Review: Twisted (Eternal Guardians, Book 7) by Elisabeth Naughton

Tempted.inddReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Cynna is a spectator of an interesting fight.  Nick is fighting for his survival without losing who he is.  Almost right away this author shows how ugly the beast of sexual and mental abuse is.  I found that even though this is part of a series, you could read this book by itself.  But if you want to know more about the Guardians, you’ll want to stay true to the series.

If you’re someone that likes Mythology (one of my favorites in English class) you’ll see that it’s combined with a group trying to protect us humans and half-breeds.  You might even recognize some of your favorite gods and those you loved to hate.  If you like some action in your read then this book will be perfect for you.  On top of that, Elisabeth adds a mystery into the mix that will heighten your reading experience – who doesn’t love a good mystery.

An interesting character to watch out for is Ari – you’ll understand when you meet him.  But he also makes me curious – what’s his story.  Nick gives the readers hints but I still found myself wanting to know more.  Both of the main characters are strong willed but for different reasons but that doesn’t stop them from realizing how much they need each other.  Once you get involved in the story, you will find it hard to put down – there’s just no good stopping point because something else will come up that will grab your attention.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

Get into Bed with Elisabeth Naughton (Author Interview 2)

Elisabeth NaughtonKeira: The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld. Which one does Nick descend from?

Elisabeth Naughton: Nick is a special case. Technically, he’s not a guardian. Though he has the marking of the guardians and he’s Demetrius’s half brother, he isn’t one of them. He’s the leader of the half-breeds, the exiled half-Argolean, half-human population that resides in the human world. From book one, MARKED, Nick has been a mystery. Though he and Demetrius are brother’s, they don’t hail from the same hero. In fact, he doesn’t hail from any hero. Nick and Demetrius share the same mother mother—the once mortal-turned goddess-now dead Atalanta. However, Nick’s true father was revealed in BOUND, book six. He is the son of Krónos, the most malicious of all the gods. And in an attempt to free himself of his prison in Tartarus, Krónos has hidden special powers inside Nick which are now coming to the forefront.

Keira: How does he end up in the son of Hades’ clutches? Why must his will be broken?

Elisabeth: Nick and Demetrius share the same soul mate – Isadora, the queen of Argolea – and Isadora chose Demetrius. In the end of Bound, Hades arrived to claim Isadora’s soul because of a deal she made with him earlier in the series. In an attempt to save her, Nick made a deal with Hades…his life for Isadora’s. But Hades took one look at him and realized he was Krónos’s bastard son and could sense the powers hidden inside him. Hades wants those powers for himself, so he’s handed Nick off to his son Zagreus—the Prince of Darkness—to break him and unleash those powers. And when that happens, Hades will swoop in and claim them and become the strongest of all the gods.

Keira: Cynna is not a typical heroine. She’s had to do some pretty bad things (especially to our hero). Does this make her a damaged heroine?

Elisabeth: Yes, definitely. Very damaged. She comes from a very dark place, made some bad choices, made a deal she can’t change, and she’s had to live with that ever since. In Nick she sees a glimmer of the person she could be. The question is whether or not she’s willing to stand against the god she’s indebted to and take the chance to become something more.

Keira: We know the appeal of damaged heroes – was there any differences (pitfalls/pluses) to writing about a damaged heroine?

Elisabeth: Emotionally closed off heroines are very hard to write because authors have to walk a fine line between being true to the character and making her likeable. In romance, it’s a lot easier to get away with a jerk hero than it is with a jerky heroine. Tough females—especially ones like Cynna who are so very damaged—often come across bitchy. The struggle with Cynna was making her tough, but allowing readers a glimpse inside her head so they could see why she was doing the things she was doing and how she felt about them.

Keira: How does Nick reconcile the differences between her outward actions and inner beliefs?

Elisabeth: At the beginning of TWISTED, Nick has been imprisoned for six months. Six months of torture, all at the hands of the heroine. He’s had plenty of time to watch her. And watching her has given him something to think about other than his pain. And in watching her, he’s observed several interesting things. The most important of which is that he’s not so sure she’s the captor like she wants him to believe. He’s starting to wonder if she’s just as much a captive as him.

Keira: How do you define love? What makes it last for the long haul? And will Nick and Cynna have what it takes?

Elisabeth: True love, to me, is sacrifice. When you’re willing to give up everything you love and the one thing you want most in the world for someone else, that’s love. Do Nick and Cynna have what it takes? I guess readers will have to decide for themselves when they read TWISTED.

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

About Elisabeth:

Before topping multiple bestseller lists—including those of the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal—Elisabeth Naughton taught middle school science. A rabid reader, she soon discovered she had a knack for creating stories with a chemistry of their own. The spark turned into a flame, and Naughton now writes full-time. Besides topping bestseller lists, her books have been nominated for some of the industry’s most prestigious awards, such as the RITA® and Golden Heart Awards from Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, and the Golden Leaf Award. When not dreaming up new stories, Naughton can be found spending time with her husband and three children in their western Oregon home. Visit her website atwww.ElisabethNaughton.com to learn more about her books.

Connect with Elisabeth:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elisabeth.naughton1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElisNaughton
Newsletter: http://www.elisabethnaughton.com/lists/?p=subscribe&id=1

Tempted.inddAbout TWISTED:

Series: Eternal Guardians, Book #7
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Publisher: Elisabeth Naughton Publishing, LLC

NICK – Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.

But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him.

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

Other Books in Series:
Marked (Eternal Guardians Book 1)
Entwined (Eternal Guardians Book 2)
Tempted (Eternal Guardians Book 3)
Enraptured (Eternal Guardians Book 4)
Enslaved (Eternal Guardians Book 5)
Bound (Eternal Guardians Book 6)

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Giveaway Details:
Elisabeth is giving away a bag of goodies – books, lotions, chocolates, jewelry, etc.

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Book Tour Schedule Here

Get into Bed with Elisabeth Naughton (Author Interview)

Elisabeth NaughtonKeira: Write a job advertisement for an Eternal Guardian!

Elisabeth Naughton: WANTED: Warrior to join the Eternal Guardians order, defenders of the Argolean realm and watchers of the human race. Must be smart, hot as hell, have a strong protective instinct and be of hero status (descended from one of the original seven heroes OR a demigod). Big, studly, well-hung alpha males are given top priority. Job is lifelong commitment and requires applicant to be paired with the woman of his nightmares. Bonus: frequent hot sex.

Keira: What do you think romance readers love so much about tortured heroes? What did this add to the character of Gryphon in Enslaved?

EN: You’re right, readers love tortured heroes. I get a lot of fan mail about Demetrius, my most tortured hero to date (although I’m pretty sure Gryphon gives him a run for his money in that category). Personally, I think tortured heroes resonate with readers because they’re the ones who are so damaged, it doesn’t seem like they’ll every find a happily ever after. The harder it is to envision that happening, the more a reader roots for that particular character. Tortured heroes are also characters who don’t believe they deserve a happy ending, and watching them realize they are worthy of second chances and redemption and salvation is always fun to watch.

Keira: How are your Greek Gods different from the ones that people are familiar with?

EN: I love taking the ancient myths and twisting them around. In Greek mythology, Hades is a pretty nasty god and Zeus is the good guy. In my books Hades is still dark and evil, but he’s snarky and conniving in such a way you find yourself rooting for him in ways you didn’t expect. I actually love writing Hades’s scenes because he’s the ultimate underdog to me. He IS evil and he IS twisted, but there’s also something about him that makes you want to see him beat his condescending brother Zeus at his own game.

Keira: Gryphon and Maelea don’t start out on the best of terms… Tell us a little bit about their journey to freedom and love?

EN: Gryphon is originally drawn to Maelea because being in her presence calms him. He doesn’t hear the menacing voice in his head when she’s close. He doesn’t know why she affects him this way, but he quickly realizes when she’s near, he can think straight, and he needs that if he’s going to ever find the goddess who cursed him.

Maelea on the other hand, wants to have nothing to do with Gryphon. She senses the darkness of the Underworld in him and because of her own link to the Underworld, she knows how evil that can be. So when he kidnaps her, her only goal is to get as far from his as possible. Not only because she knows Hades is hunting her, but because being with Gryphon is a risk. The darkness inside her is attracted to the darkness inside him—darkness she’s been trying to deny her whole life. And she’s afraid of what she’ll become if she get near him.

Soon, of course, each realizes the other is not what they initially thought, and the romance really blossoms from there. They’re really both lost and wounded souls—in very different ways—but find healing in each other.

Keira: Your world building is so vivid! Was there anywhere in real life that inspired your writing?

EN: Whenever I travel I’m inspired. Traveling is one of my many passions and I love experiencing new places and seeing them through the eyes of my characters. My brother lives in Montana so a lot of the setting for the Colony in the book comes from that. But by and large a lot of it really comes from my imagination.

Keira: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

EN: I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and adventure so I loved the world building in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and I was hooked on the anticipation of what would happen next in the Choose Your Own Adventure books. (Remember those?) As I got older I found myself falling for character driven stories like L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. And that ultimately led to my love of romance. These days I read across all genres – and I’m currently fascinated with George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.

Keira: If you could have dinner with any author—dead or alive—who would it be and why?

EN: My critique partner, Joan Swan, of course! We don’t live close enough (I’m in Oregon and she’s in California), so we only see each other a few times a year, but there’s nothing more fun than chatting with Joan about our books and characters and brainstorming new and unique plot threads.

Keira: Please tell us where readers can find you on the web, and what’s coming next for you!

EN: Right now I’m working on Eternal Guardians book 6, which is Titus’s book (tentatively titled Scorched). It will release in early 2013. I’m also working on the sequel to Wait for Me (which is still untitled), and I’m in the process of putting together an all-new romantic suspense series loosely connected to a novella I wrote in the Bodyguards in Bedanthology, titled “Acapulco Heat.” 2013 will be a busy writing year for me but I’m excited about giving my readers new stories and new characters they can get lost in.

Readers can find me on the web at the following locations:

Enslaved Cover

ENSLAVED BY ELISABETH NAUGHTON – IN STORES NOVEMBER 2012

“Do not miss this series.”—New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione

GRYPHON—Honorable, loyal, dependable…tainted. He was the ultimate warrior before imprisonment in the Underworld changed him in ways he can’t ignore.

She calls to him. Come to me. You can’t resist. But Gryphon will not allow himself to be ruled by the insidious whispers in his head. And there’s only one way to stop them: kill Atalanta, the goddess who enslaved him. But with so much darkness inside, he can’t be sure what’s real anymore. Even the Eternal Guardians, those who protect the human realms and the gods, want to exile him.

Finding Malea is like a miracle. Somehow he doesn’t feel the pull of the dark when she’s near. And he’s determined to keep her as near as possible, whether she wants him close or not. But she’s a temptation that will test every bit of control he has left. One that may ultimately have the power to send him back to the Underworld…or free him from his chains for good.

Praise for Elisabeth Naughton:

“Entertaining and smoldering.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review of Tempted

“Creative worldbuilding and ever-present danger pull the reader into this mesmerizing tale.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ star review of Enraptured

Buy: Enslaved

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the RWA RITA© Award, the NJ RWA Golden Leaf, and the RWA Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com and follow her on Twitter, @ElisNaughton.

Buy: Enslaved (Eternal Guardians)

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of Enslaved. 1 winner, US and Canada only, enter by leaving a comment! Last day to enter: November 30, 2012.

Review: Enraptured (Eternal Guardians, Book 4) by Elisabeth Naughton

eternal guardiansReviewed by Sharon S.

This story picks up right after the events from book #3 Tempted. You can read this as a standalone and enjoy the romance between Orpheus and Skyla, but you will be missing out on extensive world building and overall story arc information. Naughton does a good job of giving you the basics you will need to understand, but at book #4 there are so many character storylines that cross each other you would miss out on what makes this series such a pleasure to read. There is a glossary at the back of the book, but I would really appreciate a cheat sheet about who is who.

The story is way too complicated to go over in a review so I will just talk about the romance. Orpheus is convinced he is a monster without any chance of redemption. He is part Argolean, Medean and daemon. Three races that hate each other; he shouldn’t even exist. But he has a past life that is over 2000 years old that only a few know about, that is intertwined with the Gods and the Siren Skyla. Hades is willing to kill to keep the secret from getting out.

Skyla had her heart broken 2000 years ago and has never truly recovered. She shut herself off emotionally and became Athena’s top assassin. Orpheus spends most of the book not understanding why he is so drawn to Skyla and she struggles with keeping his past a secret from him. In true PNR fashion the two give in to passion only to push each other away afterwards determined to focus on their own personal goals.

Their romance didn’t move me like the couple in book #3. There was nothing that set it apart from all the other paranormal romances out there. I was more interested in the advancement of the main story arc, which is where I think this series really shines. Naughton’s world building based on the Greek myths is as complicated as a fantasy series, but you get the all the fun of a HOT romance.

I was intrigued by the character Maelea who we meet. She is the daughter of an affair between Zeus and Persephone. Neither parent wanted her and she was exiled to the mortal realm to wander alone as a human for eternity. She must also deal with the light and dark sides she inherited from her parents. Orpheus needs her to help him find rescue his brother, Gryphon from Tartarus. Gryphon is saved, but he is no longer the man he was. There is a darkness in his soul and I have a feeling Maelea will be the key to saving him. At least I am hoping they are the focus of the next book.

This was an enjoyable read, but not a page turner for me.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Enraptured

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Eternal Guardians Series is centered around seven warriors who protect their realm from threats of the Underworld.

Each of the guardians are descended from the seven strongest heroes in all of Ms. Naughton has taken the Greek Argonaut myth, turned it on its head, and OWNED it! mythology.

Book one, MARKED, is Theron’s story. He’s the leader of the Argonauts and the one person who has the power to stop an evil god from destroying their world.

Book two, ENTWINED, is Zander’s story. The oldest Argonaut and the one rumors say can’t be killed. After 800 years Zander doesn’t think he has much to live for until a random twist of fate finally gives him a goal worth fighting for.

Book three, TEMPTED, is Demetrius’s story. The cruelest Argonaut and the one the other Guardians steer clear of. Demetrius hides a dark secret that just might be the key to the destruction of their world.

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Review: Tempted (Eternal Guardians, Book 3) by Elisabeth Naughton

Reviewed by Sharon S.

Where have these tortured warriors been all my life! This is the third book in Naughton’s Eternal Guardian Series, but the first one I have read. Now, I could just kick myself for not trying this one from the beginning. I will be rectifying that mistake by the way.

Let’s review what I need for a great PNR book:

  1. Brotherhood of smexy tortured warriors – check!
  2. Sexual tension between the hero and heroine that will leave you panting – check!
  3. Fated soul mates – check!
  4. Loyalty, sacrifice and love – check!
  5. Did I mention sex and warriors? –check, check!

If you love Greek Mythology, or even if you don’t, Naughton does an incredible job of creating a believable world.  Argolea is a magical realm created by Zeus for the heroes and their descendants. The Eternal Guardians (Argonauts) are warriors who protect this realm from Daemons. And wouldn’t you know it, they are all hard and crunchy on the outside, but with a hidden soft center that can only be touched by their fated mate. Who, thanks to a curse, is the worst possible match for them <G>.

This isn’t light reading. You can’t skim pages or you will miss something. There is a lot of fighting action (duh! Warriors), mythology and emotional turmoil you won’t want to miss.  Our fated couple, Demetrius and Isadora, are thrown together in a plot filled with betrayal, magic, evil and sacrifice. Both must learn to accept who they are and realize that while Fate might be a bitch, sometimes she knows what she is doing.

I suggest reading this series from the beginning. Naughton has developed an extensive world based on the Greek Mythology, but has added her own clever twist to the mythos. Even though each book gives us a love story of a particular couple there is a lot of focus on the series major story arc and a large cast of characters. There were times when I had trouble keeping everyone’s heritage and family ties straight. Naughton does a good job of catching the reader up on the back stories, and I put the handy glossary of terms at the back to good use, but it would have been easier for me to have started with book one.

If you agree with my check list, this book and series will keep you reading and ‘squeeing’

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Tempted (Eternal Guardians)

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Dark and Damaged Heroes – Why We Love ‘Em

by Elisabeth Naughton, guest blogger and author of Tempted

Thanks so much for inviting me to stop by during my Tempted blog tour! Tempted is the third book in the Eternal Guardians Series, which just hit store shelves on September 6, 2011. The Eternal Guardians are seven warriors descended from the seven greatest heroes in all of Ancient Greece who protect the mortal realm from threats of the Underworld. Tempted is Demetrius’s story. He’s a descendent of the famed hero Jason and he hides a dark and deadly secret—one that could lead to the end of the world.

Demetrius is your classic dark and damaged hero. Readers met him in the first two books in the series (but don’t worry if you’re new to the EG world – you can read Tempted without reading Marked and Entwined first). He’s the loner, the guardian who doesn’t fit in with the others, the one who always seems to have a chip on his shoulder. And to the heroine in Tempted —Isadora, the future queen of their realm—he’s the one who has always ridiculed and belittled her and made it more than clear he doesn’t think she’s qualified to rule.

Of course, Demetrius isn’t what he seems. It’s the façade he’s adopted to keep people away. Because if his fellow Guardians knew who he really was and where he came from, he’d not only be kicked out of the order, the one person he’s been protecting his whole life might find herself in jeopardy.

The damaged (or rat-bastard, as I like to call them) hero is one of my favorite heroes to read and write about. Why? Because, as Shrek said, damaged heroes “have layers”. What you see on the outside is never what you get when you peel away the layers. They feel deeply. They have serious reasons for the things they do and say, and they justify their actions by those reasons but don’t share them with others. And as a reader, it’s just plain fun to see preconceived notions of a person crumble over the course of a book. Often from within.

From the moment Demetrius came on the page in Marked, book one in the series, I knew that he was not as he seemed. But originally, he was not the hero I intended to pair up with Isadora. He was so mean to her, it didn’t make sense to me that they would eventually fall in love. Readers knew long before I did, though, and halfway through book two—Entwined—I realized those readers were right. Demetrius had to be Isadora’s hero. Isadora turns out to be a lot stronger than anyone gave her credit, but it’s really Demetrius and the way he’s treated her over the years that propels her to finally stand up for herself and become the ruler she was meant to be. Without him—and his dark and damaged character—she never would have reached the culmination of her character arc. For me—the writer—that was a heady moment; when I realized they needed each other to get where they both needed to go. And in a romance, that’s exactly what the reader is hoping to see.

Are you a fan of the dark and damaged hero? Who’s your favorite damaged hero? I’d love to hear your view on this topic!

TEMPTED BY ELISABETH NAUGHTON – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2011

DEMETRIUS—He’s the hulking, brooding warrior even his fellow Guardians avoid. Too dark. Too damaged. And given his heritage, he knows it’s best to keep everyone at arm’s length.

Isadora is missing. The words pound through his head like a frantic drumbeat. For her own protection, Demetrius did all he could to avoid the fragile princess, his soul mate. And now she’s gone—kidnapped. To get her back, he’ll have to go to the black place in his soul he’s always shunned.

As daemons ravage the human realm and his loyalty to the Guardians is put to the ultimate test, Demetrius realizes that Isadora is stronger than anyone thought.

And finally letting her into his heart may be the only way to save them both.

Buy: Tempted

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from her home in western Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the prestigious RITA Awards of Romance Writers of America, the Australian Romance Reader Awards, the Golden Leaf, and the Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and exciting adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com to learn more about her and her books. Her next book in the Eternal Guardians series, Enraptured, will be in stores in April 2012.

GIVEAWAY: I have 2 copies of Tempted. Open to US and Canadian readers only. Enter by leaving a comment on sexy dark damaged heroes. Last day to enter: September 30th, 2011.