September 4, 2010

To most people, the realm of magic is the stuff of nursery rhymes and dusty libraries. But for Capt. Gabriel Huntley, it’s become quite real and quite dangerous…

The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond—where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn’t be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress—just what he needs.

Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artifact Thalia is after. Huntley’s assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn’t easy to deceive…

Title: Warrior
Author: Zoe Archer
Series: The Blades of the Rose, book 1
Genre: Action/Adventure Romance, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Zebra Books
Year of release: 2010, September 7
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Source: received a digital copy from author for review
First line: Gabriel Huntley hated an unfair fight.
Memorable Scenes:
All the scenes where Gabriel and Thalia got it on:
- Their first time...on a rock! > original and hot!
- The scene at the pond in the oasis in the Gobi Desert > If I still smoked I would've lighted a post-coital cigarette

Gabriel Huntley is a former captain in the British army. He has been all over the world serving Queen and country and is on his way back to England to leave the dangerous and adventurous life behind and find himself a nice, ordinary wife to settle down with. However, fate has something else in mind for him and soon he finds himself in Outer Mongolia, captivated by a woman who is anything but quiet or ordinary. Gabriel abhors unfairness or injustice. He is gruff commanding, intelligent, confident and persistent.

Thalia Burgess is an anthropologist who was raised by her father in Outer Mongolia after her mother died. When her father is unable to perform his duties as a Blade of the Rose after Gabriel’s news demands urgent action from the Blades, she offers to take his place. Her mission puts her together with this captain she is very attracted to but hesitant to pursue those feelings as she has been burned by her attraction for a man before. However, she soon learns that love is not to be dictated by fear or reasonable thinking. Thalia is independent, sharp, smart, courageous, tenacious and protective (of her father).

Both Gabriel and Thalia stole my heart in this first installment of the Blades of the Rose series. There is subtle humor in both of them and their banter that made me smile throughout the book and even in the sometimes-hazardous situations they never lost the humor.

WARRIOR starts the way I love action-adventure to start: with a fistfight! When I read the first page, I just knew I was going to love it and boy, did I love this book! I hope to give you all a fairly coherent review of WARRIOR but can’t guarantee anything because all that’s in my head is: Loved, loved, loved, loved it and I want more and ooooh hot sex scenes. But let’s give it a try shall we.

First off WARRIOR is every bit as Indiana Jones-y as I expected it to be and an extra point goes to Zoe Archer for not including snakes…my biggest fear in the universe! Instead of icky snakes there were mysterious clues and puzzles, mythical objects and magical artifacts, secret societies and the battle between good and evil and she gave me a bit of paranormal, a chunk of historical, a tad of adventure and a pinch of lovely romance all rolled into one in an unusual setting that was as enchanting and captivating as the plot was.

Zoe Archer has a way of describing scenery, whether in England or Mongolia, that --all by itself-- just pulls you in and keeps you immersed into the story. And next to that she also pens down a great adventure and a beautiful romance. I loved how gradually the world she created, unfolded. In the beginning you know very little about the how and why of the Blades, their adversaries: the Heirs of Albion and the battle that rages between them. And instead of overwhelming the reader with extensive world building she weaves the information little by little into the rest of the story, next to the romance and the actual action.

As you may have noticed I haven’t told anything about the actual plot and adventure. That’s more on purpose than I normally do in my reviews because I don’t want to tell anything that would spoil the fun for other readers of going on this adventure together with the characters. It was so much fun to discover stuff and see the plot unfold that I wouldn’t want to do anything to spoil that.

Zoe Archer’s writing fascinates, captivates and holds the attention just as much as the intriguing story does. Her wonderful writing style worked for me on all levels and the fact that this was a slow read for me had nothing to do with the writing or the story but more with external factors, because it was fast-paced, action-packed and moving full-speed ahead thanks to some excellent writing skills. I was holding my breath through the action scenes with the villains and the adventure, had a big smile on my face at the humor and banter and funny tidbits that showed the characters' playful sides and was fanning myself at the love scenes.

WARRIOR is a delicious and adventurous read that combined myth with history, magic, adventure, suspense and romance and I am so ready to start SCOUNDREL and find out if Bennett (definitely a candidate for my favorite heroes list!) and London are as awesome as Gabriel and Thalia were.

Favorite Quotes:
Thalia heard a mewl as it arabesqued from her throat. She'd never made that sound before. A deep rumbling from low in his chest responded, like a feral creature calling from another nighttime mountain

The words that came out of the captain's mouth were words Batu had never heard before in all the years he had served Franklin Burgess and his daughter. They involved something that had to do with the offspring of unchaste female dogs, and some actions that Batu was quite sure were physically impossible, even for a circus contortionist.

There was no point denying it. The wild creature of her soul had finally yielded to the calloused hand of one man. .

Note from reviewer: Stay tuned for a Quotes-Post of WARRIOR soon! I have so many quotes marked that I had a heck of a time choosing the three you see above and wouldn’t want to withhold some lovely examples of Zoe Archer’s style and humor.


Blodeuedd said...

I just want it cos of that awesome cover ;)

Mandi said...

I enjoyed this one too..really excited about this world!!

Twimom227 said...

Very cool! Thanks for the review. I like the sound of an Indiana Jones romance!

Leontine said...

I'm not a fan of Indiana Jones but I do love the sounds of the mystery, the romance, the magical artifacts. I said it once, I've said it twice and a third time is a charm here at your place hon...I might take a chance on this series after all :)

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On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
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  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
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  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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