Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.
When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he's got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude's been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.
With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he'd return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he's been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.
The Dante Walker series is best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 The Collector
Book #2 The Liberator
Book #3 The Warrior
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I Ain't No Angel
Real men don't cross their legs.
In an emergency situation, like if you need to adjust your junk, a dude can place ankle to knee. But that's it. There shouldn't be any danglage. I shouldn't see one leg lying limply over the other, and I definitely — definitely — shouldn't see you bounce your dangling foot.
The guy in front of me is breaking this Man Rule. And about a dozen others.
He's wearing black-framed glasses I'm sure he doesn't need and a Burberry scarf that's as phony as he is. Even worse, he's sipping champagne from a friggin' crystal flute.
And he's talking to my girl, Charlie.
And making her laugh.
Music from the party throbs and echoes off the basement walls. I'm not sure how I got here, and I'm certain I don't know how Charlie ended up on the other side of the room with Guy In Touch With His Emotions. Raising a bottle to my lips, I watch as the guy uncrosses his long legs and recrosses them.
His tampon must be killing him.
I know perfectly well why this dude is moving in on Charlie. She's completely beautiful. But I can't complain. I'm the one who did this to her.
A month ago, I was given an assignment from Boss Man, aka, Lord of the Underworld, to collect Charlie's soul. Like the champ I am, I pulled out all the stops to complete the job. Why wouldn't I? I was a collector from hell, after all, and there was a huge promotion on the line. So I offered Charlie something she couldn't refuse, something in exchange for her soul — beauty.
My past is working out real well for me right about now.
A girl struts by slowly, drinking in my appearance. I know, fancy face. I'm effin' hot. But you're blocking my view.
I raise a hand and flick my wrist, dismissing Ogling Girl. She rolls her eyes and clicks away in Payless heels.
When my eyes return to Charlie, they nearly pop from my head. Feminine Man has his arm around the back of her chair and is leaning in way too close. I take a moment to see how Charlie reacts. She isn't leaning into him, but she's not leaning away, either.
Time to break this crap up.
I try to stand but immediately stumble back into my chair. Oh, man, I think, I'm plowed. Steadying myself, I try again to stand. This time I'm successful. A guy near me holds his hand out, and I slap him a high five.
Then I cross the distance between Charlie and me. She looks up, and her mouth curves up in a cautious smile.
"Hey," D-bag says. He looks at me like I'm the one interrupting.
"Oh, hey," I say. "Did you want me to come back when you're done with my girlfriend?"
"Dante," Charlie says, sensing I'm about to blow.
I place my hand on her shoulder and give her a gentle squeeze, but my eyes never leave his face.
The dude looks at Charlie, then up at me. "Relax. We weren't doing anything." His words are innocent, but there's an arrogant tilt to his chin that I want to crush.
"Of course you weren't," I say. "Why don't you get yourself something to drink?" I nod toward the other side of the room. "Over there."
The guy stands up and steps in close, the smell of his cologne burning my nose. He nudges those black-rimmed glasses, and I consider jacking them, since I'm having a hard time seeing straight.
D-bag looks down at Charlie and smiles wide. "Hope I run into you again, Charlie," he says. "We have a lot in common."
I rub my jaw to keep from breaking his. The old demon in me wants to crack his skull for even looking at Charlie, but I know it'd cause a fight between me and her, and I won't risk that. Nothing is worth hurting her again.
Charlie stands and twines her arm around mine. Her lips brush my ear, and goose bumps rise on my skin. "Careful, Dante. I'm not your property." She pulls back and smiles, though I can tell she's still a little peeved. Her head falls to one side. "Besides, you can't kill them all."
I turn my head, looking into her blue eyes. They're bright and alert and unlike my own, which I'm sure are bloodshot as hell. "I can try." I cup her cheeks and pull her mouth close.
She kisses me for a moment, then jerks backward. Her hand covers her lips. "You've been smoking."
"I thought you were going to stop." She wraps her arms around herself, and my heart tugs at the distance between us.
"Why would I stop?" I ask. "I'm already dead. It's not like it's going to hurt me."
"But you're an angel now," she retorts.
"Please," I say, but the gold cuff around my ankle reminds me she's right. Big Guy, aka Lord of the Heavens, gave me another chance after I died saving Charlie from hell's collectors. He said I could be useful as a liberator on Team Heaven, but he's wrong there, 'cause I ain't no angel.
I grab a bottle of tequila from the table and take a swig as a bunch of drunk chicks bump into me. At once, tequila races down my throat and the front of my shirt. I pull the bottle away and brush off my dark red jacket.
"Damn it," I snarl.
Charlie shakes her head. She's disappointed I didn't turn into Golden Boy following my rebirth as an angel. But I can't help it, because deep down, I'm still a demon.
She pushes the jacket off my shoulders and folds it over her arm. The look in her eyes crushes me. It says that even though I'm not behaving like an angel, she accepts me anyway. "We should get out of here," she says.
"Why? Because of that guy?"
"No, because ..."
"Because you think I'm drunk." I nod like I've nailed it. "Girl, I'm stone cold sober."
Charlie laughs and shakes her head. Then she reaches into my jacket pocket for the keys to Elizabeth Taylor, my candy apple–red Escalade. She jiggles them in front of my face. "Come on, I'm driving."
I pull her close and breathe warm air onto her neck. "You saying you want to take me home?"
She leans into me. "That's exactly what I'm saying."
"Then by all means," I bellow. "Take me home and have your way with me."
Charlie shushes me as people stop and stare. I flip them off nice and hard and allow my girl to drag me outside.
"Get in," she says, pointing to Elizabeth Taylor.
I bow like she's my queen and I her simple servant. Then I climb into the passenger seat and blast Rob Zombie as Charlie drives toward her grandmother's house. I glance over when I notice her going for the Skittles in her pocket, and sigh with pleasure that some things never change. For the first time, I wonder if there's a story behind those way-too-hard, way-too-brightly- colored candies.
Pulling into her driveway, she kills the music. The two-story white house is covered in red-and-white Christmas lights that I strung up, even though I insisted I don't do such things. Grams usually does the job but couldn't hack it this year. She's has been sick for a while now, and though she's tried hard to hide it from Charlie, I'm pretty sure her adopted child knows full well what's happening, even if she won't acknowledge it.
"Want to stay here while you sober up?" Charlie asks, taking my hand.
"Girl, I told you, I'm —"
"Stone cold sober." She rolls her eyes. "Right."
I form my hands into guns and fire them off in her direction. "Smart girl."
She shakes her head. "Drunk boy."
I hop out of Elizabeth Taylor and walk toward the house. Then I decide crawling on my hands and knees would be more convenient. I drop down and instruct Charlie to mount my back and ride me like a horse.
She does it without hesitating.
I fall in lust all over again.
Outside her grandmother's house, Charlie pauses. "Meet me in my room, okay?"
I stand up and give her a soldier's salute. Worrying Grams will catch my ass, I throw on shadow — my ability to become invisible thanks to the cuff on my ankle. Then I head toward the lattice beneath her window. Twice, I fall off and land in the bushes. When at last I'm victorious, I shake off my shadow, and Charlie slides the window open so I can crawl inside.
Her bed is a beacon for my drunk bones, and I stumble toward it and collapse. Sitting beside me, Charlie pushes the hair from my forehead. She leans over and blows a cool breeze across my neck. Within seconds, my entire body is on fire. I push myself up and look at her.
It's been six weeks since hell put a target on Charlie Cooper. Five weeks since I collected her soul. Even now, I carry it with me. I place a hand to my chest, remembering. Charlie wraps her hand around mine and closes her eyes. I imagine she's remembering, too. I wonder if she feels the same thing I do about her soul. That somehow it feels off. I tell myself it's because it's her; she's destined to do great things, so of course her soul would feel different. But sometimes, I'm not so sure.
Admitting this is hard, because one of the most esteemed parts of my old job as a collector was knowing when you'd absorbed a soul, and when you'd successfully deposited it in hell. A soul doesn't feel like a brick inside your chest — quite the opposite, actually. A soul is feather light, and the subtle variations between how one soul feels and another can lead to confusion. But collectors take pride in sensing a soul inside their body. It's like a surgeon guiding a blind hand toward where they know an injury lies. The sensation, that knowledge, isn't solid, but it's there, nonetheless.
But with all the souls I've carried, all the variances I've felt — it's never been like this.
I often wonder why I can't simply return her soul to her body, but Valery says it's unsafe. That it must be stored with Big Guy where it's untouchable. Though why we don't do that immediately is beyond me.
Watching Charlie, my breath catches. Her blond hair falls in waves over her shoulders, and her skin has a glow only happiness brings. Someday, this girl will save the world. Her charity and her work will bring about Trelvator: a hundred years of peace. But right now, alone in this room — she's mine.
I kiss her closed eyelids, and they open to reveal two blue gems. I take her lips in mine, slipping my tongue inside the warmth. I feel her body respond to my touch. Before she can protest, I wrap my arm around her waist and in one solid movement sweep her beneath me.
Parting her thighs with my knee, I lower myself down. Those blue eyes stay locked on my face, and I see her pulse quicken along her neck. I press my lips to that spot and hear her breath rush out.
"Charlie," I whisper.
She responds by running her fingers through my hair and pulling me closer. They slide up and down my back like she's tracing the lines of my dragon tattoo.
Kissing her, I lose my friggin' mind. I yearn to be closer to her, to show her just how close we can be. But I also want it to be perfect for Charlie, because if anyone deserves a perfect first time, it's her.
"Dante," she says quietly, but I already know. She's not ready, and I don't blame her. I haven't exactly been the ideal boyfriend these last few weeks.
I start to lift myself up but stop. I can't help kissing her one more time. I push my mouth over hers and, reaching down, pull her thighs up and press my hips down harder. She moans, and the sound touches my lips, rousing me. I'm reconsidering my earlier conviction about being patient — when a sound crashes through the house.
Charlie grabs onto my elbow and we both listen.
It comes again, louder.
"The door," Charlie says. "Someone's at the door."
I roll to my side, and Charlie jumps from the bed and leaves the room. I follow after her, watching as she thump-thumps down the stairs. When her hand reaches for the knob, my mind screams.
"Wait," I yell-whisper. Though I'm fairly sure collectors wouldn't bother knocking, it still bugs me that someone's outside her house past midnight. I jog down the stairs and pull Charlie behind me. Only then do I open the door.
There's a flash of red as a woman turns and faces me.
The spitfire twenty-something with bright red hair is a liberator. She helped me rescue Charlie from Rector, head of the collectors, but would just as soon castrate me as admit we're friends.
"Thought you said you and Max were going on vacay," I say.
"Postponed." Valery starts to stride into the house, but I grab her wrist.
"No," I say, glancing upstairs, where I know Grams is sleeping. "If you want to talk, let's go outside."
She shrugs her slender shoulder and sashays out the door. When Charlie heads after us, Valery holds up her hand. "I've got to speak to Dante alone, sweetheart."
I wrap my arm around Charlie and pull her close. "Anything you have to say to me, you can say to her."
Valery looks at me for a long time. "Fine."
She reaches into her purse and pulls out a long white envelope.
"Oh, hell, no," I say as a chill races down my spine. "Get that crap away from me."
"What'd you think? That He'd look the other way while you partied your ass off?" Valery shoves the envelope against my chest. "You haven't sealed a single soul for heaven, Dante. You were practically begging for an assignment."
Beside me, I can almost feel Charlie brighten. She's been praying for something to get me off my sin spiral. And now her wish has been granted.
I cringe and step away from the envelope like it has chlamydia. "Tell Big Guy I'll take a pass."
"Actually, this comes with a message from Him." Valery glances at Charlie, then back at me. "You're on probation."
"Probation?" I say, laughing. "Ooh, I'm friggin' terrified."
And I am. Terrified. Because I'm a badass, but he's like ... you know ... God.
"You have two options," Valery says, ignoring my mockery. "You can either complete this assignment or turn in your cuff."
My hands curl into fists. "Wow, those are generous options. So I can do His bidding or I can die a final death? Real nice."
Valery shrugs. "You didn't leave Him much choice." She holds the envelope out again, and this time I take it. In my drunken state, I imagine it burns my hand. Maybe it does. Who knows?
"Max says hi," Valery finishes before heading to her car.
Charlie's eyes are round with surprise. We both knew I worked for Big Guy now, but I don't think either of us was prepared for this. She recovers quickly, reaching up on her tiptoes and nuzzling my neck. "This will be great, you'll see," she says. "Come back in when you're ready." She kisses her fingers and presses them to my lips. Then she goes inside and closes the door behind her.
I stare down at the envelope in my hand. For several minutes, I just stand there, drunk and swaying and panicking about what it'll say. Then I snap the hell out of my trance and pull myself together. How bad could it be?
I tear the envelope open, rip out the sheet of paper, and start reading.
And then I laugh.
Because there's no way in hell I'm going to cold-ass Denver to liberate a girl named Aspen.
Valery is climbing into her car, a black Mercedes S500, when I realize there's something else inside the envelope. I reach in and pull out a pair of small, curved ivory things that look like horns. One is slightly larger than the other, and both confuse the hell out of me.
I call out to Valery, "Hey, Red."
She turns and looks at me, making a face like she's simultaneously asking me what I want and cursing my existence.
"What are these?" I hold up the horns.
"How should I know?" She shrugs. I think she's about to drop down into her car, but she pauses and glances over the top of the hood, the look in her eyes softening. "They're from your father."
Valery disappears from view, starts the engine of her Mercedes, and pulls away. I had more questions for her, questions she's dismissed for weeks. But right now they don't seem so important. Not when I'm staring at the horns in my palm. From my father, she'd said. My father, who died in a car crash minutes before I did. The guy I've seen only once since.
As I think of him, my chest feels like it's on fire. He's given me these two crescent-shaped things, and I have no earthly idea what they are. The fact that he left anything for me blows my mind. Doing this, it's like he cares. Thinking of my dad also reminds me of my mom — of how Rector was dating her in order to learn more about me, and to show me he could get close to those I care about. My dad told me he had that issue nipped in the bud. I'm not sure how, but if there's one thing I know, it's that Pops will make sure that bastard doesn't get near her again. Game over.
Overhead, I hear a knock. Glancing up, I spot Charlie standing in the window, her slight figure framed by the glow of a lamp. I grip the ivory horns and slip them into my pocket. All I want to do is keep Charlie Cooper safe, because even though her soul was taken by collectors, that doesn't mean the same guys won't come for her body, too. But protecting her seems impossible when no one will tell me what the H is going on.
I don't understand why I can't turn Charlie's soul in to heaven yet.
Excerpted from "The Liberator"
Copyright © 2013 Victoria Scott.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Liberator was amazing and so much better than The Collector! This book was more about Dante and Aspen than Dante and Charlie but fear not! They are a cute pair who have the relationship of closest of siblings! Dante’s been assigned Aspen’s soul to liberate, and it’s almost as important as it was to collect Charlie’s soul. But instead of liberating, it seems Aspen’s getting Dante to change back to who he was before he met Charlie. They share a love for partying, fast cars and all things dangerous. But nothing stopped Dante from missing Charlie. This whole book was proof to the strength to their relationship. It only gives Dante another girl to love, only as a friend. Packed with action and winged liberators and disguised collectors, wrapped with revelations and mystery, the Liberator will leave you wanting the third and last book in your hands already! Only one thing this book lacked: Pow! This word a rare sight and I missed Dante’s childish play with that word. But Max and Valery and Annabelle and “someone special” make up for that! And I know Dante’s taken, so I would like me some Kraven…
I read this book so fast! Dante has become one of my favorite bad boys. Not only is he super hot, but he's starting to really fall in love with his girl. Despite his new cuff, he's embraced being a Liberator, sort of. I wasn't sure what was going to happen in this book, but I'm so glad I stuck with this series. So many twists and turns that it had me interested all the way through. I'm eager to find out how their going to rescue Aspen.
I enjoyed this book more than the first and can't wait for the last book in the series! Dante and Charlie both grew as characters throughout this book, which added to their depth and likability. There were some exciting action scenes which caused me to flip the pages even faster. Overall 4/5 stars; The Warrior here I come.
I couldn't put it down Kept me going wanting to know more. All the characters were real. I can't wait for the next book. I love this Author
Disclaimer: This review will probably more than likely (aka definitely) spoil The Collector for you if you haven't read it. Might I suggest you stop right now and read that book, and then come on back to this post and read this review. You've been warned. Look away or be spoiled. A SUPER quick refresher to my thoughts on The Collector: Loved it. I'm madly in love with Charlie. I love/hate Dante Walker. As a matter of fact, I ended my review of The Collector admitting I was withholding final judgement on Dante until I read The Liberator. Which brings us to now. (See? Quick.) I was so nervous to read this book, guys. I even put off reading it after I got it in my hot little hands because I was afraid. See, even though I think Dante is a BEEEEEEP there's something about him that makes me want to cheer for him. (More on that "something" later...) When I read the synopsis to The Liberator and saw that it starts right off with a teaser of "Bad boy, meet bad girl" I was worried. If Dante put Charlie through all those things in The Collector only to leave her behind for someone else? I would have gone Hulk on his behind and ripped off that shiny new cuff of his with help from someone stronger than me. Alas, I didn't have to go find a big, strong someone. Which is to say... I like Dante Walker. I don't L-O-V-E him, but I've come to understand and respect him. (Don't tell him I said that. His ego is already big enough.) I'm convinced he loves Charlie, which makes me very happy. Charlie is my girl, yo! Watching her character grow in this book was fantastic and she starts giving Dante a taste of his own medicine. These two are good for each other. But there's more! Dante also shows that he can care for people that he doesn't have a romantic interest in. THIS is the something that makes me want to cheer for him. He..*gasp* matures! He's not the same Dante we first met in The Collector. He's still funny as all get out, but situations and secrets that he's learned have turned him into a better person. Kudos to Victoria Scott for writing this series in Dante's point of view. I'm 120% certain that I would really, really, really dislike Dante if this series would have been in Charlie's point of view. Being able to see into Dante's thoughts and motivations are what ultimately turned me into a fan of his. And more importantly, a fan of Victoria Scott.
I have to admit that when I got this book I was a bit nervous to read it. The first book was so good and I didn’t want to sequel to disappoint me. Not to mention that in the synopsis, it seemed like Dante would have trouble from his past. Despite my fears, I finally had the guts to read it….Folks, it is magnificent. Plot: I love the way this plot goes straight back into the story but also has some growth in it. We all know that even if we leave our past, our past does not leave us. In time, Dante learns this and has to make some hard decisions. This plot leads to very brain-engaging questions. I mean, asking questions is good. It helps you think and really analyze why your are doing what you are doing. Dante finds what he is fighting for. And that fight is worth everything. Love: This area had me nervous. I love Dante and Charlie and seeing them fall apart is hard. Like all couples, they fight and must find the strength to make it through together. The obstacles in their way may seem at first little, but they do has a significant play on their future. Even the other character that came into play, really made an impact on them both. And I’m happy with the way things play out in the end. Ending: HOLY MOLY! This ending is so good and of course a cliff hanger that I’m dying for the next book. There are several bomb drops of secrets that are OMG!! I’m ecstatic to find out how the last book will play out. This is a fantastic sequel that surpasses all my expectations. The darkness-defying tale mixed in with lots of emotions is a great formula for an awesome read. Even though the journey is not yet over, I’m excited to read the next book. A successful story, The Liberator is great!
This book had much more action and romance than the first did, and now I can't wait for the last one. Does anyone know the title of the last book? I NEED to know it!
5 stars - Snarky and sexy, I totally love Dante Walker! How do I describe this book? This book is so Dante Walker. I totally and completely LOVE that it's from his point of view. He is a badass demon turned liberator, sorta. See, Dante may be a liberator working for the big guy but he's not convinced he's anything more than a demon at heart. He loves his girl and he wants to protect her and fight for her but he doesn't feel worthy of her. He has work to do to understand who he is. Enter his assignment, oh and she has a name - Aspen! POW! Do not fear love triangle peeps, there isn't one. Aspen teaches Dante about who he is and what's important. Along the way, he may have helped her out a bit too. They stand by each other. I love their relationship. I love Aspen and her fingerless gloves! That girl can kick some booty! And if there ever was a soul that should be liberated to heaven, it would Aspen. But don't tell the girl I said so cause she'll kick my butt. She so don't want to be liberated. Yeah, I'm not crossing her, no way. Needless to say, I love these characters. The humor and love between them is so much fun to read. Aspen is a mystery that I didn't get till the end. Charlie is still wonderful Charlie, trying to figure out what to be for her man but really just Charlie and I'm so glad. Love her. Valery? Yeah, not so sure about that chick but gotta love her with that name - though who taught her how to spell it? So wrong. I loved all of the characters. And one that I wasn't expecting to love again - loved him too. This world is dynamic and unique. There really is nothing out there even close to being similar. The combination of collectors, liberators plus the wit and charm of these characters makes this such an incredible read that just can't be compared. As for the story? Who knew where things were going. Every once in a while, I guessed something right but mostly I was hanging on for dear life. One little thing at the end threw me into craziness. Resolution? Yeah, not so much. But you know what? This book has NONE and I mean NONE of that middle book syndrome. Why? Because this book, this series is Dante Walker and he did some serious growing in this book. It wasn't a set-up for the big finale. No it was a training ground for someone who the big guy is pretty interested in for bigger things. I'm thinking that with all the very special people in this story, the one that is most important is Dante. This book is YA paranormal at it's VERY best. You just can't miss this book, this series. It's so good. If you like paranormal even a little bit, then you need to read this. If you like YA even a little, then you need to read this. If you like humor, then you need to read this. If you like to read, then you need to read this. Truly, you will not be disappointed. I mean it. Go get it! POW!
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** The Liberator by Victoria Scott Book Two of the Dante Walker series Publisher: Entangled Teen Publication Date: August 27, 2013 Rating: 4 stars Source: eARC from the publisher Summary (from Goodreads): Bad boy, meet bad girl. Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn't like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance. When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard. With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves. What I Liked: WOW, what a sequel! I really, really liked The Collector, so I was a bit scared to read The Liberator. I totally have sequel terror, and I am the person that would wait until the third and/or final book of the series to come out, just to binge read Book Two and Book Three. Waiting is SO HARD, and sequels are, well, scary. Most sequels end in cliffhangers or depressing endings where the male protagonist and the female protagonist are separated, and one has to go rescue the other. WELL. That is not the case with this book! I am so happy to say that the ending, at the very least, was probably what I liked the most, because Victoria didn't kill us all by doing something tragic and heartbreaking and depressing, like what I mentioned above. Though, we DO have to wait for Book Three. Boo. Anyway. In this sequel, Dante is no longer collecting souls for Boss Man a.k.a. the devil a.k.a Lucille (hehehe, love that!). He is a liberator now, working for Big Guy, a.k.a. God. Instead of sending souls to Boss Man/Lucille, Dante is supposed to send souls to heaven. Of course, it isn't easy for Dante to reform his old (bad) ways. He still likes to party, like when he did as a collector. The difference is, as a liberator, there are repercussions for not sending souls to heaven, and there are repercussions for partying/drinking/doing things that Dante always liked doing. So when Dante is assigned to save Aspen's soul, a girl in Denver, he balks at the idea. Not only does he have leave Charlie, but he has to do something as a liberator - which makes him feel weird, as he was a collector for so long. I love seeing this struggle in Dante, because it made him seem less perfect (sorry, Dante!), yet still, well, Dante. Aspen reminds Dante of his old life, but he has to complete his mission, or he'll be on probation. Aspen is an incredible character. I had a feeling that I would like her by he end of the book, and that she was so much more than she seemed. While she is a little wild and obnoxious when we are first introduced to her, she becomes a huge and vital part of Dante's mission - a more personal mission that he takes on while trying to save Aspen's soul. I love how Victoria weaves one story into another. We as readers are under the impression that Dante will go to Colorado, try and save Aspen's soul, and come back. Not so simple! Dante and the gang (Max, Valery, Annabelle, Charlie, and a surprise appearance!) learn crucial facts about heaven, hell, souls, and... scrolls. Everything in this book becomes so much more than just Dante and Charlie. That's another thing that I love about this book: everything becomes more than just the lives of the characters. It's not just about getting the girl, or being a liberator, or saving friends. To Dante, and Charlie, and Aspen, so much more is at stake. I like that Victoria turns the lives of her characters upside down - but she does it in a way that keeps them selfless, and focused on the bigger picture. If that makes sense. The romance. We have Charlie and Dante, but there's also Max and Valery, and another couple that I can't mention because that would be spoiling something and I refuse to spoil this book for anyone! No, the appearance of Aspen does not equal love triangle of Dante, Charlie, and Aspen. You all know Dante better than that - he loves Charlie so, so much! How could he think of being with another girl when he loves Charlie like he does! Max and Valery are hilarious and so cute. Max is a collector, and Valery is a liberator. Valery doesn't think they should rush things and get married, because of the fact that technically, they're on two different sides. So, Valery evades Max's advances. Poor Max! I hope things work out for them. The end... isn't *really* a cliffhanger ending. I was very satisfied with it, and I did and didn't see it coming. I love how it will segue into the third book though - it's perfect! I can't wait to read what Victoria comes up with in the third book! What I Did Not Like: This might just be me, but I found the beginning a wee bit slow. A lot of the beginning. A lot of it was necessary... but the pacing was just not fast enough. It took about... 40% for me to be completely consumed and flipping pages like a crazy person. But that's okay, because the rest of the book was well-paced and a lot happened, so it went by quickly. The second half and ending made up for the beginning/first half. Would I Recommend It: YES! Read the first book, or keeping reading the series if you have read Book One! I was majorly impressed with The Collector, and I'm equally impressed that Victoria pulled off an awesome sequel to follow up a fabulous debut. Rating: 4 stars. No sequel slump for Dante!
4.5 stars! Dante… oh, sweet Dante. I fell in love with Dante in The Collector. He was so crass and sarcastic, along with egotistical and self-absorbed. What’s not to love, right?! In The Collector when you first meet Dante, it takes a bit to really enjoy his personality and extremely unique language. But since I was already a Dante fan, I had absolutely no trouble re-falling for him this time around. Though I do have to say he’s completely, and I mean COMPLETELY different. His feelings for Charlie have turned him into a bit of sappy love-sick puppy. But no worries… I guarantee you’ll still love him the same. Dante is put on a mission… to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen. At first glance Dante is able to see that Aspen reminds him too much of himself… his old self. While facing temptations, he must remain focused on doing what’s right. And no worries… there’s no love triangle here, as hinted at by the synopsis. In the process of attempting to save Aspen’s soul, he’s also fighting to retain the love of Charlie. A struggle he faces within, as well as physically. I felt as though this book, as compared to The Collector, had a lot more action, hate and aggression, making for a much more heated story line. I enjoyed the new and improved Dante in this novel. He encountered many new feelings, including jealousy, doubt and worry. He doubted Charlie’s love for him more than once. He was wavered on his ability to be a successful Liberator. He worried… and worried… and worried about not successfully doing what he was sent to do. Not at all his normal cocky self. But I really enjoyed this sweeter, more normal side to Dante Walker. Scott’s writing style is striking. The characters are unique and enjoyable. The different scenes and graphic scenarios she creates are so creative. We meet a new cast of characters in this book that weren’t in the first, and become reacquainted with a few familiar ones. The Heaven v. Hell aspect of this story was so powerful. This is such a strong series, I’m eager to see where Victoria Scott will take it next.
*Actual rating 4.5 stars. Whoa guys! This was fantastic! I loved the first book and was dying to read this one, and it totally lived up to my expectations. Dante may be working for the Big Guy upstairs now, but that didn't change his arrogant and snarky attitude at all. I loved that he was still himself, but improved a bit by the end of this. We get all sorts of craziness in this sequel too. There is so much going on, it's very fast paced and will keep you on edge the whole time! All the way up to the end. My goodness that ending!! Aspen is one tough chick!! She is totally off the wall, party girl, and doesn't give a crap about anything. Or at least that's how she comes off. She is like Dante in female form. Her and Dante are like two sides of a coin. She has some major inner demons and she acts the way she does because of it. She is used to being the center of attention, but she knows that people always want something from her. People don't care about her for her. That's what she thinks anyways. I really liked Aspen. As frustrated as I was that I thought she was going to lead Dante back down the wrong road when he was supposed to be saving her, she really was an awesome character, and I loved the change in her though the book.She really came a long way from the girl we first met. Charlie is a changed girl. Or so it seems, but she's really the same Charlie on the inside. She does some things that she normally wouldn't, but she's just testing things out and seeing if she can let go, be more like Dante. What I like the most about her is she is honest with herself. She knows that it's not her. She was always really strong to me, but she totally whips out the kick ass in this. I loved how brave and fearless she was when it came down to things. I also love how she sees the good in everyone, especially Dante. She has the ability to make him want to be good. She didn't really change much, but she definitely seemed more grown up and mature. It took me a while to remember why I loved Dante. I did remember that it took me a while in the first book, but I failed to see how that was possible. He seemed like the same old douch bag, arrogant, tool as he was. The thing is, that's just his personality. Besides that he is funny, tells it how it is, and he truly, really has a great heart! Once I got to see more of the sweet and charming Dante, I remember exactly why I loved him. He may be a jerk, but despite that, he is really great. I guess like Charlie, I am able to see the good in him. I would never want him to be any different. He really will do anything and everything for Charlie. Not just Charlie though. He really cares about all of the friends he has made and will fight for any of them. He was so against his assignment to liberate Aspen, but once he gets to know her, and realizes there is so much more to it than just a girl with a tainted soul, he really does care. She becomes important to him as a friend. I love that balance between total arrogant jerk, and fiercely loyal, good guy Dante. This was just such a fun and exciting book. I love the characters so much. I can easily fall into the story and their lives and feel all the feels that they do. The addition of Aspen, and then more of Max and Valery really made this book fantastic. I thought it was a well rounded cast of characters. I found myself holding my breath, laughing, crying, getting angry, and any other emotion you can think of, while reading this. Victoria Scott is so amazing at writing characters that seem real, and a story that is easy to get lost in. I am loving this series and am dying for more!! *An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.
If you haven’t read book one, I wouldn’t recommend you read this review! I was so excited to get back into this world created by author, Victoria Scott, where heaven hell battle for the souls of humanity, but to be honest, I was so even more excited to be able to read about one Dante Walker all over again. This bad boy capture my attention in book one of this amazing series, The Collector. In The Collector, we are shown this ultimate sexy bad boy attitude of his, where every little thing he did oozed machismo. In The Liberator (Dante Walker #2), we again get to rub shoulders with Dante, but find one Collector/Liberator that is so madly and deeply in love with Charlie. (What a damn lucky girl…!) In The Liberator, Dante has switched sides and now plays on the side for good. No longer a collector, he has now been chosen to walk in the shoes of a Liberator. But rather than embrace his new role, Dante kind of goes on a bender and parties like a rock star. I suppose if you don’t take your position seriously, the Big Guy himself has to intervene and point you back in the right direction. So Dante now finds himself with a mission. A mission to liberate the soul of a girl (Aspen) who is spiraling down, down, down. But leaving Charlie to help Aspen is a difficult move for Dante. And it seems his apprehension in leaving Charlie behind is right. The new friends that Charlie makes has her acting way out of character, doing things that she would never have considered. And Aspen isn’t what Dante expects either. There’s something about her that Dante can’t seem to put his finger on, but he starts to embrace his role as a Liberator and makes it his personal mission to save this girl. But with hell’s minions still out there looking to capture Charlie and finish what was started, Dante’s plate is getting pretty full. Get Charlie her soul back, liberate Aspen’s soul, fight off demon’s, learn how to get wings (yes, you heard me!)… All in a days work! This book was soooo good! Victoria Scott does it again, and Dante Walker is back, and omg did I ever miss him. His one liners that either made me laugh out loud, or swoon like a school girl was something that I really missed and was pretty excited to hear his voice in my head again. Where in The Collector, I found Dante’s arrogance pretty hot, in The Liberator there was just a little less bad boy, and more love sick puppy. Don’t get me wrong, his love and devotion for Charlie is something that is so beautiful and pure, but I did miss his bad boy ways. But there were a few times in this book where Dante made my heart cry. I can’t really divulge that much info as to why, as it would totally giveaway important parts in this book, but dude, this boy can have my heart any day. I absolutely loved the character of Aspen, the girl that Dante is assigned to. After all the crap that this girl has gone through, and as we watch her throw her life away and party party party, we see this side of her that had me in awe. This chick is one tough cookie and I love me female characters that can take care of themselves. The Liberator is easily one of those books that you’ll have a hard time putting down. Not only because of the amazing characters that have been created by Victoria Scott, but also because of an addictive storyline that has you on the edge of your seat. The last quarter of the book was seriously unputtdownable. Vivid details and action packed, Victoria Scott didn’t hold anything back, and I freakin’ love her for that! Just when I thought that phew, everything is going to be okay now, it totally isn’t okay! Another twist and/or turn is found and more truths and revelations are revealed. Fans of book one, The Collector, will inhale this second installment. I would recommend this read/series anyone who wants to meet a sexy bad boy with a huge heart.
What I Loved: I didn't think it was possible to love Dante Walker any more than I already did, but I was wrong. I have MAD LOVE for D-Dubs, like POW! Is Dante Walker perfect now that he's a Liberator? No. But that's the thing, just because he's playing for Team Big Guy doesn't mean his life is all rainbows and unicorns. Dante still struggles with things in his past and the belief that once a bad boy, always a bad boy, but Big Guy has plans for D-Dubs. Plans that involve putting his past to good use by liberating the soul of Aspen, a girl with secrets as dark as D-Dub's hair. (She also rocks a cool pair of fingerless gloves, just sayin'.) Dante doesn't really want to be bothered with an assignment, he just wants to spend all his time with his girl Charlie and can you blame him? I mean, he did lay it all on the line in The Collector, shouldn't that earn him a vacay, a gold star or maybe even a bacon cupcake? Nope. Dante not only has to leave his girl in the capable hands of his BFF Max and Valerie, but he has to do it ASAP. Whatevs, this is Dante Walker, Soul Collector extraordinaire we're talking about. He might be playing for the good guys now but he's still frickin' awesome and he's got this job in the bag. Pow! But D-Dubs discovers real fast that liberating Aspen's soul isn't as easy as he thought it would be. Temptation is everywhere and girlfriend has an iron-clad will, one that could earn her and Dante an extended stay at the Chateau De Lucille if they aren't careful. Dante and Aspen will have to find a way to work together, face their own demons and overcome old habits if they hope to save themselves as well as those they love. The themes of love, friendship, and forgiveness running through this book gave me all the feels! The Liberator is a great example of how a changed life doesn't mean a perfect life. I was a little leery of Aspen at first but it didn't take me long to fall in love with this wounded girl with the good heart and fierce attitude. What Left Me Wanting More: I need Book 3 like yesterday! Final Verdict: Fantastic sequel!
Review: 4 out of 5 stars Contains possible spoilers from the first book. I think I may be in the minority when I say I wasn't completely wowed by arrogant Dante Walker in the first book but I was still eager to get to know this smexy demon and see how he adapts to the changes now in his life and also how his relationship with Charlie would progress. After the events of The Collector Dante has been granted another chance, now working for the big man upstairs as a Liberator he has been given his first assignment to liberate wild child seventeen-year-old Aspen. Aspen is like a female version of Dante, party loving, hardcore, snarky and in a whole load of trouble unless he can save her in time; not an easy task when he is so new to the job and still drawn to the wild side and his past habits. I don’t feel Aspen played a huge role in the book and I have to admit I wasn’t her biggest fan initially but she grew to be quite the loveable character and I feel she was good for Dante, more in a sisterly way. I gotta say my opinion of Dante certainly increased after reading this book! In The Collector he was overconfident and incorrigible but in this he strives to be a better person, not only for himself but also for Charlie who he really cared about. He really grew as a character for me in this book which I appreciated. Charlie was also more likeable, I felt she was too weak in The Collector but The Liberator showed her tolerance and her passion. The synopsis also hinted at a love-triangle but I'm happy to say it didn't exist which I was quietly relieved about. The secondary characters are all fleshed out beautifully and I found myself enjoying all of their interactions - Victoria Scott writes the best dialogue, I adored Anabelle, she is so kick-butt fabulous and I loved Max and Valery who I'm hoping will play larger roles in upcoming books, there are also a few surprises which was really nice. Plot-wise, for me not a lot really happened up until towards the end where Dante literally visits hell but is forced to return not fulfilling his purpose which has set the third book up perfectly. It was a huge surprise and one I wouldn’t have envisioned. The world-building continues to progress as we learn more information about the liberators and collectors; we get some interesting surprises and piece by piece it is all coming together nicely. The Liberator is filled with magnificent one-liners, wonderful new characters both good and bad, a super sweet romance with a few steamy moments and some intense action sequences. Victoria Scott’s writing is beautifully detailed and flows well and I found myself immersed in her storytelling. Overall, I found myself enjoying this action packed, romance filled sequel a lot more than The Collector and can't wait for the next book in the series. Thank-you kindly to YA Bound Book Tours for the opportunity to participate in The Liberator blog tour. POW!!
What I Thought: What a killer sequel to follow after The Collector. Dante is back and hotter than ever, but this time he has an assignment from the Big Guy upstairs - liberate Aspen's soul. Dante doesn't really want to leave Charlie, but if he doesn't complete the assignment, then his shiny new liberator cuff will be taken away from him for good. So Dante goes to liberate Aspen - who is a female version of himself. But this story is a lot more than just trying to liberate Aspen's soul, so don't go into this story expecting it about Dante falling to old ways. It isn't really about that, and it gets much deeper and much more intense than you could ever imagine. The stakes are higher than ever and not everyone will make it out intact. All our favourite characters are back, along with the ones we also hate and of course with the inclusion of some new ones too. If you loved The Collector, then you are going to love The Liberator too... Especially with the addition of some raunchy, sexy parts too. I almost died. It was... well wow. The Good: There was so much more to this story than the synopsis suggests, which is a wicked nice surprise! The Bad: It left on a killer cliffhanger! Rating: 5 book stacks
Dante is the man with a master plan! Victoria..... Victoria.... you never cease to amaze me and The Liberator just knocked it out the ball park! I mean I loved Dante and Charlie in The Collector but The Liberator just took off and ran and I chased after it. Dante has fought his way to being to a better man for himself but mostly for Charlie. He loves her and he would do anything to keep her. He has finally become a Liberator and he is both excited and nervous. I mean after being a bad boy for all those years and doing what ever he pleased whenever he pleased has been a hard pill to swallow but like I said he would do anything for Charlie. Dante knows Charlie is no joke and she will not tolerate any bad boy ways so he is trying to change those ways. His first charge as a liberator is to help the soul of a 17 year old girl Aspen. Aspen is a wild wild child like Dante used to be. After Dante realizes that his charge is wild like he used to be he gets caught up in the world again. It is hard when Aspen is pushing for him to make it happen. But Dante knows if he messes up he will lose Charlie and he will no longer be a Liberator. So Dante has to fight like hell to stay away from the wild life and save Aspen. Charlie has grown so much stronger and she is finally becoming who she wants to be. She loves Dante and they have a great relationship but she is starting to feel her way around and become more confidant in herself. Charlie showed great love and strength in this book and the more I see of Charlie the more I see she is growing into a woman. I am also glad Victoria did not do the love triangle because that would have killed me. I love seeing Dante fight the pull of doing evil again to be with his angel and light Charlie. Once again this is a must read and I need book three like yesterday!
Well holy cow. This book completely blew my mind. It might possibly have been better than the first book which is saying something. In fact, I think it was better. I was really nervous going into it after reading the blurb. Another girl? Was this going to turn into a love triangle? Well, fear not love-triangle-haters because that is not the case in this book! Victoria Scott completely blew me away with this stunningly done sequel! I loved falling back into Dante Walker's world. This guy has got me hooked and I am utterly thrilled to be! He's a bad boy, a rebel, witty, stubborn, strong, and arrogant. And I just can't get enough. Half the time I'm torn between wanting to slap him and wanting to hug him. Mostly hug him, though. All of the layers he has are amazing. Under that tough exterior, there's such a softy and it was a lot of fun having the opportunity to delve deeper into who he is and why he is the way he is. Also, I loved seeing him react to all the new people around. He is so fiercely loyal to his friends and those he loves. The more I learn about him, the more I love him! The other characters were all absolutely fantastic. Charlie had a lot of layers to uncover in this book, too and I liked seeing those peeled away. She showed many different sides and I liked that. It gave us a better sense of exactly who she is. I went into this book thinking I wouldn't like Aspen. I was afraid she was going to try to get at Dante but that was not the case. Their relationship was not at all romantic but it was still just as lovely and strong as his and Charlie's. All the other characters were amazing. They jumped off the page and kept the story alive and super interesting. It was a blast seeing all of them in action and having them work together. The plot was amazing. It kept me engaged the entire time and I was completely engulfed in the story and the action and all of the twists we went through. The last half of the book especially took off. It was one surprise after another and I loved it. There was never a boring moment and I was so anxious to figure out what was going to happen next. And after that ending....man, I just need the next book now. As in right now. As in three seconds ago. Gimme. Please? Another knockout book by Victoria Scott. Pow!
The Liberator was a roll coaster ride of action and swoon, but was disappointing in the fact that it was totally not what I had hoped for based on the summary. I’ve never really been a fan of Dante—or Charlie, for that matter—but I felt he had grown throughout The Collector. That came crashing down in the first several chapters of second book. I felt he was starting from square one or rock bottom again. He eventually grew up, realizing his mistakes, thank goodness, but I almost divorced the book because of this. Fortunately, I really wanted to meet Aspen and see how she would turn the tides of the novel before I gave up entirely. I’m glad I waited. Aspen is amazing character! Actually, she’s the best of the series, in my opinion. She’s one hell of a tough girl, and I like her rough exterior attitude. The thing was, I expected this novel to be more about her and liberating her soul. It really wasn’t. You practically learn next to nothing about her, and she was continually pushed into the background, especially when Charlie reentered the picture. I want to know more! Now, Charlie is still not my favorite character—not like Aspen, or even Blue—but by the middle of the novel, she finally woke up, becoming more aware of what was going on around her and the dangers everyone was putting themselves into. She even became a little kick-ass herself, learning to fight for those she loves. Overall, I was impressed. Okay, that’s the sum up of the characters, but what about the plot? Well, truthfully, I read this series more about for the plot than for the character themselves. And The Liberator weaves in and out of the action, making it a faster paced than The Collector. Admittedly, there were still times I was completely bored, but the swoon in those parts made up for it. The Liberator was definitely steamier than the first novel! However, I found the ending frustrating. First off, Hell was overdone. I like the philosophy of “less is more,” and Hell just had too many challenges that were really out of this world. It was so unbelievable that it wasn’t even scary. I think if it had been toned down—say reduce the horrors of Hell to the Hall of Mirrors, the collapsing room, and maybe some demons—it would have made the pace faster and the events more exciting. Second, I don’t understand what Dante’s role in God’s big plan is. So far, I only know he was meant to collect Charlie’s soul in the first novel and liberate Aspen’s soul in the next, but don’t understand the big picture. And the end only made his part in this plan even more cryptic. In all, I liked The Liberator. I’m not sure how many more novels will be in this series, but I’m hoping to find out more about Aspen, Dante, and Charlie and their roles in the “big picture” in the third novel. Also, I’m curious about Kraven and his past. Fingers crossed!
Dante is on the good side but he really doesn't know how to be an angel/liberator. He still feels like a demon and enjoys partying like one too. He is given a mission to liberate Aspen and he must or someone else can take his job. It is too easy for him to fall into his old ways with Aspen. She is very similar to him in many ways. How can he liberate someone exactly like him? Especially since he doesn't feel like he deserves it. Dante must face his demons and hell itself. Aspen was a great new addition to the story. Also so wonderful that it never ever crossed into love triangle territory. I know many of us had our pitchforks ready when we read the synopsis. Dante saw Aspen more as the sister he never had. They both have similar parental problems and end up being very good for each other in a totally platonic way. Charlie and the gang all warm up to her. Aspen is pretty spunky and kick butt. Her storyline took some unexpected turns. Dante is still very much devoted to Charlie. Their relationship really heats up! Although at the beginning they are separated for a little bit and that part was kind of slow. Dante and Charlie play so well off each other so I was glad they were not apart for too long. Dante will go to hell and back for Charlie and I mean he did literally. I loved hell! Charlie is still sweet but a bit less innocent. She wants to fit into Dante's life but Dante truly does love her for her and not how she looks which was very sweet. Behold all the swoon worthy quotes at the bottom. But Charlie definitely shouldn't be underestimated! A bunch of other new characters and villains as well as some very surprising appearances. I liked that the villains were more involved in the story this time. I think I enjoyed this even more than the first and everything was taken to the next level up. The plot, action, and romance were much more exciting and intricate with this sequel. A very enjoyable ride. Especially the trip to hell as I always think those are fun. LOL I hate snakes so it was no surprise that hell would have them! *shudders* Looking forward to what Charlie and Dante will do next. It doesn't end on a cliffhanger but with some things that I am anxious to see conclude. --- "I want to protect this girl from all the terrible things in the world, but at the same time, I want to do all kinds of terrible things to her." "Are you going to do it?" she asks, pulling her blond hair over her shoulder. "Ravage you? Yes." "How do I liberate a girl who is exactly like me?" "All my life, all I've ever wanted was to take. But with you, all I want is to give you everything--every creature in the sea, every star in the sky...my own beating heart. I love you, Charlie. Just the way you are, I love you." "If I had a soul," I say. "I'd give it to you." "You are breathtaking, Charlie. You are stunning now, you know that. But you were stunning before, too. Not everybody could see it, but sometimes that can make a girl so much more appealing. The beauty who doesn't know she's beautiful. The girl everyone seems to ignore, but to the right person she's like this...like this beam of light. You were a beam of light, Charlie," I say. "I'm just sorry it took me so long to see it."