Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Review: Hunted Warrior by Lindsey Piper

Hunted Warrior
Author:  Lindsey Piper
Series:  The Dragon Kings 3
Publisher:  Pocket Books,  April 28, 2015
Format:  Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 384 pages
List Price:  $7.99  (print)
ISBN:  9781451695939 (print)
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher

Demonic gladiators, ruthless mafia villains, and a race on the brink of distinction: What will become of them? One proud leader wields his power to unlock dark mysteries in the third book in this fierce, sensual new paranormal romance series.

When the head of the Five Clans of the Dragon Kings wants something, he gets it. Raised among the most privileged of his dying race, Malnefoley conceals a devastating tragedy from his youth. Now, many call him the Usurper because of his unconventional rise to power. His influence is waning while the Dragon Kings must solve the puzzle of their slow extinction. So when a particularly important captive escapes his compound in the Greek mountains, Malnefoley leaves nothing to chance. She is his prisoner to retrieve.

The woman is known as the Pet, a former associate of a sadistic doctor from the Asters, a human crime cartel. Her loyalties cannot be trusted, even when she claims to hold the secret to conception—an invaluable secret for a race unable to procreate. Neither can her unique gift from the Great Dragon be believed. She’s a soothsayer, able to see glimpses of the future. Her quest is to find and save a Cage warrior on the verge of her first match—a young woman whose destiny is bound to a timeless prophecy.

Malnefoley has no respect for the ancient superstitions that brought about his childhood trauma. His only goal is to return the Pet to his compound and use her knowledge for the betterment of their people. Yet her restless energy and raw sensuality are as intriguing as her predictions about the rise of the Great Dragon. He dares not trust the crafty fugitive’s loyalties, but as their treacherous chase turns passionate, can he even trust himself?

Melanie's Thoughts

Hunted Warrior starts approximately six months after the end of book 1 Caged Warrior with the destruction of the fighting cages and the Aster family lab. Mal aka The Giva has been keeping Aster's pet Dragon King, the aptly named Pet, prisoner until she gives up Aster's secret cure to the Dragons King's infertility. Pet however, has a few secrets of her own. She escapes Mal's custody and starts her search for some ancient weapons that will help a young cage warrior fulfill the destiny that Pet saw when the warrior was still in the womb. There is only one problem and that is in the form of a tall, blond, Adonis-like Dragon King by the name of Malnefoley. He doesn't trust Pet and doesn't believe in her visions or her belief in the original dragon. He is, however, determined to find out all that she knows from her time in the Aster's labs in order to save his race. On a journey that takes them from Greece to Italy to London Mal soon discovers that Pet isn't quite who he believed her to be. Drawn to one another the former slave and the leader of all Dragon Kings are on a perilous journey to fulfill a prophecy.

It's almost as if Piper has read my reviews of the prior books in the series and took my comments into account when writing Hunted Warrior. I wasn't happy with the brutality of Caged Warrior where Nan was almost raped and the romance was more violent than romantic. In Blood Warrior I felt there was a lot of romance but very little background about the Dragon King race. Now in Hunted Warrior there is a much better balance between romance, plot and background. This is PNR so obviously there is a lot of romance and steaminess between Pet (who he later names Ayva) and Mal but through both characters Piper explains more about the origin and the role of The Giva along with some of the history of the different families within the Dragon King race. Pet gives the reader a different perspective on the history of the Dragon Kings through her visions and with her relationship with Mal which I thought was effective.

I feel that Piper put more effort into these characters. Pet/Ayva had a tragic upbringing yet she sticks up for herself and can hold her own. I didn't immediately warm to Mal and thought he was a tad stuck up but I am sure this is what you were supposed to think of him. He did start to grow on me towards the end but only just. I had high hopes for a bit more of a slow burn romance as the hot and steamy hadn't started a third of the way in. This wasn't meant to be and it wasn't too long before Mal and Avya are getting horizontal almost everywhere including an Italian crypt! That sounded uncomfortable and lacking in the R in PNR.

I don't think it is necessary to read the first two books of the series to enjoy this one. There is enough re-capping of previous events to understand what is happening. Overall, Hunted Warrior is a more balanced book and therefore, a more enjoyable read. There is something for everyone in this book - romance, action and even a dragon!


Silent Warrior
Dragon Kings ePrequel
Pocket Star, April 22, 2013
eBook, 80 pages

An exciting, emotionally charged prequel to the Dragon Kings trilogy featuring warriors fighting for their lives in violent cage matches to guarantee their clans’ survival—available exclusively as an eBook!

A silent woman ashamed of her criminal background becomes a Cage warrior to seek redemption. An unrepentant fortune hunter will do anything to escape his mounting debts. Although rivals on the streets of Hong Kong, they find common ground when seeking their clan’s stolen idol, but for vastly different reasons. Neither one suspects that love will begin when he becomes the first man in five years to hear her speak.

Caged Warrior
The Dragon Kings 1
Pocket Books, June 25, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 400 pages

The first installment in this fierce and sensual new paranormal romance series features demonic gladiators, ruthless mafia villains, and a proud race on the brink of extinction.

Ten years ago, Audrey MacLaren chose to marry her human lover, making her an exile from the Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons once worshiped as earthly gods. Audrey and her husband managed to conceive, and their son is the first natural-born Dragon King in a generation—which makes him irresistible to the sadistic scientist whose mafia-funded technology allows demon procreation. In the year since her husband was murdered, Audrey and her little boy have endured hideous experiments.

Shackled with a collar and bound for life, Leto Garnis is a Cage warrior. Only through combat can Dragon Kings earn the privilege of conceiving children. Leto uses his superhuman speed and reflexes to secure the right for his two sisters to start families. After torture reveals Audrey’s astonishing pyrokenesis, she is sent to fight in the Cages. If she survives a year, she will be reunited with her son. Leto is charged with her training. Initially, he has no sympathy for her plight. But if natural conception is possible, what has he been fighting for? As enemies, sparring partners, lovers, and eventual allies, Leto and Audrey learn that in a violent underground world, love is the only prize worth winning.

Blood Warrior
The Dragon Kings 2
Pocket Books, July 30, 2013
Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages

The Dragon Kings, an ancient race of demons, were once worshipped as earthly gods. Centuries later and facing extinction, their survival is challenged when a madman renews his clan’s tradition of ritualized murder.

For decades, Tallis of Pendray has been visited in dreams by a woman who tempts him to fulfill a sacred prophecy. He devotes his life to the cause, until her violent demands destroy his family. Now he wants revenge.

To her devoted followers, Kavya of Indranan is a peaceful savior. But believing Kavya responsible for his deadly dreams, Tallis kidnaps her on the eve of a vital truce within her warring clan. During the ensuing chaos, her bloodthirsty brother attempts to kill her, certain the sacrifice will transform him into a dangerously powerful telepath.

Tallis safeguards Kavya—who shares little but a name in common with his avowed enemy. Their impassioned flight leads them to the Scottish Highlands, where Tallis is held liable for his crimes. He’ll do what he must to protect Kavya and the iconic message of harmony that could ensure the survival of the Dragon Kings . . . as much as her love could heal his jaded heart.


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