Tag Archives: demons

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Book Review: Kiss of Darkness, by Taylor Aston White

I picked up a review copy of Taylor Aston White‘s Kiss of Darkness through Netgalley. It was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight. You can hop over for an excerpt.

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He despises her… almost as much as his beast craves her.

Kyra’s seen and survived the worst things imaginable, all because of the magic she was born with. Trapped by her secret, she has no choice but to serve Councilman Gallagher or risk everything she has tried so hard to build. Because despite black magic being banned, her very survival depends on it.

When she’s commanded to summon a Daemon, a Breed notorious for their corruption and brutality, she’s torn between keeping her secret and doing the right thing.

Xander’s hate for black witches was notorious, but nothing frustrated him more than the one witch that brings trouble with a capital T. With dark amber eyes, and a controlled strength that fascinated his beast – the monster he’s cursed to share a soul – Xander will do anything to push her away.

So when he’s forced into protecting her, he must put aside his prejudice and ignore his growing desire that’s an insult to his past.

Because he’s had an entire childhood to remember why you can’t trust black witches.

And he definitely can’t trust Kyra Farzan.

my review

This was fine, not exceptional in any way, but entertaining enough. Before I get into any specifics I have to have one major gripe, and it’s one I feel like I’m making constantly.

This book is very clearly labeled Book 1 of the Curse of the Guardians series. That’s why I chose to read it. However, I made it about 20% in and put it aside, went over to Goodreads, and read the blurbs of the author’s other books to find out what Curse of the Guardians is a spin-off of. Because at that point, I was 100% sure that Kiss of Darkness is one. The characters had met previously, previous events are referenced, the world-building was sketchy (as if I was meant to already know it), there was a strong couple that was clearly from another story-line, there were even internal jokes between characters that the reader was obviously meant to understand.

Point blank, no argument, if I can tell a book is a spin-off because I can feel previous books are missing, the book does not stand alone well enough to be a new series. And in those scenarios I kiss of darkness photocall the ‘book 1’ label a lie. I am super tired of having this happen.

OK, that’s my big gripe. Outside of that, the book is fine. I liked that Kyra is strong, even as she’s put in impossible situations. I never really took to Xander though. He was just kind of a bland, generic paranormal romance hero. But the writing is easily readable. And while there wasn’t anything that stood out as stellar in the plot, it wasn’t all out bad either.

Other Reviews:

Archaeolibrarian: Kiss of Darkness

Book Him Danno: Kiss of Darkness



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Book Review: Dragged Under, by D.E. Chapman

I picked up a Kindle copy of D.E. Chapman‘s Dragged Under on one of it’s Amazon freebie days.

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Send help… I’m going to need it.

I was normal… until I wasn’t. Dying does that to people, I guess.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. My name is Gabrielle, and I’m an omega. My life took an unexpected turn the moment I was dragged into an alley and murdered. When I woke up, I fully embodied lust and jumped three sexy-as-sin strangers—who just so happened to be Hell’s strongest demons.

Now the four of us are bonded for life. And as it turns out, this group of three is actually a group of six. Oh and there’s this huge plot to overthrow the current leader of Hell, and somehow I’ve found myself smack dab in the middle of it.

If I thought my life before was a challenge, it’s got nothing on this shit.

my review
When I picked up a copy of Dragged Under, a reverse harem in which a woman mates the Deadly Sins (one of which is Lucifer himself), I never would have imagined my primary descriptor on finishing it would be bland. I was simply bored the whole time.

Even the sex is mechanical and dull. I’m talking P enters V, equals O. Sometimes P doesn’t even enter V more than once before O. No foreplay, no getting to know the men, no variation, no emotion, no passion. Mechanics, that’s it, and not even many of those. It’s about as erotic as sitting on a chair and then immediately standing up, done.

The villain is a caricature that drops in to monologue briefly on occasion and nothing more. The primary foil being ridiculous challenges that are overcome with comical ease.

Everyone had two names (both the 7 Sins and everyone else) that are used interchangeably throughout the book. So, I could never keep track of who was doing what. (Why would an author do this?) On top of not being able to keep names straight, none of characters are well developed or differ enough to tell them apart anyway, not even the heroine.

dragged under photoBut then how could she be? She spends literally half the book asleep or unconscious and the other half being carried or used as a flesh-lite. (The men negotiate with each-other about who gets to stick it in next—and that’s about all they ever do. She’s never an active participant.) She might as well be an inanimate object. I’m not even exaggerating here.

And the whole thing ends with a deus ex machina that made no sense at all. I have no desire for more of this series.

Other Reviews:

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Book Review: Speak of the Demon, by Stacia Stark

A signed paperback copy of Stacia Stark‘s Speak of the Demon came in my December Supernatural Book Crate.

speak of the demon
I hunt demons.
I don’t work for them.

And I promised my mom one thing before she was murdered: Under no circumstances, would I ever go near the high demons.

But I’ll break that promise over and over again if it helps me avenge her death.

When my only lead turns to ash in the middle of demon territory, I’m suddenly a dead witch walking. Violence in Samael’s club is an automatic death sentence… unless he can use you.

And it turns out that the most powerful demon in the country has a use for little ol’ me.

Demons are being slaughtered. His demons. And as a bounty hunter, it’s up to me to find out who would dare hurt his people.

I’ve got two weeks to find the killer, and if I fail, I’m bonded to Samael. Forever.

Samael’s certain that I’ll be his, but I’m not the kinda girl who risks her freedom for a demon.

I’m the kinda girl who won’t let anyone get in the way of her vengeance— not even the Machiavellian control freak who thinks he can run my life.

The problem? I’ve pissed the wrong people off.

Now I’m the one being hunted, and someone’s coming for me with everything they have.

But I’m never more dangerous than when my back is up against the wall.

And I’m ready to come out swinging.

my review
This was a fun urban fantasy (maybe paranormal romance); hard to know exactly where the line between the two is sometimes. I liked that Danica was smart and resourceful. She was mouthy and angry a lot of times, but managed to avoid it coming across as her whole personality (as sometimes happens in such books). I appreciated having Samael’s POV and thought he was sexy. I sense it’ll be a good pairing in future books.

However, here in this book, I don’t feel like we were given enough interactions between him and Danica to feel more than we’re told in exposition, certainly not get to know you sort of interactions. So, the ‘romance’ aspect of the book fell pretty flat for me. (I felt more spark with Vas, simply because she spent more quality time with him.) Also, while we’re told Samael is super powerful and scary, and we see him unleash that on enemies at times, he’s so soft around Danica that it undermined the whole ‘big, bad alpha a-hole’ persona the reader is supposed to believe he carries.

The world and history was interesting, but I don’t feel like we were really given more than an outline of it. Honestly, the whole book felt like a second book, where I should be finding the first for all that world-building. (Edit: Apparently there is a .5 prequel. I just didn’t know before reading this book.) All in all, I had some complaints, but I’ll be happy to continue this series.

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