The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15) by J. R. Ward

Series:

Title: The Chosen by J. R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood
Release Date: April , 2017
Format: Audiobook (17 hrs and 32 mins)
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Published By: Ballantine Books
Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paving the way for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

three-half-stars

I am still baffled that Scribe non-Virgin (herein “SnV”) just left her creation/children. How does a mother of a race just bounce? She leaves knowing the Omega is somewhere out there trying to destroy them but she is worried about being worshiped?

I liked it better than the last book but this whole brotherhood has an attitude problem. I am talking Qhuinn, Tohr, Vishous and sometimes Wrath. In addition, WARDen’s weak attempt at redeeming Xcor made this installment less than impressive.

Basically:
✧ Layla and Xcor finally claimed each other in this book and had lots of boring sex. I like them together and I like the change they bring to each other’s life. I wish there had been more to atone for his past behaviors, but he has made a grand gesture.
✧ Baby daddy Qhuinn was having no part of it the two “traitors” being around his kids. He was selfish and self-centered like he was in his own book. He actually shot his gun in the room with his young and baby mama because he was so full of rage.
He said some terrible things and alienated just about everyone.

✧ Qhuinn and Blay also experience marital woes because of Qhuinn’s attitude. I don’t think I will ever really like Qhuinn again. Blay deserves better. His mismatched eyes and his family’s abuse can’t be his excuse for everything. I lost a huge amount of love for Qhuinn.
✧ Vishous is going through midlife crisis and marital boredom. But I truly suspect that V isn’t fulfilled by the doc because she was NEVER the one. The Dhestroyer, Brian O’Neill is and will always be the one and the WARDen needs to figure out how to correct that. But those two are two halves of a whole according the creator, Scribe Non-Virgin [See united by their clasped hands, they became again the two halves, the light and the dark. The Dhestroyer and the Savior.” (Pg. 457 in Lover Revealed)]
✧ Tohr is grieving his first shellan as this was Wellsie’s birthday. So I understand where he is coming from. It would have been nice if the WARDen spent more time on Tohr’s pain and the subsequent revelation regarding his family. I also understand his need to protect Wrath as it seemed that the King is making an unwise decision with Xcor and the BoB.
✧ Lassiter as the new Scribe/Protector of the race is dicey for me, but I will reserve judgment. He just seems too clownish versus SnV’s seriousness.
✧Wrath’s forgiveness and acceptance was too easy. It was too cheesy and over the top sweet with everyone and the baby for me.

Overall, it was an alright read.

I never felt that all consuming excitement to make me stay up all night and finish the book. The narrator Jim Frangione was the same so he doesn’t add or detract from the book at this point. I am looking forward to Throe as a fiercesome villain but other than that, this series isn’t as exciting as it used to be.

Ezi

Angel Undone by Leta Blake

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00050]Angel Undone by Leta Blake
Release Date: July 18, 2016
Pages: 90 • Format: eARC
Published By: Leta Blake Books
Purchase Links:
AmazonARe •  B&NSmashwords

The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.

Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.

Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about his restrained depths, gentle smiles, and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.

Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.

Warnings: this novella contains urban fantasy, wings, angels doing unangelic things, erotic content, and playful blasphemy.

four-half-stars

Ack! Leta Blake went and made me swoon over a rebellious angel who isn’t Lucifer! Blasphemy in deed.

I love stories about forbidden love and what could be more forbidden than the love between an ethereal creature and a human? Fallen Angels are my jam, I still cannot think of a few stories or even movies I’ve seen with them where I don’t get emotional. I mean, come on. Falling in love and giving all for love is a theme my romantic heart holds dear and giving up everything that comes with being an angel for romantic love… just mother effing swoon. Okay?

So, as the stories tell us the Archangel Michael is a protector and in this story that remains true. He is sent by his father to protect one Asher Rosenthal from making a huge mistake in choosing a stranger at a bar for his first sexual experience. BUT it’s not just the sex Michael is protecting Asher from, he’s also there to show Asher self-acceptance as he moves forward in his life and sexuality.

I loved how the story was laid out and told completely from the POV of our story telling angel. It was amazing to be in Michael’s head as he sees Asher, as he seduces Asher and how he falls in so many ways for this human man who is worth it all.

I won’t go into a bunch of detail because the story is too much fun to read and I don’t spoil books. I will say that the take on religion in this was refreshing. The issues it handles were done well and I really do hope that the way Michael’s Father sees things is how he would want them to be. I am not a religious person, though I grew up Roman Catholic, so seeing the new take on not only angels and their slavery devotion to their father, was a pure joy to read.  I love that the author made Lucifer a fun character though he was pitiful, but enlightening. I get a kick out of authors making Lucifer different than the one sided stories for generations have told us he was in black and white, I like getting a fun, flirty yet still devilish side of the first fallen angel.

But this… all of it was such a good story. I loved Michael’s struggle and how he questioned what was right. I loved his lies by omission but how he becomes honest. I loved Asher’s vulnerability and his magnetic attraction to the archangel and how he prayed to him. I loved Michael getting advice from Lucifer and I just adored the holy hell out of this story.

Yeah, it was good. Yeah, it was fun.  Yeah, it was sexy as all get out and it was utterly romantic and… sigh.

Maybe I’m the one undone after reading it?

Ginger undone?
Ginger out.

About Leta Blake

Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan

favorite Training Season, Leta Blake's educational and professional background is in psychology

and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting

romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S.,

Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

Release Day Blitz – Angel Undone by Leta Blake

Angel Undone BannerTitle: Angel Undone

Publisher: Leta Blake Books

Release Date: 7/18/2016

Genre: Gay Urban Fantasy

Tags: angel, wings, erotic content, blasphemy, urban fantasy

Heat Level: 5

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 25,000 words

Add To Goodreads

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00050]

Synopsis

The Archangel Michael is tired. He fought wars and shoved his brother Lucifer out of heaven all before the Dark Ages rolled around. His role as protector of Israel now encompasses all of humanity, and while he performs his job perfectly, there’s little personal joy in it.

Until one night in a bar when he meets Asher.

Michael isn’t sure what it is about the vulnerable, self-deprecating Asher that calls to him, but something about the restrained depths of Asher, his gentle smiles and encyclopedic knowledge of flowers, tugs at Michael in a way that can’t be denied. Too bad romance isn’t part of his mission.

Facing an eternity of perfect submission to God’s authority, rebellion stirs in Michael. Questions of free will, angelic vocation, and the role of love and lust demand answers that just might cost Michael his place in heaven.

Excerpt

Angel wings aren’t easy to fold into the shape of human scapulae, but Michael is accustomed to the strain and hardly breaks a sweat. He forces the long primaries to bend into the upper wing coverts, and then, in moves like feathered origami, he tucks it all in again, before smoothing them under flawless human skin.

He glances in the modest hotel room’s bathroom mirror and pulls on the dark brown shirt that will set off his eyes, before running a hand through his blond, curly hair. The light of his angelic grace glows from his pores, too bright to escape notice, and with a small exertion of will he tamps it back.

Though human form is confining and uncomfortable, the time has long passed when dropping down in a blaze of angelic righteousness was appropriate. Now covert operations pay the dividends of souls delivered from jeopardy. Even if Michael’s skin feels too tight, and his wings are already aching, protection is his business and discomfort is a small sacrifice.

After tightening the laces on the leather, soft-soled Clarks he keeps for nights of trawling the Mercy Street bars, he kneels by the sliding glass door to the balcony and looks up at the stars. It’s a fallacy that heaven is up there somewhere. Heaven is everywhere all at once, and yet when Michael dons human skin, he finds his eyes drawn to the sky when he prays.

He rises. Time to go.

Purchase

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | ARe | Smashwords

Angel Undone Square

Meet the Author

imageAuthor of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more about her by following her online:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

 

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Sweet Temptation by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Temptation by Wendy HigginsSeries: Sweet Evil #4
on 2015-09-08
Pages: 512
AmazonNarrator: Christian Coulson
This swoonworthy, romantic companion novel to Wendy Higgins's New York Times bestselling Sweet Evil series is told from irresistible bad-boy Kaidan's point of view. Readers will love getting inside Kaidan's head, especially fans of the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, the Selection series by Kiera Cass, and Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire.When bad-boy drummer Kaidan Rowe encounters good girl Anna Whitt, the girl chosen to vanquish the demons from earth, he can't stop thinking about her. The Nephilim son of the Duke of Lust, Kaidan tries to help Anna embrace a life of sin, but she gradually helps him see that he's meant to do more with his life. Their relationship is as tortured as it is passionate, for Nephilim are forbidden to fall in love. But as hard as they may try to obey, Kai can't seem to stay away from Anna, nor Anna from Kai.Full of chemistry and high-stakes drama, this companion book is darker, hotter, and completely satisfying.

In order to truly enjoy this book, you you have first read all 3 books, Sweet Evil, Sweet Peril, and Sweet Reckoning. This fourth book is a compilation of Kaidan Rowe’s point of view in the entire trilogy. It is comprised of snippets in action and the internal monologue from when Kaiden met Anna to the very end when Kaiden, Anna and the other nephilim are redeemed.
Kaiden is the son of Pharzuph, the Duke of Lust:
 photo 4a043317-d7b5-4277-a933-41da0a5d299e_zpsvy8abkrt.png
His task is to seduce as many girls as he can possibly ruin. His punishment for failing to leave a trail of deflowered girls is death. His job is a pleasurable one until one day he meets Anna Whitt.

Anna is the daughter of Bilal, the Duke of Substance Abuse

 photo angel20girl_zpsswboebp3.jpg

We are treated to Kaiden’s first impression of Anna, their inner battle against their dark heritage and their heartbreaking struggle to perform their “duties” or risk incurring the Duke’s suspicion of non-compliance. The first three books were from Anna’s perspective and it had a wholesome quality to it as Anna was a good southern girl. Kaiden’s book was much dark because he was full of suspicion, resentment and lacked hope of anything good ever happening to him. Until he saw Anna’s aura and it caused a dramatic shift in his view of his future. He never gave love a second thought until he felt her love for him and he couldn’t turn away from that warmth.

I will say that there wasn’t really new material here. I felt like I had a good sense of the stress that Kai endured at the hand of his father. I also felt like I got a good sense of what it was costing Kai to choose to protect Anna by pushing her away. This book was more of a summarization of all the events that transpired from Kaiden’s perspective.