Pride of the Lion by N.J. Walters

LION
Pride of the Lion by N.J. Walters
Hades Carnival Book 3
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (263 Pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

Once upon a time, a writer woke up in the middle of her own book…

Hades’ Carnival, Book 3

Araminta Davenport has arrived. After giving up her librarian job to be a full-time writer, all those lonely nights alone with her cat and her keyboard have paid off. She’s been invited to participate in one of the biggest reader appreciation weekends—as a professional author.

She can’t imagine her life getting any more exciting than that…until she accidentally releases a sexy, shapeshifting, immortal warrior from a five-thousand-year-old curse.

Finally free of his carousel prison, lion shifter Leander is determined not to let Hades lure him to the dark side in a quest for world domination. Nor will he give the delectable Araminta up to the clutches of the dark one. If they can survive twenty-four hours—and somehow resist losing themselves completely in the sexual haze threatening to swallow them up—the curse will be permanently broken.

But the clock is ticking, the heat is rising…and only the ultimate sacrifice will save them both.

Pride of the Lion is the third installment of N.J. Walters’ short series, Hades’ Carnival. This is a wonderfully dark and intriguing world, with characters that are fully developed and multifaceted, with insecurities and flaws just like the rest of us. I do enjoy visiting Ms. Walters’ world, but I’m kind of glad I don’t actually live there all the time. It is a world where things aren’t always as they appear to be, and evil hides behind a pretty, or handsome, face. I love the legend she has incorporated, The Lady of the Beasts, and it sends my imagination into overdrive.

Araminta Davenport is absolutely thrilled to have been invited to participate in one of the biggest, most important reader appreciation weekends…as a professional writer. She gave up her day jobs, and feels that she is finally seeing some rewards for all her hard work. What Araminta doesn’t know is that there is someone orchestrating it all from behind the scenes; someone evil and looking toward his own agenda. When Araminta breaks the spell on the lion shifter, Leander, while on the carousel from Hades Carnival, she realizes that what she has been writing isn’t fiction at all; her most recent book follows what is happening to her in this life that has gone just a bit crazy all of a sudden. As for Leander, now that he is free, he is determined to stay that way, and keep both the lovely Araminta and himself out of Hades’ clutches for the next twenty-four hours. As Araminta and Leander grow closer, so do Hades and his minions, including the ever-mysterious Mordecai, one of the freed warriors who accepted Hades’ proposition. When they learn that the events from the first two books written by Araminta have actually occurred, they try to contact the other warriors for assistance. Can Leander keep Araminta safe and refuse Hades’ offer? What other secrets will be revealed as these two fight for their very souls? Will there be a happy ever after for Leander and Araminta, or will Hades finally succeed in his evil plans?

Araminta Davenport is smart, talented, and yet a bit shy and unassuming at first. When she begins to understand that Hades has tricked her, she begins to doubt her talent, and fears she has lost her mind at first. But as she gains a sense of what is happening, she is determined to help Leander resist Hades and his many lures and temptations. I liked Araminta’s quiet strength and determination, and her ability to accept what is happening without question. I liked watching as she grew closer to Leander, and was able to trick Hades as well.

Leander is an ancient warrior, a lion shifter and one of the beasts cursed by his Lady to protect him and his fellow warriors until the time was right for them to be awakened. Leander is strong, handsome and hot, and yet, he is also considerate and willing to listen to Araminta’s ideas. I like Leander for his loyalty and his ability to adapt to situations that are far beyond his knowledge at times.

There are some fantastic surprise twists in this book. I like that Ms. Walters was able to show that even Hades can make mistakes, and forget about some of his goals. There are some unexpected allies here, and I refuse to say any more about them now. Just be aware that all is not lost and nothing is as it seems at times. Of course, there is lots of hot and heavy action as well between Leander and Araminta; it wouldn’t be N.J. Walters without it. I am looking forward to the final episode in this passionate tale of good versus evil. Do Leander and Araminta survive their challenge? Now, that would be telling, and I think that it is better to read it for yourself.

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