Monday, December 24, 2012

Review of GATES OF RAPTURE by Caris Roane

Gates of Rapture

(The World of Ascension, #6)
by Caris Roane

The Gates of Rapture cover, by Caris Roane
Rating: 4.5♥s Excellent/Highly Recommended
Sensuality: Hot
Cover: 4.0♥s

Release Date: December 24, 2012
Mass Market Paperback
Kindle Edition

From the publisher:

As a vampire and a warrior, Leto Distra is deadly. But after years of being forced to drink dying blood, he is now part beast—a wild savage thing lurking beneath the surface.  With war on the horizon, Leto is determined to help the Guardians of Ascension destroy the enemy who turned him into a monster. And there’s only one woman who can help him.

Grace Albion is certain that she’s meant to be with Leto, but their future may be cut short by the impending battle. Now Grace must embrace her obsidian flame powers—and bind her powers with Leto’s—if they’re ever going to survive.  With the fate of the world at stake, they must tap into powers they never knew they had…and unlock their deepest passions.

My take on Gates of Rapture:

Leto was thought to be a traitor to the Warriors of the Blood, but it was revealed that he'd been a spy in the enemy's army—Darian Greaves' army—for 100 years. Previously, Grace rescued Leto from Greaves and Leto and Grace discovered that they were brehs, fated mates. Unfortunately, Grace also discovered that she was the breh of the hedonistic enemy, Casimir. She sees in a vision that she must leave Leto and be with Casimir in order for Leto to survive in the future. And so she hurts Leto and leaves with Casimir.

Early in Gates of Rapture, Grace returns to Leto. At the time, Leto is in a form that he calls his "beast." He morphs into a larger, more deadly version of himself that he can't control. He despises the form. He blames it on having to partake of dying blood while he was under Greaves' command. But is his beast form what he believes it to be?

The war between Greaves' army and the good guys—Endelle's army—has reached its peak. Leto, the ultimate general among the Warriors of the Blood, has used his skills to build up Endelle's army. And used his knowledge of Greaves and his army against him.  For her part, Grace is a powerful member of a trio of woman known as obsidian flame. To unlock her powers fully she must complete her mating with Leto. But are they ready for that step? What will happen if they're not? And even if they unlock the full strength of her powers, will they be enough to defeat the army that Leto built for Greaves and his death vampires?

Gates of Rapture is about the culmination of the war between Greaves' and Endelle's forces, which the entire series has been leading up to. It's a Christmas present that loyal fans will enjoy unwrapping.

Leto is a hero to die for—and Grace just might. He's a sexy, commanding, powerful, alpha male who nonetheless is tender and understanding with Grace. Leto's journey is one of forgiveness, acceptance of himself, and redemption for his years as a spy. The truth of his beast form is significant, but I don't want to wreck the revelation.

Grace is on her own journey, one of learning to live life out of the cocoon that she has wrapped around herself. She has her name down pat—she is full of grace. But she must learn to trust in herself, be brave, and be bold. The fates of Mortal Earth and Second Earth rest upon her shoulders. She is the pivotal member of obsidian flame. Both she and Leto play crucial roles in the showdown with Greaves.

Although Grace and Leto have had their eyes on each other for two thousand years, and Grace even wrote erotic poetry about Leto while in the convent, they aren't sure they can make their relationship work now that they are finally together. They have both been through too much to let down their guards. 

Casimir returns a changed man in a surprising new role. No spoilers here. The relationship between Casimir and Leto is complicated, and they have much to work out between them.

The plot is fast-paced and suspenseful. The war with Greaves becomes personal and deadly for Grace and Leto. As the key to obsidian flame, Greaves wants to eliminate Grace. And he has a score to settle with his traitorous former general.

Fan-favorite Thorne plays a large role in Gates of Rapture, as do Alison, Fiona, and Marguerite, of course. All of the Warriors of the Blood have their parts to play. Endelle is surprised with a revelation that I loved! 

Many story lines seem to be wrapped up ("seem" being the operative word), and we catch up with all the Warriors and their brehs. The books is a satisfying end to the series. But is it the end? Not really. St. Martin's Press will no longer be publishing The Warriors of Ascension series, but Caris Roane will be self-publishing the stories of Luken, Zacharius, and Santiago. And she'll be taking us to Third Earth. Luken's book will be released in the summer of 2013, and I'm looking forward to his story! 

In the meantime, enjoy reading Gates of Rapture!

ARC provided by NetGalley

Don't miss The World of Ascension series:
Book 1
Book 2
Burning Skies
Novella 2.5
Brink of Eternity
Not Rated
Book 3
Wings of Fire
Book 4
Born of Ashes
Book 5
Obsidian Flame
Book 6
Gates of Rapture

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