Saturday, December 21, 2013

Review: REAVER by Larissa Ione

Yay! It's here. The next book in the Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series has FINALLY arrived. And, OMG, it's awesome. 

First, I have to say a humongous thank you to Hachette Book Group, Inc. for inviting me to participate in the launch of Larissa Ione's latest masterpiece.

And now, I'll stop making you wait. Here it is!

Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Mass Market
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2697-0
Source: ARC received from Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he's agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before . . . to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.
Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she's doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan's lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld's darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel's blood. . .

What can I say about Larissa Ione’s Reaver without sounding all fangirly? Because, let’s face it...I’m a huge fan of the Horsemen, and their super-amazing Watchers. So much so that I put down a book I’d been reading (and eagerly anticipating) to read this one.
Was it worth it? Oh hell, yeah. Every heart-stopping, breathtaking, adrenaline filled moment. Happy ever afters, happy for nows, and more surprises than you can shake an aurial at abound inside the pages of Reaver’s story.

I’ve always enjoyed Reaver’s appearances in the previous books, and was overjoyed to see him finally get a book all his own. An action packed, sarcasm and sass filled, sexy as hell story – exactly what you’d expect from everyone’s favourite angelic Watcher.

Reaver is one hell of a ride from start to finish. I laughed, fought tears, got angry and bit my lip through each and every page. Reavie-weavie is hands-down lickable-sexy, an epic smart ass, and the most kick-ass warrior I've read since, well...the last Demonica novel. One who can kick ass, and might think about taking names. Maybe, if he’s in the mood.

This book answers some of the questions raised in The Lords of Deliverance series, and raises a whole host of new ones. It's dark, gritty, and takes Reaver and Harvester into some seriously dark places that we've barely seen the surface of in previous Demonica books. 

And now a little excerpt to tempt you to go buy the book (if you haven't already). I remember reading this scene in the ARC, and loved it. 


Reaver held Harvester’s frail body tight against his as he navigated the final steps of a winding ledge that dropped them into a world of weird. “It’s me. It’s okay. We’re safe.”

Relatively safe, anyway. Relative meaning that they weren’t dead. Yet. He just hoped the same could be said for Tavin, Matt, and Calder. When he’d left them to sneak into Satan’s realm, they’d been engaged in a battle they’d initiated as a diversion. It had been a risky move, and Reaver could only pray they’d make it to the rendezvous point.

A hunter’s horn sounded in the distance and was answered by another, closer horn signal. Satan’s minions hadn’t gained ground, but they were spreading out. Damn.

He scanned the landscape of thorny plants, hills of blackened earth and trees, and twisted, abandoned structures. Nothing moved.
He looked down at Harvester, and as before when he first saw her hanging over a pit of acid, he felt sick to his stomach. He didn’t like Harvester even though he was grateful for the things she’d done, but she didn’t deserve this; her naked body too thin and mottled with bruises and ligature marks, her once silken black hair tangled and dull, and worst of all, missing her gorgeous green eyes.
Under ideal circumstances, an angel could heal from even the most heinous injuries within hours. But these were far from ideal circumstances, and Harvester’s source of power, her wings, had been severed. Without wings or medical assistance, it could take weeks, even months, for an angel’s body to fully heal.
“I can’t risk healing you more than I did,” he said. “My power isn’t reliable right now, and I could do more harm than good.”
“Reaver,” she croaked, as if he hadn’t spoken. “Why…how…”
“Shh.” He tucked her face into his chest, quieting her. “We’re going to meet up with some friends, and then I’ll answer all your questions.”
Reaver and the assassins had worked out a plan A and a plan B. Plan A had been shot to hell when iron gates had prevented Reaver from getting out of Satan’s realm to the south, where his companions would have been waiting. Now, with demons in pursuit, they were on their way to plan B. Hopefully Tav, Matt, and Calder had realized quickly that Reaver’s escape route had gone bad.
Inhaling the stench of rotten vegetation that permeated this section of Sheoul, he started away from the skeletons of some burned-out buildings and toward a mountain range as expansive as the Rockies. He moved swiftly, outrunning the sounds of pursuit and pausing once to blast a group of imps with a ball of lightning. The sphere struck the leader, and from there sent electrical strikes at each of the surrounding imps, frying them all in a handy eight-for-one.
Harvester slept in his arms, barely stirring when he stopped to listen for anyone following them. By the time they neared the plan B meeting site, Reaver was sure they’d lost the demons—temporarily. Reaver wasn’t naive enough to think they were off the hook. The demons chasing them were only the first wave, the security detail unlucky enough to be guarding the dungeon Harvester was kept in.
Once Satan got wind of this, if he hadn’t already, Reaver and Harvester were going to have legions of minions on their heels.

A bit about Larissa:

A former meteorologist and EMT, Air Force veteran Larissa Ione now gets her daily dose of excitement from vampires, werewolves, demons, and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She lives in wintery Wisconsin with her U.S. Coast Guard husband, her teenage son, a rescue cat, and her hellhound, a King Shepherd named Hexe.

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Giveaway time! One winner will get our grand prize of a Kindle Fire and 4 winners will get a signed set of Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance Series: Eternal Rider, Immortal Rider, Lethal Rider & Rogue Rider!


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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Review: DRAGON AWAKENED by Jaime Rush

Today I've got a review of Dragon Awakened by Jaime Rush...and a giveaway!

Ms. Rush is a new-to-me author and, I have to say, one I'll be looking for more from in the future. Dragon Awakened is the first full-length novel in a new series by New York Times Bestselling Author Jaime Rush.

Release Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Forever Mass Market
ISBN: 978-1-4555-2322-1

Ruby Salazaar wants answers . . . and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath -  Cyntag - leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself. 

Ruby changed Cyn's life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn't foresee the danger -  and desires - Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control . . .

Before I get to the review, here's a short excerpt from the book. 

Cyntag slowly waved his hand in front of her face, his eyes staring straight into hers between his long fingers. “Crescents can identify one another by our eyes. Some are icy glitter, some swirling mist, and others burning embers.”
Her heart hitched. Hadn’t she seen a glow in his eyes?
He lowered his hand. “Moncrief cast an illusion spell to hide the magick in your eyes. You looked like a Mundane, a regular human. Now that he’s gone, the spell is wearing off. Soon it will be obvious to every Crescent who sees you.”
She walked over to a gilt-framed mirror on the side wall and stared at herself. No glow. He was full of it. “I don’t see anything like what you described.”
“Because you cannot see.” He came up behind her. “You have not been Awakened. Crescents are initiated in a ceremony at thirteen, when their powers begin to appear. It’s similar to those of many native tribes to celebrate a coming of age. But much more comes with being an Awakened Crescent.”
Thirteen. She remembered a gnawing hunger deep in her belly and vivid dreams filled with colors and longing and…dragons.
Cyntag brushed her bangs from her forehead, his thumb grazing the skin near her burn. “The orb did this?” She nodded, and anger shimmered over his face. “Unacceptable.”
“I thought so.”
He’d said it as though the attack on her was a personal affront to him. Like he owns you.
“Right now you’re like a baby chick fallen prematurely from the nest, without feathers developed enough to fly from danger or any way to fight enemies. Unable to even see them. You might get a glimpse now and then, but that won’t be enough.”
“You’re saying I have powers?” Could her disbelief be more clear? “Can I make one of those orb-lightning-bolt things?”
Another twitch of a smile. “Sorry, no. However, you are much more magnificent than mere magick.”
“I’m magnificent. Yeah.” She couldn’t help but glance down at herself. “Fine, how do I get…what’d you call it? Awakened?” Let’s play along.
“Considering the circumstances, only I can awaken your powers.”
Did his arrogance know no bounds? Dumb question, Ruby. “What do I have to give you for that?”
“You assume there’s a price?”
“There’s always a price.” She could see that he had one too.
He stepped closer, again breaching boundaries. She wouldn’t move away. If only she didn’t have to look up at him. Even being five-foot-eight, he was way taller. His heat reached out, beckoning her. She stiffened her stance. The dragon tattoo eyed her, but no, she did not see it move.
He waited until she drew her gaze back to his face. “The price is that once you see, you can never go back to being blind. Once you know, you can never forget. Once you experience your true nature, you can never ignore it.”
“Ignore what?”
He released a breath. “We’d better start with the small stuff.”

Dragon Awakened is a great read. I've had my nose in quite a few shifter books lately, including some with dragons, and this tale was refreshing. Ms. Rush has created an engaging world filled with a new spin on some of the supernatural creatures familiar to paranormal romance fans.
Cyntag and Ruby's story is an action packed adventure. The sexual tension between these two scorches page after page. And when they do get together? Oh boy! Totally worth the torturous road they walk, run, and battle on to get there. 
Before reading Dragon Awakened, I took time out to read the two novellas in The Hidden Series, and I'm glad I did. While not a necessary read to understand the story in Dragon Awakened, the novellas provided helpful background information on some of the characters that pop-up and why they act they way they do.
Overall, I'd say Ms. Rush has got a winning series on her hands and I can't wait to read the next installments. 

A bit about Jaime...
Things that go bump in the night have always fascinated Jaime Rush. Sometimes those things are human; other times, not so much. Now she has twisted them all together in the Hidden, a trilogy about humans with the essence of gods who walk the knife's edge between the glamour of Miami and a place filled with dark magick and dangerous beauty. 

Jaime is the author of the Offspring series and also writes under the name Tina Wainscott. She is the bestselling author of eighteen romance novels. She lives in Southwest Florida with her husband, daughter, and cat.  

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Giveaway time! Fifteen (15) winners will receive our Hidden prize pack, featuring a bound flip book of the first two novellas DRAGON MINE and DRAGON AWAKENED, a print copy of DRAGON AWAKENED, advanced copies of the next two books in the series, MAGIC POSSESSED and ANGEL SEDUCED, plus a series bookmark and a special Jaime Rush dog tag!

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