Title: UNRAVELED (The Gatekeeper Chronicles, #2)
Author: Dina M. Given
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 31, 2015
BlurbEmma Hayes, a mercenary turned monster hunter, finds herself the secret savior of Earth as she attempts to battle creatures, called Monere, and keep unsuspecting humans safe. Emma already has blood on her hands, and the tide of Monere keep coming. She quickly learns that not all battles can be won with a gun and she must decide whether to take up Sharur, the magical battle axe, which may trigger a latent and terrifying magical ability within her. Emma’s monster hunting skills also catch the attention of a government operative who enlists her help to discover the identity of another hunter. This investigation leads Emma deep into the heart of a supernatural organized crime Syndicate, and all of her notions about the evil nature of these creatures are called into question when she meets The Syndicate’s leader. Can Emma unravel the true nature of the Monere and come to terms with her own magical ability before the next gateway opens, threatening the future of humankind?
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ExcerptWith this proximity, I could see each hard angle of Alex’s face and body. I had either never had the luxury of this kind of quiet downtime with him, or perhaps I had never allowed myself to really look at him before, but I did now. His light hair was longer than usual and mussed from the excitement of the evening. A stray lock fell across one brilliantly green eye, the color of a lush rainforest. His body tensed, showing off every taut muscle through his thin T-shirt. He was beautiful, but he didn’t know it, or if he did, he had never used his looks to his advantage. I had never seen him flirt, throw around an enticing smile, or pin someone with a smoldering stare. Although he could certainly do it, he probably thought that kind of influence was a form of cheating. He could be such a Boy Scout, but it was charming and made him trustworthy, and to trust someone was more important than a bad boy attitude any day. This man sitting before me had sacrificed his own safety several times to save me. His job had initially been to keep an eye on me for Alcina and the Mage Council, and kill me if need be. Not only did he defy his orders, but he did so spectacularly when he saved my life in Citi Field and sided with a shifter to ensure my escape. He defied his people and his prejudice for me. The sultry air in the subway car seemed to grow warmer and closer as these thoughts smoldered low in my belly. A rush of longing and gratitude swept through me. Alex must have sensed it because he chose that moment to lift his head, and our eyes locked. His expression reflected everything I was feeling, and I was consumed by a desire to see whether the Boy Scout would ever explore bad boy territory. I stood slowly, as if trying not to spook a nervous horse that was on the precipice of bolting, before lowering myself onto the futon next to Alex. His eyes followed my every movement, sweeping across each curve of my body. His expression didn’t change, but his body stilled, all of that nervous fidgeting coming to a grinding halt. I slid so close to Alex my thigh rubbed against his, and he reacted like I had electrocuted him with my touch, his leg jerking at the sudden sensation, but he didn’t move away from the physical contact. “Thank you,” I said so softly it seemed as though all of the upholstered fluff in the room had absorbed the sound. “For what?” Alex asked, his eyes now resting on my leg where the clothing had burned away to reveal the newly healed, creamy skin. “For everything,” I said with a small laugh, and he looked up then met my gaze. “Seriously, you saved my bacon a few times now, and I don’t think I ever thanked you. I know you didn’t have to do it, and I know it went against your orders. You put yourself at serious risk for me.” His warm hand slipped into mine, and I embraced the unexpected touch, wrapping my fingers around his. “Emma, no matter what happens I want you to know that you mean everything to me. You always have. Even though I may have lost my way, that truth will never change. I need you to believe that.” The burning sincerity in his eyes was proof enough. “I do,” I said, squeezing his hand gently for emphasis. It felt a lot like he was saying good-bye. Maybe all of this was just too much for him. Tears sprung to my eyes, unbidden, and I turned away to hide them. Alex hadn’t missed them, though. With his free hand, he cupped my chin tenderly and turned my head to face him again. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to upset you.” He looked on the verge of tears himself. “You didn’t. It’s just that… Well, there haven’t been very many people in my life who have cared enough to want to help me, or to try to save me.” Even though I didn’t know exactly what Alex had meant by his last statement, I felt compelled to let him know I wanted to be there for him too. “If you ever do lose your way, I promise I’ll help you find it again.” Our gazes were locked together in a need for connection. I became hyperaware of the sensation of my thigh pressed against his and the comforting touch of his hand in mine. My leg shifted minutely, as if it had a mind of its own and wanted to increase the sensation of that subtle touch, calling attention to it. It had the desired effect. Alex watched me through heavy lids, and I could suddenly feel the air thicken with anticipation. We were so close. All I had to do was lean in a couple of inches. I wasn’t sure if I moved, but Alex’s eyes darted to my lips, which I licked unconsciously. He sucked in a hard breath as his own lips parted, and I could see his muscles bunching under his thin T-shirt as his body prepared to move toward me. Unhidden (The Gatekeeper Chronicles, #1)
It’s not always easy to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys, especially when your heroine is a trained killer and she may be falling in love with her evil hunter… Emma Hayes, a former military Special Forces Operative turned mercenary-for-hire, finds her tightly controlled world turned upside down when she is attacked by horrible monsters. Emma must use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive as she tries to solve the mystery of why she has been targeted. Her list of enemies keeps growing - from Zane Shayde, an evil Mage, to a secret branch of the US government - and she doesn't know if there is anyone left she can trust. To complicate matters further, Emma is inexplicably drawn to Zane in a way she doesn’t quite understand, even knowing her life is forfeit if captured. Who is he and why does he have this affect on her? How can she fight a being that calls to her, body and soul? Emma is left haunted by questions, doubts and fears as to why she has been targeted, when they will come for her next, and how she will possibly be able to survive against an enemy she doesn't understand.
About the AuthorDina Given lives in rural New Jersey – home of farms, horses and the largest hot air balloon festival in North America – with her husband, two crazy kids, and one rescue dog. She is an exercise enthusiast and avid lover of food and wine (hence the need to exercise). Dina also works full time for one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. She attributes her ability to juggle family, work and writing to her obsessive, hyper-focused, Type A personality.
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My Rating 4***Mysterious Female Monster Hunter ~ Stars
Author: Dina Given
Type: Book 2 of The Gatekeeper series
POV: First Person - Multiple
“Hope could change the tides of war and save the souls of men, but for me, it was a poison.” Emma
Unraveled continues the madness of Emma Hayes aka Ash. After finding out she is not from Earth but from another world. Ash was able to escape with “Sharur” which we learned why everyone wanted it. It was the AXE that held the power to open up any worlds, it was powerful and it could destroy so much if it landed in the wrong hands. So much happens on this book that had me on the edge of my seat. The suspense, the thrilled was driving me mad. I had so many questions and I felt I couldn’t read this book fast enough.
After Emma’s memory has been given back to her she still couldn’t remember her previews life. She started having nightmares but she knew well that they were memories and it scared her. Finding out she has powers but don’t know how to use them yet made her unease she worried her dark side will hurt others. Even thought we don’t get to see all her power on this book we do see some and I am so thrilled to see her in action using them. All the new energy she gets from the Axe scared her so much she hides it but then she realized she is not strong enough to fight on her own and she depends on this Axe to help her on this new journey that is her new life.
“The weapon didn’t just destroy; it erased. It left behind nothingness, removing its target from the world completely.” Emma
Emma starts killing monsters, she starts sensing evil and gets on to killing them she doesn’t know why but she only destroys the ones she feels are evil and deserves it but leaves the good ones alive. She finds herself on earth fighting all kinds of creatures some good and some bad. One minute she is resting the next she is fighting for her life, this book is so addicting I just couldn’t put it down I had to know what will happen next. How was Emma going to find her step brother Daniel? Would Zane ever turn back to being himself and not the beast he was forced to be? Would Alex want more than just friendship?
I fell in love with Zane from book one and his wildness, coldness, madness drove me insane. He was HOT and scary at the same time but I just couldn’t help falling head over heels and madly in love with this badass beast. Zane was still wild trying to fight the beast inside of him while he try to forget about his love Emma aka Ash, but he was still there trying to fight for her even thought the beast inside of him kept telling him to kill her; he just couldn’t do it. He had hope for them but at the same time he didn’t I was so frustrated.
“I could think of nothing except how much I wanted to rewind time to when we were both young and madly in love, when my mind had been my own.” Zane
“Her presence also sparked a new drive within me to keep fighting against the snarling beast inside that wanted nothing more than to break free and tear everyone’s throats out.” Zane
Alex, wow I loved him so much but the love triangle was making me so anxious it had me on the edge I just couldn’t handle it. I loved him but just not like that, for me Zane was it from the beginning and having Alex’s showing his feelings on this book just made me feel sad because he deserves his better half and in my heart Emma and Zane are it even thought they were still fighting against each other to survive all their demons. Alex was always there to help Emma and protect her thought and I loved him for that. He betrays her and she was devastated but he had his reasons and even thought I understand them it was hard to swallow. He was trying so hard as well to help his best friend Zane and I admired him so much for it for putting his friendship first over the feelings he had for Emma.
“She could destroy me with a simple rejection, yet I was drawn to her like an insignificant gnat to a black widow’s web” Alex
Emma is trying to find answer to her new identity and in the midst of the madness she meets so many new characters, she tries to survive so many times I never knew what was coming next. There was dragons, monsters, shifters, Elves, and all kinds of creatures, powerful gods and not so powerful ones but she finds herself in a complete different situation trying to figure out how to survive this madness and why that was the question why does everyone want her?. After a book full of action and suspense we get some answers at the end. However, I don’t get the closure I need about her love story with Zane there’s still so much more I want to know and now I have to wait lord know how long for the next book to find out what’s going to happen next. They still have a war to fight and another world to save and it’s just madness that I can’t wait to get my hands on and see how this is going to end. I feel like I just finished watching an episode of Game of Thrones where you are left full of anxiously dying and waiting and craving for more.
“I would avenge the woman who’d had her child stolen from her, who hadn’t been able to see that little girl grow up. I will also avenge myself for my lost childhood and never knowing the love of a mother.” Emma
"ARC kindly provided by author via blog tour, in exchange for an honest review."
***BR with my girl LIZ***
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"Hope could change the tides of war and save the souls of men."-Emma
Unraveled is the second book in The Gatekeeper Series. Dina Given offers up another supernatural mix of mysterious creatures, heart stopping action, and a constant undercurrent of romance to keep your blood pumping the entire read.
As Unraveled begins, Emma (Ashnan) is still recovering from the mighty battle that took place in the conclusion of Unhidden. She has the Sharur (the magical ax) and Eddie by her side. Alex is recovering from his injuries from the battle and Jason has gone into hiding with Lilly. Zane is still out there and still wants her but yet is driven to kill her by the evil magic seeping through his soul. Emma is experiencing self doubt over her past choices and she is striving to overcome her fears for the future.
No one can be trusted. The Sharur calls to Emma and longs to find that spiritual connection with her. She is resisting. Alone in New York and unsure of her allies, Emma longs for her love for Zane to heal him. She longs for her friendship with Alex to be healed, she wants protection for her friend Jason, and for the evil forces to be sent back to their world forever. Through it all, Emma maintains a witty spirit and a she carries a spark that leaves a smile on your face the entire read.
"I should have been dragging the woman out of the restaurant by that point. She screamed bloody murder at the scene. I couldn't blame her, but God help me, I wanted to slap her and tell her to shut the hell up. Some savior of the human race I was."-Emma
Told in multiple POV Unraveled offers up another fresh blend of "comic con" type creatures, fierce action, some sexy heroes, and one bad ass heroine! The characters are well developed and their connections are clearly established throughout the series. There are several secondary characters in this series. I feel that you must be 100 percent invested in order to follow all of the twists and turns in this plot. As the action in the story intensifies, the love story continues to deepen. Emma is obviously meant to be with her first love Zane and yet Alex is able to offer her the comfort and care in her darkest hours. (Not to mention the loyalty and deep friendship she feels for Jason.) My heart broke for these characters as they grappled with finding solace in their situation.
"The fruitless hope that we might be together again was the only thing keeping me connected to the last thread of humanity I had left. I clung to it like a drowning man thrown a life preserver."-Zane
Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this series to all Paranormal/Sci-Fi fans. This series has vampires, demons, dragons, spirits, elves, and much more. However sexy Emma and Zane are together (or could be together), the romance element is definitely secondary in this series. Although it enhanced the tension in the read, I was sadly disappointed that there wasn't more physical connection between Emma and Zane. I guess we will have to find out what happens in the next installment of the series! The tempo of the writing is steady as the sounds and sites of New York City come to life and battle the mystical creatures of other worlds. You are truly transported to the battle field and immersed into this fantastical mystical world. No doubt the ending left me on pins and needles. My kindle is ready and waiting for more!
~BR with my girl LOYDA!
"ARC kindly provided by Author via Blog Tour, in exchange for an honest review."