Saturday, January 25, 2014

(W)REC(K) A BUNDLE: To Love A Shifter

*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

For the very first time, Marian Tee has her own book bundle consisting of all her comedic, heart-wrenching romantic lovelies- and there are two out now! The first boxed set, To Love a Shifter, has all her yummy shifters who make hearts pound, eyes, pits and pussies wet (yes I said pussy), but most importantly, enforce a strong belief in a kind of love that is both obsessive and pure. Because we all want to belong somewhere, and we all seek out our own special Alphas waiting for us to lighten up their worlds, just like Misty, Caylie, George, Deli, and Dazzle did for their men.

After reading this, you can bet your perdy socks that you will finish: out of breath; over-steamed; out of tears; and dreaming harder than ever for that unsuspecting guy that could be stalking with his sleek self a lot closer to home than you originally thought. Don't keep the predator kitty waiting, open those doors and windows!

Now, the first five books: The Werewolf Prince and I, A Royal Heartbreak, Suit and Fangs, The Demon Duke and I and Evren: Enter The Dragonette are titles I've already gushed about, cried over and reviewed the fuck out of on my blog. Marian won me over a long time ago with my first lovely, The Werewolf Prince and I with the Alpha Domenico Moretti whose plans originally were to use one of his sweet employees in an elaborate plot in his Were-Politics, except time spent with the terribly naive and innocent Misty Wall changes it all. Every carefully thought-out plan unravels where Misty is concerned, and the more she makes his heart beat, the harder he pounds into her, unused and unsure of all this new found blood suddenly making his organs pulse with vitality and... dare he think it, love? =^~^=

Misty was my very first heroine to be so ignorant of all the cynical rules of bad-assery. Instead of a coldly collected, cautious and doubtful woman who'd experienced much of reality and was changed because of it, I got a young woman who had dealt with more hardships than the regular status of a normal citizen and still whole-heartedly believed in having a good heart. It was like a breath of fresh air. All the shit that life threw at her didn't deter her from getting her happy ending, she simply washed it off, smiled, and thanked the gods for the wonderful shower of Ultimate Positivity. I'll say that none of Marian's girls are quite like Misty, nor are any of their stories. You'll definitely want to check her out, especially when her story continues in A Royal Heartbreak.

Suit and Fangs is a spin-off from Misty and Mr. Moretti's world a few years later in the future and takes on a younger perspective of two young vampires who have problems of their own. Luka is a very dangerously handsome Caros, and the only girl he's ever cared for, Caylie, despises him with a passion. It's the way he planned to have her think of him. He hates it, but it's their only option, because it's either that or accept her young love, have his possessive obsession with her body and soul consume him, and kill her solely for the cruelly satisfied idea of having her all to himself. One of those psychotic "hide you away from the world cause only I can have all of you" kind of things. But Fate doesn't let him get his way. She puts them both in a situation that rises the stakes (no pun intended) on not just their hearts, but their lives.

And gosh, The Demon Duke and I? Totally delectable! It was a whole new world that the talented Tee created, and I instantly fell in love with it. For one thing, it had all my favorite weaknesses: the old-time essence of renaissance skirts and carriages; the royal power of dukes; wicked witches and foul-mouthed geek bloggers... and... I'm forgetting something... Oh, right. Mother-Fucking-Hot-As-Hell-Alphas. Dudes were like four hot powerful friends straight out of an ani- anim- anime- ..... HOLY SHIT.
*runs out door*
*runs back in*

I just thought of something and had to run out to ask the author, but yeah, back to the story. Silviu is a demon duke who's lived long enough without a heartkeeper to keep him from Hell, but when George wanders into his dark domain, everything is suddenly changed. Now instead of dying and leaving his three friends to defend his city from the other power-hungry creatures, he has to not only protect George from assassins, but convince the woman herself that he is hers, and she is his. His lover, his companion, his salvation: his heartkeeper.

"Say what? Does he mean 'housekeeper'?"
*No, George, honey. Heartkeeper. A housekeeper won't gain his demon half a soul.*

Evren: Enter The Dragonette was one of her youngest and earlier works, and although I thoroughly enjoyed the drama in this little morsel as well, I didn't enjoy the romance that much. Deli is not the brightest crayon in the box and may even be a little shallow at times, but it doesn't stop her from having a good heart and wanting real love like any other girl. That real kind of love gets announced by a pair of brothers who rescue her from an attack and make her Evren, and although she's found a soulmate and kinship with one brother, it's the other one who's captured her heart. Lucian, however, has got to be the most sceptical one of all when compared to Marian's other guys, and he doesn't exactly play the part of Prince Charming. But that's always the case, isn't it? If it isn't dramatic, it isn't worth it. Personally, I would've flayed the little lizard a little more before forgiving him, but I guess that's why he got Deli for a Light- she'd be the only one to ever put up with his crap.

And now... for the new story that I hadn't read before.

This basically sums it up. It's kinda perfect, actually:
sobbing GIF photo: Brb sobbing SOBS.gif

Awakened: The Zombie Who Loved Me

Back-up dancer, Dazzle White, must find a way to protect her heart. Her bodyguard Varthan, a zombie-slash-Viking-warrior, is bent on seducing her. That wouldn't have been so bad if only he wasn't doing so because he considers it his "duty" to teach her about the art of lovemaking.
* * * * *

First of all, I commend-commend-COMMEND you, Marian, on that little twist at the end! I just loved the way you planned it out. Varthan and Dazzle are so good together, she's the perfect girl to convince this Viking Draugar that he can overcome 1000+ years of being conditioned to not believe in love.

When Varthan first came to Dazzle's rescue after getting attacked in the alley by a granny goblin, he was a ten-foot body of rotten but dangerously strong meat. Without her glasses, she was practically blind to his "original form" that he shifts into, and was therefore blind to his hotness that is Viking. Varthan explained to Dazzle the bare minimum of their situation, but after she convinced him to let her go do her job before she got fired for skipping out, she finished the concert, sought him out with new contacts and-

Hubba-hubba. With her sight restored, Dazzle finally sees the Draugar that was once a Viking warrior before he was turned to protect the skat, treasures of the Goddess who were forever blessed from harm. Now Dazzle knows that she's in danger of love at first sight, but he's a zombie! Surely it's some kind of trick... but it isn't. Draugar were the roots of the zombie rumors, gossip particularly spread by their priestess Elsine. As he'd demonstrated earlier, Draugar have the ability to shift forms: whether it be the younger versions of themselves before they died; the versions of their older selves, had they survived well into their golden years; or even their special ten-foot zombie forms, a version that both started all the zombie myths and would've been their possible futures had they been infected with a vicious illness. The whole dead-guy-look is really just a disguise for their warrior selves, and it's a rather swell one, when you think about it.

Varthan takes her to the isle where his kind reside, and there she meets their priestess, whom she loses all her trust with when the woman takes her down to their prison and abruptly shoves her into a cell with one of their evil captives. Both she and Varthan freak out, but when the monster in the shadows only writhes in pain, Elsine takes her back out and proudly announces the proof of Dazzle's line being blessed by the Goddess. Elsine thinks she's made her point about Dazzle being safe from those who wish her direct harm, but for Dazzle, she's just added another category to her list of Untrustworthy people.

"That old lady was a goblin?" I was never, ever going to trust anyone above sixty. Ever.

Then she pushed me inside.
What the---
After helpless old grandmothers, mini blond bombshells were the next type
I'd never let my guard down with. Ever.

Dazzle still doesn't trust the priestess, but she gets a little hopeful when the petite blonde tells her that Varthan was in a major panic for her safety. Maybe it's a sign that he likes her? Maybe, maybe! Kite's up and flying high! Right? WRONG. When they're leaving Draugar Isle, they share a passionate kiss on the plane that quickly rises his hands to her pants' buttons, but she hastily stands up and tells him it's too fast. And then he comes back and says with confidence, "I am the man meant to take your virginity."

Say what? The way he says it sends her thoughts towards dark assumptions, but she has to ask, and when she does inquire about the number of times he's 'deflowered his skat' in the thousand years he's been a Draugar, he tells her. She does not like the answer. Before he met her, when he was a warrior meant to protect the treasures of the Goddess, he'd taken eight skat's virginities. He'd told her that he never believed in love, and when those other eight skat were nothing but women he helped learn about pleasure, the last thing she wants to be is Student Number Nine on his list. She might be in love with him, but she does not want to sleep with him just to be later forgotten and unloved.

During their time together of avoiding goblins and remaining safe, they get into a fight with the lot of them. She helps Varthan fight, despite his yelling and threats to stay in her hidey-hole, and when the fight is over, they yell at each other. And she accidentally let's it slip that she could be falling for him. Oops.

Now he knows that she seriously likes him, but when they're in bed (long story) he reveals that the eight women he protected only used him for pleasure. They loved the sex they gave him, but could never love a monster they feared. That hurts Dazzle, and she tells him that she could never hold his form against him. She loves all of him, for if not for his scary form, he would not have been able to save her as he always does. And then she realizes that she really does loves him, and she tells him that she's changed her mind. About the 'you can't take my virginity' speech she'd given him earlier. However, before she can tell him what she meant, he takes it to mean that she's changed her mind about loving him, and he starts ravaging her in an almost angry, possessive way, saying that she'll never want another and will always be his, and then he- well, makes her toes curl, and after he deflowers her...

   "Still thinking about changing your mind?" he asked.
   "I just did, didn't I?" I asked sleepily. "I let you deflower me."
   I forced my brain to work. My eyes flew open. "Varthan... surely..." I shook my head. "Varthan, you didn't think I had changed my mind about you? About my feelings?"

They're both a little stunned at the misunderstanding, but he admits that he doesn't think he'd survive if she left him, and although it isn't a declaration of love, it's the best she could get from a Viking who didn't believe in love in the first place. The epilogue comes, and in it, they're back on Draugar Isle, asking Elsine about making Dazzle immortal so she can be with Varthan forever. However, there aren't many easy ways to make a human immortal. The first way to give her immortality is to have her pledge herself to being a Draugar and wait until she dies a warrior's death. Obviously, Varthan shot that bird down. The second way to give her immortality, Elsine tells them, is to have them prove their love to each other. Again, an immediate reaction from Varthan has Dazzle flinching, because they both know that Varthan struggles with the L-word. He is hesitate in this option, but Dazzle agrees immediately to the challenge and the dangers and asks how they must prove their love.

In order to gain immortality with the one she loves, she must go to every single one of his lifetimes with a different skat and make him choose her over the other woman. The dangerous part? If she fails once, she's stuck in that time period forever. Dazzle's ecstatic that no goblins are involved. Varthan, on the other hand, is furious. They have sex afterwards to distract themselves from the scary future, and once calm again, he tells her that he wasn't a good man in the past, and worries that he'll cost her their grant of immortality. However, she tells him to trust in them, and with his arms wrapped around her, he sends kisses all over her back tenderly, something that he'd never done before. It ends with:

"Whatever happens, know that you are the only treasure in this life I shall never give up."

UGH, THAT LINE KILLS MEEEEEE. It's not bad, it's actually the sweetest fucking thing ever! What I'm worried about is all the heartache that he's probably thinking she'll get when she meets all the Different Faces of Assholes in his past lifetimes. I mean, think about it! She'll have to go back in time to when he was assigned to a skat, a skat that he is partnered to protect and "love"! What's going to happen when another skat appears? Will he ignore Dazzle because she isn't his assigned treasure to protect?! Will their love triumph and he'll choose her over his assignment, thus proving their love?!?!

I've gotta say that I'm pretty sure he'll choose her every time, otherwise this love story will have no point! But if that's the case, then you can only assume that there's going to be many other ways to cause heartbreak in the readers. And I. Am. Not. Looking. Forward. To. It.

I loved this story so much. God knows I cried in every chapter! Hell, I even daydreamed worst case scenarios and made myself cry even more! T_T This touched me so much because she loves him, but how can you survive from a fall with someone who still thinks his feet are firmly planted on the ground? She doesn't really have any real proof that he loves her, only her trust in the possessive way he loves and her belief in love itself. It's such a nail-biting ending.

But you know what this means? This means that we'll see them fall in love with each other a whole bunch of times! YAY! There will be times when we wanna sob our eyes out, sure, but let's not dwell on the sad parts. =^~^= *thinks positively realllllllly hard*

This was such an amazing read, and although I wish it were a full-length (300000000 pages) novel, it was still a very deliciously temptated masterpiece that touched all parts of emotions for me. I laughed at Dazzle's humor. I cried when Varthan couldn't return her love. And I burned through the paragraphs when Varthan showed her his love in the way he protected her, made love to her, and worried over her. It's obvious to me that he just doesn't know what love is, but that might just be me. XD

To Love a Shifter is a beautiful boxed set and one of Marian Tee's first bundle of all her books. Since I love all her books, I completely adored the fuck out of this. I'd recommend it to the world, but since everyone's got their kinks and peeves, I recommend this to those who love alphas, innocently naive women, hot sex, funny moments and sweet dialogues, but most of all, moments when that Dark Knight discovers his Sun, Moon and Stars for the first time after eons of cruel darkness.

Her second book bundle that is a part of this celebration is called Eternally Seduced, and I'll be tackling that down when I get that chance. I look forward to the last two- ooo the suspense!

Happy Reading

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