Review: Embrace the Highland Warrior

Embrace the Highland Warrior
Embrace the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really am enjoying this series and it’s a nice change from my normal, historical, genre. I find the characters well written, with the hero/heroine both alphas, which I find important in a contemporary setting. The book also does a good job of explaining how the “clan” deals with the issue of the paranormal in the modern world with technology, internet etc which helps to keep the reader engrossed in the story and not asking how could they do that.

This book continues the over arching story line picking up where the previous book left off. It is the story of one of the more interesting characters from the previous book (Cody).

Don’t worry, you get a lot more of the entire clan, and kilts many more kilts!

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Review: Demon’s Bride

Demon's Bride
Demon’s Bride by Zoe Archer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The 2nd book in Ms. Archer’s series picks up a few months after the end of the first book as we peak in on Leo’s wedding to Anne, a poor baron’s daughter on the verge of becoming a spinster. Like in the first book, the story starts out by isolating the heroine. Anne, who finds Leo overwhelming and confusing, is left in Leo’s dreary and lonesome townhouse, immediately after the wedding, as he pursues his fortune and revenge on The Exchange (recall that Leo’s gift was the ability to foresee future financial disasters).

As Leo tries to get to know his wife, he, like Whit in the previous book, finds himself pulled away from his gift and the work the Devil wants him to do. But it is not just Leo’s drive to for more money that drives him. It is also his desire to be accepted into the gentry that pushes him further into the Devil’s grasp. Anne, desperate to please the man she’s falling in love with, because an unknowing pawn in his game. But as Anne finds her own inner strength to overcome her own beliefs that she never quite fit in (as she stated she and Leo had something in common, they both stood on the outside and watched people dance) and find her own self confidence her doubts about Leo grow, driving them apart.

Of course the Devil, unwilling to lose another Hellraiser, grants Leo an additional gift, which is how Leo discovers Anne is learning the truth about him and that he is slowly losing her. Of course even the Devil can’t stop himself from messing up his own well laid plans. It is the Devil’s own desire to continue controlling the hellraisers at any cost that allows the man to overcome their own demons and find the things that truly matter to him.

Like the first book, the ending is resolved quickly and the main plot stays focused on Leo and Anne finding their own internal strength. You will see old friends again in this book and discover that there is more than one way for the band to reclaim their souls plus a few other twists at the end setting up for the 3rd book (which I believe will be Bram’s and I cannot WAIT to see how his gift is dealt with and the type of woman he is matched to)

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Review: Devil’s Kiss

Devil's Kiss
Devil’s Kiss by Zoe Archer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great series from Zoe Archer. The concept to the story is quite simple, 5 friends, as close as brothers, unwittingly release the devil from his imprisonment. The grateful Devil gives each man his heart desires at the cost of each man’s soul.

For Whit, his gift was the ability to control odds (chance). Whit’s character is a lost risk taker, always upping the bet in order to feel the rush. He has ignored everything else in his life, his estates, his sister, and most other responsibilities.

Zora is a young gypsy girl who is not afraid to speak her mind. She too is a wandering soul searching for excitement.

Like most of Archer’s books, part of what drives the story are the character flaws of the hero/heroine, and her knack at isolating them. In this story, Whit save’s Zora from the Devil by claiming her himself (as she is also part of his heart’s desire) but it comes at a high cost for Zora loses everything she holds dear, freedom, her family, her ability to be seen by anyone but Whit. Whit is blinded by everything but the rush of power he feels from his gift and cannot see through that to understand what he has done to Zora, even as he falls in love with her. Through the use of his gift, Archer again isolates the Whit. Zora, on the other hand, uses the isolation to become stronger herself and overcome her fears and biases – about gorgies, about herself, and to focus on what is truly important in life – love.

It is not until Zora escapes her imprisonment that Whit understands what he faces and does one of the hardest things for him, he turns his back both on his gift and his friends. They both discover that they can draw strength from each other to overcome even themselves.

In the end, Whit uses the gifts he naturally has, his intelligence, gambling skill, love and trust of Zora, to beat his own demon and take back his soul (and all the other souls his own personal demon had collected). Some may find this part seemed to develop quickly and way to easy, but main point of the story is first battling and defeating the devil within you. After that, defeating that demon in real life is supposed to be easy (I adore the symbolism used)

For those that like the Blades of the Rose series, Zoe Archer has created another series that may surpass the previous one in it’s detail and character pairings.

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