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Book CoverAsh’s review of When Pleasure Rules (Shadow Keepers, Book 2) by J. K. Beck
Paranormal Romance published by Bantam 28 Sep 10

To say I’m disappointed in book 2 of the Shadow Keepers series is putting it mildly. Instead of improving the flaws from the first book, it just adds a whole lot more.

My biggest problem with When Pleasure Rules is that I couldn’t stand either Rand or Lissa. There’s nothing likable about either of them. I guess Lissa is supposed to be a good person because she blackmails bad guys to save her fellow succubi. I didn’t feel any passion from her for what she does. She’s just going through the motions.

Also, I wasn’t a fan of the idea of succubi being reborn over and over, yet keeping none of their memories. Considering that the people she interacts with are mostly immortal, it just didn’t make sense. People remember her, but not the other way around.

As for Rand, well, I am all about a reformed bad boy, but I don’t feel like he was ever reformed. He is an ex-gang member and, as a result, the wife that he never gave a damn about was murdered, which gave him a convenient past to brood over. He admits he only went after her killer because she belonged to him and no one takes what’s his. His character needs a reason to convince himself he’s nothing but a killer, so a dead wife works as well as any. Were we suppose to feel for him? Because I never did. In the end, I agreed with him, he is just a killer.

Their romance isn’t very romantic or passionate or really anything else like that. Just like with their characters, it’s like they got together because that’s what was supposed to happen. I just didn’t get them.  There is, of course, a betrayal, which included Lissa being too stupid to tell Rand what’s going on. It’s a plot that has to be done well or I just don’t care .

The ending is a little too skipping off into the sunset for me. Rand passionately telling her to have sex with him so she can take part of his soul is a bit cheesy to me. I could live without the whole “I want to know that part of me is inside you.” speech he gives.

I ended up skimming the last third of the book. There seems to be a lot of little plots going on that somehow come together at the end.  I got tired of it all after awhile, I just wanted get some answers instead of more questions. However, those are the parts that save this book from being an F. I stuck with it because I did like the first book in this series, but I kind of wish I had just given up. There is just no getting past disliking the main characters. They drag everything else down, and I don’t really see myself caring enough to bother with the next book.

ashGrade: D-


Seven innocents have been brutally murdered on the streets of Los Angeles, yet the Shadow Alliance has no suspects and no leads. And as more bodies are discovered, the age-old feud between the vampires and werewolves threatens to explode and turn the city into a living nightmare.

With her back to the wall, Lissa Monroe—a strong-willed, ravishingly beautiful succubus who entices men to surrender their souls—agrees to go undercover for the Alliance. Her mission: infiltrate the mind of werewolf leader Vincent Rand, a ferociously alluring enemy who has a powerful hold over her. Lissa has never lost control of her deepest desires, but Rand is an impenetrable paradox, a principled soldier who fears nothing—except perhaps the darkness of his own past. As the city of Angels teeters on the brink of apocalypse, these two adversaries must join together to have even the slimmest chance of surviving a more lethal enemy hidden in plain sight.

Read an excerpt.

Other books in this series:
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