Series: THE REALM ENFORCERS
Plot Type: Soul Mate Romance (SMR)
Ratings: Violence—4; Sensuality—4+; Humor—2-3
Publisher and Titles: Lyrical Press (Kensington)
Simone Brightston knows she can beat the rap her enemies are pinning on her. An Irish witch is nobody's fool, and she didn't get to her position on the high council without serious power. But her cousins want her to hide out—and they somehow convinced her arch nemesis to play getaway driver.
Of all the men she's known, Nikolaj (Nick) Veis is the hardest to intimidate. With his demon-dark eyes and his inscrutable beauty, he's as desirable as he is dangerous. And he knows better than to underestimate Simone. So when he pulls up on a roaring bike and tells her to climb on or fight it out, she grabs a handful of jacket and holds on tight. Running from the law may not be the smartest plan. But when it comes to Nick, hot pursuit and a blazing fast ride are exactly what Simone's looking for.
Fans of the series definitely won't want to miss this novel because it introduces so much new information: New creatures are added to the mythology. New enemies enter the plot. Nick and Simone's tragic romantic history is revealed. Simone's exotic parentage is explored. And much more. Although nothing much gets resolved in this novel, the new information helps to explain events that took place during and preceding the recent war between the demons and the witches, particularly Nick's role in making Zane Kyllwood the ruler of the demon nation. It also divulges the truth behind the long-time friendship between Bear and Simone.
I can't really summarize the plot in this review because it would spoil the intrigue if I mentioned any of the new information that drives several of the story lines. I will say, though, that Zanetti maintains her usual mix of suspense, sensuality, and sardonic dialogue all the way through. Other than telling the love story of Nick and Simone, the purpose of this book is to lead us into the fourth novel, which will (I hope) tie up some of the loose ends of the major conflicts that have been developing throughout the series: Who is distributing the lethal Apollo drug to Seattle and other cities? Who is framing Simone and why? Who is attacking the Coven Nine (and other witches) and why? One of the villains is unmasked at the end of this novel, but the identity of the person pulling the strings behind the scenes remains a mystery.
I enjoyed this book even more than the previous one, mostly because of its compelling plot and its wild and crazy lead couple. Nick and Simone are both independent, intelligent characters who follow their own rules, and their burning-hot romantic partnership is fun to watch. Even though Nick tries to out-alpha Simone, she is always one step ahead of him, mapping out just as many secret plans as he does. I especially liked the story line featuring Bear and Simone. Bear has always been one of my favorite characters in this series, and I hope that he eventually gets his own book. Perhaps he will, now that all the facts about his history and his hidden talents are revealed in this novel.
Wicked Burn ends with Adam in pursuit of Tori (Alexandra's sister) after she is captured and imprisoned by the Guards of the Coven Nine. I'm guessing that we'll be getting their love story in the next book.
BONUS: Included at the end of Wicked Burn is a new REALM PROTECTORS novella, "Talen." Here's how Zanetti describes it: "I wanted to write a novella and tie the Dark Protectors to the Realm Enforcers, so I put out the question to my Facebook Street team…on who they'd like to see in a novella to be included with Wicked Burn. There was one pair they overwhelmingly said they'd like to catch up with—so here's...an adventure for Talen and Cara." In the next day or so, I'll be adding a review of this novella to my REALM PROTECTORS review page. Click HERE to go to that page.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My review of Wicked Burn is based on an electronic advance reading copy (ARC) of the book that I received from the publisher through Netgalley. I received no promotional or monetary rewards, and the opinions in this honest review are strictly my own.
In DP, the villainous Kurjans created a deadly virus that attacked the mating bond. Now that the Kurjans are gone, the supernaturals have manufactured a synthetic strain of that virus that has the power to negate the mating bond. If an enhanced human decides to break the mating bond, he or she can take the virus and still maintain the immortality that resulted from the initial mating. I am guessing that this synthetic virus will play a part in at least one of the romance plots in a future book in this series.
If you are a fan of erotic paranormal romance (and who isn't?), this is the series for you. The immortal supernaturals are hot and sexy, and they're over-the-top aggressive in both love and war. All of the supernaturals are immortal, but they can die if they are beheaded. Here are some of their characteristics:
> They cannot mate with a normal human, but they can mate with an enhanced human, one who generally has some type of psychic ability.
> Witches can be either male or female. Here, a witch explains the difference between witches and humans: "We're different species with different chromosomal pairs. Humans have twenty-three pairs. Witches have twenty-seven pairs. So, the difference between witches and humans is similar to the chromosomal difference between humans and, say, a potted plant." (from Wicked Ride) At the moment of mating, a witch burns a Celtic knot symbol onto the skin of the mate, and the human mate soon becomes immortal (after developing four new chromosomal pairs). Witches can manipulate oxygen molecules to produce fire from their bodies. For example, they can create and throw balls of fire at enemies. As one witch explains, "We employ quantum physics, as humans partially understand it, to alter matter when necessary. Like to create fire and throw plasma." (from Wicked Ride) The witch nation is ruled by the Council of Coven Nine. The witches' kryptonite is a mineral from Russia called phenakite (aka planekite, aka PK), which can negate their powers or even cause death.
> Shape shifters are of three types: feline, wolf, and multi. Most of the multi-shifters take the form of a bear. These shifters can take their animal form at will—no need to wait for a full moon. They are strong and fast-moving.
NOVEL 1: Wicked Ride
Alexandra Monzelle is a hard-fighting, heat-packing Seattle vice cop, and she’s not much interested in being protected. Her short skirt and sex-kitten heels are tools to lure her suspects into talking about the deadly new drug hitting the streets. She can take care of herself and then some. Unfortunately, she can’t seem to get that through to Kellach Dunne.
From the moment that Lex and Kell have their first encounter during a confrontation with an Apollo user, the sparks between them begin to fly, both literally and figuratively. Lex believes that Kell is a drug-dealing criminal, but she is so attracted to him that she has trouble thinking straight. At the same time, Kell is falling just as hard for Lex, but he wants her to stay out of the drug investigation for her own safety. Naturally, their relationship moves along a very bumpy path as they fall in lust, then in love—alternating between stormy arguments and steamy sex all the way to their HEA.
The Dunne brothers want to get Apollo off the streets as soon as possible for the safety of the witches of Seattle—not to mention the rising number of humans who are consuming fatal overdoses. They believe that the person behind the drug is a witch who is using Seattle as a testing ground and will then move the drug to Ireland, with the intent of killing all of the many witches who live there. Soon, witches begin to attack Lex, causing Kell to fear for her life.
NOVELLA 2.5: "Teased"
The Hunter: For almost a century, the Realm’s most deadly assassin, Chalton Reese, has left war and death in the past, turning instead to strategy, reason, and technology. His fingers, still stained with blood, now protect with a keyboard instead of a weapon. Until the vampire king sends him on one more mission; to hunt down a human female with the knowledge to destroy the Realm. A woman with eyes like emeralds, a brain to match his own, and a passion that might destroy them both—if the enemy on their heels doesn’t do so first.
Daire Dunne is more than ready to take a quick break from his duties as a Coven Nine Enforcer. When he spots a sexy blond across a Titan's of Fire party, it's not long before she's on the back of his Harley on the fast track to his apartment. Unfortunately, one overheated kiss in, the woman drugs Daire and steals valuable files that can't fall into enemy hands. The second he comes to, the hunt is on.
In this romantic adventure, it's Daire Dunn's turn to fall madly in love with a most unsuitable lover—a gorgeous blond demon he meets at the Titan's of Fire clubhouse. After some hot and heavy petting, they head back to Daire's penthouse apartment, where….they don't make passionate love because she drugs him, steals some important files, and takes off on his motorcycle. Yes, Cee Cee has an agenda that she has been planning for years—an agenda of revenge against the demon who ruined her life and that of her family. As the story progresses, Cee Cee proceeds with her plans, with Daire constantly in pursuit (even though she distrusts him completely and manages to drug him again). The man is head over heels in love with Cee Cee (and she actually feels the same way about him).
|This is where Daire and|
Cee Cee have their
It turns out that Cee Cee is just as fierce and stubborn as the Dunne brothers. She'll do anything to finalize her plans, even if it means hiding her true identity from her lover or sacrificing herself to save her family. I will not reveal Cee Cee's true identity here because it would be such a huge spoiler. In fact, I recommend that you avoid reviews that break the spoiler rule on this, because knowing her real identity too soon will definitely take a lot of the suspense and fun out of the first 1/3 of the story for you.
This is a rollicking tale, filled with one outrageously dangerous scene after another as Cee Cee and Daire team up to fulfill Cee Cee's goals and stay alive while they're doing it. Eventually, the families of both lovers get involved in the scheme, with some being put in grave danger while others come to the rescue. Actually, the family-meet-family scenes are quite humorous, because Daire is a witch and Cee Cee is a demon, so there are lots of half-hearted threats and endless snarky, species-related bickering between various family members on both sides.
FULL DISCLOSURE: My review of Wicked Edge is based on an electronic advance reading copy (ARC) of the book that I received from the publisher through Netgalley. I received no promotional or monetary rewards, and the opinions in this honest review are strictly my own.