Mark of the Bear by N.J. Walters

Mark of the Bear by N.J. Walters
Hades Carnival Book 2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (293 Pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

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.

Mark of the Bear is N.J. Walters’ second book in her Hades Carnival series, and like Night of the Tiger, it is a fantastic addition to this world Ms. Walters has built. This is a dark world, filled with curses and demons, and strong, determined women, ready to do what is needed to survive. I like the characters Ms. Walters crafted for this series; strong, independent women with minds of their own, each with one cursed warrior to save. Of course, the warriors are strong, determined and yet each will face a decision on whether to accept their perfect mate or turn to the evil trying to ensnare them.

The Scream Queen. Top of the B-movie victims, Kellsie Morris, has made a comfortable living in Hollywood, but knows her time is running out for the kind of roles she plays. She hopes to segue into writing once she retires from her acting career. When her agent calls with a too-good-to-be-true offer for Kellsie to star in one last big budget slasher film, she jumps at the chance to add to her savings and go out with a scream. Little does she know, the screams here will be for real, and creatures straight from nightmares will be after her soon.

When Kellsie climbs on the carousel at the movie set, she sets in motion events she never could have imagined. Climbing on the bear figure feels right, but when the bear becomes a real, shape shifting being, Kellsie at first doesn’t believe it is real, as this was all in the script she read. Once Marko is released from his curse, the clock starts ticking; if he can keep both Kellsie and himself free of Hades’ clutches for twenty-four hours, they will be free. But they will need to escape Hades’ crew of demons, protect their souls, and avoid the Warrior turned traitor, Mordecai. Can Kellsie accept the truth, when her whole world has been turned into her own personal horror film? Can she accept Marko, knowing of his dual nature, in order to survive? Will these two, together, prove strong enough to stay alive and become more than either expected?

Kellsie Morris is smart and determined to live life on her terms. She realizes that, at her age, she is near the end of her Scream Queen career. I enjoyed watching as Kellsie made her plans for the future, knowing she had no idea what she was walking into with this final starring role. I like that she stood her ground, even when her whole world was flipped upside down and she learned things aren’t always what they appear to be. I enjoyed watching as Kellsie as she accepted Marko, and all that he stood for, and was able to see that he was the ‘good guy’ in the whole event.

Marko has been cursed for centuries, until Kellsie’s touch frees him. He is a strong and loyal warrior to the lady of the Beasts, and he is grateful to be free to search for the Lady. I enjoyed seeing him come to care for Kellsie, and I liked that he learned to admire her strength, and was able to listen to what she had to say, even though he was of an age where men were used to taking charge. I also liked watching as these two found strength in each other, and found what they would sacrifice to stay together.

There is plenty of danger surrounding these characters, but there are a couple of intriguing surprises to come for Kellsie, not just finding her mate in Marko, but learning about a side of herself she didn’t know existed. There is a brief mention of the characters from Night of the Tiger, and a hint of what is yet to come. The romance in this one starts slowly, but reaches the volcanic level once Kellsie and Marko get together. There are some interesting twists to how they evade Hades’ demons here as well. This one kept me reading long past my bed time, and I look forward to the next installment. This one is for all those who like their shifters hot, their heroines feisty, and their romance with a side of danger.


  1. I have to have this book it sounds amazing adding to my wishlist right now .I absolutely love this.

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