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Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe
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Lord of Rage
3 Stars

Following the overthrow and murder of her parents, Princess Breena of Elden finds herself wandering in the woods, exhausted and starving, until she comes across a cottage offering warmth, food and a soft bed. Unbeknownst to Breena, the cottage is the refuge of three Ursan siblings and the oldest, Osborn, is, in fact, the dream warrior who haunts Breena's sleep. Now that Osborn has awakened her, Breena wants nothing more than the beserker warrior's legendary fighting skills to fulfill her need for revenge, or so she thinks...

Not bad for my first Jill Monroe book and a definite improvement on the first book in the series.

Breena is far more likeable than Jane in book #1 whose character would have been much improved if she had been knocked unconscious with a blunt object. In contrast, Breena is a proactive heroine with some kick-ass powers. The scenes in which she learns to fight are very entertaining. Like Nicolai in book #1, Osborn is also an alpha but can thankfully speak in complete sentences. His character is a captivating mix of ferocity and gentleness, honor and a willingness to do what is necessary to survive.

The Blood Sorcerer plot has potential but is ultimately under-developed and poorly executed. There is no build up of tension and the villains are lacking in the menace department. Moreover, the timeline is confusing as the events in book #1 occur 20 years after the fall of Elden while this story is set a few days following the downfall.

Nevertheless, there are several appealing aspects to the story such as the shared dreams, which form the foundation for Breena and Osborn's relationship and contribute to their chemistry, and the references to Goldilocks and the Three Bears (even though the actual romance is more reminiscent of Beauty & The Beast). In addition, the lore surrounding the Ursan warriors and their beserker natures is compelling and well integrated into the story.

Unfortunately, the final confrontation is abrupt and the villain's demise anti-climactic. Moreover, the epilogue is superfluous as there is no sign of Nicolai's reunion with his sister.

Well, on to the next installment which is Dayn's story written by Jessica Andersen, an author I am more familiar with. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
:) ( )
  Janicemo | May 20, 2016 |
3 ½ Stars

Lord of Rage is book two in the Royal House of Shadows series, this installment is written by Jill Monroe.

Ten years ago Osborn and his father are away from home, it’s Osborn’s initiation as a warrior. They belong to a tribe of Berserks who are famous for their fighting skills. After Osborn’s successful initiation as a Berserk they return to the village to find chaos and death. Taking advantage that fathers and sons were away because of their sons initiations, vampires wearing the military uniform of the kingdom of Elden have attacked and killed everybody in the village including Osborn’s mom and sister. As fathers return with their sons they are also eliminated. The last survivor of the fight is Osborn who later finds his two little brothers, Bernt and Torben, alive and hiding in a cave. Since that day Osborn has taken them under his care and has swear to avenge his family from the Kingdom of Elden. Osborn has done all kind of things to survive and to provide to his brothers. Things he is not very proud of.

Princess Breena of Elden has magic as her mother, she can go into others dreams and for a while she has been dreaming about an unknown sexy warrior.
The palace is under attack. The king and queen know they are going to die, but just before that happened they used their last magic strength to send the princess and princes away for their protection.
Breena awakes in an unknown place and with not recollection of events; the only things in her mind are Survive and Avenge. She doesn’t know where those thoughts are coming from or what had happen to her. After wandering aimlessly for days she finally arrives to a cabin. Osborn and his brothers live in the cabin. Breena and Orborn recognize each other for their dreams. Breena is sure she has find Osborn because he is the key to solve her mystery but Osborn doesn’t trust easily and wants her to leave. After some time and talks he agrees to teach her how to fight but still he doesn’t know she is the princess of Elden.

I really like Breena, she is a very strong character and doesn’t take no for an answer. She knows her limitations but also her attributes. She is ok with Osborn not fighting her fights for her, and she does her best effort to become the warrior her people need.

Osborn is a very alpha male with a tortuous past and an unknown future. He took responsibility for his two little brothers when they were 4 and 5 and he was just a 15 years old boy. Since then his life has been about caring and protecting them as best as he has known. And the only thought in his head has been revenge his family.

I really like Breena and Osborn's relationship, theirs is also a Mine-At-First-Sight but what I loved the most was that they don’t jump their bones immediately; both fight their attraction, increasing the tension between them making it more interesting and fun. And at the same time making it more believable.

I really love Osborn brothers, they are very cute and behave like kids their age should. Life with Osborn hasn’t always been easy but they know he is doing his best for them.

My final thought: If you have read my review of Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter (book one of this series) you’d know that sadly that book wasn’t for me and I couldn’t finish it. I’m happy to inform you that Lord of Rage was different not only I finished but I liked it.
I didn’t know these books were going to have a children stories theme, but while reading Lord of Rage I could easily discerned it in the story and I can say I really like the take on Goldilocks and The Three Bears. Lord of Rage was my first book by Jill Monroe and I’m sure it won’t be my last. ( )
  BookaholicCat | Mar 4, 2015 |
I found this to be quite an enjoyable read. It could have been a lot better though with some expansion of plot. One thing it is not is paranormal romance. This is a fantasy through and through. Swords, magic and berserkers set in a medieval timeframe does not equal paranormal romance in my opinion. Still, once I realized what I was reading, I got into it quite well. The fact that it was a take on Goldilocks and the Three Bears was cute as well. ( )
  ShannaRedwind | Mar 31, 2013 |
Second in the series but first about a female sibling of the House of Elden, Lord of Rage is Jill Monroe's story of Breena, only daughter of King Aelfric and Queen Alvina using the loose framework of the popular tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The only girl with three brothers, and thus protected and treasured and isolated, Breena is forced from her family, life and home and without protection. Though she feels initially only pampered and prepped for marriage, Breena emerges as much more capable and independent character. The three bears mentioned are surprisingly (or not so, if you've read the first two novels) not her brothers, but other interesting, dynamic men - with one in particular being especially important.

I did find the idea of the "dreamtalking" Breena uses to talk to "her warrior" to be a bit corny and overplayed (dreams of a "fierce" and "primal" man are pretty generic and cliche for romance and PNR) but I was glad to see Breena wasn't the Most Powerful Witch Mugwump or somesuch like Niolai was of vampires - surely one Alpha per magical being per family is reasonable? And I would definitely say a backseat role is eminently more suited for Breena. She's no shrinking violet happily either - evolving from a scared girl into a woman who takes self-defense lessons in the novel. I did find some bits about her a bit too good to be true like, "She'd never even glanced at another person in a cross manner in her life." So she's at least 35, but has never had a bad day/PMS/a brother who irritated her? I didn't buy that for a second - pampered princess or not. She can come across as a bit blandly, perfectly attractive but I liked her nonetheless.

Breena's less combative nature is sharply contrasted with Osborn - a berserker and the last of his kind save his two younger brothers, but similar in their secluded and isolated existences. Known as Ursan warriors (get it? Ursa = bear) Osborn is the last of his kind thanks to a covert massacre on orders of Breena's dead parents - a mistaken belief which inevitably causes waves in Breena and Osborn's also inevitable romance. The thing I found the most compelling and the saddest about Osborn was that he went from a man that hated killing, doing so out of only necessity into an assassin or mercenary. He is a man at the lowest he can go, and Breena is the one that saves him from truly becoming a monster. Once his gentler nature is shown, he is rather like a bear: gruff, wild, unpredictable and irritable - and yes that is the gentler side. He's just not my type, though I do understand the appeal of his silent/sexy aura, he never interested me.

More is revealed about the night the siblings lost all to the Blood Sorcerer - but not all. Some details and necessary facts are glaringly missing, hopefully to be forthcoming in successive novels about Dayn and Micah. More framing is given to the structures of this "realm" and the disparate peoples within it - not just vampires are here! - to give a larger impression of scope of the story itself. New powers/abilities/revelations are forthcoming, but it lacked the bite of the antagonists of the first. There was a more complete feel to the entire novel, without the rushed ending of the first particularly. Overall I liked this second installment without being too terribly invested in either outcome or characters. Pick this up if you're searching for a fast, easy read but not if you want an emotional or affecting novel. This one is pure brain candy: easy to read, easy to digest and move along to the next morsel. It's a cheapie too, for those with ereaders: only $4.11 for this less than a day read. ( )
  msjessie | Feb 4, 2013 |
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Book description
Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs. Now they must return and save Elden…and time is running out….Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage…in a dark bear of a man.The goldenhaired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more—including his warrior skills. Skills the oncelegendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice—risk his life or deny his princess her fairytale ending.
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"Princess Breena had been dreaming of her warrior lover when she was ripped from her Elden castle and thrown into a strange, dangerous realm. Lost and alone, she prayed for survival and vengeance for her stolen kingdom. She found both in a woodland cottage ... in a dark bear of a man. The golden-haired beauty had eaten his food and slept in his bed when Osborn found her. Though he wanted to awaken his virgin princess to carnal pleasures, Breena wanted more-including his warrior skills. Skills the once-legendary mercenary had long buried. Now Osborn had a choice-risk his life or deny his princess her fairy-tale ending"-- Cover verso.… (more)

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