The previous outing left Vhypher escaping after stealing the Daemon blade that held the vicious Daemon King and his horde, a high level mage switching sides and be-spelling half of Tighe’s soul in a clone leaving only seven Feral Warriors to help their brethren and protect humans from the draden. Things got complicated when Tighe found himself seeing through the clone’s eyes and saw… her.
FBI agent Delaney Randall’s hot on the trail of an elusive serial killer that specializes in women and children. Having been that child, Delaney didn’t want another in that position. Though she escaped the mad man he must’ve done something to her because now she’s glimpsing new murders as he commits them.
It was bad enough Tighe was helpless to stop the murders he saw through the clone’s eyes but somehow Delaney’s hijacked them. His brethren’s sure Delaney’s death will restore the visions to him. Tighe’s too protective to let that happen though Delaney dredges memories he’d rather forget. When they meet, Tighe’s story ensures Delaney thinks he’s the killer on drugs. And woo hoo is he sexy!
This outing had great intrigue and the likeable leads chemistry was explosive in this cat and mouse tale. Delaney’s comfort zone of only black and white threatened the HEA a few times but softness did what softness does. The secondary thread of chasing the blade could’ve been tedious but had a twist or two of its own and was infrequent enough to create its own degree of excitement for its chapters.
LAPD Witch Consultant Sophie Ross’ convinced there’s nothing quite like psychically seeing a hot immortal kill someone while you’re interpreting your morning runes to put you on edge. Fretting the interrupted vision only left snippets signaling travel, impending danger and bad news, Sophie wondered if they were connected to her meeting with a prominent NY surgeon that travelled so far to meet her.
Sophie learned how she ended up with a foster family of witches and was shocked the surgeon had been charged to ensure Sophie received a chance at her inheritance. Sophie could be the proud owner of an enchanted English medieval fortress and land, if she can break its spell. Taking up the challenge, Sophie’s floored to see the hot immortal she’d linked to was less than an arm’s length away.
The hounds of hell on his tail are the least of wyr Nikolas Sevigny’s problems. He’s more concerned about the dwindling number of half fae Daoine Sidhe knights fighting at his side, harried with no respite under the relentless pursuit of his enemies. Plus Nikolas isn’t completely sure the unknown but unforgettable woman had magic and could easily be colluding with the Light Court in hunting him.
The entire relationship between leads Sophie and Nikolas was built on and fueled by snark that worked for this reader and the story by giving them good chemistry. For my taste, the pacing, multiple early slow burning threads and an inability to appreciate Sophie kept this Elder Races spinoff foundation tale firmly as a likeable but not lovable outing while it tried to gain solid footing.
It’s back to work after the Symbol Man case that left her aunt in a coma and Kara presumed dead a couple of weeks. As usual the temperature is too doggone many degrees and Kara’s sent to a fellow’s officer’s house to give him a ride and is welcomed by an unusual and grisly scene. Not only is her co-worker dead, it looks like suicide. But worse still is his essence, his soul seems to be missing.
The ludicrous angst riddled triangle between agent Ryan Kristoff, demonic lord Rhyzkahl and officer/summoner Kara continues. Ryan’s not quite ready to share or commit to Kara. Rhyz’s not quite ready to share his plan but is willing to provide Kara with all the information and sex she seeks and Kara seeks Rhyz often while complaining it’s only because Ryan won’t ravish her.
Though Kara can’t comprehend Ryan’s revulsion or reluctance to share her, a supernatural door with a demon lord, her reason for not committing to Rhyz is Ryan might change his mind. The triangle is so consuming it overshadows the murder investigation in place which this reader found annoying. .
While the elements of this tale itself are very good as is the writing, pacing, chemistry and the characters, its a hard series for this reader to commit to, maybe it’s because the lady doth protest too much, Either move on, pick one or shut up and enjoy! (There I said it.)
Storm’s missing, trolls are running amok, Rias popping up all over, trolls and Rias are joining in battle against humans, gang battles in cemeteries, Sen’s storing retaliation for later, time’s running out on Macha’s deal, Tristan’s in the wind, Quinn and Tzader aren’t answering, Brina’s in danger so all Beladors are in jeopardy, she’s hungry and Storm’s missing! Evalle’s plate is full but first things first.
As Evalle sits to eat, Macha accosts her and reminds her of her debt and she gets a telepathic SOS of Beladors in distress. No sooner does she arrive than Evalle’s locked in mortal battle with an abnormally strong and smart mercenary troll and receiving a mental call from Tristan to meet him in an hour. When the battle’s over Sen is there counting deaths against Evalle with Tzader and Quinn defending her.
But that is not enough excitement for baby girl! Things improved momentarily when Storm stepped out of the shadows but then he told the truth and piqued Evalle’s jealousy before she hurried to meet Tristan for a talk. Their talk ended with the pair fighting a common enemy. Evalle escapes with Tristan’s help though she’s missed her meeting with Tzader and Quinn and her questions are burning.
Meanwhile, in the hands of the Medb, Tristan gains details of more treachery and the elaborate plan the Medb’s have put in motion but has no way of warning Evalle or the Beladors. During the meeting Evalle missed, Tzader and Quinn decided Evalle could use her relationship with Isak to help the Beladors and Storm warns Evalle of a friend’s lies after they share a soul-searing kiss.
Quinn’s still healing and upset over broken memories when his young cousin, Lanna, unexpectedly arrives. He wants her away from the battles and VIPER. But that’s exactly where Lanna wants to be, she’s determined to prove her value and stay away from a wizard trying to control her and her powers. Acting on Tzader and Quinn’s plan changes Evalle’s relationship with Isak and she meets his mom, Kit.
While this busy and exciting outing gained new threads and pushed others ahead but didn’t clear any threads, Betrayals and trust issues abound, Evalle’s debts mount daily, her love life grows more complex, danger dogs the good guy’s steps as they rediscover things aren’t what they seem. And the sexual tension between the would-be lovers is getting angsty.
When the Radiant didn’t appear to the immortal shape-shifting Therian feral warriors to recharge their power and ascend, they waited. In no shape to fight the warriors desperately perform a ceremony to reveal the Radiant’s location and come close to unleashing demons on mankind. Warrior leader, Lyon knew he’d be drawn to find the radiant but had no reason to believe he’d be attracted to her as well.
Kara McAllister was content until a scar mysteriously appeared on her body, her mom was diagnosed as terminally ill and restlessness set in. Kara’s definitely unprepared for this big man in her kitchen demanding to see her scar. On their way to Lyon’s fellow warriors, he realizes Kara has no knowledge of Therians, let alone being the Radiant. Until she did, the warriors were in danger of remaining feral.
They return to the house and Kara’s mom only has time to tell her she isn’t really her mother. Moments after Kara’s mom dies, dradens attack. Shocked, Kara helps Lyon fight and in the aftermath he explains the impact of her scars but glosses over the ascension details. Though she remained curious, Kara fluctuated between wanting to know and not but remained curious.
Kara’s apprehensive about entering the house and afraid to stay when she learns her new housemates are shifters. Lyon rushes the choosing ceremony so Kara isn’t overwhelmed by so many rapid changes and to help ease the tension among so many male predators. During the ceremony, Kara’s desire to run increased as did her nightmares and the feeling of fear and terror permeating the house.
For my taste the detail of the rapidly paced world building was heavy handed at times in this fairly good story. Kara was more than wallpaper as she did double duty in a meaty role beyond the romance and guiding the reader through the nuances. The draden were rarely seen and the vividly drawn warriors (with oddly spelled names) were well established with great interaction and chemistry.
Formidable former police inspector, Winston Lane doesn’t know everything there is to know about his wife Poppy. She wanted to tell him about her power and she wanted to tell him she’d joined the Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals. But he was attacked by a werewolf first that led to her secrets being spilled. The faith and trust built on love went out the window. Now what’ll they do?
Despite the beautiful cover, fairly well drawn characters and (what should have been) a fairly interesting love story to tell, this outing was not one this reader enjoyed. For my taste, so much was known about the heroine from the outset, even telling her tale in flashbacks left little room for true discovery and surprise since all roads led where the read started and unable to disguise the strong odor of deja vu.
As past-Death struggles to be as Deidre as she can, actual Deidre is still hopeful she’ll get back to her chili peppers and Gabriel. Taking matters into his own hands and nullifying any hope of Deidre getting back to Gabriel the way she left, Darkyn reaches way back to time before time magic to blood bind Deidre to him and assures her they were fated.
This alternative to Deidre’s Death gives equal time to Darkyn and Deidre. Now immortal, Deidre’s confused and conflicted about sharing Darkyn’s power when he shows her the basics; when she realizes he knows one of her thoughts is to help Gabriel with it, another to kill him and as they deal about her choice of bedmates, Darkyn as Darkyn or as the Dark One. She’s not sure if she’s coming or going.
Make no mistake, Darkyn’s a bad guy through and through with many truths. It’s true, he’s smooth enough and charming enough and talented enough to make one wonder Gabriel who? It’s also true he’s the lonely, manipulative, goal oriented supreme bad a** that doesn’t miss his target even when he does stack the deck. Aargh! We’ve still got to get into the underworld!
Although ensuring Tristan couldn’t hurt humans and turning over a powerful stone was the right thing to do, Evalle is called before the tribunal to answer for her actions. Bargaining for breathing room from the duplicitous and bigoted tribunal, Evalle is charged with a near impossible mission to capture rogue alterants and put not only her life but Brina’s on the line as well.
Though drool-worthy Tristan’s angry at her, he still wants Evalle to mother little alterants but in a fit of jealousy escapes Evalle when tantalizing puzzle sexy Storm shows up as promised to help her after the tribunal. Adding to her life’s complications, Evalle’s targeted for capture by Medb Queen Flaevynn, and best friends Tzader and Quinn are forbidden to help Evalle as the search for the traitor goes on.
Brina’s layered connection to Tzader and Kizira’s complex ties to Quinn could prove useful as he uncovers a scheme. Isak and his team are on hand amid the multiple prophecies, factions and agendas running rampant. Flaevynn’s obsession with a layered prophecy involving Brina and her Beladors keep conspiracy levels high and there may be more than one traitor in their midst.
Even with the full threads furthering the overall story, things weren’t confusing but at times the paced the read at a resounding halt. Feenix made a brief but memorable appearance as Evalle’s to do list kept growing as she once again put her own life on the line and protected the populace while picking her way through an increasingly complex love life and dangerous traps set by the tribunal.
Mere months have passed since the events of Unclean Spirits were front and center. Jayne and the gang have been exploring her inheritance, locating the many houses, finding various books on magic, looking for clue about the magic boost she received and trying to find out more about her Uncle Eric.
While in Greece, mysterious, brash and knowledgeable ex FBI agent, Karen Black finds Jayne when she calls Eric to help her destroy a loa rider (possessing demon) set to claim NOLA for their own territory after she gets a lead from a nascent precog. Concerned about her future with Aubrey, Jayne’s grateful for Karen’s knowledge and help but not always happy about the affect she has on the team.
When they all meet, Aubrey and Ex step up and become more assertive around Karen who has her own set of skills and Chogyi Jake and Aubrey are more protective. Working together but getting too close to the loa brings tragedy to the team and they struggle to readjust and settle into their strengths and use the knowledge to give as good as they get.
Although this read was a self contained adventure, it felt middle bookish… which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, some threads were cleaned up or wrapped, others were begun and overall the story moved. Being herself, Karen brought out hidden skills and depths in the team and her ambiguous character worked for the series at this point. She kept this reader guessing about her loyalties for quite a while.
Rachel considers herself lucky. Though she’s promised to become Big Al’s (Algaliarept) familiar if she could keep her soul, she’s caused quite a bit of upset by plucking his familiar, Ceri, from his clutches and remained on her side of the line… barely. It turns out that was the easy part of her life. But using Rachel’s guidelines for life, la-di-da, it’ll work out.
Rachel’s life is more chaotic than usual with men in a revolving door moving toward and away from her, she, her partners and friends have their own feelings about Rachel becoming Big Al’s familiar, roommate Ivy wants Rachel for a blood-buddy. There’s a new big bad in town, Kalamack has a new plan and reckless Rachel doubled and spread her debt in this hidden plot yet somehow interesting read.
The final few chapters seemed to have a plot and tried to make up for the seemingly endless character introductions and minutia, it wasn’t enough to best this reader’s frustration. Frankly, it’s time for the series and it’s heroine to solidify the first three entries and determine what it’s going to be if Rachel is a heroine or not and for this reader to decide to go forward or abandon the series.