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Valkyrie

Climbing Stories

I love politics & I am a bit of a history buff. I have a weakness for romance & that includes erotic smut! I'm a serious reviewer, but I can read almost anything. A new genre or a deft writer can make a story sing.

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Right Now
Marie Hall
Bound by Vengeance (SKALS, #2)
Adriana Noir
The Dark Highlander  - Karen Marie Moning, Phil Gigante 3.5 stars overall, Though, I would give 4 stars for the continuing storyline itself. How could I like #4 so much more than #5!
The Heroine:She smiled beatifically. “Really? You don’t think I’m the biggest geek in the world?”
Oh yes Chloe, you are a geek. You are also kind of a goofier and less engaging copy of Gwen. Sorry.

I mean...she's a wee bonny lass. She's scholarly and a virgin. Even more, she's written to be quirky and dream-laden, like Gwen, but coming off the heels of Gwen's story, Chloe was sort of lackluster.
The Hero: Many readers should love Daegus, I did, but he was unjustly eclipsed by overarching plot.
Still, thank goodness, Dageus MacKeltar, Drustan's twin, is decidedly different from his brother. He takes the world on his shoulders, carries the burden of darkness, and he adapts to his century and the 21st with a suave fluidity. Silvan, in a rather "aghhww-like" exchange that makes your heart squeeze, tells Dageus:
“I ken a da shouldn’t have favorites, but—och, Dageus, my son, you were always mine.”
Well, I certainly understand Silvan's thought, for I significantly pre-lusted over Dageus myself. After reading the blurb that Dageus would be the "dark" highlander, that Dageus would be plagued by 13 dark souls, that he had "dark" lusts and power...I got excited and expected some action and some rather swelteringly steamy scenes.

Conversely, what I got was Dageus behaving like the black sheep, dodging his brother in the 21st century. What I got was Dageus's stream of consciousness, talking, talking, talking about how dark he is, how he can feel the darkness, feel it increasing. Yeah, yeah, yeah...no action. What I got was Dageus "f**king [a woman] like an animal" and yes Nine Inch Nails was mentioned (roll eyes), but then he didn't ravish Chloe like said animal, at all! (well almost, but no). To make matters even less "dark", this scrumptious MacKeltar didn't even tap that ass until about 70% of the book even though rough, cataclysmic sex supposedly helps him fight the darkness-(heck, Drustan got a piece of his mate's a** with the quickness, so he should have been named The Lusty Highlander, but I digress). After 3/4 of the book, I was left with repeating the same thing Chloe herself asks:
“Well, where is this ancient evil?” she asked, bewildered. “Are you chasing it through the centuries or something?”
description
And the so-called villains of this piece didn't make it any darker (sigh). They talk incessantly when they should have been terrorizing. Those dark souls should have been more relentless! Too tame.

In all, I must be seriously jaded by authors like Stephen King (my eighth grade obsession), or even Sherrilyn Kenyon or Feehan, etc. because I swear there was no darkness that scared or moved me.

Dageus was just lost. He was an almost martyr, who bore the brunt of his family's burden with bravery and stoic grace. So there is where I can at least reconcile my expectations of underworld badassness with the fact that Dageus actually turns out to be quite alright. Quite a golden boy.
The Storytelling
Fortunately, something that makes me hedge between 3.5 & 4 stars was the good glimpses of Nell & Silvan and others, experiencing the reunion of Drustan and Dageus. The dropped, cozy descriptions of Gwen & Drustan's happiness provided warm fuzzies to remind me of my fondness for the couple. Yet, with the added cameos of Adam Black, an ancient Tuatha Dé, this book feels like a transition book. This is a good thing, as I predicted Adam would be the hero in the next book, and it may be intriguing. However, the overarching storyline that deeply requires these secondary characters kind of overshadowed Chloe and Dageus's love.

KMM still concocted a good story, replete with wise quotes and effective transitioning, not to mention some great characters, though she kind of dropped the ball with Chloe, making her too similar to Gwen, IMO. And, I would have welcomed way more action in this installment. There was too much "waiting until the end", which seems to be KMM's MO.

I will probably get to the rest of the series, but for now I'll go ahead and try her Fever books next. Sorry for the rambling review:D