Amber Madison is a nationally noted sex and dating expert and the author of the books Hooking Up and Talking Sex with Your Kids. She has appeared on MTV, NPR, and the Today show, and in Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Newsweek, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report. She is Seventeen's sex and dating advice columnist, as well as an award-winning lecturer who speaks nationally. She lives in New York City.
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I will say the book is a good read and I like Elizabeth Amber, but for goodness sakes! why must these paper (steroidical)looking macho youths be on the covers of these books. Bastian the 'man' as described in the book is nothing like the youthful youth on the cover. It's a good thing we (readers) do have our own imaginations. Good story though.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This story is a harmonious blend of sensuality and pitch-perfect plotting.April 27 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Bastian by Elizabeth Amber Paranormal Romance - April 26th, 2011 5 stars
Known for her highly erotic and decadent paranormal romances, Elizabeth Amber returns with her best book to date! Not since her first book have I been so thrilled. This story is a harmonious blend of sensuality and pitch-perfect plotting. Even though it is part of series, I feel that this story can be read by itself but it would help having read at least one in the series.
Bastian is the eldest Satyr -mythical men with sexual prowess that literally makes women swoon. He and his brothers guard a magical vineyard where other paranormal beings cross from their home world of ElseWorld. However, Bastian has a passion for archeology and is now excavating the ruins of the vestal virgins, where he believes there are powerful stones which ground the vineyard and protect it. Unknown to him he has caught the attention of two vestal virgin who are Ephemerals. Ephemerals are immortal beings who for a short period of time (a month) can take over the body of a dying person. However, they can choose to give up their immortality. But unbeknownst to him, one of them is his current mistress, named Michaela. She gave up her immortality to live with Bastian as a human.
Michaela's good friend is also an Ephemeral and a vestal virgin named Silvia. Silvia watches over her friend and spies her making love with Bastian! Soon Silvia who has never been tempted finds she longs for Bastian, too. But he is her friend's love interest. To add to her troubles, Silvia needs the same stones Bastian is intent on excavating. For Silvia has promised the stones to her corrupt uncle in return for freeing her fellow vestal virgins from imprisonment. Since she knows where the ruins of the vestal virgins are she plots to help Bastian to unearth the site to find them. As an Ephemeral assumes several identities to `aid' him. Then plans to somehow steal them from Bastian. But as she works with him and gets to know Bastian, she finds herself falling in love. During this time, Silvia must fight her growing attraction for Bastian. She is also afraid to reveal her true form to him because of physical scars and the risk of becoming mortal. Will their blossoming love survive her deception?
This was an exciting story that kept me up until the early morning hours. I could not stop reading it. I felt torn for Silvia as she gets closer to Bastian through various identities and soon comes to love his sense of humor and honor. But he does not realize that Silvia is helping him. Bastian feels affection for each of her manifestations but is puzzled why he is so attracted to so many different people.
I really enjoyed how Silvia and Bastian get to know each other through all her disguises. I liked meeting all of Silvia's new forms since she also took on some of the characteristics of her host. One was a young, male thief which was a riot! In some erotic romances the main characters just hop into bed and I never feel a real connection between them except physical. But their repeated meetings developed into a real connection that was fascinating to read.
Silvia makes this book. She is a very noble character. Knowing that her friend loves Bastian, she tries to hold back her attraction to him. I especially liked how Silvia is the only one who really makes Bastian want to open up about his secrets. I also enjoyed how much I got to know Bastian and love him as much as Silvia. Bastian is no slouch and is the most likeable Satyr thus far. I liked how he teased Silvia and when he realizes he loves her, she soon becomes the only woman he has ever pursued! Reading his determination to keep her with him was enthralling. These two are perhaps the best couple the author has written to date because their real affection and love shine through.
I loved this sensual world, especially the wonderfully entertaining relationship between the two main characters. They had to be together!!
Reviewed by Steph from the Bookaholics Romance Book Club
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Great Story With Sexy Hero!!May 5 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Elizabeth Amber has created a world of fantasy, based in the old religions and histories of Europe and Rome. The rich textures of this world are fascinating, and the mix of real history and fantasy are so well combined to draw the reader into the story.
Michaela and Silvia were best friends for untold centuries, until Michaela chooses to become mortal for the man she loves.
Raised in the temple of Vesta, Silvia is one of the Vestal Virgins, while Michaela becomes a Companion, trained to pleasure the dignitaries of Elseworld, and traveling Earthside on occasion. There she falls in love with Bastian Satyr, eldest of the second generation of the Lords of Satyr, and chooses to leave the life of an Ephemeral to become mortal for him. But she retains her ties to her friend, and when Michaela is murdered by an ogre sent by the evil Pontifex, Silvia takes her body as host, for that is the only way she can honor her friends last wishes, to lay with Bastian once more at Moonful. And although all Silvia knows of sex and passion is what was given her at Michaela's hands, she has fallen under Bastian's spell herself, and is beginning to love the man he is. Because she is an Ephemeral, Silvia can take on the body of one near death to become fully solid, but only for a limited period.
As she spends time with Bastian, first as a twelve year old ragamuffin, then as Michaela, she grows ever more conflicted at what she must do: find the six firestones from the ruined temple and return to Elseworld to try and free the nine Vestal imprisoned there. Can Silvia let herself love and be loved for who she is, or will she forever long for what Bastian can offer her? Can Bastian save her in time to start a new life with her? Will Silvia ever give him the one thing she has kept from him-her name?
I will admit that I found this book a little slow going at first, but soon became enthralled by the story of betrayal and salvation unfolding in Silvia's story. And make no mistake about it-this is Silvia's story just as much as it is Bastian's. The retelling of Silvia and Michaela's backstory is illuminating, if at times quite tragic, but gives an insight into Silvia's actions.
Silvia is a wonderful character. Strong and determined to achieve her goals, she is shocked to find herself falling for Bastian. And as Michaela's most loyal friend, she denies the attraction, even to herself. I enjoyed watching her move from host to host, taking those characters as her own, and trying to fulfill the death wish of that host at each turn. Whether male or female, she gains a bit from each host, and has become very adept at what she does. Sensuous yet innocent, Silvia is a marvelous mix of any personalities combined. I like that she refuses to be deterred from her goal of freeing her fellow Ephemerals held captive by the evil Pontifex, even if it means giving up any happiness she could have with Bastian.
Bastian is the perfect image of the hero. Tall, dark and exceedingly virile, he is the ideal every woman seeks, but rarely finds. I liked that he isn't perfect, however, and his small flaws make him more attractive overall. I loved the irony of a man whose family is in the wine industry being unable to touch liquor in any for without disastrous effects. As a very successful excavator and archaeologist, he has hidden the fact of his colorblindness from everyone. I loved that it was only through Silvia that he gained the colors in his vision, and thus always knew her, no matter what form she came to him in once he realized the cause. And I loved that he was willing to love and accept her, no matter what form she took, male or female.
This is a story filled with danger, for both Silvia and Bastian. Bastian is seeking the very same stones that Silvia is, but for a different reason. He believes, and rightly so, that the six stones on the Earth side are keeping the existence of `other kind' hidden from the humans, and fears what could happen if the stones leave earth for the Elseworld. Will these two ever be able to be together, and love each other as who they really are? You must read Bastian to find the answer to that. I promise you, it is worth the trip.
Originally posted at Whipped Cream Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Great writing, unusual story, loved itMay 20 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
The author convinced me Silvia and Bastian were truly soul-mates. They are also two of the most interesting characters I've ever read in a romance novel.
Bastian is a flawed hero -- formerly a drunk, and he's colorblind, which is detrimental to his career as head archeologist in the Roman Forum.
Silvia is an ephemeral, which is someone who lives by taking the near-dead as hosts. To repay each host for letting her temporarily use their body, she fulfills a dying wish. Sometimes it's just finding a home for the host's pet and sometimes it's much much more.
She has come to the forum at this point to steal some powerful relics (formerly guarded by the Vestal Virgins) from the forum.
My only dislike in this otherwise wonderful book: I read M/F romance and this is a great M/F romance. The central romance and sexual tension (and sex) are all between Bastian and Silvia. The novel is about them. However, there are two brief f/f scenes, which I didn't read because I don't read f/f, though I admit they were not gratuitous scenes. There is only one m/m scene, and that's between Silvia and Bastian (remember, she takes on host bodies). I read this m/m scene even though I prefer m/f because 1)it was interesting and well written 2)it was not gratuitous and 3) by that point in the story, I was totally into these characters and needed to experience this pivotal moment between them.
Setting: 1881, Rome during the excavations of the forum
Highly recommend for readers of hot historical paranormal romance!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
wonderful addition to the Lords of Satyr seriesJune 5 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Ephemeral Michaela has faithfully served the goddess Vesta for thousands of years. Granted immortality she'd been entrusted with one of the precious firestones when the temple had been destroyed but it has been lost. Now she is on a mission to locate all the missing firestones. Throughout her search Michaela's entered the bodies of many men and women when they took their last breath. She takes this privilege seriously and always does her best to grant the host's last wishes whenever possible. What she doesn't expect is for her best friend and fellow ephemeral Silvia to become involved with Bastian and give up immortality leaving Michaela all alone in her quest.
Lord Bastian Satyr is in charge of the forum excavation where he's searching for the lost Temple. He was born colorblind so he's astonished when some presence in his home allows him to see colors and he can even hear her voice. He may have taken Silvia as a lover but he's under no illusions that she's his mate or there's any chance of a happily-ever-after with her. He has his own reasons for wanting this excavation to be a success but is finding the bureaucracy involved with the whole process to be a real bother.
With the fate of the imprisoned ephemerals dependent on Michaela's success at obtaining the firestones she's determined not to fail but she needs for Lord Bastian to dig in a different area than he's currently searching. Sure, he's finding artifacts but not the temple - and that's where Michaela believes some of the firestones might be found. Silvia suggests that Michaela give up her immortal status and enjoy the carnal delights Bastian has to offer but Michaela refuses - despite her undeniable attraction to him. Only after she's freed the ephemerals will she consider a life for herself... after all, there's no guarantee she'll survive what is to come and she can't complete her task if she's mortal. The last thing she needs is to become involved with Bastian but resisting his allure only seems to become more difficult as she comes to know him better while guiding him to the location where he should be searching. Fortunately Bastian's unaware of the turmoil in Michaela's mind because he believes her to be a young man.
BASTIAN is the sixth title in Elizabeth Amber's intensely erotic series THE LORDS OF SATYR. This story is an exciting blend of historical details, stunning paranormal portrayals and emotionally charged situations that really pull the reader into the characters lives. Bastian, like all Satyrs, is a lusty man yet he's also caring and generous and possesses a vulnerability that makes him infinitely loveable. I have to confess Michaela fascinates me with almost everything she does - from how she chooses her host to her ability to put her mission above any personal desires. Even her friendship with Sylvia intrigued me and at one point reduced me to tears.
If you've been reading the LORDS OF SATYR series then you're well acquainted with the intricacies of the characters and the blatant sensuality that satyrs possess and BASTIAN certainly lives up to his predecessors. This story has it all - a sexy hero, mysterious heroine, plenty of twists and turns guaranteed to hold your attention and enough emotional content to ensure you'll fall in love with the characters as well as Ms. Amber's writing.
Interested in picking up the rest of the LORDS OF SATYR books? Here they are - in order: NICHOLAS, RAINE, LYON, DOMINIC, DANE, and there will be a seventh book, SEVIN which is due to be released in 2012.
(courtesy of Romance Junkies)
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent addition to the Satyr seriesNov. 3 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
First readers should note that this is a different Satyr clan than the others in the series. This is a Satyr clan from Rome (not Tuscany) in the 1850's time period. The brothers in this series are Bastian, Sevin, Dane, and Lucian. The Satyr clan of Tuscany, from the 1794 to 1813 time period and are Dominic, Nicolas, Lyon, and Raine. I don't think the two clans are related but I'm not 100% sure. I was a bit confused myself, with a new Satyr clan, which is why I'm relating the other clans and names and time period of both so you know what's going on in each series. If you are new to the Elizabeth Amber series, I will tell you that the Satyr clan's are descended from Bacchus, the Roman God of Wine. Naturally, most of the Satyr's work in the vineyards and do exceptionally well in this field. Not only do they flourish at wine-making, they also protect a sacred gate between Earth and the ElseWorld. The ElseWorld is a parallel realm to the Earth and is populated by creatures of myth and magic. The two main characters in this book are Silvia and Lord Bastian. Silvia is a virgin Ephemeral (1 of 12 girls) who worship Vesta, the Goddess of Hearth, Home, and Fire. Silvia, along with the other 11 girls are changed into Ephemerals 1,500 years ago by their Goddess as a way to protect them when their temple was destroyed. Ephermals are non-corporeal beings who can inhabit the bodies of others, who are close to death. Lord Bastian is a Satyr, brother to 3, and leads an archaeological site in Rome, excavating rare finds. Satyrs are very sexual beings and at the beginning of each month, their ancient royal blood line demands that they heed the full moon's call to fornicate. If they don't do this, they can actually die. We meet Silvia at the beginning of the book, when she's just six-years old. She's lead by her parents, to the Roman Forum, where others have gathered, including other girls her own age and her uncle Pontifex. Her mother informs her that it's a ceremony to chose the Virgins and that it's an honor to be chosen. Basically, Silvia and the others are special and different from other children and are chosen to be inducted into the service of Vesta, the Goddess of Fire. In the late 1800's you meet Bastian and Silvia again. Bastian is in a sexual relationship with Michaela, who is Silvia's friend from Vesta's temple. Michaela is a Companion, a courtesan with the power to please any man. Bastian is in charge of excavating the Roman Forum and is famous for his finds. He's in charge by the order of the ElseWorld to safeguard any Satyr secret that might get dug up. Bastian is also determined to find the House of the Vestal Virgins and doesn't realize that Michaela was a part of that temple. Silvia gives him a vision on where to find the temple, because she is looking for something special to help her and her other sisters from the temple. You can say she has ulterior motives in leading Sebastian along the way. Please note there are some F/F and M/M action. I don't care for those relationships much, but they did not take away from me enjoying this book. Elizabeth Amber writes deliciously, erotic paranormals that make me want to go dig up a Satyr of my own.
I did receive this book for Free to give my honest review. This did not affect the rating on the book and my rating/review is strictly my own opinion.