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242 of 247 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2011
Because of the negative reviews, I was leery of taking the time to download and read this novel despite the fact that it was free. Especially because of its length - I feel compel to try and finish any book I download or least give it my best effort. I'M GLAD THAT I TOOK THE CHANCE!

I will not recap the novel as others have already done so but I will state why I think this novel is a great beginning to a new series that I am now interested in.

World building is fantastic and descriptive - so much so that a reader can easily imagine the environment and surroundings.

Characters are belivable - not made so perfect that you want to gag and cannot relate to them.

Alpha males - I want the male characters to be Alphas - strong, protective, caring - not wimps.

Smooth reading - no glaring editing mistakes, sentences or paragraphs that you have to read over and over to understand

Plot line - original with twists and a smooth flow to it with NO GAPS

Heat factor - I want "Heat" between the hero & heroine

Stong Female character - not in strength so much but mentally - able to stand up for herself

A book that grips my attention and does not let go.

THIS NOVEL HAD ALL THE ABOVE AND MORE!

Warning:
Despite what one reviewer stated, there is NO WAY THAT THIS NOVEL CAN BE READ IN AN HOUR not unless the reader is skipping whole chapters at a time! I am a speed reader and usually can and do read a book a night, this is a full length intense novel - not a light read. It is not a "feel good", "fluffy" read either - there are fights to survive, heart rending scenes, Heros that do have flaws. If you are not into paranormal - no, you will not like this book. If you are into "sweet" - no, you will not like this book.

I recommend that while readers need to be leery of 4 or 5 star reviews because there are too many "paid" reviewers out there (in books or money) that seem to have NEVER EVER gotten a hold of a bad book - before writing off a book with negative reviews - take the time to investigate all the rating and reviews for that particular reviewer whether 1 star or 5 star. Just as I did in this case - I found out that most of the negative reviewers gave low ratings to books that I already knew I liked and high ratings to books that I would NEVER be interested in.
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125 of 134 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 6, 2010
I certainly don't want to discount the three star ratings I read, but I had to chuckle, because I question the attention span while they were reading this book. One person said our hero belongs to a group of guardians that save humans and that is not the case. Another said they didn't understand how a secret got out because only the king should have known about it and that was also not the case. My point being, if you're concerned there are plot inconsistencies, there really aren't. This is a book that is establishing a mythos interweaved with Greek mythology and a cast of characters for an Eternal Guardians series and I can already guess the romantic pairing the next two books will be about. Ms. Naughton has efficiently penned a crisp, succint, and short book to lay the foundation of what's to come and I imagine there will be a lot of recurring characters that we'll be able to track and follow in the years to come.

Theron is the leader of the Argonauts, a group of guardians who are responsible for protecting their realm and Argoleans from the threats of the Underworld. Theron is the strongest of these guardians being a direct descendant from Heracles or Hercules of modern day. He is engaged to Isadora, the kings daughter to help her rule since her health is failing and there is an increasing threat from their council that the guardians are no longer needed. Should that happen, they will become vulnerable to their nemesis, Atalantia, from the Underwold who swears to destroy them. Although he does not love Isadora and she does not love him, they agree to do what they must to help save their people, but Theron soon discovers that Isadora is dying and the king informs him that in order to save her life, he must fulfill a legendary prophecy. This prophecy is that Isadora was born one half of a whole and that the king has another half, a human daughter, bearing an identical mark to Isadora's. When they are brought together, this other woman will complete and make Isadora whole again, and the other will die. Theron is sent through the portal to the human world to find her, only he may have already met her and was immediately attracted to her.

Acacia (Casey) Simopoulos, unbeknownst to herself, is the daughter of the king of Argoleas. She's leading a fairly normal human life but finds herself disconnected from her world. When she meets Theron, she feels an enigmatic attraction to him which turns out to be something much stronger. Casey is actually Theron's soulmate. An there in lies the potential greek tradgedy of the story. Theron has only one soulmate in his very long life and the irony is, it's his responsibility to sacrifice his soulmate for the good of his people.

As the story unfolds, an interesting and secretive group of characters are introduced that must battle the daemons (think demons from hell) and be manipulated by the Greek Gods. If you're a fan of Greek mythology, there's an unsettling and lascivious spin to the alleged abduction of Persephone and the relationship between her and Hades is disturbing, if only because she was once the God of innocence, but this book is sexy in its own right. At first, I thought the relationship was moving way to fast and Casey seemed a doormat doing whatever Theron said, but she managed to pull out of that enchantment just in time. This was a very fast read, and well written, however I can't say that I'm wasting away for the sequel. First books are always hard because there's so much groundwork to cover which is why I went with a four star, even though it was under 300 pages, but I didn't really feel invested in any characters with the exception to Nick (who I'd pair up with Isadora) who's not next in the series but soon will be. He's certainly the most intriguing and clearly has the biggest secret.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2010
Marked (Eternal Guardians) by Elisabeth Naughton
Paranormal Romance-- Apr. 27, 2010
4 ½ stars

Marked is a new paranormal world based on: ancient Greek Gods, hugely hunky men and sassy courageous women.

As the leader of the Argonauts Theron's prime directive is to protect his immortal world. As a descendant of Hercules, he has been raised to believe his people are above any others and that their survival is more important that the lives of any inferior races such as humans. But his world is slowly fading and his King dying. Theron knows his duty; he must marry the Princess Isadora, the King's only heir. However, the Princess has never been strong and their race hopes that their upcoming marriage will create a new show of strength. However, the Princess has disappeared and he finds himself hunting her down. But during his search he bumps into the most alluring female he has ever known and she saves him, bringing him back to health. When he starts fantasizing about her in his dreams he is appalled because she is human. Soon Theron must make an agonizing choice. His happiness or the life and longevity of his entire race. When he discovers that Casey's death is the key to their future, a man who has only known duty it a decision that will tear him apart.

Casey has never `fit' in. Never found a place she thought she could settle in. She knows her life is half lived. When she saves a mysterious man from dying on the road, she gets far more than she bargained for. Casey doesn't know what is wrong with the strange hunk she rescued but he sure is sexy and arrogant. His moods and actions are strange. Why does he refuse a doctor and how can he heal so fast? But most disturbing, she can't stop thinking of him. When she is with him things feel `right.' Unfortunately she doesn't know anything about his past and he is very reluctant to reveal anything about himself to her. But a slow and mysterious illness is making her physical weak and Casey soon finds herself caught between 2 worlds. What will she sacrifice to save people she doesn't even know?

This book was an easy and fast read. All the characters were strong and likeable. I particularly enjoyed reading the heroine who was very genuine. Casey was a woman who tries to do the right thing even if life has dealt her a rough hand. Her courage and fortitude were admirable and more than a match for Theron. I also loved reading about Nick, the handsome self-appointed guard who watches out for Casey. I hope the author will write Nick's own story in a future book!

But what I enjoyed most was the fascinating and complex world the author created. The author's clear writing was easy to follow. I became instantly transfixed by Theron's people and the tantalizing glimpses of their centuries of intrigue and conflict. I am eager to learn who the real enemies are as they jostle for power while the King slowly dies. The story also had a couple of surprising plot twists that kept me up and reading until I finished it that same day.

This sexy new paranormal series is a sure fire hit; I look forward to purchasing the next book in this amazing series.

Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
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60 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2012
So I just finished the book and I have to say I have never read a book that I wanted to stop reading so badly. Yep, I said it. I got this book free from Amazon and was super excited to read it. It looked really good and in the same vein of Sherrilyn Kenyon (whom I adore!), so you can imagine how excited I was. After the first couple chapters, I literally was ready to throw the book through the window.
OK so let me give you a little synopsis or a few scenes with commentary, Our hero, Theron, is the leader of the Guardian Argonauts and a descendant of Hercules, has come to the human realm to drag his fiance (the princess, Isadora) back to his realm because she's gone MIA. He finds her at a strip club, where she's fixated on a waitress and convinces her to come back with him. While they slip out of the club, they are ambushed by some daemons. He sends the princess back to their realm while he stays behind and takes them on but he gets his ass kicked. OK (timeout) this is my first bone of contention. Theron is supposed to be this great, super strong warrior dude who battles these things daily yet when he gets jumped, he gets his ass kicked but I digress, so back to our story....so he's getting beaten up when the waitress (whom the princess was fixated on) stumble upon him and shooed away the daemons, seriously! Supposedly they recognize she's something and they poof. OK so now she sees the bleeding man and decides to take him to the hospital but he refuses, so of course she's going to listen and take him home. While tending to his wounds and perusing his hawtness, he starts healing, OMG (cuz he's not wholly human) and decides he wants a piece of his nurse-maid. He literally uses mind control to get her into his bed but then discovers a mark on her butt and leave her high and dry.......you see what I'm talking about??? Well needless to say, he ends up coming back and having to bring her back to his realm because of some prophecy.
So I'll only tell you about the next biggest scene that pissed me off and I'll stop there, to avoid spoilers, LOL. It was a scene in which they arrive at a sanctuary. Our waitress is very ill at this point in the story (don't ask, it's totally absurd) and she is offered a room to crash in. Theron hangs back to talk to the leader but decides to hunt her down because she's his responsibility (caveman much?) He comes to the room where she has crashed and has come to the conclusion that there's a slight possibility that the waitress is his soul mate, now granted, they totally can't stand each other, she's super sick and they're on the run but this is important damn it and the only way to find out for sure if she is his soul mate is to sleep with her (I'm dead serious about this). He has decided he needs to find out right away (of course) and literally considers, very strongly about raping an unconscious sick woman just to find out.....(seriously, I didn't make this up!)
So if you can't tell, I did not like this book at all and I would suggest skipping it and reading a better book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2012
For $1.99 on kindle, Marked was not a wasted read. Would I be as pleased if I'd paid eight or nine bucks--no.

On the upside, Naughton's mythology take is awesome. Her character and setting development is fabulous; I felt attached to these characters and read the book over a three day span verses one to two weeks where I'm forcing myself to finish. I loved Casey; she has grit and spunk and was no pansy--my kinda chic. The Argonauts are some hot, hot males and although I probably won't read them all, I definitely want to read Isadora and Demetrius' book. I admit, my curiosity was sparked.

Now my reason for not wanting to read the series in its entirety is because of the style of writing. It's just not for me. I get frustrated with an over abundance of internalizing dialogue and this book has it. Paragraphs of it. Being that I'm an avid romance reader (okay, so I'm a junkie), I get tired of the repetitive self-analysis and internalizing. "I love him, but I'm so confused." "Does she not feel the same for me?" And the constant sexual daydreaming... BLAH! I want the real thing. That was another stick in craw. This book has sex scenes that build, and build, and build, and then the predictable "interruption" occurs and the act is never consummated until the end. Come on, very annoying ...

Anyway, Marked was great for the money, but I won't commit myself to the series unless the kindle price is lowered.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2011
3 words. Oh. My. gods! Take a pissed off lady Argonaut hell bent on keeping her immortality and ruling Argolea,meddling gods and goddesses, a dying Princess, a super gorgeous Argonaut, a mysterious Misos, and a half human who has the Fate of the world resting on her shoulders, and you've got a recipe for a sexy, sexually charged, dangerous, edge of your seat, unputdownable read.

Top 8 Reasons to Read This Book:

1. Theron. Leader of the Argonauts. Hear him roar! At first, I did not like him. I thought he was a totally pompous ass who had nothing but dirty thoughts about Casey. Which is the truth. He is to marry Princess Isadora and find her half-sister so that she'll live. Well, as you can guess: He's not in love with Isadora and when he meets Casey (who he doesn't know is Isa's sister, yet) he falls for her. Oopsie!
2. Casey aka Acacia Simopolous. Bookstore owner by day, sexy strip club waitress by night. This is to help make ends meet. Her grandmother recently passed away. She has never felt like she's belonged. Well, ain't that a kick in the pants?
3. Atalanta. Lesson #1: Don't be like Atalanta. Never bargain with Hades for immortality and dominion over all demons. There's bound to be a loophole.
4. Nick Blades. Mysterious hottie alert!
5. Hades and Persephone. Whoa! Just whoa! These two are quite kinky and I don't have words to express how I feel about this. It's Hades and Persephone like you've never seen them before. As in, not that Disney Hercules animated movie stuff. Perhaps a little like Hades and Persephone in the Percy Jackson movie.
6. Orpheus. He's the original oracle who has a penchant for all things technological. He can also pop in anywhere. Oh, and he's got an invisibility cloak to rival Harry Potter's.
7. Princess Isadora. Casey's half sister who has lived in Argolea all her life. She is dying and must somehow merge herself with Casey to live on. I'm not a big of hers right now.
8. Soulmates. Do you believe that Fate has given you one? Are you a half of a whole? Lesson #2: Hera is a bitch. She'll curse you with a soulmate but they'll be your complete opposite so you'll never find them. Those who do, are rare circumstances. Poor Argonauts. They'll never find their soulmates even if she's staring him right in the face.

Favorite Quote: "In Greek mythology, the heroes were mortals of great strength and ability, spawned from the union of a mortal and a god."

Overall: Ms. Naughton, I've been hooked. I'm getting a little tired of vampires, werewolves and fae. It's time to put a spin on Greek mythology. A super sexy, heart pounding, lady bits tingling, heart wrenching rollercoaster ride of a spin. After all, what woman can resist a gorgeous Greek Argonaut. Not me! A fun, sexually charged, edge of your seat, unputdownable romp from the kingdom of the Underworld to the gates of Mount Olympus. This isn't the Greek mythology your high school English teachers have taught you.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2012
What is it with leading men who trick, force, or coerce the heroine?! And what is it with heroines who are stupid in the extreme? I get that the hero was using mind control on her (seriously.), but what about thinking that it's perfectly okay that a patron of a strip club she works at just shows up at her door at 3am demanding that she open the door so he can "check on her"... and she finds is nothing more than "mildly creepy but well-meant"? When the hero decided it would be okay to use mind-control to seduce his "little human" rescuer after a bad incident, that was it for me.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
I agree with the others who have mentioned caveman attitude of the hero. Seriously. Just because he has superpowers or what have you doesn't mean he has to act like a shit. Me Tarzan, you Jane just about covers this story. And why do they insist on the heroine being TSTL/manipulated/doormat but say that she's a strong character, blah blah. Saying so doesn't make it so. It's how they act that matters.

I really wanted to like this book because I enjoy supernatural heroes and that sort of thing. But I also want to like the hero/heroine. Which I didn't like the hero or the heroine much either. And the whole "need to have sex to prove you're my soul mate" deal was just too much. How about I-want-to-have-sex-with-you-because-you're-hot-and-I'm-horny-but-I'll-not-manipulate-you-with-my-superpowers line instead.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2012
I liked the premise of this book. Gorgeous, broad-shouldered, fit, demi-gods who protect not only their Atlantis-like world, but our world as well is something I like reading about. I also like the female characters as they are strong. What I don't like is as follows:

-The characters are too homogenous. I would like to see the author expand the character base to be more representative of the peoples of the world. Also, given that we have a bunch of gladiator-type men, I would think that there would be some variety in terms of how the women look. I recognize that the 3 sisters will be similar in looks and build, but please branch out. I'm not asking for 300 pound women or anything, but someone, say a size 12 wouldn't be bad either.

-The authors writing style is somewhat weird, for lack of a better word. The stories start out well written, and then the profanity-laced dialogue becomes awkward at times. Perhaps it's just my social circle, but I don't know people who speak like this.
Overall, I liked the book and did purchase the next book. The book flows well and the characters, even the bad ones, are likeable.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Locate your Classical Dictionary from the back of your bookshelf for this one - it's another book with Greek Gods and other Immortals as heroes. It's not the first book I've read recently taking classical heroes and bringing them to the modern world, and it's not particularly original in the overall story, but it was OK to read.

Theron is the leader of the Argonauts - classical heroes who live long lives in order to save humans (what else!) Although they live in a different dimension from the humans, they sometimes come across to the human world to see what's going on. When Casey, working as a waitress in a club, spots Theron she finds him interesting. When she sees him later in the car park being attacked she rescues him, takes him home and tends his wounds. What Casey doesn't realise is that she herself is special and that, once Theron realises it, her life may be in danger. But Theron, sworn to protect his king and princess, may find his duty hard to carry out when it involves Casey. And she may have to come to terms with her own destiny, and the fact that she may have to sacrifice herself for the good of many.

This wasn't a bad book with quite a lot going on and good pacing. I wasn't entirely convinced by the classical setting, feeling that it was rather shoehorned into an altered world to fit the author's needs. There were several other Argonauts listed who undoubtedly will have their own books in future. Whether I will want to read them isn't yet clear, but this wasn't a bad start to a series.

Originally published for Curled Up With A Good Book © Helen Hancox 2010
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