(I'm going to be reviewing Tempting Ecastasy & Piercing Ecstasy together because I read them together, and am kinda trying to get them out of the way because the series is getting more and more triggery/disturbing as each book passes)
In Tempting Ecstasy, the fourth book in Setta Jay's Guardians of the Realm series. In each previous novel, the focus has been on a specific male, and his mate. This book is no different. This one focuses of Conn and his mate Dacia.
Dacia is an Immortal, and she knows there are others, but she has no idea how to find them. Her family has been living on Earth, quietly flying under the notice of other Immortals. When Conn scents her after the explosion at Cynthia's compound, he is bound to find her, at risk of serious pain.
This book was a little different, as it focused more on Dacia, and her needs. She didn't allow Conn to claim her right away. She forced him to "play it cool" until she learned more about Immortals, Guardians, the Realms, and the responsibilities that come with being an Immortal and the mate of a Guardian. With Dacia being Immortal, she also has mating frenzy, so she knows exactly what Conn is going through in his physical need to claim her. That was a little different, and made this book a little more palatable. Not too terribly much, as there was still kidnapping of Dacia and her sisters, the mild mental abuse of Dacia by Conn, and the overwhelming "Alpha Male" atmosphere of the book, and the entire series. But it was a little better. Still great, hot smut. But the storyline is starting to get a little old.
Piercing Ecstasy is the story of Jax and Ileana. Jax is pretty typical Setta Jay alpha male...Tall, chiseled, devastatingly handsome, yadda yadda yadda. Ileana is a damaged little package though. Seriously damaged and broken. Her parents were murdered in order to protect her from being experimented on because she has no scent to other Immortals. So she's untrackable. She can spell herself to change her hair and eye color to blend in anywhere. She actually is the one who find her mate in Jax first. She touches him to help further her cause of revenge, and starts the wheels of mating into motion.
That's a little different in the series, with Ileana being given the decision of touching her mate, or helping herself. Se seems to be the most developed mate character so far, and isn't quite as easily manipulated by the Guardians. That was a little refreshing, but there is still the mental abuse, the manipulation, and the overbearing assholeness of her alpha male.
I think this is one of the better ones so far, because Ileana is an actual character. She's got a reason to be wary, to not trust the Guardians, to want to do things her way. And she tries to play the Guardians into helping her cause. She doesn't really succeed, of course, because that'd change the series too much, and Ms Jay's audience doesn't want much deviation from her oh so naughty males, and the females they dominate. The smut is strong, and it's still very appealing for the fantastic deliciousness that Ms Jay writes into all her books.