Saturday, August 11, 2018

Theirs to Protect (The Marriage Lottery #1) Review

Theirs to Protect (The Marriage Lottery #1)
By: Stasia Black

In a world where there’s only one woman for every twelve men, a lottery is the chance for five lucky men to win the prize of a lifetime… her hand in marriage.

Nix never put his name in the marriage lottery for a reason. 
He doesn’t need a woman. 
There aren’t that many to go around anyway, not after a genetically engineered virus wiped out 90% of the female population. 
He has his job as head of the Security Squadron and it’s all he needs. He looks out for the township. He protects the few women who are left.

But when his name is called to be one of the five husbands to the woman rescued from the badlands, he doesn’t speak up to correct the error.

Because Audrey’s like no one he’s ever met before. 
Fiesty. 
That’s the name for her. 
She might be just the woman to handle a rough, brutal man like him.

Sharing her with four other men is a small price to pay. 
In fact, the closer they all grow, the more Nix realizes he might finally have again what he lost so long ago—a real family.

But when Audrey’s life is endangered, will Nix be able to save the woman he’s just learned how to love?




Let me begin this review by telling you that this book is not for the prudish or faint of heart. It lands firmly in the erotica genre and from the synopsis above about the five men and one woman thing, you can already tell what sort of book this is going to be. If sex and kink is not your thing, turn back now!

If you're still reading this then you're a freak and we would get along swimmingly. 

This is one of the many books that pop up on my FB feed advertisements and usually I keep scrolling but the photo of one woman amongst five hot men sure got my attention. I read the synopsis and curiosity got the better of me and I began reading the comments on the ad. Let me tell you, Stasia Black is a brave author. I can't imagine writing a reverse harem book let alone writing an erotic one and then putting it out there for other people to read. Girl let her freak flag fly with this one and was judged so harshly in the comments, it made me sad for her. I get it if kink isn't your thing, that's totally respectable but not everyone is the same. Why shouldn't an author write a fetish novel if the idea comes to them? Clearly people read it.

I think we need to acknowledge that with erotica novels the plot line really is secondary to the sex, so no one really expects a profound story to come from an erotic novel. That being said, a different set of standards apply to erotica and the plot line still needs to make sense and add value to the story. In this case the plot was interesting and inventive, but not at all realistic. The author created the setting she needed to in order to have the 25 men to 1 woman ratio. Let's be real, that right there is already tapping into the fantasy of every woman. Imagine being in a world where women are so rare that no matter their shape, size or appearance men are crawling all over themselves to be with her. They respect, cherish and protect her. Like she is the most precious thing in the world to them. And not just one man, many men. I don't know about you ladies, but I'm here for it.

That being said, the plot was okay. Not great, but not completely dull or hard to understand. Actually I give the author props here because not only did she create her own setting she also created her own colonies of people with their own beliefs, guidelines and rules. She created interesting and sometimes complex characters whom the reader grows to love, especially the five men who Audrey marries. 

Now, let's get to the good stuff; the sex scenes. I began this book interested to see how the author would write about a sexual dynamic between 6 people. Would she limit it to two men and one woman? Or just one man and one woman at a time? Clearly I've never had multiple partners at once because I couldn't figure out how five men and one woman could have sex at one time......well Stasia Black told me how. Very descriptively I might add. So much so that my brain started envisioning the scenes she devised as I read them effortlessly and naturally. I'm not often impressed by racy sex scenes, but these ones impressed me. I had assumed that sex that takes place between multiple people is purely for pleasure only, but the scenes in this book all took place between people that cared for each other and Stasia let those emotions show in all of the erotic acts she wrote. Stasia truly wrote this erotic book with every intention of it becoming a love story, and she nailed it.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
No

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Judgement of the Six series Review (Part 2)

Judgement of the Six Series
(Hopeless, Misfortune, Unwise, Unbidden, Discontent, Surreal)
By: Melissa Haag


Judgement of the Six is a series of 6 books and 5 companion books. Each of the original books is a story of each of the "judgments"; human girls who are gifted and destined to have their lives intertwined with werewolves. As the series evolves and more of the judgments are discovered and brought into the fold we see a larger story-line developing that involves a lesser known type of werewolf known as the Urbat and how the six gifted females are supposed to come together and ultimately end the attempted domination of the world by the Urbat. I loved some of these books and didn't love others, so instead of trying to encompass all 6 books into one review I've decided to break them up into two groups of three. This review will include separate mini reviews of the last three novels Unbidden, Discontent, and Surreal.


Unbidden
I left home because I didn’t want to end up in a cage like a lab rat. Hitching rides, begging for cash, and sleeping on the ground got old fast. That was the only reason I braved an overgrown path to a group of buildings. I’d hoped to find a bed and a decent night’s sleep. However, what I found was a place overrun by werewolves.

While on the run, Charlene finds herself surrounded by werewolves, creatures she can’t control with her mind like she can humans. Their existence has her believing she’s found a safe place to stay, a place where secrets are okay. However, she soon discovers she’s anything but safe. Charlene must learn how to use her abilities to influence the strange new species because if she can’t, the next bite she suffers might just kill her.

Read how the cycle begins, and have no doubt. Charlene’s past will shape the future of the Judgements.



I actually took a 24 hour break between reading the third book and this one. We had already seen Charlene in  the series and I was not at all looking forward to her story thinking it would be boring since we already know the outcome. I was surprised when this book became my second favorite in the series. 

Charlene's character is so like-able and genuine that you can't help but root for her as she runs away from home and accidentally runs right into werewolf territory. She has the strongest character out of all the judgments and the best story, in my opinion. Although we know from the previous books that she mates with Thomas we get to see the struggle they go though while trying to figure out how the mating process works with a human like Charlene. The author also gave us insight into how the werewolves became such a large pack and how Charlene and Thomas structured their pack to integrate with humans and become contributing members of their pack. It was interesting to see it all come together from nothing to the biggest werewolf pack in the North.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes.


Discontent
I hate. I thought I hated before the letter, before the werewolves, but now I understand that was nothing more than a chip on my shoulder. The urbat took what was mine. They will pay.

Isabelle leads a very normal life...for an emotional syphon. If not for Ethan and his bar, she would have lost her sanity long ago. But everything changes with the crash of her fighting cage and a man who transforms into a wolf. There’s something about Carlos—when he’s not growling at her—that makes her do things she wouldn’t normally do, like sigh and daydream.

Attraction aside, she is faced with the very real evidence that werewolves and urbat exist, and the urbat are after her. And the only way she can keep Ethan safe is to join with the werewolves and Carlos. It’s a race against time to stop a war, fight for love, and find the last Judgement.



After loving Charlene's book so much I fully expected not to like this installment, thinking that there's no way it could live up to Charlene's story. I was partially correct. It wasn't as good as Unbidden, but I really liked Isabelle's character and her gift. Her character is a big contrast to the other judgments and came across as hostile and independent. Which is probably why I liked her so much. This was also the first book in the series to make me cry. And not just cute little tears, like full on snot running, sobbing. It was not my most attractive moment. 

I was disappointed with how much I didn't like her mate Carlos. I get the strong silent type thing, but to make the character void of any type of personality felt like a disservice to Isabelle's character. She deserved someone as emotionally strong as she is, and I don't feel like Carlos gave that to her.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes


Surreal
My sisters hate their gifts, but they don’t know how lucky they are. They have a home and family. I have nothing. But, I am Courage, and I know my purpose. I exist for one reason only: to complete the Judgement.


Olivia is blind, yet sees. And what she sees, she keeps to herself. Her father conspires for control while Olivia does her own plotting with forces that only she understands. Now, time is running out, and choices that will impact the world must be made.



This book is hard to judge. There was a lot more of the main plot as the conflict comes to a head, as such it really drowned out Olivia's character. I wasn't particularly fond of her character, but again her lack of personality made me regret Jim being her mate. Jim became a lovable character to us in the second installment and deserved so much better than what he got in Olivia. 

Her character was very reserved, the other judgments nor the pack knew what to think of her and didn't trust her. Even the reader had a hard time gauging whether or not she was being authentic throughout her story. She does have the most interesting gift, which was the only thing I found interesting about her. The main factor in this book for me is the final resolution to the conflict and how the story progressed past the resolution. We had been waiting so long for all the pieces in the puzzle to come together and when they finally did I was ready for it. I was not, however, ready for the way the series ended. Why is it never the characters you don't like that die?

Final Rating:
✬✬✫✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Judgement of the Six series Review (Part 1)

Judgement of the Six Series
(Hopeless, Misfortune, Unwise, Unbidden, Discontent, Surreal)
By: Melissa Haag


Judgement of the Six is a series of 6 books and 5 companion books. Each of the original books is a story of each of the "judgments"; human girls who are gifted and destined to have their lives intertwined with werewolves. As the series evolves and more of the judgments are discovered and brought into the fold we see a larger story-line developing that involves a lesser known type of werewolf known as the Urbat and how the six gifted females are supposed to come together and ultimately end the attempted domination of the world by the Urbat. I loved some of these books and didn't love others, so instead of trying to encompass all 6 books into one review I've decided to break them up into two groups of three. This review will include separate mini reviews of the first three novels Hopeless, Misfortune and Unwise.

Hopeless
Gabby's brain is like a human fish finder. It comes in handy when she wants to avoid people. Mostly men. They seem to like her a bit too much. It's lonely being different, but she's adapted to it. Really. She just wishes she knew why she is different, though.
In her search for answers, she discovers a hidden community of werewolves. She immerses herself in their culture, learning about their world until she meets Clay. He's unkempt, prone to mood swings, intense without saying a word, and he thinks Gabby is his.
It's going to take every trick she knows to convince Clay to go away, and every bit of willpower not to fall for him when she discovers the man beneath the rough exterior.
Judgement has begun...

This book was my favorite of the series, which is a little disappointing when it's only the first. I found Gabby and Clay's story to be the sweetest romance and they remained my favorite characters of the series right to the end. 
I found the beginning of the book frustrating as Gabby seemed to fall into Sam's werewolf world a little too quickly and easily.....I don't know about you, but if someone stripped down in front of me and turned into an over-sized dog I doubt I'd be inviting them home for dinner. But maybe that's just me. Once I got past the awkwardness of the Gabby/Sam relationship I started to fall into the story more. I had a hard time with the author trying to make Sam seem like the father figure that Gabby always wanted but never had and then turning him into a villain by seemingly trying to mate her off to a werewolf regardless of how she felt about it. Clearly it was the angle needed to introduce Clay to the mix and create the backdrop for Gabby's hostility towards him but I wasn't all that into it and because of it I held onto those negative feelings towards Sam throughout the entire series. 
On the other hand, I loved Clay! I loved the creepy backwoods, mysterious, hermit vibe he threw off and even more so when he tried to integrate himself into the real world to get to know Gabby better. The cutest part of this story was how he was there for her in any way he could be, regardless of how much she thought she didn't want him there. Their relationship grew even without her realizing it, and I was totally there for it! As well as for all the descriptive narratives of Clay in various stages of undress. 
The underlying plot in this book is overshadowed greatly by Gabby and Clay's romance but the beginning of the conflict comes to light as the reader is made aware of a different type of werewolf known as the Urbat that no other race seems to be aware of. We are also introduced to the idea that there are other women in the world with powers, like Gabby. 
Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes
Misfortune
Our world is being judged and even they remain unaware.
Michelle, another young woman with an unexplainable gift, finds herself surrounded by the previously undiscovered werewolf society. Kept prisoner for the predictions that torment her, she meekly follows orders waiting for her opportunity to run. When her stepfather dies, she takes a chance and escapes.

After witnessing Blake, her captor, grow canines, she knows he will do anything to find her. She needs a place to hide and someone to listen to her predictions so her head doesn’t explode, but knows there’s nowhere she can hide forever, and no one who can protect her… unless she can find someone just like him.

Part of the fur wearing faction wants to use her, another part strives to keep her safe. The second book of the Judgement of the Six series will raise more questions about the purpose of these gifted few and Michelle will need to fight for answers. Will what she discovers be enough to help her keep those she loves safe from an emerging evil?

I love any story or movie about women starting over, rebuilding their lives into something new and amazing. There's so much strength in those stories that they feel empowering. That is the main draw for me in this book. I didn't particularly like Michelle, Emmit, or their love story. It all felt a little bland in my opinion. If the author wanted to create the idea to the reader that the beginning of the mating process is the hardest and most volatile it should have been spoken of plainly, instead of assumed when we see Michelle as hesitant to mate with Emmit as Gabby was with Clay. Especially as Michelle really didn't have any reason not to follow her heart and claim Clay as her mate. 
The romance in this book took more of a backseat to the larger issue of who Michelle was trying to escape from. This book has a near constant aura of fear as Michelle is always afraid that Blake will catch up to her and her brothers and lock them up again. Werewolves also played a larger part in this book as Emmit's dad is the pack leader and a pack elder lives in the same house that Michelle takes refuge in. 
Final Rating:
✬✬✫✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
No
Unwise
The dreams start and Bethi’s very normal life goes down the toilet. Reliving past lives, where Dog-men chase her and she sees her eventual tormented death, Bethi sets out to find a way to live this time around. The dreams hint at an answer. She needs to be strong enough to find it, or die…

The third installment of the Judgement of the Six answers questions, questions answers, and risks the fate of the world.

I have to start this review by telling you how much I hated Bethi. She was constantly making stupid decisions without thinking about consequences to herself or anyone else and more often than not put herself and Luke in more danger than they would have been in otherwise. Had her story not been so important to the overall plot I may have given up on this book halfway through. However, her ability and resulting knowledge of the judgments and the dangers of the Urbat make this book a must read in the Judgement of the Six series. 
I have to admit that nothing really stood out in this book enough for me to commit to memory so I'm struggling right now to remember what happened in it. Which says quite a bit about the book right there....
Final Rating
✬✫✫✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
No

Thanks for reading!
Opinionated Bookworm

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Darkness Series Review

The Darkness Series
(Darkness of Light, Fire in the Darkness, Dwellers of Darkness, Blood Beyond Darkness)
By: Stacey Marie Brown

Darkness of Light Synopsis
Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.




I decided to write a review for the overall Darkess series as opposed to each individual book. Every time I read these books I become so addicted that I can't put them down and jump from one book to the next, so by the time I'm done reading them I have a hard time remembering where one book ends and the next begins. This is a new adult fantasy series so it's a bit edgier and certainly more sexually explicit than a young adult series. Sex is a pretty common theme throughout the entire series, so if you like your books a bit more reserved this may not be the series for you. I, on the other hand, loved it! You know how much I love me some good smut, and these books had it in spades. 

The series begins with Ember realizing that there's something different about her as she seems to be blowing things up and setting things on fire accidentally when she experiences extreme emotions such as fear or anger. While no one can really pin the bizarre incidents on her she is still punished for them by being made to leave her school and attend a school for kids with behavioral issues. Where she meets Eli. Eli is mysterious, sexy and hard to read as one minute he seems attracted to Ember and the next he seems to despise her. 

As the series evolves Ember becomes aware of the "Otherworld" and all the magical beings associated with it. We see her coming into her own as she discovers her powers and her heritage. Ember goes through many ordeals with her becoming the main target of the Otherworld. Both the Seelie Queen and Unseelie King are after her and Ember becomes the captive of the dark dwellers, of which Eli is apart of. 

Eli seems determined to stick with his clan's plot to turn Ember over to the Unseelie King in the hopes that Ember will sway the Kings odds of winning the war against the Queen. The Seelie Queen is determined to take over all of Earth and the Otherworld and rules with fear and torture  to keep her subjects in line. She has (to her knowledge) killed the entire Druid and Dark Dweller races out of fear of an uprising from them as they are some of the most powerful classes in the Otherworld. 

There were so many lovable and endearing characters brought into this series that it would take forever to talk about each one, so I'll just tell you about my favorites. Cal and Simmonds are at the top of my list, they're the comedic relief that I didn't know I was missing until they were introduced. They are pranksters who are unused to the real world and watching them try to acclimate themselves and learn about their surroundings is hilarious. I also liked Eli's dark dweller clan members; Cole, Cooper, Gabby, and Owen. They were the overprotective close knit family unit that kept Ember hostage but still treated her well. The clan shows how dedicated they are to their family and support and encourage each other to follow their hearts.

I was surprised and impressed with how much character growth, plot expansion and plot twists there were in this four book series. Within the span of only four books the entire world had changed for the characters and so much development happened with each character and their relationships with each other, I felt that I was always on the edge of my seat as there was always something happening. There were never any boring bits that I found hard to get through, even the parts of the book that didn't directly involve Ember were interesting and important in the events happening in the books.

I was excited to learn that there are actually three series that tie into each other; the Darkness Series being the first, the Collector Series is next and the last series is the Lightness Saga. The Collector series is about a different cast of characters, in the same city as the Darkness series, and the Lightness saga see's the characters from the first two series' coming together to form the last adventure. There is another book in the Darkness series called West. It's about a dark dweller names West who is a member of Eli's clan. As much as I liked West, the character, I wasn't a fan of West, the novel. I didn't find it as captivating as the rest of the series, and there were many dry parts that I couldn't get into.  

The author of this series, Stacey Marie Brown, is an indie author that I learned about from a FB group. The more books of hers I read the more I want from her. This year she has the last book in the Lightness series coming out and I'm also hoping for the sequel to Shattered Love, a contemporary romance that I reviewed a while back. I highly recommend checking out Stacey's books and taking a chance on her. You won't be disappointed.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✬
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Book Recommendations Blog

Book Recommendations Blog

I think we all know how much I love a book recommendation. I've had quite a few in the last couple of years and I've reviewed some and not others. It's always interesting to me to see what types of books my friends and family are into. I have a friend and an Aunt who prefer cookbooks (which is so weird to me, who the heck reads cookbooks for fun??), I have a few other friends and my sister who all prefer young adult/new adult fantasy, I have a friend who prefers sinfully picturesque romance novels, I have a friend who prefers biographies, I have a friend who prefers suspenseful mysteries. So many different genres catering to so many different preferences. I love it! Which is why I love when people recommend books to me. It's an insight to who they are and what speaks to their personalities.

I have discovered some of my favorite books through referrals from friends and acquaintances such as A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas, A Child Called It by David Pelzer and Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James. I'm pretty open to trying most genres and while I tend to favour the YA/NA fantasy genre myself, I enjoy venturing outside of my comfort zone and discovering authors and books I didn't know about before.

I gravitate towards indie authors more than mainstream authors because reviews and referrals are their lifeline. Indie authors are like hidden gems, you don't see them as much because they're not as promoted as widely known authors and their writing isn't as watered down in an attempt to appease and appeal to a wider audience. Indie author's stay true to their genres, characters and plots and put out a more authentic story. They also tend to be more grateful and more accessible to their readers. I know of a lot of indie authors who interact with their readers on a regular basis and who often host their own giveaways as a thank you to the readers who were willing to take a chance on buying their books. 

As I tend to post a lot more YA fantasy reviews I am often asked for referrals from people who aren't familiar with the genre. A lot of the time I give out unsolicited recommendations because I feel a friend may really like a book I have read. For anyone who wants to venture into the YA fantasy world I highly recommend starting with any Sarah J. Maas series. While I prefer A Court of Thorns and Roses most people I know who have read her series' actually prefer the Throne of Glass series. Maas is very good at creating a fantasy world with characters and descriptive settings that can appeal to most audiences. There are a lot of indie authors who write this genre that I also highly recommend such as Karen Lynch, Stacey Marie Brown, Emory Gayle, Melissa Haag and Jackie May.

If you have any book recommendations for me I would love to hear them! I'm always looking for new books to read and Kobo's free downloads only get me so far. Please, share your favorites with me no matter what genre they are, I'll give it a read.

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Don't Cheat Me (Nora Jacobs #2) Review

Don't Cheat Me (Nora Jacobs #2)
By: Jackie May

One month after Nora’s violent induction to the dangerous supernatural side of Detroit, she’s finally settling into her new life as the underworld’s token human. All she wants to do is mind her own business, enjoy her new friends, and stay safe. But that’s easier said than done when she’s such an enigma to everyone around her.

Thanks to her unique psychic abilities, she’s garnered a reputation for being mysterious and powerful. When the alpha of a local werewolf pack asks her to help him figure out who is stealing from him, she can’t say no, even though getting involved in pack business could have deadly repercussions.

While tangled up in a heap of werewolf troubles, Nora can’t quite shake her old vampire problem, either. Henry is practically stalking her, Parker is breaking down the walls around her heart, and Nora’s blatant fear of the blood-sucking monsters is a delicious temptation for the natural predators.

Nora’s succubus friend, Cecile, believes throwing her a “coming out” party into underworld society is the best way to solve all of her problems, but Nora disagrees. If the vampires and werewolves don’t kill her, Cecile’s party planning definitely will.

This is book 2 in the Nora Jacobs series and should be read after book 1. It is a slow burn reverse harem series.



If you've read my reviews before you know that the hardest book to read in any series for me is the second one. Sequels always seem to be a little lackluster in any good series because the first book has built up such high standards in the mind of the reader that any author would have trouble achieving the same level of excellence the second time around. Unfortunately this book falls into the same pattern of not quite reaching the level of the first book for me.

I felt that the story line very much echoed the first book in the sense that Nora used her powers in a detective sort of way to solve a mystery and became the victim of the book's villain. Sure, we got to meet some new characters along the way but using the same plot for the second book that the author used in the first made the book dull and predictable in a number of places. 

Some of what I did enjoy was how immersed we get to be in the werewolf lore in this story. Never before have I found werewolves quite as sexy as I did in this novel. That being said, my new favorite character in this series is Rook and I'm totally pulling for a relationship between him and Nora, if and when we find out that normal relationships are even possible for her.

Nora's powers definitely grow quite a bit during the events in this book and she becomes more aware of what she is capable of as her boundaries are stretched beyond what she is accustomed to. I have to say when we finally find out what she is at the end of the book, I was surprised. I did not see that one coming. Unfortunately, as the reveal comes at the end we will have to wait to find out what it all means for her in the next installment in the series (I'm not sure when exactly it's being released). 

I was frustrated with Nora's developing relationships with Parker, Olliver and Rook in Don't Cheat Me. The first book was very much about how hesitant and untrusting Nora was around men and all of a sudden she's kissing men, holding their hands, contemplating relationships with them and generally leading them all on. And she knew it. It didn't fit very well with the character that the author had created in the first novel. Also, I probably hated it so much because I really want her to be with Rook. 

While there were many more things in this novel that I did not particularly care for I am still psyched to read the next installment in the series because no matter what the conflict or who the villain, I am genuinely interested and invested in the characters. I am excited to see what happens with them all next.

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✫✫
Probability of Rereading:
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1) Review

Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs #1)
By: Jackie May

Most humans have no idea that a dark and deadly underworld, filled with magic and monsters, exists. They wander through life blissfully ignorant of the supernatural world around them. Nora Jacobs is different. Nora knows exactly what kinds of hellish creatures haunt the streets of Detroit. 

Thanks to a unique set of psychic abilities, Nora has managed to steer clear of the underworld most of her life. But all that changes the night the most powerful vampire in the city discovers her gifts and decides to use her as a tool to find one of his missing clan members. 

As if that’s not bad enough, Nora believes she’s cursed. All her life, people, especially men, have been drawn to her—some to the point of obsession and violence. Underworlders, it seems, are not immune to this curse, and now she’s caught the attention of some of the most dangerous monsters in the city.

Neck deep in an investigation only she can solve, Nora quickly makes as many new allies as she does enemies. Her biggest problem is staying alive long enough to decide which is which.




I had seen this book recommended to someone in a Facebook group I'm in and decided to check it out. Of course, at that time I was exclusively Kobo so I was unable to read this book as it seems to be exclusively Kindle. Once I got the Kindle app this immediately went on my list of books I must read. 

This was probably one of, if not the darkest fantasy book I've ever read. The atmosphere of the book has a dark tone to it and there is a constant undercurrent of sexual abuse. The MC, Nora, has had a pretty awful past laced with many instances of sexual and physical abuse, because of the type of power she holds. Somehow people are drawn to her, men to the point of obsession, which has been extremely dangerous for her. As such Nora avoids contact with everyone and prefers to be alone as she considers it safer. Of course, growing up in foster care has left it's share of battle scars on her and although she's generally a loner she longs for family and friendly human contact. Nora has no interest in dating anyone because of her powers and is understandably suspicious of men, because of previous experiences. She goes as far as saying that while she's not a virgin she has never experienced the act of making love, sex is always something that has been taken from her by force. 

At first glance Nora seems to be a human with psychic abilities, but the deeper into the book you go the more you begin to realize that she may not be human at all. Her knowledge of her power is limited and seems to be confined to her ability to read one's mind when she touches them, pick up psychic imprints from objects and what she refers to as her "curse". Which is her allure to both men and women alike. It becomes more powerful the more anyone spends time with her and Nora is unable to control it or turn it off. 

Nora's gifts only bring her trouble however when they come to light with underworlder's and she tries to help them locate their missing vampire and troll. She becomes embroiled in the underworld and gets into quite a few situations that make her believe she will be killed. This book was full of action, mystery and fantasy elements. I was surprised with how much I liked it since there was no real romance in it. I actually found myself hoping that men would keep their distance from Nora as the two encounters we see right in the beginning are terrible for her and she is almost taken against her will twice in the span of the first few chapters. 

We see Nora make her first real friends in this book and it makes her more endearing to the reader because while she is cautious and suspicious of the intentions of everyone she is so grateful to have these underworlder's who genuinely care about her and want to look out for her. In particular, a troll named Terrance becomes Nora's fiercest and most protective friend and she feels safe with him, particularly when he claims her as part of his clan and not his mate. 

I really loved this book and am hoping to find the hard copy to buy to add it to my collection. If you get an opportunity to read it I would definitely recommend it, but I do warn you, the sexual abuse theme can get intense at times. 

Final Rating:
✬✬✬✬✬
Probability of Rereading
Yes

Thanks for reading!

Opinionated Bookworm

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