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When Wicked Craves (Shadowkeepers#3) by J.K.…
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When Wicked Craves (Shadowkeepers#3) (edition 2010)

by J.K. Beck

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983184,415 (3.32)2
Member:Slion
Title:When Wicked Craves (Shadowkeepers#3)
Authors:J.K. Beck
Info:Bantam (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Shadowkeepers
Rating:****
Tags:None

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When Wicked Craves by J.K. Beck

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I found myself wanting to set this book down and walk away from it. But, it felt like something was just around the corner in the story, so I stuck with it. it wasn't a bad story, it just laid there flat, for most of it. The tension would start building and... and... not much. It really is too bad because the plot was interesting, it just stayed in the "vanilla zone". I wish i had skipped it. ( )
  TheYodamom | Jan 29, 2016 |
If you haven't read the first two books, you most definitely should before diving into this one. Each book has its own focus, but there's an continuing storyline and and returning characters, and background info is essential to really getting the story. Infact, this book picks the story almost directly up from where When Pleasure Rules left it. Our band of heroes have escaped another adventure of danger and romance, but Petra Lang must now face the consequences of exposing her curse. The Alliance, governing body of the shadow world, has decided that Petra is too dangerous to live, and the story opens with her government-sanctioned execution.

I gotta say, absolutely love how this book kicks off -- I was instantly hooked and emotionally invested in Petra and her troubles. Which is great considering that we don't get a whole lot of intro to her character in WPR. Within just a couple of pages, the author totally convinces you to not just like Petra but to actually care about her.

The other quick hook here is Nick Montegue. Introduced from the very beginning in When Blood Calls, Nick has been a great asset to this series -- a nice change of pace from the supermacho toughness found in Luke and Rand. I like supermacho, I really do, but variety is pleasant, especially in manflesh. Of course, don't think that Nick is a prancing lightweight. As is nicely depicted in the book, he's a renaissance man (sort of literally, since he's a centuries-old vampire) who thinks as well as he fights. He and Petra are an excellent match, and I give the author all kinds of kudos for successfully creating believable -- and sexy, mustn't forget -- chemistry between characters.

As for the action-y bits, I enjoyed the pace of things. I was well-entertained the entire time I read this, never found a moment when I was bored or impatient with the plot. I wasn't all too impressed by the villain-esque characters, though. The primary bad guys, Alliance figures Dirque and Tariq, are pretty interesting but ultimately didn't work for me. There was a certain amount of depth missing from them, which did decrease the overall urgency of the conflict. With some books, even though you know there's going to be a Happily Ever After at the end, you experience a moment or two of doubt. That, just maybe, this time the bad guys will win. That wasn't the case, here. Still, everything was quite lively from start to finish, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with a relatively angst-free story every now and then.

One thing I particularly enjoy about this series is how the characters from previous books maintain a significant presence and continue to develop as the series progresses. It was a nice surprise to find the tension between Nick and Lissa had continued from the second book, and that Luke and Sara aren't down for the count now that they're happily mated. This is a fully-fledged series with plenty of thought put into making each book flow smoothly from the next. I will absolutely pick up the next book, When Pleasure Lies, when it hits the shelves -- bringing back Caris, the vampire-werewolf hybrid with a tough-as-nails attitude.

http://booknerdsbrain.blogspot.com/2010/12/when-wicked-craves-by-jk-beck.html ( )
  TheBooknerd | Dec 5, 2010 |
First posted on http://rubysreads.com

I think I might have mentioned a time or two that I was really anticipating this book. It was something about meeting Nicholas in book one and knowing that he was going to get his own book eventually. It's a bizarre form of unresolved sexual tension. Anyway, I wish I could say that it lived up to my expectations, but I'm afraid it didn't. I didn't hate it, but I didn't swoon over it and hug it to my chest like that lady in that old Rice Krispie Treats commercial. You know, where she pretends to have slaved over a hot stove to make the desert, but really she's just reading a romance novel...never mind.

The rest of the review has spoilers for the first two books in the series--particularly book two, so read on with caution.

My disappointment in this book came from too many missing things. For example, the book opens with Petra being prepared for execution. Remember how in the last book, she touched Sergius and he turned into a monster? Well, it turns that Petra's Touch is part of a prophecy with basically spells disaster for vampires, werewolves and the Alliance. Nicholas was serving as Petra's lawyer because she was in big trouble for touching Serge like he freaking asked her to. Sheesh. I mean, you'd've thought that someone would point that out, just once. At the end of When Pleasure Rules, when all this action happened, I got excited, waiting for Petra and Nicholas' first interaction. I was doomed to disappointment. They don't talk to each other at all. Then, because this book starts with Petra being executed, the first time we see them interact isn't the first time they have interacted. They might as well not have ever met before. I think that would have been more successful, actually.

Also, it turns out that Petra's gift of the Touch (which basically releases a demon worse than the one a vampire is constantly fighting back) is a family curse. According to the lore of the Shadow World, supernatural creatures come from two brothers. These two were kind of like Adam and Eve. Except that all the vampires are from Adam and all the werewolves are from Eve and they never interbred. Yet. The two original brothers teamed up to destroy brother number three because they knew he was stronger than them. The curse is part of Third Brother's plan for revenge. The plan involves destroying the Alliance, which means destroying each faction's leader (Tiberius of the vamps and Gunnolf of the werein). So, basically, Petra's just a pawn. A pawn in Brother Number Three's insidious plan.

Petra's gift means she can't touch anyone except on the night of a blue moon. And, conveniently, there's one shortly after Nicholas saves her from being executed. Cue the sex scene. The convenient blue moon is kind of emblematic of the problems I had with this book. Nicholas has a remarkably easy time getting over Lissa (with whom he was still in love in the last book), and he falls in love with Petra at the drop of a hat. And it really bothered me that neither of them ever reflected on the times they met before the novel began. I mean, he was her lawyer for heaven's sake. They had some kind of interaction before, even if it was sitting in a cell talking about how she was probably going to die.

Even worse than the blue moon thing and the falling in love is easy thing; the tidiest moments come at the end of the book. The question of Petra's overprotective brother? Poof. The fact that Nicholas is a vampire and will, therefore, never age? Dealt with. The curse? Check. I'm not usually one to protest happy endings, but I was disappointed that all the answers came so easily. I felt that Nicholas and Petra deserved better. I certainly wanted better for them.

The good news is that I still want to read the next three books in the series. The next book, When Passion Lies appears to be Caris and Tiberius'. At least, I know it's Caris' and I assume her hero is Tiberius. Which is kind of a shame, really. I was hoping his book would come later, a la Hawke's book. Still, there are promising males yet: Doyle is picture perfect for the tortured hero, but I'm guessing that Serge will have him cold on that front. I remain cautiously optimistic. ( )
  Rubita12 | Nov 22, 2010 |
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"Petra Lang is cursed never to love. One touch of her skin unleashes the vilest demons. Sentenced to death by the Shadow authorities, who fear she'll turn her curse against them, Petra is rescued by vampire advocate Nicholas Montegue. As their bodies merge and transform into mist, Petra feels an erotic longing. Nicholas risked his own life to save Petra, yet he knows he can never give in to the explosive attraction he feels for her. But the deep yearning they share tempts them. Together, they must find a way to lift the curse. For only a love this strong has the power to overcome such monstrous evil."--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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