BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dark Hunter Series Pt. 1

I have always loved reading series. Sci-fi, fantasy, romance - I love being able to follow the life of a character, or find out more about the 'supporting cast' of the books that I read. There are a few series that just jump up and grab me. Several of them will have new books out this year. I'm going to start posting reviews of series, a few books at a time, once a week. In some cases this will lead up to the review of a new release, in others I will hopefully help someone find a new world to delve into.

First up: Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I know, not a new series, but it's new for me. I'm starting with Fantasy Lover, even if it doesn't say Dark Hunter on the front. Julian shows up too often to not be in this review. I have not yet read the WHOLE series, but I'm on book 6 and still having fun. The series blends pure fantasy with Greek mythology, in such a way that I actually wait until I'm done with a book before I go look up my myths so see what is what. (That's a good thing. I have been known to put down a book to research the mythology woven into the story. Then forgot that I was reading something.) I do like this series. The characters have issues, the guys are hot, and none of it is meant to be taken seriously. It's a perfect for fun read. Whether your at the beach, or in the tub, or just curled up in your favorite chair, it's a purely pleasurable set of books read to escape real life.

Quick overview: There are Dark Hunters, who have traded their souls to Artemis in exchange for one final act of revenge. They have some extra powers, can live forever if not killed, but cannot be in each other's presence or they weaken. And no sunlight for them. They also take up the task of saving the world from Daimons. Another group of soulless individuals. Only they need to feed off of human souls to stay alive. Unpleasant bunch. Basically, a Dark Hunter's existence is that of a lonely warrior. Good thing most of them were used that that before that whole sell your soul thing. *grin*
Ok, onto the books!

Book Blurb:
Dear Reader,
Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day. As a love-slave, I knew everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She, alone, bothered to take me out of the bedroom and into the world. She taught me to love again. But I was not born to know love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace-the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two thousand year old curse? Julian of Macedon

My Thoughts: Grace Alexander is a skeptic, perfectly balanced by her friend's new age and somewhat bizarre beliefs. Like the notion that the ultimate lover is trapped in a book, just waiting to be called out. That would get a big fake smile and nod from me too.

Some days, it's so fun to be proven wrong.

Julian of Macedonia - an old world general trapped into a book by an angry godling for sleeping with the wrong woman, Julian can only be called out of his prison for a month at a time. By a woman. For the last 2,000 years, he's been summoned countless times to repeat his mistake. Until Grace, who makes him put on some damn clothes and behave like the head on his shoulders is in charge. (Really not sure if I should applaud her, or smack sense into her.)

What kept the book going was Grace's practicality. Not interested in casual sex, Grace pushes him away. (Which is not to say she's not interested in him!) But she can't get rid of him, not for a whole month. Gives them a nice amount of time to learn about each other, with a bit of self discovery tossed in there for good measure.
This was something that made the book for me. When you deal with fantasy, the story needs a bit of reality to balance it, especially the first in a fantasy series. Grace didn't just jump into bed with the gorgeous naked man that magically appeared in her life.She maintained her lovely skeptical self, kept some distance and that let the romance of the tale outshine the curses and Greek gods that help move the story along and make it fun. This book set a nice balance between the two, as well as laying the ground work for the what follows.

Publisher: St. Martin's

Released: February 1, 2002

This book was lent to the reviewer by a friend

Book Blurb: Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be immortal? To journey through the night stalking the evil that preys on humans? To have unlimited wealth, unlimited power? That is my existence, and it is dark and dangerous. I play hero to thousands, but am known to none. And I love every minute of it.

Or so I thought until one night when I woke up handcuffed to my worst nightmare: a conservative woman in a button-down shirt. Or in Amanda's case, buttoned all the way up to her chin. She's smart, sexy, witty, and wants nothing to do with the paranormal-in other words, me.

My attraction to Amanda Devereaux goes against everything I stand for. Not to mention the last time I fell in love it cost me not only my human life, but also my very soul. Yet every time I look at her, I find myself wanting to try again. Wanting to believe that love and loyalty do exist.

Even more disturbing, I find myself wondering if there's any way a woman like Amanda can love a man whose battle scars run deep, and whose heart was damaged by a betrayal so savage that he's not sure it will ever beat again.

Kyrian of Thrace
My Thoughts:
Ah, our heroine is another glorious unbeliever! (Seriously, if I promise to not believe in magic, myths and make-believe, will someone send me a buff, eternally youthful, nearly naked man with centuries of experience? Please?) Amanda Devereaux grew up in a family of believers, which only made her resist all the more. Unfortunately for her, they were right! And her twin being up to her eyeballs involved with the supernatural world gets Amanda kidnapped.

Our hero, Kyrian is the first Dark Hunter we meet. Aloof, snarky and handcuffed to a woman that compares him to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In cuffs made by Hephaestus. What a lovely way to start an evening! Which sends them to Julian and Grace's place - Amanda is the little sister of the friend who dropped J's book in G's lap as a birthday present. (Confused? Don't be. Read the books. It'll make sense. Promise. I can get people lost in towns they grew up in.)

This book introduces a bunch of characters that you'll see reappear often, especially Nick. Who is Kyrian's wonderfully sarcastic human Squire. There are as many laughs in it as there are sad tales to tug at the heart. Mr. "Do Me" Gorgeous Man (Amanda's description) is in much need of a woman who loves him, and a family. He was overdue to find one too.

Published: St Martin's

Released: October 13, 2002

This book is owned by the reviewer

Book Blurb: Life is great for me. I have my chicory coffee, my warm beignets, and my best friend on the cell phone. Once the sun goes down, I am the baddest thing prowling the night: I command the elements, and I know no fear. For centuries, I've protected the innocent and watched over the mankind, making sure they are safe in a world where nothing is ever certain. All I want in return is a hot babe in a red dress, who wants nothing more from me then one night.
Instead, I get a runaway Mardi Gras float that tries to turn me into roadkill and a beautiful woman who saves my life but can't remember where she put my pants. Flamboyant and extravagant, Sunshine Runningwolf should be the perfect woman for me. She wants nothing past tonight, no ties, no long-term commitments.
But every time I look at her, I start yearning for dreams that I buried centuries ago. With her unconventional ways and ability to baffle me, Sunshine is the one person I find myself needing. But for me to love her would mean her death. I am cursed never to know peace or happiness-not so long as my enemy waits in the night to destroy us both.
--Talon of the Morrigantes

My Thoughts: I giggled through a lot of Night Pleasures, but I was laughing outright from this book. In a good way! (I know some people just giggle at the ridiculousness of romances, and sometimes I do, but not this one.) Sunshine is spectacularly spacey. Does not have a cordless phone, because she always loses them. Gets lost in her hometown. (Without my crazy directions!) Paints on anything that will stay still long enough. Eats soy cheese. (Sorry to the vegans out there, but not my thing.)
She washes and dries Talon's leather pants. Just the image had me choking on my tea. Poor Talon. Coffee chugging, "where's the junk food?" Talon gets hit by a runaway Mardi Gras float and wakes up lost in Sunnyland. Where his 'savior' is quite frankly discussing his aura, whether he's human, and his *ahem* assets with her mother.

It just gets better from there. There is, of course, also lots of Daimans, deities and danger involved the Sunny and Talon finding their way to happily ever after. Plus new cast members that pave the way for more books.

Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks

Released: July 13, 2006

This book is owned by the reviewer

So this is the first of the Dark Hunter Reviews. There are MANY books in this series, so I will be putting several in each post. See ya' here next week. :)

3 comments:

  1. I love the Dark Hunter books, the Dream Hunter ones that crossover with it aren't AS good but still worth a read. I've read them all except the newest because I can only get it in an oversized version instead of normal PB size and I don't want to ruin my collection.
    Interesting to note how different the blurbs are on the UK books, we just have a basic blurb not the note type thing.

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  2. rotfl!
    It sounds so exiting and fun!!
    I think I should read those.. The fact tha it interwines with Greek mythology makes it even more interesting!!
    Thanks for the wonderful reviews!

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  3. Serious fun for you ahead there Jax. I revisited Harry Dresden not long back and will do again shortly in time for Ghost Story.

    To me it doesn't matter if its a new book or not, as long as its new to the reader and lets face it, at times its great to discover an established series as you know that you've got so many treats ahead.

    Great stuff.

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Thanks for taking the time to comment. I enjoy hearing from my readers. Let;s talk!