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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Overlord by Anitra Lynn McLeod

Overlord by Anitra Lynn McLeod
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full Length (257 pgs)
Heat Level: hot
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Verbena

His planet is his prison…and only she can set him free.

The Fringe, Book 2

After a year, Michael “Overlord” Parker finally knows who’s been pilfering his black market goods. Astonishingly, the elusive Bandit of Taiga isn’t a man. It’s a woman, an infuriating spitfire who’s half in love with Michael’s overly romanticized reputation.

Remarkably Average Mary exudes an intoxicating scent that Michael can’t quite puzzle out, even with his unique ability. As long as she remains bound and blindfolded, he has the advantage—and the bonus of tormenting the bane of his existence.

Mary’s deceptively innocent face has never failed her. Yet somehow she’s at the mercy of a man she knows only as “Commander”. His demands are simple. Surrender her methods of banditry, or surrender her body. As his essence invades her intuitive ability—and her remaining senses—she becomes increasingly frantic to escape before she yields all that and more to her compelling captor.

Their sensual sparring ignites, and Michael finds himself wanting to erase Overlord’s myth from her fantasies in favor of the real man. But first he has to foil the slippery little devil’s escape attempts. And find out who’s been using her to unknowingly help the empire wipe him off the face of his own planet.

Captive or captor? Sometimes the lines blur when matters of the heart take over.

Take Remarkably Average Mary No Last Name, or so she’d been dubbed since a very young age. There’s nothing average about this kick-ass chick. An expert thief with a colorful vocabulary and the fighting skills of any trained assassin, she’s got a knack for scaring off any would-be bounty hunters and undermining even the most advanced security defenses, including those of Michael Parker’s. With a personal mission that means more to her than her own life, she’s not about to fall for the attractive, albeit infuriatingly arrogant, man who calls himself Commander. Determined to escape with not only her secrets but her heart intact as well, she knows she must outwit him and sets about undermining his advances at every turn. But escaping a place like Windmere and a man like the Commander is easier said than done, especially when he has a few secrets of his own and another agenda in mind, one that involves getting close to her in a manner she never anticipated.

Co-man-dur, that’s what Mary insists on calling him. Michael knows she wants to get under his skin. Problem is; she’s succeeded, just not in the manner in which he’d intended. What started out as a game to pass the time, has turned into something a whole lot more serious. He’s never met a woman like Remarkably Average Mary, one that contradicts and challenges him at every angle, one that infuriates him to the point of wanting to strangle her, and one that sets his blood boiling with a savage need to dominate and control her in every intimate way imaginable. Although Michael has accumulated an obscene amount of wealth through some questionable means—more than any one man could ever want—it all came with a steep price. While his best friend serves as his conscience, so to speak, somehow, Remarkably Average Mary makes him all too aware of how much he still lacks in what matters most.

Book 2 in Anitra Lynn McLeod’s The Fringe series, Overlord is one of those stories that hooks you at the start with an exciting opening scene, then goes through a slower period of getting to know the characters before launching into some excitement once again. This is not one of those stories where the characters have an instant attraction, jump in the sack, then decide they’re in love. No way, this is one of those tales that grows on you, slowly building you up to the point where the climax is timed perfectly with the plot. There’s a lot of character development going on here, particularly with Michael. He does a lot of soul-searching and a lot of changing, all because of Mary. If there was one complaint I had, it was with Mary herself. On one hand, given her background and reasonable level of distrust, I understand why she did the things she did, but on the other hand, there were times I wanted to reach into the book and give her a good smack in the head. Alas, that is probably what makes this story so intriguing; it takes you through a gamut of emotions.

If there were any grammar/punctuation errors, they weren’t distracting enough to grab my attention. The author does a fine job with point-of-view shifts and setting description. Other than a few slow areas, this book was a good read and certainly sparked my interest in Ms. McLeod’s other stories in this series.

If you like an overbearing man with the idea that he can have whatever he wants, regardless the price, paired with a woman who’s hell bent on defying him at every opportunity and letting him know who’s really in charge, then grab a copy of Overlord by Anitra Lynn McLeod, you won’t be disappointed.