ORDER A COPY: Kiss of the Goblin Prince: Shadowlands series
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publishing Date: May 1, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Trapped for centuries in the bleak Shadowlands, Dai clings to his humanity with a thirst for knowledge. But now he’s free of the goblin curse, and some would say he knows too much—he can make nature bend to his will, influence the minds of others, and command magic. Yet love eludes him. Then he meets Amanda, a single mother with a sick daughter whom he feels compelled to protect. But could she possibly place her trust in the kiss of a goblin prince?
In Book #1, Goblin King, due to the love of Eliza, Roan, the Goblin King, was finally able to break the spell which doomed Roan and his brother, Dai, to live in the shadowlands. The curse was put on the brothers by a druid priest almost 2,000 years ago. They were cursed to live in the shadowlands, slowly losing their soul to the greed for gold which would turn them into goblins.
Kiss of the Goblin Prince tells the story of Dai, the Celtic prince of the Decangli. This story is a bit dark since the lives of both Dai and Amanda are both filled with trauma and they stumble a bit trying to overcome their pasts and their fears.
Amanda is the sister in law of Eliza, and Eliza’s brother Matt was killed shortly after he and Amanda were married, and which was shortly after she found out she was pregnant. Although her daughter is now seven, she has never worked past the trauma of watching her newlywed husband drown trying to save another surfer. Amanda is too focused on her daughter Brigit, who is slowly suffocating from chronic asthma, to realize that her life is passing her by. Once she meets Dai, he starts to re-awaken desires, both physically and a desire to move on with her life. Unlike several other stories that featured widows who mourned their husbands until the hero shows up in town and suddenly they toss off their grief and try to jump the hero, Amanda’s realization that she has stopped living her life was a gradual reawakening and she had to work hard to move past her fears and guilt of moving on without the husband she barely knew. The daughter Brigit was cute but underused as a character.
This story mainly focuses on Dai and his trying to adjust to returning to being a man in the fixed realm. Dai was taken as a teenager from his father’s lands by the Romans to ensure that his people would not rebel against Rome. Dai was a prince kept as a slave in the house of a cruel General. He only escaped the life of a slave when he was cursed to the shadowlands. Dai had spent most of his almost 2,000 years in the shadowlands learning magic in an attempt to break the druid’s spell. Dai is trying to work past his hatred for the Roman General and trying to get used to being a man again. He also is being blocked from retreiving his library of magic books by The Birch, who have been holding his books of magic in the fixed realm, so he is trying to relearn magic in this world by trial and error.
This story also deals with the premise of reincarnation and how our lives are continually connected to the same people, as well as the fact that unless you deal with whatever issues you have, you will constantly try to work past the same issues over and over in your future lives.
This is not a quick, light read, nor is it a sexy thriller. This is a very interesting and dark story, and it is truly compelling to watch these two well written characters work through their fears and try to connect with each other.
Received an ARC from the netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
“It must be time for cake.”
In the doorway Amanda stood watching them, her face unreadable. Dai drew in a breath ready to defend himself. Would she mention the kiss he’d stolen or let it go?
“Is it time for cake, Mom?”
“It must be since it’s Dai’s birthday and he said it was.” Amanda gave her daughter a smile.
Brigit picked up her bag and ran into the kitchen.
Amanda’s green eyes assessed him. Where there’d been heat now there was confusion. Every time he looked at her lips he would remember and hunger. He’d have to live like a starving man again. He was used to that, but he didn’t want her thinking he was a cad.
“I…” What did he say? “I should’ve asked first.”
She shook her head. “You shouldn’t have stopped.”
“You shouldn’t have pushed me away.” If she hadn’t, he was sure they’d still be standing in the garden and he’d be cursing himself for not being able to walk away.
Her gaze flickered over him. “I didn’t.”
Then she closed the distance and placed her hand on his chest the way she had in the garden and right over the talons. His breath hitched in his throat. This wasn’t a good idea. He covered her hand with his not wanting her to pull away. She was close enough he could smell the cold still clinging to her skin, feel it seeping through his shirt and into the talons that bound him to the past. He wanted her to reach in and rip them out regardless of the price. The talons scrabbled as if unable to keep a hold of his heart.
For a heartbeat neither of them moved.
Then her tongue moistened her lip. He tracked the movement. Was she waiting to be kissed again? But Amanda leaned in and kissed him.
His hands moved to her hips and drew her close. Her body against his offered all the temptation he’d denied himself out of fear. With Amanda those old doubts wilted. Her touch was every kindness he’d forgotten could exist.
Her lips brushed his for only a second before she pulled back and looked up at him smiling. “They’ll be waiting.”
Let them wait.