Monday, April 29, 2013

Review of THE DEMON'S SONG by Kendra Leigh Castle

The Demon's Song
(Hearts of the Fallen, #1)
by Kendra Leigh Castle

The Demon's Song by Kendra Leigh Castle
4.5♥s Excellent/Highly Recommended
Sensuality: Hot
Audience: Adult
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover: 4♥s

Release Date: April 23, 2013

My recap:

Phenex, the Angel of Song, fell out of Heaven into Hell and became a demon, a black-winged lord of Hell. And then he was kicked out of Hell along with six of his brother Fallen. Now he enthralls listeners by singing and playing guitar at a vampire-run club, and does contract work for the white-winged angels. But he feels there has to be more to life.

Enter Sofia Rivera. Literally. She sneaks into the club to retrieve her roommate, who has gone missing. Sofia witnesses a bloody attack on her friend by a creature she didn't even know existed. Now Sofia is a target of rogue vampires, as she is the only witness to the violence and the person who led the attack on the "valuable" rogue.

While the king of the good vampires pursues the threat to his underground kingdom—the home of supernatural creatures of many races—Phenex volunteers to become Sofia's bodyguard. They are irresistibly attracted to each other. She confounds all of his preconceived notions of lowly humans and makes him feel alive again.
...he seemed to be grinning like a complete ass. Oh, hellfire. No.
But how can an immortal who lives underground have a future with a short-lived mortal who needs sunshine to thrive?

My thoughts:

Phenex ("Phoenix," like the bird) is a huge hunk with enormous black wings, fangs, and a big-ass longsword. Sign me up for that! He's cranky and slices and dices rogue vampires. He's drop-dead sexy and has the voice of…well, an angel. THE Angel. Of Song. But he's discontent. He knows that there's something missing from his life. He just doesn't know what it is.

Sofia is an ER nurse with a tender heart and a spine of steel. She doesn't wait around for someone to save her. Or tell her what to do. And Phenex is an alpha male who tells people what to do. He has a lot to learn.

Although there is some necessary world-building, introduction of characters, and telling of backstory, it's not complicated or overwhelming. The threat to Sofia, the sizzle between Phenex and Sofia, and the light-hearted moments keep the book moving along.

I loved this book. It had a hero and heroine to love, a compelling and sexy romance, engaging secondary characters, humorous moments, lethal danger, and an ending to die for.



Hearts of the Fallen Series:
Book 1
The Demon's Song
Sofia & Phenex
Book 2
The Demon's Desire
Dru & Meresin
(Not actual cover)

Though not part of the series, some characters' stories were told previously. Here they are:
Renegade Angel
Ember & Raum
"Vivi and the Vampire"
Vacation With A Vampire
Vivi & Justin

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Review of LOVER AT LAST by J. R. Ward

Lover At Last
(Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)
by J. R. Ward

Rating: 5♥s Outstanding/Don't miss
Sensuality: Scorchin' Hot!
Audience: Adult, 18+
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Vampire
Cover: 4.5♥s

Release Date: March 26, 2013
Sony eBook
Kobo eBook

Qhuay At Last!

From the publisher:

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

My thoughts:
As Blay started to straighten, like a message had been received, Qhuinn thought, That's right, buddy.
Our future has come. 
 —Lover Reborn, by J. R. Ward
The future for Qhuinn and Blay has at long last arrived in Lover At Last. But it brings with it heartache, soul-searching, and a difficult journey for both Qhuinn and Blay.

Lover At Last, however, is at its core Qhuinn's story. From Indiana Jones-like heroics, to weathering a storm along with Layla, to making a shocking discovery, to receiving an unprecedented honor, this is Qhuinn's time in the crosshairs. He must deal with highs and lows that virtually (and sometimes literally) lay him flat. And that doesn't include his complicated relationship with Blay. They finally do the deed that Blay has been waiting for, but for all the wrong reasons. And after all his longing for him, Blay can't accept Qhuinn if Qhuinn can't accept himself for who he is. Though he's a gentlemale, Blay speaks harsh words to Qhuinn in a very dark moment that will punch you in the gut. It's a make-or-break moment for Qhuinn.

Other storylines play out in the book. Unlike some side stories in previous books, I was hooked by all the concurrent stories in Lover At Last. It was like watching an addictive soap opera. Among other things, Assail meets a character who complicates his life. A character comes back from the "dead." Trez is pursued by the s'Hisbe to fulfill his duty and return home for his prearranged mating. Xcor makes a momentous discovery and decision. We're left with at least one cliffhanger. The conflict between Wrath and Beth, who star in the next book, is set up.

Layla plays a major role in Lover at Last. In the beginning of the story she's not sure if she's pregnant with Qhuinn's young. I don't want to spoil things, so I'll only say that there's a major twist and explosion concerning that event. Layla's other storyline involves Xcor, and the dangerous pull that they have toward each other.

I look forward to seeing how all the side stories play out in future books. I hope that Ward follows through on all of them.

Ultimately, this is a paranormal romance. So I don't think it's a spoiler to say that the book comes to a satisfying conclusion, even if it is a little corny. You'll close your book or turn off your e-reader on a satisfied sigh.



Lover at Last is best read as part of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. If you need to catch up, here are the books in their reading order:

Book 1
Dark Lover
Book 2
Lover Eternal
Book 3
Lover Awakened
Book 4
Lover Revealed
Book 5
Lover Unbound
The Black Dagger
Brotherhood: An
Insider's Guide
Book 6
Lover Enshrined
Short Story 6.5
Father Mine
Book 7
Lover Avenged
Book 8
Lover Mine
Book 9
Lover Unleashed
Book 10
Lover Reborn
Book 11
Lover At Last
Book 12
The King
March 25, 2014