Category Archives: Fantasy

Books involving imaginary beings in the real world or in an alternate reality and assuming suspension of disbelief about magic and/or supernatural powers.

Cody’s Dragon by K.M. Mahoney

Cody's DragonCody’s Dragon by K.M. Mahoney
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Totally Bound Publishing
Novel:  63,533 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

How far is Cody willing to go to keep his dragon?

Kirit is lonely and he’s sick of coming home from the king’s assignments to a cold, empty cave. After searching for years for a mate, Kirit decides it’s time to try a new approach. Against the advice of all his friends, he heads for the human side of the world. There he finds Cody, and the man is everything he could ever want. It takes a little bit of persuasion, but he manages to talk Cody into coming back with him to Faerie.

Within a week of arriving, Cody is beginning to rethink his impulsive decision. He’s trekked across more terrain than he would care to remember, been summoned to meet a king, and flown on a dragon—not an experience he’s willing to repeat anytime soon. Kirit’s growly possessiveness is starting to wear on his nerves, and the unexpected hostility he encounters at the palace is almost enough to make him give up.

But Cody is stubborn. He may not be willing to admit it out loud, but Kirit has got under his skin. He may even, shockingly enough, love the big guy.

Now Cody has to decide what he’s willing to do to keep the man of his dreams.

 Excerpt

I enjoyed this book.  Kirit is lonely and is convinced that he may have luck finding a mate in the human world since he has been unable to in Faerie.  Cody is a rent boy and his starting to become discontent with his life.  When these two meet up there is a world of miscommunication and Kirit keeps his life secret from Cody.  Cody has his life turned upside down when he is told that Kirit has claimed him as his mate.

This is a nice read.  The writing is good.  I love the descriptions used by the writer.  The characters are intriguing and vivid.  I love the grumpiness and general standoff behavior of the dragons.  The plot line gives us just enough to stay interested in the characters and their situations.

The bad of the read was the plot.  Though it does give you that interest that is about it.  The plot was shallow and just too mysterious.  I know this is the first in a series but I couldn’t understand Seamus or the court.  Even the background for the dragons wasn’t very well done.  We are given bits and pieces that make no sense.  The one big bad guy is WAY too easily taken care of.  I think it could have been a better read if there was some sense of where the mystery plot was going and if the world was built a little more.

Still I did have fun reading this one.  It is a definite feel good book and makes me smile to think of Cody and his dragon.  I will read the next to see where this one will go.

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Hainted by Jordan L. Hawk

HaintedHainted by Jordan L. Hawk
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Self
Novel:  94,378 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  3
 

The Good Guy: Haint-working runs in Dan Miller’s blood. Not everyone can help the restless dead cross over, especially when the haunting threatens the Living. But the death of his parents six years ago forced Dan to give it up in exchange for raising his brother and sister, all the while struggling to keep their rural NC farm afloat.

So when the flamboyantly goth Leif Helsvin shows up on Dan’s doorstep looking for help with an evil necromancer named Rúnar, Dan’s first instinct is to turn him down. With two teenagers to look after, he’s already got all the trouble he can handle. Besides, the sexy Leif is too much of a temptation, and Dan is firmly in the closet.

The Bad Boy: Pierced, tattooed Leif never has sex with the same guy twice. It keeps things simple, especially since his oath to stop Rúnar has him constantly drifting from one town to the next.

But this time, it looks like Leif is going to need help, in the form of the very down-to-earth Dan. Since Nice Guys are off the menu, Leif just has to keep his hands to himself for as long as it will take to stop Rúnar’s latest scheme. But as Leif finds himself drawn deeper into Dan’s life, he quickly realizes he’s not just in danger of breaking the rules, but breaking his heart as well.

Excerpt

This was an interesting book.  I thought that the use of the word “hainted” was different.  I’ve never heard it used.  The author seems to lump a lot of supernatural phenomena into “hainted”.  I thought it was just ghosts but it is also anything to do with the dead except the living that deal with the dead.

Dan is stuck in time in my mind.  Because of his parents death he takes over the family farm and raising his two young siblings.  He knows he is gay and did have a little experience when he went to college for the short time he did.  Coming back he is forced back in the closet and so REALLY shuts himself in there.  He doesn’t seem to me to mature past that point.  Not that he is immature in raising his siblings but in dealing with a relationship he is still a newbie.  He is almost innocent.  Leif is anything but innocent.  His childhood was destroyed and he ran away to the streets when he was 14.  He hooked and did drugs.  When he left that life he traveled the world but did horrible things that he is trying to atone for.  Leif was a child still when he was taken in by Runar.  Runar was evil but all Leif saw was salvation.  Due to all of this Leif is not innocent.  Yet when it comes to good people and a healthy relationship Leif is lost as well.

I loved these two together.  They make sense.  Together they are a great team.  Now the action involved in the storyline was interesting if a little…flat.  I just didn’t get into the fight scenes.  I had a hard time with the whole antler and it hitting the right spot.  Just didn’t feel right.

The author makes an easy setting for the story, modern in the country, and uses the world building for the paranormal aspect.  This was a good story overall but felt a bit sappy toward the end.  I was expecting it to me more hard edged and instead the characters become a bit too gushy.  The bad guy was all bad.  (Yeah, he liked Leif but just wanted to have him.)  Yet I didn’t get that icy feel from him.  With this being the story it is you would expect a cold, icy edge to the bad guy but I just didn’t get that.

Overall an enjoyable read.  I wish the last half had been a little harder then I think I would have enjoyed it more.  Still a good story with all the stuff people love.

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The White Road by Lynn Flewelling

The White RoadThe White Road by Lynn Flewelling
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Random House LLC
Novel:  402 Pages
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Dissolute nobles, master spies, and the unlikeliest of heroes, Alec and Seregil have survived exile, treachery, and black magic. But the road that lies ahead is the most hazardous they’ve ever traveled. For with enemies on all sides, they must walk a narrow path between good and evil where one misstep might be their last.
 
Having escaped death and slavery in Plenimar, Alec and Seregil want nothing more than to go back to their nightrunning life in Rhíminee. Instead they find themselves saddled with Sebrahn, a strange, alchemically created creature—the prophesied “child of no woman.” Its moon-white skin and frightening powers make Sebrahn a danger to all whom Alec and Seregil come into contact with, leaving them no choice but to learn more about Sebrahn’s true nature.

With the help of trusted friends and Seregil’s clan, the duo set out to discover the truth about this living homunculus—a journey that can lead only to danger or death. For Seregil’s old nemesis Ulan í Sathil of Virèsse and Alec’s own long-lost kin are after them, intent on possessing both Alec and Sebrahn. On the run and hunted, Alec and his comrades must fight against time to accomplish their most personal mission ever.

Excerpt

This is the fifth book in the Nightrunner Series.  This a series that while difficult to read at times with the different words and the totally different world it is set in, is a great read.  The world building the author has done is phenomenal.  The series is all set up around a couple, Alec and Seregil.  They are part of a spy group and do many things throughout the series.  There have been wonderful side characters like Micum and Thero.

We pick up where we left the characters in book four with the trouble of what to do with a creature like Sebrahn.  He is dangerous and a liability to the two men in their work.  Alec is still recovering from his death.  The men are trying to figure out where to go from here.  Sebrahn can’t be allowed to fall into the hands of the queen or those like her but where can the men go to keep themselves safe and regroup.

I was disappointed with the first half of the book because it dragged.  Nothing much happened and there was a lot of repeat in what did occur.  Things did eventually pick up.  Then they happened much too quickly and easily.  I had hoped for a little more depth to the overall read but it felt light.  The plot was thin and I can only hope it was one of those books that are necessary for the oveall arc of the series.

All of that being said there is still a lot that was good to the book.  There is humor and new friends are made.  I feel that Seregil is finally making peace with his past and reconnecting to his family.  Alec is finding out more about himself and who he is.  The men are growing stronger together and are showing how connected to each other they are, but still are individual.  There is no doubt they have at heart differing natures.  Sebrahn is the example to show us that.  Alec is a gentler soul than Seregil but the two each have their strengths that make for a formidable team.

I enjoyed the read but didn’t love it.  For me if you are this far into the series there is a reason and so you will read the book.  Don’t expect to love it though.  It has its moments but for me it was fair as a read.

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Cry Wolf by Jay Ellison

Cry WolfCry Wolf by Jay Ellison
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Courtesan Press
Novella:  51,738 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  Dead Rose
 

Call of the Wild…

Kevin Sullivan has never minded being a werewolf. He has a great job, a little sister who adores him, and plenty of good friends. But an erotic encounter with Roman Le Feuvre, the sexy, mysterious Alpha of the Bloodmoon Pack, leaves Kevin feeling lost, lonely and desperate for companionship for the first time in his life. Roman is shrewd as both master of Wall Street and king of the New York werewolves, but he harbors a dark secret that’s about to turn Kevin’s world upside down. Kevin wants nothing more than to find his place in Roman’s pack–and in his heart!–but dark forces may leave him crying wolf.

Excerpt

I bought this book on a whim.  I loved the different view of werewolves.  Unfortunately this book gives very little plot to go with it.  The story contains LOTS of sex.  This isn’t always a bad thing but in this case there was no connection to be felt between partners.  Yes, there is a “love” angle to the story but I really didn’t understand why they were in love.  They didn’t talk much or hang out very long.  It seemed like since they were both Pedigrees that they would get together with an open relationship.

I want to say that the writer really did make the characters interesting.  I believe if there had been more development to the story and a little less of the sex that the book would have been better.  I had no issues with the open nature of relationships portrayed by the author.  The issue is connection.  I felt nothing for the characters.  I actually felt more for Hannah, who is a side character.  I really felt that the author was more about the sex than the story line so it suffered.

So, I didn’t care for this book.  I may keep an eye out for the author since he seems to have some wicked story ideas and hope that his writing improves.

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Alpha’s War by Zoe Perdita

Alpha's WarAlpha’s War by Zoe Perdita
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Eccentric Erotica
Novel:  60,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Sebastian knows criminals. He was raised in a family of thieves. But nothing could prepare him for the charming and dangerous gang leader and alpha wolf, Ian Black.

Since Seb isn’t strong enough to protect himself, he seeks aid from the Black Wolves – the most infamous shifter gang in the city. While the alpha promises to protect Seb, Ian wants something in return. Seb has to pretend to be Ian’s sex slave in public.

Only problem is Seb’s straight – or he thought he was. Ian’s insistence tests his resolve at every turn.

As violence explodes throughout the city, desire sizzles between the cat and wolf. But giving into passion is difficult for Seb who spent his entire life pushing other people away.

Can these two broken men find love in the midst of chaos?

Warning: Contains graphic gay sex scenes.

 Excerpt

This is the fourth in the Haven series and second in the Black Wolves series.  Seb is Fisk’s twin.  He is the sick one who was relegated to information gathering for the thieving brothers.  Seb is very smart and has a cunning intelligence.  He is the perfect fit for Ian, alpha of the Black Wolves if only he weren’t straight.  Ian is the fierce leader of the Black Wolves.  He works hard to get his gang to appear a tough and vicious gang in order to rid the Flats of the criminal element that killed his parents.  Now with Seb in the picture he wonders if that is as important to him as it once was.

I think the author is a wonderful writer.  The descriptions were well done and the “world” she has created gets a little more filled in all the time.  I do think that at times her descriptions are a little much but she does a good job of giving the mood and ambiance to the scene being played out.

The characters are better detailed I feel in this one than the previous book.  Ian is more understandable in some of his actions at least now.  I feel we did get to know these two a little more and understand a little of why they act as they do.

The plot was a bit predictable.  It was still entertaining.  I wouldn’t necessarily say it was exciting though.  It seemed more drawn out than the last book.  The strange thing is the ending almost felt…cut short.  We really didn’t see much after the two men really declared themselves and committed to one another.  The end just felt a little wanting for more details.

This was a nice read.  It wasn’t anything wonderful but it was solid and entertaining.  I enjoyed it but was hoping for a little something more.

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Thief by Zoe Perdita

ThiefThief by Zoe Perdita
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Eccentric Erotica
Novel:  63,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  3
 

The universe is a bitch.

When Fisk, a cat shifter and thief, is sold into sex slavery, the most dangerous shifter gang in Haven City buys him: the Black Wolves. Problem is, Fisk stole from them three years before, and it cost the wolf gang precious territory. When they find out, they force Fisk to work off his debt. A debt to the tune of half a million dollars.

The universe has a plan.

Ian Black, the gang’s leader and alpha wolf, has plans for Fisk. It’s up to Breaker, the beta, to follow the boss’s orders. Breaker doesn’t expect to fall for the alluring feline with the bad attitude. He’s been nothing but loyal to his alpha and their pack his entire life. But Fisk wakes a desire Breaker’s never known. Only Fisk strikes Ian’s fancy too, and a beta can’t cross an alpha.

The universe has a sick sense of humor.

Fisk finds himself torn between two very different men – Ian, the sexy alpha and Breaker, the stoic enforcer. One of the wolves is his mate, but Fisk isn’t sure how to handle it. Sex is one thing – love is something else.

As passion sizzles between the three men, Breaker feels the truth – Fisk is his mate. How can he choose between loyalty to his alpha and loyalty to his heart?

Contains graphic m/m love scenes.

 Excerpt

This wasn’t a book that I expected.  The blurb is quite clear but I really thought it wouldn’t get to the point the story did.  This lost me for romance.  I really didn’t enjoy the whole sex three way thing.  It wasn’t sexy or romantic or the like.  It felt like a betrayal by Fisk and neither man later made any sort of deal out of it.  I just can’t buy that there wouldn’t have been some fall out.  I am trying to put it in “human” perspective but it still isn’t working for me.

The writing was good.  The author made it dramatic and interesting.  True I didn’t like the love triangle thing but the writing was well done.  The characters draw you in and hold you.  The thing with the writing was actually the relationships.  Other than that the plot works.  The descriptions are detailed and color the world well.  I enjoyed that part of the book.  The author does a good job with this world that was created.

As I have said relationships in the story weren’t done very well.  I just didn’t feel that connection with the characters.  The two that end up together, there just wasn’t that connection to fall in love.  If I believe the mate thing is fate and they are supposed to know their mate then why did Fisk sleep with both men?  If I believe that they don’t right away know their mate then how do they figure it out?  Like humans do?  Then I don’t see that they were together enough for love to develop.

Overall, I loved the regular plot of the book but the relationship aspect failed for me.  So I will give it a medium rating. (Please keep in mind even if this is stated as the first in the Black Wolves series it is also third in the Haven City series.  It helps with the world building to read the first two in the Haven City series.)

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Rogue Wolf by Zoe Perdita

Rogue WolfRogue Wolf by Zoe Perdita
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Eccentric Erotica
Novel:  114,000 Words
Purchase at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
Roses:  4
 

Contains the first two books in the Haven City Series:

Shadow Scars (Rogue Wolf Book One)

Conner, a rogue wolf and murder detective, isn’t looking for a lover when he moves to Haven City. He wants to solve crimes and keep to himself – unable to trust anyone since his pack betrayed him six years before.

But Seth Alwen, his new partner, is different. He excites the wolf’s animal instincts – waking up the passion Conner buried long ago. Seth’s not only beautiful and alluring; he’s also haunted by the death of his former partner. And despite his better judgment, Conner aches to relieve the man of his guilt.

Seth’s a seer, but ever since his old partner died his powers have been on the fritz.

Enter Conner Sharp, Seth’s sexy and mysterious new partner. While the dark-haired stranger ignites Seth’s desire, he also awakens the seer’s power with every touch. Seth sees their future together – a future rich with lust and danger – but is it a future the enigmatic Conner wants?

As the two men solve a series of murders, their sizzling attraction overflows into the bedroom. Is the overwhelming passion just a fling or is it forever?

Contains graphic m/m sex scenes.

Alpha’s Shadow (Rogue Wolf Book Two)
Conner Sharp, a rogue wolf and murder detective, was supposed to be an alpha – until his pack betrayed him and left him for dead. Then he met Seth Alwen, his new partner, and things started looking up. The beautiful seer lusts after him – even if he keeps an infuriating number of secrets.

But something dangerous is stirring inside Conner. The urges of an alpha wolf he buried years ago are rising to the surface. Whenever Seth is near, the beast threatens to unleash itself on the man Conner cares for the most – the man who might be his long lost mate.

Seth never thought he’d shack up with a shifter, but Conner’s allure is impossible to deny. How will his boyfriend feel about Seth’s carefully guarded past, and the secrets that could rip their relationship apart?

Can Seth deal with the new alpha side of his lover while confiding in Conner what their future holds?

While the two men grapple with desire and trust in their relationship, a new murder threatens Haven City and all her shadow folk. A murder that brings Seth and Conner front and center to a dangerous necromancer and the one group of people the seer wants to avoid more than anything: his own family.

Contains graphic m/m sex scenes

NOTE: This is a previously published work. The title, author, and/or publisher may have changed.

Excerpt

I am use to using other reviews to bounce around ideas with but this one just doesn’t have many out there.  In the story we have two injured souls, I really feel they were both betrayed by family.  I could see how they could connect with this between them.

Seth is recovering from losing his best friend and partner to a on the job shooting that he had forseen and didn’t tell her about.  He is plagued by guilt that is added by his family that he didn’t save her.  Connor is Seth’s new partner.  Connor is a rogue wolf, made that way by his own family that ambushed him and left him for dead.  He feels something for Seth right away but it isn’t what a mate is suppose to feel like and Connor is rogue so believes he CAN’T have a mate.  Connor also hates lies…he knows his partner is lying to him so how can he be falling for the man.

I liked the plot line.  It was paced well with an interesting premise to it.  The crime and the mystery around it are interesting.  I admire the author’s ability to weave together several storylines and connect them throughout the book.  The trouble I had was the wording.  I think it was a little over the top, especially during sex scenes.  Sometimes a little is better than a lot.  There also was one word that kept bugging me…”buckle”.  I always have seen this as “My hips buck into my palm” not “My hips buckle into my palm”.  I know this is small but it REALLY bothered me.

The characters were very well drawn.  I felt like they could be real.  They fell into their character lines and grew appropriately within them.  The author really does have flair for creating characters.

I enjoyed this story overall.  I did wish the descriptive verse used by the author was toned down just a bit, other than that it was a captivating story with amazingly realistic characters.  I will be looking to read more in this world.

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Old Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes

Old Loyalty, New LoveOld Loyalty, New Love by Mary Calmes
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel: 73,902 Words
Purchase at Amzon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

When jackal shifter Quade Danas was banished from his pack for being gay, he spent years in the military escaping his father’s prejudice before returning to civilian life as a bodyguard for Roman Howell, the teenage son of a very rich man. After Roman is in an accident that leaves him physically scarred and emotionally distant, Quade is the only one who can get through to him. As Roman becomes a man, he realizes what he wants—his bodyguard by his side and in his bed. Unfortunately, Quade can’t seem to see past the kid Roman once was to the man he has become, certain Roman’s feelings are merely misplaced gratitude. But Roman knows a lot more than Quade realizes, and he’s used to persevering, no matter how many impediments life throws his way. He wants the chance to prove to Quade that he’s strong enough for a jackal alpha to call mate.

Despite the decades Quade has been away, and the heartache of his father’s rejection, his inborn loyalty to the pack remains, and his abrupt departure left the jackal shifters without an alpha heir. As a psychopath shifter staking claim as alpha draws Quade back home, and Quade feels compelled to heed the call, he may be forced to make a choice he never anticipated. But doing so means he must leave Roman behind… unless somehow they find a way to make loyalty and love work together.

Excerpt

This was a nice shifter story.  The story starts out with feeling like you get dropped into the story part way through.  There was a lot of filling in of back story to do and it broke the rhythm of the book.  It was interesting to watch Quade struggle with his feelings for Roman.

I will admit right off that I didn’t care as much for this book.  I love the story line and side characters but the book went so fast.  With the feeling of being dropped in part way through and the speed of it I just couldn’t connect with the characters.  I didn’t get why these two had such strong feelings for each other.  I get there is a lot of past and the whole you see me for me but it just didn’t ring right with me.

Unlike others I wasn’t disturbed by the age difference.  It really didn’t bother me.  I had no issues with either of the characters.  I have always enjoyed the author’s characters and the snark and humor in her stories.  The writing with regards to that was a good as always.  I just didn’t get the depth to the story and characters as I usually do.

The writing was well done.  The author is always very descriptive.  The scenes come alive and are very vivid.  The plot makes sense and leads in a logical progression through the story.  As I said though there is something missing to this story that I usually get in her other books.  I just couldn’t grasp the emotion to connect to the characters.

I did enjoy the story.  I hope there is a follow up to the book with the descriptions of the other male characters and the way they are acting.  It would be interesting to hear what they do:)

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Soul Magic by Poppy Dennison

Soul MagicSoul Magic by Poppy Dennison
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Novel:  63,750 Words
Purchase at Amazon and Barnes and Noble
Roses:  3
 

Sequel to Body Magic
Triad: Book Three

Blood runs soul-deep. Cormac hasn’t been the same since the night the High Moon Pack was attacked. With his magic weakened, he’s consumed by a bloodlust he hasn’t felt since he first became a vampire. His need to replenish his power makes him a danger to his last remaining family member, and his hunger makes him careless. And that’s just the beginning of his troubles. Feeding from pack beta Liam Benson was supposed to slake his appetite, not leave him craving more.

Simon Osborne and Gray Townsend are trying to fight a being history says shouldn’t exist—one with all three types of magic. The pack must use all of their resources to combat the mysterious triad, even turning to the shady Council of Mages for help. While Cormac struggles to reconcile his past failures with his current desires, Simon must attempt the impossible: an alliance between mind, body, and soul.

Excerpt

This is the third book of the Triad series.  After reading the last two books I was anticipating this book and the conclusion to the story arc for Gray and Simon.  I thought that we would get more of the relationship of Cormac and Liam but this was sadly lacking.  The story was geared more towards ending the story arc.

The writing was well done.  I was left wondering through most of the story what would happen next.  I love the characters as well.  They are so vivid and interesting.   I will admit I still didn’t see Liam very clearly.  He was a fairly shallow character.  I would have loved more development of the story between Liam and Cormac.  Still the part of the story that involved concluding the story arc was fascinating to me.

I enjoyed the story even though it wasn’t what I was expecting from it.  I look forward to the next book in the series and where the author will take it next since this story arc is complete.

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Captive Prince: Volume One by C.S. Pacat

Captive PrinceCaptive Prince: Volume One by C.S. Pacat
Reviewer:  Tj
Publisher:  Self
Novel:  343 Pages
Purchase at Amazon
Roses:  5
 

Damen is a warrior hero to his people, and the rightful heir to the throne of Akielos, but when his half brother seizes power, Damen is captured, stripped of his identity, and sent to serve the prince of an enemy nation as a pleasure slave.

Beautiful, manipulative and deadly, his new master Prince Laurent epitomizes the worst of the court at Vere. But in the lethal political web of the Veretian court, nothing is as it seems, and when Damen finds himself caught up in a play for the throne, he must work together with Laurent to survive and save his country.

For Damen, there is just one rule: never, ever reveal his true identity. Because the one man Damen needs is the one man who has more reason to hate him than anyone else . . .

This is the first in a trilogy.  I believe the writer did a wonderful job of setting up the plot lines and relationships in the story.  This is a complex bit of work.  I will also admit I really didn’t like the first half or so.  Laurent was just unlikeable and yet the story seems to be set up to push him and Damen together.  O_o  Yeah….I couldn’t see that.  I’m starting to glimpse that there is more going on with Laurent than appears.  I really don’t believe that Laurent is that cold and cruel.  I will have to read the next book to find out if I’m right about that.  Damen seems convinced by everyone’s surface appearance yet that is what got him in trouble before!

The characters are well crafted.  I could see the slow development of Laurent as a person in the story.  Damen, as the story’s point of view, was a bit easier.  He did fill out more and grow as the story continues.  I am beginning to glimpse how these two men could fit together.  This shows a true talent for storytelling in the author.

So as our story goes along we get filled in on some of the two countries and their histories.  I have to admit I would have preferred to learn more of the conflict between the two countries.  I get that they warred over disputed land but never why it was in dispute.  I understand hating someone for killing a beloved figure but it seems the hatred is more and that there is something within the battle that we aren’t hearing about.  I am hoping some of this will be reveled in the second book.

The book can be really detailed with parts of the story and not so much in others.  Most of the sex/rape scenes are skimmed over which is good.  I must admit the author did a good job in detailing this world and its people, bringing this world to life.

Overall it was a bit of a heavy book.  I will say in parts I was just glad to get through.  Yet I did enjoy the book and believe that these parts I had trouble with also set up for everything else in the story to come.  The book is the foundation for the rest of the series.  I just think some readers will be turned off by the detail and length in which not much seems to happen.  It can get a bit dry but if the reader pushes through I believe they will enjoy the last half of the book more.  The action starts to pick up and we start seeing little cracks in how the world is perceived by Damen.  How, Damen, may be wrong about a lot of what he believes.  Excellent writing and overall solid read.

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