Lord of Rage (Royal House of Shadows #2)

Lord of RageBy Jill Monroe

Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: September 20, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Netgalley

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.

Goodreads Summary

This was a DNF the first time I picked it up more than two weeks ago and if I didn’t already have the final two books in the series, I probably would have simply left it unfinished and moved on. It’s really only in fairness to the series that I picked it up again – obviously Breena’s story is one-fourth of the arc and unless I finished it I wouldn’t have any idea if she made it back to Elden or in what condition. So I picked it back up and had at it again. I made it to the end this time but the same issues cropped up for me again.

The general setup for each book: one day the Blood Sorcerer attacked the Royal Kingdom of Elden. Before they died, the King and Queen were able to create a spell together to protect their four children – Nikolai, Breena, Dayne and Micah. The Queen wove a spell of protection, sending the children away from the castle, each to one corner of the kingdom. The King added a spell so the children would seek retribution against the Blood Sorcerer. Because they were weakened, the spell didn’t work exactly as intended – they were sent far away with their memories of home and their siblings erased. All each knows now is the need to stay alive and seek vengeance.

Each of the stories also is written with a twist on a fairytale and there’s a fun little conversation between all four authors right off of the Paranormal Romance Blog (Royal House of Shadows Web Page). Monroe’s book is a play on Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Osborn and his two brothers Bernt and Torben live in Ursa and Osborn is a berserker, a warrior who can merge with the spirit of a bear when he wears the special pelt he took from it during a ceremonial kill. Breena’s blonde, wanders into Osborn’s cabin, eats his oatmeal, breaks a chair and falls into the biggest bed. I don’t mind a twist – I love them. This wasn’t a nod or a wink this was grabbing me by my ears and shaking my head.

Breena’s story doesn’t exactly fit the mold of the series setup that I’m expecting and I don’t know if that’s a sign that the books are going to all be different and I misunderstood Showalter’s or if this is just…different. Breena was present when her parents were killed and saw them as they worked the spell and she had more memories intact when she was transported to Ursa, although she didn’t have all of them. She was also closer to Elden.

I haven’t opened the next book, Jessica Anderson’s Lord of the Wolfyn yet, so I don’t know how she’s going to handle the timeline, but it was confusing to try to match up Monroe’s vs. Showalter’s. In Showalter’s book,Lord of the Vampires, Breena’s brother Nikolai had already been away from Elden for twenty years before he regained his memories and was able to start back. Since he’s a vampire, the aging thing wasn’t an issue but again, he’d spent twenty years as a slave. Breena’s story began right after the attack and unless there’s some sort of wrinkle in time happening, events at the end suggested that Nikolai’s timeline may have caught up.

I never could make myself like Osborn. He was just so unpleasant to Breena and his brothers most of the time. He was rude, cranky and I thought the way he handled his attraction to Breena was pretty offensive. He thought he’d use her for sex then got ticked off when she wanted him to help her. He was angry at her for his attraction to her and warned her not to be alone with him, as if she was responsible for anything he did. I know it’s a common enough theme in romance novels, to make the brooding hero angry about being attracted to the heroine, but combined with his other less-than-charming attributes, for me this really did Osborn in. I liked Breena more the second time around, but only because I’d gotten further along and she evolved from the actual Goldilocks into more of a fighter.

My Summary: I’m not going to give this book a rating because if it hadn’t been part of a series it would have remained a DNF, even if there were some places that the story improved eventually. I stopped around the 20% mark the first time which I thought was pretty fair, even though I just can’t stand not finishing books. I’m glad I came back to it because I think it makes sense to have all the pieces for the series, but if this had been just one book, my TBR pile is just too big for a character that I really didn’t like and some plot issues that I felt went too far.

Barbara

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