Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ward Against Darkness by Melanie Card + Featured Freebie

Ward Against Darkness
Release date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Series: Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer #2

The last thing Ward de'Ath wants is more trouble. On the run from both the law and the criminal underworld, Ward and Celia flee Brawenal City only to stumble into the mansion of a powerful evil necromancer. And when Ward discovers the man possesses a dangerous grimoire, his duty leaves him no choice. He can't allow the necromancer to keep the grimoire. But the mansion is filled with monsters--human and undead--and Ward has no way of telling who's friend or foe. The only person he can trust is Celia who dominates more of his thoughts and feelings everyday. But there are still laws in the way of anything but friendship. She's still dead and he's still alive . . . for now.


My Rating: 5 Roses

If I said this book was perfection, it would be an understatement. Ward Against Darkness was an absolutely brilliant sequel! I LOVED it. The stakes are higher, the magic is darker, the romance is deeper, and it was awesome.

In this book, all the stakes are upped. Things are darker, more intense, and it all had me on the edge of my seat. We're drawn deeper into the world of necromancers and the twisted magic that they practice. This book definitely didn't lack for thrills.

Celia was out of her element. In book 1, she knew what to do as she was in her area of expertise: stealth, fighting, all that kind of good stuff. But, now, she's thrust into a world of magic where she doesn't have nearly as much power. And it had a humbling effect on her. In the previous book, she was utterly self-confident and somewhat arrogant. In this book, she still is but her eyes are opened to a world where she's not in power. It made her grow as a character. And, despite being out of her element, she was still clever and strong. I liked her even more in this book.

Ward was brilliant. In book 1, he was unsure and totally lacking in confidence about his abilities, even though everyone around him saw that he had power. In this book, he starts to realize what everyone already knows and gains confidence, becoming a stronger character. Of course, after what happened at the end, that progress might be stalled or even reversed. But, we'll see. With Ward, I couldn't imagine a person more kind and moral and pure of heart. This guy doesn't have a mean bone in his body and his oaths that other people might not take seriously are truly important to him. He was so sweet and determined to do what was right, even at a risk to himself. If I liked him in book 1, I absolutely adored him in this book. Ward is brilliant and amazing, and so utterly lovable. He might not be the traditional alpha male, but that's one of his charms and he's swoon-worthy in his own way.

The romance was so frustrating in the best way possible. Celia and Ward both come to terms with their feelings. But, while neither of them doubt their own feelings, they doubt the feelings of the other. Celia is sure that Ward would never let himself love her because of the laws banning their relationship and, more importantly, because she's technically dead. Ward is sure that Celia could never love him because he isn't powerful and high born and competent in the same way she is. The romantic tension was all over. Even though these two don't actually do or say anything in regards to a relationship, the romance was still very present as they constantly thought about each other. And while I loved all that, I still kind of wanted to lock them in a room together until they finally admitted their feelings for each other and maybe kissed a few times. I can't wait to read the next book and see how things go for this couple.

The plot was fast paced and full of thrills, surprises, and twists. I was completely hooked the entire way through and, after that ending, I'm dying to get my hands on the next book. It was one hell of an epic cliffhanger ending.

Ward Against Darkness was a perfect sequel. I loved it, loved it, loved it! Fans of book 1, you will not be disappointed. If you liked that book, you will love this one. And to anyone who hasn't started this series, you definitely need to because these books are brilliant!

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
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Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a historical romance from one of my favorite medieval romance authors: Spectre of the Sword by Kathryn Le Veque. Go forth and get it for free!



1203 A.D. - Our heroine is the illegitimate daughter of Geoffrey, Duke of Brittany. The Lady Elizabeau Treveighan was sent to foster at a very young age, her identity known only to a herself and the earl who fostered her. When her half-brother Prince Arthur is murdered and rumors begin to fly that the opposition to King John intends to marry her to a Teutonic prince and supplant her and her new husband as the rulers of England, she suddenly becomes a very hot, and very dangerous, commodity. Enter our hero. Sir Rhys du Bois is charged with keeping Elizabeau safe until her arranged marriage can occur, but the task turns into one of monumental proportions. It's one harrowing flight after another as Rhys tries to keep Elizabeau from harm's way. Somewhere in the process, they fall madly in love with each other and the knight finds himself battling duty and love in order to stay on task. Torn, but with a tremendous sense of duty, he cannot escape the feelings that are swamping him, and Elizabeau does not make it easy for him. Her love for him supersedes her loyalty to her country, and to a family name that has only meant heartache for her. When Elizabeau is finally captured by the king's men and slated for execution under the charge of treason, Rhys will risk everything to save her from the executioner's sword. However, Rhys is betrayed by another knight and soon, he too is slated for the executioner's axe. As Rhys and Elizabeau face death together, allies come together for a covert operation that will save both their lives. It's a race against time before King John's men can execute the last legitimate heiress to the throne and her protector turned lover.


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