Thursday, March 19, 2009

Review: Passion Unleashed

Title: Passion Unleashed
Author: Larissa Ione
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Demonica/Book 3
Published: April 2009
ARC Review

What would you do if you were immortal? If there was nothing that could physically cause you harm? There is a catch ~ because there's always a catch. To keep leading the charmed life you must remain a virgin. Not too bad, all things considered. What if a gorgeous, funny, incredibly sexy guy comes along. What if he's THE GUY? Serena Kelley lives that charmed life and Wraith is about to try to take it all away.

First I'll start by saying that I am in love with this series and it just continues to get better and better. There was a lot going on in this book but I never felt that the plots and subplots got away from Ione. The writing is tight and the story moves at a pace that had just the right amount of action, suspense, romance and humor. That along with hot sex scenes and smart ass demons made this book an absolute treat to read.

Passion Unleashed picks up ten months after Desire Unchained. Wraith has gone through his s'genesis, which means he can now impregnate demon females. One night when out hunting he gets into a fight with some vampires. During the fighting he is poisoned and left to die. He ends up back at Underworld General Hospital (UGH) where his brothers Eidolon and Shade are able to take care of him. Unfortunately they can't cure him of the poison that is in his system, slowly killing him. His only hope is Serena and her charm that keeps her healthy and immortal. He needs to find her, seduce her and get her charm.

Serena Kelley is a female Indiana Jones with a twist, she's immortal. She works as an archaeologist/treasure hunter and reports to Valeriu Macek, an Aegis Guardian. The Aegis are the group of highly trained human warriors that hunt and fight demons. Serena is also trained in fighting which is a good thing because she has a tendency to be fearless, diving headlong into dangerous situations. She is careful when dealing with men, not allowing things to go too far. She may still be a virgin but she isn't exactly chaste. And she's certainly not immune to Wraith and his incredible body.

Once Wraith finds out that the holder of the charm is a human female he refuses to seduce her. He doesn't have sex with humans, ever. But after discovering that he really has no choice he goes after her only to find that seducing her won't be as simple as he thought. He's not the only one after her and the evil that is after Serena wants more than her virginity, he wants her blood. When Wraith does catch up to Serena he takes on a new role of guide, helping Serena locate her next acquisition. This allows Wraith to get to know Serena which makes what he has to do much more difficult. Knowing that taking the charm will mean Serena's death.

Wraith and Serena take the reader on a wild ride of treasure hunting, demon fighting and erotic sex scenes without the actual sex (don't worry, there's hot, crazy sex too). I'm thinking only Wraith could steam things up so completely without fully consummating the act. The pairing of Serena and Wraith is done with such a skillful touch that despite the fact they faced overwhelming obstacles in their relationship by the end of the book you can't imagine them with anyone else. I loved Wraith and how his emotions are so much more than what he lets on. He doesn't want anyone to know how strongly he feels and how much he cares.

I think of Wraith as the survivor, the one that in spite of himself and his self-destruct mode he survives. He doesn't exactly thrive but exists, living to hunt, kill and fuck but not to truly enjoy, only pretend to. He still maintains that bad ass, fuck off attitude of the 'I don't give a damn club'. The only things he really cares about are his brothers, their mates and the hospital. The people and the place that give him a purpose in life.

About Wraith's relationship with his brothers Eilodon and Shade. The three are half brothers, having the same father. Their mothers were all different types of demons. While the brothers were all raised in different environments Wraith's by far was the harshest, most cruel. He's so emotionally damaged by the torture he endured that he can't seem to get to a point where he can find any joy in life. He thinks of himself as the screw up, always needing to be saved by his brothers. I loved reading the scenes with these three. The way they interact is so normal, so brotherly. For me as a reader seeing the hero interacting with other males, especially ones that he's close to, gives me a better, more rounded view of his character. Guys act different around guys than they do around females. That seems to be universal whether they're human, vampire, werewolf or demon.

What Serena does for Wraith is open those eyes of his. She helps to waken that slumbering conscience of his. To show him that he is a good man and that he does care about more than just his brothers and their mates. I loved the way she took him in and showed him that a woman can and does care about him. That it's not just the physical attraction but that she really liked him as a person and came to care for him as the man who he is. The one who he had been hiding behind his nasty attitude. She doesn't give up her identity when she falls for him. She continues to be a strong heroine. I liked the fact that she didn't suddenly submit to him and leave the decision making to him. She still maintained her voice and her adventurous determined nature. Which is why she was such a good match for Wraith.

The plot had many twist and turns. I didn't always know where Ione was going with the story but that was part of the thrill, not knowing what was around the next turn. The bad guy is wickedly evil, sinister in his love of death and blood. And since this is spoiler free I won't go into the details of some of the secondary characters but will say they are some of the best and well developed, considering the amount of time they had on page. Some of the little bits and pieces the reader is shown of these secondary characters only helps to heighten the anticipation for the next book and the next installment of these demons and their lives.

Passion Unleashed is another outstanding addition to this fascinating world of demons, vampires, werewolves and humans. Visit Larissa Ione's website for more about the Demonica series and her contemporary books coauthored with Stephanie Tyler under the name Sydney Croft. You can also add to your Demonica knowledge by accessing the free online read of the Demonica Compendium here.

Rating: A


  1. Thank you for that awesome review, Leslie! I just can't wait to read Wraith's story. It sounds as exciting as I've been hoping it would be. The release date can't come soon enough for me.

  2. Your welcome Hils :)

    There is so much I wanted to include so it was hard to stay away from spoilers. Lots going on in this book. Loved it!

  3. I haven't read this series, but based on your review, I think I'm going to pick up book one! Great review.

  4. Oh, awesome review, Leslie!!!! So, so, SO happy that you liked Passion Unleashed. I'm super excited for it to hit the shelves. :)

    Thanks for mentioning the compendium too! And for those who don't know, the compendium and short story is included in the back of the finished book, so you won't have to access the widget ever time you want to read up on a demon species or something! It was so cool of Grand Central to do that!

    Have a great weekend, everyone!!!!

  5. Thanks Lisa :)
    As you can tell I love this series. Would definitely recommend it!

  6. Awe, thanks Larissa :) Wraith is definitely my fav. He just grabbed hold of my heart and kept it. And Serena was just so perfect for him. Loved them together.

    And the compendium is amazing! It's going to coming in handy as the series progresses. You're right about Grand Central ~ having it on line and then in Wraith's book is such a delight for the readers.

    Absolutely incredible book Larissa ~ You Rock!