Bookpushers Joint Review & Giveaway – Kinked (Elder Races #6) by Thea Harrison

BP NOTE: Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!

Kinked cover image
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: Out now!
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…

As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.

To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

1. Thoughts on the Hero

MinnChica: Oh man… Quentin. I think he might be one of my new favorite heroes in this series. If course, I think I say that about every hero Harrison has written. But seriously, Quentin was so amazing. I loved that he wasn’t afraid to fight with Aryal, even pound on her in the beginning. To go from literally wanting to kill her, to falling head over hells not even a week later was so great. Watching as his opinion of her changed and morphed. How they opened up to one another and were able to see so much more, it was just such a special treat! Plus, Quentin was wholly devoted to Aryal, even before they started their mating process, and that just melted my heart!

E: Quentin, wow. I think he is up on my list with Dragos and Khalil for my favorite Harrison heroes. He was so complicated and has so many layers that I found discovering him fascinating. I also have to admit that ever since Harrison introduced him in Dragon Bound I have been curious about him. Like MinnChica, I loved how fierce he was, that he didn’t take crap from anyone and how truly calculating he could be. I got such a kick out of his plan to make Aryal disappear permanently without anyone blaming him. Yet, I also loved how deeply he cared and what he would do for those he cared about. Watching him soften and open up while retaining his deadly edge was a treat.

Has: I am also firmly entrenched in Quentin’s fan club, but I always felt he would be an intriguing and interesting character. Kinked certainly illustrated the multi-faceted aspects of his character, and I really enjoyed learning more about his past and life, especially his conflicting emotions about Aryal which were beyond entertaining and fun to see play out. Their chemistry was amazing and definitely provided a different dynamic from Thea Harrison’s previous books in this series.

2. Thoughts on the Heroine

MinnChica: I was a little hesitant about reading Aryal in the heroine spotlight. She was so hard and cold and unattached as a supportive character. I was worried that she would come across just as difficult as a leading lady. Boy was I wrong. As we got to see the way Aryal’s mind works, she shocked me with how loyal and devoted and filled with emotion she really was. I just about died laughing when she realized how wrong she was about Quentin, and how fast she was to get over it when she found out that he wasn’t out to hurt anyone she cared for. I just loved the fact that Aryal was able to really blossom as not only a heroine, but also a person for me.

E: I have also anticipated Aryal’s story since the beginning when she was so furious about what Pia did to catch Dragos’ attention. Her not really hidden opinion of Pia that was slowly changing. How devoted and single-minded she was towards Dragos. The fact that once she was pointed towards a target she never gave up made the work Harrison did to get me to believe in their relationship really impressive. I also loved her ferocity and her reaction when she finally got some information out of Quentin made me laugh so hard. As fascinating as I found her love for physical exertion I enjoyed seeing her softer side as well. There is a scene when Quentin is thinking as he watches Aryal as she was in her Wyr form and leapt into the sky that so perfectly captured my image of her. She was proud, confident, and comfortable with who she was without any thoughts about changing or confirming. I really enjoyed getting to know Aryal and seeing her come to some harsh realizations and decide to consciously spread her loyalty.

Has: While I love Aryal’s character because she brings out interesting reactions from other characters and I really like how she can ruffle some feathers of other characters which can be fun, I did have some trepidation about her having her own book. However, Thea Harrison really delivered in this book and especially on the romance, which showed Aryal’s hidden depths such as her vulnerability from her usual snarky and cynical attitude. It was fantastic to see her grow and develop especially when she had to face up that her suspicions about Quentin may have been wrong and learning that he can be loyal and steadfast which blew away her preconceptions about him.

3. Favorite Scene

MinnChica: I think I would have to pick the scene at the very end as my favorite. Without giving too much away, Aryal and Quentin have been through literal hell together, and Aryal is about to find out if one very important aspect of her life is changed forever. I loved the support the Quentin gives her throughout the couple weeks leading up to the pivotal moment. How dedicated he was to supporting her in any and every way possible. Then seeing the joy from them both as Aryal accomplishes her goal. It was beautiful. Plus, we got the best line from a book ever. “You really do poop sparkly rainbows.”

E: Ooh those were great scenes I agree. However, I think I am going for the scene when they talk about the possibility of mating and what it would mean from both sides. Aryal said some lines to Quentin which made me reach for tissues because what they meant and signified was so heartfelt I knew if she decided to take that step it would seem as if the world shifted on its axis.

Has: Oh, that scene when she tells Quentin what it means to be mated and what she needed from her mate and what she would give in return was just beautiful. I absolutely agree there was many scenes in this book which were memorable and stood out for me, but since E picked out my favourite one – I will have to go for my second favourite scene which had the big confrontation and sparring scene with Quentin and Aryal working out their differences. It broke a barrier between them and became a catalyst which kick-started their romance and it was so true to their characters. I think it also illustrated that Quentin who held so much inside could let loose and be himself with Aryal which is something he can never be with anyone else and it also shows they were a perfect match which is a theme for them and it is oh so fitting.

4. Dislike about book

MinnChica: I think for me, with the mainstream of BDSM, I was a little worried about what direction this book would take. Especially since the title is Kinked! While I tried to keep the faith early on, hoping that Harrison wouldn’t let me down, there were a few times I was desperately concerned that I wouldn’t like it. But, I was glad to see that both Quentin and Aryal stayed on a path that I was okay with, and didn’t venture into too kinky territory. :)

E: I was also a little worried about this as well given the personalities of both Aryal and Quentin but I absolutely loved how Harrison handled the potential complication. Their discussions added some marvelous levity and acted as extended foreplay.

Has: I also had similar feelings about the BDSM aspects but I do think Thea Harrison painted it perfectly for them because it was so true to their characters, and I liked how the themes of control and letting go played out in the book. I think the weakest aspect of the book, was the villain, I wished there was more information about them because they seemed interesting but a lot of it was glossed over although it is more of a minor quibble.

5. Any other misc. thoughts along with grade

MinnChica: All in all I think this is one of my favorites in the Elder Races series. I adored getting to know both Aryal and Quentin better, especially as they opened up to each other and really let their fears and insecurities show. The romance was beautiful, although it was a horribly bumpy ride. The plot was fantastic, so imaginative and heartbreaking and wonderful. Harrison continues to impress me more and more with every book. I can’t wait until the next one!
I give Kinked an A.

E: So… there are some books that I can reread often and Kinked has certainly made the list. Watching Aryal and Quentin move from deadly enemies to so much more was wonderful. They had to fight not just for love but for the future of all of those they cared about. The fight scenes and the results of the final one really had me worried. I also enjoyed how Aryal and Quentin worked through their emotional issues. Besides their relationship, the threat they faced was a very real one that had some serious consequences. Harrison built on the actions that have occurred throughout the series to create a believable threat. I thought the way she pulled threads from the beginning and casual references that ended up being not so casual showed why she is an auto-buy. Harrison provided action, intensity, danger, love, fighting, character growth, magic, and wonderful continued world-building. I can’t wait for the next story set in this world!
I give Kinked an A+

Has: I was taken by surprise by how much I really enjoyed Kinked because it developed in an unexpected way. I loved their romance which was full of sparks and snark as well as real emotional depth that really developed their characters. The side plot was also full of fast-paced action that continued some of the on-going plot threads from the last book. Everything came together with a breathless climactic ending which had me on tenterhooks! Overall, Kinked was a fantastic installment that had one of the best romances in this series and I really hope we get to see more of Aryal and Quentin in the future because they’re firmly entrenched as one of my favourite couples!
I give Kinked an A

Thanks to the wonderful folks over at Penguin, we have one copy of Kinked to giveaway. This giveaway is open to US Only, and ends November 12th. To enter, let us know your favorite paranormal book character.

Links to purchase

Comments

  1. Sophia D says

    Great review! My favorite paranormal character….there are so many!! I choose Elena from Nalini Singh’s Guild hunter series.

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  2. Nancy L.R. says

    I have so many fave paranormal characters.
    Cat from Night Huntress
    Charlie Davidson
    Mercy Thompson
    Kate Daniels
    Merit

    And don’t get me started on the heroes. sigh

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  3. Rebe says

    Oh, I agree that Dragos and Khalil are my favorite Harrison characters! Other PNR/UF characters I love are Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels (and Curran, of course!), and Lily and Rule Turner (from Eileen Wilks’ the World of the Lupi series).

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  4. Kai W. says

    I love Elena but I also love Kate Daniels. Elena pushes the limits and Kate Daniels tries to make her decisions by choosing the lesser evils.

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  5. Bernie says

    I Cant pick one!!!! I am always in love with the one I am reading at that time!!!
    The book looks GREAT!!!!!!

    ReplyReply
  6. Jennifer M(OR) says

    I have so many. I love Dragos and Lucas from Nalini Singh’s Psy series and Elena from Guild Hunter.

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  7. Joani S says

    I have a lot of favs, but the first one that came to mind was Angel Crawford from the zombie books by Diana Rowland. I’ve recently listened to those audio books and they were fantastic!!

    ReplyReply
  8. Pamk says

    would have to be elena from Nalini since she’s the last one I read but I have lots of favorites. One I can’t wait for is Nix from Kresley Cole.

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  9. Sarah says

    Great review. Tough question, though! I have to say that I love Curran. He is just such an awesome, issue-filled character, and so perfectly matched with Kate Daniels. (Though I must admit a more than sneaking fondness for Tiago, too!)

    ReplyReply

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