Sunday, February 23, 2014

Courting Darkness (Redemption Series #3) by Melynda Price {Review}

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Age Group: Adult
Publication Date: January 23rd 2014
Series: Redemption #3
Publisher: 5 Prince Publishing
Pages: 384
Format: PDF ARC
Source: Provided by publisher for review

She’s captured the hearts of Heaven and Hell…Betrayed by her true love, Olivia cannot let go of the angel her mind doesn’t remember, and her heart refuses to forget. In an attempt to reclaim her broken life, she is determined to unearth her past, but some secrets are better left buried. To save her life, he sacrificed everything. Universal Law was broken when Liam violated Olivia’s free will. His guardianship has been revoked, and the pain of letting her go is nothing compared to the torture of enduring their shattered bond. He can no longer sense her, no longer feel her, and the enemy he risked it all to save her from, now has free reign to claim her for his own. To get her back, Liam must turn away from all he is, all he was, for the one thing he may have already lost forever—Olivia’s love. Haden will stop at nothing to possess Immanuel’s Stone, and locked away in Olivia’s memories is the key he needs to find it. But in his quest for vengeance, he never expected to lose his heart to the enchanting green-eyed beauty. Forced to choose between love and revenge, Haden becomes captivated by a woman who will never be his…or will she?

My Review:

I'm starting this review off by warning you that I will be rambling for a bit because I absolutely love this series. I'm going to break this review down into sections because there is so much to cover. The Redemption Series is about Angels. But these aren't your everyday garden variety fallen angels like Patch from Hush, Hush and other angel books. NO. These are Ronnin Warriors specially created by God for the purpose of battling the fallen during the great fall from heaven millennia ago.

First off...

The Story: It centers on Liam and Olivia and the battle for her life. Liam is a fierce Ronnin warrior who wasn't created to be a guardian but was chosen to step in when Olivia's original guardian was killed. Olivia is very special in that she has the ability to see both angels and demons. That makes her vulnerable to attack from the dark side who seeks to eradicate her kind so they aren't exposed. After everything Liam and Olivia went through in the last book and he walked away from her for her own protection, taking with him her free will and all her memories that include him, we find the guardian bond between them has been severed by the high court. Liam is in lockdown for violating the law and taking her free will and Olivia is trying to cope with a gripping loss she has no knowledge or understanding of what caused it. All she knows is she feels empty. Determined to gain back her memory she teams up with Haden in hopes he can help her not knowing he has his own agenda. See Haden is the only one left of his kind, a cross between human and fallen angel he was raised by the dark court after his father begged his life be spared during the great flood. He's been a hunter of the sighted in the past, people just like Olivia so that makes him a danger to her. He's searching for Immanuel's Stone in order to exact his revenge on the Dark Court for their betrayal of him and thinks Olivia is the key to finding it.  

The Characters: It was extremely hard for me not to love all the characters be they supporting or main. Olivia has grown so much since first meeting her. She's gone from naive girl to a strong independent albeit stubborn woman who fights for what she wants. I've grown to love her more and more as the series continues and was impressed with her development in this book. She's had her impetuous moments before that have gotten her into some bad situations so it was great to finally see her learn her lesson. I loved how fearless she was in this one. After all that she has been through she finally developed a backbone. Seeing such strength in her made me hopeful she will survive this crazy world she was thrown into.

Liam had my heart from the second he was introduced and even though he broke my heart at the end of the last book that devotion never changed. It's hard not to love this male after everything he's given up and done to protect Olivia. He's strong, sexy and fierce but at times just as stubborn as Olivia can be. He will do whatever it takes to insure her safety and proved that by taking away her free will in hopes that things would go back to normal for her. It might not have been the best thing to do but I understood why he did and does the things he does for and to her. It was hard to watch Liam struggle with his love for Olivia and his love for his creator. It was like watching him be ripped in half at times while he tried to decide the best course of action.

Haden has really grown on me with the last two books. He started out as this evil guy hell bent on killing Olivia but over time has really showed a deeper side to himself that isn't all about revenge and hatred. He actually has a valid reason for wanting to take out his anger on the very Dark Court that raised him. Betrayal is a painful thing especially when you care about someone so naturally my heart broke when I discovered his reasons. Losing something valuable that can never be replaced has hardened his heart to love until Olivia came along. He wasn't the heartless bastard I first thought him to be and seeing that side of him made it difficult for me to watch him fall for Olivia knowing she belonged to someone else. Haden is a little bit tortured by the simple fact that he's unwanted by both heaven and hell and that has also added to his baggage but ultimately has made me love him. I have a thing for the underdogs.

Between Olivia's best friend Ashley who helps her remember what she can, her new guardian angel Tate trying to bond with her so he could protect her and the new threat to Olivia's life there wasn't a shortage of interesting characters to keep the story flowing. I loved the addition of Tate into the mix. He butts heads with Olivia several times over their lack of connection and her refusal to accept him was comical. Ashley has seen her fair share of trauma since the beginning so her character growth surprised me in this one. She's had several near misses with really bad demons that must have scared her straight. One character I was disappointed to not see a lot of was Balen. Liam's friend and fellow Ronnin warrior. The relationship between him and Ashley intrigued me so much in the last book and I hope I see more of them soon. One of the character highlights for me was being introduced to the Rogue angel, Niall. He comes from out of nowhere and crossed paths with Olivia a few times and his scenes were always funny and intense. I hope to see more of him as well.

The Triangle: Liam and Olivia have been fighting against not only the forces of heaven and hell together but fighting their attraction as well that culminated in some seriously steamy scenes in book 2. When Liam walked away from her in the last one it caused a chasm to form between them that changes the course of their relationship. Enter Haden. During a road trip to find the stone, both Haden and Olivia start to develop a bond with each other. Olivia knows where her heart belongs but can't help seeing the good in Haden even behind his hateful facade. I was so incredibly torn between Haden and Liam the entire first half of the book my stomach was in knots. I have loved Liam and Olivia together this whole time and believed them to be inseparable until Haden came along. I wasn't so sure for a while that Haden wouldn't split them up in all honesty. Olivia and Haden had several hot encounters that thankfully didn't lead to anything too serious because looking back now it would have broken my heart for Liam despite how much I do love Haden.

The Heat: These books aren't in your face blatantly hot. They are subtly seductive, steamy and passionate reads. The culmination of the chemistry between Olivia and Liam reaches a boiling point in Courting Darkness that I called "THE POPPED CHERRY HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD." With Liam being a guardian and having his soul bonded connection to Olivia throughout the first two books they weren't able to physically consummate their relationship. With all the energy generated by an intimate act from Liam it could have killed Olivia if she came in contact with him during the height of passion. They had to find more creative ways to express their affection for each other in the past with one particular shower scene that still makes my upper lip sweat when I think about it! Now that Liam's bond to Olivia has been severed though all bets are off!! This was the moment I have been waiting and salivating over for the entire series. The chemistry between Liam and Olivia has kept me on the hook this entire time and finally seeing them together was, for lack of a better word...ORGASMIC! All the waiting was beautifully prolonged foreplay to me as a reader so the payoff was well worth the wait. I just love this couple so much!

The Writing: Melynda Price has created a beautiful world that has kept me hooked from the first page of book one. Her third person narrative enables me to get a look at each character and their stories in a way that makes me feel like I'm seeing the whole picture. I think that is why I love third person so much. I get to see everything from a birds eye view that makes me feel better able to be objective with each character and not feel as if I'm taking sides. If that makes any sense. Basically what I mean is I was able to connect with each character better with the third person narrative than had I read each scene from the character's perspective. I think this is the reason why I loved everyone equally. 

The Religious Aspect: Having grown up in the south and being raised in the Catholic church, I wasn't bothered by this aspect at all. I didn't feel like the use of the religion behind the story was pushy at all just a means to an end. There wasn't any hidden meaning or message behind it, it was just a tool used to explain the story and characters backgrounds. In all honesty I found it to be extremely sexy because the story focuses on an angel who was created by "God" himself falling in love with a mortal woman and experiencing everything a human man would in that area. Why do I find that sexy you ask? Because Liam wasn't created for that purpose and it goes against everything he was made for. Call me a sadistic sinner but for some reason I find it highly erotic that something made supposedly by God's own hand turning away from his purpose really gets me off and I know that sounds sick but it worked for me. There is mention of God or "Creator" a few times but it never felt like it was done in a preachy way that would turn off someone sensitive to religious undertones. There are brief mentions of scripture and biblical teachings but this is a series about Angels so if you're overly sensitive about it or get annoyed by the mention of anything religious then you probably shouldn't be reading a book about angels anyway. 

The End: Without getting specific, I'll say it was very bittersweet. For fans of the series or really anyone who gets invested in this couple, you will probably feel as torn as I felt. Chaos abounds tenfold as the series draws to a close and all the characters are thrown into the fire! The future for everyone seems uncertain and could go either way. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this entire book and will continue to perch there until I get the final book in my hands. I'm a little sad that this amazing journey is almost over but OH what a ride it's been! I would say that this book has a cliffhanger but in reality they all do because this is a series and until the final book you'll be hanging on for dear life. The end shocked me speechless and even though I saw some things coming there were others I did not that left me slack jawed when the final page turned. I can hardly wait until the next book is out!

I can't express my love for these books enough. I dare say this is my second favorite series ever next to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. (If you haven't read The Black Dagger Brotherhood by J.R. Ward I can't implore you to start reading them enough!) With so much going on in each book there is never a dull moment from start to finish. Price serves up a sexy world full of romance, drama, intrigue and suspense that weaves together for a magical experience I haven't been able to resist. If you need a good Paranormal Romance series to start then I highly, HIGHLY recommend The Redemption Series by Melynda Price be your next choice!


He took full advantage, his mouth moving expertly against hers. She wasn't sure why she didn't pull away. She should have. Had her reflexes not been dulled by four shots of tequila, most certainly she would have. Before she could gather her wits to rebel against his oral assault, Haden broke their kiss and took a step back. “I've always wondered what you'd taste like. Never dreamed it would be tequila and lime.”  PDF ARC 20%

“Our motel is just across the street if you want to continue your gratuity over there.” Aaaand just like that, he ruined it. Suddenly, she became acutely aware that her breasts were crushed against his chest. She held him so close she could feel his heart beating. The heat of his breath stirred the fine hairs at her temple, skating down her neck. PDF ARC 35%

She wasn't sure what Pollyanna angel she'd contrived in her feeble mind, but this was not him. The male standing in front of her was massive, powerful, and one-hundred percent lethal warrior. PDF ARC 45%

And what was up with this guy’s voice? Every time that asshole spoke, he expected the proclamation “Luke, I am your father,” to come flyin’ out of his mouth. The dude looked like Emperor Palpatine from Revenge of the Sith. He was creepy as fuck. PDF ARC 58%

But even as he begged her to show the restraint that failed him, the light, rhythmic pressure on the back of her head begged to differ. She slid her hand up his thigh, around his lean hip. Her thumb dipped into the muscled dimple, nails scoring his flesh in a wordless warning not to pull away. A tortured groan rumbled in his chest, his massive body towering over her—tensing. He shuddered a moment before her name tore from his throat in a broken shout of tortured bliss. PDF ARC 80%

{Click the pictures for Goodreads descriptions}

Hootie's Reviews:

About The Author:

Melynda Price is an avid lover of all things paranormal. She's always had a fascination with stories about angels, and the role they've played in the history of our multi-dimensional world. Her debut novel, Until Darkness Comes--Book 1 Redemption Series, and Book 2, Shades of Darkness, is quickly gaining popularity among paranormal lovers. Melynda has a gift for making the unbelievable believable, culminating worlds of deception, temptation and romance. Have you ever wondered what it might be like if we could see beyond our dimension? She invites you to join Olivia Norton's world in Until Darkness Comes, where nothing is quite as it seems, and evil lurks where you least expect it.



  1. This is the book you were quoting! It sounds so good and I want to know about the cherry popping! Awesome review, chick!

  2. I have the first few books, right? I'll definitely have to make time for these.


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