Sunday, January 26, 2014

Blog Tour with Reviews: The World of Nightwalkers Series (Forbidden, Forever, and Forsaken) by Jacquelyn Frank @TLCBookTours @JacquelynFrank


Title: Forbidden

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #1

ISBN: 9780345517692

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes this first book in The World of the Nightwalkers--an exciting and sensual new spin-off series in which the Bodywalkers, an ancient race of the night, battles the evil forces who prey on them.

The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia's savior doesn't turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.

When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden--this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to... not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers via the blog host's request in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

When I first heard about the World of the Nightwalkers series tour, I was excited to finally read something by Jacquelyn Frank. I had heard wonderful things from various people in my paranormal romance book club and I jumped at the chance. Little did I know that the series was a spin-off of a 6-book series before that. Upon reading the first few pages, I realized I better read the first series if I had any hope of understand this new world and the characters they may be referencing. So I purchased the books from the previous series and started to read. I was hooked, but came to find out quickly that reading the first series was not a necessity, it was simply recommended. The world of the Bodywalkers is much different and fascinating.

In the world of the Bodywalkers, Egyptian souls have the ability of entering one's body when they are close to death. But only if they receive permission from their host. The host is presented a choice. Go into death knowing everything they wished of their lives was fulfilled or share their body with a Bodywalker and gain powers the likes of which they never would have imagined. Docia, after a traumatic experience, was presented with this same option and with her brother, Jackson, weighing heavily on her mind and the thirst for vengeance to those who harmed her clenching her heart, she agreed to the terms. Of course, afterwards she has no memory of the event. So it is increasingly strange when a golden god of a man comes out of nowhere and declares her his queen.

That is enough to unnerve anyone. Docia is left with yet another decision, leave her home with her brother to learn more about this new voice inside her head and the world the handsome stranger talks about, or run away screaming. One look at Ram and any girl would make the same decision Docia did and go with him.

Ram feels some sort of unbelievable draw to Docia. He is not supposed to feel anything but respect for the vessel of his queen. And yet... Ram finds himself toeing the line of a moral dilemma. Follow his heart to Docia or follow his brain and stick to his loyalty to his king and his people.

But that is, of course, not all there is to this story. Ram and his people are at war with a split group of Bodywalkers called Templars. Templars are Bodywalkers who focus more on magic and religion than the laws and rules of the Bodywalker world as Ram's Politic Bodywalkers. The Templars believe ridding themselves of the heinous Politics would being them closer to their deity and nothing will stop them in that pursuit.

Ram and Docia must struggle not just with their mounting attractions for each other but also contend with the war between their people.

To be quite honest, I don't know how I feel about a love story that kind of involves four people. The two original hosts and the two Bodywalker spirits. That seems like two too many people involved, call me old fashioned. Does the concept upset me so much that I can't enjoy the book? No, not at all. But it does make me grimace from time to time. I am a steadfast monogamist and this just seems a little too free and easy for my liking. However, the overall world of the Bodywalkers is incredibly interesting. It's always fun to learn about new Nightwalker races, as I found in the Nightwalker series.

Forbidden is a book that toes the line between quirky kink and sultry everlasting love.

Available at:
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Title: Forever

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #2

ISBN: 9780345534903

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson's spirit is a powerful one--none other than the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.

While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink who keeps pushing him to confront his grief over the loss of his K-9 partner. But when Marissa really arouses most in Jackson is intense desire, which is exactly what Menes is looking for. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join; but to host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Fate has given Jackson a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes' plan or keep an entire species from the brink of extinction.

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers via the blog host's request in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

I got through the first book without too many issues with the four spirits, two bodies dilemma. I have to say, I was a little weary going into the second book, especially with the synopsis talking about having to kill the woman that the original host was in love with in order for her to host the queen counterpart spirit to his king. That just has drama written all over it. Not to mention, I couldn't even imagine how exactly he would come to ask her for such a thing. "Hey baby, you're kind of hot, will you die and host the spirit of my alterego's queen? Pretty please?" I absolutely had to find out more about this story.

Jackson died and came back with a Bodywalker king living contentedly inside him. He was moderately okay with that. What he wasn't okay with was the fact that he would have to give up on his infatuation with the precinct psychiatrist in order to commit his heart and body to Menes' queen whenever she were to appear. He was struggling with the need to get closer to her while also knowing it cannot be anything permanent. He wouldn't ask her to host Hatshepsut's spirit. He would not disrupt her life in such a way. But what his head and his heart are telling him to do, not to mention the commentary from Menes who finds Marissa to be the perfect host for his queen, are completely different.

Marissa has always had a thing for the strong K-9 officer at her work. She couldn't explain why she was having such a hard time resisting him, but resist she must. She is his psychiatrist after he lost his K-9 partner in a tragic event and cannot cross that patient-doctor line. She must keep things professional. A tactic she has learned to use in many an uncomfortable emotional situation. But when faced with the otherworldly power of the spirit inside Jackson and what that spirit is capable of doing, she must wonder if what is professionally ethical is really what is keeping her away from him. Jackson is a frightening man all by himself to Marissa, add to that one royal alpha male and it makes for a very potent combination that makes Marissa question whether distance from Jackson is truly what she wants.

With the reappearance of Menes, the Bodywalker king, the Templars are quick to attempt to send him back to the Ether before his queen can join him, even if that means awakening an evil the likes of which the world has never known.

This book in the series focused a lot more on how Bodywalker sex can be odd. Ultimately the host is not just having sex with the other host, but also the Bodywalker... if sex is between two Bodywalkers, that is a whole lot of different personalities all mixed in there. What happens if one likes it one way and the other another? I couldn't see how any of that could be any more confusing. And I struggled even more with this book that the last, however, the connection between Marissa and Jackson seemed more real (if that's even possible in this sort of situation) than the one between Ram and Docia. I found myself falling in love with Jackson's quick wit as well as Menes's sexual innuendos. I started to (kinda, sorta) grasp how the Bodywalker and the host kind of compliment each other. I found the insight into the Templars that was given to show them in a new light. Not all of them are bloodthirsty zealots bent on world destruction.

Forever is the perfect middle story. It fluffs out the details of the Bodywalker race and couples that with yet another steamy romance.

Available at:
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Title: Forsaken

Author: Jacquelyn Frank

Series: The World of Nightwalkers #3

ISBN: 9780345534910

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank continues her scorching and sensual new series set in the world of the Nightwalkers, where alluring entities known as Bodywalkers are the vanguards against the raging forces of darkness.

As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot--but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he's ever encountered.

But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature--a Night Angel--to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power--or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.

Review:
I received a physical copy of this book from the publishers via the blog host's request in exchange for an honest review and participation in the blog tour.

I had only heard about Leo in passing in the first two books. All I knew was that he was a mercenary that went through and incredible ordeal in Forever. I knew after that experience that he would have issues with most of the Bodywalkers due to the actions of one. I couldn't imagine him actually letting himself fall in love with any superhuman creature, but according to the synopsis he does. I had to find out how this came about.

Leo is deep in the self-loathing abyss in which he has resided since his release from a torturous few days. He doesn't know who to trust anymore now that he knows about the Nightwalker world. He doesn't even know if he can trust his best childhood friend, Jackson, and Jackson's baby sister that he helped raise, Docia. Everyone and everything is foreign to him. And foreign equals an enemy and a force to fight. His feelings on Nightwalker creatures starts to change with the appearance of a Dark Angel ironically named Faith. After Jackson is critically wounded it is up to him and Faith to set out on a journey to find a source who may heal the fallen pharaoh and his best friend. Along the way Leo must confront his prejudices about the Bodywalkers and also fight his mounting feelings for the noir skinned beauty beside him.

Faith knows Leo's type. He is too busy passing judgment on others to really get to know them. She has no reason to allow him to get to know her either. Unfortunately, she seems to have as many prejudices about the human race as Leo does about Nightwalkers. She knows the future of the Nightwalkers rests on the shoulders of the wounded Jackson/Menes. What she doesn't know is what her future holds with the hispanic killer she is starting to grow rather fond of.

Can Faith and Leo overcome both of their prejudices and stubbornness to get to the love that could be a possibility between these two unlikely people?

I absolutely love Leo. He is one of my favorite characters. He is comical as well as deadly. He reminds me a lot of Edward from the Anita Blake series. We get to see a different side of him in Forsaken. We get to see a healthy dose of vulnerability in a man you would never think to be that weak. We see Leo come to grips with a world in which the only family he knows is a part of. We also see Leo start to open up and let someone in. A woman who he despised only because of her inhuman-like existence.

Faith was a fun addition to the cast. She was not quirky like Docia and was not overly serious to the point of being stiff like Marissa. She was blunt but also very sweet. I think she's my favorite female character to date.

I thoroughly enjoyed Forsaken for it's psychological attributes carefully woven into the plot of a stellar work of fiction.

Available at:
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Rest of the Tour
January 6th: Supernatural Snark
January 7th: A Chick Who Reads
January 10th: Reader Girls
January 13th: Mom in Love with Fiction
January 15th: Books a la Mode (author Q&A)
January 16th: Fiction State of Mind
January 17th: From the TBR Pile
January 20th: Queen of All She Reads
January 21st: Bibliophilia, Please
January 21st: A Night's Dream of Books
January 22nd: Book Marks the Spot
January 23rd: Stuck In Books
January 28th: Sara's Organized Chaos
January 29th: Love, Romance, Passion
January 30th: Booked on a Feeling

About the Author:
Jacquelyn Frank is the New York Times bestselling author of the World of Nightwalkers series (Forbidden, Forever, and Forsaken), the Three Worlds series (Seduce Me in Dreams and Seduce Me in Flames), the Nightwalker series (Adam, Jacob, Gideon, Elijah, Damien, and Noah), the Shadowdwellers novels (Ecstasy, Rapture, and Pleasure), and the Gatherers novels (Hunting Julian and Stealing Katherine). She lives in North Carolina and has been writing romantic fiction ever since she picked up her first teen romance at age thirteen.



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