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Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter-and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.
Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.
- Great Story, Great Series!
Underworld General Hospital (introduced to us in Pleasure Unbound and Desire Unchained- the first two book's in Ione's Demonica series) is in serious trouble. The hospital, created by three demon brothers to provide a place of healing for creatures like them, is falling apart.
And it's endangered because one of the brothers, the unpredictable Wraith, has been poisoned.
Wraith has a death wish, abandoned by his Seminus Demon father and tortured by his Vampire mother and her kind, he could care less if his life ended. But, as they soon discover, the hospital is linked to the brothers so if he dies, the hospital dies.
The only cure to be had comes in the form of a charm worn by an obscure archaeologist named Serena Kelley, who just happens to be the catalyst to start Armageddon, the ultimate war between good and evil- and those in between.
To get the charm Wraith must take the unsuspecting Serena's virginity. Unfortunately in doing so- he will seal her own death. Normally this wouldn't be a problem with the darkly charming, love em and leave em, fully matured Seminus Demon whose one driving instinct is to impregnate the entire female population, demon or otherwise- but the more time Wraith spends with the gutsy adventurer the less he likes the idea of harming her.
When the ultimate showdown arrives will he be able to give up the deep passion he's unleashed in both of them or will he, perhaps for the very first time, submit to duty and save the entire world?
Fantastic read. Sure the whole "lose your virginity and die" metaphor is one old saw that makes a girl wince when she comes upon it, but the way Ione wraps this ultimately romantic story in adventure complete with apocalyptic battles between angels and demons, the likes of which can only be termed "biblical"- who really cares?
There's a lot going on in Passion Unleashed, but any lover of paranormal romance will have no problem completing this tale in one sitting. I certainly didn't!...more info
- The Heavenly Hells of the Demonica
Now that his brothers, Eidolon and Shade, have found mates and their evil brother, Roag, has been dealt with, Wraith can get back to doing what he does best--think of himself. Except now he knows the effects his past transgressions have had on his brothers and maybe, just maybe, they're the only people he cares about enough to try and curb his bad-boy ways. Now post s'genesis he should be controlled by just one urge. But when he's poisoned and no cure exists the one thing he should be obsessed with has to hit the backburner. He has to find Serena Kelley, a human marked by angels, and get her to willingly give up her virginity to him. If he can do that the charm that protects her will be passed to him saving him from death. The only problem is that once he does that, the illness her mark protects her from will kill her.
As if that isn't enough trouble, someone else wants Serena's charm and there's mysterious unrest within Sheoul (hell). Something cataclismic is brewing and only Wraith and Serena can stop it... if they live long enough. In the end the human and demon races may just have to put aside their differences to save the world!
There is so much plot packed into this book that giving a decent summary without too much spoilerishness was tough. If you've been reading the Demonica series already you've probably been looking forward to seeing how Ione would settle down her devil-may-care brother. Fortunately, she's found an excellent way to deliver a great urban fantasy story with touches of Indiana Jones-esque adventure that makes the romance between Wraith and Serena come together very seamlessly. At first I will admit I wasn't so sure about the pairing based on personalities but as the story went on they grew on me a lot. I'm not a big fan of 'virgin' plot devices but this one really suited the Demonica realm.
Once again, Ione does a fabulous job of keeping the romance and the adventure parts of the story in balance, a feat not easily done but becoming more and more popular in paranormal romances. For readers who prefer a straight-up romance where outside plot is secondary this book might be a stinker, the romance does occasionally feel secondary to the saving-the-world story. What really won me as a reader this time around was the surprises Ione threw in. Once you read the book you'll probably know exactly which ones I am thinking of and enjoy them as well. Any reader who likes not seeing a little something coming will be happy to know there were a few here.
Overall, I loved Passion Unleashed. It was filled with romance, adventure and loads of sexual tension (and yes, hot sex too!). If this was the end of a trilogy I'd say it ties up the trio nicely but I'm glad to say this one leaves us with plenty of room for more Demonica novels to come....more info
- Apocalyptic Genius!!
Since this book has been previously reviewed in great detail by many, I'll keep my review brief. This is my favorite installment so far from the Demonica series. Wraith is truly my favorite of the brothers. His tragic life had me on the edge of my seat the whole time. The book picks up about a year after Desire Unchained. Wraith has really stepped in it this time. Wraith has been poisoned with a toxin that has no known cure. His only hope is to get his hands on a powerful, ancient artifact that can save his life. Sadly the person currently in possession of it, Serena, needs it dearly to save her life. How do you convince someone to sacrifice themselves for you? Wraith really has a sudden attack of art imitates life; when the role he plays to seduce Serena metamorphose into reality. His bad boy exterior is cracking with each moment he deceives Serena by pretending to be human. Little does Wraith know that robbing Serena of her artifact could be the spark that ignites Armageddon. Meanwhile Wraith's life isn't the only one in jeopardy. The hospital is collapsing and the brothers have fallen ill. Demons are bum-rushing topside from Sheoul and chaos is rampant. Kenan and Gem got their much deserved attention in the spot light. I've always like them together but their relationship never seemed to get a chance to lift off the ground. I was always glad that Roag was dead but the prospect of a new brother, Lore, is appealing; especially one that can kill with his touch. My opinion hasn't changed from my review of the previous book Desire Unchained; to me, this series is a hybrid between dark paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy. I'm a dark urban fantasy reader and enjoy this series immensely. Urban fantasy readers need not be afraid. Don't miss the short story of when the brothers all meet for the first time during their rescue of Wraith at the end of the book. I highly recommend this book and also the entire series. I'm so looking forward to the next installment Ecstasy Unveiled due out 2/2010 and Larissa's short story in the anthology Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 due out 9/21/09.
I also recommend:
In the Blood
Sins & Shadows
Magic to the Bone
At Grave's End (Night Huntress, Book 3)
Passion Unleashed is the third book in a series about Seminus demon brothers who own and manage Underworld General (a hospital beneath NYC). It is an awesome series. I especially enjoy the fact that this book builds on others in the series and keeps the characters interacting. We get a glimpse of Eidolon and Tayla's relationship with each other and with other characters and updates on Shade and Runa's life and triplets. Never thought Shade would be the one "joined at the hip to his mate." All of this contributes to making the storyline more believable and so much more interesting.
From the moment Wraith appeared in Pleasure Unbound, he was my favorite and I couldn't wait for his book. I am disappointed the book is over and that I will have to wait until 2010 for the next installment.
Like all other selfish, mixed up bad boys Wraith is surprised to find that he is falling in love (with a human virgin!!) and tries desperately to extricate himself from the situation while sticking to the plan (save his life by taking Serena's virginity). Parallel to this story is Gem and Kynan's relationship that never finds resolution until close to the end of the story. There are a few moments where it didn't seem things could possibly work out but Wraith ends up saving the world, getting his lady and finding his way.
This series is a winner. Larissa Ione has hit the jackpot; I am hooked....more info
- Totally Exciting Read - I recommend the entire series for PNR fans
Plot Summary: Wraith is dying. An assassin plugged him with a slow-acting poison that has no antidote. The Sems brothers are desperate to find any cure, and when they learn of a human woman who possesses a charm that would make Wraith invincible, they have no qualms taking her gift, even though it means her death. Serena Kelly literally leads a charmed life - nothing can harm her - but it's also an empty one because she must remain a virgin. When a handsome man becomes her friend, protector, and `almost' lover, Serena realizes that her dreams of having a husband and family have become precious to her.
I'm tired and it's late now, but I couldn't stop reading until I had finished this wild ride. So much is going on in this book that I don't know where to start. It almost feels like two stories here, as the first half is completely focused on Wraith and Serena getting to know each other, and then the second half has more battles, bloodshed, and miracles than I can count. The previous two novels set up a lot of the action, which culminates in "Passion Unleashed" like the crescendo on a big orchestra piece.
As much as I liked this installment, it wasn't totally without fault. The big solution for Serena's problem seemed obvious to me about halfway through the story, but of course, it was a last-minute, when all hope is lost, kind of scene at the end (don't worry, I'm not giving anything away).
Also, there are just too many miracles. Too many people die and come back to life again; there are an innumerable number of loopholes woven into this story. I think Ione should have let one or two characters die, permanently. I know that's sacrilege, but it would have given this story some emotional heft that would have inspired me to give it a top rating.
Wraith's feelings for Serena come across loud and clear, and Ione handles their relationship beautifully. Everything feels real and genuine, from their arguments to their passion. Despite all the stuff going on in the second half, Wraith and Serena's relationship manages to stay at the forefront of the picture, and it remains compelling until the last page....more info
- Dark, Emotional and Thrilling
I experienced every emotion possible while reading Wraith's story. The writing flows beautifully, the plot and sub-plots are thrilling, heartwarming, frightening and suspenseful, and the dialogue is witty as well as brilliant. With each page I turned and read, I was kept on a razor's edge, not knowing how the intricate storyline was going to be resolved, let alone how Wraith and Serena Kelly were going to achieve their HEA.
Wraith has been poisoned and is dying, slowly. Underworld General is literally crumbling and falling apart bit by bit. Staff is deserting the hospital. And, as war between human and demonkind looms, the apocalypse seems a tangible reality.
Eidolon and Shade try to find an antidote for Wraith and discover the only cure is for him to procure a charm from Serena, a beautiful, sweet archaeologist who has a zest for life. I loved this heroine, while she has lead a "charmed life" as it were, and you will understand my meaning if you read the book, she is independent and curious about all things historical. She goes to almost any lengths to recover a relic, almost like a Lara Croft type of character, except Serena is a virgin and must remain so or lose her health.
There is extraordinary irony in the love story between Wraith and Serena because he, as you know if you have read the series thus far, has always done what he wants, uncaring about the consequences of his actions on others. Wraith is a selfish, hedonist demon with a death wish, however I've always liked him. Why? He is funny, cocky, brutally honest (most of the time - lol), he is an amazing warrior and he does have a certain code that he lives by with respect to satisfying his sexual needs. Wraith never has sex with human or vampire women because of a horrific past that is really fleshed out in this story.
So, the irony you see is that the woman who holds the cure for Wraith's affliction is human and a virgin, and he must seduce her to take the charm that will save his life. Their romance is one of the more bittersweet stories I've read and while rest assured they do have their HEA, I wept for them on more than one occasion. As is the way with the seminus demons in Larissa's novels, Wraith falls hard and for the first time in his life he is forced to come to terms with deep feelings for another. The erotic scenes penned between Serena and Wraith are boiling hot, but also tender and sensuous, ladies, get ready!
The backdrop to their love story, as I mentioned above is complex, but the metamorphosis of Wraith's character is deeply embedded into an absolutely riveting story that will leave readers hyperventilating until the closing pages.
If you thought the antagonist of Shade's story was a malevolent scary creature, wait until you read the one written for Wraith's. This creature is an unequivocal hells spawn whose goal is the total destruction of earth. The graphic imagery and prose written surrounding the final battle between the Aegis army and demons took me right into the thick of the fray.
Gem and Kynan's story continues to be a roller coaster ride. Their angst and heartache also brought me to tears. I will say Kynan's future is tied to a prophecy referenced in the "Daemonica" tome that will surprise you.
Reaver's character is also fully developed and he plays an integral part in the plotline and final battle.
Larissa Ione has cleverly introduced a new and very interesting character to the storyline who is given a pivotal role in one of the subplots of Wraith's book. I'm sure this character will be the hero of the fourth Demonica novel, and we will again have the story of another tortured hero to look forward too.
I've given a great deal of thought to this series over the past couple of days. What makes it so special for me? What keeps me engaged? Why am I literally addicted? As with any series there is not a singular reason, but I think it is that the heroes are so tortured that when they find their HEA it is that much more satisfying. Secondly, these characters are so unique and well developed; you cannot help but become invested in them as a reader. Then there is the humor, OMG, the dialogue that comes out of Wraith's mouth especially had me cackling with laughter! And lastly, from my perspective, the Demonica world becomes more amazing with each story and Ms. Ione is expanding it with just the right amount of momentum. The other issue is that these books, at around 400 pages are good hearty reads, which allows for a wonderful in-depth storyline.
I have to comment that I think reading these stories in order is a must, because the plots do interconnect, each book builds on the previous.
Thankfully Larissa Ione has been contracted to write two more novels but it is going to be another long wait because they are due out in 2010.
The Demonica novels I'm sure will be my favorite series of 2009. ...more info
This is by far the best of the three books yet. I thought the first book was the best until I read and just finished this one. I couldn't put it down! I hear she's working on a forth and fifth that should come out in 2010 and I can't wait! You kinda need to read this series in sequence they do explain a few things as refreshers as to who is what. The first book was all about Eidolon and Tayla, then Shade and Runa, and this one is Wraith and Serena. The end of the book was expected but didn't disappoint at all! I can't wait for the forth and fifth!...more info
- 5+ stars. Best of the demon brothers, passion sneaks its way past Wraith's wrath
The the Demonica series starter, Pleasure Unbound (Demonica, Book 1), was my favorite new series release of last year and Passion Unleashed book 3 in the series is even better. I loved incubus demon Wraith's transition, from the bad boy of the first books who used sex and violence to help him hide from the torture of his past. In fact unlike his brother Eiodolan who feared the final incubus maturation, Wraith not only embraced it hoping for the mindlessness of the incubus extreme sexual need, but actually hastened it. And I loved the way that author Ione takes Wraith through his transition. I've mentally called Wraith 'Wrath' in the past books, because that just seemed to fit with his aura of darkness, anger and death, but amazingly that all changes here. Oh *fans self* when bad boys go good, yum!
On a mission to gain a reprieve from his impending death from a deadly poison for which there is no antedote, Wrath starts out pretending to be human and decent in order to facillitate the seduction that will save his life. But in acting that role - and for the first time in his life letting someone get close to him - Wraith is blindsided by the discovery that he actually does have a heart and a conscience. And by making Wraith's mate Serena the one woman he can't have without killing, Ione builds the tension between the pair to an incredible level. The result is smoking hot and poignant both.
Along with Wraith's story, Passion Unleashed finishes up the thread between former leader of the demon-hunter's, the 'heavenly' Kynan, and demoness Gem which has run through all the books in the series. I have to admit that after the first book I was really looking forward to this pairing, after the second book I was not too happy - Kynan's treatment of Gem didn't fit with his character in the first book and it was not pretty - and I was perhaps even a bit more disappointed with their story here when I read the book the first time. On the second read though it didn't strike me the same, their reunion was rough but they end up in the right place at the end with a painfully earned happily ever after.
And on to the future... Ione introduces an intriguing new character, assassin Lore who able to kill with a touch - which is death to his bed partners. Lore will be the star of Demonica book 4 (not 'til 2010 though) and there is also a 5th book planned, possibly Gem and Kynan's spawn? Can't wait. If you don't mind a touch of darkness in your PNR I highly recommend Ione's Demonica series - Pleasure Unbound (#1) and Passion Unleashed are 5 star reads and Desire Unchained(#2) a respectable 4 stars.
Oh, as P.S. - don't miss the bonus the short story The Reckoning - where Eiodolan and Shade find and save Wraith- it's hidden behind the Demonica Compendium at the end of the book....more info
- I Think Ione Has Something Here!
Ok. I just finished Passion Unleashed and very satisfyingly closed the book happily thinking that maybe Larissa Ione is finally on to something here with her Demonica series. I love a good pnr as well as the next person but the first book was a migrane all wrapped up in a paper back. It was soooo intricate, so detailed, so heavily worded with tongue twisting names and scenarios I would find myself just holding my breath hoping I could get the word s'genesis correct the 500 times it seemed to be written on a page. And while Eidolon was a hot hunk of demon, I could not get into the entire UG world and Tayla... Don't get me started on Tayla. She of the multiple hang-ups. Sheesh.
I had a bit more hope for Shade & Runa but for some reason his cave/S&M thing gave the the claustrophobic willies.
But I LOVED Wraith & Serena. I love the Indiana Jones slant to their story and I think that Ms. Ione. moving the story out of the (for me) boxed in world of UG & Harrowgates & slummy New York, injected a great shot in the arm to this story. I also think she took the time to humanize the centers of the story and doing that little trick took the pressure off of myself as a reader to either get invested in the Demon world or else. The humanization of their crisis, made it easier to feel bonded (no pun intended) to the characters, the plot and of course the outcomes. That combined with the dialing down of the demon speak has made PU a keeper that I would feel happy to revisit. I had hoped for Ky & Gem to get their own book but am now fascinated with UG brother # 5 Lore and hope she works out a great story for him and to possibly see if Luc does get his warg naked for 15 minutes....more info
- Wraith - Beautiful disaster
In most paranormal series nowadays, there seems to be one character, usually one of a group of brothers, who is messed up. He's the one who doesn't care if he lives or dies because he was horribly abused. He can't feel love, only loyalty. And he gets the best lines, because he's usually a smart aleck.
Enter Wraith. From the moment he appeared in Pleasure Unbound, he was my favorite and I couldn't wait for his book. The book has finally arrived and it is awesome.
Wraith was everything I hoped for; witty, tough, determined, vulnerable when recalling his past, and a total goober in love when he found his lady. What I liked about that was the way they fell in love. He didn't meet Serena, growl "mine" and let fate roll right over him. No, he met her to take something from her, namely her life in exchange for his, and against his will, started liking her. As the stakes grew higher and things got more serious in regard to what he needed to do, he began to be unwilling to be as selfish as he'd always been. He began to put her needs first. And they started to fall in love.
This series is a winner. It is complex and interesting, with little in-jokes and characters that leap off the page. At several points through the book I found myself smiling. Who knew Shade would turn out to be the most whipped of the brothers? That Gem would grow a nice strong spine? But there was a great deal of sad stuff too, and moments where it just didn't seem things could possibly work out. But they do, of course, which is why I love this series. It's a romance. A lot goes on, but things work out. And smoking hot love scenes don't hurt, either, and there were plenty of those, and not just Wraith and Serena.
In the end, Wraith got his happy ending, and I was extremely satisfied with that. It's always great when the extra-damaged ones find love, and Serena is worthy of him. They accept each other at a fundamental level, and to me you can't get more romantic than that.
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