam want him around for some seemingly wrong reasons too?

Loved!  The story was fast paced and action packed from the beginning – I couldn’t put the book down as I was always wondering “what’s going to happen next?!?”!  Cam is a kick-butt chick and Cord a moody, yet smart, resourceful, and HOT guy to start, so adding in their families (or pack in Cord’s case) was such a great way to really get inside who they both are even more.  I am literally salivating waiting on the next book (even if it is only a few months out).  Cam and Cord make the ultimate power couple – I just hope they realize that too!

The Syndicate (Timewaves Book 1) by Sophie Davis

The Syndicate (Timewaves Book 1) by Sophie Davis

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**I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review**

The Dynamic Duo strike again! I loved the inventive, creative, and interesting concept of time travel and the effects it could have on the future. And with Stassi in the driver’s seat, she made for an awesome and dare I say equally as charismatic and certainly curious leading lady as Talia in the Talented series. I was intrigued throughout the entire tale – especially seeing as Ms. Davis takes us on a whirlwind romance, mystery, and thrilling ride through the 1920s! I am extremely excited for the continuation of the Timewaves books, especially seeing as Stassi got more than a little something on her ride back to the present that is guaranteed to bring much scandal to her and her travel partner Gaige…bravo Ms. Davis, bravo!

Dead in the Water (Gemini : A Black Dog Series) by Hailey Edwards

Dead in the Water (Gemini : A Black Dog Series) by Hailey Edwards

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Loved the new characters – Agent Camille Ellis (a fae with the curious talent of touching the dead and seeing what killed them, among other talents…), Cord Greason (a beta warg, or wolf shifter), and Harlow (the would-be mermaid).  This time they are all scrabbling to ward off a new killer – only know through his magical signature that Cam can sense by touching his victims, as Charbdis.  His brutal and calculated kills of young “magical” victims becomes the personal mission of the new trio’s to find and stop him.  I was so glad we still got to see Thierry and Shaw throughout the story, while still keeping Cam and her mission as the focus.  I really enjoyed the story and given the little “hill-hanger” (not quite a cliff-hanger) ending, I think that things are going to be getting a lot more interesting for Cam in the next book!

Book Blitz: The Guardian Series by G.K. DeRosa

Book Blitz: The Guardian Series by G.K. DeRosa – Excerpt and Giveaway #WILDER

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Hello readers! We are so excited to present to you,

The Guardian Series by G.K. DeRosa!

Fans of the supernatural, family legacies, and swoon worthy brothers definitely do not want to miss this series!

Wilder, Book 1 in The Guardian Series will be available for .99 for the duration of the blitz.

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Dive into the world of Celeste and the Constantin brothers, and immerse yourself in a world created by G.K. DeRosa.

Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post for a chance to win a physical copy of Wilder!

Search #WILDER to jump around the internet to read excerpts from various bloggers!

Wilder Cover

All that Celeste Wilder ever wanted was to find someone who would sweep her off her feet like she had seen in countless romantic movies. When she meets the gorgeous and mysterious Constantin brothers her senior year of high school, she gets much more than what she had bargained for. As they introduce her to an exciting supernatural world that she never imagined existed, she makes a startling discovery about her own family legacy and is forced to make a decision that will change her life forever.

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Wilder (The Guardian Series #1)
by G.K. DeRosa
Publication Date: May 4, 2015

There was a loud banging at the door and Celeste’s eyes shot to her mother’s nervous ones. “Stay here,” she told her and sped down the stairs, grabbing her pink fleece bathrobe on the way down. Celeste slipped out of bed and cradling her puppy tiptoed to the top of the staircase.

“Are you Olivia Wilder?” asked the police officer, his face grim and his tone professional.

“Yes I am,” she answered, a slight tremble in her voice.

“I’m sorry to disturb you at this time of night Ma’am, but I’m afraid there’s been an accident. It’s your husband…”

Wilder Destiny Cover

Celeste Wilder’s mundane world has been completely turned upside down, and it all started when the intriguing Constantin brothers strolled into her small town last summer. After discovering the truth about her destiny and making a life-changing decision, she is now forced to deal with the consequences of her new supernatural reality. Gone are the carefree days of high school and homework, now she must fulfill her duty as a Guardian…no matter the cost. Luckily, she has the love of her life by her side as she battles the supernatural forces of evil, but will that love really last forever? As new challenges arise and old enemies reappear, Celeste must find the strength to overcome the biggest threat she’s ever had to face.

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Wilder Destiny: The Guardian Series Book 2
by G.K. DeRosa
Publication Date: October 28, 2015

Available for purchase:
Amazon

Celeste playfully punched him in the arm. So much of their time spent together was fraught with fear and danger that she cherished these light-hearted moments.

“Be careful! I’m driving!” he teased as he jerked the steering wheel to the left causing Celeste to tumble toward him.

She laughed and then straightened back up in her seat. “Where would you plan the date if you think you could do so much better?”

“Oh, I don’t think. I know I could. I would take the Porsche up into the winding hillside. There’s a beautiful little spot up in the bluffs that you can only reach by trail. I’d pack up a picnic basket with some candles and red wine, and we’d hike up the last few meters before the sun sets. Then I’d lay out the blanket by the opening of a small hidden cave up there that overlooks the town. The view is actually quite breathtaking. And we’d make it just in time to see the fiery orange rays of sun setting over Oak Bluffs.”

About-the-Author2

G.K. DeRosa

G.K. De Rosa has been an avid reader from a very young age. In fact, before she could even read, she tried fooling everyone into thinking that she could. At the precocious age of two, while living in Italy, she had memorized an entire children’s book in Italian and expertly turned the pages at the exact right moments of the story. As she grew up, she always enjoyed literature, no doubt having been instilled with a love of story telling from her early years in Catholic school where she was greatly influenced by exemplary teachers who taught her the value of English and Literature. Though she did not pursue writing in college and instead went for the more traditional route of International Business inspired by her love for travel and all things foreign, after a move to New York City, she found her creative writing side calling once again. She began writing a restaurant review blog, City Lights and Tasty Bites, detailing her other passion – food! The hectic hustle and bustle of the city, combined with long commuting times gave her the opportunity to spend more time reading and rekindled a lost love. After reading countless books in many diverse genres over the two years in New York City, and returning to her home state of Florida, she felt compelled to write something for herself. She had always felt particularly drawn to Young Adult novels and having been an eternal romantic at heart, a fantasy romance was a natural choice. She currently lives in South Florida with her real life Prince Charming and their fur baby, Nico the German Shepherd.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

gifted thief

Gifted Thief by Helen Harper

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

5 stars

Born in Faerie as the girl with no name, she is an enigma and an orphan; made to feel like she was little more than servant, when in reality she’s the illegitimate child of a powerful fae leader who died when she was a child.  Left to be raised by fae who despise her very being, when she decides that she’s finally had enough and she runs away, the first person she runs into is Andy “Taylor” – a professional thief by trade.  When asked her name, she thinks of the one thing she wants to have – despite being a fae – and names herself Integrity.  Fast forward 16 years, and Integrity is part of Taylor’s crew – stealing from those more fortunate, quite often the Fae, for their own survival.  Along with three others in Taylor’s crew – all Clan-less Fae – they have run a successful theft ring, until one day when the item they are in search of isn’t where it’s supposed to be.  Of course that doesn’t stop Integrity from taking a “pretty looking” letter opener from one of the desks within the building they break into.  She thinks nothing of it – it’s just a pretty memento from her final job with her beloved team.  But when they arrive back at Taylor’s and inform him the item they were there to steel – a gem called the Lia Saifir – was missing, Taylor confesses that he needed the money from his share of the sale of the gem to pay off a bookie.  But not just any bookie – his debt was sold to a mysterious financier.  With Taylor’s existence hanging in the balance, it’s a bad time to tell him about the letter opener that turns out to be an enchanted “dagger” with a genie named Bob residing inside – one that Integrity can’t get rid of, even though she tries, until she makes her three wishes (which she vows to never do as she knows the repercussions of genie wishes).

While Integrity wants out of the business, her love and devotion to Taylor and the team drives her to settle his debt – once again – as her constant repayment for the life he helped her have since leaving Faerie.  But it proves a bit more difficult than she’d dealt with in the past – seeing as the creditor turns out to be a Fae from Integrity’s past – the son of one of the power families in Faerie, Byron Moncrieff.  All he wants is for Integrity to come back to Faerie with him to complete a ritual to repair the magic in Faerie.  Along with her trusty “letter opener” genie Bob at her side, she reluctantly agrees and heads back to the place she tried so hard to escape and forget.   But Byron isn’t the indignant prick of a Fae that she remembers from her youth…he’s an attractive, successful, and surprisingly kind gentleman that wants to help her along her path back during her brief time in Faerie.  So when someone wants her dead – and will use any means necessary to complete the task, Integrity turns once again to her team, and reluctantly Byron and his clan to figure out who it is that wants her out of the way and why.  But sometimes, as Integrity finds out, it might be better to not know – lives will be lost and futures forever changed by the Gifted Thief name Integrity.

I simply loved this story!  I thought Integrity was funny, witty, and had amazing self preservation skills – that are a must when dealing with the snooty Fae.  Her relationships are a source of strength for her – she knows that even though her bio-Fae family may have discarded her, but they never would – and she is better for it.  With the arrival of Byron and is betrayal and eventual protection of her, I loved the interaction between the two.  Kissing one minute, bickering the next – all the makings of a great relationship, if only they could see past each other and their pasts to make their futures worth it.  I was a bit let down with the seemingly sudden ending, but I cannot WAIT to see what else is in store for Integrity – Faerie is definitely not done with her yet, and her past is still so up in the air.  So in Integrity style “What’d the beaver say to the tree?”… “It’s been nice gnawing you!”So corny and endearing, how could you not fall completely for this series???

Angels of Moirai (Book One) Nicole Salmond

Angels of Moirai (Book One) by Nicole Salmond

angels of moirai

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

3 ½ stars

 Life for 18 year old Lila Kingston has been far from happy…while her family may have a lot of money, it certainly hasn’t bought happiness for her or her little sister Hayley.  Raised by maids and nannies, the sisters have always know they may not have their parents around very often, they would always have each other.  At the prestigious top school of Eden College, Lila is constantly harassed by the “popular kids”, but she is satisfied with just getting through high school and go to a local college to stay near her sister while she finishes school.  However, when Lila’s success-driven parents insist that she fit into the mold they want her in, she rebels and pushes her parents even further away.  And when Lila begins having weird yet wonderfully haunting dreams of a beautiful angel whom she is vaguely able to communicate with, she begins thinking she is crazy – that is until he walks into her class, as real as the nose on her face.

With the strange and sudden appearance of James – the angel/ boy from Lila’s dreams – she is unexpectedly drawn to him.  And bizarre things start happening to Lila now that James has mysteriously emerged from her dreams to her real life – like seeing beautiful lights that no one else can see, sudden bouts of lightening out of the blue, and finding out that not only are angels real, but so are demons.  And when James reveals himself to Lila and they begin developing feelings for each other, the two must keep their love a secret – or face the consequences that knowing the future can hold.  While James and Lila’s world continues to be flipped upside down, the demons are clandestinely showing up to destroy them and everything they care for…their forbidden love included.

Let me start by saying that sci-fi and ya are two of my favorite combinations.  Add in a good forbidden love for good measure, and it’s should add up to the right number.  Unfortunately, this story – while enjoyable – fell flat in some areas for me.  The dialog and conversations were a little stale and at times difficult to follow.  I adored the story of James and Lila, but never felt like there was a “why” with regards to their connection or even why James came into Lila’s life.  I loved the cliffhanger ending – while they infuriate me, they also tend to peak my interest into the next book in the series.

Rite of Revelation (Acceptance Book 2) by Sarah Negovetich

 Rite of Revelation (Acceptance Book 2) by Sarah Negovetich

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**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

When Rebecca and Daniel decided to come forward with the truth about the Acceptance ceremony and how the Cardinal only uses it weed out those that don’t fit mold of the perfect citizens – to try and create a perfect society – they never foresaw the lack of change.  But they did expect for the Cardinal to want to punish them for their disobedience.  For Rebecca, that meant a “public” apology via a new video saying that she way wrong – while Daniel was severely beaten and used as leverage to force Rebecca to read the prepared speech.  But Eric the prisoner turned guard that Rebecca had convinced herself she could be happy with as long as she was free during the beginning of their time together in the PIT – back before he betrayed her and her friends escape attempt that ended up leaving one of them dead – comes in to Rebecca and Daniel’s rescue.  The three are able to escape the PIT, along with Eric’s sister Elizabeth, Daniel’s sister Patrice, Constance, and her husband Thomas.  The road to freedom isn’t an easy one for the group – especially as the Cardinal has it bad for punishing Rebecca for her stunt while in the PIT.

When everything they have ever been taught comes into question and they end up meeting up with actual settlers that have been able to live outside the Territories for years without the Cardinal’s “protection”, the group is in awe.  They begin to cultivate new friendships and start feeling like they belong somewhere.  However, when a member of their village becomes deathly ill, Rebecca sees it as her penance for so many people dying in the PIT after her escape to get the medication needed to help – even if it means she has to personally go back to the Territories to find it.  While no one thinks it safe for her to go herself, she makes sure that no stone is unturned while searching for the rare medication – even heading to a neighboring village with whom they have unresolved issues with to find it.  With much toil and pain, while they finally do find the medication, it ends up all for not as their friend was too far gone in her sickness and her illness ends up claiming her life.  And not only is the village faced with the loss of a cherished member, it is also discovered that the Cardinal has started sending out troops out to look for Rebecca specifically.  With all her guilt still brewing over those that have fallen due to helping her, Rebecca is first in line to run a rescue attempt when the same neighboring village with whom they are at turmoil with is attacked.  Life for Rebecca was never meant to be so difficult, but she is always first in line to help a fellow person in need.

I am still amazed at how strong Rebecca stays throughout her journey.  Even when life gives her lemons, she picks them up and throws them right back at it!  She is loyal, caring, genuine, and never backs down from a fight over those she cares about.  I just loved the first book, and this one certainly lived up to my expectations for the second book in the series.  Ms. Negovetich does a great job of showing that no matter the conditions, family isn’t where you live, or even the conditions in which you live, but HOW you live with those that you love and care about – something Rebecca is an expert at.  I am really looking forward to finding out more about the Cardinal and just who he is, and why he is the way he is…hopefully that will come in the next book (hint, hint)!

Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark Book 16) by Kresley Cole

 Sweet Ruin (Immortals After Dark Book 16) by Kresley Cole

sweet ruin

**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review**

4 stars

Let me start out by saying H-O-T…that will certainly be a theme throughout my review.  How could it not be when it’s about a 7,000 year old Baneblood who’s never wished to experience love, only lust for most of those 7,000 years old – but then comes along the last thing he ever expected…a woman that can actually stand him, and his blood.  For Josephine, aka Jo or Josie, when she woke up at age 11 with a baby boy (whom she assumes is her brother) is in her arms, she can’t remember a thing about who her parents are or where she came from.  All Jo knew was survive – which meant pick-pocketing and stealing to get by.  But when her and her little brother, Thaddeus, aka Thad or Thaddie, end up in Child Protective Services several times, she always knows that it’s her and Thad together forever – no one can replace the life, however screwed up it is, as long as they are with each other.  However, when Jo messes with fire, in the form of a local thug, she finds herself torn from her earthly life and thrown into an immortal life of being completely alone.  But she finds a powerful force at work within her when she wakes up as a vampire hybrid of sorts.  And after 14 years, Jo has finally met her match in the form of Rune.

Right off the bat, Rune and Jo have an immediate attraction and they are completely enamored with each other.  But when Rune gets the wrong idea about Jo’s interaction with a Valkyrie that Rune is trying to kill, his interest in Jo becomes even deeper.  So much so, that he feels the need to sequester her to his home in another dimension, so she can’t escape and he can question her further – but what Rune doesn’t realize is that the Valkyrie has ties to her younger brother Thad and she just wants to save him.  Through their differences yet extreme attraction to each other, Rune and Jo realize they are working toward a common goal and begin to form an alliance…not only on the war field, but also physically.  And what happens can only be described as amazing fireworks all over the pages of their story.  Their chemistry is so red hot, it’s hard not to spontaneously combust while reading.  But with Rune’s past a man-whore, his decisions lead him to make a huge mistake which could lead to not just his “Ruin”, but Jo’s and Thad’s as well.

I loved Jo and Rune’s story.  While there was plenty of heat, the smolder was what made this book impassioned.  With so much working against them, at times it seems happily ever after is possible for a 7,000 year old man-whore and a black-blood drinking vamp – of course, Rune would never settle for that, he’s looking for naughtily ever after, which is exactly what Jo is willing to give him!  Thoroughly enjoyed their story and all the emotions it brought with it!