The Savage King (Lords of the Var Book 1) by Michelle M. Pillow

I was not digging the beginning of this book, but it did get better. The story takes place on a planet of panther shifters and dragons. Ulyssa is kidnapped and held captive in as a potential concubine for a barbaric King. Fortunately the kind is killed due to political conflict between the var and the dragons, and his son, Kirill, who is a bit nicer, takes over.

The part I thought was ridiculous was that Ulyssa tries to escape after drinking an elixir that puts her into a cat-like heat. I’m not irritated that she drank it; she didn’t know what it was. Or that she tried escape; I would try to escape to if I got the chance. What irritated me was the trite storyline. She drinks the elixir and then the first person she sees is the king, who she subsequently throws herself at. It was just a little ridiculous and I don’t enjoy when woman are turned into sexoholics by some drug for the purpose of plot progression. Call me old fashioned.

Once we got past that, the story got better. In a second escape attempt while not under the influence, Ulyssa declares herself the king’s mate in order to get past some guards. When she’s caught and brought to the Kirill, he must accept her claim or have her killed for the traitorous lie.

He takes her as a half mate, because, of course, he and all his prince brothers have a terrible problem with commitment—due to their raunchy fathers influence—which is the reoccurring them in the entire series, and, to be honest, most other romance novels.

Ultimately, I liked this book and it caused met to want to continue the series, unlike Pillow’s Dragon Lords series.

Dark Enchantment (A dark magick novel: book ) by Anya Bast

Charlotte Bennett’s father hated the fae with a vengeance and, as with anyone who is prejudice, raised her to loath them as well. She was told terrible story after terrible story since she was born. Ah, but what is the real reason her father hated the fae? Dun, dun, da. That is the question, isn’t it?

Anyhew, by this time in the series the fae have real hope of escaping the walls of Piefferburg, and they need Charlotte’s help. Kieran is an Unseelie who can use his magic to control Charlotte and he literally forces her to get to him by any means possible. Charlotte is of course afraid of what will become of her. Who wouldn’t when you’re reduced to a puppet?

When she meets Kieran, she instantly hates him, and her attraction to him is more than irritating. After a few escape attempts Charlotte agrees to help the fae in return for her freedom.

Through their journey Kieran systematically breaks down all of Charlotte’s preconceived notions about the fae and he inadvertently falls for her. But a terrible curse forces them apart. Kieran cannot ever fall in love without both of them dying.

I enjoyed the story, but some pats stated to lag and I did a bit of skipping when the yawning started. The end was a cliffhanger, which isn’t unexpected, but this particular cliffhanger left me feeling like they were about to get their asses handed to them by the evil Phaendir.

Dark Enchantment (Dark Magick)

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Cruel Enchantment (A dark magick novel: book 2) by Anya Bast

The fae have been rounded up and relocated to what I can only compare to as a reservation called Piefferburg. Emmaline, who used to be the summer queens evil assassin, escaped the roundup, and lives outside the fae reservation as free woman. She is spectacular with glamour, and that is how she’s been able to hide who she is all this time.

Emmaline is legendary among the fae and is feared and loathed for the acts she carried out in the name of the summer queen. In the past, one of her assignments went terribly wrong and she murdered Aeric’s beloved (but ultimately fucked up) lady love. As a result, Aeric vows revenge on Emmaline, and this brings us to the fun parts.

Emmaline used to be head over heels in love with Aeric, and didn’t hide it very well, so of course everyone knew. This open attraction leads Aeric to believe that Emmaline murdered his woman out of spite, which turns out to be a falsehood, but it’s fun getting to that conclusion.

When Emmaline returns to Piefferburg, under the guise of someone else and on a mission to free the fae from their prison, Aeric is instantly alerted by a magic spell that she is within his reach. He thus captures her and holds her captive for weeks, while he decides his revenge. During this time his attraction for her disturbs him. Let the internal conflicts ensue.

I enjoyed the plot and journey of this story. Emmaline turns out to be a pretty vulnerable chick and we find that she was never happy being the summer queens pit-bull, we also discover some dark thing in her past and how truly messed up the summer queen is. She is one evil chick.

Cruel Enchantment (Dark Magick)

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Wicked Enchantment (A dark magick novel: book 1) by Anya Bast

This is a very different take on fae legend. The fae have been rounded up and relocated to (what I can only compare to as) a reservation called Piefferburg. It’s a small scrap of land where they are trapped and allowed to live their lives behind a thick and magical wall. As with most fae stories there is the Seelie court, who live in the rose tower, and an Unseelie court, who live in the black tower.

The mysterious half incubus Gabriel from the black tower comes to petition the Summer Queen for residency in the white tower. The queen orders Aislinn to act as his guide while she contemplates his request.

It turns out that Gabriel has been ordered by the Shadow King to lure Aislinn to defect to the black tower. Gabriel, being an incubus, is known for his magical ability to cause women to become addicted to him, and his goal is to seduce Aislinn from the start. Unfortunately Aislinn has just had her heart broken and is wallowing in her own bitterness and anger toward the male species. As a result Aislinn seems immune to Gabriel’s advances.

The banter between the two characters was entertaining, and their relation progressed at a good pace. I enjoyed reading this book and will continue the series.

The only problem I had was the long-hard-to-pronounce names, for examble: Gabriel Cionaodh Marcus Mac Braire. I understand saying the characters full name once or twice for effect but sometimes it became a little much and I just skipped over everything after the first portion of the name.

Wicked Enchantment (Dark Magick, Book 1)

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Treasure Keeper by Shana Abe

The first thing I must start off with is this book is not romantic. If you’re looking for a sexy romance this is not it. This book was a little hard to follow and I was pretty much bored throughout. The story and the characters never drew me in and I had to force myself to continue reading. I’ll be honest, some skipping did happen.

The book starts off with a very long reading of Zoe’s diary from childhood to adulthood, which I thought was odd at first, and actually became irritated when it just went on and on, but toward the end I understood and appreciated the journey the author had just taken me on. Unfortunately that was nearly the only thing I appreciated about this book.

Zoe grew up envying all the boys who could turn into dragons. Girls of her race rarely ever gained powers of their own, and if they did they were forced to wed the upper class and breed. Throughout the diary we find that Zoe realizes she not only has a gift but she must hide it or else she will be forced to wed Rhys, the clan leaders son. Zoe thus develops a relationship with another male who is very regal and never shows or expresses love for her—or even kisses her. But she convinces her self that she’ll be happy with him because *puke* she wants to be able to chose her own husband.

When her soon-to-be husband disappears while on a mission for their clan Zoe defies her people and leaves the safety of her home to save him. Of course she has no knowledge of the outside world and has to learn as she goes. Zoe has no idea where or how to find her man so she just wonders around for a bit until she runs into Rhys who was also sent to find her soon-to-be husband.

What I mostly don’t like about the whole thing is that Zoe resents Rhys, and only gives into him because it’s expected of her by their dragon society (and the fact that her soon-to-be husband conveniently dies). Rhys maintains that he’s loved Zoe from the start but Zoe never reciprocates the feelings…ever.

Since childhood Rhys has been in love with Zoe and when he discovers her powers he attempts wooing her but she never really gets wooed. Oh, she has sex with Rhys but there’s no emotion in the act and I kind of felt that Zoe was physically unable to feel emotion in any way. I mostly felt sorry for Rhys.

The Treasure Keeper

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Demon’s Captive by Stephanie Snow

Humans are totally screwed! A mixed alien race of brutal conquerors take us down within months. They’re kind of like the Brogue. They assimilate the new planet and its people into their culture.

Charity runs for her life and is chased down by Melmanon, a very massive, very red, demon. Because Charity gave him so much trouble while trying to capture her Melmanon takes her as his torture slave.

Once captured Charity submits 100% to her captor. Knowing she will never get away she strives to appease the demon in every way. Her only though is survival. Melmanon is used to his brutal culture, full of fighting and forcing people to submit, that he’s surprised by Charity’s easy compliance, and find it refreshing. For the first time in his life he’s compelled to pleasure rather than punish.

I feel Charity’s reaction to her situation is pretty realistic. As she ran for her life through her ruined home planet she witnessed the utter brutality and slaughter of her people. She believes if she’s caught she will die. When she becomes a slave instead, it comes as a relief. Even though she submits to the demon in order to save her life she is utterly horrified by her body’s reaction to him and there is a great mental struggle within her.

This is not your typical romance. This is a dark dominant/submissive story with a little BDSM and torture.

The end it too fast and too easily summed up for me. The author could have drawn it out a little better. It sort of felt like Snow got a little tired of writing, and just rushed through it.

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Burning Up Flint-by Laurann Dohner

Long ago, in the future, mankind creates humanoids (cyborgs) in their images, and then deems them too dangerous to live—right after they become sentient beings. Rings true so far. After years of fighting, humans have been told by their governments that all cyborgs have been destroyed. Only a little lie, where governments are concerned.

Flint is a cyborg, one of the many who escaped the slaughter. He, like other cyborgs is an Alpha male and doesn’t like sharing. He just happens to be in charge of the ship that attacks Mira’s little shuttle. Flint takes her as his.

Mira is a wealthy aristocrat, so she’s inherently not okay with being called property or slave. Understandable. However she’s much too bold in the face of people who could crush her with their toe. In his room Flint pretty much rapes her, but it’s okay because she’s turned on—even though she’s just been abducted by incredibly large cyborg’s and told she will never go home again.

Then Mira immediately demands a monogamous commitment from Flint, even though she’s his “property.” She want’s Flint to express his emotions for her and declare that he cares for her. Her attachment happens too fast for me. After only a day or two there are narrative comments like He was always surprising her.

At some point the title “property” freaks her out and she finally decides to escape. However, her shuttle is captured by pirates and she has to be rescued by Flint. Then there’s about three or four pages of Mira apologizing and begging Flint not to sell her to the cyborg who had threatened to rape, beat, and temporarily sell her to all the other cyborgs for like an hour or two. Flint and Mira have sex again and then the begging continues. Then we go back to the whole, “I’m not property and I need a commitment issue.”

The sex scenes were alright. The story line was interesting. Cyborgs are like humans only taller, stronger, and with silvery skin. They’re a little dim when it comes to emotions, and they remind me of the Vulcan race every time Flint says something about Mira’s logic is wrong.

I would have liked this story better if there wasn’t so much repetitive dialogue.

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Demon Possession by Kiersten Fay

A wonderful start to a new series by paranormal romance author Kiersten Fay. Demon Possession starts off with a rush of adrenaline. Analia’s (aka Anya’s) escape had me glued to my e-reader. As she escapes, the author alludes to a past of sorrow and pain, while revealing a mysterious gift that we learn more about later. Analia is one of my favorite female characters of recent, she’s tough, on the cusp of being badass, yet she’s venerable.

Sebastian, a smoldering hot demon, is the captain of the ship that Analia sneaks onto. He’s a great combination of broody, dark, and honorable. Not your typical mythical creature. Kiersten creates a world away from Earth, where much of our mythology exists in an alien form, not too different from humans but with the capability of deep space travel. Kiersten’s mixture of sci-fi and paranormal romance worked for me.

I loved how Analia and Sebastian’s relationship grew, mostly against Sebastian’s will—typical, demons never want to commit—a hurtful past event has him guarding his heart, but Analia unwittingly finds her way in. I actually really liked the sex scenes, they added an emotional level to the story without being cheesy. They were explicit, but not vulgar.

This book had some really funny characters, which I would have loved to have more background on, or a side story, but I’m sure they’ll get their own books.

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Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

In the world of Demonica, there are demons, vampires, shapeshifters, and some mixed in between. Like any other race or culture, there are some demons who are good, and some who aren’t. I like this concept. Too often demons get a bad rap, mostly because of mythology and religious beliefs. I like when authors throw societal expectations out the window and start fresh.

Larissa did just that. Her series is not only about demons, but demons who are doctors and created a hospital for all lore-kind called…wait for it…UGH (Underworld General Hospital). I wonder if that was a preconceived play on words or if it was just a happy accident.

Eidolon, an incubus—aka sex demon—with the power to heal with a touch, is chief of staff, and loves his job. Tayla is a slayer, they kill everything that is not human. Slayers are programed to believe everything but themselves is evil and must die. Tayla is very good at her job…until she meets Eidolon.

She haphazardly finds her way into UGH, where Eidolon is treating her for injuries incurred during a fight. When she wakes up, something about the incubus treading her makes her crazed for him, and they do a pretty good job of messing up the room. Not a bad way to start off a relationship.

The sex scenes are definitely not phoned in, and, in a world where romance can get repetitive, like you’re reading the same story over and over again, this story is unique.

Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, Book 1)

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Destiny Kills by Keri Arthur

The book starts off a little slow. Destiny finds herself on a beach, naked, with a dead guy, and no memory of how she got there or why he’s dead, although she does recall how to say the sacred words that will allow his soul to travel safely into the next life. Convenient for the dead guy. I know what you’re thinking: How can a book that starts off with a guy already dead be slow? Well it was for me.

Destiny instinctively knows she’s not quite human but we don’t get to find out what she is until a little later in the book. Searching for clothing, Destiny breaks into a cottage, but is soon being chased by the police. I felt the police came a bit unexpectedly. The only way I can figure they’d know she was there, is if the cottage had a high-tech silent alarm. Okay, I’ll play along.

During the chase she is almost run over by Trae, the very man who is looking for her, though it’s not clear how he knows it’s her, since they’ve never met. Maybe it’s a dragon thing. Trae is a fire-breathing air dragon, and Destiny is a water controlling sea dragon. Slowly, as the story progresses, Destiny regains her memories. She, along with a few others, had been imprisoned by scientists. Not the nice scientists who teach you how to make an egg fit through the neck of a bottle without breaking.

My favorite part of the book is when Destiny shows a little bad-assedness and kills one of the evil guys chasing her, though I find it odd that she’s not okay with killing any of the others. The book is titled Destiny Kills, so I was expecting a little more, well, killing.

As a side story, Destiny’s father is dying from diabetes, and she needs to get to him before he kicks the bucket so she can help his soul move on. I could have done without this part personally, but it adds a tenderness and backstory to Destiny’s character. Conveniently, the day Destiny reaches her father, he dies. I felt this happened a bit quick, but maybe it’s a dragon thing. Anyway, now Destiny and Trae set out to free the other trapped dragons.

The attraction between Destiny and Trae is a little too instantaneous without much of an explanation why, perhaps there are destined mates in the dragon world and you know your mate when you see them, but that was never explained. The comedic banter between them makes up for it though, they had me laughing.

Destiny Kills (Myth and Magic, Book 1)

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