I read this TWO months ago, and need to get through this ever-increasing review backlog, hence resorting to the blurb once more:
During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle found sanctary among the Wyr in New York. Her ethereal beauty and sparkling personality won the hearts of the public, but after her uncle's death, there are those who don't want to see her ascend to the throne.
Able to wield thunder and lightning, Wyr sentinel Thiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power makes him one of the Wyr's best weapons. And he's sent to protect Tricks when she's almost assassinated in Chicago.
Soon, both Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them - a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.
Last year, I read and really enjoyed Dragon Bound, the first of Thea Harrison's Elder Races paranormal romance series. This book, which features some of the supporting characters of the first book, Tricks, the petite and outgoing fae PR representative for Dragos, the super-Alpha dragon shifter whose the hero in book one, and Thiago, one of his main security guys, who happens to be a Thunderbird shifter and immensely powerful and so on and so forth. In Dragon Bound, there is a conflict with the ruler of the Dark Fae that ends in his death. Once he's killed, it is revealed that Tricks is in fact his long lost niece, the only surviving member of the original royal family, who were murdered when her evil uncle usurped the throne. She's been hiding with Dragos and the other Wyr shapeshifters in New York under her assumed identity. Now a delegation of Dark Fae are asking her to return and take up her rightful place as queen.
Others are less enthusiastic, and video where Tricks cuts down her would-be attackers in an alley in Chicago goes viral, while Tricks is nowhere to be found. Dragos sends his best tracker, Thiago, to locate and protect her. While the two seem not to have spent all that much time together in the past two centuries while they've been working for the same dragon, apparently taking up bodyguard duty, shielding her from new dangers and spending a lot more time in close confines for the reluctant Tricks makes Thiago realise that she is his fated mate. The various Elder Races have their own territories, and are not supposed to intermarry. The Dark Fae will not accept a queen mated to a Wyr, and Thiago becoming Tricks' consort could be seen as a dangerous power bid. Of course, all of these complications will be irrelevant if they don't figure out who is trying to assassinate Tricks before she can even make it to her home territory to take up her title.
This book was moderately entertaining while I read it, but I can now barely remember any of the details and mainly the bits that annoyed me, at that. Harrison makes no great attempt at actually establishing why Tricks and Thiago may suddenly be falling for one another, she basically just tells us that it's so. Fated mate storylines rarely work for me, because they just seem a bit lazy. Why bother showing us the characters getting to know one another and falling for each other when you can just make them meant to be? They have no control over their choices or actions, they are just destined to be compatible because...reasons? Also, this being a romance, the whole "oh noes, my people will never accept our union" seemed a bit contrived, as they are obviously going to stay together. Finally, it was painfully obvious to me who the person scheming to kill Tricks was from the moment said character was introduced. There was very little tension there.
Add to that the fact that it seems like for at least a quarter of the book, Harrison was mostly busy establishing the two characters who currently have an antagonistic relationship but are clearly fated to be together, neither of whom I was particularly excited about, and this book was a big disappointment compared to the first one. I'm hoping later books are better, but based on their introductions in this book, I may skip the next one too. I don't know if I care about the inscrutable vampire queen and the next of Dragos' many security officers.
Judging a book by its cover: Well, your eyes are certainly drawn to the abs, aren't they? Unlike the cover model for the last book, this one doesn't actually get a face, to leave more to the reader's imagination? I don't exactly think this cover is very exciting, but then the contents were pretty underwhelming too, so at least it's not trying to oversell the story? I've got nothing.
“You’re delusional if you think I would ever let you take me again, after the way you’ve treated me. You see this?” With her free hand, she waved her fingers in the air down the length of her torso as she shook her head. “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You’re neeevvver getting this goodness again.”
…As his fangs descended and his eyes flashed red, he told her, “We’ll see about that, princess. We’ll see."
Vampyres and other fantasical creatures are plentiful in this fast-paced paranormal romance from Thea Harrison. Be ready for a second chance at romance when Julian and Melisande join forces to defeat a threat to their people, and their own lives, as well.
This being book eight in the Elder Races series, it left me at a disadvantage when I began reading. It admittedly took me a little bit to figure out the worldscape and the characters, but once I did, I was hooked. I was impressed with the intelligent way Ms. Harrison wrote not only her characters, but also the detailing of each scene and how the story continued to build until the conclusion.
Julian and Melly have always been explosive when in each other's presence, but when she is kidnapped by his enemies he sets aside his anger and hatred for what she did to him 20 years ago and goes to her rescue, willingly becoming Justine's prisoner. Melly truly doesn't think that Julian will raise a single finger to save her, not when he still believes she cheated on him all those years ago, but she is shocked that not only does he come to her aid but he also willingly sacrifices himself to protect her. Thrust together against their will and set up in one life or death situation after another brings these two lovers back together quite explosively. Neither has stopped loving the other, which has led to quite a few heated and nasty fights with things said to hurt the other. But these two can't stay away from each other once they are back together. While together they escape Justine's little death trap, give in to their explosive passions for one another, and discover the truth behind what happened 20 years ago that tore these two lovers apart. As they race to stop a coup at Evenfall, they both come to realize that their love is worth so much more than being a king and a famous actress. This one was very enjoyable. I loved watching Julian and Melly heal wounds to their hearts and come to see that their love is worth fighting for.
My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at Hotlistens.com.
This novella picks up where Dragos Goes to Washington ends. Pia has to honor the deal that was made and spend a week in the light fae territory of Los Angeles. The light fae queen tries to talk persuade Pia to come at a later time, but Pia just wants to get it over with, so she insists on coming now. Dragos insists on following, even though he isn’t supposed to.
Come to find out, there are zombies in Hollywood. Dragos happens upon them while out shopping, can these two do nothing without running into trouble. In the process of fighting them, Dragos is bitten and is unable to turn into his dragon form or talk telepathically to anyone.
The Wyr and the light fae work together to try to resolve this new enemy. Pia and Dragos also work together to try to use Pia’s healing ability to heal Dragos. The problem is that Pia is on medication that is affecting her healing ability. She tries holding off as long as possible on taking the next dose of the meds so as to help heal Dragos, but she also doesn’t want to risk the entire reason she is taking the meds (purposely vague to avoid spoilers).
It was a nice quick read/listen. I enjoy my time with the Cuelebre family. They are one of my all-time favorite couples, not to mention the most unique in their wyr forms. I’m excited to see where the third novella that follows Liam takes us.
Once again, Sophie Eastlake does a great job of narration. What can I say that I haven’t already said about her narration? Not much really. Great with the different character voices, both male and female. I do listen at an increased speed, this one even more than most. I think I listened at 1.5x. I normally listen at 1.25x. Anyway, I enjoyed the narration. I’ve only ever listened to this series. I’ve yet to read an Elder Races story. I will continue to stay with the audios.