Publisher: Piatkus

Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted October 15, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 5 Comments

Review: Fight or Flight by Samantha YoungReviewer: Rowena
Fight or Flight by Samantha Young
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

Fight or Flight is a standalone contemporary romance by Samantha Young that had me thinking I would DNF it right at the very beginning but I am so glad that I didn’t. The story starts off with the hero and heroine meeting at the airport. They both want to upgrade their seats on their flight and the hero does not make a good first impression on the heroine, nor did he leave a good impression on me. I honestly wanted to punch him in his junk and make sure he hurt before I moved on. But Ava can’t shake the asshole that almost ran her over to get to the counter because, after that, she sees him in line for coffee, he shows up to “save her” at dinner, the spend a very intense night together and to top off her already shitty week, she’s stuck sitting next to him on the flight home.

Ava wants to get home too much to put much effort into her seat partner but for some reason, he brings out the worst in her and they clash at every turn. When she gets home and she continues to run into her seat partner around town, they figure they’re not done with each other.

Our hero, Caleb Scott is from Scotland but is in Boston on business. While he’s in town, he’s interested in keeping the naked party going with Ava and our heroine Ava figures, why not? They continue on as they’ve been going for the past few weeks with the knowledge that as soon as Caleb’s business in Boston is at an end, so is whatever is happening between them. They’re both going through some serious issues, both avoiding rather than dealing and seeing them both come to terms with those issues and fix them made reading this book just that much more enjoyable.

Caleb struggled with his ex-girlfriend, and because of that, he struggles with commitment and relationships. Ava’s issues were more outward then internal as her struggles came about from outside sources and seeing her really come into her own, really own her future while letting go of the past brought me such joy.

Caleb and Ava together were such a great source of entertainment. Their bickering and their chemistry leaped right off the pages and I thought Samantha Young crafted a delightful romance between two people who were right for each other and came to love each other in a very organic and believable way. After that shaky start with Caleb, I came to love him so much over the course of the book.

I also really enjoyed the friendship between Ava and Harper. It made me appreciate my friendships and how I have the same support system that they have with each other and that made me happy. This was a fabulous stand-alone romance that did its job. It made me laugh, it made me sigh and it also made me hopeful for the human race after certain current events. I definitely recommend this one if you’re in the mood for a hate to love romance with a super sexy hero and a heroine that will have you cheering for her to come out on top. So good.

4 out of 5

four-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

Posted October 14, 2018 by Rowena in Features | 1 Comment

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I fell in love with Samantha Young’s contemporary romances when I first read On Dublin Street and I haven’t looked back since. With every contemporary romance that she releases, it automatically goes on my must have list and it wasn’t any different with Fight or Flight. That’s why we’re featuring Fight or Flight today for Sunday Spotlight. Enjoy the excerpt!

Sunday Spotlight: Fight or Flight by Samantha YoungFight or Flight by Samantha Young
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: October 9, 2018
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 288
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

A series of chance encounters leads to a sizzling new romance from the New York Times bestselling author of the On Dublin Street series.

The universe is conspiring against Ava Breevort. As if flying back to Phoenix to bury a childhood friend wasn't hell enough, a cloud of volcanic ash traveling from overseas delayed her flight back home to Boston. Her last ditch attempt to salvage the trip was thwarted by an arrogant Scotsman, Caleb Scott, who steals a first class seat out from under her. Then over the course of their journey home, their antagonism somehow lands them in bed for the steamiest layover Ava's ever had. And that's all it was--until Caleb shows up on her doorstep.

When pure chance pulls Ava back into Caleb's orbit, he proposes they enjoy their physical connection while he's stranded in Boston. Ava agrees, knowing her heart's in no danger since a) she barely likes Caleb and b) his existence in her life is temporary. Not long thereafter Ava realizes she's made a terrible error because as it turns out Caleb Scott isn't quite so unlikeable after all. When his stay in Boston becomes permanent, Ava must decide whether to fight her feelings for him or give into them. But even if she does decide to risk her heart on Caleb, there is no guarantee her stubborn Scot will want to risk his heart on her....

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Excerpt

“Take that,” he grunted out and I turned my head to see he was holding his empty tray out to the flight attendant. The flight attendant stared at it, momentarily stunned.

“Of course, sir,” he said calmly, practiced, before taking it and walking away.

Irate at his behavior, I couldn’t help myself. “Do you ever say please or thank you?”

He cut me a dark look. “What?”

I gestured with my plastic fork to where the flight attendant had been standing. “People aren’t your servants. The flight attendants are not your servants. They’re doing a job and trying to make this flight easier on you. You can be forgiven for being abrupt and standoffish and maybe unintentionally insulting because you’re anxious about flying. I was trying to tell myself that anyway. But the way you speak to people in customer service makes you an arrogant, entitled prick.”

“If I were you I’d shut up and mind your own business.”

“Yeah, well if I were you I’d reach into that goddamn dark soul of yours and pull a thank you out of there every now and then.”

I didn’t know if it was the honest pique trembling in my words, but the Scot’s eyes widened marginally before he glowered and pulled his laptop back out with a clatter on top of his table.

Hateful, hateful man.

Ignoring him now came much, much easier. In fact, after lunch (and another coffee) I actually got into my book. The urge to use the bathroom about fifty minutes from our estimated arrival, however, made continuing to ignore my neighbor impossible. I was going to have to ask him to move. Plus, I was too warm and dying to take off my jacket.

“Could you please let me out?” I asked in a carefully neutral tone.

Equally lacking in expression, he grabbed up his laptop, pushed his table back in and gestured for me to get out.

I stared at the barely-there gap between his knees and the seat in front of him. Was he kidding? He wasn’t going to get out of his seat? My gaze flew to his face but he was staring determinedly ahead.

Fine!

If I happened to step on his feet and then grind my stiletto into his toes that was his fault. Huffing, I got up, grabbed hold of the top of the seat in front of him, trying not to touch the head of the woman sitting in it and I shoved my right leg into the teeny gap he’d left. If he was an average-sized man I probably would have squeezed past no problem in the spacious first class seats.

But he wasn’t an average-sized man.

My leg touched his and my fingernails dug into the headrest in front of me. I shimmied into his space, bringing my left leg into the mix and I heard him curse when my heel came down on his left foot. A fizzle of satisfaction moved through me and I pushed further into his space. I felt his legs tense and I was suddenly very aware that my ass was in his face. Thankfully, it was mostly hidden by the peplum of my jacket.

With one last shimmy I stumbled out into the aisle and looked back at him, hoping he was seared and scorched by the heat of my glower.

The bastard already had his laptop back out.

Wondering how it was possible a person as ill-mannered as him hadn’t been caught by karma by now, I marched down the short aisle and into the toilet at the entrance of the galley.

Inside I did my business, washed up, and yanked out of my jacket feeling unbearably hot. Thankfully, the silk camisole I wore was cut low enough under my arms that there were no damp patches on the material. I patted under my arms and sniffed to make sure I didn’t smell. Though I didn’t, I’d need to freshen up soon in order to avoid it. Not that I cared if I smelled while sitting next to that asshole. I’d do anything to make the rest of his flight uncomfortable.

Knowing I couldn’t stay in the restroom any longer, I slipped out, nearly bumping into the woman who had been sitting in the seat in front of the Scot.

“Sorry,” I smiled apologetically. “Have you been waiting long?”

She shook her head, her expression filled with a sympathy that didn’t make sense until she said, “It’s okay. If I were sitting next to that jerk-off I’d want to stay in there forever, too.”

Of course the people around us had heard our conversation. Weirdly, when I was talking to the miserable bully I forgot everything else around me but him. That knowledge was not welcome. “Yeah,” I managed feebly.

“Good for you, though. You know how to handle him. I think I’d probably have been thrown off the plane before we even took off. You know, for swinging a punch at him.”

I laughed and thanked her, walking back to my seat feeling relief move through me that our flight was nearly over. As I approached, the Scot looked up at me. His gaze dropped to his computer but only for a millisecond before it flew back up. That arctic stare of his moved over my cleavage, now visible in the cami that was tucked into my high-waist pencil skirt.

A shiver I detested for betraying me skated down my neck.

His eyes flew back up to my face and he no longer looked right through me.

He appeared displeased.

Narrowing my eyes, wondering what the hell I’d done now, I gestured to my seat. “Can you let me back in?”

He snapped shut his laptop, dropping his table again. “High maintenance,” he murmured quietly.

I gripped the now empty seat in front of him and turned my back to him as I shimmied in. “Yeah, needing to pee is so high maintenance.”

My left foot hit his left foot and he pressed his knees in closer to the back of my thighs, trapping me.

I glanced over my shoulder, about to snap at him, only to catch him glaring at my ass. There was an angry heat in that stare, heat he hadn’t looked at me with before. The kind of heat a guy usually had in his eyes when he wanted to find the nearest bed and throw me on it.

Suddenly the image of him looming over me, his body pressed between my legs, flashed through me in a surge of fire that shocked and pissed me off in equal measure.

Huh.

I snapped my head back around, not going there. “Would you move?” I bit out.

His knees suddenly pulled back and I stumbled out of his space and tumbled into my seat with less grace than I’d have liked.

Feeling his gaze on me, I shot him what had to be the hundredth filthy look of the day. “What?”
Instead of answering he turned, bent down toward the aisle and came back up with my jacket in his hand. I hadn’t even realized I’d dropped it. He shoved it at me and I snatched it out of his hold.

“What? No thank you?” he mocked.

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Gleam widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: October 2018

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Samantha Young

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Fight or Flight, a new standalone to be published by Berkley Romance, is out October 9th 2018. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s YA contemporary novels The Impossible Vastness of Us and The Fragile Ordinary are published by Harlequin Teen. Her next adult contemporary romance As Dust Dances releases August 7th 2018. It follows the story of homeless ex-poprock star Skylar Finch and the ambitious Scottish A&R Exec Killian O’Dea who shakes up life as she knows it.

Samantha is from a small town in Central Scotland and is known for her romantic stories set in her beloved home country. She is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author. When she’s not writing books, she’s buying shoes she doesn’t really need and searching for nooks and crannies to shelve her ever-expanding book collection.


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Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn

Posted September 12, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Just Like Heaven by Julia QuinnReviewer: Holly
Just Like Heaven (Smythe-Smith Quartet #1) by Julia Quinn
Series: Smythe-Smith Quartet #1
Also in this series: The Sum of All Kisses, A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet #2)
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: June 2011
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 374
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Goodreads
four-stars

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

A) a really bad violinist B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child C) not in love with her older brother’s best friend D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:

A) the Earl of Chatteris B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister D) all of the above

Together they:

A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake B) survive a deadly fever and the world’s worst musical performance C) fall quite desperately in love

It’s Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

Just Like Heaven, the Smythe-Smith Quartet, book 1 by Julia Quinn,, is such a fun, witty novel.

This series isn’t as quirky as the Bridgerton series, but there was still a lot of humor. The antics of the main characters, as well as the secondary, made for a quick, fun read.

Daniel, Marcus’s best friend is living in exile out of the country, and he charges Marcus with watching over his younger sister. Marcus takes the duty seriously. All is well until Honoria decides she’s going to do what she needs to do to marry by the end of the Season. She has someone in mind and she isn’t going to let anything get in the way of her snaring him…not even her brother’s annoying best friend. As Marcus chases her around, foiling her plans and being a general pain, they find themselves developing a mutual attraction.

Honoria has a sunny disposition and doesn’t let life get her down. I loved her outlook on life and how determined she is to take her future into her own hands. Marcus isn’t used to having anyone in his life to care for – or who cares about him. Honoria surprised him. Their romance was super sweet. I adored it.

As expected Quinn delivers a fun, fresh romp. This is Quinn at her best.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Excerpt: Bound Together by Christine Feehan

Posted March 13, 2017 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 3 Comments

Today we have an excerpt from Christine Feehan’s stunning conclusion to the Sisters of the Heart series. This is bittersweet for me. Sea Haven is one of my favorite fictional places, and I’m sad to see our time with the Prakenskii’s coming to an end. I’m hopeful we haven’t seen the last of them, however.

Excerpt: Bound Together by Christine FeehanBound Together by Christine Feehan
Series: Sisters of the Heart #6, Sea Haven #13
Also in this series: Water Bound, Spirit Bound, Air Bound, Earth Bound, Fire Bound, Bound Together (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart, #6), Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents, Magic in the Wind, The Twilight Before Christmas, Oceans of Fire, Dangerous Tides, Safe Harbor, Turbulent Sea, Hidden Currents
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: March 21st 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 416
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Goodreads

The Sea Haven series comes to a climactic end as the mysterious man from Blythe Daniels’ past re-enters her life. Don’t miss the final Sea Haven novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance” (J. R. Ward).
For five years, Viktor Prakenskii has put his life on hold in order to take down the world’s most feared motorcycle club from the inside. But carrying out the insane violence and seeing the club’s exploitation of the innocent has brought his traumatic past roaring back. And there’s only one cure: to see the wife he left behind...
Blythe Daniels thought she’d never see Viktor again after he murdered her stepfather and left without a word. She rebuilt her life without him, becoming a personal trainer and physical therapist...becoming strong enough for others to lean on. But when Viktor comes back to Sea Haven, he’ll make Blythe question everything she thought she knew about good and evil—and the dark desires of the heart...

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Excerpt

Excerpt from BOUND TOGETHER by Christine Feehan

Victor couldn’t help but stare at the tattoos on his fingers, the ones sleeving his arms, going up his neck and disappearing into his shirt. They all had tattoos. Ones that told stories if you knew how to read them. Every single one of them wore the Torpedo Ink tat on their backs—and they wore it with pride.

The cypress tree spread out with seventeen branches. Roots tangled at the bottom with piles of skulls buried among them. Crows flying away from the tree or picking through the skulls at the roots. Each skull represented a kill. Reaper’s tat was alarmingly full. The others were quickly catching up with this last assignment. He hoped to slow them all down. To find reasons not to do what they did, but Reaper was so right when he said they’d never be able to stop. He’d never be able to stop.

What would Blythe think about their inability to stop what they did best? Could he get away with not telling her? Women, as a rule, didn’t know club business. That was the way it was. They didn’t sit in on the meetings, and they were expected to do what their old men told them to do.

Blythe wasn’t going to like that. She was all about women’s rights and women being strong. He liked strong women, especially her, but he wanted her to trust him enough to follow his lead. He was a leader. He’d been put in that position at age ten and he was still in that position. He couldn’t be anything else. He glanced over at Reaper, who was still sitting on his bike, taking a careful look around. The man was right. Either she loved him for who he really was, or she didn’t.

“Your woman knows how to deal with trauma?” Absinthe prompted.

His woman walked on water. “She can do just about anything. She’ll love Alena and Lana, and they need a little love.”

“They have us,” Absinthe reminded quietly. “We love them, and they still aren’t better.”

Viktor raised his head and looked his brother in the eye. “Are you?”

Because none of them were. Not a single one, especially him. Viktor was as screwed up as the rest of them. He suffered the same nightmares and had all kinds of issues he didn’t want to talk about—especially with someone as sweet and innocent as Blythe. He sighed and shoved his hand through his hair. “You’re right, Absinthe, they aren’t better.”

Alena came out of the women’s room walking toward them with her long, confident strides, her glossy platinum hair flowing around her. She always wrapped her hair in some kind of intricate knot when she was riding, but took it down the moment she was off the bike. He knew that was a leftover from when one of the instructors had beat her senseless and shaved her head. She’d been six and it had taken all of them to console her. But then, she’d never really gotten over it.

“What is it?” Reaper asked.

The man was creepy silent even in motorcycle boots. Viktor heard everything, but he never heard Reaper or Savage. The two were a force to be reckoned with. He didn’t know which was worse, Reaper, the older brother, or Savage, the younger. Most likely Reaper. Had any of Viktor’s birth brothers been in that place of horror, he would have lost his mind.

“We’re all pretty fucked-up, aren’t we, Reaper?” What if Blythe didn’t take him back? That question had haunted him for too long now. He woke up in the middle of the night numerous times, sweat pouring off of him, his heart pounding at the possibility. He had never once considered she wouldn’t want him, not in the first year or two, but then as time stretched out and he couldn’t see or hear from her, that fear had begun to take hold.

“Some of us more than others. You, not so much. You were older than the rest of us and figured out a way to fight back. You kept us human when we would have all been animals.” Reaper gazed out at the shimmering water. “You gave us a life, Czar. Stop beating yourself up. I’ve never seen you like this. She’s either the one or she’s not.”

Viktor pressed his thumb to the center of his left palm and held it there. Prakenskiis didn’t make mistakes when it came to choosing their women. Blythe was the one. She was his wife. His partner. His only. He touched his chest, the lock tattooed over his heart. She had the key tattooed on her body. “She’s the one.” He turned toward the ocean, and strode away from Reaper. The man saw too much.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2017.

Series

Water Bound
Spirit Bound
Air Bound
Earth Bound
Fire Bound
Bound Together

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About the Author

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | TUMBLR | GOODREADS

Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 40 published novels, including five series; Leopard Series, Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Drake Sisters Series, & the Sisters of the Heart Series. All five series hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.


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Review: Dark Curse by Christine Feehan

Posted September 17, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Dark Curse by Christine FeehanReviewer: Casee
Dark Curse (Dark, #16) by Christine Feehan
Series: Dark Series #16
Also in this series: Dark Nights (Dark #6.5, #9.5), Dark Wolf (Dark, #25), Dark Promises (Dark, #29), Dark Carousel (Dark, #30), Dark Legacy (Dark, #31), Dark Slayer (Dark, #17), Dark Sentinel (Dark #28)
Publisher: Piatkus
Publication Date: September 4, 2008
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 397
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Born into a world of ice, and slave to her evil father, Lara Calladine knew only paralyzing fear as a child—and escaping with her mysterious gifts unbroken would be the only way to survive her great Carpathian heritage as a Dragonseeker. Human, yet mage, she was of the blood of three species yet belonged to none. She walked her chosen path alone, guided by the wisdom of her aunts—to blend in and let no one know of her ancestry and powers. And never trust anyone. For beyond the frozen hell of her youth was a world of even greater mysteries and dangers.

Today Lara is the leading expert in the field of ice cave study around the world and the healing microorganisms that thrive in them. She’s also in search of something else: the source of her nightmares—the cold dark corners of her childhood. Only one man has the will and the powers to help her: Nicolas De La Cruz, for whom centuries of hunting and killing have long since taken their toll. Dangerous and arrogant, he still longs to feel sensual love without the hunger for blood. Now, between Lara and Nicolas, a tenuous trust has emerged, and a passion neither has ever known before as a melody of dark promise begins.

But as each scales the treacherous land of the Carpathian in search of their past, they also harbor a secret that could save or destroy them. And as each may be desirous of a new beginning as lifemates, they are also haunted by the unknown dangers of a dark curse.

This is something like the 19th book in the Dark Series. Honestly…19? How can you keep it fresh after 19 books? Still, I’m a diehard fan. The first paranormal I ever read was Dark Prince back in 2000. It was before I read about things like forced seduction. Still, I love Dark Prince and have re-read it more than once.

Nicolas de la Cruz has come to the Carpathian mountains from his home in South America to admit to the Prince that he and his brothers have committed what he thinks is treason. After he confesses to Mikhail, he is going to admit defeat and walk into the sun. Srsly. That is such a common theme in these books, it might as well just be assumed that every male is about to commit suicide before they miraculously find their lifemate. Shockingly enough, Nicolas finds Lara hours before he would have “met the dawn”. Lucky bastard.

Lara was one of the more interesting heroines in this series. She is directly related to Xavier, the evil mage that is trying to destroy the Carpathian race. It was when she was eight years old that she escaped Xavier and his ice caves, with the help of her dragon aunts. For years Lara’s father, Razvan, and Xavier brutally fed from her, giving her a healthy fear of “feeding”. So when Nicolas bonds them together, she’s terrified of not only being his source of blood, but having to feed from him as well. It brings all sorts of nasty memories to the surface. The memories also make her question whether or not her father was as evil as she’s always believed.

I think Feehan did a good job of keeping the reader involved. It took me a week to read this book, which is almost unheard of for me. It started off slow and could have been any other Dark book. It was halfway through the book that I started getting more intrigued. Feehan has finally addressed why Carpathian women either miscarry or have male children. I was really interested in reading more about that. It’s been such a prominent issue in this series that it was nice to finally have the why of it explored.

For me, this book was a turning point in the series. Feehan has stayed true to the world she created while creating a new and interesting conflict. I’m really looking forward to where this series is going.

4 out of 5.

Dark Series

four-stars


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