Gypsy – Sons of Sangue #3 – Patricia Rasey

Ugh! The men in this series are so utterly misogynistic and disrespectful towards women that it turns my stomach. So far, in each of the three books, the male protagonist has treated the female protagonist like crap for at least half of the story so when they finally decide that they can’t live without the woman, it’s too late for them to redeem themselves. In my opinion, unless a woman has done something horrible, there’s never a reason to demean or disrespect her.

This book is about the Vice President of the Sons of Sangue, an outlaw motorcycle club who also happen to be vampires. Grayson aka Gypsy is a womanizer who often takes two women at a time to bed and he never has relationships with them outside of the bedroom so when a woman traps him into mating with her, he is furious.

Tamera knows what the Sons of Sangue are because she is one of their blood donors. She has had a thing for Grayson since the first time she met him. One night when she was drunk and high on ecstasy, Grayson chose her to feed off of and have sex but when he finds out she’s on ecstasy, he backs out and tells her to get dressed. Somehow, a glass gets broken, Grayson gets cut and Tamera latches on to his arm and drinks his blood which automatically mates her to Grayson and starts the process of transforming her into a vampire. It’s something all blood donors know that they can never do.

Grayson has every right to be pissed. He thinks she planned it. He takes her to the clubhouse and refuses to help her through her transition. The male vampire can absorb some of the excruciating pain into himself if he holds the female. I thought that he should have helped her even if she had done it on purpose. Instead, his best friend, Anton did it for him. Instead of feeling gratitude, Grayson gets all territorial and tells Anton it wasn’t right for him to touch his mate. It made me think of an abusive male who leaves his wife but won’t let anyone else have her.

Vlad Tepes…yes, that Vlad (cue the huge eye rolls)…tells Anton that Grayson has one year to claim Tamera as his mate. If he doesn’t, Anton gets her. You know, because women in the twenty-first century are property.

I could not stand Tamera. At first it was because of the way she pined after Grayson even though he treated her like crap and later because she was just a loser deluxe.

Although there are a lot of negative things about this series, there’s an ongoing background story that is pretty interesting. Actually, there are two background stories going on and these save the series. One is the evil primordial, Rosalee, who is trying to destroy the Sons of Sangue by any means to get back at the former president for dumping her. She’s powerful and strong and has already killed a couple of them. The other is about how the Sons want to take down a rival motorcycle gang and the cartel who backs them because they killed the former president’s son ten years ago. These stories save this series from being tossed in the garbage.

I already had the first three books so it wasn’t hurting my pocketbook to read them. I struggled with myself about if I should continue with the series or not but my curiosity about Anton’s plight won out so I bought the next book in the series.

Hawk – Sons of Sangue #2 – Patricia Rasey

I’m still not sold on this series but it’s growing on me. I can’t stand the macho bullshit or how misogynistic the male characters are and how they treat the females like dirt. I just cannot respect any man who treats a woman like crap ever.

I thought Kaleb aka Hawk was a giant dickhole for the way he treated Suzi and his attitude towards all women which was they are only good for sex and feeding. He’s a vampire.

Ten years ago, Kaleb took Suzi’s virginity and walked away from her because he was frightened about how she made him feel. He flaunted tons of women in her face. She turned to his nephew as a friend but he thought they were lovers so when he told Suzi that his nephew, Ion, was murdered and Suzi hadn’t reacted like Kaleb thought she should, he began to hate her. He thought she was cold-hearted.

What Kaleb didn’t know was that Suzi just pretended to date Ion so he could hide the fact that he was gay. She kept his secret after he died.

Suzi is a blood donor for the Sons of Sangue who are all vampires but she retired herself and hid out for six months after Kaleb kissed her one night. Kaleb, who has feelings for her but also hates her demands that she become his personal blood donor to torture her.

I liked Suzi because she had spunk and didn’t make it easy on him at first but she still had feelings for him which bugged me because if someone treated me like that, I could only resent them.

Meanwhile, we still have Rosalee, the primordial vampire with a grudge against Kaleb’s brother Kane. She thinks killing Kaleb will hurt Kane enough that he’ll turn to her. She really has messed up thinking.

I already have the first three books of this series because I purchased them a year or more ago so I’m going to read the next book even though, from the background story, I will probably like the next male protagonist even less because he’s a womanizer.

Blood Vow – Black Dagger Legacy #2 – J.R. Ward

I had kind of given up on this series when it became Black Dagger Legacy, a continuation of Black Dagger Brotherhood, for a few reasons. The first and biggest was because I am not a fan of revisiting couples from other books who had already had their time in the spotlight and I would have liked to think of them as living happily ever after. I didn’t want to think of them ever struggling or having relationship problems again. The only one I ever wanted to revisit was Assail and Sola who didn’t get a happily ever after. The second reason is because I didn’t know the new protagonists who were young and didn’t have hundreds of years of tortured history like the Brothers had. They hadn’t been around as background characters like the other protagonists had to build up my curiosity and anticipation about them. It was almost as if J.R. Ward had lost interest in this series and had thought about ending it so she didn’t bother introducing these new guys before but then had to invent them to finish up the series. And the last reason I was giving up was because I didn’t like having two couples sharing a book. I was really just waiting for Layla’s and Xcor’s story and I was going to quit the series.

But I missed this series so I decided to give it another try. I read this book and am now invested in these new characters, the trainees into the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I didn’t realize until after I finished the book and went to J.R. Ward’s website that this book was supposed to have been read before The Chosen. Oops!

I immediately judged Axe to be a dickhole but changed my mind later as I empathized with his plight. He had a sad childhood.

I liked Elise but she was a little too much of a goody goody for me.

I also had a problem with the whole rich girl with a poor bad boy storyline because the last storyline between Craeg and Paradise was the exact same thing.

Besides those things, the book was intense. There was one part in the book where I was so engrossed and tense that I didn’t even know it until I got up and realized I had my muscles clenched.

This is why J.R. Ward is still one of my favorite paranormal romance writers.

The Unyielding – Call of Crows #3 – Shelly Laurenston

Ragnarok is about to be unleashed on to the world and there’s only one person who can stop it and that’s Erin Amsel. Wait! That can’t be right. She’s a total dick and likes to start trouble so she’s more likely to light the world on fire than save it…literally. One of her gifts is fire. She can withstand it to a degree and she can throw flames from her hands. She’s been chosen for all these reasons to go into the Nine Worlds to save the world.

Stieg is a Raven, a follower of Odin, who has been ordered to follow Erin to see what she is up to because the Ravens know she’s up to something. Stieg is not happy about his assignment. He cannot stand Erin Amsel who plays games with people just toess with their heads. She stabbed him in the leg before during a battle because he got in her way. Ugh! But he follows her anyway and ends up helping her when she gets herself into deep doo doo.

Erin is a Crow, a follower of Skuld, but unlike the other clans who are part of the Nine Clans who follow Norse gods, Crows aren’t from Viking blood. In fact, most of them descend from Viking slaves. They weren’t raised to fight for their god. No, they are women who are given a choice just after their brutal deaths to get a second life if they follow Skuld. Then they get wings and fight at night for Skuld.

Usually, I don’t like women like Erin but the author had me falling in love with her because she was just so crazy and most of the people she messes with deserve it.

I am really into the ongoing storyline of this series. Gullveig, a minor goddess I had never heard of before, is trying to start Ragnarok for some reason that I must have missed while reading this. She has the help of Hel, Loki’s daughter, who has loaned Gullveig the use of her Carrion who are disgusting winged creatures who are not only strong but have rotting flesh that can rot a human’s flesh too. Ew!

Erin has to go into the Nine Worlds to find a Surtr’s Sword which is guarded by Nidhogg, the dragon, because it may be the only thing that can kill Gullveig.

I have to admit that I am getting tired of the Gullveig angle to this story but, at the same time, I was wondering how the story would progress if they defeated Gullveig? What other Big Bad Ugly would replace her? Nidhogg? An Elf? Maybe even Hel? I, of course, can’t tell you who the next Baddy is but it did surprise me.

Now, I can’t wait to read the next book.

The Undoing – Call of Crows #2 – Shelly Laurenston

Although this series is entertaining in all its outrageousness, I get extremely annoyed with the constant petty physical fighting between clan members. I almost stopped reading this book because of it. I just think it’s immature and wastes time that could be spent on the plot. I do enjoy the scheming and snarkiness but the pigheaded fighting over stupid stuff wears on me.

Luckily, I decided to keep reading a little while longer because I really do like a lot of the characters and the storyline intrigued me enough to read further.ost of the infighting dwindled as the story intensified.

Jace became a Crow after her cult-leader husband killed and buried her. The goddess Skuld propositioned her to serve her for a second chance at life. She crawled out of the grave as her husband was shoveling dirt on her. She attacked him but was pulled off by member of another clan who also happens to be a federal agent. Her husband went to prison and  she divorced him. She is now a valued member of the Crows, women who serve Skuld.

Unfortunately, her ex knows to many people in high places and is out again and wants Jace back in his cult. This worries her but she’s got bigger things going on like banishing the evil goddess who has entered this realm and wants to bring the world to an end.

She has to work with another clan, the Protectors, to research how to fight this goddess. She finds herself falling for one of them, Danski Eriksen. He’s smart and a warrior.

I have to admit, I was more into the plot than the romance in this book which will continue in the next book. Onward!

Blade Dance – Cold Iron – D.L. McDermott

Finn has done a lot of changing throughout this series. Actually, it wasn’t until the end of the last book that he started to change and that was only because he wanted Ann Phillips, a school teacher who came to his house to discuss his grandson who she thought was his son.

I thought Ann was a busy body overreaching her authority as a school teacher to go talk to a known crime Lord about the attendance of his grandson. School teachers don’t do that. They go through the proper channels to do that.

In this book, she goes to Finn because he’s the only one who knows who will help a child in desperate need of help. She discovers that the parents of one of her second graders has had the child’s arms tattooed which is illegal. The nurse tells her to stay out of it and not cause trouble with the Beautiful People. She knows a lot of the people in the area believe in the Fae but she’s not convinced. The principal also threatens that if she reports it, she will tell them that she is lying.

She turns to Finn who she knows has a connection with the child’s parents. Finn proves to her that the Fae really exist and he tells her she might not be fully human either.

Things take a dangerous turn when the child goes missing.

The romance between Ann and Finn was okay for me but I was more interested in the new character who was introduced, lobath, who lives a life of penance for horrible things he had done in the past. I’m pretty sure he will be featured in the next book.

Stone Song – Cold Iron #3 – D.L. McDermott

I knew this book was going to be about Elada because he was the most likely choice from the characters in the series so far. Plus, there was an excerpt of the beginning of this book at the end of the book. 😁

Elada has been bound to the Fae sorcerer, Miach, for most of his long life which started before the days of the Romans. To save Elada’s life Miach released him from his bond. Now Elada is free to pursue his own life and even marry if he likes.

Thousands of years ago, the Far Court was banished by the Druids to the Otherworld but the wall between worlds is weakening. The Druids were wiped out by the remaining Fae who worked with the Romans to destroy them. At least, that’s what the Fae thought until they discovered some Druids had survived and there are a few of their descendants strong enough to bring down that wall.

Of course, no Druid would willingly bring back the Fae Court because they are cruel and lack any kind of empathy. They’d hunt down and kill all Druids and any half-blood Fae. Most free Fae don’t want to see the Fae Court back because they have fathered generations of half-breeds with humans.

The Prince Consort, however, would love to bring back the Fae Court. The Queen was his lover and he is just as cruel as she was and he wants his former glory back. He and his followers have identified Druids all over the world and are going after them take away their will and bring down the wall. Now, it’s a race for Elada and his allies to find these Druids before the Prince Consort finds them.

When Miach hands Elada a file with a photo of a Druid, he immediately recognizes her. She sings at a local pub and her voice drew him in to watch her. He’s been infatuated ever since. Miach tells him to win her to their side or eliminate her because she would be dangerous if the Prince got ahold of her.

Sorcha is a talented singer and instrumentalist. She knows of the Fae and knows to stay away from them. She’s seen Elada at the Black Rose where she performs many times but he has never approached her until now. Her last encounter with a Fae had not gone well so she decides to get the heck out of Dodge.

The one thing that always drives me batty is when the female protagonist runs from the good guys when she knows there’s a powerful evil guy out there who will crush her if they catch her. It doesn’t make me think they are brave. It makes me think they are stupid. The bad guy always catches them and the good guy always has to save them. Ugh!

Luckily, the female protagonist in this series are badasses on their own so I can get over the running like an idiot bit and it didn’t ruin the book for me so I can go on to the next book without rethinking my choice in series.