Dragonsworn – Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark-Hunter #26

Pages: 336

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There is nothing in the universe the cursed dragon, Falcyn, hates more than humanity . . . and in particular, Greek humans. In a war he wanted no part of, they systematically destroyed everything he’d ever cared for. Now he lies in seclusion, away from the world and waits for the day when evolution will finally rid him of the human vermin.

Medea was born the granddaughter of the Greek god Apollo, and among the first of his people that he cursed to die. But she will not let anyone rule her life. Not even her notorious grandfather. And when Apollo sends a new plague to destroy what remains of her people, she refuses to standby and watch him take everything she loves from her again.

This time, she knows of a secret weapon that can stop the ancient god and his army of demons. Once and for all. However, said device is in the hands of a dragon who wants nothing to do with politics, the gods, humanity, demons or Greek Apollites. And especially not her. He is the immovable object.

My enemy’s enemy . . .

When Apollo makes a strategic move that backfires, he forces Falcyn back into play. Now Medea either has the weapon she needs to save her people, or she’s unleashed total Armageddon. If she can’t find some way to control the dragon before it’s too late, Falcyn will be an even worse plague on the world than the one Apollo has set loose. But how can anyone control a demonic dragon whose sole birthright is total destruction?

It’s no secret that I thought that Dragonmark (the previous book) was a very weak reading. It scared the hell out of me, because it looked like Sherrilyn Kenyon was running out of ideas. To my relief, Dragonsworn is a much better book that erases some of the fears I had after reading Illarion’s no-book.

This time we follow the story of Falcyn, a dragon brother of Max and Illarion, and Medea, the daugther of the Daimon leaders. As we already knew, Apollo is a vengeful god who want to get rid of the Daimons making them fatally sick. Medea is looking for help and, thanks to her brother Urian, she learns about the curative capacities of a dragonstone. Too bad Falcyn’s stone is also craved by Morgen, one of the big bad wolfs of the Dark-Hunter Universe.

Even though I consider this book a leap forward from the previous one, it lacks emotion and good action. But that is just the consequence of making the good guys a bit more powerful in every book. By the 26th the main characters are gods with the ability to command armies of unbeatable demons or capable of snapping their fingers to solve their problems in a fast way (Thanos would be a mere novice among these guys!!). That means there is not really action, just a face-off to show who can muster more power without getting their hair undone. And even though everything seems a bit too easy, that doesn’t mean the pace is boring. On the contrary. One of the strengths of this book is the fast paced rhythm.

Another thing that is getting too old too fast is the multiple dimension hopping. Parallel dimensions are cool and all, but the last books in the Dark-Hunter saga and the Chronicles of Nick series have been an orgy of dimensional jumping that would give any reader a good headache in order no to get lost. I tend to feel more connected with the story in the books where most of the action takes place in our beloved mortal plane of Earth. But I must also confess that the thing I love most about Kenyon is her skill to bring the craziest elements to her stories and that sometimes means a lot of dimension hopping gathering the cream of the crop of the supernatural realms.

In my opinion, the main course of this book are the characters. And I don’t mean just Falcyn and Medea, which are OK, I mean all the rest. And being this a Dark-Hunter book, I would need about eight hands to count them all. In other books that could be a synonym of a disaster, but in a Dark-Hunter book it only means endless banter. That’s the main reason her characters are always so easy to fall in love with. They make the reader feel like one of them when they are gather in a group, no matter if big or small. No idea if that makes any sense, but it is how I feel.

The author even has time to drop a huge bomb for Urian (metaphorically speaking, of course, the former Daimon is quite well physically). I won’t reveal it over here, but I guess that what we are told will play a huge role in the next book, which is Urian’s book. I will try to read that one next month to be up-to-date with the main saga, so I can start thinking about the other series of Paranormal Romance I have started and abandoned…

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2019 – Book Gallery

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Dragonmark – Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark-Hunter #25

Pages: 344

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Centuries ago, Illarion was betrayed– a dragon made human against his will, then forced to serve humanity as a dragonmount in their army, and to fight for them in barbaric wars, even while he hated everything about them. Enslaved and separated from everyone he knew and from his own dragon brothers, he was forced into exile in a fey realm where he lost the only thing he ever really loved.

Now he has a chance to regain what’s been lost— to have the one thing he covets most. But only if he gives up his brothers and forsakes the oaths he holds most dear. Yet what terrifies him most isn’t the cost his happiness might incur, it’s the fact that there is just enough human in his dragon’s heart that he might actually be willing to pay it and betray everything and everyone– to see the entire world burn…

Twenty-five main books is a really big number and Kenyon is not stopping anytime soon. But so many books and so many on-going sagas are paying a toll. The price has been paid with Dragonmark, one of the weakest Dark-Hunter books I have ever read

This story is supposedly to be Illarion’s book (more on that later). He is one of the oldest dragons, a solitary creature until he met Edilyn, a human daughter of a demon. As it is very common with shapesifters, Illarion knew she was her mate. This book tries to tell the love story between the two of them…

I say try, because the plot of the book is developed in a pretty wierd fashion. We start in the past, with Illarion meeting Edilyn and her brother Virag. They fall in love and, as any normal couple, go to a demonic realm to fight The Morrigan. It goes pretty bad, pretty fast… Edilyn dies behind the scenes. One chapter she was there, the next she wasn’t. The book had barely begun and, suddenly, Illarion’s book mutates into Cadegan’s book (again!!). A huge chunk of this book is a retelling of Son of No One, where Illarion is mere supporting character.

But the travesty doesn’t end there. Illarion is rescued from the demonic plane and the plot travels to the present. I could barely believe what happened then… Kenyon retells us Max’s book, Dragonbane!! That was the previous one… I don’t have a great memory, but it is not so bad!! Almost 80% of Illarion’s book is not about Illarion. I think this story was just meant to fill some contractual obligation with the editorial, because I don’t understand why the author would do something like this on purpose. I hope this doesn’t happen again…

Is Illarion’s short story any good? The part in the past is pretty basic. Boy meets girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Girl’s jerk of a brother steals from boy and all hell is set loose… It looked pretty interesting, actually. Virag (the brother) is a nice character that I want to meet again in the future. After the huge retellings, Illarion takes again the spotlight. If you remember, in Max’s book he joins Apollo’s gang to save his mate (yes, she didn’t really die). What happens after that is very short, but good; so, overall, the story is decent. The final revelation is SOOO sweet. I’m savouring it!!

Kenyon is lucky to have such an amazing (and huge) cast of characters. Thanks to them, even a poor book like this one can be enjoyable. Any other author would have got a strike on my chart, but I can’t really be that tough with her. I like her books too much. Let’s hope the next one makes me forget this book (another way to say I don’t want more retellings!!).

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2018 – Book Gallery

Part & Parcel – Abigail Roux

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Author: Abigail Roux
Series: Sidewinder #3
Pages: 302

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Nick O’Flaherty and Kelly Abbott had their happy ending in sight when a friend’s call for help almost ended with them losing it to the blade of a knife. Now, in the aftermath of near-disaster, both men are trying to heal and move on.

Moving on together, though, is harder than either of them realized it would be. Kelly struggles with simply being a lover instead of the Doc, while Nick is mired in his recovery. The distance between them inches along in stilted silence.

Desperately seeking solace, Nick finally gathers the courage to sort through the possessions his dear friend and fellow Sidewinder teammate Elias Sanchez left him when he died. Instead of comforting memories, Nick and Kelly find a stack of letters and strict instructions from Eli that prompt them to send out a call for assistance. With Eli’s letters in hand, Sidewinder sets out on one last mission together, seeking peace and absolution from beyond the grave—and from each other.

Cut & Run by Abigail Roux was my first M/M book and I fell in love. Since then I have read a nice of bunch of books of that genre (let’s call it that). Getting a book by Abigail in my hands is always special. I love her characters and the fast paced stories with plenty of action. That’s why she is one of my favourites out there. That’s why it saddens me to say that this last book is quite disappointing…

Nick is recovering from his injuries with the help of Kelly. During that time, he decides to go through Eli’s box of mementos to see what his deceased friend and teammate left for him. Among many things, there were a bunch of letters with instructions for Nick and the rest of Sidewinder. Those letters described some kind of road trip with rules and activities to do as a group. When Eli died, Sidewinder felt broken… so he is trying to fix it from beyond the grave.

It’s a cute plot, if I’m being honest. I thought it was a clever way to reunite the members of Sidewinder (plus Zane!!). A first necessary step before all hell breaking loose and having to deal with it as a team. That was what I thought. I would have taken anything: a murder, a kidnap, a crazy treasure hunt, a weird conspiracy, a cult… Anything!! But what the reader gets is a bunch of big muscular guys crying all over the USA geography. Over and over again. I know the trip is emotional. I get that. But it’s emotional for them. They knew Elias. We, readers, do not. So you may call me a cold bastard, but I didn’t feel anything with all those moments that ended in tears. I was more like Zane, an awkward spectator who wanted to see the end of it as soon as possible.

Where is the action and danger I always link with these characters? I feel robbed. This is not the kind of story I expect when I read a book based on the Cut & Run universe. OK, now that’s out of my chest. But, if I don’t get that… does it mean the romance is mindblowing at least? WRONG!! The conflicts between Nick and Kelly were a pain to read. Kelly’s behaviour is all over the wrong places: insecurity, jelousy, self-righteousness… So, when they were not crying they were yelling at each other. Over and over again. I’m sorry, but Abigail in this book more than conflict creates a really unhealthy relationship. They are unable to communicate. They resolve everything with sex and swallow the rest… After this book, I’m incapable of believing in their love story.

I could also rant about the rules of Eli’s trip. I will keep it simple: what a cheap trick to force even more conflict… And what the hell was all that talk about Eli’s ghost and paranormal activities with phone apps? If it was meant as a joke I didn’t laugh at all. I was pretty scared of all the paranormal shenanigans going further than that…

Fortunately, this book is  bearable thanks to some characters like Ty and Zane. There were several parts of it were Zane’s actions have the focus and those are pretty enjoyable. Maybe because he is not one of the Sidewinders and as a reader I had that in common with him. He was like my ally during the book… Weird. I usually don’t feel the need of having back-up…

There is also a nice bomb about Nick’s life almost at the end of the book. It gives me hope that the next book and the ones beyond that are going to have at least some action. Abigail is good at the emotional stuff, but not if that is the whole deal of the book. She is the greatest when she mixes action, romance, humor and emotions. I wish with all my heart that this is not the last book by her that I’m going to read. I mean, she hasn’t published anything the last three years… That’s not normal at all for a Romance author. I hope everything is fine!

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2018 – Book Gallery

Sexy Beast – Ella J.

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Author: Ella J.
Pages: 183

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Yeah, I did it.
I signed on to be an “intimate companion.”
Desperate times and desperate measures lead to crazy choices.
Really, though, it’s not that crazy. Someone has to pay my brother’s bills after the wreck, and I’m the only someone left.
My first job: snuggle up to a sexy beast of a billionaire at one of his luxury ski resorts.
I can do that.
Except I’m not so sure he wants me to. The Ice King barely looks at me. He rarely speaks to me, and when he does, he says he doesn’t want me in his bed.
Okay then.
I keep my head held high, my shoulders squared, and my bruised ego under wraps—until I stumble onto secrets.
James Harrington is hiding devastating secrets.
I get too close. I get involved. I take a risk, and I give him more than he paid for.
For a moment, it’s too perfect to be true.
But there’s one more secret—and it’s the one I never saw coming.

This one is going to be hard to review. I need to be direct: I didn’t like the book. But I’m in a mood and I’m afraid this review is going to pay the price. I have just watched the tenth chapter of Star Wars: Rebels season 4 and I need to yell at something. Anything!! Maybe that way I will stop crying…

In this short book we meet Darcy, a woman that has to take care of his brother who needs a lot of money to pay for his treatment. Due to that desperation, she has to accept a job as a high-profile escort. Her first client is James, a richer than rich guy that is about to open a mountain resort for people with lots of money to waste… He is going to throw several parties and needs something pretty to decorate the place…

I kind of like the starting point. Darcy’s sacrifice to make his brother’s life better is admirable. And the fact that James is very distant and cold makes things much more interesting. I thought it was going to be the classic billionarie that thinks everyone loves him just because he is rich. I loved those tense first times they meet each other. Too bad that doesn’t last long…

It’s an Erotica book so I shouldn’t be surprised about the amount of sex in it. But it lacks charisma or chemistry or any kind of spark… It’s just sex and after the first naughty scene the rest are just to print more pages… Nothing interesting in that department. Not for good, or bad. Just plain. In this kind of book, that is actually pretty bad… Sex shouldn’t leave you indifferent in the Erotica genre. At least that’s my opinion.

I was dreading a boring reading, but sudenly… BOOOOOOM!!! WOW!! What a twist!! Way to leave me breathless and in shocked. I didn’t expect that punch in the gut and the pain was very welcome. The book was alive again, ladies and gentlemen!!! I was salivating. I love me some drama!! Those hard moments usually end in really good make up situations!! Sadly, my hype was extinguish so fast I dind’t even have time to enjoy it… The author resolves the conflict in such an easy and boring way… One moment seems the Apocalypse and the next, everything is forgotten. The best and worst part of this book happen almost in the same page!!

I didn’t lose my hope, though. It was all so sudden it was obvious the main characters needed to talk about it once their hormones were settle. So, I turn the page waiting for the other shoe to drop when something even more unexpectd happens: THE END!!. Wait, what?? Is that all?? But according to my Kindle there are still more than 50% to read… What the…? Half of this book is just a preview for another one!!! HALF!!! Really??

I know that kind of marketing is pretty common in Romance Books (some authors are very busy wirting…), but more than the 50% is way too much for previews. I don’t like reading previews, so I felt robbed. This book made me so angry for so many reasons in such a short time…

The good part: it’s not the usual story of billionaire meets (buys) girl. The worst part: it ends when it was about to start…

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2018 – Book Gallery

Forget Me Not – Brooke Blaine

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Author: Brooke Blaine
Series: The Unforgettable Duet #1
Pages: 165

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Three sugars, two creamers.
That’s how you took your coffee every morning at Joe’s Grab ’N Go.
But you don’t remember that.
You don’t remember anything.
Anything, that is, except me…
That day…
And the tragedy that catapulted us together.

What kind of blurb is that? It doesn’t give a clue about what we are going to find in the book. Looking at the cover, I was expecting a rock star as a main character (hunk + tattoo + those colours = rock star, am I right?). The classic bad boy who has a woman in every town. It was thanks to another blog that I discovered this is an M/M book, so I guess a man in every town. I was ready for a cocky and sometimes rude rocker, leading a crazy life. I was pretty surprised at what was really in the inside of the book.

The book is narrated from Ollie’s point of view, a paramedic that has a crush on a stranger that he sees everyday at Joe’s Grab ‘N Go getting his daily dosis of caffeine. For months he has been unable to say something to him, but one day Ollie makes a bit of small talk with the stranger. That would have been an awesome day, except that same day the stranger (Reid) has a really bad accident. The paramedic is the one to respond the call and, thanks to him, Reid is saved. But the poor guy doesn’t rememeber anything of the last ten years, anything except his short converstion with Ollie.

As you can imagine, that is the beginning of a really sweet story that develops little by little in a strong love between them. Brooke doesn’t rush things along as it usually happens in this genre. The couple takes small but sure steps forward to build something dreamy. I’m in actual awe at Ollie. The way he handles Reid’s situation even though it could backfire at any moment is very heartwarming. I had a smile plastered in my face the whole ride.

Most of the merit of my mark for this book is Ollie. He is sweet, considerate, easy-going, loyal, friendly, sensible, empathetic, smart, easy to the eyes, nerdy, the right amount of cocky and… and… Great… I have a crush on a fictional character!! Thank you so much, Brooke Blaine!! *sigh*. Honestly, Ollie is awesome. We would be in a much better world if more people like him would be amongst us. Reid is nice, too; but he is far from the almost perfection of the paramedic.

Ollie’s best friend, Mark, also gets a big thumbs up. He is so much fun and has such a great way of taking care of Ollie. I love all the scenes with those two in the ambulance. That’s the kind of friendship everyone should try to achieve.

In general, the book is sweet and nce to read, but it doesn’t have any kind of emotional blow to keep things interesting. At least not until the end. The author was holding the punch. That clifhanger is a nasty jiu jitsu move mixed with krav maga and crazy kung fu… When I finished the book I couldn’t breathe. I was feeling dizzy and I was trembling (honest!!). So, SO mean!! And I loved it!! Every bit of it!!

Buuuuuuut there is a tiny part of this book that pissed me off. More precisely, my inner nerd was screaming curses and trying to make me give a one star to the book. I didn’t listen to him, because sometimes my inner nerd can be an annoying whiner… What was he complaining about, though? Ollie’s puns against Ant-Man.  The first one was bearable. The second one was uncalled for, but the third one… that one is just cruel!! What do you have against poor Ant-Man?? I love his comics (Hank’s, Scott’s or Erik’s) and the movie!! Ollie is so dreamy that I can even forgive him something like that.

This is a much better book than I was expecting. I will have to check Brooke Blaine’s books to see if there is something else that catches my attention, because Forget Me Not has put her on my “Authors to follow” list (a very prestigious one if you ask me)!!

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Next: Remember Me When by Brooke Blaine