THE REVIEW: Forever by Jacquelyn Frank

ForeverThe World of Nightwalkers Book Two

Genre Paranormal Romance Published 28 May 2013  Publisher Ballantine Books

After being brought back from death, police officer Jackson Waverly receives the shock of his life: he has become host to a Bodywalker, a spirit that is reborn in flesh and blood, and part of a proud, ancient race that uses its extraordinary gifts to battle dark, evil forces. Jackson’s spirit is a powerful one—none other than the Egyptian pharaoh Menes, who longs to reunite with his eternal love, the Egyptian queen Hatshepsut.
 
While Menes is obsessed with finding the perfect vessel for his queen, Jackson cannot stop thinking about Dr. Marissa Anderson, the gorgeous precinct shrink who keeps pushing him to confront his grief over the loss of his K-9 partner. But what Marissa really arouses most in Jackson is intense desire, which is exactly what Menes is looking for. To fight a great enemy, pharaoh and queen must join; but to host Hatshepsut, Marissa will first have to die. Fate has given Jackson a profound choice: save Marissa from Menes’s plan or keep an entire species from the brink of extinction.

The Urban Book Thief Review

urban book thief

Forever is the Nightwalker series’ wilder, sexier and more confident cousin. Starting three weeks after Forbidden left off, Jackson is on the verge of blending fully with Menes and from the get go it seems like he has a little somethin’ somethin’ that Ram did not. Telekinetic ball blasts for one thing – which is always a handy thing to have around when you are in a tight pickle.

If you have not read Forbidden, I suggest going back and reading it first. My review is here. Otherwise you will become a wee bit dazed and confused about what the heck a Bodywalker is.

Forever focuses on the relationship between K9 cop Jackson Waverly and psychiatrist Dr. Marissa Anderson. They initially met when Jackson’s K9 partner Chico died (and boy did he like that dog) and Marissa counseled him through his loss. The attraction between them was undeniable, yet for the past year and a half they have been tip toeing around each other, neither attempting to make the first move. Until Jackson almost dies and he decides to get a little more hands on with the sexy red head. And boy, is Marissa one ballsy mamma! She takes the news of Jackson’s new Bodywalker status surprisingly well. No histrionics or dramas for this lady. Cool as a cucumber.

 “If you tell me you’re a fucking vampire I’m going to find a very big stick, aim for your heart, and make you prove it.”

Marissa

Marissa

Marissa is all about control. Wound tightly as a ball of string, she’s perfect and neat and finds it difficult to let go and trust. With a penchant for heels and tight skirts, Marissa is a lady’s lady and Jackson just eats it all up. It’s fairly clear from the synopsis how Marissa’s journey will go, so I was interested to find out how Ms. Frank would go about talking a character into becoming a Bodywalker. Because saying that you’d die for your loved one is one thing, but actually doing it is quite another. Especially for a person that you have been crushin’ on for a year. True wuv it ain’t really.

At first, Marissa is not a happy bunny when she finds out that Hatshepsut is waiting in the wings to resume things with Menes / Jackson. But Lina, Marissa’s sister sums it up prettily when they have a bit of girl on girl time. Lina is hilarious – she would make a great future heroine. Unemployed champion of lost causes, she’s a spitfire and not afraid to speak her mind to anyone, not even Bodywalker hotties.

“it’s not dying… it’s… it’s… metamorphosis. You’re a pretty, fuzzy warm little caterpillar… and when you take this step you’ll be this magnificent, powerful butterfly that will be so deeply loved”

And that’s why gals need their sistas around to cry and bitch with, whether they’re blood or not. After that speech, I decided that I wanna be a pretty, fuzzy warm caterpillar too. Bring on the fuzzies. Death, pain and a potentially permanent suicide begone with you!

Jackson. Oh, Jackson. He can train my dog any day. Jackson is bossy, horny and extremely passionate about having Marissa a permanent fixture in his live. Forever. (Hah! See what I did there?) Unlike Forbidden, we don’t get to see his character struggle with the blending process. He has a great rapport with Menes and I like the way the pharaoh gives him that extra bit of confidence to woo his fair lady.

She was a beautiful creature, but she was in desperate need of a complex sort of wooing. An aggressive sort of wooing. She was too powerful a personality and had extremely strong walls for defense shored up against… well, that part was still a puzzle.

Jackson was enamored of Mene’s description of a once in a life time love when they met for the first time in the Ether. Knowing that he had never felt true passion with anyone in his life, he jumped at the chance to become a Bodywalker and get the chance to feel this deeply about someone. The only glimmer that he really had of this feeling in his short life were the times that he spent with Marissa.

Jackson

Jackson

During the blending, Jackson resumes his usual life and that includes being a K9 cop. But while performing his duties, a sudden attack by his enemies makes Jackson realize that he needs to leave the force and move to the Bodywalker head base in New Mexico. Caught outside near dawn, if it weren’t for Marissa and her quick thinking, he might have been killed. Sunlight is one of the biggest dangers for Nightwalkers, their bodies instantly paralyze and they are left vulnerable to their enemies. During the attack, Marissa is seen and recognized by the enemy. This worries Jackson and he uses it as an excuse to keep her close to hand, telling Marissa that she and her sister will never be safe outside of one of his compounds.

While all of this is going on, we are introduced to the love story between Menes and Hatshepsut. The Romeo and Juliet of the Bodywalkers. As King and Queen of the Bodywalkers they have been enjoying a delightful ménage à quatre for a very long time now. They have found that living continuously in the Ether is not an acceptable way for them to survive together. It is a peaceful, misty plain where the inhabitants are insubstantial and cannot physically touch. Occasionally, the pair’s souls brush against one another (I don’t know why, but all I can see in my head is frogspawn sitting in a big white bathtub). For them it is kind of a slow torture. The Ether makes people numb and can eventually drive them mad. What they feel for one another crosses centuries of love and numerous incarnations. But Menes has only had her in human form for one week over the past two hundred years. To say that man has a major hard on for her return is a huge understatement. They have been together in every single incarnation. But in their last life, Hatshepsut was brutally murdered by a Templar. So tragically, instead of living without her, Menes poisoned himself so that he could die and join her in the Ether. So bootiful – sob!

“a love for all time. A love of the ages. Something no mortal womam on earth can claim to. A relationship with no doubt. No questioning. No insecurity. I know this because I have seen it. I have seen it through two incarnations. It mattered not how long it was… they live lifetimes with every single day.

Poor Marissa, I would be hugely intimidated by leaning this about my cop hottie Jackson.

Sweet holy yowsers. Leo makes a return in this book, his memories wiped after witnessing Jackson’s death in Forbidden. All I can say is poor, poor Leo. The consequences of his actions catch up with him (even though he doesn’t realize it), and he gets into a world of trouble. If only he hadn’t dropped his lucky rabbit foot key ring! Plus, we get to learn more about his background and how it shaped him into being the man that he is today. I do say though, after everything that he goes through in this book, I hope he gets ‘his day’ soon. Very soon.

There is also a continuation of the Templar and Politic civil war. Ms. Frank is able to dig a little deeper into the history of the two than she did in her previous novel. After Leo slit Odjit’s throat certain events play out that brings rise to a new big bad. And this time it’s a hell of a lot bigger and badder than a hormonal priestess having a strop. Hold on to your hats people cause more than one race of Nightwalker will be needed to stop it. So far we have already seen the gargoyles, the Djynn, the night angels, and I’m looking forward to seeing what Ms. Frank pulls out of the bag.

Overall, I really enjoyed Forever. It’s a fantastic read with a scrumptious hero and his lovely lady love. But I felt that there should have been more action than there was. Oh there was a skirmish, but nothing to get your teeth into. There were a couple of scenes that felt a little ‘fillery’ which could easily have been left out and not impacted the story one iota. Also, it kinda grated on my nerves on how little sympathy Marissa received about her situation. Sure, it’s not a decision to be made lightly. But some of the comments made about her was contemptuous and not very understanding of the fact that a guy she had the hots for wanted her to kill herself. Sheesh. Other than that though, I thought it was totally, freaking awesome – just… this had so much potential. This book could have been amazing.

The Urban Book Thief has awarded Forever a kiss factor rating of four – woo!

Kiss FactorKiss FactorKiss FactorKiss Factor

Forsaken, the next book in the series will be released on 7 January 2014. Here is the blurb currently posted on Amazon and I am very excited.

As a mercenary, Leo Alvarez has signed on for a lot—but he never signed on for his best friend becoming host to the soul of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh. Jackson is now inhabited by a Bodywalker, and Leo is forced to grapple with a realm of supernatural beings far more dangerous than anything he’s ever encountered.

But when Jackson is wounded by an attack from a demon god, Leo must team up with another supernatural creature—a Night Angel—to save his friend from utter destruction. With skin as black as midnight, hair as white as snow, and a body of pure perfection, the Night Angel arouses a burning desire in Leo, even as he refuses to be intimidated by her power—or the power of those who would destroy his friend. An unusual alliance is forged, electrified by sexual temptation, and together the two must unite their strengths to bring down a supreme evil.

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