ENDLESS KNIGHT picks up right after the events in POISON PRINCESS and I quickly connected again with Evie, Jack, Selena, Finneas and Matthew. From the first page the tension between the characters is tangible and the foes that lurk in every dark corner are very dangerous.
I am not a zombie fan. I don’t watch The Walking Dead as I can hardly stomach all the gore. However, I was drawn in by the high octane suspense of Gunthrie and his flesh eating followers. The allies and adversaries of Evie, and the battle that is played between the Arcana cards, is providing a page turner of a story! The reader is pulled in to the battle by Kresley Cole’s imaginative writing style and appealing characters. The threat, which lies everywhere, hums throughout the pages and kept me on my toes. The love I have for this series lies not only in the fact that the world building is detailed but also that I have no clue what’s coming. Every chapter reveals new information or thrusts the characters in to new dangers to overcome, surprising me at every turn. It brings new light or deepens the interpersonal relationships between the main characters; Evie, Jackson, Death, Selena, Finneas and Matthew.
The plot twists made me gasp, there were layers upon layers to unravel with each character and I couldn’t get enough of it. Why did Evie and Jack ‘do it’? I expected slow burn kisses, taking it step by step but emotions combined with their attraction were an explosive combination and they were going for it. All.The.Way!! It baffled me a bit but as I read the chapters away a game changer was revealed that connected the dots for me. It put a new perspective on everything. The connections Kresley Cole is weaving between the characters, both allies and adversaries, is formidable.
Evie’s life and emotions are in turmoil. After the Flash its survival of the canniest and the strongest. Evie’s still discovering her powers as The Empress as she needs to fight off many enemies like the Bagman, an army and other Arcana. I love the complexity of her external circumstances. Everything she does, every decision she makes and all she feels is portrayed for the reader to absorb.
Selena is still tough-as-nails. Matthew is vague as ever. Finn is still a charmer and Jackson is still the coolest guy on the block. Changes are coming for all of them and some changes reeled me on my axes. New characters also come in to play. Like Lark, quirky but with a certain humor, I enjoyed her role in Endless Knight. Death however rocked me to my core. He is the enemy, the one to defeat. Evil to the core and scheming every minute of the day. Or so I thought in Poison Princess.
Kresley Cole equals formidable characters, they brim the story with their electric personalities, as did Death. Kresley Cole hit my weakness for bad-boys with heart. Death is still dangerous to the core but I was shown a side to him that surprised me. An even greater surprise was that in the end I liked him, a lot!! Perhaps some readers might think; Oh no, what the hell?! But I was all; Oh yes!! Give me more!!
The story contains pulls pounding action scenes but also takes time to unfold background stories of various characters. Main and supporting characters weren’t just there on paper, they came alive in my mind, keeping my attention at an all-time high. It was no surprise that I read this book cover to cover in one day. This is something only a story can do if I’m fully emotional invested. Something Kresley Cole can do like no other!
Kresley Cole set the bar real high with POISON PRINCESS but she shattered it for me with ENDLESS KNIGHT. It is all there; edge of your seat suspense, characters to connect and root for, game changing plot twists and a breathtaking love. I will never look at my Tarot cards the same! The Arcana Chronicles is a Young Adult series to savor, page by page.
With a shrug, I reached for my jeans. “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the cabin.”
He swallowed audibly. “Brûlant.” Sizzling hot. “And believe me, cher, I plan to take that heat.”
You likin’ ole Jack now?”
“I never stopped liking you. Even when you were warding me away with the power of Catholicism.” “Can’t help the way I was raised—anything supernatural is supposed to be either a miracle or satanic.” I rolled my eyes. “And you’re still trying to figure out which I am?” “Non. I’m trying to figure out if I’m still Catholic.” He grinned that heart-stopping grin
There was French kissing, and then there was Cajun French kissing. Spicier, harder, wilder.
That’s how it was with Jackson. Burning out of control. Probably just as destructive as an inferno. And I didn’t care.
If Jack had awakened my desire, Death was enlivening my mind, attracting me in a way I’d never experienced before.
It has been a while since I picked up a historical romance by Delilah Marvelle but ever since I attended her workshop at the LLC in Berlin about courtesans she reignited my desire to read a story from her. Romancing Lady Stone is a novella within the School of Gallantry series but easily read as a standalone.
What instantly pulled me in to this novel was the intriguing character of Konstantin Alexie Levin. A criminal who’s on the path of becoming a respectable citizen. The blend of good character traits such as chivalry and the hint of danger which surround him turns Konstantin in to a man I love to read about. Also, the background story of his father plays an important role in his life and I was romanced by the idea of destiny.
Lady Cecilia Stone is driven by the need to see her son in Russia and gotten herself in to trouble. Lady Stone is from the get-go a very personable woman but what I enjoyed so much in the progress of the story is how she chose for herself. Her children are the number one priority but she deserves happiness as well. It gives her character backbone, her choices empower her and it made me root for her.
Through circumstances Konstantin and Cecilia are thrown together and the chemistry was slowly burning to a fever pitch. Even though I wondered how they would get their happily ever after it was undeniable Konstantin and Cecilia were good for each other. Delilah Marvelle has a penchant for sexual tension and writing hot, between the sheets, scenes. Konstantin warming Cecilia’s hands was utterly romantic, Konstantin dripping wet from a bath, utterly sexy but Konstantin and Cecilia between the sheets was an erotic dance which made the skin tingle!
Quote; The savage need to climax was mutual. It pulsed from their skin.
Every element in this novella; characters, scenery, dialogues is imbued with enough depth or detail to allow the reader to immerge in the period and romance. The quick pace of storytelling leaves little room for overly dramatic obstacles for the couple to overcome but in the essence it’s all there and I enjoyed it to the fullest. There’s also an intriguing interaction and history between Duc de Andelot and Madame de Maitenon that whets the appetite for more about them. Apparently they are going to have their own story for which I’m eagerly waiting!
Delilah Marvelle’s atmospheric writing style transports you to a blistering cold Moscow where you get to warm up with a scolding hot romance. Romancing Lady Stone was a wonderful reminder why I enjoy Delilah Marvelle’s stories so much!
Quote; Lesson five - Do you remember what it is like to feel your heart beat again?
THIS REVIEW CAN CONTAIN A SPOILER!
It was a nice read, loved to read up on all the characters again. However, there were too many story threads, too much drama and lack of depth. I loved the fact Benny carried a baby for Crick and Deacon but since the focus was scattered between a multitude of characters I couldn't get completely invested in to it.
I loved every book in this series, Keeping Promise Rock will forever remain one of my all time favorite MM stories and while Forever Promised gave me a dose of each beloved couple in this series I would've enjoyed it more if Crick and Deacon were the main focus.
A nice finish to an incredible series.
Mary Ann Rivers’ debut novella, THE STORY GUY, has once again showed me a novella can create an amazing impact on the reader. Brian and Carrie's story is layered with emotions, heat, humorous dialogues and an attention grabbing situation. I loved how they met via an unusual contact ad and the chemistry they had from the first moment. I loved seeing the rules they make and the rules they break in order to be together. I loved the sensuality of their kisses going on blazing hot phone-sex. The obstacle they had to overcome grabbed me by the throat and made me cry and go through several tissues.
The writing flows effortlessly and though I think the story could have benefitted from some exploration or extension of certain scenes, I couldn't help but be swept off my feet by its powerful message. The romance is so beautifully told and I came to care about Carrie and Brian. The balance between all the elements in the story is close to perfect for me it felt like I read it in one sigh.
Mary Ann Rivers gives voice to everyday characters whom have to deal with extraordinary circumstances. And with this concept the author shows that love can ignite a romance that can take your breath away.
THE STORY GUY is a novella which packs quite a punch with a gripping, sensuous and character driven story. I want more of what Mary Ann Rivers has to offer!
• Qhuinn and Blay; I wanted to submerge myself in their romance but I didn’t get all that much in their book. I think it got snowed under by too many other character/story arcs. I still love the ever living crap out of them but with a lead up in several previous books the romance stalled in LAL and didn’t have much progress.
• A HEA in 20 or so pages; Really?! With all the emotional issues going on between Qhuinn and Blay I mostly got superficial or cryptic dialogues. Some hot, quick sexing and then at the end of the story all of a sudden Qhuinn has an epiphany about his sexual orientation. The ending was very romantic but in twenty pages it didn’t come off as very believable.
• The lie of Blay; This really irked me. There was no reason in my book where Blay couldn’t speak up to Qhuinn about the status of his and Saxton’s relationship.
• The M/M aspect; I got my panties in a twist when I read the first erotic scene between Blay and Qhuinn. With the anticipation high I went off like a skyrocket. But then it stayed the same, it was all physical release and very little emotional connection between them during the progress of their story.
• The pregnancy of Layla; Oh come on!! Do you really want me to believe Layla goes in to a miscarriage for a few days and then Payne walks in, puts her healing hands on her, and all is well with the young. My jaw dropped to the floor how J.R. Ward handled that one. Why not let Layla have a healthy pregnancy to begin with if the young was to be part of the story arc? Pages saved to devout to Blay and Qhuinn.
• Layla; Her character arc is intriguing. I love the star-crossed love thing she’s got going on with Xcor. • Assail and Sola; Another two characters whom held my attention. Really like the chemistry they have together.
•iAm and Trez; Where they are going I don’t know and I really don’t care all that much. I almost skipped their parts in the story.
•Xcor and his band of Bastards; Getting very invested in them and like the bad and ominous vibe they add to the story.
•Wrath; While his personality has changed and the innate bad-ass vibe has dimmed a bit I like where his story is going.
While there where things I liked very much overall the romance of Blay and Qhuinn was so-so. It wasn’t bad but I didn’t get the pay-off for being so invested in them.
Okay, those were my thoughts about Lover At Last in a nutshell.