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Heartless: A Paranormal Romance (Immortal…
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Heartless: A Paranormal Romance (Immortal Enemies) (edição 2021)

por Gena Showalter (Autor)

Séries: Immortal Enemies (1)

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Título:Heartless: A Paranormal Romance (Immortal Enemies)
Autores:Gena Showalter (Autor)
Informação:HQN (2021), Edition: Original, 416 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca

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Heartless: A Paranormal Romance (Immortal Enemies) por Gena Showalter

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Gena Showalter starts a new series with Heartless, a paranormal romance that gave me the Immortals After Dark vibes I've been missing.

Kaysar is a rather terrifying warlord type with a magical voice that can command people to do what he wants. Kidnapped and abused for years as a child, he's sworn revenge on the fae royalty who hurt him and his sister. When the book starts, he's watching from the shadows as the son of his abuser and the son's mate get it on. Naturally, he interrupts them and attempts to kidnap the princess so he can seduce her and put his own son on the throne. She has the ability to make portals, however, and flees to the human world. Before she can, Kaysar commands her (with his fancy voice) to return to him.

Cut to Cookie, a professional gamer streaming on the equivalent of Twitch as she defeats her crappy ex. Cookie has been disabled since childhood and her failing heart has her worried for her future. Suddenly, she gets the call: there's a heart for her! And of course it's the fae princess's heart. Cookie starts transforming--not just healing but physically changing. Her hair, eyes, etc. And then one day she *oops* makes a portal and falls into Kaysar's world. Remember that command? Apparently the heart does.

There are so many things I loved about this book, but in the interest of brevity, here are a few:

- Cookie loves shiny things and doesn't apologize for it. Kaysar gives her all sorts of jewelry and she takes it and makes it clear it's not winning him any points.

- Cookie knows her way around this world because it's the world from the game! Can you even imagine popping through a portal into your favorite video game and snagging yourself the hottest homicidal fae king around? I mean seriously.

- Kaysar is an absolute jackass, but he's incredibly insistent on consent because of the abuse he suffered as a child. Yes, he does the murder stuff, but he's not an alphahole in other ways. And whew, Cookie knocks him down like 8 pegs.

- Cookie's own power is really cool. I'm not sure I should spoil it for everyone, but it's something I hadn't read before and I was thoroughly entertained.

- Adam Gold did the audio narration for this and though the book is dual POV, I didn't mind at all that he did the whole thing. He's got a delicious voice, with a deep timbre that really works for Kaysar (and apparently me). I'm hoping he does the rest of the series as well.

In all, this was the paranormal romance I wanted it to be. The chemistry and banter between the two MCs is perfection and I loved that Cookie is not quite the typical bratty heroine who tames the beast hero - she's also kind of bloodthirsty! Her best friend is a retiree and they live with an evil cat and I just loved her so much. Even when she was murder-y.

Sign me up for more in this series.


I received a copy of this audiobook from the publisher for review.

Content Warnings: past ableism and misogyny, references to past repeated and extensive sexual and physical abuse of a child (not detailed), murder, threat of sexual assault, possibly genocide? Kaysar has done shitty things but they're sort of "he conquered the X region" so whatever that entailed
( )
  Cerestheories | Nov 8, 2021 |
3.5 stars

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Kaysar realized he had a choice. Save the girl and his conscience, perhaps condemning himself and Viori in the process, or walk away and condemn the girl and his conscience.

With his parents having died of the plague, teenager Kaysar is responsible for his stopped speaking traumatized five year sister Viori. When he comes upon the Frostlines, the royal family of the Winter Court, in the woods, they capture him and he spends a year of torture at the hands of King Hador and his brother Lark. When he finally comes into his own power, using his healing song and glamara power of compulsion, he is able to escape his chains. He kills Lark but feels that wasn't punishment enough, so he decides to routinely make war on the Frostlines because of how Hador and Lark tortured and raped him and how he is still searching for his beloved sister Viori and what happened to her after he was captured.

In the aftermath, he'd discovered only the hatred remained.

After Kaysar escapes, the story then jumps centuries and we find out that Kaysar is now King of the Dusklands and his own created Midnight Court. He's earned the nickname The Unhinged One and he has jars of the Frostlines' tongues as his war trophies. Everyone in the land fears him but he still doesn't know what happened to Viori. When he is exacting a new plan of revenge on King Hador's son, Jareth, which involves kidnapping Jareth's new wife Lulundria, getting her to desire him, and then sending her back to Jareth pregnant and forced to have a child of Kaysar's in the Frostline royal court, a mortally injured Lulundria escapes to the human realm. Kaysar can't follow her because he isn't a doormaker but he did manage to sing a song of compulsion and order her to return to him.

“Return to me, princess. Return to me by any means necessary.”

Chantel “Cookie” Bardot is twenty-six years old but with a heavily damaged heart, if she doesn't get a heart transplant, she doesn't have long to live. She makes her living being paid to stream and play an enchanted forest video game and lives with a hypochondriac geriatric and an extremely picky cat. When she receives a call that a heart is ready for her, she can't believe it and a few months later when her hair starts to turn pink, she's seeing pixies buzzing around her, and vines are growing from her finger tips, she really can't believe it. As her and her roommate are finally confronting these changes in her, Chantel's vines create a doorway and she is pulled through.

An angel merged with a devil, both haunting and haunted.

The start to a new series, Heartless was amazing on the world building. The fae realm called Astaria and it's five royal courts, Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring, Dusklands, and Kaysar's created Midnight court and the mysterious Forgotten court were engaging and fascinating. The creatures, magic, and land described by the author really placed me in this land and had me excited for the series on a whole. The author's choice to have Chantel be a professional gamer who just so happens to play a game that very closely resembled and copied the fae realm, allowing her to more readily accept her changed circumstances, felt a little too easy in the beginning but as the story went on, I thought it fit perfectly, especially since I think it was a clue to what happened to Viori.

Use her. Protect her. Use. Protect.

In order to be more accepting of Kaysar's consuming mindset of revenge, with a little feeling of childishness swings of emotions, you'll have to remember his young age when he suffered his horrific abuse; he's stuck in that age, time and place. His map making on himself, slicing his arms with the metal claws he wears on his hands, is obviously a coping mechanism to release the emotions and pain he never has learned to deal to with. This made it a little hard to fully come on board when he has insta-attraction and lust for Chantel, he felt too emotionally young for me to enjoy that dynamic he instantly had with her. As the story went on, he does grow and change as Chantel explains and is patient with him and I was able to go along with their sexual connection more.

Kaysar de Aoibheall did not beg for anything. Ever. But he had promised to be better for her, and he always kept his word.

The constant battle between these two is all about Kaysar choosing Chantel over his vengeance. Chantel is the child of divorce and with her two parents starting other families they forgot about her, she wants to be number one is someone's life for once, making Kaysar's one true love of constantly battling the Frostlines a problem for them. Along with that emotional battle, there was also physical battles that didn't skimp on some gory details. Towards the latter half, when Chantel and Kaysar hit the sheets, you could just call this the fighting and the fucking book because both are singeing the pages.

Why was she holding on to her hurt, letting fear rule her life?

Overall, this story was entertaining in it's, at times, wilding out elements and components. I thought both Chantel and Kaysar stayed too stubborn at moments towards the end that hurt the pace of the story and kept it longer than it needed to be and I'm not sure the whole thread of whatever outfit or costume Chantel wears changes her personality was needed, there was already a lot of magical components to keep track of and absorb in this story. Kaysar's slow growing might take too long for some readers but I thought his gesture at the end was good for a traumatized man learning to change a centuries long learned behavior and coping mechanism. As I mentioned, I'm into this world Showalter has created because it was at turns entertaining, wilding, gory, emotional, and sexy. I can't wait to see if I did catch a clue about Viori, if our redeemed Prince Jareth will find a new love, what King Micah of the Forgottenlands is going to get up too, and if Pearl Jean's sciatica will go away enough for her to bag a fae realm hottie. Immortal Enemies has the world building to be entertaining for awhile. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Jul 24, 2021 |
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