So...I'll review The Lone Warrior today, and then I'll go back and read the earlier books and update this blog entry at a later date with reviews of the earlier books.
This is a fantasy world set in an imaginary land that seems to be a mash-up of ancient Turkey (pashas), North Africa (desert nomads), and Medieval Europe (keeps and feudal lords). In The Lone Warrior, the hero is Walker, a sword master and shaman who can pull power from the earth. The heroine is Mehcredi, a newbie captured by Walker in the opening scene. Mehcredi was hired by the villainous Necromancer to kill a powerful mage, but she mistakenly poisoned an innocent who happens to be one of Walker's good friends. Walker drags Mehcredi back to his home (the House of Swords) and punishes her by forcing her into servitude. Walker starts out hating Mehcredi, of course, as does everyone else in his household. But gradually, Mehcredi wins people over with her blunt and honest approach to life and her seeming inability to tell a lie.
Mehcredi has had a terrible life: an orphan from birth, a child slave, a magnet for male abuse, and finally a failed assassin. By the way, I've read a few reviews of this book, and each reviewer has failed to understand the reason why the Baron of Lonefell turned his back on Mehcredi from the time that he first saw her, immediately after her birth. Pay particular attention to the first few paragraphs of the Prologue as the olive-skinned Baron gazes down at his ivory-skinned, rosy-cheeked daughter, then looks over at his olive-skinned wife, and then stares out the window at his pale-skinned, platinum-blond sergeant of the guard. Rossetti lets us imagine the whole story in just a few subtle sentences—but you must read very carefully.
Walker has his own problematic past. His life is dedicated to wreaking vengeance on the diablomen (demon-possessed) who wiped out his entire tribe, the Shar. Walker has killed all but one of them, and he's on the trail of the last one.
Over and above the Walker-Mehcredi relationship, the plot revolves around an insurgency of djinns. Usually, djinns are portrayed as spirits from a parallel world to mortal earth, but these particular djinns have arrived from a slightly different place.
Supporting characters are the couples from the previous books, all of whom have magical talents, from flame throwing to casting spells. One character who seems to be common to all of the books is Deiter, a powerful wizard and a bit of a jerk. The series title refers to a living, magical pentacle with its sides formed by three of the supporting characters, each of whom can control an element: air, earth, and flame. The person who will be the fourth side (water) is still to be determined.
If you enjoy fantasy and erotic romance, you will probably like this book. Rossetti tells a good story, and her characters have enough depth to keep the reader interested in their lives. The dialogue can be disconcerting at times as it is filled with phrases that are right out of the 21st century, but there are also archaic words, such as trews (for trousers). It's almost as if the author couldn't quite make up her mind about the time frame. Other than that, however, the dialogue seems natural and believable. Mehcredi's back story is a bit melodramatic. For example, when she was an infant, she was left alone for days but still survived—kind of implausible, but then, this is a fantasy.