chez_jae: (Books)
This afternoon, I finished reading Unforgiven by Lindsay McKenna. It's the first book in Silhouette's Nocturne line, and it's also the first installment in the author's "Warriors of Light" series for the line.

Reno, a Native American, jaguar shifter, and former Marine sniper, is in prison for planning to kill the general who murdered his wife and daughter. He's given a reprieve when the CIA recruit him to travel to Ecuador to eliminate a shadowy figure who has been harassing the owners and sentries of an emerald mine.

Calen is also a jaguar shifter, and she dresses in black to deliver justice as El Espanto. As soon as she meets Reno, she knows he's been sent to kill her, but she finds him compelling. As for Reno, he is drawn to the enigmatic Calen, but he knows he has a job to do.

When the two encounter one another as jaguars, they recognize one another and soon realize they're both on the same side, in spite of what has brought them together. Each has a peculiar birthmark that their respective parents told them marked them as Warriors of the Light. Now, it is up to them to rid the countryside of the negative influence of the mine owners, as well as establish a base of operations where other Warriors of Light can gather in an effort to prevent the world from descending into a thousand years of darkness and chaos.

The story went more for drama than anything else, even over romance. While Reno and Calen were attracted to one another, they both sought to ignore the attraction in favor of their mission. It was almost too heavy for a short story, but since there is apparently more to come, I can forgive it.

Favorite line: "The greatest saints were at one time the greatest of sinners."

Not overly enjoyable, but compelling. Four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
I brought my work book home to finish, since I only had two chapters left. It was Dangerous Temptation, by Kathleen Korbel, and it's the first in a trilogy about the three daughters of the Faerie Queen, Mab.

When anthropologist Zeke Kendall tumbles off of a cairn in Ireland, he lands right in the lap of Nuala, daughter of the Queen of Faeries. Nuala has been watching Zeke for years, slowly falling in love with the mortal man. At first, Zeke is certain he's dreaming, due to the knock to the head he received. Eventually, he comes to accept that he's truly in the land of the Faeries, even as he comes to love Nuala.

Queen Mab, however, is a ruthless ruler, and she intends for Nuala to succeed her on the throne. Her plans would go for naught if Nuala and the mortal fall in love. Mab tries to claim Zeke for her own, but Nuala barters with her mother for his freedom. She'll willingly take the throne if Mab returns Zeke to the mortal realm. However, nothing in Faerie is quite so simple, and Zeke is charged with three tasks. If he can pass all three, he will be safely returned.

The story was lush and descriptive and very sexy. Although I enjoyed it, I probably would have enjoyed it more twenty years ago. I liked meeting the characters that peopled the Faerie realm, but I thought the falling in love bit happened too fast for Zeke. In addition, there were some glaring editing errors towards the end of the book, most notably when the author was writing about Zeke's brother, Jake. Their names were often mixed up, meaning I'd have to re-read certain lines to make sense of them.

Favorite line: "Just because I have to give him back doesn't mean I have to give him up."

Interesting, in spite of editing errors--four stars:

****
chez_jae: (Books)
At work today, I finished reading Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter. It's in the Nocturne series, and it's the first book in the "Royal House of Shadows" verse, which was written by four different authors.

Jane Parker has been dreaming of a seductive vampire, calling to her for help. When she receives a mysterious book in the mail, Jane is drawn into Nicolai's world, which is in an alternate universe. Nicolai is a prince who has had his memories taken from him before he was sold as a sex slave. Jane helps rescue him from the depraved princess who has been holding him captive.

The story was dark and exotic, violent and sexy. Not an ounce of fluff in this one! Personally, I found it a bit too intense. I know I have at least one other "Royal House of Shadows" book on my shelf, although I'm not rushing to read it next. The story was well-told and gripping, which earns it four stars:

★★★★
chez_jae: (Jae cat)
At work today, I polished off The Highwayman by Michele Hauf. It's part of Silhouette's "Nocturne" line, which means it was a paranormal romance.

The story centers around the immortal demon-slayer known as the Highwayman. He's actually Max Fitzroy, a real highwayman from the 1700's who has a demon shadow dwelling within him. Max has made it his mission to kill demons, as well as the familiars who are capable of acting as a bridge to bring them into this realm.

Aby is a familiar. Max targets her, because he wants her to help him bring forth the demon whose shadow he carries, so that he can kill it. He then intends to kill Aby. But, of course, when Max first lays eyes on her, he finds her too appealing to resist. For her part, Aby knows Max by reputation, which logic would dictate should compel her to avoid him at all costs. But, no. Aby is all intrigued and attracted to him and just can't stay away.

I really despise this trope.

Other than using that archaic cliche, the author did tell an exciting story. She gives glimpses into Max's tortured past so that the reader can understand his actions. Aby, unfortunately, comes across as a bit two-dimensional. She's been coddled and protected her entire life and finds it a great adventure to shop for groceries. Le sigh. Still, the storyline was interesting, leaving me a bit torn about the book as a whole. Therefore, it gets 3 stars for being average.

★★★
chez_jae: (Default)
On Monday, I finished reading A Wolf's Heart by Vivi Anna. It's part of a verse she has going in Silhouette's Nocturne line. Had I realized that, I would have waited to read it in order, but oh well.

In this story, Gabriel is called upon to investigate letters sent to his old flame Elise. The letters are from a stalker, and Elise is in danger. Being close to her stirs up old feelings long thought buried.

The story line was interesting, and the added mystery made it quite intense. My biggest disappointment was with Elise. She and Gabriel are both sangloups--half vampire, half werewolf--yet she came across as a wilting violet. She screamed and got sick at the sight of blood? *rolls eyes*

I'd give this one 3 1/2 stars. It could have been 4 1/2 if the heroine had some gumption.
chez_jae: (Default)
On Thursday, I finished reading From the Dark by Michele Hauf. It's a Silhouette Nocturne, meaning a paranormal romance.

In this story, Michael is a vampire who is trying to overcome his need for blood, while Jane is the daughter of a vampire and a witch. Being with Michael has brought forth her latent magic, but everyone knows the blood of a witch is poison to vampires. In addition, in order to insure her immortality, Jane must sacrifice a vampire at the next full moon.

The story was interesting and fast-paced. The author introduced another character who may show up in a future story, and I would certainly read it.

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