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Book CoverShannon C.’s review of Desire Unchained (Demonica, Book 2) by Larissa Ione
Paranormal romance released by Forever 3 Mar 09

It says something about the compellingness (is that even a word?) of an author’s series when it doesn’t take me six months between reading books. I didn’t wait long at all between reading Pleasure Unbound and starting in on Desire Unchained. And I have to say that this is an awesome paranormal series, and if Larissa Ione keeps it up, she will land on my very short list of auto-buy authors.

Yet again, we are treated to the three brothers who run Underworld General Hospital. This time, the focus is on Shade. When he is captured and chained, he is startled to find his ex-lover, Runa, sharing a cell. Turns out they’ve been nabbed by the ghouls who keep stealing organs from supernatural creatures, and Runa, far from being the clingy, needy woman Shade remembers, is strong, has new abilities, and isn’t so happy with Shade for breaking her heart.

Yet again, I was drawn into the world Ms. Ione has created. Ms. Ione’s style is reminiscent of J.R. Ward, only tighter. I believe the world she’s created and I like the fact that, yet again, we are given an anti-hero in the form of Shade, who isn’t always the nicest guy. Runa is a good match for him, and while she’s not nearly as strong a character as Shade, I was afraid she’d be a clingy weakling and was grateful she wasn’t.

The plot is tight, and resolves nicely, with enough of the major arc left hanging to make readers eager for the third book in the series. The secondary romance begun in the first book is even continued and I’m really hoping it gets resolved in the third book. What’s more, the romance is strong, with the leads having great chemistry and hot scenes together.

I do have a quibble though, which rather significantly detracts from the grade. I wish Ms. Ione hadn’t come so close to pushing the envelope only to back down at the last minute. Case in point: Shade has a dungeon. He has a need to be dominant, but he doesn’t like this fact about himself. He hates that Runa eventually wants him to engage in BDSM play with her, and he ends up feeling like he can’t do that with someone as pure as Runa. Blech. If a book is going to have BDSM themes, then it by god should have BDSM themes. It shouldn’t pussyfoot around them in an attempt to be edgy. Because the fact that Shade thought being a dom was something horrible made me lose lots of respect for him.

Overall, I liked this addition to the series. Ms. Ione is a talented writer, and I enjoy visiting the paranormal world she’s created. I just hope next time she’ll either push the envelope all the way or leave it alone.

ShannonCGrade: B

Pleasure is their ultimate weapon . . .
Runa Wagner never meant to fall in love with the sexy stranger who seemed to know her every deepest desire. But she couldn’t resist the unbelievable passion that burned between them, a passion that died when she discovered his betrayal and found herself forever changed. Now, determined to make Shade pay for the transformation that haunts her, Runa searches for him, only to be taken prisoner by his darkest enemy.
A Seminus Demon with a love-curse that threatens him with eternal torment, Shade hoped he’d seen the last of Runa and her irresistible charm. But when he wakes up in a dank dungeon chained next to an enraged and mysteriously powerful Runa, he realizes that her effect on him is more dangerous than ever.
As their captor casts a spell that bonds them as lifemates, Shade and Runa must fight for their lives and their hearts-or succumb to a madman’s evil plans.
Read an excerpt