GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review + Alpha Male Diner: Darkness Possessed by Stephanie Rowe + giveaway | I Smell Sheep

Friday, August 1, 2014

Book Review + Alpha Male Diner: Darkness Possessed by Stephanie Rowe + giveaway

Zach Roderick (Calydon Warrior)
recipe by Stephanie Rowe
Darkness Possessed (Order of the Blade #9)

Ingredients for a Zach Roderick Flambé

1) One well-muscled ancient Calydon warrior

2) 800 years of soul-wrenching torment

3) Add red-hot sizzling fire that burns from within.

4) Sprinkle with a mouth-watering dose of raw masculinity, danger, and dangerous passion.

5) Top with sensual kisses that awaken dormant desires that no woman can resist.

Warning: Love is forever with this one. Consider yourself forewarned.

Notes for optimum results: Must handle this delicacy with care. He will protect and possess you, and engulf you mercilessly in the enormity of his presence and desire. His loyalty is unwavering, and once he accepts you into his circle of protection, you will never have to face anything alone again. He will do whatever it takes to safeguard you, no matter the cost to himself, no matter how great the sacrifice. He has no heart left to give you, but with the right nurturing and care, you just might be able to heal him and bring him back from the darkness that holds him so relentlessly in his grip.

Taste Test
Kiss her? Kiss her?

Zach went utterly still, his entire body shaking with need at Rhiannon's breathless request. He wasn't a saint. He wasn't even close. The need to possess her was so strong that his muscles were actually cramping from the effort of controlling himself.

Still pinned beneath him, Rhiannon was staring up at him, her blue eyes dark with desire so raw that it seemed to thrust right into his gut. She wanted him as badly as he wanted her. But he'd seen her terror. Hell, he was still carrying the marks from her attack when she'd thought he was going to hurt her.

"Zach?" Her hands slid from his shoulders to the back of his neck, her touch a tantalizing caress as she wove her fingers through his hair. "Kiss me," she whispered. "I need you to kiss me."

He swore under his breath, knowing damn well that all she was asking for was a kiss. She wasn't asking for him to rip her clothes off or to make love to her until neither of them could move. He knew that, but could he really kiss her and stop there? He could feel her breasts against his chest. Her legs were wrapped around his hips, pulling him against her. The heat from her body seemed to flood him, a pulsing, relentless need that pushed ruthlessly against his self-control.

No. He couldn't do it. He wouldn't take that chance.

But even as he had the thought and made the resolution not to kiss her, he looked down into the turbulent depths of her eyes and saw the desperation in them. He realized suddenly that the kiss wasn't simply about the raw lust that had been stirred up between them. She needed him to kiss her, a need that burned from the very depths of all the pain and trauma she carried with her. She needed him to show her what a kiss was supposed to be like.

Jesus. That was serious pressure. But what was he going to do? Abandon her, when all he wanted to do was sweep her into his arms and gift her with whatever kindness he had left, with whatever beauty hadn't already been stripped from his soul?

No. He knew he wasn't going to say no. He was going to kiss her, and prove to her that some men were worth trusting, and that he was one of those men. 

Gritting his teeth against the need to consume her, he slowly bent his head, forcing himself to move with agonizing precision, giving her time to stop him or pull back. But with each inch that he closed between them, her fingers dug more tightly into him and her legs clamped that much harder around his hips.

She wanted him. There was no going back. At all.

Desire flashed in her eyes as she suddenly comprehended that he was about to kiss her, then wariness, and then, before the turbulence of her emotions could stop him, he closed the distance between them and kissed her, delivering the most chaste kiss he could summon.

Her lips were the softest things he'd ever felt in his life. They were like the spun silk, warm with life and passion. Lust exploded through him, a fire so hot it felt as if it were searing his veins as his blood raced through his body. 

Swearing under his breath, he started to break the kiss, knowing that he was in over his head, but before he could pull back, she wrapped her arms around his neck and trapped him. Then, she parted her lips beneath his and kissed him. Hard. Passionately. Intensely, but with the tentative skill of a woman who had no idea how the hell to kiss a man, who was simply following her instincts.

And it worked.

He cradled the back of her head in his palm, braced himself on his other forearm, and kissed her back. No longer chaste and protective, he kissed her with all the passion of a warrior who had gone too long without the oxygen needed to sustain him, only to find that the woman in his arms was that missing piece of his survival.

Order of the Blade, #9
by Stephanie Rowe
A fatal mistake stripped Zach Roderick of the powers that define him, leaving him a tormented shadow of the warrior he once was. Now, his teammate's life depends on Zach resurrecting the fire that once burned within him. As he undertakes a battle he has no way to win, he is derailed by a tempestuous beauty that awakens in him the dark desires that destroyed him once before.

The scars etched on Rhiannon Diaz's soul are so deep that she will never again be free. The once-powerful guardian is facing her last and greatest battle, and failure means a return to a sexual enslavement that is far worse than death. Her intense and passionate need for the powerful warrior who has vowed to protect her threatens the very foundation of her survival, but his refusal to abandon her drags them both into a world where wild, untamed passion rages, and surrender is their only chance.

All books in the Order of the Blade series are intended to be standalones that can be read in any order. The chronological reading order, however, is as follows: DARKNESS AWAKENED, DARKNESS SEDUCED, DARKNESS SURRENDERED, FOREVER IN DARKNESS, DARKNESS REBORN, DARKNESS ARISEN, DARKNESS UNLEASHED, INFERNO OF DARKNESS, DARKNESS POSSESSED.

I didn't know what to expect when this book was given to us as an ARC. But having been told that you can read this series at any point, I said what the flock and went for it.

That being said, it was just by the wool of my hide that I was able to stay inside the story world. At book 9, you can be sure that a lot has gone down. I did get enough of the essence that helped make
​ most of​ the story understandable. This is a well written world, with a mix of characters that were interesting and complex.

I did not understand why you have to kill your mate. In this saga, if you find the one you're meant to be with, once you fall in love, they will kill everyone you love and then kill you. Unless the gal kills them first. Ok, well that sucks! Didn't like that.

The story felt like it was split in two, with half focus on Rhiannon and ​Zach but then shared with another couple. I presume this is because they are having their own story next? I don't know, but that was a little annoying. Aside from that flip flop of character focus, prepare for situations of rape and abuse towards women. Not winning.

Overall, this was certainly a different world that may not always have a happy ending. The characters come from some dark pasts and love seems hard to reach. Action and adventure mixed with a little humor, yet all delivered with ease. I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series to get the full affect.

Getting 3 and 1/3 Sheep

About the Author:
Four-time RITA® Award nominee and Golden Heart® Award winner Stephanie Rowe is the nationally bestselling author of more than forty published novels. Stephanie has received starred reviews from Booklist and high praise from Publisher's Weekly. Stephanie is the author of the bestselling Order of the Blade paranormal romance series, and she will be launching a new vampire series in Sept/Oct 2014. She also writes the intensely passionate Ever After series, and the gripping Alaska Heat romantic suspense series. She also published in teen fiction, middle grade fiction, and motivational nonfiction. 

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