Tag: Zoe Archer

Guest Review: Wicked Temptation by Zoe Archer

Posted June 13, 2014 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Wicked TemptationsJen’s review of Wicked Temptation (Nemesis, Unlimited #3) by Zoe Archer

Fate Brought Them Together. 

Newly widowed, Bronwyn Parrish’s fortune has been spent settling her late husband’s debts—thanks to an unscrupulous business manager—and now there’s nothing left. Society has no place for a woman without means, and with nowhere to turn, Bronwyn is lost…until, from out of nowhere, a handsome gentleman steps in and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

Will Desire Tear Them Apart?

Secrets and subterfuge are in Marco Black’s blood. As one of Nemesis, Unlimited’s most senior agents, Society women aren’t his usual cup of tea. But Marco’s sixth sense tells him that there’s more to Bronwyn than meets the eye…and he wants to help the brazen beauty retrieve her lost fortune. But is his attraction to her worth the risk? His mission will lead him all the way to Les Grillons, France’s most ruthless crime syndicate. Soon, Marco and Bronwyn will find themselves facing a danger that could cost them their lives—and a passion that is priceless.

The newest book in Archer’s Nemesis, Unlimited series features Nemesis member and British spy, Marco Black. I’ve read Books 1 and 2 in the series and highly recommend them if you’re a fan of adventure romances or historicals set outside the ballroom, though if you haven’t read them you shouldn’t have trouble jumping in with Book 3. Throughout the series, Marco has always seemed the most cold, aloof, and least interesting Nemesis agent to me. Fortunately, I loved his story.

Nemesis, a secret organization dedicated to getting justice for those who can’t get it for themselves, signs on to help a society widow named Bronwyn Parrish. Bronwyn’s recently deceased husband supposedly racked up huge debts that left her with nothing. Usually Nemesis is getting revenge ON the upper classes, not FOR them, so initially Marco is against taking the job and resentful that he’s the only available agent to handle it. He assumes Bronwyn is a typical society widow–selfish, sheltered, and vapid–but as he gets to know her he realizes that she is much more. Nemesis suspects something shady happened with the money, so Marco and Bronwyn embark on a journey to get her money back. The mission that quickly turns exceedingly dangerous and complicated.

Marco was an interesting character for me. He’s a great example of how an author can write a man who’s kind of a brooding, cocky traditional hero without him being abusive, creepy, or rapey. Even without the rapey-ness, this isn’t usually my favorite kind of hero, and at first I wasn’t that into Marco because he does seem a bit of a jerk. He’s kind of rude and bossy to Bronwyn, and he definitely doesn’t act very gentlemanly at first. I warmed up to him as the book progressed though, as Archer reveals the reasons for his behavior. He’s a spy, a profession that leaves little room for niceties but plenty of room for mistrust, caution, and ruthlessness. What seems like rudeness at first is at least in part a function of his candidness, which Bronwyn has never had from the men in her life. His bossiness is a sign that he respects Bronwyn’s abilities and trusts her to participate in the mission. And in fact by the end, we can see that Marco’s cool exterior hides an intensely passionate and compassionate center, something even he never recognized. I always appreciate when an author can make me fall in love with a character I wasn’t really fond of at the start! Even better, I could see why Bronwyn would fall in love with him and how her love helps Marco see himself in a new light.

In contrast to Marco’s crazy spy skills, Bronwyn is a more relatable character. She’s been in a gilded cage, as most upper class women of her time. It’s protected her from the harsher side of life, but it also limited her potential and made her bored and restless. From the start, Marco shows her a side of life she never knew existed, and I’d say her reaction to it is certainly believable. She doesn’t shy away from reality, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t struggle with it. She gets upset when Marco has to kill people, gets frightened in scary situations, is shocked by things like poverty and abuse, and expects more from Marco than he wants to give. She doesn’t change her personality during the course of the story or suddenly become a super spy, but she does grow in her understanding of who she is and how she might fit into the larger world. In short, she’s kick ass but not a superhero, which is a trap I think some romance novels fall into. This is a more realistic transition, in my mind.

This book definitely brings out the “adventure” part of this series. Marco and Bronwyn travel across Europe evading and outrunning the French crime syndicate hunting them. They sleep in freight cars, have shoot outs in hay fields, meet with dangerous characters, and do more breaking and entering than a cat burglar. (There doesn’t seem to be a lock anywhere that can keep out Marco. I kept thinking things would be so much easier if he just robbed a bank for Bronwyn and was done with it!) Yes, the antics can be a little over the top at times, but nothing is so far out there that it makes me totally lose faith in the story. Plus, Archer does a great job of grounding her stories in the historical reality, which makes some of the adventure elements more palatable.

This book is my favorite of the Nemesis, Unlimited series so far. It’s a fun but not outlandish historical story with unique, fully drawn characters who live outside the world of dukes and balls, and it hit all of my sweet spots for romantic adventure.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Paperbacks. You can purchase it here or here in e-format.  This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: Skies of Fire by Zoe Archer

Posted July 17, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Holly‘s review of Skies of Fire (The Ether Chronicles, Book 1) by Zoe Archer.

Man made of metal and flesh

Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years before…when he was still just a man. Now he’s superhuman—a Man O’ War, made as part of the British Navy’s weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw.

A most inconvenient desire

Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe . . . and still get out alive.

This is a “lover-reunited” theme, one of my favorite romance tropes. As a British spy, Louisa really needs to be alone. Having a lover she cares about – one who wants to marry her – doesn’t work. So when Christopher asks, she disappears rather than talking things out with him. Now he’s a Man-o-War and shows up to save her butt. Together they have to work together to destroy a huge weapons cache.

They also end up working together to repair their relationship. Though, as a Man-o-War, Christopher can’t be away from his ship and Louisa is still a spy and not ready to give that up, they both realize there are other options for them.

A great steampunk-esque novel. It was a bit light on the world-building. If I hadn’t had prior steampunk knowledge, it may have been hard for me to imagine just what the world looked like. Having said that, I really like the world Archer created. The concept behind the Man-o-Wars and their ships, the female spies, etc, were very interesting. The characters were well drawn and the plot fast-paced and riveting. I can’t wait for the next installment.


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

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Review: Chain Reaction by Zoe Archer

Posted March 14, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Holly‘s review of Chain Reaction (8th Wing, Book 2) by Zoe Archer

Elite 8th Wing pilot Celene Jur was taken captive after a mysterious device temporarily disabled her ship’s controls. Three solar months later, when Celene receives intel on the man who built the device, she’s ready to get the bastard. Only problem is, the higher-ups think her mission partner should be Nils Calder, a tech-head who can understand the disabling device. The attraction between them is electric, but Celene needs a soldier who can watch her back as she exacts her revenge.

Nils knows his department is nicknamed NerdWorks. Pilots like Celene think the closest tech geeks come to combat is all-night Nifalian chess tournaments. But behind the NerdWorks insignia on his sleeve Nils is an able fighter, ready to prove himself and gain Celene’s trust.

The desire between them is unexpected, but with the fate of thousands hanging in the balance, the hotshot pilot and the tech genius must succeed in their mission—no matter the cost.

I was excited for this book since I enjoyed the first one, Collision Course, quite a bit. While I think this had a strong romance, I was a bit disappointed in the lack of additional world-building. The world is one of the things I loved most about the first book.

We first met Celene in Collision Course. She was captured when the enemy developed a new weapon that rendered her ship useless. Now she wants revenge. Nils has been working on figuring out where the weapon was developed. When he gets a target on the enemy, he knows he has to accompany Celene on the mission to destroy it since no one else would be able to break the code. Celene has serious reservations about taking someone from NerdWorks along, but reluctantly agrees after Nils proves himself capable of handling a weapon.

This story takes place almost exclusively in a ship as Celene and Nils travel to face down their enemy. While that made for a great romance, it didn’t do much for the world. Since they were the only two on the ship, they were forced to talk to each other and learn about one another. Celene is reluctant to open herself up to anyone, since she’s been burned quite a bit in the past. Most people don’t see Celene the woman when they look at her, but Captain Jur, the fearless – and mostly flawless – pilot. She can never live up to those kind of expectations, so she’s given up trying.

Nils has had a crush on Celene forever. He knew she’d never see him as anything but NerdWorks, but that didn’t stop him from hoping he’d be able to impress her. When things heat up between them, he has to convince her he sees all of her – and wants her, flaws and all.

I liked that Nils was a nerd. Let’s face it, nerds are sexy. Especially smart nerds with hot bodies. I understood Celene’s reasons for holding back with him, as well as his own insecurities where she was concerned. A fighter pilot and a computer geek isn’t the most natural pairing. Celene and Nils made it work, however. Although he’s a tech geek, he isn’t a wimp. Celene needed someone who was compassionate but strong enough for her to lean on. Nils was willing to take care of Celene the woman, so that Captain Jur could be strong the rest of the time. I love it when that happens. She also gave back to Nils, boosting his confidence and doing her best to take care of him as well. It was a solid partnership.

There were a few things that bothered me. The first time they started getting naked with each other seemed didn’t make sense. It was a very inappropriate time for sexy-times, which I think they both knew but neither addressed. I also missed being immersed in the world Archer created. This could have been set on any ship in any world, which bummed me out.

Even so, this was a solid read. I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

3.5 out of 5

The series:

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

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What I Read Last Week

Posted January 10, 2011 by Tracy in Features | 12 Comments

Hello there and Happy Monday!
It was a quiet week that ended with a bit more excitement. On Sunday I went to Century City, CA and met up with authors Zoe Archer, Nico Rosso, Delilah Marvelle, Lisa Hendrix, Sabrina Darby and fellow blogger Renee for lunch and a incredibly fun chat at the Borders there in the mall. I feel so lucky to be able to meet up and talk to these wonderful people. Delilah and Lisa were in town from Oregon promoting their books and they have fun little gifties to give us – including penis candies – what every girl wants.:) Here we are at the Borders coffee shop
Zoe, Nico, Renee, Delilah, Sabrina, Lisa, Moi
Other than that not much happened this week so I’ll get right on to what I read this past week:
First up was Master of Smoke by Angela Knight. This is book 11 in the Mageverse series and another great book. This was the story of a bitten werewolf who’s afraid of her own shadow and the Fae/Spirt/Shifter that falls in love with her. You can read my review here on The Book Binge. 4.25 out of 5
Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein was my next read. A novella about a woman who gets sent through time to the future and discovers that women are extinct. I really liked this one – you can read my mini review here. 4.25 out of 5
My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Brighter Than the Sun by Julia Quinn. The hero and heroine meet by chance one day when the heroine, Eleanor, is out walking and the hero, Charles, falls out of a tree that he’s climbed while dead drunk. Nice. lol Charles asks Eleanor to marry him because he has to get married or lose his money. But someone is out to get Charles and someone else is set on making Eleanor look bad. It’s a book of strange events and the hits just keep on comin. A fun book but I did get tired of the bad things happening after a while – I just wanted them to live a normal life. lol 3.5 out of 5
Brier’s Bargain by Carol Lynne was next. I’d not read any other books in this series or the series this was spun off of so maybe that influenced my thoughts on this book. I really liked Brier a lot and was pulling for him and his boyfriend Jackie the whole time, I just thought the book was a little slow paced for my liking. 3 out of 5
The Christmas Throwaway by RJ Scott was my next read. The story about a rookie cop in a small town who finds a 17 (almost 18) year old sleeping in the churchyard on Christmas Eve. Ben and takes Zach home to his family and his mother takes care of him. Zach is understandably leery of the kindness and has panic attacks around so many people but he seems fine when he’s around Ben. The men seem to have a connection and the story takes it from there. I liked the story and Ben and Zach were cute together. The story takes place over 2 years so Zach is older when Ben and Zach eventually get together – fyi. 3.75 out of 5
Next up was book 2 in the Scandal series by Delilah Marvelle – Once Upon a Scandal. I really liked this book. It had Jonathan and Victoria falling in love via letters – which I just loved. But Jonathan, who is in Venice, enters a contract with a Venetian family that makes him, basically, a lady’s maid…as well as a type of sexual slave to the lady of the house. When Jonathan returns after 5 years he’s determined to still woo and marry Victoria who’s having none of it. I really liked that Jonathan was the more romantic of the two and the story just worked for me. My review will post soon. (releases on 1/18/11)
Next up was Kiss of Darkness by Loribelle Hunt which will be a new release from Carina Press on the 24th of this month. The story is about humans who merge themselves with demons in order to fight demons. There are also lupines and nightwalkers involved. A good story – my review will post soon.
Last on the list was my TBR Challenge book for the month of January. The theme was category romance and I chose off my shelves That Last Night in Texas by Ann Evans. This is the story of a ranch hand and the ranch owners daughter who fall in love but life and a horse accident get in their way. They reconnect after 13 years – Oh, and there’s a secret baby. lol Check out my review on the 19th.
My Book Binge reviews that posted since last Monday:
Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Scoundrel by Zoe Archer

Posted December 15, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Kris‘ review of Scoundrel (Blades of the Rose, Book 2) by Zoe Archer


London Harcourt’s father is bent on subjugating the world’s magic to British rule. But since London is a mere female, he hasn’t bothered to tell her so. He’s said only that he’s leading a voyage to the Greek isles. No matter, after a smothering marriage and three years of straitlaced widowhood, London jumps at the opportunity—unfortunately, right into the arms of Bennett Day.


Bennett is a ladies’ man, when he’s not dodging lethal attacks to protect the powers of the ancients from men like London’s father. Sometimes, he’s a ladies’ man even when he is dodging them. But the minute he sees London he knows she will require his full attention. The woman is lovely, brilliant, and the only known speaker of a dialect of ancient Greek that holds the key to calling down the wrath of the gods. Bennett will be risking his life again—but around London, what really worries him is the danger to his heart…

This is the second book in the Blades of the Rose series (the first is Warrior). This book opened with London. She is the daughter of the head of the Heirs of Albion (the bad guys). Her secret passion is languages, but her father thinks that all women are weak and stupid and are in need of total guidance. Unknown to him she has become an expert in ancient languages. When he discovers it he decides he can use her for his own gain. Bennett is in Greece trying to uncover some information about the Heirs and runs into London but does not know who her family is. He is intrigued by her and meets with her again, still not knowing who she is.

By the time he finds out he is already drawn to her and is unsure of where she stands with her father. He kidnaps her and tells her about the Heirs and the Blades and what her father is trying to accomplish and then send her back to her father to make up her own mind about what to do. This is so outlandish to her she is not sure what to think. And she loves the fact that Bennett is willing to let her decide for her self, which her father would never let her do. But now that she knows she starts to see more signs and understand more of what she has been seeing and hearing all these years. She confronts her father and he tells her the truth, why he brought her along and that the Heirs need her help with a translation. She goes along with it wanting to believe in her father. Then Bennett shows up again to find out her decision, whether she wants to stay with her father or escape with Bennett.

This was another great action adventure romance. Lots of fun. London has been married but it was not a love match. She married because she was told to and it was her duty. Her husband saw her as a convenience and as a step toward more power in the Heirs. She meets Bennett and is drawn to his masculinity, his mind, his loyalty and his honor. He opens up a whole new world to her and she latches on with all she has. She loves the adventure and the ability to use the knowledge she has spent so long learning. She is a very loyal and strong woman, a great character.

Bennett is a master in seduction and in escapes. He loves his work with the Blades, it gives him purpose and a higher goal for his life. He is intrigued by London, she is his enemy’s daughter but she is so full of life and honor that he cannot help but be drawn to her. They light up each other, and the sheets, as they travel with two Greek companions and try to save the world from the Heirs getting a hold of another Source.

Their two companions were fun to watch as they bantered and refused to acknowledge that they were attracted to one another. It was a good secondary romance to watch unfold.

This book have a great storyline, is hot and lots of fun to read. Definitely recommend it to those who love a good adventure romance story.

I give this one a 4.5 out of 5

The series:
Warrior (Blades of the Rose)Scoundrel (The Blades of the Rose)Rebel (The Blades of the Rose)Stranger (The Blades of the Rose)

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

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