Steel & Stone (Books 1-3)

July 20, 2015
I’m an avid reader of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, so when I say this story is uniquely and beautifully crafted, you can rest assured that you won’t be reading it identifying aspects of other popular Urban Fantasy series. Read on for my review!
I can’t think of a single thing I didn’t like about this series.  The protagonist, Piper, is a wonderful mix of strong, ass-kicking femme fatale and flawed, human damsel in distress.  Trouble seems to follow Piper around, and although she’s perfectly capable of handling herself in a fistfight, there is much about the daemon world that she does not, in the beginning, yet comprehend.
Our leading men, Ash and Lyre, are amazing foils to one another.  Ash is the tall, dark, handsome “bad boy” who stoically handles the shit-storms of life, seemingly without breaking a sweat.  And Lyre is the flirtatiously sexy friend who, on more than one occasion, leaves you wondering, “what if”?
I sped through this first installation of Steel & Stone, Chase the Dark, and immediately one-clicked the second book.
Where Chase the Dark was a beautifully crafted introduction to the world of the Steel & Stone series, Bind the Soul takes us deeper, into the belly of the Underworld (literally).When Piper goes in search of the missing Ash, she finds herself woefully unprepared for the depths to which she must delve to save him, and herself.

Bind the Soul has all the masterful crafting of the first book, Chase the Dark, but with a darker twist that leads you toward a deeper understanding of what it means to be a draconian in the hands of Samael.

Though I did find myself missing some of the Lyre/Piper interaction, I found myself incredibly satisfied by this installment and the back story it gives.  In fact, I found myself so emotionally involved in the story that, when it ended, I had to take a break before moving on to Book 3, as much as I wanted to see what came next.  This book was just so….FULL, that it required a bit more processing time upon its conclusion.

Yield the Night, Book 3 in the Steel & Stone series, was, for me, the quickest read.  It didn’t have the depth of the previous book (which was actually a bit of a relief for me, since Book 2 had ALL THE FEELINGS), but it did have A LOT of answers.

This installment sees the final shift of balance in Piper’s character.  She no longer teeters on that edge of independent, ass-kicker and damsel in distress.  She fully embraces her personal power and gets in touch with hidden aspects of herself (literally and metaphorically), and it’s a beautiful thing.

I am so glad to have discovered Annette Marie and added her to my Urban Fantasy repertoire.  I absolutely can’t wait to see what the next book in this series brings!

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