Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton


Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal, Suspense/Mystery, Horror
Length: Full Length (708 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, M/F/F, F/F, M/M, F/M/M, Multiple Partners, Menage
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

In her twenty-fifth adventure, vampire hunter and necromancer Anita Blake learns that evil is in the eye of the beholder…

Anita has never seen Damian, her vampire servant, in such a state. The rising sun doesn’t usher in the peaceful death that he desperately needs. Instead, he’s being bombarded with violent nightmares and blood sweats.

And now, with Damian at his most vulnerable, Anita needs him the most. The vampire who created him, who subjected him to centuries of torture, might be losing control, allowing rogue vampires to run wild and break one of their kind’s few strict taboos.

Some say love is a great motivator, but hatred gets the job done, too. And when Anita joins forces with her friend Edward to stop the carnage, Damian will be at their side, even if it means traveling back to the land where all his nightmares spring from…a place that couldn’t be less welcoming to a vampire, an assassin, and a necromancer.

Ireland.

Ever have a book that gripped you so hard that it sucked you right into the author’s world and your own faded away? That’s what Crimson Death did to me. I only did the bare minimum of household chores. I read late into the night until it flipped to morning, grabbed a few hours of sleep only to wake up a few hours later to devour a few more chapters before having to slog off to work to simply come home to read and read some more until almost midnight the next night. Yeah, so, it took me two days to read, but what an amazing two days it was.

I’ve been following this series for years. I’ve watched Anita view everything as black and white; a character was either good or bad, no quarter. Monsters were bad, humans could be bad too but they were human. As the series unfolds, the heroine realizes that she can no longer ignore the ‘gray’ areas; life is a LOT more complicated, and messy and as she grows, Anita realizes that gray areas not only exist, they’re huge. It opens her up to accepting and doing things she never, ever, in a million years would think or do. Following her has been an amazing journey and that journey continues in Crimson Death. Sure, there are original fans that prefer her early years when it was all about the mystery, the horror, the suspense, drama and how it affected her. I mean, first person point of view really gets into a character’s head and the author has the daunting job of staying there. Ms. Hamilton has done Anita for so long, it seems second nature – I’m always right there with Marshall Blake, even when the blood flows.

This huge novel is no different when it comes to exploring her growth, both in her personal life and in her power. Yes, there is large section that explores Anita’s power’s connection to sex within her small group of loves and lovers, but before anyone scoffs at all the sex, be aware that there are a few astounding and earth shattering revelations that ripple through the rest of the novel stemming from all that erotic sex, which includes just a smidgen of voyeurism and exhibitionism from one of mine and Anita’s favorite people. Another warning to die-hard fans – be prepared to sniffle or cry or just get serious goosebumps on what happens. The one huge tragedy that affected me the most ends up being a turning point in Anita’s life that will have ginormous ramifications for future books. I didn’t want it to happen. All I could say was ‘no! no! no!, but of course Ms. Hamilton excels at writing the hard scenes – scenes for which a reader ultimately comes to the sad but resigned conclusion that it served a valid, crucial and necessary purpose. I don’t have to like it but I recognize Ms. Hamilton is staying true to Anita’s journey.

A lot of my favorite recurring secondary/primary characters populate this novel. There is one new character that sheds some light on Edward/Ted. It was actually humorous at times, which I didn’t expect at all. I think Anita was just as bemused as I was. Thing is, she has the ability to pester him in future books to satisfy her curiosity. I’m looking forward to what she finds out.

Of course the main villain and cohorts are truly evil, nasty, horrific, sociopathic and creepy. However, not all the cohorts are there willingly and how the author dealt with them kept my heart pounding with dread. This is such a powerfully, well written book, I could not remain unaffected.

This isn’t truly a standalone read because some of the things that occur are at their most commanding and powerful if a reader is personally vested in caring for certain characters from previous stories. If a person were to just start with this book, there are mentions of past experiences that provide Anita with the power she currently has, and they might be shocked by how erotic and numerous the sex initially is, but the main mystery of trying to figure out who or what is making all these vampires and why, can carry this novel by itself. It also might capture new fans and they might be inspired to read the series from the beginning or at least a few of the books that were alluded to in this one.

I am a fan of Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, and I highly recommend this novel to fans that’ve followed her all this time. Crimson Death wowed me to the point that writing this review was a compulsion. I just HAD to tell you how marvelous and incredible Crimson Death was, and recommend it to readers with high praise and accolades.

Her Protectors by Tamsin Baker


Her Protectors by Tamsin Baker
Peacekeepers, book 2
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (54 Pages)
Other: M/F/M, Menage, Anal Sex
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Sorrel

Jacky is visiting Alaska, on holiday’s with her best friend Karen. She’s just broken up with her horrible ex-boyfriend, and a trip over-seas to see some Polar bears and the beautiful wilderness that America offers, is exactly what she needs.
The last thing she expects when she arrives at a lodge that guarantees every visitor that they will see a Polar bear, is two men who believe she is their soul mate.

Ashten and Raylock get a phone call from their brothers that their mate has arrived. They rush home, assuming it was only Brad’s mate that had been found. Instead, their own red haired goddess is there to greet them on their return.

All is well with the brother shifters when Jacky submits instantly to their attraction and she seems to be falling in love with them. But they have enemies everywhere and when Jacky unknowingly steps off their land, she is taken by some rouge vampires.

Can they get her back in time? Or will the damage their nemesis does to her, turn her against them forever?

A good book and a neat take on shifters.

I underestimated this book. The “fated mates” trope isn’t new but I liked how the author presented Ashten, Raylock and Jacky’s version. It was a hot and fast love at first sight kind of story.

Jacky wanted to see polar bears. So, she came for her holiday to a lodge that promised that she would see one. However, the moment she gets there… chaos ensues.

I read a lot of paranormal and fantasy, however the beginning of Her Protectors seemed to have a little too much drama. Even so, as the pages turned the plot became more interesting. The story of the Peacekeepers and their world is truly intriguing. Since, this is the second book in the series, I could tell that I had missed some big chunk of the world that the author has woven. May need to go search out book 1 in the series to see how it all began.

The chemistry was hot. The action and the plot were well played out. This is a short read sure to heat up a cold night.

Bite Me by Jenika Snow

biteme
Bite Me by Jenika Snow
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (83 Pages)
Other: M/F/M, M/F/M/M, Anal Play, Menage
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

With no idea where she comes from, or who she is really is, Ruby has gone through life focusing on her passion for science. But for the last seven years she’s dreamed of the same three men.

It isn’t until she’s drawn to barren and icy Alaska for her research that she comes face to face with the men from her dreams…men who are also shifters. They tell her she’s their mate, and the three of them will share her. They’re dominating and possessive, and want her to be their first and only. When they mate it’s for life.

She knows she can run, but Ruby also knows they’ll chase her. What she doesn’t know is if she’s ready to accept everything they want, and everything she finds out.

This was a sweet sexy shifter story. It was short but interesting and I enjoyed reading it.

The plot of this story was interesting and the characters were likeable but I was expecting more than the bit of low suspense. Ruby stood out to me as a very strong heroine who was willing to stand up for the right thing for everyone. She took the situation in stride at discovering her origins and that she would have three shifter mates. Get ready for some hot mating sex in this one. I was fine with that part but felt that the conflict ended a bit too suddenly. I liked the story, but it was missing something for me. To sum up my opinion, it was nicely written but not very exciting. A good read for a couple hours, anyway, and onward to the next book by this author.

I recommend this short sexy book as a quick and satisfying read for those who enjoy hot shifter romance.

Shifting Forces by Cassidy McKay

forces
Shifting Forces by Cassidy McKay
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short Story (71 pgs)
Other: M/F/M, Ménage, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

Aurora Monroe has detailed plans for her life — and not one of them includes being barefoot, pregnant and under the thumbs of two decidedly alpha males. But what’s a girl to do when she has two sexy shifters both trying to claim mating rights?

When two paranormals on opposite sides of the war save an injured human, they unintentionally mark her as their wife. Bonded by blood, fire and passion, the gryphon and phoenix shifters do everything they can to keep their new human mate safe.

Getting her to go along with the plan is a different matter. She has no intention of following their orders. Found in defiance of both human laws and paranormal traditions, the battle for their rights turns into a fight for their lives.

Sex between a human and her two shifters can be spectacular, but is it worth risking everything for a chance at forever?

Kender is a gryphon shifter and because he’s part of the military he’s kept his little paranormal secret deeply under wraps. Varick is a phoenix shifter and at loose ends. He lost his house, his job, everything when he admitted he was a shifter. And Aurora is a red headed package of trouble, a human who uses her right to free speech to argue for shifter rights. Caught up in an unexpected brawl, she’s saved by both Kender and Varick – both of whom mark her as theirs near-simultaneously. So what’s a girl to do when claimed by two sexy shifters? Why try a threesome, of course.

This is a fun and interesting paranormal ménage story. I was a little confused initially as each chapter is told from one of the three main character’s points of view, and is oddly titled as part of their blog. Even after finishing the book I’m left quite puzzled as to why their chapters are titled blogs – ie “Autora’s blog”, “Varick’s blog” etc. I presume it’s meant to indicate that each progressive chapter is sort of like a journal entry on how they met and came together, but it’s told in the third person – not first. Blogging/journal writing is usually first person “today I did such and such”. If there was some other meaning behind why the chapters are blogs then it was completely lost on me. So that caused me confusion each time I came to the next chapter – being reminded that I didn’t really know what was going on with that.

I did enjoy hearing the story from all three main characters. This really helped me see not only into their personalities but also helped me understand the very quick attraction between them all. While I felt the chapters were a little short – and thus it felt a little jarring jumping from one to another’s perspective all the time – I think the solid understanding of all three characters outweighs the niggle of the head hopping that happens throughout the whole story.

The sex is smoking hot and really well written. I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel it complimented the plot and world the author described perfectly.

For a sizzling hot ménage story set in an interesting alternative, paranormal world this is a great short story. I feel a broad range of readers should enjoy it and am definitely interested in trying out more of this “Protect and Serve” series myself.

Werewolves of London by Isabella Jordan

london
Werewolves of London by Isabella Jordan
Publisher: Changeling Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (83 pgs)
Other: BDSM, M/F, M/F/M, Ménage, Masturbation, Anal Play, Spanking
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Meet Grace Cho, snow leopard — In London on a mission for the coveted Thoth Agency. Born and raised in the Agency, Grace discreetly observes the happenings of the paranormal world and there’s one recent happening that brings her face to face with Carter Annis — A potential murderer.

A hunk of a potential murderer indeed, but still, a prime suspect in the killing of an old and respected Agency member. One of three werewolves vying for the Alpha role in a pack of notorious werewolves in London, Carter meets Grace via a prophecy his pack elders have spoken of since he was a child and with the help of ParanormalMatesSociety.com. Carter’s burning desire to find “a woman from the East” and perform the traditional mating ritual motivates him to pursue Grace with a vengeance. Carter wants the beautiful Grace for his very own and he’ll do almost anything to achieve that goal.

Unbeknownst to Carter, Grace has placed a profile at the online paranormal dating site to capture a killer. One way or another, Grace is going to take Carter down.

Mating rituals, prophecies and murder, oh, my…

I enjoyed Werewolves of London because there was quite a bit of plot development before the hero and heroine jumped between the sheets. I liked the murder mystery that Grace had to solve, and I like that Carter’s being her mate was not a given. He had to work at it a bit and that hint of uncertainty gave the story a bit of depth it otherwise would not have had.

The conflict is twofold – win the girl and make sure she stays alive. Sounds like a good plan except Grace and Carter have no idea who the killer is. Turns out it’s an age old motive but Ms. Jordan still put it to effective use.

The author put her characters through their sexual paces with effective writing that can cause hot flashes for some readers. Grace had a very fun time with the mating but I liked that when all is kissed and done, Carter remains a hero. I also appreciated the fact that although Carter was a playboy, Grace wasn’t all that experienced. The reason why was fascinating and also a little sad.

There is one niggle that bothered me and that was how the info about Grace got where it did. I have some guesses but I would have preferred it to be spelled out in a more dramatic fashion. In fact a couple of the possible drama points were conveniently explained away with just a few short sentences. I think they deserved a bit more attention, but the author concentrated solely on the romance. Overall, I guess that’s a good thing.

Werewolves of London is a cute sexy romp with just the right dusting of suspense and drama to keep the pages flipping. I liked the relationship between Grace and Carter. It wasn’t a courtship fraught with unnecessary resistance but Grace wasn’t a pushover either. I liked that about her – pragmatic, honest about her own feelings, and not afraid to go after a good thing. I had fun reading this book and recommend it for a quick, happy and sexy read.

A Canadian In Paris by Vicki Savage

paris
A Canadian In Paris by Vicki Savage
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (41 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M , Ménage, Anal play
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

After a messy breakup with an emotionally abusive man, Maggie Babou has all but given up on life. She climbs up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, determined to end it all. There she finds a handsome army Sergeant who convinces her to give him one night to change her mind. She follows him back to a café, where she meets his handsome French friend, and through their elaborate seduction, Maggie peels back the layers of hurt and discovers a confident, kinky side of her that she never knew existed.

Brice and Claude have made a business out of helping those in trouble, but the special needs of this beautiful, caramel-skinned stranger require a unique touch. The more they try to help, the more they see Maggie’s inner strength and courage. They quickly fall for the Canadian beauty, and after spending a night in her arms, become determined to never let her go.

After seven years together Maggie decided it was time for her and her boyfriend to take the next step – commit properly, work on their future. So a short holiday in Paris seemed like the perfect time to get this started. Only her boyfriend ditched her for a dancer in the red light district and suddenly Maggie is left floundering. Visiting the Eiffel tower, she has decided to end it all. Only she’s pulled back from the brink by a young man half her age, Brice. And when Brice introduces Maggie to Claude, she begins to feel reckless. Can Maggie find something worth living fall in the city of love?

I enjoyed this older woman/younger man/men short story. Brice and Claude were both sexy and hot, and while Maggie starts off a bit sad and unsure of herself they quickly help her find her confidence. I was a little surprised that apart from Maggie initially recognizing that Brice and Claude are both approximately half her forty years there is no mention at all about the age difference. While pleased that it wasn’t made out to be a bigger deal than it should be in this day and age, I nevertheless was a bit surprised that none of the three of them speak about it at all. While not an impediment to a short-term ménage relationship, the age difference would, I believe, make for some significant differences in both their world views, experiences and general outlooks. So I was both a bit disappointed it wasn’t even raised – let alone discussed – and also felt it lent the air of unreality to the story. I felt this would have been an excellent discussion point and lovely to see how they dealt with those differences outside the bedroom.

I also struggled a little with the pacing of this story. Being told in the first person point of view it wasn’t until some explanations right in the last couple of pages of the story that I felt a strong, good connection to Claude and Brice. Personally I like to get hooked on the characters right at the start of a story – it’s a compelling reason for me to continue reading. Oddly, in this story I was frustrated that so many questions were raised and because I couldn’t glimpse in the men’s heads I had to keep pushing through the pages and only at the very end were my questions answered. I really feel I could have enjoyed the story a lot more had I been able to glimpse better inside their heads and know where they were coming from. Similarly, at times I felt Maggie’s thoughts – particularly reflections on her past and explaining her history – slowed down the pace of the story and instead of moving forward with the sexy kisses and acting on her chemistry, her reflections on how she came to be right at that point felt a bit too much like info-dumping to my mind.

Having said that, when the ménage finally kicked into gear the sex was smoking hot and deliciously intense. Both Claude and Brice clearly and thoroughly enjoyed sharing a woman between them, and I didn’t blame Maggie a bit for lapping it all up then asking for seconds. Her two lovers were generous, talented and didn’t shy away from showing just how much they loved sharing the experience. There was a twist near the end that took me completely by surprise in a good way. I was also pleased with the happy ending and found it a satisfying conslusion to a good ménage story.

Zoey by Jennifer Labelle

zoey
Zoey by Jennifer Labelle
I Dare You book 2
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, F/F, M/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Zoey Appleby is bored of her vanilla sex life, or lack thereof lately. So, when her friends dare her to have a threesome she’s all for it, in theory anyway. It isn’t until she’s introduced to Heidi and Nathan’s boyfriend, Rafe, that the opportunity comes knocking.

Rafe Zakas is hoping Zoey will consider being their fourth. He needs something more from his two lovers and Zoey is just what he thinks he needs to help him settle down. There is a void she seems to fill within him, and it’s up to Zoey to decide if she’s okay with their new found love and unconventional lifestyle, or will she stick to the life she’s used to?

Zoey has always wanted to be part of a threesome or an orgy and a drunken dare by her two best friends finally gives her the opportunity to really let loose and try it out. Will it be everything she hopes for?

This was an interesting and very sexy short story. I liked Zoey’s character – there was so much potential to her and I was excited to get to know her better. I really wished we got to spend more time with her and that the author had fleshed out her character more. I was extremely surprised that even though this was Zoey’s story a large chunk of the book was spent with Heidi (one of Zoey’s two best friends) in the spotlight. An entire chapter was spent with Heidi and her husband Nathan and their ménage lover, Rafe, and there were also short scenes that didn’t involve Zoey at all. In a 54 page book, I really felt this was critical words and space that should have been focused on Zoey or Zoey and Rafe together – not Heidi.

This all made the story really feel more like an extension of Heidi’s (which was covered in book 1) and made me feel like Zoey was almost a strong secondary character. I had a lot of curiosity about Zoey and wish we could have explored her character further, considering this was “her” book. Why was Zoey’s ultimate sexual fantasy that of a ménage/moresome? How did she go about seeking this in the down-time when the story was focused on Heidi and not Zoey? What was her attraction to Rafe and how did they interact together? I really wanted more focus to be on this. There was so much happening “off camera” that it felt like I missed out on big chunks of the story – Zoey and Rafe getting to know each other better and Zoey exploring the swingers club, both of these felt critical to the plot and progress of the story and yet both were really only mentioned in passing – not in detail. I feel this was a huge opportunity that was left unexplored.

About half way through I decided to stop questioning everything and just disengage my brain. Once I simply read the story as it was portrayed I did enjoy the sexy scenes and I have to admit the writing itself was really good. As a fun, hot foursome story this ticks a lot of the boxes, sex wise. If you’re a reader who can ignore curiosity and just enjoy a sexy story for the sex, this is definitely a good book to try. I enjoyed the foursome scenes – I felt they were hot and well paced. Zoey and Rafe were both smoking hot and clearly attracted to each other. Rafe was also obviously deeply in love with both Nathan and Heidi and the menage scene between the three of them was sexy too.

You don’t necessarily have had to read the first book in the series to enjoy this story. There’s a lot of repeated information around both the dare and how Zoey, Heidi and Meagan are friends. I was pleased for the happy ending and the foursome scenes were hot and well worth the read. Megan’s story is the third (and presumably last) in this series and I’m still curious enough to check it out.

Precious Cargo by Sarah Marsh

PRECIOUSCARGOE
Precious Cargo by Sarah Marsh
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (88 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/M , M/F/M, Ménage, Multiple Partners, Anal Play
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

What would you do if you woke up to a nightmare, complete with monsters? Alison Baker deals with it the best way she knows how—one day at a time. When it comes to her future, she’ll need to learn to open up her mind and her heart if she hopes to survive.

When Clan Drogan’s ship gets attacked by pirates, their spoils of war come in the most unexpected of packages. They’ve never met any female like Ali before, and her sweet, caring nature draws them to her like moths to a flame. But they have commitments of their own. Will the three of them be able to decide once and for all if the woman they’re promised to is right for them? Or will they risk it all on their attraction to Ali?

Ali knows that Conn, Kal, and Tannen are spoken for, but she can’t seem to help herself. They introduce her to pleasures she’s never even imagined, so how could just a taste ever be enough? Will Ali find the strength to stand up and fight for what she wants, or will she lose Clan Drogan altogether?

I really enjoyed this delightful fantasy frolic.

Precious Cargo begins a promising new series by Sarah Marsh. The characters were amazing. The story starts out on earth where Alison Baker is a lonely woman who gets abducted from her home and then wakes up somewhere in a far away galaxy. The space pirates, or Wargs as they were called, intend to sell her as a pleasure slave but their luck runs out when they attack the trade ship of Clan Drogan. Conn, Tannen and Kal rescued Alison from the pirates and were surpised at how different she was from the females of their planet. They are relationship partners and soon they realize that Alison would be the perfect bond mate for them. The main problem being that they are already committed to another female back on their home planet.

This was a very entertaining and sexy story. It was fast paced and incredibly descriptive. Sarah Marsh painted a vivid picture of everyone and this helped to pull me into the story. I really liked the main characters and how sweet and protective that Conn, Tannen and Kal grew of Alison. I also enjoyed the hot menage sex scenes, of course.

Precious Cargo is the first book that I’ve read by Sarah Marsh. I was very impressed with her amazing writing and look forward to more fabulous books in this series.

Billionaire Beast by Sam Crescent

BEAST
Billionaire Beast by Sam Crescent
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (126 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, Anal Play, Menage
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Tulip

Richard “The Beast” Bruce can’t get his super-efficient PA off his mind, but he doesn’t believe in crossing the line with an employee.

Temperance is intrigued by her boss, by his business success and his life as a biker, trying to save victims of human trafficking. Working together late one night, the fire between them burns brighter than ever before, but once it is over, Temperance runs—straight to her best friend, Jay, who is love with her, too.

Neither Jay nor Richard will give up, so they decide to share Temperance, who has feelings for the pair of them. There’s no way sharing two men would ever be simple, but both Richard and Jay are determined to show her how good it can be.

But what will happen when of the MC’s enemies tries to destroy them, just as Richard, Temperance, and Jay start to work out? Can Richard save everyone, and have the two people he has come to care about? Or will he lose it all?

Wow! Another awesome read from Sam Crescent. Billionaire Beast is a sexy, suspenseful menage story that had me captivated from the first page.

This series has a bit of everything to thrill the reader. It has hot, alpha bikers who are billionaires determined to help people, especially women and children. Richard “The Beast” Bruce can’t stop thinking about his personal assistant Temperance but he doesn’t want to cross a line and lose her. Temperance is fascinated by her sexy boss but she doesn’t think he could possibly be interested in her. Once again, our heroine fits a certain description of being a fuller figured woman. Then one night Richard and Temperance can no longer deny their attraction and they finally have sex at the office after which Tempe runs back home to her best friend, Jay, who is also secretly in love with her. Being a billionaire biker who is used to taking what he wants Richard follows Tempe home and meets Jay. Almost immediately the two men decide to share Tempe rather than lose the woman they both love.

Now let me say that this book had an incredibly lively plot. There was some brief drama because neither man is willing to give up and Temperance had to be persuaded into the menage relationship. Throw in a jealous club girl and someone targeting the women connected to the Billionaire Bikers MC. Of course the sex is mind blowing because what else could it be since this is a Sam Crescent novel. Each element was blended together perfectly to make this book a fabulous read that I couldn’t put down.

Billionaire Beast was a great story and I can’t wait for the next book.

The Dragon King: Not So Ordinary by Marie Harte

KING
The Dragon King: Not So Ordinary by Marie Harte
Ethereal Foes Book 4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Contemporary
Length: Full length (151 Pages)
Other: M/F, M/F/M, M/M/F, Ménage, BDSM, Anal Sex/Play
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Foxglove

What good is being king if you can’t burn your own rules?

Ethereal Foes, Book 4

In the two years since Jentaron hatched, he’s grown into an adult blue dragon full of the knowledge of his royal predecessors. He’s a true king, even if the other denizens of the Ethereal, those demons, havoc, angels and the like, continue to test him.

But he’s got heavier worries. Namely, an unspeakable danger that threatens all life as the planet knows it. He can feel it, can sense that he’s got a bigger role to play than just pissing off the Ethereal.

With the blood elves and havoc making more trouble than usual, magic no longer flowing freely in the Abyss, and angels massacring everything demonic they can get their holy hands on, the Balance has reached a tipping point. Time to take charge before the rules change.

What’s a dragon to do but create his own chaos? He’ll take a mate or two, instill fear where needed, and finally return dragonkind to the Ordinary—the human lands—where a dragon will decide the fate of the worlds.

Because he’s king, and he says so.

As the Dragon King, Jentaron is the most powerful being in the lower realm. But he has kept the true strength of his abilities hidden, letting others believe he is less than he is. He knows that what is coming soon will change all the realms, and if what he has foreseen comes to pass, it will be war, with the very existence of all beings in jeopardy.

Zelec is one of the strongest of the higher demons, but even he needs to take time to relax. When he encounters Ella in a bar in the Ordinary, he realizes that there is something different about her. He quickly realizes she is a nephilim, a rare offspring of an angel and a human, and powerful in her own right. Zelec doesn’t do love, but something about Ella continues to draw him in. When she has a vision of horrible beings set to conquer the planet, she collapses, and Zelec takes her to the only safe place he knows of in the Ordinary…James Sinclair’s penthouse.

When Jentaron encounters Ella there, he realizes that she is part of his destiny, one of his mates, and that the other is Zelec. Only if all three bond together can they hope to defeat the Hunger, and evil like no one has seen. The hunger is determined to destroy all in its path, but with Jentaron leading, there is a union of angels, demons, dragons and all other paranormals in this world, all united to meet a common enemy. Can the different groups work together to defeat the Hunger, or will the petty squabbles endanger all of humanity and the other realms? Can Ella and Jentaron convince Zelec that they want him forever, not just for the battle ahead? And will the shock of learning about their parentage cause Ella and Zelec more problems?

The Dragon King: Not So Ordinary is the final episode of Marie Harte’s Ethereal Foes series. It is a story filled with danger, passion and lots of surprises for many of the characters that live in this world. The world building has been consistent throughout, and the characters continue to be well crafted and unpredictable. I like that, even after three previous books, there was more to learn about each character, and there were many surprises revealed in this one.

Jentaron is the King of the Dragons, and he is a mix of innocence and sensuality. Those around him continuously underestimate him, and belittle him. He hides his power, because he knows it is not the right time to let others know what he knows; that there is a war coming, one that could end the world as they know it. He knows he must unite the many different groups, angels, demons, dragons and other beings if they want to defeat their common enemy. Watching as Jentaron slowly reveals his actual powers is a treat, and as he finds his mates to boost his levels, I really enjoyed watching him finally come into his position as a leader. I also liked that he did not lose his joy in the little things in life, and still enjoyed having fun, in spite of the pressure he is under.

Ella is a strong and powerful female, but she has no idea that what she calls her ‘family gift’ is in fact a powerful effect of being a nephilim. She thought she was human, and only after meeting two super hot males does she learn what she really is. As she grows closer to Jentaron and Zelec, she begins to discover just how powerful the three of them are together. I like Ella, with her snarky attitude and her determination to see where the relationship with her guys will go next. I loved that she was willing to accept who and what she is, and I really laughed when she finally met her father and discovered the source of all her power.

Zelec is a strong and sexy higher demon. He says he doesn’t do love, but his actions don’t match his words. He has a vulnerability that very seldom shows, but both Ella and Jentaron sense that there is more to him than he lets on. I love Zelec because he doesn’t apologize for anything…he is a demon and proud of it. He is an especially powerful demon, and the reason behind his powers becomes clear when his parentage is finally revealed to him, almost by accident. He is determined to leave once the battle is fought, but I enjoyed watching as Ella and Jentaron broke down his defenses and showed him that they loved him, just as he is.

This story brings in the worst danger possible, a horde of beings determined to decimate every being on the world, and destroy humanity and the other realms as they have done to many other worlds before. There is humor in this, and lots of dragon/demon/nephilim passion, but there is also danger and fear as well. It shows that to be victorious, sometimes enemies must unite in the face of overwhelming odds to defeat a common foe, and that only with a true sharing of passion can the enemy finally be defeated. There are surprises here, some very shocking and one I did not see coming at all. I found this to be a very satisfying conclusion to the Ethereal Foes series, with all of the threads brought together to a close. I do recommend a lot of cold drinks, air conditioning and tissues, as there are tears, laughter and lots of very hot and passion filled scenes.