Radiance (Wraith Kings #1)

She was ugly; she was beautiful, and she was his.

Grace Draven
Wraith Kings, book one
ebook, 296 pages
Published January 13th 2015
ISBN 9781506119717


Brishen Khaskem, prince of the Kai, has lived content as the nonessential spare heir to a throne secured many times over. A trade and political alliance between the human kingdom of Gaur and the Kai kingdom of Bast-Haradis requires that he marry a Gauri woman to seal the treaty. Always a dutiful son, Brishen agrees to the marriage and discovers his bride is as ugly as he expected and more beautiful than he could have imagined.


Ildiko, niece of the Gauri king, has always known her only worth to the royal family lay in a strategic marriage. Resigned to her fate, she is horrified to learn that her intended groom isn’t just a foreign aristocrat but the younger prince of a people neither familiar nor human. Bound to her new husband, Ildiko will leave behind all she’s known to embrace a man shrouded in darkness but with a soul forged by light.

Two people brought together by the trappings of duty and politics will discover they are destined for each other, even as the powers of a hostile kingdom scheme to tear them apart.

There's nothing quite like meeting one's future spouse -completely ignorant of their identity, mind you- and the first common ground they vocalize is how repugnant they find one another's appearance. "Hideous" and "A hag of a woman".

Through honesty and wit, the two manage to charm each other and thus a love story is born as Brishen and Ildiko find that there may be hope for this marriage yet.

I'm new to Grace Draven and actually stumbled upon her work when I found a search titled "More authors like Grace Draven." And yes, after reading this, that is certainly something I, too, am looking for. It's refreshingly different, and I couldn't have fallen faster for a character like Brishen. Total swoon-worthy.

4 out of 5 stars.


Venomous (Alien Warrior #1)

Penelope Fletcher
Kindle Edition, 652 pages
Published December 24th 2014 by Stephenson & Fletcher
Read for Free with Kindle's Lending Library

Abducted from Earth and transported to a slave planet in an unknown galaxy, Lumen finds herself, shackled, naked and put on display before an alien horde. Told the males will battle for the right to slake their lusts with her body, she would become the slave of slaves. Venomous One, a proud warrior enslaved, has given up hope of returning to his home world and finding a life mate. When a female is tossed into the arena his soul demands he claim her. Winning his mate by Right of Might, he vows to protect Lumen and be a good provider, no matter how ugly her human appearance. Rescued by Venomous’ people, the couple face space pirates, the condemnation of an alien government, galactic war, and a deadlier threat from within the warrior’s own kindred.

Warning: violence, profanity and sexual situations with multiple partners.

She is mine to protect, mine to shelter, mine to feed and mine to cover. When she is weak, I shall be her strength. She was stolen from her world by our captors. Now her survival is my responsibility. It is her duty to endure my lust, respect my nest mates and honour our union with offspring. I revere this giver of life, as is the way.

I made it about twenty percent before I gave up on this book. Given it's a 652 page book, that's a pretty good chunk. Although written fairly well, the characters didn't do anything for me. And while the premise is intriguing enough and it's certainly not your typical alien abduction forced into slavery/mating type of read, I didn't care enough to know how everything played out.



Binding Ties (Sentinel Wars #9)

Binding Ties
Shannon K. Butcher
Sentinel Wars, book nine
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 3rd 2015 by Signet
ISBN 9780451240835

They are the Sentinels. Three races descended from ancient guardians of mankind, each possessing unique abilities in their battle to protect humanity against their eternal foes: the Synestryn. Now a warrior must protect his onetime enemy—without succumbing to his darkest desires.

Lyka Phelan is a Slayer, sent to live among her enemy to guarantee lasting peace with the Theronai. Yet she has a secret—and it could make her a slave to their power. But when a pack of Synestryn destroys her home and captures her packmates, Lyka realizes her freedom is a small price to pay for the safety of her people. So she strikes a bargain with the leader of the Theronai—one that reveals her true identity and binds her to him forever.

Joseph thought he knew better than to tangle with the beautiful, hot-blooded Lyka. One misstep could send their races straight back to war. But now he has no choice other than to help her. Forced to protect her with his life, Joseph finds himself increasingly drawn to Lyka. As they risk everything in their fight against the demons, he realizes he must convince her to surrender to him completely—otherwise she will never truly be his.

Previously in the series:


The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld #2)

Ask me to kiss you before I take your soul.

The Darkest Kiss
Gena Showalter
Lords of the Underworld, book two
ebook, 285 pages
Published June 1st 2008 by Harlequin Books
ISBN 9781426817670

She has tempted many men...but never found her equal.

Until now.

Though she has lived for centuries, Anya, goddess of Anarchy, has never known pleasure. Until Lucien, the incarnation of death--a warrior eternally doomed to take souls to the hereafter. He draws her like no other. And Anya will risk anything to have him.

But when the merciless Lord of the Underworld is ordered by the gods to claim Anya herself, their uncontrollable attraction becomes an anguished pursuit. Now they must defeat the unconquerable forces that control them, before their thirst for one another demands a sacrifice of love beyond imagining.

Anya, the goddess of Anarchy, lives for destruction, mayhem, and looking oh so adorable with her skimpy outfits while flaunting a flirtatious you-can-look-but-don't-dare-touch attitude. Honestly, the girl needed to tone it down on a couple of occasions but the grim and moody Lucien helped keep it all together.

Eons ago, Anya's mother screwed around with the wrong mated male and got both herself and Anya cursed. Should Anya ever lay with a man, she will give up her free will to him, and should he leave her, Anya would spend the rest of her existence basically stalking the guy. And yet, she still ends up with a reputation of a slut and a whore.

Lucien doesn't know what to make of Anya's single minded attention toward him when she walks into the bar where he and his fellow lords are drinking. Nor did I. That opening scene had me all over the place. I hated Anya in those first few pages. But once Lucien got his hands on her, all that aggression just melted away.

He knew her scent.

4 out of 5 stars.

Lords of the Underworld still to come...
3: Reyes & Danika (human with questionable bloodline)
4: Sabin & Gwen (immortal)
5: Aeron & Olivia (angel turned demon)
6: Gideon & Scarlet (demon possessed immortal)
7: Amun & Haidee (demon assassin)
8: Strider & Kaia (harpy)
9: Paris & Sienna (possessed by Wrath)
10: Kane & Josephina (half-Fae)
11: Torin & Keeley (the Red Queen)
12: Cameo & ?

Previously in this series: