Wednesday, March 18, 2020

#BookReview – “The Only One” by Christine Feehan, Susan Grant, and Susan Squires



This book contains three short stories:

1. Dark Descent by Christine Feehan (11 in her Dark Series) an aggressive, multi-talented professional body guard/secret service agent who never lets danger or the unknown stop her becomes the lifemate of a powerful immortal embroiled in a battle with the vampires.

2. The Star Queen by Susan Grant is the first in her Star series.
A munitions developer/producer finds love with a rebel leader who begins the peace process in one corner of the galaxy.

3. Sacrilege by Susan Squire (a spin-off her Sacrament, the vampire heroine (a recovering "addict") is quite strong but generally seeks to avoid rather than embrace adventure.


“Dark Descent” by Christine Feehan

In book 9.5 of the Dark/Carpathian series, ancient warrior Traian Trigovise is going home to the Carpathian Mountains at the behest of the prince after countless centuries away. While en route, he runs across four vampires in an extensive ice cave and attacks them. Unfortunately, he’s injured, and the vampires take him captive.
Joie Sanders is a telepathic human bodyguard and is damn good at her job. Joie, her brother Jubal, and her sister Gabrielle go spelunking in some ice caves in order to find the mysterious man Joie has been psychically talking with. After she and her siblings free Traian, they soon realize vampires are very real and that there’s something not quite right about the caves.
Joie and Traian are kickass characters. They’ve been mentally communicating for weeks, so they already know each other before they officially met. Romance blooms fast between them, but it’s believable.
I love the introduction of the mages. The ice caves are beautifully described, but since this is a novella, the rest of the scenery and the subplots aren’t over the top as in other books.
Jubal and Gabrielle are great additions to the series. Gary returns as the prince’s emissary, and there’s definitely a romantic spark between him and Gabrielle (too bad that doesn’t play out later in the series).
Since this story is so short, the writing is tighter and the characters, especially the women, are stronger than usual.
4.5 Stars

“The Star Queen” by Susan Grant

Three generations ago, warlords decimated the planet of Sienna. The survivors sought refuge underground and are now living in caves, fighting back and struggle to survive as best they can.
Taj Sai lives her life around work and has forsaken the typical duties of women. As the rebels’ bombmaker, she creates bombs with exact precision and has never had a device malfunction. The rebel commander, Romjha B’kah, once lived a careless life of apathy but changed his ways and now leads his people in successful raids. A foreign ship then crashes on the planet and a group of outsiders bring hope and idealistic views to the people of Sienna. Romjha wants to join them and fight a large-scale war for peace, but Taj fears all-out war will lead to slaughter.
I found this story confusing, but midway through, I finally understood what was going on. Romjha and Taj have secretly wanted one another for years, but never acted on their desire until the outsiders came and Romjha planned to leave. This story ends with a HEA, but it took ten years to reach it and the H/h were separated for most of that time. I liked the characters, but not the long-term separation, that was of course off-page.
3 Stars

“Sacrilege” by Susan Squires

For almost two centuries, vampire Madga Ravel has repented her sins and learned abstinence at the Mirso Monastery. Though she wants to takes her Vow and live there forever, her friend and mentor, Brother Pietr, insist she rejoin the human world. She believes she’s evil and unworthy, and doesn’t want to give in to her blood addiction and start killing again. Her sire and former lover, Julien, takes responsibility of her, but she doesn’t feel like she belongs in the modern world.
Pietr Vladamiroff has loved Magda for years, but his Vow forbids strong emotions, so he lets her go. But when a vampire elder targets Magda for death, Pietr must go against a thousand years of scripture and beliefs in order to save her life.
I haven’t read the other books in the series, so I felt a little lost with this novella. Apparently, Magda was the villain in the previous books, but now is a reformed heroine getting her own love story. I like that twist, but I wish I knew more about her villainous character.
Magda was often vulnerable and unsure of the people trying to help her, but I liked her for the most part. Pietr was strong and stoic, but full of so much passion, more than to be expected from a vampire monk. The scene when Magda is driving a car for the first time was hilarious, and the Buffyfest was great too. I liked this story, but I think reading the series in order is best.
3.5 Stars

Book Overall – 4 Stars

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