Tag: N. J. Walters

Guest Review: Drakon’s Past by N.J. Walters

Posted April 23, 2018 by Jen in Reviews | 6 Comments

Guest Review: Drakon’s Past by N.J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Past (Blood of the Drakon, #4) by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #4
Also in this series: Drakon's Promise, Drakon's Prey, Drakon's Plunder
Publisher: Entangled, Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: January 29th 2018
Format: eARC
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 306
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Constance Owens has a gift for finding unique items in the most unlikely places, which comes in handy since she buys and sells artifacts and antiques for a living. When she purchases a set of four dragon statues, she has no idea just how unique they are, or that finding them will thrust her into a world of secret societies, men who think nothing of kidnapping and murder to get what they want, and dragon shifters.

Nic hasn’t survived for four thousand years by letting his guard down, and he doesn’t trust anyone except his drakon brothers. The loneliness haunting him has been getting worse since all his brothers have found their mates. And when he finds the woman his drakon recognizes instantly as his fated mate, he doubts he’ll ever have what his brothers have, because it seems she’s involved with the secret society of hunters who have been hunting and capturing his kind for hundreds of years.

Nic has been a bit on the outskirts of the previous books in this series. Unlike the other brothers who tend to keep to themselves, Nic seems to spend a lot of time with regular humans. He loves to party and act the playboy, particularly in Vegas. What his brothers don’t know, though, is that he’s doing it in a desperate attempt to stave off the Big Sleep. Apparently, when drakons eventually get bored with the world, they lay down and sleep forever. (Everyone implies this is just “sleep” and not death, but I don’t know, that sure sounds like dying to me.) Nic’s been feeling the urge to just lay down and give up, so he leads a wild lifestyle in an attempt to keep up his interest in living. When he hears about a woman selling highly unusual dragon statues, he goes to investigate and finds Constance. She sells antiques and other collectibles to support herself and her teenage sister. When her sister gets kidnapped by the Knights of the Dragon, she knows the statues are more important than she thought. She doesn’t trust Nic and doesn’t know how he’s involved, but she doesn’t have a lot of options for getting her sister back. She and Nic circle each other and do what they can to rescue her sister.

I have to be honest, I was pretty disappointed in this book. I didn’t like Nic or Constance much. I didn’t really feel much of a deep connection between them, just plain and simple lust. I didn’t like that Nic takes advantage of Constance’s vulnerability and worry about her sister. Constance too is wishy washy. I got why she wouldn’t trust Nic, but then she keeps getting all horny for him and letting him come around. I just never felt much there.

There were too many loose threads in the book, too. This idea of the Big Sleep is never properly explored. Why do drakons do this? How does Nic avoid it? It’s kind of plopped there and then never referred to again. There is no resolution to the larger story arc of the Knights of the Dragon. Sure one villain gets beaten here, but what about the rest of them? How come the drakons don’t put a stop to the group once and for all? What happened to Karina Azarov (the head of the Knights)? Now all four of the drakon brothers have gotten their stories. We’re told there are more drakons out there but we haven’t met or even heard the name of any others. So, is the series going to continue with a drakon we’ve never met, or is it over, leaving tons of unresolved story lines? I don’t know what to think.

Even worse, the one thread that IS resolved is Nic’s mommy issues. Thousands of years ago, when he was a child, his mom threw him out and let the villagers chase him away. He’s had a huge chip on his shoulder since then and doesn’t trust anyone, particularly women, because he’s sure they’re all rotten. Of course, it’s a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because he doesn’t trust Constance he doesn’t tell her the truth, and because she doesn’t know the truth she has to betray him in order to save her sister. And then in the end, Nic gets a resolution of his issues that was so trite and unbelievable. It was just silly.

It’s always a bummer when a book you’ve been waiting for lets you down. If the author continues the series, however, I’ll continue reading.

Grade: 2.5 out of 5

Blood of the Drakon Series

two-half-stars


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Guest Review: Drakon’s Promise by N. J. Walters

Posted June 27, 2017 by Jen in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Drakon’s Promise by N. J. WaltersReviewer: Jen
Drakon's Promise by N.J. Walters
Series: Blood of the Drakon #1
Also in this series: Drakon's Prey, Drakon's Plunder, Drakon's Past (Blood of the Drakon, #4)

Publication Date: December 5th 2016
Pages: 293
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Darius Varkas is a drakon. He's neither human nor dragon.

He's both.

He's also the target of an ancient order who want to capture all drakons for their blood. When fresh, a drakon's blood can cure any illness and prolong a human's life, and the Knights will stop at nothing to get it.

When librarian Sarah Anderson stumbles across a rare book belonging to the Knights of the Dragon, she's quickly thrust into a dangerous world of secrets and shifters and things she never would have believed possible. When the Knights realize Sarah has a secret of her own, she becomes just as much a target as Darius. Her scary dragon shifter just might be her best chance at survival.

Here’s the tl;dr summary of this new series: Sexy, super-alpha dragon shifter brothers fall in love while they’re being hunted by an ancient evil organization who wants to steal their blood.

That would be enough for me to one click buy, but if you’re not convinced yet, let me say more!

Book 1 of this series starts out with librarian Sarah Anderson getting a new job helping a wealthy private collector catalog his library of rare books. When she overhears her new boss plotting to capture someone named Darius Varkas, she knows something really bad is happening. She steals the book her boss wanted her to find and tracks down Darius in order to warn him. At first, Darius isn’t sure he can trust her. Drakons have long been hunted by the Knights of the Dragon, a shadowy secret group who want to hold drakons captive because drakon blood, when consumed regularly, makes a human immortal. He’s not sure if Sarah is part of a Knight plot to trap him, but he knows he’s majorly drawn to her, and if she is an innocent she’s put herself in danger by helping him, so he decides to keep her with him. The two have to evade the Knights and also destroy the book, which turns out to contain the secrets for trapping drakons. And of course, they have plenty of opportunities for hot sexxing!

I had so much fun with this book. I should warn you right off the bat that there is some major insta-lust here (along with very quick love as well). Darius basically has a permanent hard-on around Sarah. You’d think immortal drakons would not be in such a hurry, but there you go. Still, I loved the chemistry between Sarah and Darius.

The series centers around brothers, and for me that is probably the best part. Most drakons are solitary creatures, but these four found each other (they have the same dragon father but different mothers) and have crafted themselves a family. It’s not really explained well why they did this, but who cares because they’re 4 super hot brothers, amirite? They communicate regularly, but they don’t see each other often because it’s dangerous. Still, it’s clear they genuinely love each other and would do whatever they can to protect one another.

For me, the premise and the larger cast of characters were what drew me in, not Darius and Sarah. They’re ok characters, and as I said they have good chemistry, but they weren’t all that memorable. As I sit here writing, I’m struggling to remember much about Sarah in particular. She and Darius move quickly. In part, the book explains it by just saying “he’s half dragon” and dragons like to hoard treasure (including, I guess, people) so he quickly decides she’s “his”. Still, it’s hard to get over the fact that things move very fast between the two. That’s not exactly a criticism; for me this book was fun and sexy. I probably won’t revisit it, but I can’t wait to see more of the world. It reminds me a bit of Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin and Blood Brother’s series, with MAJORLY alpha brothers who protect each other and the women they love from an evil organization that’s hunting them. I love Zanetti’s series, and this one is similarly crack-y for me.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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#DFRAT Excerpt & Giveaway: Mark of the Bear by N.J. Walters.

Posted July 17, 2013 by Rowena in Features | 22 Comments

markofthebear_msrBlurb:

When the devil wants a deal, there’s no bowing out gracefully.

Hades’ Carnival, Book 2

At twenty-nine, Hollywood scream queen Kellsie Morris is acutely aware the clock is ticking on her career. Luckily, the one big role she needs to pad her retirement fund has just come through—the story of an immortal, shape-shifting warrior trapped in a carnival run by the Devil’s minions.

When Kellsie arrives on set, she can’t resist climbing aboard an amazingly realistic carousel bear—and finds herself flung into a world where the horror is real. As real as the heat radiating off the half-naked hunk in her arms.

Marko has waited an eternity for the chance to free his goddess, the Lady of the Beasts, and his fellow warriors from an ancient curse. But once he lays eyes on Kellsie, he knows to the bottom of his soul that his purpose is to protect her life.

But in this hellish game, it’s the Devil’s move. And there’s no predicting when and where the final, brutal stroke will fall—and which lover will pay the ultimate price.

EXCERPT:

Strong hands rested on her shoulders and she jerked away, heart pounding heavily in her chest. Where was she and who the hell was this?

She blinked hard but couldn’t see much beyond a large male shape. A quick inventory of her body assured her she wasn’t hurt and she was fully clothed, which was a very good sign.

“Who the hell are you?” Maybe it wasn’t smart to antagonize this unknown man, but Kellsie didn’t care. She needed to find out what was going on. Her last memory was of riding the carousel, of it going way too fast. Spinning. Spinning. Spinning.

She swallowed hard. It was making her sick simply thinking about it.

“I’m Marko.” His voice was little more than a dark rumble that sent a shiver racing down her spine. And it wasn’t due to fear.

Now that was totally stupid. How could she physically react to a man she didn’t know and couldn’t even see. “That doesn’t tell me much.”

He shifted slightly and she scooted away, her back coming to rest against a cool surface. She put out her hand and touched it. Hard with sharp edges.

Now that the shock of waking was wearing off, she was noticing other things as well. The ground was hard beneath her butt. The air was cool and fresh. As if on cue, an owl hooted. She was in a damn cave in the woods.

“How did I get here? And where is here?” Damn it, she needed answers and she needed them now.

“Don’t be afraid.” Again his sorcerer’s voice wrapped around her. She wanted to crawl closer to the source, which was a totally stupid idea given the situation, so she went on the offensive.

“Is this someone’s idea of a joke? Did the crew put you up to this?” Had they slipped something into her food or drink to make her pass out? If they thought to frighten her with this little prank they were sorely mistaken. All those years of working gruesome movie sets had made her immune. Heck, if that hadn’t done the trick, then living in L.A. all these years certainly would have. She knew how to defend herself if it came to that.
Not that she thought it would. After all, she was supposed to star in the lead role of this movie. They needed her hale and hearty.

Marko stilled. At first she didn’t think he was going to say anything, answer any of her questions. The silence spun out, making her nervous. This guy was good. She mentally slapped her hand against her forehead. Of course he was good. He was most likely an actor on the movie. One she hadn’t met yet.

Her butt cheeks were going numb from sitting on the hard ground so she shifted position. She shivered again, this time with the cold. Her damp clothing wasn’t much help against the night air drifting in through the opening of the cave. She could see it easily now that her eyes had adjusted to the lack of light.

She frowned. This situation reminded her of something. What was it? It took her a moment to pinpoint it. It reminded her of the nightmare she’d had while she was traveling here, the one of her being lost in a cave. That cave had been hot. This one was the exact opposite.

“You are cold.” His observation of the obvious made her angry, as did his lack of communication.

“No shit, Sherlock. How do you figure that? I’m being dragged around the woods in the middle of the night in damp clothes. If I get sick and end up missing some days of shooting you guys are going to pay for this little prank.”

He moved so fast he was little more than a blur, and Kellsie suddenly found herself ensconced in his lap with his arms around her. She clutched at his forearm for balance and swallowed hard. It was huge and hard.

Nerves jittered in her stomach. She was okay. She was fine. He wasn’t going to hurt her, or at least she certainly hoped not. He’d had plenty of time to do so if that was his plan.
He nuzzled the side of her neck, his hair-roughened jaw lightly abrading her skin. She bit her bottom lip to keep from moaning aloud as heat flashed through her body, driving back the cold.

What the heck was wrong with her? She should not be physically responding to a total stranger, at least not sexually. Defending herself was okay, but sensual touching was definitely out of the question.

“I’m sorry you are cold. Let me warm you.”

It was the most she’d gotten out of him so far and she could have told him she was no longer cold. If anything she was starting to sweat again. If she kept up this cycle of freezing and sweating she ran the risk of succumbing to hypothermia. She had no idea how far they were from the movie set or how cold it was going to get near the mountains at night. They couldn’t have gone too far. It wouldn’t make sense to drag her too far from the comfort of the trailers.

Marko tugged her closer. She reached out a hand to steady herself and met bare skin. He wasn’t wearing a shirt.

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Guest Review: The Gift of Shayla by N.J. Walters

Posted December 5, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)

Judith’s review of The Gift of Shayla by N.J. Walters

Adam Lancaster has been in love with Rob McKeith—and attracted to Rob’s wife, Shayla—for years, but he fears their friendship would be over if they knew the truth. So he’s thrilled when his secret fantasy becomes reality and the couple offers him a very special gift: a sensual Christmas Eve in their bedroom…
Loneliness is, in my opinion, one of the most devastating emotions humans can experience.  Whether it is because of the loss of family or a significant other, whether it is because of economic disaster or physical disability, being alone–really alone–can eat away at the human spirit as effectively as the most insidious cancer.  Add in the factor of being bi-sexual, a reality that often keeps the individual living in relational shadows, and you have a really bleak outlook for a person like Adam Lancaster.  His friendship with Rob has sustained him for most of his life.  But now Rob has Shayla and their relationship, while not interfering with a strong and supportive friendship, leaves no room for hope that Rob could ever be more than just a friend in Adam’s life.
This is a novella that doesn’t take a lot of time and space to flesh out the characters.  It is typical of Walters’ characters:  lean and spare, just enough information to make the story believable, to give the reader a sense of the person, and then on to the action.  Rob and Shayla share a truly grand passion that has translated into a warm and loving marriage, a relationship that both find fulfilling and grace-filled.  But Shayla is also in possession of a giving and loving heart, a woman who keenly feels Adam’s loneliness and a person who truly understands the root cause of his sense of abandonment.  Both Rob and Shayla really do care deeply for Adam–both probably have loved him for a very long time.  It is their mutual decision to offer Adam a gift of their sexual togetherness.
The response to this novella seems to be that the reader either loves it or hates it.  There doesn’t seem to be much in between.   I am very up front about the fact that I am not a big fan of novellas.  I think any author who writes one could do just a bit more and end up with a whole lot more in character development, story development, and a novel that is substantive in length and content.  That being said, this is a work from the mind and heart of a writer who has told a truly warm and kindly tale that touches the heart and emotions.  Erotic, certainly, but behind all the sex and stuff is a genuine sense that Adam is being invited into more than he ever dreamed possible.   While there isn’t much mystery in this story, not many surprises, there is still that sense that opening their hearts to him in the most primal and basic way is the greatest gift that Adam has ever received and far greater than he had ever dared to expect.
So enjoy this little literary read–it is small in size and easy to read in one sitting.  But it is a heart-pleaser and one that true erotic romance fans will find enjoyable.  Don’t look for heavy stuff here.  It’s all just sexy fun.  
I give it a 3.75 out of 5
You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Carina Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Guest Review: Entwined Hearts by Nicole Austin, TJ Michaels, Ciana Stone, & N. J. Walters

Posted November 28, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments


Judith‘s review of Entwined Hearts by Nicole Austin, TJ Michaels, Ciana Stone, and N. J. Walters
(Book Five in the Hearts of Fire series)

The Chosen: eight strong individuals gifted w ith unique paranormal abilities and tasked with protecting shards of an ancient crystal–the Hearts of Fire.

Brought together by destiny, each couple has managed to bond and fuet their crystal pairs through a hot and intense sexual joining. The four couples have overcome great personal challenges and remained apart, preparing to face an ancient evil once again.

The time has come for the four couples to meet and join forces to defeat Asmodeus, Prince of hell, once and for all. Their plan is clear yet complex–activate a hidden energy network, gather on spiritual lands and fight an epic battle between good and evil, which will impact mankind for eternity. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned. And Asmodeus has some tricks the Chosen never anticipated.

This is the fifth and final book in this series and completes the destiny that began when four young women, all of whom were raised in an orphanage together, were given a piece of crystal which they vowed to wear until they met their mate and completed their destiny. Each of the mates were also given a piece of the crystal, even though they did not know each other before they met through their women. Each of the four preceding novels tells the story of one of these couples.

This book is a reprise in some ways–telling just a bit more about each couple and how they are preparing to meet up with the other Chosen. They each have their extraordinary powers which will, when the final battle occurs, provide a critical power needed for victory over Asmodeus. I found the additional information about each couple to be something of an “epilogue” style of update before moving into the final battle which I think was the focus of the book. It is also evident that each of these eight individuals have not only grown and matured in their relationship as mates, but they have matured as individuals as well, accepting the extraordinary nature of their destiny, and understanding that the battle with Asmodeus is not an ending but the crisis that will launch them into an almost immortal existence.

Like the other novels in this series this book is alive with the abiding friendship that locked these women together, a fellowship of caring that their mates respected and cherished, and into which they were delighted to enter. This book is not an anthology in any way but a collaboration between the four authors that wrote the other four books. In bringing these couples together these authors have taken their individual vision and merged it with the other three–not easy to do among creative individuals. It is really quite encouraging to see how they put their indivual egos aside and allowed the end result–this book–to reflect the collective talents they brought to the writing task.

If you have read any of the other Hearts of Fire series then you will like this novel. It is readable, entertaining, and the kind of paranormal/fantasy writing that lovers of that genre prize. There’s lots to like here and it is a fitting capstone to a very fun series.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5.


You can read more from Judith at Dr. J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.


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