**REVIEW** GUARDIAN (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part III (Jezebel’s Journey Part III) by C.J. Pinard

The Daughter of Darkness series finale is here in GUARDIAN. Following Lotus’s Journey has been a pleasure. Lotus, half-vamp, half-faery, has been teased and beckoned in her dreams by her evil father, Vlad Montour (a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler). Discovering his ideas for taking powers and controlling all supernaturals, his methods for achieving that, and many other evil acts, it becomes clear that he has to be stopped. But, will meeting with her sisters to discuss a plan of action turn sour? Especially since one was once on the dark side herself not too long ago?

Guardian (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus's Journey Part III: (Jezebel's Journey: Part III)Title: GUARDIAN (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part III (Jezebel’s Journey Part III)

Author: C.J. Pinard

Genre: Paranormal mystery, thriller

Release date: August 22nd, 2016

Length: 127 pages

Buy Links: Amazon US, Amazon UK

Blurb: Realizing that a confrontation with Vlad had slipped out of her grasp, Lotus sets off with Drew and Jezebel to formulate another plan of action. But then a phone call from Tori, the sister she’d just learned about but had never met, changes the course of their plans.

Lotus now has to search for some kind of heirloom or jewel left to her by her biological mother. But where would she find such a trinket? She’d been orphaned for over 100 years and didn’t even know her mother’s name, let alone anything she’d left her. With more determination than ever, the assistance of a witch, and her other gifts, they will help guide Lotus to find it. But what else will they find when going on such a hunt?

The final showdown to kill Vlad has been set and as Lotus and Jezebel finally meet their long, lost sisters, Tori and Blair, they realize the chances of them getting away with killing Vlad and living to tell about it are very slim. Still, their resolve is strong; the sisters are strong. The question is: Will it be worth it? Giving their lives to rid the world of their evil father, Vlad the Impaler, for good?

Find out in this heart-stopping final instalment of the Daughters of Darkness series.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

I have followed Lotus’s journey through each book of the series, and GUARDIAN is a brilliant story to end the series. Lotus has certainly come a long way throughout the series; although half-vampire and half-faery she has lived most of her life in a most human-like manner. Over the course of the series she has learned so much about herself, her capabilities and her family. She has even sustained a long-term relationship with cute, hot Lycan, Drew, a neighbour and protector. And yet, she still loves to make her everyday life as human-like as possible, i.e. going to work and general life as a mortal.

“… why was I living as a mortal? I’d told them that it was because I knew no other way. That was the truth, partially, but the other half of me knew it was because it was safe and harmless to pretend to be human. However, deep in my dark heart, I knew I should venture onto the wild side – the dark side of the supernaturals – and see what it had to offer.”

It is very easy to connect with Lotus’s character in this manner. Her character, within the story, acts as a bridge between the reality and the supernatural world. In Guardian, Lotus has to make some uneasy decisions and to take chances, along with her sisters, in the hope of defeating their evil, vampire father, Vlad Montour (a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler). And, the reader can sense a change in Lotus in exploring more of her supernatural side, especially as she would need this to help be rid of her father.

Told not only from Lotus’s point of view, the reader also follows Jezebel’s as it is also her final book of the series too! This is very fitting as these sisters are so close at this point and in almost every scene together. In fact, aside from Drew, Jezebel is the closest person to Lotus. Both become cautious when they meet with their other two, newly-found sisters, Tori and Blair, especially Tori as she was brought up and worked for their father.

However, there are some emotional twists when we learn about the sister’s backgrounds, their mothers, and just why Tori may have turned against their father. Along with the final showdown, I felt that the meeting scene of the four sisters was a vital part of the story. Were they going to turn on each other? Could they be trusted? These were just some of the questions running through my mind. It is written really well, and the caution and emotion felt real.

The overall atmosphere of the story, and indeed the series, is dark, eerie, and full of suspense and mystery. It darkens still as the sisters try to take on their powerful, evil father. And, it is he that creates the mood and tension. Trying to take the power and control all supernaturals is his goal, including his own daughters. But, did he really love them? Can they really take on their own father?

Complete with witches, succubi, werewolves, faeries and vampires, Guardian has a thrilling, fast-paced story line with plenty of action, especially as the story moves towards the end. A brilliant read for this Halloween. But, I would advise to read Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I and Watcher: Lotus’s Journey Part II before finishing with Guardian.

A copy of Guardian, Lotus’s Journey Part III was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker

**RELEASE REVIEW** Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I by C.J. Pinard

This week we welcome the release of a new paranormal series, beginning with C.J. Pinard‘s LOTUS. Lotus is one of four ‘daughters of darkness’, with the other three daughters being written about by authors Chrissy Peebles, Kristen Middleton and W.J. May. Today we review Lotus’s Journey Part I, while we eagerly await the second part – due out at the end of October!

Lotus daughter of darkness pt 1

Title: Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I

Author: C.J. Pinard

Genre: Paranormal mystery, crime, thriller

Release date: September 6th, 2015

Length: 51 pages

Blurb:

4 authors will each take a different daughter born from the Prince of Darkness, Vlad Montour. (Also known as Vlad the Impaler, an evil villain from history).

Blair – Chrissy Peebles
Jezebel – Kristen Middleton
Victoria – W.J. May
Lotus – C.J. Pinard

The Daughters of Darkness is a series of female heroines who may or may not know each other, but all have the same father, Vlad Montour.

Lotus
Don’t let the pretty name fool you. This daughter is no delicate flower.

Lotus grew up orphaned. Having no idea who her real parents were, she’s been drifting around the U.S. for over 100 years moving every 15 years or so since she just doesn’t seem to age. She’d figured out on her own that she had to be at least part vampire, as she needs to suck on a few blood bags a month to survive.

Working as a detective with the Denver P.D., Lotus is searching desperately for a serial killer who is murdering the homeless of the city. Except these are not ritualistic or thrill killings. These victims have been drained of blood and Lotus knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they have been committed by a vampire.

Her search will take her to Las Vegas, and that is where the true adventure will begin, when she finds out who has been searching for her.

This is part I of Lotus’s journey. Part II will be out in late October 2015.

REVIEW ***** (5* rating)

Lotus’s Journey is a fantastic combination of the paranormal, mystery and crime. This is a talent of C.J. Pinard that is also shown in her Enchanted Immortals series and Rebel Riders series. It is the darkness of the vampires and the eerie mystery of the crime/s that build up a great atmospheric sense and truly captivate the reader until the end.

Lotus Arden Smith is half vampire and half faery. Her human detective partner, Stephan, has no idea that she isn’t human. It is her half faery, she suspects, that allows her to walk around in the daylight, and provides her with the need to eat ‘normal’ food, as well as to suck on the occasional blood bag.

The story opens up at a murder scene, and from this very beginning an unpleasant atmosphere has been created as the author describes the scene of a warehouse in which the homeless human has died. Lotus’s senses are sharp, just as a vamp, and her sense of smell is no exception. The description of the stench is very real as the reader can almost smell the putrid stink. But, Lotus can also smell more than this – cologne, possibly belonging to the killer.

We learn that this is the fifth body found with a similar MO; a homeless human drained of blood, and Lotus is aware of the puncture marks on the victim’s neck. Stephan is aware they have a serial killer on their hands, but doesn’t notice the puncture wounds, and is unaware of the supernatural. But, Lotus is only too certain that it is the work of a vampire.

“The body was decaying, and therefore, beginning to wrinkle and prune, but that did not stop me from seeing the two faded puncture wounds in the victim’s neck. They’d never had the chance to heal since the dumbass vampire killed his victims immediately after feeding. If he was smart, he’d let them live for a few minutes, hypnotize them into forgetting about it, let their body heal – and then kill them. Then the puncture wounds would be gone. But no, this jackass was either very new or very, very stupid. My guess was a combination of both.”

There is an eerie moment as Lotus becomes aware that someone has been following her. Someone is outside the window of her third floor apartment. And she is certain it is a vamp due to their speed and height from the ground. As she goes to investigate further, forgetting her nakedness, she loses them and after an awkward, and comical moment for the reader, Lotus goes back inside.

This scene, along with mentions of her hot, muscled, blue-eyed neighbour, Drew, creates some refreshing, lighter moments. I love his character. Lotus enjoys a tiny flirting moment with him here and there, but knows that she cannot get involved. Although, I am secretly hoping this can change!

The darkest aspect of the story for me is the evil, vampire character, Vlad Montour, Lotus’s father. Lotus never met her parents, was brought up in foster homes, and has the sense to look after herself. After all, who else will? Believing her mother died, possibly at the hands of her father, she knows she’ll never get to know her mother. When she starts dreaming of her father beckoning to her she experiences an eerie, surreal feeling which both excites her and frightens her; excited at the prospect of finally meeting him, but fear of what he may say or do.

After another killing, the same smell of cologne and an almost face-to-face confrontation Lotus decides she needs to track the killer down alone. The one lead she has to go on is the cologne, but that’s not a likely lead for her partner, Stephan, who isn’t even aware of the scent. Lotus takes a vacation to Las Vegas after finding out a source, and once there she begins to get ready for action.

“I slid on the soft leather pants and a loose top, finally throwing on the leather jacket over it. I had attached my Lotus body holster under my jacket. Finding my ‘special’ handcuffs in my bag. I folded them and shoved them into the tiny canvas cuff holder I wore on my belt. Those and the gun had been fun getting through security at the airport…”

The first part of Lotus’s Journey leaves you on a cliff-hanger that you won’t want to wait to read. The good news is that part II will be released at the end of October!

A copy of Lotus’s Journey Part I was provided by the author in return for a fair and honest review.

Lotus (Daughter of Darkness): Lotus’s Journey Part I by C.J. Pinard is available at Amazon US and Amazon UK.

Reviewed by Caroline Barker