Monday, December 22, 2014

review || MARKED

I want to first start this out by saying, every now and again, you score really, really well on the one-click free books run. And sometimes you'll read good book after good book after good book, only occasionally finding one author that you just don't quite jive with.

Back in... oh, maybe June? I one-clicked Cristin Harber's SAVAGE SECRETS and Rebecca Zanetti's BLIND FAITH.
Let me tell you: this was the case of good book after good book (and if I recall, the other one-click I did was the one I didn't quite jive with). After reading these two exceptionally phenomenal (on the Mignon-scale) books, I went on a Cristin Harber binge, as WINTERS HEAT was free, rumor had it, SWEET GIRL was on it's way, and then Cristin was looking for reviewers for CRUSHED/GAMBLED -- so naturally I devoured the entire series.
I had every intention to revisit Rebecca's writing with the previous two books in the SIN BROTHERS series that BLIND FAITH belongs too...
I just never did.
My NetGalley account started to roll; I was finding tours I wanted to be a part of.
My reading-for-me (not that my review books aren't for me -- I do get to chose them after all) time dwindled and Rebecca became slightly forgotten. Oh, not completely -- I did revisit BLIND FAITH when I was in a reading slump, but I never picked up those other books (and dang, do I need to; especially before Jory's book comes out).
And then MARKED popped up on NetGalley -- I saw Rebecca's name and pulled up my Nook; sure enough, she was one and the same as the author stamped on BLIND FAITH.
I was sure I wouldn't be approved -- as I always am sure when it's a book I really, really want -- but I crossed my fingers anyway; and when I got that lovely email...
Oh joy...!
I'm so glad I got a chance to revisit her style, even though DARK PROTECTORS is a bit different than SIN BROTHERS.
-- I'm also learning to really enjoy the paranormal scene...

Marked by Rebecca Zanetti

Publisher:eKensington (12/22/2014)
Series: Dark Protectors, book 7
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: NetGalley
Buy it from
Amazon | BN || Goodreads

My Rating: ★★★★★


Janie Kayrs has known Zane almost her whole life. He was her friend in the dream world. She trusted him. But that was before he kidnapped her, spiriting her away to an isolated cabin to learn what her dreams never told her. Like how dangerous he looks. How he got on the wrong side of the negotiating table. And how much sexier he is in real life…

Zane is a battle-hardened warrior, used to command and solitude. But Janie has drawn him from the minute they met. His need for her could destroy everything he’s worked for, but the risk is too sweet not to take it. They call her the Chosen One. But when it comes down to the questions of peace or war, life or death, safety or passion, it will be Janie who makes the choice…

Love is about to start conquering…

connect with Rebecca || goodreads | amazon author page | website | facebook | twitter | pinterest

{ review } .
I feel like I often begin my 4.5 and 5 star reviews with something along the lines of, "Oh, this book," but...
...oh, this book...!
The book opens in Janie's dream world; she is five years old and is looking for her friend -- her friend who she only ever meets in this dream world. This place is her special place; it's a place where she goes when she's not quite awake, not quite sleeping. You later learn that she gets there when she's in a meditative state.
In her dream world, Janie often found answers. She also often learned of things there were to come.
"Who are you?"
"Janet," she said. "You're Zane."
He stopped moving. "How do you know my name?"
She shrugged. "I dreamed about you. About us being friends and ending the war."
"What war?" he asked, frowning and looking around again.
"It hasn't started yet." But boy, things were about to get bad.
{...} Zane focused down on her, his shoulders relaxing. "Janie?"
"Yep. Janet Isabella Paulsen." If things worked out right, she'd have a new name soon.
Zane grinned. "You're too small for that name."
"It's still my name."
He shook his head. "How about I call you Janie Belle?"
And so their unlikely friendship begins. Unlikely because Janie is human (her new name change comes from her also-human mother meeting and mating Talen Kayrs, a vampire), and Zane is a vampire.

Also? Gotta say... he calls her Janie Belle 'forever', and I just love it to pieces. "Janie Belle" and "Belle" -- you know, I'm not much of an endearment kind of gal, but sometimes they just work and something about big, bad, dark Zane calling his little something such a sweet name... Just does it for me. Oh, who am I kidding, every nickname these strong men give all their mates in this book just do it for me, even Conn's nickname for his Moira, Daitlin -- meaning brat. Gah, I'd like to read their story.

Over the next many years, they meet again and again in this dream world; there's also another boy who is there, Kalin. The three of them grow up together, yet apart, as they don't truly meet in person.

When Zane's father dies, Janie can no longer find him. He becomes lost to her.

Then the war she saw as a child comes to play -- it's a war between the different species of paranormal, and they all want the book of Arias... well as Janie.

When the demon representatives arrive to the peace talks, Janie is shocked when Zane walks in.
A demon.
Shock and hurt chillder her, until slowly, with a sure burn, the fire of fury banished the cold. Pure, raw, female fury.
She didn't know him. Maybe she never had. Even so, the sense of betrayal failed to mask the feelings she'd harbored for him. Deep and real. Her focus narrowed, and Zane's chin slowly lowered, his nostrils flaring like a wolf's accepting a challenge.
 As their gazes clashed, a silent war cry resonated through the unnatural physics in the chamber so deep in the earth. The protective walls morphed, and the immortals all around tensed.
"Take it easy, Jane," Dage whispered.
She nodded and exhaled slowly, allowing anger to replace the pain. Her human emotions didn't have the strength the affect the mutated quantum physics keeping them safe.
Zane's emotions did.
Zane wants Janie. He's always wanted Janie.

He was just aware enough that with his lineage, he was no good for her. And now with this ever-looming war and deadly virus... he cannot have her.

But in a moment of passion, when they both decide to have just that one night, he is overcome by his emotions and ends up marking her, and therefore mating her. And because she's mated to him, she can have no other, even when she dies, as his 'species', if you will, mates for life.

When he realizes what he's done, he's sure Janie is going to have his balls (after all, the previous day she fought him pretty well, and his nether-regions was a bit bruised). He wants her; he's already told the entire peace talks that when all was said and done, regardless what everyone else wanted Janie was his -- she'd been his since they were kids. But now that this war is going on and he's kidnapped Janie... his nether-regions being bruised is the least of his worries. He's sure he will die within days, and he's bound Janie to him for eternity.

When Janie realizes what he's done, at first she's a bit livid (the markings hurt); then she turns a bit sad -- she loves him, has always loved him, but she's afraid that maybe (and it bothers her to even think it) he mated with her to gain access to her gifts (a side benefit of mating was that each mate takes on the other's special attributes: psychic abilities, etc).

I really liked this story. I enjoyed how Rebecca made sense of weather patterns by what was happening in the 'underworld', if you will. When the peace talks began, there was fear of all the anger causing a terrible earthquake, as they were right under a serious fault line. When Janie's uncle, Dage, who was also the head of Realm, was upset (to say it kindly), the skies were gray and furious, matching his mood.

I loved that Talen considers Janie his own. There's no 'step' anything. She is his daughter, through and through, and he'd do anything to protect her.

And then there's Zane.

He won't admit it, but one of his biggest fears is that he relates more to his demonic side. Even when upset, his voice drops to that low octave. He doesn't feel he has anything to offer Janie, and that kills him because he wants her for his. At one point, he admits to her that the Zane she knew in their childhood dream world was not the real him -- he was escaping the wrath of his uncle and could pretend in her dream world.

But no worries, Zane Kyllwood has a soft side that Janie sees clearly.

I also like that Janie, although just a mere mortal with certain abilities, is extremely head strong and wants to help fight her family's battles. Her father taught her to defend herself and she wants to help. It irks her when Zane asks, then tells, then essentially manhandles her, that he wants to lock her up and won't allow her to fight. Even from their first person-to-person meeting, Zane wants and needs to protect her.

I could easily go on and on about this book. I just. Loved. It. And that little dream world at the end? Well, I was a bit taken aback by it, due to what goes on in Zane, Kalin, and Janie's dream world, but regardless -- the end? I would like to see that book. Granted, it would be a while down the road, I'm sure, but Rebecca, I expect to see that book ;)

Oh, lastly, gotta add -- pretty much the entire 'end scene', after the chapters go by in months? Totally near tears... and then the waterworks happened.

So be prepared with a tissue or two or a box.

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