Saturday, June 9, 2012

Review of CHAOS BURNING by Lauren Dane

Chaos Burning
Bound by Magick #2
by Lauren Dane

Chaos Burning by Lauren Dane
Release Date: June 5, 2012
Publisher: Berkley
Length: 320 pages


Rating: 4.5♥s Excellent/Highly Recommended
Sensuality: Hot
Cover Rating: 4.0♥s
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Witch

An Escalating Threat

Lark Jaansen is a hunter witch from Clan Gennessee in Los Angeles. She's come north to Seattle to help her friends in Clan Owen, whose Hunter Corps. leader is on maternity leave. Witches are being kidnapped and killed for their magick by mages and turned witches, and they must be stopped. In Seattle, Lark meets Simon Leviathan, a warrior and Lycian werewolf prince from the other side of the Veil who now is part-owner of the nightclub Heart of Darkness. Lark and Simon become good friends until desire clicks in and they become lovers.

The violence against witches escalates, and Others are also taken. Lark discovers that those kidnapped are turned over to an ancient entity that could decimate society if it is freed. Lark and Simon must work together to literally save the world. But even if they win, will they survive?


Lark is smart-mouthed and funny, and has "'a hard time telling the difference between blunt and rude.'" She has blue and pink hair that she probably cuts herself.  "Maybe not even in front of a mirror."  She shops for her colorful clothes at garage sales and thrift stores. And, she's a kick-butt heroine.  She's not only got a lot of magickal power, but she's an expert at weapons and martial arts. Simon thinks of her as "his ass-kicking little witch."

Lark on Simon:
"Honor. Decency. Strength. Integrity. All in a very hot, hard, muscled package in tiny shorts. She was in big trouble."
Simon is GQ cover-worthy and gorgeous, even when he first wakes up. 
"Are those Gucci cargo pants?" [Lark]   
"No." They were Dolce & Gabbana, but she didn't need to know that. [Simon] 
But don't let the outside fool you. As a 600 year-old Lycian prince, Simon is also a warrior. He knows how to fight, and he knows how to track. He's an alpha all the way, and protects what's his. And Lark is his. He's bossy with her, and yet he also takes gentle care of her.

I fell in love with Simon and Lark within the first few pages of the book. The dry humor of their interplay kept me smiling. The development of their relationship was unusual for a romance novel. Lauren Dane first established a cigar-smoking, card-playing friendship between the two before something fell into place and they became lovers. And more. (I don't think it's a spoiler to say that. It is a romance, after all.) I rated this book 4.5♥s on the strength of their quirky relationship.

The world-threatening danger that Lark and Simon face in Chaos Burning is an escalation of the events in Heart of Darkness. We see favorite characters from that book, including Meriel and Dominic (Simon's business partner), Edwina, Nell and William, and Gage. Some of those characters face mortal danger.

Although Chaos Burning can be read as a standalone book, you'll enjoy it more if you read Heart of Darkness (Bound by Magick #1) first. Fans will be happy to know that Gage's story is next. It's called Going Under (Bound by Magick #3), and it's coming out February 5, 2013.

Happy Reading!

Heart of Darkness
Bound by Magick #1
Lauren Dane

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