Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review: Taming the Lion (Lionhearts #2) by Elizabeth Coldwell

 Taming the Lion (Lionhearts, #2)
Will he sacrifice everything for the sake of his human mate?
Thwarted in his efforts to become head of the Amsterdam pride of lion shifters, Kaspar de Wit flees to England. He finds himself in Bath, home of the biggest English pride, and begins to make a new life among friends. What he doesn’t know is that he’s moved to a city steeped in bloody ritual. Destiny seems to have drawn Kaspar to the place where he’ll meet his mate–but does something more horrifying lie in wait for him, too?
Jon Fellowes, professor of archaeology at Bath University, is obsessed with the standing stones that dominate the Somerset landscape and the people who raised them. He’s heard tales of strange creatures, half-man, half-lion, that once roamed the land, but dismisses them till he meets the beautiful Kaspar and learns the bizarre truth of his nature. As an ancient rite is revived and terror stalks the countryside, can Jon and Kaspar overcome the natural distrust between humans and shifters to find true love? Or will one of them be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?
Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of voyeurism, MM orgies and bloody violence.

Review by: multitaskingmomma
My Rating: 3 of 5 Stars


I have no idea what happened here, maybe I had higher expectations. All the required elements are present and accounted for, the plot development went where it should and the ending was just what we wanted. However, there was no 'oomph' to the story between Jon and Kaspar.

Kaspar comes from a long line of alphas and he expected to succeed his father when his time came to step down. He also comes from a fairly wealthy family and was just months away from getting his inheritance. He lived his life waiting for things to fall his way. In short, he was not alpha material but he expected to be one. Well, that falls short and so, miserable and depressed, he goes away without telling anyone and ends up in Bath where he asks to be taken in as a member of the pride.

Then there is Jon. Now, he is a remarkable individual. His obsession with archeology and myth surrounding the Bath area is almost palpable for the author brings in some questions that do make the mind question ideas. 

The two men meet, Kaspar immediately knows Jon is his mate but it takes longer for Jon to accept the supernatural and paranormal even if his obsession with it knows no bounds. It takes time for an actual romance to develop but Kaspar does try his best while Jon tries his best to be sceptical. In the meanwhile, there are disappearances going on and Kaspar stumbles into a mystery that links the deaths to his kind. 

And this is where I have a lot of questions. There are undeniable plot holes like, whatever happened to the inheritance? How come Kaspar's old pride does not even attempt to communicate seeing how his father and mother loves him? Jon's obsession contradicts his unwillingness to believe? and many more.

Overall, this left me with a whole lot of questions and no answers. However, the Lionhearts series is quite intriguing. The way Ms Coldwell built the world of pride around our world and made it seem to highly influence our history, culture and beliefs, this is where I laud her. She managed to merge fact with fiction and made it believable and unquestionably right. 

My high expectations with Kaspar's story may not have been truly satisfied, but the series overall makes me curious and want for more. For the arc alone, I want to continue following this. I mean, who does not want to read about sexy men who turn into lions? I love shape shifter stories so will continue to follow....

Note: Review based on copy provided for by Totally Bound.


Excerpt

By reading any further, you are stating that you are 18 years of age, or over. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
Copyright © Elizabeth Coldwell 2015. All Rights Reserved, Total-E-Ntwined Limited, T/A Totally Bound Publishing.

The guy in the apartment opposite was naked again.
Kaspar knew he shouldn’t be looking but he couldn’t help himself. He’d never quite been sure whether his neighbor knew he could be seen, and whether these regular displays were accidental or put on expressly for his benefit. He didn’t dwell on that thought. Seeing the well-built blond standing with no self-consciousness in the bedroom window, his big, limp cock swinging as he toweled his damp hair, Kaspar was taunted by everything he wanted so badly—everything he knew he couldn’t have.
He wandered into the kitchenette to grab a beer from the fridge. He hoped by the time he returned that the man would have pulled on some underwear at least, but no. Still he remained there, revealed in all his glory.
Kaspar took a long swallow of his drink before setting the bottle down on the table. He ought to go take a shower then dress in something less formal than the torn T-shirt and sweatpants he currently wore. After all, he had to be at Cornelis de Wit’s grand house on the Apollolaan in less than an hour. But it couldn’t hurt to admire the view for a few moments longer. If the guy wanted an audience, it would be rude to deprive him of one.
When Cornelis had invited him and his parents over saying he had an important announcement to make, Kaspar had guessed what was coming. The old man had been head of Amsterdam’s pride of lion shifters for over fifty years now. It was common knowledge that he had been talking for a while about relinquishing the position, and Kaspar had made no secret of his desire to take on his mantle. Traditionally, the role was passed from the current pride leader to his eldest son, but that wouldn’t be happening in this case. Cornelis had only one child, Kaspar’s second cousin, Arjan. Father and son had what could most politely be described as a strained relationship. Kaspar didn’t know the exact reason for their estrangement, and why Cornelis was so reluctant to hand over leadership duties to his own flesh and blood, but he believed it had much to do with the rumors he’d heard about Arjan being gay. Cornelis might be a wise, kindly man but in some respects, he was almost too traditional for his own good.
Kaspar glanced out of the window once more. His neighbor had been joined by a second man. Kaspar’s jaw dropped at this new turn to proceedings.
The newcomer was a good-looking mixed-race guy with light brown skin and hair plaited in neat cornrows. He stood behind the blond, one hand gripping the cock Kaspar had been admiring. Under his ministrations, that beautiful length had risen, swollen and inviting.
In response to the sight, Kaspar felt his own dick stir. Desperately, he tried to will his erection away, to pretend that he wasn’t getting turned on by watching the lovers at play.
It had taken him until the age of twenty-four to come to terms with the truth of his sexuality. At first, when he’d found himself checking out the hottest guys in a club or at the gym, he’d told himself it was just a phase he was going through. Like all lion shifters, his destined mate was waiting for him somewhere, and he just had to find her. But as time had gone on, his craving to take a cock between his lips or deep in his arse had not diminished. If anything, it had grown stronger.
With Arjan out of the picture—a virtual exile from the pride—there were no other suitable candidates to become the new leader as far as Kaspar was concerned, apart from himself. Yes, he was young—most of those who attained the role didn’t take it on until their thirties or forties, when they were in their physical prime—but he didn’t see why that should hold him back. Cornelis, however, had as good as declared he wouldn’t give up his power to a gay man. If Kaspar wanted to fulfill his destiny, he needed to keep his desire for other men a secret.
Kaspar glanced at the two men across the way, now face to face with their mouths locked in a passionate kiss. God, how he envied them. If only it were he who stood with his arms wrapped around some hot guy, enjoying the taste of his lover’s soft lips and feeling the slight prickle of stubble against his chin.
Unable to resist the urgent demands of his body any longer, he pushed a hand into his sweatpants and took hold of his shaft. When he ran his hand gently along it, he discovered that pre-cum had already gathered at its tip. He spread the slippery droplets over his cockhead and down, to make the shuttling passage of his fingers easier.
The blond sank down to his knees so that only the top of his head remained visible above the window sill. Kaspar needed more in the way of lubrication but he didn’t want to miss a minute of the show his neighbors were putting on for him. He dashed into the bedroom where he stripped out of his sweatpants before grabbing the bottle of baby oil from the nightstand.
When he returned to the living room, it was to be greeted by the glorious sight of the blond bobbing his head up and down on his lover’s length. Kaspar couldn’t see very much of what was happening so he let his imagination fill in the blanks. But in his mind, he was the one who had a man kneeling naked at his feet, tonguing his dick.
He squeezed a copious amount of oil onto his palm. Now his fingers glided effortlessly from base to crown as he wanked himself. With his other hand, he cupped and rolled his balls, enjoying the shivers of pleasure the action sent through him.
As Kaspar’s excitement mounted, he turned his gaze on the man receiving the blow job. Bliss was clearly etched on the stranger’s face. His eyes were half-closed and he seemed to be muttering something. Was he asking to be sucked harder? Maybe he was praising the blond for his efforts or ridiculing him with a sneer in his voice as the two played out some game of Domination and submission.
So many delicious possibilities. So many things Kaspar yearned to enjoy. He tugged his cock faster, feeling his balls tighten in preparation for releasing their load.
In the window opposite, the mixed-race guy had caught hold of his companion’s head and was keeping it in place while he jerked his hips back and forth. Then he stilled his thrusting motions. Kaspar guessed he must be shooting his seed into his lover’s throat.
The thought was enough to trigger his own orgasm. He bit the back of his hand, stifling his cries as cum pulsed out over his fist. His knees sagged, and he had to clutch at the back of a nearby chair for support.
When he looked up again, the blond had risen to his feet. Kaspar swore there was a fleeting moment when they made eye contact across the street, and his neighbor gave a little smirk. Had the two men really known they’d had a very appreciative audience?
He’d have time to think about it later. Right now, he needed to get ready for his visit to Cornelis and that important proclamation.


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 About the Author
Elizabeth Coldwell

I am Rotherham’s foremost (okay, only) writer of quality erotica and erotic romance. Though I’m now based in London, family and football take me back North on a regular basis. Indeed, if you’re ever at a Rotherham United match (I know, what are the chances?) and you spot a small blonde with a large ‘London Millers’ flag, that’ll be me.
For twenty years, I worked on the UK edition of Forum magazine, for most of those years as editor. In that time, I built up the fiction side of the magazine, and was responsible for publishing the first stories by lots of now well-known and established erotic authors – most notably Portia da Costa and Lindsay Gordon, who was until recently Black Lace’s series editor.
However, I love writing even more than I love editing, and I’ve finally taken the plunge to write full-time. I’ve had stories published by Black Lace, Xcite Books, Cleis Press, Circlet Press, Mammoth, Ravenous Romance, Total-e-bound and more, and my collection of three gay erotic novellas, Wild Rides, will be coming out as a print book from Xcite in 2012. And I’m happy in my work… 




Related Link:
eARC Review: The Pride of Amsterdam (Lionheart Book #1) by Elizabeth Coldwell

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