Batty Book Review! DELIVER ME FROM TEMPTATION (Paladin Warriors #2) by Tes Hilaire

Published December 30, 2012 by The Author

Book Title: Deliver Me From Temptation

ISBN: 9781402264375

Author: Tes Hilaire

Series: Paladin Warriors #2

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Category: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy Romance, Vampire

Main Characters: Jessica/Logan

Author’s Website: http://teshilaire.com/

Sales Links: Amazon| B&N | BAM! | Powell’s | IndieBound

Source: NetGalley. No remuneration was given in exchange for this review. It is 100% my honest opinion.

Rating:3.5-full-moons 3.5 FULL MOONS

PUBLISHER’S DESCRIPTION:

Logan Calhoun is the last full-blooded Paladin, the future leader of a race of immortal warrior angels. The heavy responsibility of continuing the Paladin line falls to him, and the last thing he should do is get involved with a human.

Then fate throws Jessica Waters, a homicide detective who doesn’t believe in fate or divine intervention, into his path. Her devotion lies in her Glock and a good set of handcuffs. Like Logan, she’s a warrior for her people, and she awakens within him something he’d never thought he’d feel. But she’s also as human as they come…

Heather’s Review:This book reminded me of the way series develop over time — they eventually hit a thematic stride that give earlier books more coherence, and while this book was still not perfect, it was substantially better than DELIVER ME FROM DARKNESS. Emotionally, TEMPTATION touched me in ways DARKNESS didn’t. I cared about the characters, and I felt involved in their troubles. I snickered, I squeezed the edges of my Kindle, I cried… This series definitely has the potential to keep improving.

What Didn’t Work

The plot felt chunky and confused at times, as if major parts were missing, and some of the others felt randomly ordered. By the end everything comes together in a conclusion that makes sense, but while reading, it seemed like the narrative wandered aimlessly at times, randomly jumping from one sub-plot to the next. It wasn’t impossible to keep up, but it could be a distraction.

Two central characters lacked dimension. Jessica’s partner, Mike, was a cardboard cutout of the hard-nosed detective with a soft spot for his partner (in a father-daughter way). His smart mouth and constant distrust of Logan put Jessica in more danger than she needed to be in. There is a hint that there is something more to Mike than meets the eye, but we haven’t seen it yet, so… we’re left with the cardboard.

Worse for the health of the series as a whole, was Ganelon, the fallen Palladin and now demon king. He is such a ridiculous, mustache-twirling caricature of a villain, it’ more toward funny than scary. If readers aren’t scared of your central villain, it’s a problem. Yes, he can blow away our heroes with a puff of his breath, and yes, he’s batshit crazy (he likes to cackle), but he’s not truly terrifying. He’s like a cartoon devil, and that robs some scenes of real gravitas.

The ending… I’m of two minds on the ending. Of course, I can’t discuss it with any depth so I won’t give it away, but let’s keep in mind that this is a Paranormal Romance, so that gives you an idea… it did make me cry, but it also felt too sudden and too pat. I have a dual personality reader living inside of me. It’s very sad at times.

I’m still kind of uneasy about the use of Christian imagery and mythology in paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Not because it offends me, but it just doesn’t sit right. Then again, I haven’t been on board the recent explosion of angel stories, either, so maybe I’m just not familiar with the genre’s tropes yet. Besides, I  every other mythological and religious pantheon has been fair game over the years, so why not Christianity?

What Worked

While I’m still not big on “we’re-in-love-because-we-were-destined-before-time” stuff, I did ultimately like Logan and Jessica. The smexy was MAJORLY hot, and yet deeply spiritual at the same time, just the way I like it. Their reasons for pushing each other away were annoying — but not because they didn’t make sense. I’m just the kind of silly romantic that wishes they’d just GET TOGETHER ALREADY! Of course, I’d be annoyed if they did. LOL. Unlike Roland and Karrissa, I felt for them, liked them as individuals, got what they were going through (ironic, considering Roland and Karrissa were a vampire/human love story, my favorite!), and found the idea of them together not only palatable, but believeable.

Logan is freaking HOT. And while still fully masculine, strong, and alpha, he wasn’t so grating in that possessiveness as Roland was in the first book. Of course, as the series goes on and we get to know more characters, those that came before don’t feel so much like they exist in a vacuum. But I really dug Logan and his struggles with his responsibilities vs. his feelings for Jessica. He was protective, but not stalker scary possessive.

I liked Jessica, too. Sure, she’s difficult, and with more than a dash of Eve Dallas from JD Robb’s In Death series, but… she had her own special flavor and backstory motivations that had me invested in what was happening to her, and understanding of her reluctance to buy what Logan was selling. If I were her, no matter how hot he was, or how much he smexed her up, I’d feel the same way.

The Paladin Brotherhood boys are really growing on me, their own subplots starting to sprout, their personalities expanding, and each one’s unique brand of sexy becoming more prominent. I only hope the antagonists get the same kind of development, because so far their threat seems paper thin.

The development of what I think is going to be the meta-arc of the series is coming along nicely. The next book will tell for sure, I think.

Most of all, the overall non-romance plot of TEMPTATION was really well done… there wasn’t much of one in DARKNESS, so I can’t compare them, but I can say that having that theme to hold this book together did it a lot of service. I was actually interested in the case, and wanted to know how it tied in to the other things going on around it. The answers are pretty explosive, and add great flavor to how the story turns out.

You know, thinking of it now, maybe Roland and Karrissa should get another book, to make their story more complete, rather than  just serving as the weak foundation for what is turning out to be a much better series than it started out to be. I want to know what happens to them next!

Anyway, while DELIVER ME FROM TEMPTATION isn’t QUITE up to four stars yet, if I could give it 3 and 3/4 stars, I would. With any luck, the next book will be even better. I enjoyed TEMPTATION, and I do really look forward the next installment!

@~~~~~@

OOOOO – Five Full Moons: OMG I LOVE THIS BOOK GO GET IT RIGHT NOW!
OOOO – Four Full Moons: I REALLY liked this. Well worth reading, and possibly re-reading!
OOO – Three Full Moons: Pretty Good. Worth a read.
OO – Two Full Moons: Not really to my taste, but not terrible.
O – One Full Moon: Has serious flaws that make it difficult to read and review fairly.

I also use half-moons as necessary. I should make it clear that I do review books on a number of levels, emotional and structural being the major ones. I might read a book with serious grammar and spelling flaws, but it could still win my heart due to characterization or story. Or a perfectly structured novel might leave me feeling nothing, and won’t get a great review. I DO always try to find something positive to say about a book, or I won’t say anything much at all. I DO NOT engage in mean-spirited snark, although I do give constructive criticism. As a writer, I can’t stand the former, and always appreciate the latter, even if it’s “negative.”

Hope this makes sense. Any questions, comments, or vague misgivings are welcome in the comments!

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