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Lure of the Wicked: A Dark Mission Novel Mass Market Paperback – 5 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (5 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006204690X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062046901
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,697,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Karina Cooper has built a world on the ashes of the one we know. BLOOD OF THE WICKED scared me, thrilled me and made me fall in love with the characters. I want more and I can’t wait to see what she writes next! (Cherry Adair)

“Cooper continues to do a wonderful job of building an alternate universe with interesting and unique characters. The romance is steamy and the story is full of fast-paced action. This series has everything a reader will love.” (RT Book Reviews (4 stars))

“A brilliant new voice in paranormal romance.” (New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd)

“Karina Cooper is a wickedly wonderful storyteller. Lure of the Wicked is an intriguing tale spun full of action, hard hits, and steamy scenes that will keep you up late into the night.” (New York Times bestselling author Jocelynn Drake)

From the Back Cover

Naomi West was plucked from one prison and placed undercover in another: the gilded cage that is Timeless, New Seattle's premier spa and resort, where owner Phinneas Clarke—the most seductive man Naomi has ever met—may be hiding a killer. She's an agent of the Holy Order, trained to hunt the guilty and render justice. But while she's tracking down a rogue agent on a killing spree, Phin is determined to uncover her most damning—and dangerous—secrets. Whatever the cost.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mistress of The Dark Path on 15 Oct. 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book left me torn as to how to rate it. I really enjoyed its predecessor, Blood of the Wicked, and had high hopes for the next in the series. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Lure of the Wicked begins three months after events of the previous novel with one character who was introduced before, Naomi West, and one new character, Phineas Clark. Phin runs a spa and resort with his family. Naomi goes there undercover to hunt down a rogue missionary who is believed to be hiding there. She soon figures out a lot more is going on than expected. Naomi and Phin are brought together time and again as the troubles continue to escalate.

The events that occur in this novel tie into the last one. I expected that and looked forward to seeing how the overall series plot progressed, but it seemed very little time was actually spent on the rogue missionary Naomi was supposed to be hunting down. Too many other threads of trouble got in the way. Not to mention the explanation on how the rogue fit into the big picture didn't really get explained to my satisfaction. Part of this, I'm sure, is because there is more to be learned about the plot between the church and witches as the series progresses. Yet it should be understood this book could never stand on its own and leaves more questions than answers. The ending left me rather frustrated even if the next two books are already out so I don't have to wait to learn more.

My other big issue was with Naomi West. I found her to be very hard to relate to. From the beginning she came off as cold, hard, impatient and rude. She stated numerous times that all she wanted was to go kill people and did not care for being stuck undercover at a fancy spa.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.5 stars due to mixed emotions 3 Oct. 2012
By Mistress of The Dark Path - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book left me torn as to how to rate it. I really enjoyed its predecessor, Blood of the Wicked, and had high hopes for the next in the series. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to my expectations. Lure of the Wicked begins three months after events of the previous novel with one character who was introduced before, Naomi West, and one new character, Phineas Clark. Phin runs a spa and resort with his family. Naomi goes there undercover to hunt down a rogue missionary who is believed to be hiding there. She soon figures out a lot more is going on than expected. Naomi and Phin are brought together time and again as the troubles continue to escalate.

The events that occur in this novel tie into the last one. I expected that and looked forward to seeing how the overall series plot progressed, but it seemed very little time was actually spent on the rogue missionary Naomi was supposed to be hunting down. Too many other threads of trouble got in the way. Not to mention the explanation on how the rogue fit into the big picture didn't really get explained to my satisfaction. Part of this, I'm sure, is because there is more to be learned about the plot between the church and witches as the series progresses. Yet it should be understood this book could never stand on its own and leaves more questions than answers. The ending left me rather frustrated even if the next two books are already out so I don't have to wait to learn more.

My other big issue was with Naomi West. I found her to be very hard to relate to. From the beginning she came off as cold, hard, impatient and rude. She stated numerous times that all she wanted was to go kill people and did not care for being stuck undercover at a fancy spa. Those reading this review should know that I served in the military for over a decade and deployed to Iraq twice. I totally get fighting bad guys and being trained in that type of job. Yet I never "lived" for killing people. In fact, it's been my experience that most people (minus psychopaths) don't actually enjoy taking lives. You do it because you have to. Not because it's fun and enjoyable. I know it's a common trope in urban fantasy for heros/heroines to get off on the fight. Usually I don't have a problem with it because it's fiction and meant for entertainment. I know most authors have never actually had to fight for their lives before so they tend to go to extremes with their characters. Whatever. It's normally not a problem for me. Yet with Naomi's character, she was so annoying in this regard that I had a constant urge (especially in the early parts of the book) to jump within the pages and put her out of her misery.

Thankfully, there is the saving grace of Phinneas Clark. He isn't really a tough alpha male, but the author made him just as appealing. He was the type of man a woman could dream about between his good looks and charming personality. Phin was pretty much the opposite of Naomi as far as behavior goes. Putting the two together (almost) balanced out the weaknesses of each. Phin was what got me to the half-way point so I could discover the rest of the novel was much more enjoyable. He slowly drew Naomi out of her hard shell enough so the reader could find something likeable about her. Thank God for him.

***Minor Spoiler Alert***

The only frustrating part is not enough time was spent developing the relationship to its full potential. Phin and Naomi jumped to the physical aspects rather fast (and often at the most inopportune times), but they didn't work through all their personal issues or fully commit to each other before the end. I felt cheated by this because the two won't be the main characters in the next novels so any progress they make will have to be seen through the eyes of others. I'll keep reading the series because I want to see them work things out into something more permanent (plus the overall plot has captured my interest), but I'd expected the author to at least fully resolve the romance within the novel like she did in the first.

***End Minor Spoiler Alert***

In summary, please do not consider the rating for this book to reflect that of any other novels in the series. I really enjoyed the first book and plan to continue with the next one, All Things Wicked, in the hopes that it will be better. The issues I mentioned above were annoying, but not enough to give up on the series. It is only my desire to warn anyone who is looking at this book that it might not be as good as they hoped. Then again, tastes vary, so others may not be bothered by the same things at all. I will say this much. Even if you have reservations about reading Lure of the Wicked, it has good points to help get you through it and certain events happen that will be important to know if you plan to move forward in the series. I'd recommend you at least give it a chance if you enjoyed the first novel.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Lure of the Wicked is a sexy spunky thriller... " 16 July 2011
By M. Nix - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Naomi West is hunting a rogue agent. She'd rather be on the lowly streets of New Seattle hunting him instead of in the higher tiers at the Timeless spa and resort. Naomi's not your fancy type of girl, leather and piercings are her cup of tea. However, her mission calls for her to portray a rich socialite ready to be pampered.

Phinneas Clarke is the owner of Timeless spa and resort. He also happens to be harboring witches. The world has turned against witches since the world practically ended. Phin and his family use Timeless to help witches but now it seems something darker is going on within Timeless. Phin finds himself attracted to Naomi but knows she's hiding something.

A rogue agent, a killer witch and much more throw Timeless into disarray. Can Naomi find the missing agent and stop the danger that lurks within the spa before it takes someone else? What will happen when Naomi and Phin discover they fight on opposite sides?

Lure of the Wicked is a sexy spunky thriller. This is the second book in the Dark Mission series and it is vastly different from book one. Therefore, I don't really feel like you have to read these in order but of course it makes the story better because you know more about the secondary characters. Lure of the Wicked thrusts Naomi, a mission agent undercover, into this spa that is bright and relaxing. I was definitely caught off guard expecting to be taken back into the dark gritty world the first book offered. It was a bit of an adjustment. However, the story is compelling and features plenty of action and romance. Naomi is a character that has the ability to make me laugh hysterically and then piss me off the next second. I believe it is all of her rough edges that make her such a fascinating character. I love Phin! He is a sweet and sensual character with enough backbone to stand up to Naomi. I absolutely fell in love with his family as well. I enjoyed meeting new characters and visiting some of the secondary characters from the first book. Naomi and Phin are fantastic together! I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them amidst this cool mystery. Lure of the Wicked will lure you in with its sensuous romance and keep you rapt with its non-stop fireworks!

Miranda
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A definite improvement from the last installment 28 Jun. 2011
By Jen (Red Hot Books) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The magic is back with this latest installment of Karina Cooper's Dark Mission series. And by the time I got to the end of Lure of the Wicked, I was every bit as enthralled in Cooper's dark and creative world as I was in Before the Witches. That's a mighty compliment, because I loved that novella.

The book begins with a missionary, Naomi, on an undercover job to capture a rouge agent. She is assuming the role of a rich society woman at a posh spa. But almost right away, things get more complicated when a witch attacks her in her room. He gets away and Naomi now must not only find her original target, but the witch who is targeting her.

Phin runs the fancy resort where Naomi is staying. His parents founded the place. When he and Naomi meet, sparks fly instantly. Of course, he has no idea who she really is or why she is there. But despite her assumed identity, her real personality shines through. And perhaps just as importantly, her real life starts seeping in and mixing with her pretend one.

At the beginning of the book, I was kind of struck by the fact that there was very little supernatural at play. Really, Naomi could have been any kind of agent on any secret mission and the story would have played out in a similar fashion. But the otherworldly and post-apocalyptic elements got more involved as the story went on. Luckily, the stumbling blocks I found in Blood of the Wicked seemed to be righted here. We're back to characters that I felt invested in. Naomi's backstory is clear and sympathetic. She made for a much better "gruff agent with a wounded heart" than Silas did. And Phin was a character with depth. He had other relationships in his life that helped flesh him out as well.

I cared about Naomi and Phin both as individuals and as a couple, something I couldn't really say about Silas and Jessie. The sexual tension was great and, frankly, so was the sex. There is one particularly enjoyable scene at the end of chapter 13 that I may have read two or three times. But more than that, I felt the evolution of an emotional bond between the two of them. It was very well done.

It was a pleasant surprise to see characters from the last book pop up toward the end. And I can see a direction for the series to progress. I was a little surprised to see the who the male lead will be in the set up for the next book... and I can't wait to see how he will be redeemed. It seems like a tall order, but one I'm anxious to see Karina Cooper fill. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
exciting futuristic romantic urban fantasy 28 Jun. 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In New Seattle Holy Order of St. Dominic witch hunter Naomi Ishikawa West reluctantly agrees to pretend to be an heiress at the luxurious Timeless spa. She hates her mission of surveillance of a man who murdered two church officials because to Naomi this assignment feels like the missionary prison the Church took her out of.

At Timeless, Naomi rushes from the elevator into spa owner Phinneas Clarke's arms; where she almost ruined his family jewels with a knee lift. He conceals his family secrets and his witch rescuing underground activity behind the respectability of Timeless. However, naïve nice Naomi has him wondering if there is more to life under the church's tyranny.

The latest Dark Mission futuristic romantic urban fantasy (see Blood of the Wicked) is an exciting thriller with a strong cast anchored by the lead couple. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Naomi knees Phinneas and never slows down until the final confrontation. Although the post apocalyptic world of Cooper is not further enhanced from the setting of Blood of the Wicked even with a stop in Old Seattle, sub-genre fans will appreciate this exhilarating tale.

Harriet Klausner
Turned off by the very vulgar language... 4 July 2013
By A. Harbin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I suppose I can not complain after purchasing the book for only a dollar, but I normally like a good paranormal/fantasy romance. After reading the back excerpt and glancing inside the front cover I thought this looked like a book I would love. However, there is an extraordinary amount of vulgar language on every page of the book. I am not opposed to using well placed swear words for emphasis when necessary, but this is distracting to the point of taking away from the story. F-bombs, made up combinations of s & f words I've only heard children say under the covers at sleepovers, and many others. On. Every. Page. Unfortunately, I can not spend my time finishing this book.
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