Bound by Night ~ Larissa Ione

  • Title: Bound by Night
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Series: MoonBound Clan Vampire #1
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
  • Format: ebook
  • Source: Review copy
  • Reviewed by: DarthVal
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Description:  The first installment in a sexy new paranormal romance series by Larissa Ione, author of the bestselling Demonica series!

A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD

Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .

A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE

A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.

Review:  Bound by Night is the first book of a new series by Larissa Ione, a paranormal romance author known for her Demonica series. This series combines vampire mythology along the lines of Lara Adrian and J.R. Ward (vampires are a distinct breed from humans) with Native American lore. In this world, vampires are the victims of slavery and exploitation at the hands of humans.

The story begins with a flashback of Nicole watching her family being murdered at the hands of wild vampires. Flash forward to the present, and Nicole is now at the helm of a corporate empire whose foundation was built upon vampire exploitation. Meanwhile, Riker, a fierce warrior, must free a captive vampire to prevent war between tribes. His solution is to kidnap Nicole to use a leverage to gain the release of the female. Nothing goes as planned, including the sparks that ignite between Riker and Nicole.

I will give Ms. Ione credit, this book is steeped with chemistry and emotional longing between her main characters. For all of the paranormal alpha male lovers out there, the sexy times are smoking hot in this one. Yet, the author takes the times to develop affection between the characters beyond just sexual urges. This is the heartbeat and strength of this story.

Alas, the world-building suffers in the wake of the romantic emphasis. As a result, the mythology is a bit bland. The Native American theme, in particular, is not very well executed. It almost feels as if the tribal elements are thrown in as an afterthought. In contrast, the socio-political themes are much more distinctly drawn. However, the trope of the newly down trodden race is just a tad overplayed these days. In truth, I doubt that most readers will care as much about the depth of world-building as I, reveling instead in the romance, rightly so given the PNR genre of the book.

I did enjoy the book. It was a quick and fun read, a good beach book. While I won’t rush out and get new books upon release, I plan to follow the series. Who knows, maybe the world-building will improve, it definitely has that potential. In the meantime, I know some PNR gals who will eat this up.

*Disclaimer: A free copy of this book was provided to me for review by the publisher through the Net Galley program.

 

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Pleasure Unbound ~ Larissa Ione

  • Title: Pleasure Unbound
  • Author: Larissa Ione
  • Series: Demonica #1
  • Genre: PNR, UF
  • Format: Paperback
  • Source: Own Copy
  • Reviewed by: Valerie
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She’s a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .


**Warning: I am giving my review an R-Rating. It is meant for adults. Considering the nature of the book, it is also clearly meant for adults.**

Review:  Take 2 scoops each of paranormal romance and erotica, a dollop of urban fantasy, a generous sprinkle of demons and a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and you get Pleasure Unbound. This is what I would call a bubble bath book; sexy, light and fluffy. It was a bit silly and ridiculous, but once I accepted that, I allowed myself to turn my brain off a bit and enjoy the humor, whether it was always intended or not.

The world-building was not too deep, but it was interesting. I really liked the concept that the demon world is the flip side of humanity, that demons are mostly evil with good exceptions versus there being evil exceptions to the basic goodness among humans. Plus, there were some kick-ass fighting scenes, which always make me happy.

**Spoiler Alert – detour to avoid spoiler content**

Another aspect of the book that I really appreciated was Tayla’s difficulty in reaching the Big-O. Romance authors are so gratuitous with their orgasms that we see the achievement of multiples during virgin deflowering scenes. HUH? I think we can all agree that while we’d love to see fireworks every time, but it is not just reality for most of us. I think this made Tayla much more relatable and Eidolon more endearing for his determination to get her there. Now, as for the lame insta-psychology healing of deep mental trauma, well, not quite as well-played.

Speaking of Eidolon, for a demon he was a bit of a Marty Stu. He heals everyone who comes into the hospital, even if they are the enemy (Hello, Tayla). He takes beatings on behalf of his ego-centric brother with a tortured soul. All he really wants is to find someone to love & raise a family. Aww, do they have picket fences in the underworld?

As for Tayla, she is hot mess of a demon slayer grappling with the discovery that *gasp* she is half-demon. Didn’t see that one coming (said with the barest hint of sarcasm). I was bit disappointed in the Buffy societies gullibility and lack of knowledge. They were portrayed as this elite order with a long history of demon slaying, and yet they knew very little about demons and were very easy to infiltrate. Hmm. Maybe they needed Giles.

**Spoiler detour – you are clear of spoilers beyond this point**

I personally prefer a book with more depth and plot, but I can definitely see the appeal in this book for its intended audience.