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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Book Review: 1001 Dark Nights Bundle Five by Julie Kenner, Lexi Blake, Larissa Ione, Elisabeth Naughton, Angel Payne, Michelle St. James

Author: Julie Kenner, Lexi Blake, Larissa Ione, Elisabeth Naughton, Angel Payne, Michelle St. James
Series: 1001 Dark Nights
Audience: + 18
Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated
Release Date: July 12th 2016
My Rating: 4.5 cups
Source: InkSlinger PR
Blurb (from Goodreads):
From New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Julie Kenner, Lexi Blake, Larissa Ione, Elisabeth Naughton, and introducing Angel Payne and Michelle St. James.

Six Dark Tales. Six Sensual Stories. Six Page Turners.

CARESS OF PLEASURE: I'd thought that he was mine, the dark, arresting man who commanded not only my body but my heart. Dante had swept into my life, and I'd succumbed to the burn of passion in his arms. I'd believed we had a love that would last forever, but he'd shattered my dreams and broken me into pieces when he'd walked away.

ADORED: Mitch Bradford knows he’s not good for any woman—especially not his best friend’s sister. Laurel Daley knows what she wants, and her sights are set on Mitch. She knows he just needs a little polish to make some woman the perfect lover. She intends to be that woman, but first she has to show him how good it could be.

HADES: Cataclysm was kicked out of Heaven and is now a fallen angel. All she wants is to redeem herself and get back where she belongs. When she gets trapped in Hades’s Underworld prison domain with only Hades to help her, Cat finds that where she belongs might be in the place she least expected…

RAVAGED: Ari has one singular focus: revenge. His guardian brothers all think he’s dead, but he is alive and chipping away at Zeus’s Sirens every chance he can. When he abducts the wrong female and his identity is finally exposed, it will take the courage of one woman willing to stand up to a warrior who’s become a savage to rein Ari in.

NAUGHTY LITTLE GIFT: From the moment Mishella Santelle locks eyes with Cassian Court, she can see the man beneath the power…the bruised soul for whom hers has been destined. When six months of her life are bargained to Cassian in a multimillion dollar contract, Mishella is helpless against the reaction of her body and soul to this man.

THE SENTINEL: Determined to maintain the friendship that has been her rock since childhood, Diana Barrett resigns herself to keeping her distance from Leo Gage. Leo has worshipped Diana Barrett since they were kids, but she can never know that. When Diana witnesses a murder, she goes to the only person who has ever made her feel safe. Now Leo and Diana are on the run.

Every Dark Nights tale is breathtakingly sexy and magically romantic.

*Disclaimer: I received an e-ARC of this book from InkSlinger PR and Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or my opinion of this book.

Unless you're really not into adult romance books, you've probably already heard of the 1001 Dark Nights series. I adore the series and the idea of putting all of these authors together in what seems like a never-ending series. Another good thing is that, in some cases (I'm looking at you, Larissa Ione!), the stories continue some of my favorite series. Awesome, right?

Caress Of Pleasure by Julie Kenner

Second chance stories are nice to read about. I'm a sucker for redemption stories, mostly because everyone needs a second chance.

Dante was awesome! I really liked him. His sense of right and wrong was infuriating at times, but I understand what he tried to do all those years before, with Brenna. I would love to read how his relationship with Brenna started, to see how they evolved or how their relationship grew from what it was initially.

I also liked that both of them were exposed to the other's version of the story. There's this cool scene where Brenna learns how her actions hurt Dante too, so it was really interesting to read that.

This story also made me curious to see if it was part of a series (YES IT IS!), because I need to read more about these men and women that are basically phoenixes. The series is called Dark Pleasures and I cannot wait to read it.

Rating: 4 cups

Adored by Lexi Blake

I've had Lexi Blak's Masters and Mercenaries series on my TBR for a very long time now, but I never got around to start reading it. I was super happy when I realized that Adored was part of that world. 

Mitch is a very reluctant hero, and it is a miracle Laurel put up with him. I had a moment when I actually contemplated screeching, he was so infuriating. I understood him in a way, but that didn't make it easy for me to accept his behavior. 

I liked Laurel. She was funny and basically a smart-ass. What I loved most about her was her ability to have an answer for anything, a retort of some sort always ready. There were times when I didn't understand her willingness to stand by Mitch's side, though. 

I did consider Mitch to be a bit cold at times, which isn't something I liked all that much. I felt like he let his past influence his decisions too much, but in the end it all worked out.

Can I just say, HOLY MOTHER OF CLIFFHANGERS? Now I just have to read the series because of a certain something that happened at the end of this story. Anyway, it was a good novella and I really enjoyed my introduction to Lexi Blake's M&M series

Rating: 3.5 cups

Hades by Larissa Ione

How do I even start? Any story within the Demonica world is going to get glowing reviews from me, because Larissa Ione is still my queen. It's just a fact.

Hades, the guy who pissed off Azagoth, the guy who basically pisses off everyone just because he can, finally gets his own story and his own HEA. I like that he found his match, because he needed that, but also because he needed to find something worth losing. I feel like Cat is that something, and she helped him do one of the things that I think scared him the most. I'm not going to say what it is, because of spoilers, but let's just say she helped him grow up a bit.

Cat... It's been a while since I read Reaver, and so my memory might play tricks on me, but I like that she got redeemed in this novella. Maybe redeemed is not the right word, maybe she got a second chance is better. She is a funny Unfallen, I'll give you that. I liked her inner monologue, and how she seemed to panic and babble, even to herself. I found that amusing. 

I think that, in the end, Cat and Hades are two peas in a pod and I'm so, so happy they found each other.

Rating: 5 cups

Ravaged by Elizabeth Naughton

I was hooked on this story at the mention of Zeus. The fact that this novella tells the story of so many awesome, mythological creatures had me insanely happy. 

Ari was a great hero to read about. I always love to read about the outcasts, the people who are reluctant heroes, the ones who get a chance, despite what people think about them. His story broke my heart, but in the end I loved seeing that he got answers for what happened to him. I love that he got a HEA. 

Daphne was a great heroine. I liked how she eventually didn't let Zeus's evilness corrupt her, how she saw Ari for what he really was, and for basically giving the guy a chance. Her childhood was harsh and I'd love to go back in the series and see if there's any mention of a certain event from her life in the earlier books.

Speaking of earlier books, this is another series to add to your TBRs if you're a fan or paranormal. The series is called Eternal Guardians and I am definitely planning on reading it. 

Rating: 5 cups

Naughty Little Gift by Angel Payne

Another new-to-me author that I got to find out about with this bundle was Angel Payne. 

This novella tells the story of a young woman born and raised in a very oppressive, closed off environment, that was basically stuck somewhere in the late eighteenth century, with age-old customs that defy the passing of time. I really liked seeing the modern world through Mishella's eyes. It was an interesting experience, and I feel like the author did a good job writing that confusion of Mishella, without making her seem stupid.

Cassian was a confusing hero. I got the impression he hid a lot of things, and I didn't feel that by the end of the story he got to reveal all of his secrets. I think he still has some dark secrets that he's hold on to. Even though his way of helping Mishella out of her family's clutches wasn't as... let's say conventional, I do like that he got her out of that situation. I hated Mishella's parents, and I wanted to punch them a few times.

I did however have a slightly harder time reading this novella, because at times I got frustrated with Mishella. This was a me thing, but I would have wanted her to be harder on Cassian, and not as forgiving.

From what I understand, this book is set in the same world as The Cimarron series, and there's going to be two more installments about Cass and Mishella in the future. I am curious to see if Cassian ends up revealing all of his secrets, and if Mishella will ever go back home.

Rating: 3.5 cups

The Sentinel by Michelle St. James

I like reading about antiheroes. That's what Leo Gage is. He's not a good guy, he's actually a very scary dude. I liked reading about him, just as much as I liked reading about his story with Diana. I also felt bad for Leo, because he had some really dark moments of self-doubt and I just wanted to hug him until it passed. 

Diana gets a glimpse at the life of criminals, and I can't blame her for not freaking out more, considering that she was being hunted by really bad people. I'm curious to see if Leo's actions has consequences later in the series. 

When it comes to childhood-best-friends-turned-lovers, it's kind of hard to get it right, in my opinion. I'm happy that the relationship between them didn't feel forced, nor did it feel like they didn't make sense together, because they did. I also loved the differences between them. It's easy to spot those differences, but I think that's what made their relationship make sense. 

Speaking of series, I saw that this novella is set in the same world as the London Mob series. I'm actually curious to read it, to see if some of the events mentioned in this novella are shown in the series, as well as if the next books will be affected by the events in this story.

Rating: 4 cups

OVERALL RATING

What can I say, I thoroughly enjoyed reading these stories, and I love that I got introduced to new series, new authors, as well as revisit an old favorite series of mine.


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