This was by far the best of the first five editions to the series. Unlike earlier editions, all the mystery & intrigue that develops is interconnected and revealed near the story's conclusion. The previous cast, including a reappearance of Roman, was utilized exceptionally well along with a host of newcomers.
Georgina's arch-Demon Jerome is kidnapped leaving all those within his purview free from their abilities... vamps can walk in the sun and Georgina can have sex without taking their life energy! Seth & Georgina take advantage of this new found freedom at the expense of tainting their souls. Both are torn over their respect and love for Maddie and wrestle with the guilt of their betrayal. The dark magician introduced in Book 3, Dante, disarms us with his endearment of Georgina. Many others have negatively commented on having lost respect for Georgina & Seth due to their infidelity, but I found their moral struggle realistic. I especially felt Georgina's moral inner conflict and found sympathy with both couples. Again, rocking installment!
Book 3 is a wrap on the MacKinnon brothers. In all three editions, the honorable MacKinnon men prove their brawny mettle on the American frontier, manage to save a lass, fall in love, & win the girl.
"Defiant" focuses on the youngest MacKinnon, Connor, whose reproachable actions in Book 2 resurface and color his long-term perspective. Though Lord Wentworth has played an important part in the overall story, his character plays a particularly central role in this edition. If ever the reader sympathized with Wentworth, his actions in "Defiant" will have you questioning your compassion. Connor's story definitely offers more cultural details on Native Americans of the time than previously explored. More pages are dedicated to Joseph, the Mahican brother, leaving our curiosity piqued at the plot's end. Ian, Annie, Morgan, Amalie, Lt. Cooke, Dougie, McHugh, and others make appearances.
Clare & Griffith definitely deliver again!
Jaxon Law is a wolf shifter working for a special ops outfit who has a chance encounter with Kira Locke, a lab assistant. She suspects her employer in some kind of shady business (genetic mutation) etc. and steals vials to prove it - mind you she doesn't know what she's got nor what it will prove. She gets caught breaking in and is chased by the security. Jax saves the day when she's nearly caught. Though the premise of their chance meeting is plausible, the book skims over it leaving the reader questioning Kira's motivations/logic. There are a few other plot problems related to Kira's character, in particular, but overall it's an enjoyable read. Turns out Jax & Kira are mates and the drama ensues.
Kirsten Potter does a great job narrating.
Frank's creative addition to the paranormal community of Shadowdwellers (briefly introduced in her Nightwalker series) is a hit. The Shadowdweller plot line has several layers. There are multi-reality-scapes, individuals with special abilities, a monarchical system, a powerful/influential religious system, and a dark conspiracy incorporated into the plot. Though this combination may not sound doable, Frank nails it. The story begins curiously... Ashla's living situation, in and of itself, ensnares the reader. Then, she meets Trace in a most unexpected way. Frank takes the time to introduce us to the twin rulers (Malaya & Tristan), Trace's father (Magnus), Magnus' handmaiden, along with a myriad of other characters. Each installment into the Shadowdweller series draws focus on one of these initial characters --- set up similarly in the Nightwalker series.
For paranormal enthusiasts, the Shadowdweller series is an excellent departure from the typical...namely wolves & vamps. The romance between Ashla & Trace is well described yet not overdone. I liked the series so much that I'm already halfway through Rapture, Book 2... which I dare say may even be better than Ecstasy.
Kirsten Potter is an excellent narrator and her interpretation/delivery doesn't disappoint. All will enjoy!
Having thoroughly enjoyed Frank's carefully crafted "Nightwalker" series, I was really looking forward to the "World of Nightwalkers." Unfortunately, I just couldn't digest the plot which is predicated on a bodywalker species. The notion that two souls or beings inhabit a body at any given time wasn't so much the issue as was the main characters...namely Ramses, Cleopatra, Menes, Hatshepsut, and the like. The whole notorious pharaoh element was a bit much. It also seemed to drag on for me and very little happened after many chapters. The romantic aspect played an insignificant position to the overall story. "Forbidden" does spend the last few chapters setting up for the next installment.
Frank is unique among her peers in that she is willing to dive 'outside the box' and develop a whole new paranormal species/world. She is incredibly creative ... going where no [wo]man has gone before...That said, readers should check out "Ecstasy", also a Nightwalker spin off, that is incredibly ingenious and quite plausible. Loved this first installment of the "Shadowdweller" series.
Sands' narrative was enjoyable.
"Wicked" is a story continuation centering on the Alpha's Beta, Dante who played an important part in Book 1 and Jaime. The story & plot have much similarity to "Feral" in that the female shifters join the Phoenix Pack but come with issues. Both Taryn & Jaime are alpha females who discover they're bonded to the top alpha males of the pack and are targeted by outside forces for elimination. In the face of real & emotional casualty, their alphas save the day. Both couples have issues with mating though drawn to one another whilst their sexual exploits are tastily graphic.
Jill Redfield does a great job overall but some of the later narration included awkward pauses. "Wicked" was enjoyable overall but just not as rockin' as "Feral Sins."
Surrender offered readers not only the love story... but the benefit of real history. Clare did a wonderful job of hooking us with the story whilst infusing true historical elements. However, the romantic facet took a back seat to the characters and history in the 1st installment.
Untamed is a story continuation of the MacKinnon brothers. Though Ian and Annie play important parts later in the plot, the 2nd installment centers on Morgan's experience as a captive of the French at Fort Ticonderoga. No doubt, the relationship between Morgan and Amalie are at the forefront of Untamed. The sexual chemistry was very well written and brilliantly performed by Kaleo Griffith. Have to admit... Griffith is not only consistent between editions, but he makes the MacKinnon men come to life. Major score all around!
The English romance between Anna Wren & Edward Swartingham develops slowly at first. Much like many within the genre, the characters question themselves and make every effort to combat their feelings. What sets Hoyt's "The Raven Prince" apart is how/where they get together. Anna's jealousy over Edward's plans to satiate himself, leads her to take advantage of a unique opportunity. Risks be damned! The trysts in London were no doubt very entertaining to read. Once the jig is up, Edward is determined they should marry, but Anna is not in agreement. A couple of evil characters hatch an extortion scheme which definitely adds color/flavor to the narrative.
Moira Quirk does a good job narrating though she doesn't distinguish the many characters outside of Anna & Edward consistently.
Wright hooks the reader right from the outset! Taryn Warner, a latent alpha wolf shifter, finds herself forced between a rock & a hard place by her father until Trey Coleman offers her an alternative. The two hatch a plan that offers each a beneficial boon. Don't want to detail too much... but suffice it to say, the chemistry between the two alphas along with key characters within the pack were quite entertaining. The intimate moments are both written & delivered with the clear intent on arousing the reader. With so many similar books flooding the genre, "Feral Sins" clearly stands out. Expect to put this one on your re-read list.
Jill Redfield delivers a masterful audio interpretation. Redfield personifies both Taryn and Trey with equal measure as the book is written from the perspective of both alphas. Fun, fun, fun reading!
The story between the two half-human paranormal characters, Ella & Micah, evolves from delightful squabbles into full-on lustful chemistry fairly early on. Once past their internal struggles over their unexpected bonding, they then have to deal with outside conflicts as well. Namely, Ella's sire and gran-sire, play major antagonists. During a time when the paranormal genre is flooded, "Blood Lust Rising" was refreshing, engaging, and titillating. Have to agree with an earlier reviewer, I would have happily grabbed the next edition had it been available. Truly a fun read... see this on my re-read/listen list.
Liona Gem's narrative was impeccably done save Castro's character. Gem's interpretation really enhanced the audio.
Overall good story though very similar to the first installment. Faith is a foreseer Psy as opposed to Sascha's empath nature. Foreseers are rare & very valuable to the Psy community as one might expect. She seems to specialize in predicting investments which makes her especially sought after. Vaughn, a jaguar changeling, is enamored with her from the start and she eventually relents. Vaughn & Faith's experience is very much like that of Lucas & Sascha.
Angela Dawe's narration was good.
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