Review: Kait Ballenger – Twilight Hunter

Execution Underground Series:  

Book 1:  

Twilight Hunter: Jace McCannon and Frankie Amato

 

Twilight Hunter (Execution Underground, #1) 

Expected publication: August 27th 2013

Purchase on Amazon:  Twilight Hunter (The Execution Underground)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Hunters of the supernatural, the Execution Underground are an elite group tasked with protecting humanity…but what happens when danger collides with desire?

Jace McCannon has one loyalty: the Execution Underground. Despite his mixed blood, his hatred for the werewolves he hunts is legendary. But in his search for a sadistic killer, Jace finds himself face to face with a stunningly seductive packmaster…and longing for a night with his mortal enemy.

Nothing can stop Frankie Amato from defending her kind–or catching the rogue responsible for killing women in her territory. For that, this alpha female needs Jace’s skills more than she wants to admit. But as their investigation exposes evil truths, need burns into a passion that dare not be fulfilled. For to do so will have deadly consequences for them both…

Review:

Another great book from Kait Ballenger! TWILIGHT HUNTER is a sexy, dark, intriguing, action packed roller coaster ride of emotion and hard hitting action with a twist on my favorite supernatural species thrown in. The Execution Underground is an elite force to take out rogue supernaturals. Jace is the best werewolf hunter on the east coast, but this case is his hardest yet. Women are dying, and dying horrific death, mutilated beyond recognition. It’s been weeks and Jace is still no closer to catching the bastard that is killing these women. He’s hunting when he comes across Frankie. The attraction is instantaneous and fierce, but she’s a werewolf. The one species that he abhors even though he is half wolf himself, a secret he has kept from all of the Execution Underground, except his childhood friend and Demon Hunter David.

Jace is a lost soul with some serious daddy issues. Totally flawed, but good hearted despite himself. He is a total protector even if he doesn’t particularly think of himself that way; he would be the first to admit he can be an a-hole. Despite his many flaws and anger issues you really can’t help but love Jace anyway. As a character he has a lot of growing to do, he’s basically racist against his own kind and kills werewolves pretty much indiscriminately since becoming a hunter. He thinks all were’s are the same until he meets Frankie and he can’t keep his hands or his emotions in check. She has him questioning all of his beliefs. By the end of the book you are helplessly in love with poor Jace and happy to see how much he’s grown as a character.

Frankie is not hard to like, she has her packs best interests in mind and pretty self-sacrificing. She is basically slated to marry a man she doesn’t love because it is expected of her. She actually misses her mating ceremony because Jace took her captive. Jace is the first thing she takes because that’s what she as a person wanted and not what her parents or her pack wanted. For a while she just couldn’t seem to spit out what she really wanted to say, causing man a miss-communications and causing Jace even more hurt to his fragile self-worth when it comes to being loveable. I just wanted to yell at her, just say what you mean woman! But if there is no conflict then they can’t “make up”, so I couldn’t be too mad.

The story is fast paced and as previously mentioned action packed. From beginning to end, something is going on which keeps you captivated and those pages turning. There is no room to get bored. The chemistry between Jace and Frankie is explosive from the beginning, they can certainly steam up the pages and have you fanning yourself off. The side characters of Shane and David were great, I can’t help but look forward to their books. It is looking like David’s will be next and I am really excited for that one! Oh and Damon, damn, I know you had it rough at the end of your novella, but ish do you have to be such an a$$!?! He’s gonna have to have a lot to atone for once he becomes happy again, for now, I’m going to choose to forgive his attitude because I know how is novella SHADOW HUNTER ended and I know he is hurting, but he better make it up to us! I can’t wait to see where this series takes us! I am totally on board and looking forward to IMMORTAL HUNTER in January 2014.

Rating:

Vintage Heart 4.5

*This book was provided to me by the author and no other compensation was provided.

*This review can also be seen on http://paranormalromancenovel.com

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ARC Review: Lindsey Piper – Blood Warrior

The Dragon Kings Series:

Book 2:

Blood Warrior: Tallis and Kavya

 

Blood Warrior (Dragon Kings, #2)

 

 

Expected publication: July 30th 2013

Purchase on Amazon: Lindsey Piper – Blood Warrior: Dragon Kings Book Two (The Dragon Kings)

 

Summary:

As a young man, sarcastic, violent Tallis Pendray believed the Dragon Kings’ survival depended on a prophecy delivered in dreams by a woman named “the Sun.” His role has been to complete inexplicable, even reprehensible tasks. First, by murdering a priest, he united his fragmented clan in their hatred of him. Dubbed “the Heretic,” Tallis fled his family’s Highland estate. Now disillusioned, he seeks revenge on the woman he holds responsible for two decades of exile.

 

Telepath Kavya Indranan is a charismatic, seductive cult leader born to a prominent family. However, she grew up terrorized by the ominous threat of her powerful, insane twin brother. On the run and hiding among the poor, she witnessed the destruction wrought by her clan’s centuries-old civil war. Maturity nurtures Kavya’s determination to end the cycle of bloodshed. Those who follow her call for peace have nicknamed her “the Sun.”

 

Review:

For me this book was much anticipated. I really enjoyed the first two books and found them both memorable and unique, so for the past few months I had been waiting in anticipation to get my hands on a copy of this book. When I finally got it, I dove right in, only to be left somewhat underwhelmed by this installment. It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t have the punch that the first two books had. At least for me. The first book SILENT WARRIOR was humorous, action packed and steamy as all get out. The second book CAGED WARRIOR while pretty dark was intriguing, interesting, and seriously action packed all making this book as page turner. With BLOOD WARRIOR I was expecting a book loaded with action, but all we really got was a bunch of talking. Not much of anything happens, which makes the book drag in places.

 

Tallis was at least funny, so we got some laughs out of the book. As a character I actually liked Tallis, we met him in CAGED WARRIOR and he leaves an impression. As berserker he has great strength and speed and he knows how to wield them both, it’s a shame we don’t get to see it more. The action scenes there are, he’s pretty fierce! I wouldn’t want to tangle with him. He’s an intriguing character that I think Lindsey Piper could have done so much more with. He spends a lot of time swinging back and forth between liking and bashing Kavya, which can leave the reader with a bit of whiplash. A little push and pull is fun, but too much can just leave the reader doubting the romantic connection between characters which is what ended up happening for me. I didn’t doubt the attraction, but the “more” was tough to swallow.

 

Kavya, was a character I just never got into; which may also be part of the reason I wasn’t fully sold on the romance. She is supposed to be charismatic to the point that she starts a whole cult that basically worships her. What I found her to be was wishy washy and her character and ability was full of holes. Bu here is the thing, so Tellis started getting visits from the Sun at 20 years ago, when Kavya was 12. I find it very doubtful that at 12 when the Sun was just fully coming into their power it was able to find a certain mind halfway across the world (The Sun was in India, Tellis in Scottland) invade their mind in dream and with very graphic sexual dreams convince him to basically be its pet assassin. How was the Sun even find his mind and what did it know what it was looking for?? And how the hell did she build up her following? This was never really explained. There was something else with the Sun plotline that was really bugging me but I can’t discuss without some serious spoilers. The whole Sun plotline was just full of holes and too farfetched even by paranormal standards. Even if you take the whole Sun plotline away she just seems too weak, wishy washy, naïve and doesn’t have much in the personality department. I’m just not quite sure what Tellis sees in her.

 

The book wasn’t all bad, it was very well written and flowed very nicely. We get more in depth into the Dragon King world and I am still intrigued by the series as a whole and really want to see where it is going. The action scenes there are, are pretty great. I gotta say I really liked the blizzard scene. It had you perked up in your seat for a bit. The final show down there is a “twist” that you may or may not have seen coming to some degree. The fighting in the finale was pretty good Tellis gets to show off his skills. The sexy times while I wasn’t much of a fan of Kavya, I do have the admit the scenes were pretty hot. Tellis gives a pretty good strip tease; I wouldn’t have minded trading places with Kavya for that one. Oh to have a berserker of my very own! I wish! Although this book will not be my favorite of the series, I am not giving up on this series. I am still looking forward to the next book it definitely looks interesting.

 

*This copy was provided by the author for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

 

Rating: 3.5 Romanticals

 

*This review can also be viewed at paranormalromancenovel.com

ARC Review: Michelle Willingham -To Sin with a Viking

Forbidden Vikings Series:

Book 1:

To Sin with a Viking: Styr Hardrata and Caragh Ó Brannon

To Sin with a Viking (Forbidden Vikings, #1)

Expected publication: July 23rd

Purchase on Amazon:  Michelle Willingham – To Sin with a Viking (Forbidden Vikings)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

Playing With Fire!

Caragh Ó Brannon defended herself bravely when the enemy landed—only, now she finds herself alone with one very angry Viking…

Styr Hardrata sailed to Ireland intending to trade, never expecting to find himself held captive in chains by a beautiful Irish maiden.

The fiercely handsome warrior both terrifies and allures Caragh, but he is forbidden territory. He is the enemy…and he is married. Yet Styr harbors a secret that just might set them both free…

Forbidden Vikings

Resist them if you can!

Review:

I love love love historical Vikings! It’s a weakness right up there with bad boys and berserkers. There is just something about Vikings, maybe they because they are tall and very rough around the edges. Me take my woman! Sort of attitude. So when I saw a Michelle Willingham title I peeked up in interest as she is one of my favorite historical romance writers and then I saw it featured a Viking! SOLD!

I was not disappointed that I requested this title; I pretty much devoured it, cover to cover. Well theoretically since it is in ebook format but you get the idea. When we meet this proud Viking his marriage is in shambles, he wants to start his life anew with his wife by his side so they can work on their marriage. First, I got to say how much I loved that he wanted to work on his marriage and make things work. He is very loyal, and I loved how Willingham approached this. So Styr, his wife and his men leave their homeland and end up in Ireland after a particularly nasty storm, exhausted and half starved. They landed in a starved land, Caragh villiage is literally starving to death and her little brother takes it into his head to attack the Vikings to take their resources. So he takes Styr’s wife hostage and disappears. As Styr is about to strike a blow against Caragh she bashes him in the head and takes styr hostage while her brother gets away with his wife.

What is it with Viking stories with one of the characters taking the other as a captive?? I swear it is every damn one of them. LOL! In this case Styr isn’t captive for very long. Maybe only a day or two, but he kind of gets Stockholm syndrome and starts to feel protective of Caragh because he knows she is literally starving to death and still shared her food with him. He vows that even when he gets free he will teach her to survive and then take her with him to find his wife. He tells himself that he will need her to find her brother and not that he wants to protect her. Caragh for her part genuinely feels bad for her part in his captivity and her brother’s part in taking his wife hostage. So she agrees to help him find his wife. Caragh is genuinely a sweetheart and cares for others even to the determent of herself. You can’t not like her, she’s a sweetheart but she’s also no push over. A great balance.

So off they go to find his wife and her brother. More and more, these two find that they are more and more attracted to each other, but the circumstances are impossible. Styr is otherwise taken and he refuses to give up on both making his marriage work and finding his wife. You would think that the way this story is set up that there would have been creepy and that things would have gone further than they actually did. For the most part Styr stuck by his vows to his wife, even when his emotions were in turmoil. I really respected the way Willingham went about this as I hate cheating in a story and I could have been quickly been turned off. As these two went on their quest it looked more and more like finding his wife would be more difficult than expected, which gives Caragh and Styr more time to get to know each other in a non-physical way. From beginning to end Willingham takes you on an emotional charged tale with some action thrown in to keep things interesting. My only wish was that things with the wife could have come to a conclusion earlier so we could have gotten in some more sexy times, because when it happens it’s pretty explosive. =)

Rating: 4 Romanticals

*Copy was provided through NetGally for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Review: Kresley Cole – MacRieve

Immortals After Dark Series: 

Book 13:

MacRieve: Uilleam MacRieve and Chloe Todd

 

MacRieve (Immortals After Dark, #13)

 

Purchase on Amazon:Kresley Cole – MacRieve (Immortals After Dark)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

A Beast In Torment

Uilleam MacRieve believed he’d laid to rest the ghosts of his boyhood. But when a brutal torture revives those ancient agonies and destroys his Lykae instinct, the proud Scot craves the oblivion of death. Until he finds her—a young human so full of spirit and courage that she pulls him back from the brink.

A Beauty In Chains

Seized for the auction block, Chloe Todd is forced to enter a terrifying new world of monsters and lore as a bound slave. When offered up to creatures of the dark, she fears she won’t last the night. Until she’s claimed by him—a tormented immortal with heartbreaking eyes, whose touch sets her blood on fire.

A Full Moon On The Rise

With enemies circling, MacRieve spirits Chloe away to the isolated Highland keep of his youth. But once he takes her to his bed, his sensual mate becomes something more than human, evoking his savage past and testing his sanity. On the cusp of the full moon, can he conquer his worst nightmare to save Chloe . . . from himself?

 

Review:

Kresley Cole has long since earned her place on my auto-buy list as well as the top spot as my favorite author. Every time I pick up a Kresley Cole book it starts this spiral of need to go back and read the rest of the series all over again. I swear I do a re-read of IAD at least once a year. I know without a doubt that if I pick up a Kresley Cole book it will be a minimum of four stars EVERY time. MacRieve is absolutely no exception to this rule. This was not my favorite book of the series but I’d still say Ms. Cole has a winner on her hands. I DEVOURED it, staying up all night to finish and dragging my ass into work with almost no sleep but not caring. PS. I really wish release day was on a Friday or something so this wouldn’t keep happening to me with my favorite authors. LOL

 

As with Lothaire I gotta say MacRieve was kinda a douche in the middle of the book. He showed promise early on but events triggering childhood trauma and massive guilt changed that fairly quickly. I am glad to say that he did see error of his ways and did endeavor to change his attitude but it was some rough going there for a while. MacRieve totally earned his nickname of “Head Case” and I absolutely LOVED that nickname for him; it was so fitting and cracked me up every time someone used it and they called him it right to his face and he couldn’t even get mad since it was true. Lol Coming into this book, I had no idea just how traumatized MacRieve was, in reality we didn’t know much about the twins other then they are Hot and Hotter or is it Hotter and Hot?? A childhood event when he was nine lasting until it came to a head at thirteen shaped the rest of his life and then when he was picked up by the Order that just made everything worse. His torture was extensive as the pet of Dr. Nixon and then after the escape he barely dodged another bullet which dredged up the childhood memories. I couldn’t help but repeatedly say “pobrecito” (poor guy) throughout a lot of the book. He may have been a douche but it was kind of understandable and I couldn’t hate him for it. He even brought tears to my eyes a few times and I don’t think I have ever cried in a Kresley Cole book, because usually I’m too busy laughing.

 

Even though there were a few tears worry not my friends you’ll still laugh in this book because Chloe is quite the smart ass and I adore smart ass characters. Probably one of the reason I love Kresley Cole so much, most of her characters tend to be on the smart ass side and I can’t get enough of it. Chloe is also a pretty tough chica. In the beginning she is just a human professional woman’s soccer player with dreams of the Olympics but soon she realizes that something is happening to her. When her father disappears after handing her the living book of the Lore it is merely weeks when she is kidnapped to be sold to the highest bidder. It seems her father is enemy numero uno amongst the Lore. It is on the auction block when MacRieve finds her and “rescues” her. It is just when she is starting to buy into MacRieve’s matehood when he does a complete 180 after her transition. Chloe is not one to really put up with much shit so she gives back as much as she gets from MacRieve wanting nothing to do with him, but the nature of the beast rears its ugly head and circumstances what they are they have to stick together. What I really liked about Chloe is that she didn’t really freak out about the Lore and her transition. She had a “rub some dirt” mentality and tried to make the best of the situation. She remained her smart ass self and won everyone over including MacRieve. Although, I do wish that she would have been able to compete in the Olympics, it seems a bit sad that she had to give up that dream, but she took it in stride.

 

This book isn’t as action packed as some of the others as MacRieve is still pretty traumatized from being tortured so I think this was a good move, plus we still had plenty of drama with MacRieve and Chloe in their own personal battle between each other and MacRieves’ past. This is probably the steamiest book of the series, almost from the get go. As with all the other books in this series the side characters cannot be dismissed. I adore every single one of them in particular I loved the orphaned brothers. They cracked me up, especially the younger one. I’m drawing a blank on his name right now. We spend more time with Monroe then we ever have before and I like him, it’s looking like his book may be next in the series. He’s little to serious so I hope his mate drives him nuts! Kresley Cole is setting us up for something BIG so I can’t wait to see where we go in this series!

 

Well Done Kresley Cole, Well Done!

 

Rating: 5 Romanticals

This review can also be seen on www.paranormalromancenovel.com .

Review: Kerrigan Byrne – Reluctant

Highland Heros and the MacKay’s

Book 3 and 6:

Reluctant: Soren Laird of Shadows and Kamdyn MacKay

Reluctant (The MacKays #3)

Purchase on Amazon: Kerrigan Byrne – Reluctant (Heroes of the Highlands) (The MacKays #3)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

He would be her first kill…

Kamdyn MacKay is a Banshee assassin who has never killed a man. When her first mark becomes the Berserker warlord terrorizing the Highlands, she knows she must slay him or face unthinkable consequences. Once she’s face to face with the notorious Laird of Shadows, Kamdyn realizes she’s also never been taken by a man, and his carnal proposition may prove too seductive to resist.

She would be his first kiss…

The brutal Laird of Shadows fears nothing, especially not a warrior’s death. When a tiny, lovely Banshee invades his camp intent on his demise, a mistaken kiss brands her as the mate he’s been searching the decades for. The least he can do is persuade his tempting executioner to make his last night on earth something to remember.

Review:

YAY!!! Byrne returned to her berserkers! This makes me to thrillingly happy! I ADORE berserkers, I think they are the least utilized in the paranormal genre and should be used so much more. Kerrigan Byrne is the only author that I can think of that uses them on a regular basis, which is how I discovered her in the first place and have never looked back!

In Reluctant we fast forward quite a number of years; I think it is close to 20ish? Kamdyn is a handmaiden to the Fae Banshee Queen. She selflessly gave herself to the Queen so that her sister could live with her Druid mate in the second book. For this alone she has endeared herself to me, there was no way I couldn’t love her coming into this book. I could only hope that her mate would be worthy. I was not disappointed in this aspect. I think Soren has become my favorite male of this entire series, including the other berserkers. He’s a brute of a male but so very self-aware. The things he says to Kamdyn are to make your heart beat a little bit faster. I’m not a huge highlighter in books, but some of what he says I just cannot resist, it was just too damn perfect. Even warlords have feelings and he has no problem expressing himself so eloquently. At the end he is willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for his wee Banshee and it’s quite beautiful. Kamdyn has such a soft heart and can’t bring herself to kill this warlord that says things to her that melt her heart a little bit more each time he speaks. The chemistry between Kamdyn and Soren is explosive and heats up the pages. You may have to fan yourself off a little while reading this scorcher!

With each book that Kerrigan Byrne writes I am again reminded why she is on my auto-buy list and I read her books within days of their release. I have loved every single one of them and this one might just top my list as my new favorite!

Rating: 5 Romanticals

 

*You can also view this review on http://www.paranormalromancenovel.com

ARC Review: Lindsey Piper – Caged Warrior

The Dragon Kings Series:  

Book 1:

Caged Warrior: Leto Garnis and Audrey MacLaren

Caged Warrior (Dragon Kings, #1)

(How hot is this cover!?!)

Expected publication: June 25th 2013

Purchase on Amazon: Lindsey Piper – Caged Warrior: Dragon Kings Book One (The Dragon Kings)

Summary:

From Goodreads.com

The first installment in this fierce and sensual new paranormal romance series features demonic gladiators, ruthless mafia villains, and a proud race on the brink of extinction.

Ten years ago, Audrey MacLaren chose to marry her human lover, making her an exile from the Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons once worshiped as earthly gods. Audrey and her husband managed to conceive, and their son is the first natural-born Dragon King in a generation—which makes him irresistible to the sadistic scientist whose mafia-funded technology allows demon procreation. In the year since her husband was murdered, Audrey and her little boy have endured hideous experiments.

Shackled with a collar and bound for life, Leto Garnis is a Cage warrior. Only through combat can Dragon Kings earn the privilege of conceiving children. Leto uses his superhuman speed and reflexes to secure the right for his two sisters to start families. After torture reveals Audrey’s astonishing pyrokenesis, she is sent to fight in the Cages. If she survives a year, she will be reunited with her son. Leto is charged with her training. Initially, he has no sympathy for her plight. But if natural conception is possible, what has he been fighting for? As enemies, sparring partners, lovers, and eventual allies, Leto and Audrey learn that in a violent underground world, love is the only prize worth winning.

Review:

*****WARNING I feel compelled to tell you all that this book does NOT actually contain dragon shifters. I know the name of the series is misleading. There are no actual dragons. THE dragon is their deity and what legends say created the dragon kings. I know this will disappoint some, but they still have cool powers. *****

This is a great new start to a new series. It is not for the faint of heart and is in no way fluffy, it is pretty dark but I like that. As far as the darkness goes, I think it would be comparable to Larissa Ione’s Demonica Series. There is a LOT of violence and mentions of other not so bueno things. Women are treated as men when it comes to violence and when there is violence are not excluded from some pretty brutal fights. They are warriors and just as tuff as the men. No quarter is given; this may not be for everyone but I think that those who don’t mind the dark will really enjoy this series.

The world building is decent, it is not the best that I have read but you get a pretty decent sense of this new world and there are some unanswered questions or maybe to be explained later questions?? Basically there is a race of beings that have extra powers, each clan has its own. The race is dying out and there have been no natural births since Audrey. Audrey and her son are kidnapped and held for testing by a brutal human mafia like syndicate. Audrey is forced to fight in the cages in order to free her son. Her “trainer” is Leto. Leto is in the cages by choice, he fights for his family.

Audrey is heartbreaking, she has had to endure so much. First with her clan rejecting her, then her husband brutally murdered with her subsequent capture with her son. Now she is thrown into the cages to fight, she has to learn to survive in fights in record time. Audrey is definitely no wilting flower, she does what she has to do to survive and she keeps on going. Her main thought to fight, to survive, and to rescue her son. Leto is the key to her survival, the king of the cages she needs him to teach her. What she never expected is to be so brutally attracted to someone she should loathe as their training intensifies so does their attraction.

Leto is brutal; it is the only way he knows how to be. There is no softness in him, until Audrey. Her inner strength calls to him and he finds himself wanting to protect her which is a foreign feeling. In the beginning I really thought I would HATE Leto, but somehow he won me over. Maybe it was his protective instincts or that he was willing to take Audrey’s hate to not only protect her body but her mind as well. He does his best to make sure Audrey survives so that she can get back to her son. Little by little he wins you over. Well at least he won me over.

Overall, I was intrigued and thoroughly engaged in this book from beginning to end. It is action packed and quite interesting. It’s is wonderfully different and sticks out from a crowd. I read this book maybe two months ago and I still remember it which for me and my lacking short term memory, says a lot. I read the first novella in this series and I do recommend that you read it as well before starting this one. It’s not required but the couple in the first series does have a pivotal roll in this book. I would recommend this new series to paranormal readers especially those who like a darker book.

This book was provided to me through Edelweiss for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.

Rating:  4.5 Romanticals

*This review can also be seen at www.paranormalromancenovel.com

Review: Aleksandr Voinov – Scorpion

Memory of Scorpions:

Book 1:

Scorpion: Kendras

Scorpion

Purchase on Amazon:  Aleksandr Voinov – Scorpion

Expected publication (re-release): May 27th 2013

Summary:

Never stop fighting.

Kendras is a casualty of war: injured, penniless, and quite possibly the last surviving member of the only family he’s ever had—the elite fighting force known as the Scorpions. When a steel-eyed mercenary offers him medicine and shelter in exchange for submission and a secret task, Kendras has no choice but to accept. He is a Scorpion; he’ll do whatever it takes to survive.

But his true goal is to rebuild the Scorpions. Neither Steel’s possessive nature nor Kendras’s shattered foot can keep him from finding the last of his brothers, or the mysterious leader of the Scorpions, the man who held Kendras’s heart long before Steel tried to take it for himself.

The goal is simple, the situation anything but. To rescue his leader and escape from Steel for good, Kendras must fight through a morass of politics and intrigue where enemies may be allies and even allies have hidden agendas. But Kendras isn’t only fighting for his lost lover and tribe—he soon realizes that nothing less than the birth of an Empire is at stake.

Review:

Sooo…. This is my first truly M/M full length novel. I’ve read M/F/M, one novella in an otherwise M/F anthology and a couple books where there were some M/M interactions but it wasn’t really the main focus. So this was new to me and I don’t really have anything to compare it to besides itself. This book was kind of odd for me, it was still very engaging but I didn’t quite know what to make of it since it is so different from what I am used to. And to be quite honest that was exactly what I needed at the time. I was in a book reading funk and I NEEDED something different, something out of my comfort zone and this book delivered that.

So basically Kendras is a part of an elite fighting unit called the Scorpions. They are a mercenary group but they have a “memory”, basically meaning they have a long history or “memory” and they maintain the original integrity of the unit. The story takes place in a made up land where there are basically three cities that two of the three always seem to be at war at any given time. At the time this tale takes place there was just a huge battle and the side that Kendras was fighting on “won” but he was seriously injured and he does not know what happened to the rest of his squad. He is basically a cripple when we first meet him, this is also how he is when he meets Steel. Kendras has no money, he can’t work because of his foot and has nothing of value to sell. Kendras is well aware of this when Steel approaches him in a bar. Steel takes on Kendras as his lover and wants him for his own mercenary crew. He has a job and he needs someone that looks like Kendras (black with blue eyes).

From what I can tell of this world Male/Male relationships are just as common place as Male/Female relationships; however, with that there is a whole other set of issues. It seems that Male on Male rape is quite prevalent in this world and it is brought up, not in detail, but it is an issue that characters have to deal with. So if you are squeamish on this topic you might wince a few times. The world building overall is pretty decent. I felt like I had a pretty good understanding of the world by the time the story was over. It is a harsh world where war is the main focus. When the book starts we are just coming out of battle and a good chunk of the last part of the book is preparing for battle and a fight. The character building is, not the best. Steel who is kind of a main character, I don’t feel like I knew him at all and didn’t really care about him, but that could be on purpose. The story is from Kendras POV but I don’t really feel like we delved that deep into his character. This book was basically about Kendras struggle to evolve. He was a part of the Scorpions it was all he knew and he was quite content with that. When that was taken away, he didn’t quite know what to do with himself, all his focus was finding survivors and if this was the end of the Scorpions. Even once he found some survivors he struggled with his possible new role within the unit. With as much struggle as the poor man went through I would have thought we would have known him better. And then there were his feelings for the Officer. We never knew why Kendras felt the way he did except for maybe some hero and survivor worship?? As far as I could tell the Officer basically kept himself mostly separate from the unit, so I wish we knew more about why Kendras had this deep love for the Officer. Speaking of love, this book is not very romantical. Is there a possible relationship by the end of the book, yes… But is there much romance along the way? Not really. I was ok with this as the book as a whole didn’t really have a romantical setting. I still really enjoyed the story and it kept me engaged the entire time, it was pretty interesting; however, it is definitely not a romance that I am used to. If you can even consider this book in the “romance” genre.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It took me out of my norm and I enjoyed that. Am I going to be all gung ho on the M/M genre now, probably not, but I will probably read the second book in this series when it comes out. It was an interesting world and I liked the story telling overall. I am curious to see where this series goes.

Rating: 4 Romanticals

*A copy was provided to me through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.