Between the pissed off creatures that want demon-hunter Lily Marks dead, and Julian, the fallen angel who just wants her, she's ready for a quiet 20 minutes with her favorite hamburger. If only her life could be that simple.
That she and Julian are even civil to one another, let alone sharing sexy times, is enough to have her fired from the Sanctuary where she works. Oh, and there's that tiny fact that she's suspected of being a traitor. Lily's life quickly moves from merely complicated to I-hope-I-can-survive-the-night.
She must discover the real traitor before she loses everything — and she'll need Julian's help. That is, if he's really there to do good. Yeah, being a Nephilim isn't everything it's cracked up to be, and staying alive has become her number one priority.
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A Nephilim Rising Book
By J. Lynn, Liz Pelletier, Karen Grove
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2013 Jennifer L. Armentrout
All rights reserved.
The rhythmic tap of Lily Marks's combat boots echoed off the steel roof of the Nancy Hanks Center, sending pigeons scattering into the dark sky. No one could hear her far above the corner of Twelfth and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Lily estimated the distance between the clock tower and observation deck to be about a hundred feet. Her emerald eyes narrowed on the tower as she clutched the bag close to her chest. Her plaid skirt swished around her thighs as she whirled, then leaped over the gap, grabbing the tower window's ledge. After hoisting herself up, she sat on the edge, legs dangling in the air. Tucking a strand of auburn hair behind her ear, she glanced furtively over her shoulder.
No one had followed her.
She ripped into the bag to retrieve her prize. As she sank her teeth into the burger, she immediately moaned at the taste of perfectly cooked, greasy mystery meat. In this world, where she spent most of her time knocking the crap out of stupid creatures that thought they could take her on, it was the little things that made her happy. Give her some artery-clogging burgers, and she was in heaven. Pathetic as it was, she needed moments like this.
She flicked a fry into her mouth and then froze. The feeling snaking down her spine was undeniable. He came so close, so fast, that she knew it was him.
"Damn it," she muttered. Solitude and the privilege to eat her food in peace couldn't even be gained sitting on a damn clock tower.
Ignoring him would be a pointless endeavor. The tingling sensation grew as Lily peered down onto the observation deck and, like every time before, the mere sight of him stole her ability to form an intelligent thought. He had a name she couldn't begin to pronounce or spell, so she'd always known him as Julian.
And when he wasn't around, she simply knew him as the pain in her ass.
"Hello, my Lily."
She closed her eyes. Damn his voice to Hell and back. The sound, the deep timbre of the way he'd said her name, crawled all the way to the pit of her stomach, where it smoldered.
She pried one eye open.
Julian's lips formed a predatory smile. A full bottom lip and a thinner one on top curved in a way that was downright sinful. Those lips whispered promised pleasures, and they also carried an intensely real threat.
She needed to remember that.
Her wry gaze flickered over his face, and she bit back a sigh. She knew he was bad. Oh, he was so bad that almost all of her kind feared him. That knowledge did nothing to dampen her appreciation of his beauty. Male or female — both were in awe of him.
After all, Julian had been an angel.
Tonight, he wore black trousers and a buttoned-down white shirt. He must have grown bored with the buttons, though. Only half of them were done, and hard, pale flesh peeked through.
She found an ounce of common sense along with her voice. "What do you want?"
His smile widened. "Isn't that a loaded question?"
She rolled her eyes, taking a bite of her burger. "I'm on lunch break. So if you expect me to chase you off, you're mistaken."
He inched closer, the soft breeze tugging at his shoulder-length blond hair. "What kind of Nephilim doesn't chase a fallen angel?"
"A hungry one," she muttered.
"Perhaps I've grown on you."
She thought about that for a moment. He'd been her shadow for nearly eight years. Sometimes she looked forward to their interactions. They were usually amusing if nothing else. "No."
"I don't believe you," he said softly.
His voice did funny things to her stomach, and she shifted uncomfortably. Her eyes met his brilliant blue gaze. "Don't you have something better to do?"
He tipped his head to the side, chuckling. "After all this time, are you still afraid of me, my Lily?"
What the hell was up with this "my Lily" crap? She hated it when he called her that. It was like she belonged to him in some way. That was a big, fat no. Lily belonged to no one. Okay, that wasn't true, either.
She belonged to the Sanctuary.
"Are you?" he prodded when she didn't answer.
The skin puckered between her brows. He could kill her with a single blow, but he had never seriously injured her. Not even once when she had managed to shove her blade between his ribs. He had simply knocked her away like a fly and continued about his business.
She remembered that night like it was yesterday. It was the second time she'd seen him. At seventeen, she'd been out hunting alone for the first time and was cornered by a deadhead while three more had snuck up behind her. She'd taken care of the one with no problem, but the others had been wound up. One wrong move and Lily had been cornered. They'd circled her like vultures and, just when she thought she was about to bite the big one, Julian had swooped in from out of nowhere, disposing of the gruesome threesome.
Lily had stabbed him for it.
The second time he'd saved her life was something she refused to think about. Like ever. "No. I'm not afraid of you," she said finally.
He flashed a set of perfect white teeth. "You lie."
"You're annoying." She took another bite and briefly considered dumping the fries on his head.
"How can you eat that crap?" he asked.
"It's not crap. It's delicious, and you're interrupting."
"I only care about the state of your arteries."
Total bullshit and she knew it. "I seriously doubt that's what's going to kill me."
"I worry about you."
Her fingers dug into the sesame bun as she flat-out disregarded that statement. "Why are you always following me?"
"I have to."
"Why?" The better question was how he was able to follow her in the first place. Nephilim like her were protected by a celestial shield that prevented the Fallen and their stupid, little minions — a cheesy nickname others of her kind had called Nephilim who'd been corrupted — from sensing their whereabouts.
He flashed her a wicked smile as the hue of his eyes deepened.
"How can you find me?" Since he appeared to be in a chatty mood and wasn't going anywhere, she asked something she'd always wondered. "Is my heavenly mojo not working or something?"
"Your celestial shield is fine." He tipped his head back, exposing his neck. A stupid move considering how vulnerable that made him, but then again, Lily knew he wasn't afraid of her at all. "I will always know where you are."
A shiver tiptoed down her spine. "That's ... that's kind of creepy. Care to explain?"
"Care to come down here, my Lily?"
"Stop calling me that!"
His laugh was overtly masculine, dark. "I think you like it when I do."
Her mouth dropped open as she stared in disbelief. Her temper, which she never really had a good grasp on, rose to the occasion. Shoving her half-eaten burger into the bag, she placed it on the ledge and then jumped from the clock tower. Landing in a nimble crouch a few feet from the fallen angel, she popped up, releasing the blades from the silver bracelets around her slim wrists. The polished bracelets weren't just for looks.
His smile spread. "You're incredibly sexy when you're angry."
Something akin to pleasure shimmied over her skin, and that just pissed her off. There was a good chance she was angrier with herself than him, but at least she could act like a Nephilim was supposed to when confronted with their most dangerous of all enemies.
"I'm so done with you tonight. I have things to do. Like deadheads to hunt, minions to kill, and an order of fries with my name on it." She stopped in front of him, craning her neck to look him squarely in the eye. Being that he was well over six and a half feet, this wasn't easy to do for someone who barely stood five foot three ... in heels. "Now get going or else."
"Or what?" He reached out, running the tip of his finger over the sharpened edge of her blade. The way he caressed it elicited another shiver from her. "What will you do?"
She smiled sweetly. A second later, she spun around and slammed her booted heel into his midsection. He grunted but did little else, which really ticked her off. She swung at him.
Julian caught her hand and whirled her around, drawing her against his chest and pinning one arm between her heaving breasts. "You can do better than that, my Lily."
Her first thought after he'd subdued her so quickly was, wow. The second was, holy shit, I'm dead. She drew in a ragged breath, fully aware of how her body fitted against his hard slabs of muscles and the ... other thing that seemed equally proportioned to his large body. He smelled decadent, like deep, rich male spice. Liquid heat pooled low in her belly, which was wrong on so many different levels it wasn't even funny.
And worse yet, behind the tempting heat building inside her was raw fear. Not good. Fear wasn't something Lily was accustomed to, but Anna hadn't known fear, either. And wasn't she doing the same thing Anna had done? Allowed one of the Fallen to get too close, to get under her skin? Her heart picked up as ice drenched her veins. Look at what happened to Anna.
Anna was dead — slaughtered like an animal.
Heart racing, she gripped Julian's arm as she shoved her elbow into his chest with all her strength. Startled, he let go. Not wasting any time, she darted away and whirled around, raising her — What the hell? Where were her blades? She shook her wrists, releasing them from the silver cuffs once more. "Don't ever do that again."
"I can smell your fear," he said softly.
"You smelled my revulsion." She stepped back. "Never my fear. I'm not afraid of anything, especially not you."
"You're a terrible liar." He prowled forward, stopping when she moved into an offensive crouch. His hands clenched at his sides. "Do you know what else scents this air? Your arousal."
Her cheeks burned. Thank God it was night or she would have to stab him again. "You're insane. There's no way I'd ever think —"
He tsked softly, and then he was in front of her, moving faster than even she could. "You want to test that out?"
"No." She tried not to breathe. His scent was purely intoxicating. Taking another small step, she wondered how in the world she kept ending up in situations like this. Of all the Nephilim in the world, why was she the one stuck with a Fallen who liked to play with his food before he devoured it?
He lifted his chin, and his nostrils flared. A smug smile graced his lips. "Ah, yes, you're afraid and you're ... aroused. I can practically taste it on my tongue."
Heat flared somewhere it shouldn't. "That's disgusting."
His smile turned indulgent as he leaned forward. "You know what?"
Lily inhaled. The smell of him swamped her senses. Julian usually stayed at arm's distance unless he was feeling particularly froggy. Guess tonight was going to be one of those nights. "What?"
"Twice tonight you've disengaged your blades."
Her gaze dropped. Goddamn it, he was right. Unconsciously, she had released them again. She really needed to stab him.
"And you want to know what else?" His words stirred the tendrils of hair that had escaped her messy twist.
Awareness coursed down her neck, and her nipples tightened. Oh crap, she needed to get away. Right now. No ifs, ands, or buts. Their encounters were always relatively brief, and Lily knew better than to hang around. Twisting to flee, she gasped.
Julian stood in front of her, so close that the tips of his Italian leather shoes brushed her boots. At least he had good taste in shoes. "I know what you're really afraid of. You're attracted to me, though you loathe the very idea of it."
Angels had no sense of decency or the ability to be humble. Apparently the Fallen were no exception. She fixed a smirk upon her face. "Not likely."
His burning gaze slipped downward. "Then why are your nipples as hard as pebbles, my Lily?"
She flushed all the way to where her toes curled inside her boots. At a loss for words, she simply stared. Run, Lily, the sane part of her whispered. Run right now and never look back. You'll end up like Anna.
Julian then did the strangest thing. He reached behind her, untying her hair. A mass of auburn waves fell around her shoulders and tumbled down her back. Pleased with his work, he threaded one hand deep into her tresses. "You blush like a virgin."
As impossible as it seemed, she was sure her face turned even redder.
His eyes widened. Lily couldn't think of a time when she'd seen him surprised. Well, when she stabbed him. That had surprised him. But now he gaped like he'd found a diamond he hadn't expected in a pile of rocks.
"You are a virgin," he whispered somewhat unsteadily.
"No, I'm not." Clenched hands shaking and body burning, she tried to step away, but his grip tightened. "And it's none of your business."
His grip relaxed, fingers finding their way through the mass of her hair to run the sensitive skin of her scalp. "There is no shame in that."
"I'm not ashamed!" She knocked at his hand. "Stop touching my hair."
His lips parted. "How is it possible that you're a virgin? I've seen you with guys ... Nephilim. You like to go to that club downtown. This is a curious development."
Sweet Jesus, did he follow her everywhere? Her sex life was something she was never going to discuss with him. She punched him in the stomach, but he didn't even flinch. "I swear to God, if you don't let me go ... "
Unfazed, he shook his head. A sandy lock fell across his forehead as his hand circled the nape of her neck. "What does a Fallen do with a virgin? Dear God, there are so many options."
"Would you stop saying that!" Her heart raced, and the skin under his hands tingled in a way it shouldn't. "And let go of me." There was no way to break his grip without breaking her neck. Warning bells were going off everywhere in her. "What has gotten into you?"
He didn't respond. Instead, he let his free hand roam down her arm.
She jerked. "Don't."
"Don't what?" he whispered darkly. "I'm not hurting you. I'm not trying to persuade you or possess you, am I?"
He wasn't. Julian wasn't deploying any of the mind tricks the Fallen were notorious for. Nope, the warming in her was all her own. It was why this was so wrong, so stupid. What was happening was going to get her in trouble, one way or another. If any other Nephilim spotted them, she would be in a world of hurt. Standing here and not killing him was breaking an entire set of rules, let alone allowing him to touch her.
Julian had to know that.
He caressed the back of her neck. His fingers went to work soothing the tight muscles in a way that surprised her. She never had her neck rubbed before, and she really had been missing out. It felt so, so good.
Her neck arched into his hand without her realizing it, and her insides turned to molten lava. The warming in her stomach spread lower, her body relaxing and tensing at the same time.
"Those men — those boys — you've allowed to touch you? You've never allowed them more than this?" His hand trailed over the tips of her fingers and then across her concaved stomach. She jerked again, bringing them closer. Too close. She couldn't breathe. Her senses were alive, snapping heat through her veins. His hand dropped to the front of her skirt, right above her sex. He growled deep in his throat.
Part of her that was still operating at a rational level fired off countless reasons why this was one of the stupidest things she'd ever allowed. Besides the obvious fact that he was a Fallen, there was her duty to kill him. That was what she had been trained for. The Fallen were evil, devoid of any type of moral code. He could snap her neck right now. She was exposed to him, completely vulnerable. That's what the Fallen did. They lured their victims in and left them for dead.
Julian's hand drifted to the hem of her skirt while his other arm snaked around her waist. "I can bring you more pleasure than any of them."
Her insides tightened. "No."
He turned her around, moving her easily. "Let me give you this."
Oh God, this wasn't good. This was insane, and his warm breath against her cheek was driving her crazy. "No."
Julian pressed her backward, slipping a hand up her leg. "Let me in."
She bit her lip against the enticing pleasure of his hand creeping up her thigh, skimming over a pink, handprint-sized scar. His gentle touch there should have served as a painful reminder of what happened when one of the Fallen got too close. Instead a whimper escaped her, and he pressed against her harder. His breath trailed over the curve of her jaw and then down the slope of her neck. This was insane, dangerous ... and deliciously wicked.
Excerpted from Unchained by J. Lynn, Liz Pelletier, Karen Grove. Copyright © 2013 Jennifer L. Armentrout. 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
First off: I need to point out that Unchained is an adult title. It is not a YA title. At all. With that said, I adored Unchained. It kind of reminded me of a mixture of Jennifer’s Covenant series and her Lux series – just written for adults. That may sound like a bad thing, but it isn’t, I promise! Unchained has the sass and romance that readers have come to expect from Jennifer’s books, and it’ll easily keep readers glued to their e-readers (since this is a digital only release – as of right now, at least). It’s that addicting! My initial thought when I finished Unchained? I have a new favorite JLA book. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Unchained since it was originally announced, so when Entangled was holding giveaways for digital ARCs, I immediately jumped at the chance. And I’m so glad that I did. I’ve been trying to figure out how to review this one since I finished it yesterday. The problem? I don’t want to spoil anything, because there is a pretty big plot twist in this one that changes everything. So, instead I’m going to make a list of reasons why you need to read this book: 1. Lily and Julian: Remember how I said that I had a new favorite JLA book? Yeah, well I also have a new favorite JLA book couple (sorry, Alex and Aiden). 2. Michael: Okay, so I wasn’t entirely sold on him in the beginning, but as the story progresses and he comes to terms with this world, he becomes more likeable. And by the end? I absolutely loved him. (Seriously, you’ll understand why when you finish the book.) 3. Lily Marks: Lily is awesome at her job. She can easily take down most of the guys at the Sanctuary. But that isn’t the only side of Lily that we get to see in Unchained. There’s also this vulnerable woman beneath her title – her duty – and we get to see that, and I loved that, because it made it easier to connect to her character. 4. The plot twist: Jennifer, are you trying to kill me here? I did not see that coming, and it made me want to scream, because I liked ________ before that scene. Seriously though, even though that plot twist shocked the hell out of me, I loved where Jennifer took the story. I could keep listing things that I loved about this book, but as I said, I’m trying to avoid spoilers. My final word: You need to read this book. Now. (Really. Now would be a good time.)
I love me some books about nephilim, and this one did not disappoint. Jennifer L. Arementrout's adult books, are usually contemporary romance so I like that this one was an adult fantasy novel. It was fantastic-a kick ass female lead, an endearing and mysterious fallen angel; this story was really entertaining. We follow Lily through her journey at the Sanctuary, and learn about her life as a nephilim. She's a great fighter and is very smart, and she loves what she does-to protect and defend humans from being corrupted, killing evil fallen angels, and to ensure that none of her own turn evil. I love the action and training part of the story, and how skilled of a fighter Lily was despite the fact that she goes up against men twice her size. I am in awe of anyone who can kick butt in heels and a mini skirt. She has the humor and attitude to make her a force to be reckoned with. Yet, there is also this vulnerable side of her that makes her a great narrator. When she starts to fall for Julian, she has to decide whether her job is enough to make her happy; and it makes me wonder if people can truly, and wholeheartedly be happy alone. Overall, I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would-the premise alone didn't sell me-but I ended up loving it. I didn't find it was good as her Lux or Covenant series, but still an entertaining read nonetheless. Cannot wait for the next installment :)
Unchained was nothing like I expected but I'm looking forward to learning more about the Nephilim world. With all first in this series, Unchained required some in depth world building, character introductions and developing and all the general goodness you need when discovering a new world the author has created. Lynn capitalizes on this introduction by vividly painting a world in the reader's imagination. Enjoyable, entertaining and setting the scene for things to come, Unchained is the spring board for what I am sure to be an amazing series by J. Lynn. I received this copy of Unchained from Entangled Publishing, LLC - Select. This is my honest and voluntary review.
This book was amazing. I absolutely love Jennifer Armentrout's books the Lux series and her new adult romances being my all time favorites so far. But her stand alones are great too. I so wish this could've been made into a series as well. This is the perfect book to get you back into reading after a long semester in college. Highly recommend!!!
"Unchained" is a paranormal, forbidden romance with hints of mystery. Lily is a Nephilim, the child of a fallen angel (aka Fallen) and a human woman. Like the other Nephilim, her mother died when she was a child. She was brought to The Sanctuary, which is a security firm for humans but also hosts many Nephilim who are in special classes and working for what they believe to be the greater good. As such, Lily is in the class known as Hunters, who seek out Fallen, minions, and deadheads and kill them. "Minions" are the term for Nephilim who have been corrupted by the Fallen and now do their bidding- unfortunately, there seems to be no way to bring minions back to the light. "Deadheads" are the name for humans whose souls have been degraded. Angels (and thus the Fallen and Nephilim) can help to guide a soul who is not sure if it should go to heaven or hell. The Fallen and their minions will convince the souls to jump into another human body, which degrades the soul and the soul in the body it entered, leaving a death-thirsty zombie-like creature, which they call a deadhead. The Sanctuary is losing their ability to locate Nephilim children, because someone is feeding information to the Fallen who are picking them up before the Sanctuary can. Once the Fallen get a hold of them, they can easily corrupt and turn them into minions through torture and/or false promises. The search for the traitor is on. Lily is brash and immature but skilled- she is one of the best Hunters at the Sanctuary. She also happens to be the only woman- female Nephilim are rare. As such, the misogyny is pretty high and they are always wanting to hold her back and "protect" her- even though it also seems generally acknowledged that she can do a better job of protecting them. I didn't really understand why, except maybe just... men. Nephilim can't have children, except in rare cases, but no one knows what those are (but I would put money on this coming up in future books), so it doesn't seem like there's a reproductive goal in their protection. There's a lot of repeat about Anna who was a Hunter who fell in love with a Fallen and ended up brutally murdered, and they all seem to think it will happen to Lily too. I guess it's just the cultural gender thing. When she signed the Contract at 22, her body was frozen, but she is now 26. Since she was 17 when a Fallen named Julian saved her, Julian has been following her around (in a very stalkerish manner) and has had a crush on her. Considering he's probably thousands of years old, this is a little iffy (especially since she was 17 when they met and he started liking her). She also pushes him away a few times and he persists until he wears her down (although he does offer her an out if she says to stop, there's not a lot of affirmative consent here). Anyway, they ended up growing on me when I could suspend some disbelief, though I do wish their attraction/relationship had built later in terms of her age and that we could see it grow more slowly. But, hey, it's a romance novel, so that doesn't always get a chance to happen. In terms of the mystery, I felt like it was pretty obvious, but I didn't mind, since it was really a side part of the overall book, which is focused on the romance aspects. Overall, it's fast-paced and heavily focused on romance. Aside from the intimate scenes, it read a lot like a YA book, which is definitely my cup of tea. Please note I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
I really enjoyed reading this one. I love reading books about nephilim and angels so this was right up my alley. I was however confused for a while. It took a bit for me to fully understand everything in this world and everything that was happening as well as what it meant for the characters. It was a typical JLA book; I loved the characters as usual, it was both serious and funny. The storyline was really intriguing and held my interest the whole time. I loved reading about Lily and Julian and everything they go through. I liked Lily's perspectives the most, they were the most entertaining and interesting. I still liked Michael's just not as much. I would have loved some Julian perspectives though. It would have been nice to be in his head for a little bit and understand him more. I really wish there was going to be another book after this one! There definitely is enough material to work with. But since there isn't going to be another one I wish there was more to the end and we got a bit more of a wrap up, which I don't think I've ever said about a JLA book before. The ending gets really intense and is so good! I'm so sad that it isn't going to continue on in another book =(
Can't believe this was Jennifer's second book. She did a great Job as usual. She is an auto-buy for me. I adore her books. The heroine in this book is a strong character. Which is a must for me. Def recommend!
I spent my Sunday afternoon and evening reading it, and I hated when I had to take a break to eat or call my sister, ha ha! It was another gem of a read. I LOVED it! I still can't believe that this book was only the second book that J. Lynn wrote way back in 2008. I'm so glad that she finally shared it with us. The world of Nephilim, fallen angels, demons, deadheads, etc. and their individual roles are well explained. The story is set in the DC area which seems entirely appropriate and therefore easily plausible. I was sucked right into Lily's life and the intrigue taking place at the Sanctuary where most Nephilim live and train. We meet Lily, a strong female (rare) Nephilim hunter, and Julian, a fallen angel who is supposedly 100% evil and therefore Lily's enemy, really quickly. No long build up or slow world building thankfully. Events happen that cause Lily to doubt her long held beliefs about the evil nature of fallen angels and she and Julian begin a secret relationship. Eventually the relationship is exposed and Lily must prove that she hasn't betrayed her Nephilim brethen by sleeping with the enemy. Lily is also in charge of training Michael, a new older Nephilim that has drawn the attention of enemy fallen angels Baal & Asmodeus. I really enjoyed the climax and the intrigue resolution. It fun trying to guess who the traitor was (Remy, Luke, Micah, the twins, etc.) but also stressful trying to figure our how it would all shake out. All the supporting characters seemed interesting so I can't wait for the sequel to learn more about everyone. Bring it, J. Lynn! It'll be another automatic buy for me.
It's no secret that I devour anything JLA, so I was happy to finally get this book in my greedy little hands. It felt like forever for Unchained to finally come out, and I'm happy to say it was so worth the wait. Jennifer doesn't waste any time turning up the heat to a scorching level. Right from the first chapter we get a taste of what's to come. I've read my share of angel books, but I love what Jennifer brought into this lore. The secret world of Nephilim's, the Fallen and deadheads is dark, distributing and even a bit sadistic at times, with more then a few twist to keep us glued to the pages. The action was chalked full of kickass moments. It's fast paced and entertaining with a great mix of mystery, suspense, intrigue and sizzling chemistry. I've always love the way Jennifer gives a certain zest to all of her characters. They all have this witty sass and fire that has me completely invested and holding on to what they say and do next. Lily is an awesome protag. Fierce and strong but vulnerable in her own way. She may be a powerful Nephilim but her passion for the hunt as taken over her life and she's more lost then she believed. That is, till Julian walked in her life and shakes up her entire world. Julian is my favorite kind of trouble. The minute we meet him he sets the tone of the book to a roaring desire. Dark and brooding and just dripping with sex appeal. I love the way he always seems to be there for Lily, watching and protecting her. But there is so much more to this man and not knowing his true intentions right from the start made this even more fun to read. The romance is heart-pounding and delicious. It's the kind of romance that's forbidden, dangerous, undeniable and completely irresistible and the sexy times were sweet and seductive. I really enjoyed the other characters as well and was surprised once we found out who was betraying the Sanctuary all along. I never saw that coming. All in all, I really enjoyed this book. The plot is smart the writing is, as always, remarkable and all of these characters are wonderfully developed and easy to connect with. I'm not use to reading very many urban fantasy, but leave it to Jennifer to have me begging for more. I'm looking forward to seeing where she will take this world and these characters next. A fantastic read!
Review: 3 ½ out of 5 stars This book is Adult Paranormal Romance - Please be advised that this book is NOT YA friendly, not even in a New Adult category. Thank-you kindly to Entangled Publishing for the opportunity to read and review Unchained by J. Lynn, the first book in her new paranormal/Urban Fantasy series, Nephilim Rising. Unchained is a book that has been on my radar since I first glimpsed the cover and read the synopsis, and despite angel books generally being hit or miss with me I found it to be enjoyable none the less. Our main protagonist is 22 year-old Lily Marks who is a Nephilim, she spends her days/nights guarding the Sanctuary where other Nephilim reside, protects the humans from soul sucking freaks and disposing of the fallen angels who cross her path, except for Julian who has managed to work his way into her life. Lily was an interesting heroine, she was protective of those she cared for, had faith in what she believed in and was kick-butt awesome with a fast trigger temper and a quick wit; there was a loneliness and vulnerability about her that I couldn’t help but sympathise with. I came to admire her for her beliefs and decisions. Julian was just ok for me, I have come to adore JLA’s smexy, snarky heroes and the way he was described certainly ticked all of the boxes but he unfortunately fell flat, when I would read his dialogue for some reason it came across as robotic (that probably doesn’t make sense at all), it didn’t seem to flow or sound natural but that could have been because of his age? Not quite sure. I did enjoy the way he cared for Lily but his stalking was a little creepy. The romance was sweet and slow to build; I liked the forbidden love aspect, the banter between them was amusing and the smexy moments were written very well. I’m curious to see how their relationship will progress. The plot was entertaining with a few surprising twists to keep it all exciting; it mainly follows the search for a traitor within the Sanctuary who has been discovered to be working with the Fallen who are corrupting the Nephilim by turning them into their minions. I found the action-sequences enjoyable and it kept the pacing flowing well. Unfortunately the premise isn’t completely unique and there was a lot of information to take in but it wasn’t overwhelming or confusing in any way and the world-building I found to be convincing. There were quite a few side characters and each played a pivotal role, I really liked Michael; he has me intrigued and the twist we are given about his character has me eager to learn more about him. Nathaniel was a great father figure, I liked learning of his link to a certain Fallen. Overall, I enjoyed Unchained but I wasn’t completely wowed by it as I have been by JLA’s other series. Her writing is wonderful and the many plot twists and turns kept me engrossed, I’m keen to read the next book in the Nephilim Rising series.
Unchained... Disappointing. I've read several of Jennifer L Armentrout's novels now and I consider her to be one of my preferred authors. However, Unchained was a complete disappointment from chapter 2 through the end. My first issue is this: I have no qualms about the use of 3rd person POV but switching between Lily, Michael, and the corrupt Senator was too much. Admittedly, I tended to skim through the parts focused on the Senator and Michael. Those POVs were terribly uninteresting and near torture to read through. I would've been fine sticking to just Lily or even Julian's POV. Secondly, reading this book one would NEVER fathom that Lily was freaking 26 years old. Hell, she barely acted like she was 17 with her brash impulsivity and abandon for consequences concerning her actions. The one redeeming quality about this novel was the sexy Fallen Julian who is clearly a mixture of J Lynn's Hunter and Daemon (Arum and Lux Series). His attitude and character was the only thing that kept me reading despite the lack of originality in terms of his character. All in all, Unchained was a poor read. You can clearly tell it was one of her earlier works of fiction. It could've used some serious editing and revamping. I would not recommend reading this book. The plot was poor, the characters were drab, and there's simply nothing too good about it--aside from the steamy scenes between Julian and Lily.
4.5 stars (ARC received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review) Jennifer L. Armentrout has done it again. She has swept me away with her amazing story telling, vivid characters, and the compelling worlds she creates. Yes, the Angel world, Nephilim and Fallen Angels has been done, a lot. But I felt that Jennifer brought a fresh new light into the angel world. From the start I knew I was really going to enjoy this book. And let’s be honest, I enjoy pretty much anything written by this chick! But nonetheless, JLA has added her own unique flair. A flair that captured me and took me on a great ride. First, let’s talk about characters. Unchained introduces a nice cast of characters. They were all interesting and played a great role within her story. And, in good ol JLA fashion, her heroines are flippin’ tough chicks. Lily is a pretty hardcore, stubborn chick. And I loved her. Though she does battle a few things in the book, small and large alike, she’s a strong and determined character. And of course, a JLA book wouldn’t be a JLA book without some smexy men. She definitely delivers a nice dosage of male hotness. First, there is Julian. Let’s just say he took my breath away. Though I don’t typically lean towards the blond hunks, I definitely did fall for him. He had just the right amount of cockiness I love, along with a side of heart stealing lines. Julian is another male I am so crushing on right now. Now, as I mentioned, Jennifer delivers a nice dosage of male goodiness…male godliness...whatever. She introduced a few other characters that played amazing roles, and were also nice mind candy, too. I enjoyed that immensely. (I always love me some good mind candy). I also loved the heat that was between Lily and Julian. Jennifer definitely gives her older fans a good dose of smexy. So, if you don’t care for explicit sex scenes, I would be a bit weary reading this one. Unchained is definitely for the more adult JLA fandom. However, I enjoyed all the lovin’. Unchained is also told in third person POV. It switches between many characters. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of third person, but Jennifer plays it out nicely. Giving great detail into, not only the character’s personalities, but the world she created. Now, I do wish that the book focused more on Lily’s POV. I just couldn’t thoroughly enjoy all the alternating POVs. The pacing in the book also flows nicely. Though it moves fast, I never got lost and it all felt natural. The action scenes also held my interest, which is rare. I tend to skim action scenes. The detail, as mentioned, was good. I was able to clearly see the world Jennifer painted and I was swept away with it. That being said, I loved Jennifer’s take on the whole Angel, Nephilim world. Again, though it’s been done before, she brought freshness to it. Unchained was beautiful, unique, action packed, and intense. I simply loved it! I cannot wait for the rest of the story and to see what is going to happen next. I definitely recommend this book to older JLA fans, or those who love a good paranormal love story that gives you good twists, action, and a fresh take on an old story.
ARC received from Entangled Publishing. This review is not biased in any way. There was no money, gifts, discounts, or favors exchanged for this review. I should hate this. I should rant and rave about how it's just another angel book, and how it's so predictable, and all things like this. But for some absurd reason, I love it. The sad thing about the summary is how it gives away half the book. It's nothing too hard to guess, once you start reading, but it gives out too much information for a few paragraphs. Lily is a Nephilim, the daughter of a Fallen angel and a mortal. She's part of a society called the Sanctuary, which are a group other Nephilims dedicated to destroying the Fallen and their followers. Ever since she was sixteen, a fallen angel named Julian has been following her. He's saved her life multiple times, but she still doesn't trust him, since according to the Sanctuary, all Fallen are bad. Lily and Julian are two characters that wouldn't be interesting alone, but when they're paired up, they're amazing. They're carefully developed, and they seem "real" to me, and probably to all other readers. Lily is like many other of Armentrout's characters: tough, but at the same time, extremely sweet and kind. A thing I really love about her is that she doesn't immediately trust Julian just because he's pretty. She doesn't want to get herself killed, and she's understandably cautious around him. Julian is a mix of Hunter and an older Daemon. He's extremely protective, possessive, and predatory, like other Urban Fantasy characters, but Jennifer makes him seem real. The world building was extremely realistic, but I can't get rid of the feeling that this is an older version of the Covenant. However, I still loved the detail of the Sanctuary and the normal world. I've stated above how some parts were predictable. However, others weren't. For example, the identity of the antagonist is cleverly hidden until the reveal. There is something that annoyed me, though. Jennifer seems to have an obsession with eyes, especially on the main characters. Lily's eyes are pale green, Daemon's, from the Lux series, are a vibrant green, Aiden's, from the Half-Blood series, are silver, and the list goes on. This probably won't irk other readers, since many of my friends seem to love this aspect of the characters, but it is something that I wouldn't mind toning down. I also would have liked more background to both Lily and Julian. There seems to be so many hidden secrets, and I would have liked it if there was just a little more information. Overall, this novel was amazing, as I would expect from Jennifer Armentrout. I demand the next book immediately. But since that probably won't happen, I have a Mission-Impossible-like plan of breaking into Jennifer's house from the roof and stealing her flashdrive I mean- I'll be anxiously awaiting it for the next year.
This is an adult title and not to be confused with JLA's YA Covenant or Lux series'. What I Liked: Whoever made the cover change call, was one smart cupcake because this one definitely depicts the story much better than the original cover did. I always enjoy JLA's writing style, whether she's telling me a story about turtle loving college guys, pure-bred protectors or glow worms, and UNCHAINED was no different. I liked the characters of Lily, and Julian (especially Julian), even if I did feel the need to cover my eyes while reading certain parts. Lily is a great mix of strength, compassion and vulnerability while Julian is an intoxicating blend of swoon and danger. Lily is surrounded by other Nephilim like herself who are charged with killing demons, but it's Julian, a Fallen and her supposed sworn enemy, who challenges her to question all she's believed to be true. The closer she gets to him, the more the lines of good versus evil and right and wrong begin to blur, leaving Lily even more confused. She wants to do the right thing, but she also can't deny that Julian isn't like all the other Fallen, or the way he makes her feel. He's always there when she needs him and only seems to want what's best for her, but when a traitor surfaces, Lily will have to decide whose been telling her the truth all along and whose only out to destroy her. What I Wasn't Fangirling Over: There are a lot of graphic sexy parts. Would I Rec This Read?: If you are under the age of 18 or a reader who is not fan of explicit sexy scenes, then you'll want to pass. This may not have been my favorite JLA book, but I have no doubt Julian and Michael will have their megafans right along with her other book guys. ;)