Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Book review: Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe (Royal House of Shadows Series #2 and Harlequin Nocturne #121))

Review by Sarah

Back of the Book Blurb:

Royal House of Shadows: Book II
Available Sept 20th 2011 at

Barnes and Noble
Books A Million

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out…

Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage…in a dark bear of a man.

The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending.

Review: This is Book #2 in a wonderful paranormal-romance-fairy-tale series called Royal House of Shadows. (To read my review of Lord of the Vampires, click here: http://sarahsbookshelves.blogspot.com/2011_07_01_archive.html) .

Each book is the story of one of the four royal heirs of the Kingdom of Elden. Lord of Rage is Breena's story, the only princess of the four. Breena has been raised to be a gentle, innocent, ladylike princess. Although she adores her parents and brothers, she feels powerless. Her magic is weak compared to her mother's, and while her brothers are being trained to be powerful warriors and statesmen, she is being trained on the royal domestic life of a future queen. She has led a sheltered, cossetted life, and her only escape has been in her sleep, when she travels to the dreams of her warrior lover. One day her castle is attacked by the evil Blood Sorcerer, and before her parents are murdered, she and her brothers are magically flung far away.

Breena finds herself in a strange land, with no magic and very little memory of how she has come to be wandering in this wilderness. After days of wandering through the woods, she is exhausted, hungry, and bloody from her trek. She sees a cottage and wanders in, and here we have a fun nod to the classic fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The cottage is the home of Osborne, her dream warrior, and his two younger brothers. Osborne is the last of a great line of warriors known as Berserkers (love the Norse legend nod as well!), and he has sworn revenge on the killers that slaughtered his people. Breena and Osborne soon realize that they have been dream lovers, and while Breena is delighted to find the reality even fiercer and sexier than the dream, Osborne feels used, believing she wants him for his mercenary skills to avenge her family. Most of the story is the slow building of trust and sexual tension between them. The author is a master at creating sexual tension, as she brings them together and then, just as things are about to get even hotter, Osborne will get an attack of conscience (Breena is a virgin princess, after all), or anger (does she love him or want to use his him?) and back off.

But love, lust and good solid warrior training conquer all. Breena's magic grows as she recovers her memories, and her loving presence helps Osborne begin to heal from the wounds of his horrific past, as he concentrates on Breena and training his two brothers, keeping his people's traditions alive. Initially they are united in their twin desires for vengeance and mutual lust, but this grows into love and respect as they spend more time together.

If you like romances with solid relationship development, awkwardly tender romantic gestures, steamy almost-sex and sex scenes, magic, adventure and legend, then this is the book for you. Breena is a heroine a reader cheers for, because she's brave and stubborn and works very hard for her skills. Osborne is a great hero - brave, wild, sexy, flawed, and scarred inside and out. Add in the whole animalistic thing and you've got one combustible hero. Fast-paced and completely enjoyable to read, this is truly a magical little bonbon - enjoy!
P.S. And may I just say, "Holy crap!" - because whoever did the cover art actually read the story. There is nothing more annoying than book covers that don't match the actual characters or story. Breena's armband, gown and cloak are accurate! Woo Hoo - go Harlequin Art Department!!

5 out of 5 Modokker Book Pick Stars
For more information about Jill Monroe and her books, visit her website at www.jillmonroe.com.

Royal House of Shadows series:

Book I: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter (September 2011)
Book II: Lord of Rage by Jill Monre (October 2011)
Book III: Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen (November 2011)
Book IV: Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh (December 2011)

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