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review 2018-04-03 21:05
Book Review of Esher (Guardians of Hades Romance Series Book 3) by Felicity Heaton
Esher - Felicity E. Heaton

Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Water, Esher was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

 

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Tormented by his past, Esher burns with hatred towards mortals and bears a grudge against Hades for forcing him into their world, condemning him to a life of battling to keep a fragile hold on his darker side—a side that wants to kill every human in the name of revenge.

 

Until he finds himself stepping in to save a female—a beautiful mortal filled with light and laughter who draws him to her as fiercely as the pull of the moon, stirring conflict in his heart and rousing dangerous needs long forgotten.

 

Aiko knows from the moment she sets eyes on the black-haired warrior that he is no ordinary man, just as she’s no ordinary woman. Blessed with a gift, she can see through his stormy façade to the powerful god beneath, and the pain and darkness that beats inside him—pain she grows determined to heal as she falls deeper under his spell and into his world.

 

When the daemon bent on turning Esher against his brothers makes her move, will Esher find the strength to overcome his past and fulfil his duty, or will the lure of revenge allow the darkness in his heart to seize control, transforming him into a god intent on destroying the world?

 

Review 5*

 

This is the third book in the Guardians of Hades series. I loved it!

 

Esher is a wonderful character. I love a tortured soul and Esher fits this mould easily. He is the middle child of seven siblings born to Hades and Persephone, and has power over water. Banished by his father to live in the mortal realm to guard the gates to the Underworld, Esher lives in Tokyo with one of his brothers. Due to an event in his past he struggles with his dark impulses to hurt the humans in his city, so he avoids them when he can or tries to ignore them when he can't. When he impulsively helps a damsel in distress, he finds himself captivated by her gentle soul. However, danger abounds. Will he be able to curb his dark impulses, or will he end up hurting the ones he loves?

 

Aiko is also a wonderful character. I liked her a lot. She is a gentle and loving woman with a huge heart, and the ability to see and speak to spirits. When she meets Esher she realises that he's not entirely human, but she is drawn to him and as she gets to know him, she begins to fall for him. As danger threatens to tear them apart, she finds herself targeted as a pawn in a dangerous game played by a mysterious opponent.

 

I love reading the Eternal Mates series, but this new series may give it a run for it's money. This story takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster from beginning to end. I started to read this story and didn't put it down until I'd finished it. I loved meeting the brothers again after almost a year since the previous book (Valen) was released. I love the little details the author has included, like Valen and Ares losing bets with their significant others and the forfeits they had to deal with. It made me giggle. They are obviously in love and complete saps to boot.

 

In this story, we get to meet Hades and Persephone in the Underworld, though it's not entirely a happy affair. But, this leads to an event that... Ugh! This would be a spoiler, so going to stop there. Nevertheless, I found myself shedding tears a few times in this story, so recommend you keep a tissue handy (just in case). There are new villains you will love to hate including a Valkyrie, but there is also a mysterious woman mentioned who seems to be the mastermind behind the plot to turn the world into the Otherworld that the three Fates or Moirai had warned about, but we (the readers) will have to wait for the next books in the series to find out who this person is. As I reached the end of the book, I found myself becoming even more excited for what is to come. I am now looking forward to reading Marek's story as soon as I can.

 

Felicity Heaton has written another fast paced, sexy paranormal romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. I love her fast paced writing style, which flows effortlessly from scene to scene. She is on top of my favourite author's list.

 

Each book of this series could be read as a stand-alone, as this one does not end in a cliffhanger, though I would recommend reading them in order. I do not recommend this book to younger readers due to the extremely HOT and explicit sexual scenes. However, I highly recommend this book (and series) if you love sexy paranormal romances full of gods and daemons. - Lynn Worton

 
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-02-17 22:33
The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld) - Gena Showalter

The Darkest Torment by Gena Showalter
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Baden, former Keeper of Distrust, has something new living inside him, something darker than any mere demon. Bound to the King of the Underworld, he struggles to fit into his new role of assassin, however his biggest challenge comes in the form of Katarina - a dog trainer that happens to be the wife of a very troublesome man.

(WARNING: This review contains spoilers.)

Let me start by saying that this instalment's number twelve in an ongoing series (Lords of the Underworld), and at the beginning - it's been seven years since I picked up the first book - I absolutely adored Showalter's steamy and mythological world. My very first reviews are of this series, where I found the characters, the stories, and the sexual heat all new and captivating. I even gave five star ratings to a couple, The Darkest Pleasure and The Darkest Passion. I had nothing but praise.

That time has unfortunately passed.

Whilst these books will always have a place in my heart, and I'll probably, against my better judgement, continue on until they come to a final conclusion, I'm truthful to myself in that I'm not enjoying them as I once did. At this point I'm just regurgitating my complaints, and it feels more like a chore to get down my thoughts. I'll however try and be coherent about my reasoning - why do I now largely dislike what was once beloved?

- The characters tend to fuse together, becoming indistinguishable. They're too similar, often having the same mental outlook, the same behaviour and even the same dialogue. Say a bunch of them were in the same scene and it wasn't directly stated who was speaking, well, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell them apart.

- The sex has become stale and it fails to thrill me anymore. What was once downright dirty has turned tame. I don't need an excuse to prefer the eroticism that once dominated the romance.

- Plot inconsistencies are plentiful. I'm not even going to go into detail, but it's clear that Showalter made a decision to change already established storylines. Baden's past in particular completely confused me.

- The writing's declined on a monumental level. Full sentences are a thing of the past. Example:

Heart pounding, she jerked her hands away from him. “Sex...from me?”

“Yesss.” A hiss. “Only from you.”

Only. Amazing how one little word could send pleasure soaring through her, warming her. “You told me never to touch you.” Which she’d just done, she realized. My bad.


Which brings me to the dynamic of Baden and Katarina, and how she ultimately considered him an animal in need of training. When someone doesn't even think of their significant other as an actual person, then there's undoubtedly something wrong with the relationship. I liked the hellhounds, though, but that's the only thing, and it's not enough to justify a higher rating.

As for the whole William and Gillian debacle - I just didn't care.

In conclusion: I initially rated this two stars, however I believe one to be more appropriate in regards to how I feel. I'm not into this series anymore, but I feel an obligation to trudge onward. If only I could walk away.

© Red Lace 2018

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/02/17/the-darkest-torment-by-gena-showalter
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review 2018-02-07 21:09
Review of "Mob Rules" (Underworld Cycle #1) by Cameron Haley
Mob Rules (Underworld Cycle #1) - Cameron Haley

This reader's personal opinion, ©2018, all rights reserved, not to be quoted, clipped or used in any way by goodreads, Google Play, amazon.com or other commercial booksellers* 


Not completely sure what I think of this first in series or if I'll continue.  There were hints of unique and interesting worldbuilding and characters.  Some humor.  Read more gangbanger than mobster.  May just be first book-itis and rest of series a strong one.

 

I'm not sure the book knew what it wanted to be.  Lots of new stuff thrown in at end.  The mystery part did not progress well.  Some moralizing and some rationalizing; seemed not sure how gangsta to make her with whiffs of reform.  Sometimes I started to connect to the character but a lot of time I did not because she didn't connect well to others (well, okay, an otherworldly BFF and new roommate eventually tossed in -- not really explained why our "heroine" befriended this Otherworld one but enslaved another Otherworld ...).

 

It was well written, but kinda a mess.  If I hadn't accidentally library borrowed the next book mistaking series order, not sure how much I would have read.  It was a book/series that kept showing up on my radar so probably I would have finished at least this first book.


*©2018.  All rights reserved except permission is granted to author or publisher (except Penumbra Publishing) to reprint/quote in whole or in part. I may also have cross-posted on The Reading Room, Libib, LibraryThing, and other sites including retailers like kobo and Barnes and Noble. Posting on any site does not grant that site permission to share with any third parties or indicate release of copyright.  

 

Ratings scale used in absence of a booklikes suggested rating scale:

★★★★★ = All Time Favorite 
★★★★½ = Extraordinary Book. Really Loved It.
★★★★☆ = Loved It.
★★★½☆ = Really Liked.
★★★☆☆ = Liked.
★★½☆☆ = Liked parts; parts only okay. Would read more by author.
★★☆☆☆ = Average.   Okay. 
★½☆☆☆ = Disliked or meh? but kept reading in hopes would improve.
★☆☆☆☆ = Loathed It. Possibly DNF and a torturous read.
½☆☆☆☆ = So vile was a DNF or should have been. Cannot imagine anyone liking.  (Might also be just an "uploaded" word spew or collection that should not be dignified by calling itself a "published book." If author is going batshit crazy in the blogosphere over reviews -- I now know why they are getting bad reviews.  Or maybe author should take remedial classes for language written in until basic concepts like using sentences sink in. Is author even old enough to sign a publishing contract or do they need a legal guardian to sign for them?)

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text 2018-02-07 19:59
Reading progress: 85%.
Mob Rules (Underworld Cycle #1) - Cameron Haley

Clues, clues, clues ... er ... not really.  More like that trope in romances (although this is absolutely not a romance) where almost at the end everything works out because some misunderstanding or missing info gets revealed because characters suddenly like talk to each other.

 

Totally threw in something not even hinted at that lets her solve the "mystery" of who the enemy is and what they want -- from one overdue conversation with the boss.

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text 2018-02-07 01:34
Reading progress: 59%.
Mob Rules (Underworld Cycle #1) - Cameron Haley

Okay so far and I'd already borrowed the sequel because got order confused.  Kinda too gangsta for me.  Magic system wavers between interesting worldbuilding and too plot-convenient when she's super-powerful and when helpless/hurt, when too tough gangsta and when too cute.

I froze in place, looking about as stupid as a cartoon character who just followed his nemesis over the edge of a cliff. 

...

Some of my coworkers were sociopaths. But even in the outfit, there were limits. You just couldn’t work with someone who likes to skin and crucify people, any more than you could keep a rabid dog as a pet.

...

I dropped onto the couch and let out a deep breath. I felt like I’d either dodged a bullet or missed out on something so weird even the men’s magazines wouldn’t know what to do with it.

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