ORDER A COPY: Peanut Goes to School: A Short Story of the Elder Races
Publisher: Self Published
Publishing Date: June 30, 2014
eBook: 49 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Dragos Cuelebre is no longer the only dragon.
Dragos’s son Liam Cuelebre (a.k.a. Peanut) is springing into existence, reminiscent of the first of the Elder Races who were born at the beginning of the world. At just six months of age, he has already grown to the size of a large five-year-old boy. He can read, write in complete sentences, and his math skills are off the chart.
A white dragon in his Wyr form, Liam also holds more Power than almost anyone else. In an effort to give him a taste of normality, no matter how fleeting, his parents Pia and Dragos enroll him in first grade.
They hope school will help teach Liam how to relate to others, a vital skill that will help him control his growing Power. But school has a surprising number of pitfalls, and relating to others can be a tricky business.
When a classmate is threatened, Liam must quickly learn self-control, how to rein in his instincts, and govern his temper, because there’s no doubt about it—he is fast becoming one of the most dangerous creatures in all of the Elder Races.
Peanut, or Liam as we should call him since his is growing up so quickly, is becoming one of my favorite characters in this or just about any series.
Liam is the only a few months old, but as the first dragon since Dragos was created at the beginning of creation, no one is certain what to expect as far as powers or his unusual growth. He seems to have a blend of his parents personalities and abilities, but he keep surprising us all with new abilities of his very own. He even managed to sneak up on his Dad without his father sensing him, which his quite the feat.
On his first day of school, he is picked on by a few of the older boys as well as his teacher. He handles both instances with just the right mixture of intelligent thought, bravery and a little intimidation of his own. I am sure he will shine as a future leader in this series.
I can’t wait to see what else Liam’s unusual character will bring to the series as far as his adventures and his abilities. I just hope he doesn’t grow up too fast. I am not sure how I would feel about him growing up and getting his own love story when he is only, say two calendar years old.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The tricky thing about using a cloaking spell is that cloaking spells are tricky.
Liam snickered to himself as he tiptoed around the patio furniture and changed into his dragon form. His dragon had grown to the size of an adult lion, and he had to be careful not to knock over furniture as he shapeshifted.
He also managed to hold on to his cloaking spell, which was a bit fat win. Dad had said Liam’s cloaking ability was one of the best he’d ever seen, although it was difficult to stay hidden while changing forms.
But since his dad could do it, Liam felt he would be able to it also. Eventually. Sometimes. If he kept practicing, pretty soon he should be able to stay cloaked all the time if he needed to.
Liam was playing his favorite game, Spy Wyr, which he had totally made up himself. When he grew up, he was going to be a secret sentinal. Uncle Graydon would send him out on missions, and when he returned after saving somebody, or maybe even after saving everybody, Mom and Dad would be really proud of him.
Of course, because it was undercover, Dad would have to give him medals in secret. Sometimes they might be silver or bronze ones, or when he did something amazing, they might be gold. Or maybe when he did something really outstanding, Dad would give him a sparkly medal with diamonds on it. Then Liam would have to find a super-secret place to hide them.
His dragon side like the sound of that. It made him feel growly and fine.
By day, Liam would be, oh, maybe a basketball player. Basketball players traveled a lot, so it would be a good cover, and besides it would be fun to play ball all the time, so that would be big fat win.
Hi, my name if Cuelebre, Liam Cuelebre. My code name is Double Oh Peanut, but you can call me Rock Star for short.
ORDER A COPY: Pia Saves the Day: A Novella of the Elder Races
Publisher: Thea Harrison
Publishing Date: June 23, 2014
ebook: 90 pages
Rating: 5 stars
In the latest story of the Elder Races, two mates face their deadliest challenge yet—each other…
Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn’t enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.
Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.
Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.
It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this.
Pia and Dragos have decided to move to Drago’s property in upstate New York on a more permanent basis. They want Liam to grow up in the fresh air and open spaces that Manhattan just can’t offer. In order to move the Wyr headquarters upstate, additions need to be made to the sprawling property. The mansion needs some updating, but more importantly, they need housing for the sentinels as well as the security and Drago’s office staff.
As part of the project, the construction crew needs to level the bedrock for the new housing building. When an explosion goes wrong, Dragos is covered in rubble and an angry and injured dragon emerges. It is obvious from his actions that there is more to Drago’s injuries than just the bleeding head wound. The wounded Dragos takes off and Pia must first protect his demesne before she can take off to find her mate.
Pia’s blood has the power to heal but she has to get the wary and cunning dragon to trust her enough to get close. She tries to get his attention with gold and jewels to tempt his acquisitive nature. Dragos doesn’t remember Pia but her scent is stirring something deep down inside him. Dragos is looking at the golden beauty before him and he sees a treasure more valuable than baubles which he wants to keep for himself.
I absolutely love that Thea Harrison has once again brought us a story of Pia and Dragos. This would be the third story that has come back to focus on these major characters of the series. Series either focus on the continuing story of a main character or characters or they focus on a group and each pair gets their day in the sun. It is rare that an author will bring the spotlight back to characters who have already had their story told, and I love that she does this. I talked with author Thea Harrison just before the Lord’s Fall was released two years ago.
In this series Pia and Dragos are the backbone of this group and obviously they still have a lot of story to be told. Dragos is the most powerful Wyr in existence, no question. See favorite scene from Kinked. In Dragon Bound, he was pushy and domineering to a degree that should have pissed me off, but I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the dynamics of Dragos and Pia and that has only increased as the series progressed and Pia brings out a gentleness that is surprising even to the dragon himself. They are a very dynamic power couple in the paranormal world.
If you are a fan of the series, you have probably already purchased this novella and have finished it and don’t need my review to sway you in any way. But most interesting about this novella, I believe, is that there are several things occurring here that are going to bring interesting, if not major, changes to the series and to the dynamics of the characters.
This is not something that an author of a well liked series does unless they’re desperate or creating a spin off, and especially not in the form of a novella rather than a major novel release. This is pretty brave shake up on the part of Thea Harrison. I am absolutely fascinated to see how the ripples created by this novella is going to effect the future stories.
There is one more novella featuring the Cuellebre family coming out this summer and it is Peanut Goes to School. Here is another delightful character in the series who brings a great big question mark about how he will change things. Peanut is the nickname of Pia and Dragos’s son Liam and he is the only other dragon to exist since Dragos was “born” at the creation of the world millennia ago. He is growing at a phenomenal rate, but since there are no other dragons, no one knows what is normal for him. He turns into a tiny baby dragon which is absolutely adorable! Since everything about Peanut’s dragon nature being combined with Pia’s gifts is up in the air, anything can happen. He is a great big surprise and no one knows how he will affect the future of the series.
The other characters and stories have been very entertaining, but the big stars of this series are no question Pia, Dragos and Liam.
If you like paranormal romance and haven’t tried the Elder Races series, you are definitely missing out.
Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Dragos bent his head and kissed her, softly because their sleeping son nestled between them. His firm, warm lips parted hers, and he dipped his tongue into her mouth in an erotic promise for later. Awash in the love that burned through her veins, she steadied herself by gripping his bicep. With obvious reluctance, he pulled away.
In the fourteen months they had been together, the desire had never changed. Elemental as necessary as breathing, it dictated the rhythm of their lives. They orbited around each other, always looking, always reaching for the other, but it never ceased to amaze her that he looked at her this way.
His brutally handsome face could be so hard, so ruthless, but his need for her always won through. She never doubted what he felt for her. She could see it in everything he did.
You want me, she breathed.
She’d meant to say it in a cocky and flirtatious way, with a wink and a saucy Marilyn Monroe wiggle of the hips. But she forgot to wink, the hip wiggle turned into a slow, needy roll against his, and the words came out breathless and awed.
He rubbed the calloused ball of his thumb across her soft, moistened lips. A dark flush stained his high cheekbones, and his gold eyes glittered. I’ll die before I stop wanting you.
Me too. She closed her eyes at his touch.
They were both immortal Wyr. Maybe, just maybe, that would be long enough to express the depth of what she felt for him.
He kissed her forehead. Here, take Liam.
She glanced down at the top of Liam’s head and said softly, “I’m going to tuck him into his crib.”
Dragos nodded, his expression softening as he looked down at Liam too. “Now that you’re back, I’ll head out to the site. I want to see how much headway they’ve made in the blasting today.”
“Okay.” She smiled at him. “See you later.”
He answered her with a slow, wicked one of his own. “But not too much later. I fancy an early bedtime tonight.”
She watched him walk away, thinking happy, comfortable thoughts. Dinner then bed, and who knew when they would finally fall asleep? They could take their time tonight. They had all the time in the world.
Less than an half an hour later, she would give anything to call him back to her again. Anything to keep him from walking away.
Oh gods, anything.
ORDER A COPY:
Publisher: Thea Harrison
Publishing Date: November 28, 2013
Ebook: ?? novella
Rating: 5 stars
The Bermuda Triangle. Pirates. The Peanut. What could possibly go wrong?
Dragos Cuelebre needs a vacation. So does Pia, his mate. When the First Family of the Wyr head to Bermuda for some much needed R&R, it’s no ordinary undertaking – and no ordinary weekend in the sun. Between hunting for ancient treasure buried beneath the waves and keeping track of their son, Liam—a.k.a. Peanut, whose Wyr abilities are manifesting far ahead of schedule—it’s a miracle that Pia and Dragos can get any time together.
They’re determined to make the most of each moment, no matter who tries to get in their way.
And did we mention pirates?
For Dragos Cuelebre, this has been one of the greatest, but craziest years in his millenia of existence. He was met and mated Pia, he lost two of his friends and sentinels to their own matings, he saved the Elven domain, he held the first Sentinel Games, and his mate gave him the greatest treasure that he has even had—his son, Liam. After a year like this, the Cuelebre family are in need of a quiet vacation.
At least that is what Pia is trying to convince Dragos to do with some subtle hints. She even gets out some books from the library on lost treasures knowing full well that an acquisitive dragon like Dragos won’t be able to resist a treasure hunting adventure and a family vacation in the Caribbean is just what Pia needs.
But you can’t expect a treasure hunt with the Lord of the Wyrs to be without complications. Especially since there are several parties already looking for the lost treasure of the Light Fae.
It doesn’t take long for a Wyr as powerful as Dragos to locate the treasure especially when it contains magical items and since the pirates can’t take the treasure from him, they take something much more valuable than gold—his newborn son.
Peanut is now my favorite character of all time! I absolutely love him! We have this story told not only from Pia and Drago’s POV, but we also have several chapters told by their son, Liam, affectionately known as Peanut. He is absolutely adorable!! He even won over the harpy, Aryal, in Kinked, he’s that cute.
I loved that Thea went back to Dragos and Pia in Lord’s Fall and we were able to once again enjoy time with them and their new son. It was an interesting and lighthearted novella. We have become complacent with Dragos. He is a devoted husband and now father. But this story shows just what happens when you cross someone as powerful and deadly as a Wyr-dragon. He isn’t Lord of the Wyr for nothing.
And did I mention how cute Peanut is??
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Mommy carried him into his room. He thought things were going quite well until she set him down on the thick, soft rug in the middle of the floor.
No, that wasn’t what he wanted. That was very much not what he wanted.
He was tired again, and his mouth hurt, and he was hungry all of the time. Hungry for what, he didn’t know. Hungry, hungry.
So he scowled and concentrated mightily on something that he wanted.
And the world shifted.
He felt better. Quite a bit better, actually. His new mouth didn’t hurt at all, but he was still very hungry.
Mommy kept talking as she moved around his room. She pulled diapers out of drawers, set them on the changing table and turned to the closet. “…I want to take you to the beach and play in the sand with you, except I don’t know that we should. Are you too young to play in sand, or to go into salt water? Peanut, you are such a statistical outlier, half the time I have no idea what we should do with you.”
She turned away from the closet, her arms full of clothes. When she looked at him, she shrieked and dropped everything.
It startled him so badly he felt a burst of anxiety. He turned around to scoot backward toward her as fast as he could, but something flopped along his back, and his arms and legs weren’t working quite the way they had been earlier. He stopped, confused, and looked down at himself.
Slender white forelegs stretched to the floor. He picked up a front paw, staring at the talons. Then he looked over his shoulder and flexed sleek, graceful wings. A tail trailed the floor behind him. He reached for it with one forepaw and picked up the end. When he tugged at it, his butt wagged. The tail was attached to him.
Mommy knelt in front of him and cupped his face. He looked up into her eyes. She was teary and yet smiling. “You are the cleverest baby ever,” she said. “You’re so beautiful, and exactly how I first dreamed of you.”
Pleasure sleeked him down, and he smiled at her.
Her eyes went very round. Then she beamed at him. “That’s quite a mouthful of toofers you’ve got there, too.”
She gathered him up in her arms. He tucked his snout into the crook of her neck, and it was so good. It was almost everything he wanted, except….
He was so hungry.
He fussed and whined, and she sat on the floor and rocked him, while she dug her cell phone out of her pocket and moved her thumb rapidly over the keypad. “Dragos, you have to come home right now.”
Daddy’s sharp voice came over the phone. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing’s wrong exactly, but Liam has changed and he’s upset.”
“What do you mean, he’s changed?”
“I mean he’s changed! He’s in his dragon form, and I can’t even tell you how beautiful he is. He’s also upset for some reason. Maybe it scared him? And you’re missing all of it. You need to come see this.”
“I’ll be right there.”
Mommy set the phone aside as Liam whined and plucked at her shirt. “Are you hungry?” she asked gently. He nodded. “I can’t nurse you when you’re like this, sweetheart, not with all of those razor sharp teeth.”
That was the saddest thing he had ever heard in his whole life. He lifted his head and looked at her, grief bleeding from his eyes.
“Oh Peanut, I’m so sorry. Please don’t look at me that way.” They considered each other desperately. Mommy’s expression turned firm. He folded his wings back and clung to her, as she rolled to her feet and carried him to the kitchen.
She opened the fridge door and pulled out a pan that had the something he was craving. It smelled oh, so good. He arched toward the pan, reaching with both front paws.
“Hold on—let me get the plastic wrap off first.”
She slid to the floor as he struggled to get to the contents in the pan. She snatched off the plastic wrap, set the pan on the kitchen tile, and he fell on the leftover sirloin roast. Eyes closed, his whole body tense, he focused on gorging on the meat.
Running footsteps sounded in the background, but it was only Daddy, so he ignored it. A moment later, Daddy said in a quiet voice, “Well, damn. Look at that. Hello, little man.”
A large, gentle hand came down on Liam’s back, between his wings, and contentment filled him.
“I didn’t know what else to do,” Pia said. “He acted like he was starving, and he has all those teeth. Then I remembered what you said about how he was going to need a lot of meat.”
“You did exactly what you should have,” said Daddy.
Liam finished off the roast. The hungriness had gone away, and his belly felt comfortably stretched and full. Sleepiness descended. Eyes drooping, he looked over his shoulder. Daddy and Mommy knelt on either side of him, both smiling.
He scooted backward toward Mommy. When she gathered him up, he turned to climb up her body until he lay draped along her shoulders.
“I’m telling you, this is just like my dreams,” Mommy said. She reached up to stroke his leg. He stopped listening to their conversation, tucked his snout in the neckline of her shirt and fell fast asleep.
ORDER A COPY: Kindle or AllRomanceEBooks
Publishing Date: November 5, 2013
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…
As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
Aryal is a harpy in every definition of the word. Not only in her Wyr form does she changes in the harpy of Greek Mythology with torso and head of a woman and wings and talons of a bird of prey, but her personality is that of a unpleasant shrew. And she likes it that way.
She is the only female Sentinel and in the recent Sentinel games, she once again proved her worthiness of that coveted position. But it is in the last game, that Quentin Caeravorn also earned one of the open spots which was vacated when Rune and Tiago left to be with their mates. Quentin was the former boss of Pia, Drago’s new mate. She might have to put up with Pia, but Aryal knows deep in her bones that there is something off about Quentin. She just hasn’t been able to pin anything specific on him. Two years of investigation has lead to dead ends and dried up leads, but she refuses to have someone as dirty as Quentin at her back.
When their dislike for each other puts them literally at each other’s throats, Dragos has had enough. He is sending them out of New York for the next month. They are being sent on a mission which they are required to complete together, without killing each other, and to find a way to settle their differences or else they will both be replaced.
Both would like nothing more than for an “accident” to help them out with removing their nemesis, but after hammering out their differences with fists, talons and claws, they are finally finding their way around the kinks in both of their dominant personalities.
This story had a lot a fun as well as a few touching moments. Aryal and Quentin are both dominant personalities and more ways than one. I love how they finally deal with their growing sexual tension by offering bargains and timing each other to allow each to have chance to dominate the other.
When they are forced to work together, they both decide that maybe an opportunity will arise where the other will get killed and then they can return to the sentinels without any guilt. Once with they work out their differences to at least some degree, their next thoughts include “hate sex.”
Aryal finally realized she would need to be nice to Pia so that she could get closer to Drago’s and Pia’s newborn son, Liam, who stole Arayal’s heart in just a few minutes of seeing his intelligent, cherubic face.
I really like Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series, and this was definitely a great addition to the rest of the series.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
He was going to have to pause to think about this. He didn’t want to. His hands remembered how it felt to latch around her neck, and they wanted to do it again. Flexing his long fingers, he exited the gym–
Just down the hall, the door to one of the elevators opened, and Aryal and Grym walked out.
The sight of her was the same shock to the system as it always was, a raw live jolt of electricity that juddered over his nerve endings. Fueled by a surge of adrenaline, his mind leaped to a higher, faster level. This must be what it felt like for humans to jack on amphetamines.
He lunged down the hall toward her, noting every detail about her as he gained speed. As usual, she wore fighting leathers and her thick, black shoulder-length hair was tangled. Even though he knew that meant she had recently been airborne, she looked as rumpled as if she had just gotten out of bed. Her normally pale skin was flush all over with a clear, high color.
She looked as if she was glowing from an internal flame. Even though her face was uncharacteristically drawn with tiredness, she was still more alive than anyone he had ever met, ten times more vibrant than any other woman he had ever seen.
A stiletto of bitterness lanced him. Gods, if he could ever meet a woman like that whom he didn’t loathe as completed as he loathed her, he might lose this whip of restlessness that drove him. He could live the rest of his life and do nothing, be nothing but completely content. It was hideously unfair that he would look at this harpy and realize that about himself.
She saw him coming. Even though his intent was unmistakable, her fact lit up, because she was just bent that way. As she turned toward him, she swept one of her arms backward, hard, and knocked Grym in the chest so that he staggered back into the elevator. Then she strode forward to engage.
She didn’t even pause to say anything or ask Quentin why. They both knew there were so many reasons.
He leaped at her, and she dove low so that he overshot, but he thrust out one hand and grabbed a magnificent handful of that tangled black hair and yanked her with him.
They tumbled together, growling, arms and limbs entwined. He caught her scent, and she smelled like health woman, clean cold air and arousal.
So the rumors about her and Grym must be true. He liked Grym and found the thought of their pairing so offensive that his growling deepened and grew edged.
She flipped him onto his back. Heaving hard, he flipped them over again and covered her straining body with his. As he pinned her long, taut torso, their hips came into alignment. There was rough friction at his groin, along with her wild scent.
It was so goddamn primal.
His cock stiffened again. Bloody hell.
Her eyes flashed furiously through her tangled hair. Fire bloomed down the length of his back as she raked him with her talons Quicker than thought, breathing heavily, he punched her in the face. For one split second he thought she looked surprised and thoughtful. Then she twisted underneath him to knee him in the groin. More fire bloomed in an infernal garden.
He still had one fist clenched in her hair. Snarling, he yanked her head back and struck down, intended to fasten his teeth on her bared throat.
He never connected.
One moment they were locked together in a vicious, intimate embrace. The next moment he was several yards away, sprawled in a tangle against the wall in a complete disconnect with reality. He felt as if he had been kicked by a mountain.
Which in a way, he realized, he had been. His mind caught up with what had happened. Broken ribs protesting, he struggled to roll over onto his hands and knees, and he looked back in the direction of the elevators.
Dragos stood where they had been fighting, the harpy prone at his feet. Grym stood quietly in the open doorway of the elevator that Aryal had knocked him into, hands lax, all of his attention fixed on the Lord of the Wyr.
More details sank in. Dragos was dressed in jeans and a thin silk sweater, and he had one boot planted in the middle of Aryal’s back. He looked utterly furious, his roughhewn expression set in lines of brutality.
He also held his sleeping son cradled against his shoulder. Quentin had thought that baby was small before—just six pounds when he had been born, Pia had told him. Held against the tremendous musculature of his father’s chest, he looked as tiny as a small child’s doll.
Quentin’s mind flatlined.
He had thought he didn’t hold any illusions about Dragos. He knew that the only thing that could possibly take the dragon down was a dedicated army with inspired leadership and experienced magic users. But if he had ever held a secret daydream of someone besting Dragos in his human form in single, unarmed combat, that daydream had just been shattered forever.
Not only had Dragos just taken down two of the best, nastiest Wyr fighters in the world, he had done it by moving faster than Quentin could comprehend.
And he did it all without ever jostling the baby enough to wake him.
ORDER A COPY: The Wicked (A Novella of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Publishing Date: July 2, 2013
eBook: 105 pages
Rating: 5 stars
The adventure of a lifetime might just end in turmoil, but when it includes meeting your future mate, who gives a hoot?
A Novella of the Elder Races
For a librarian with a focus on rare magic books, Olivia’s new job is a dream come true. She has been hired as part of a team to help manage the safe transportation of the collection of books owned by the Vampyre sorceress Carling Severan. The fact that the library is located on a mysterious island in an Other land only heightens the adventure.
Head of security for the expedition, Sebastian Hale is tired of his rootless life of adventure and finds himself attracted to the calm, beautiful librarian. But he is living a personal nightmare. He has been hit with a curse that is slowly taking away his sight, and he doesn’t know if he will survive the results.
But the powerful feelings growing between them, along with Sebastian’s inner turmoil, take a backseat when they learn there is a traitor lurking among their expedition team. With Elder Races politics and a priceless library on the line, they’ll have to rely on each other to survive the experience.
Warning: When a librarian who likes to nest meets an owl Wyr who has always lived for adventure, their romance won’t just be fly-by-night.
Olivia Sutton is a librarian as well as a witch. When Olivia’s friend, Grace Andreas, set her up to meet Carling Severan, former leader of the Nightkind, to be part of the expedition to return to the Other land to retrieve Carling’s extensive collection of magical books, Olivia thought she was setting off for the greatest adventure of her life. Going to an Other land and getting a rare view of Carling’s vast collection of mystics books, including ancient Egyptian papyruses, is a dream come true for a witch-librarian.
She couldn’t know that that adventure would include a gorgeous Wyr named Sebastian Hale would was heading up the security team, and who would turn her world upside down in the most incredible way.
Nor did she realize that she would actually be making friends with a oddball Djinn.
But she also couldn’t know that Julian Regillus, the current Nightkind King and Carling’s child, would do everything he could to stop Carling from getting those books.
This will definitely change Olivia’s life, as long as she can survive the adventure.
I really enjoy Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series and this was a great short short which I read in an afternoon. Sadly, it reminded me that I missed the series since catching up with Oracle’s Moon. This story also gives us a quick update with Grace Andreas and the Djinn Khalil from Oracle’s Moon and how their lives have changed since Oracle’s Moon.
Like all series, there are characters and stories that I liked more than some others, and even though it was a very short story, I really enjoyed the characters of Olivia and Sebastian. Olivia was smart and thoughtful, and willing to give an almost childlike, annoying and temperamental Djinn a chance, and Sebastian who quickly sees how special and unique Olivia is and will fight to keep her. The story also highlighted several times how one moment can change everything. i.e.
And the job remained just has he thought it would, mind numbingly routine.
Right up to the moment a human witch–a librarian–appeared in a whirlwind of Power and called a Djinn a dimwit.
Witnessing that little scene was like having a switch thrown in his head. Just like that, after five years of a dangerous, growing ennui, he came back online, sharper and clearer than he had ever been. Engaged again. Interested.
My only problem with this story is the same problem I had with Carling’s story, Serpent’s Kiss, and that is the magical library is underused as a plot point. She has a library filled with magical books, some with light magic and some filled with dark magic which literally call to you to tempt you to come open them and investigate the magic inside, and no one is opening these books. WHAT??? Have someone open the wrong book. Release some dark magic. Cause Chaos. Magical Mayhem. There’s a whole lot of plotline being ignored in the form this magical library.
A quick check shows that Thea Harrison has a new novel due out in November featuring Harpie, Aryal and another novella in December featuring Dragos again. Yay! I want to see the dragon baby again.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
The protective bubble that Phaedra had drawn around Sebastian’s cabin popped, and a few moments later Bailey pounded twice on the door.
“They’re finally gone,” Bailey called through the barrier. “The fucking fuckers.”
Sebastian raised his voice, the deep timbre vibrating against Olivia’s cheek. “It’s about time. Ill be right out.”
Olivia wasn’t ready to let go of him. The hard length of his body against hers, the feel of his arms around her, all answered some kind of urgent question that she hadn’t even known she was asking. Reluctantly, she lifted her head from Sebastian’s shoulder, and they looked at each other.
Then, moving with deliberation, he cupped the back of her neck, drew her forward and kissed her. When his firm, mobile lips met hers, she felt another much-needed answer. Her lips parted and he dove into her mouth deeply with his tongue, stunning her with the swiftness of his invasion.
Her world whirled in a kaleidoscopic tilt. She hadn’t expected the kiss. She was still amazed that he had confided in her, and that they had embraced.
She hadn’t expected this.
His mouth was set, hard and demanding. Still kissing her, he pushed her back and back, and she complied until she came in contact with the wall. His body covered her. He took her wrists, pinning her arms over her head and shoved one muscled, jean-clad leg between hers. His movements were so aggressive, so surprising, a shaken moan broke out of her. Dear God, he had an erection. The hard length of it pressed against her hip.
He lit her world on fire. Everything burned with incandescent light.
She wanted to touch his hair to find out if it was as soft as it looked. She wanted to touch him. Her fingers opened and closed in fists. The hard shackles of his hands prevented her from touching him the way she needed to. All she could do was squeeze his leg between hers, arch against his body and kiss him back, so she did, while her heart took off on a manic gallop, running as fast as it could straight toward him.
His breath came and went rapidly, his wide chest working like a bellows. He drew back and stared at her, his strange, golden-amber-and-black-gaze fierce. Along with the muscles of his lean body, the lines of his face has sharpened.
The realization crept in that she stared at an entirely dangerous man, and she had no idea what he would do next.
“You could always just lock the door,” she whispered. Goodness, the things that fell out of her mouth on this trip.
His face blazed. Looking utterly barbaric, he ground his hips against hers. It tore a ragged cry out of her, because she had never felt like this before, never. Not with any of her dates or former lovers. Normally she was a calm, considering person, a bit of a nerd if she were to be quite honest, but now a strange, crazed creature had taken over her body.
“Yo!” Bailey pounded on the door again. “The crew’s starting to arrive.”
He bared his teeth. He looked utterly savage. “I said I’m on my way!”
“Take your time,” said Bailey. The other woman sounded extremely cheerful. “Just letting you know.”
He hissed in the direction of the door. “Go the fuck away.”
Olivia had focused her attention on the rapid pulse beating at the base of his strong jaw. She muttered, “Would you mind if I bit you?”
Wait, who just said that?
He released one of her wrists to yank his fingers violently through is speckled hair. “God. Damn. Yes. I mean no, I don’t mind. Yes, you should bite me. As many times as you want.” He thrust a stiffened finger under her nose. “We’re going to continue this very soon. got that, Olivia?”
She nodded drunkenly, staring at the finger. He kissed her again, swiftly and hard, and then with a growl he shoved away from her and the wall and strode out of the cabin.
Make sure to check out our interview with author Thea Harrison.
ORDER A COPY: Lord’s Fall (A Novel of the Elder Races)
Publishing Date: November 6, 2012
Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 5 stars
In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two mates find themselves on different paths, torn between their duty to the Wyr and the passion that binds them… Before she met Dragos, half-human/half-Wyr Pia Giovanni was alone and on the run. Now she’s mated, pregnant and heading south to repair the Wyrs’ frayed relationship with the Elves. Being separated from Dragos is painful, but for the good of the Wyr demesne they need to figure out how to be partners—in more places than just the bedroom. In New York to preside over the Sentinel Games, Dragos is worried about his mate, but knows that finding two replacement sentinels is essential to show the rest of the Elder Races just how strong and brutal the Wyr demesne can be. But as the Games heat up, Pia’s negotiations with the Elves take a turn for the dangerous, straining her bond with Dragos and threatening everything they hold dear.
Thea Harrison shakes things up in her newest book in the Elder Races series. Lord’s Fall returns us to our hero and heroine of Book #1, Dragon Bound. After several books and short stories featuring the Wyr sentinals and other members of the Elder Races, we once again focus our attention on Dragos Cuelebre and Pia Giovanni. Understandably, since there is no question that this story could only be told through the eyes of the very powerful Lord of the Wyr and his new mate.
In the last book Oracle’s Moon, Dragos and Pia are given a prophesy from the Oracle which will soon come to be–
It had spoken of stars dying in agony, and the nature of evil, of Light and Dark as creatures, and Lord Death himself having forgotten he was a fraction of the whole.
“I am not form but Form,” the voice had claimed, “a prime indivisible. All these things were set in motion at the beginning, along with the laws of the universe and of Time itself. The gods formed at the moment of creation, as did the Great Beast, as did Hunger, as did Birth along with Finality, and I am the Bringer of the End of Days…”
In Lord’s Fall, Pia Giovanni has been the mate to the Lord of the Wyr for seven months now, and is very pregnant with her dragon baby who she affectionately refers to as “peanut.” She is going to the Elven domain on a diplomatic mission to try to convince the Elven Lord to lift the trade embargo between the Elves and the Wyr which is financially harming both demesne. An embargo that was imposed after Dragos Cuelebre illegally crossed the Elven border when he was determined to capture the fleeing Pia at any cost in Dragon Bound. As the new First Lady of the Wyr demesne, it is her duty to try to negotiate an acceptable conclusion to this mess which began with her and Dragos.
But Pia isn’t the only one seeking an audience with the Elven Lord and when another faction of Elves, who had closed off their borders centuries ago, decides to show up and ask for help from the Elven Lord, Pia won’t be set aside and can’t let her chance to mend things between these the Wyr and the Elves slip away so she will travel deeper into the Elven domain, into a place between here and the Other land, cut off further from her mate.
But when it comes to light that someone has unearthed a Deus Machinae or God Machine, and they are determined to use it to destroy the world, Pia gets trapped in the middle of an Elven civil war, and the only one with enough power and authority to step in to save the Elven Lord and his people is the powerful dragon–the Great Beast.
As if all this isn’t exciting enough, back in NYC Dragos is holding the Sentinel Games since he now has to replace two of his sentinels, Tiago and Rune, who have gone off with their new mates. There is a gladiator type competition being held in Madison Square Garden where our five remaining Sentinels are competing with all types of Wyr, including some new and interesting Wyr.
Usually an author in a paranormal romance series choose the way they will be presenting their storytelling at the beginning–it is either by a continued character such as Jeaneine Frost’s Bones and Cat or Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse, or a group of characters with a central background or location where each book focuses on a new couple with only guest appearance from prior or future heroes and heroines as with Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters or Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark.
I LOVE the fact that Thea goes back to Dragoes and Pia.
Giving readers continued stories staring a main character or characters is wonderful for getting to know your characters, but you miss an opportunity to delve into some interesting side characters. In giving readers, a new hero and heroine to watch find love, we leave behind some characters who might still have a story to tell. In returning to and refocusing on our central characters of this series, Dragos and Pia, we get a chance to enjoy more of their story. It would be exciting to see more authors take note of this twist and think about returning to beloved characters and giving them another turn in the spotlight.
(And the last lines of the book are some of the sweetest I have ever read. *sniff, sniff*)
Received ARC from Penguin/Berkley. Thank you.
Since he knew Pia’s true Name, bringing her into a dream was easy. Still, he took time with this one and worked to get the details right. Brushing them into place with his mind like an artist putting the finishing touches on a painting. Then he cast it out, an invisible net woven with Power, and he went to sleep himself and waited.
Part of him marked the passing of time even as he drifted quietly. Then he felt her presence slide into the dream, and he came alert.
The setting was cool and quiet, and a light, delicate wind blew. He had recreated the subtle hues of night.
She was outside. The light, musical tinkle of bells danced through the air. “What the…” she said, sounding disoriented and puzzled. Then she laughed, and the sound was more beautiful then the bells.
He smiled, rose from the couch where he had been reclining and lifted the flap of the tent to look out.
Sand dunes rippled underneath the silvery cascade of moonlight. Several feet away from the tent a small oasis of water, a little more than the size of a comfortable large hot tub, was surrounding by a collection of ferns and palm trees, which didn’t make any ecological sense, but still, the scene was pretty.
Pia stood on a the path between the tent and the oasis, looking down at herself. Pleasure washed through Dragos. She was a symphony of the precious colors he loved the most, silver, ivory and gold, and those gorgeous sapphire eyes. Her loose hair rippled down her back, and the harem outfit he had devised for her to wear was skimpy in all the right places. Bracelets and anklets of tiny bells adorned her graceful wrists and ankles, and her slender, arched feet were bare.
She looked up, still laughing. “You made me look like a belly dancer…oh my. Oh, very much my.”
“What?” he said, strolling toward her with a slight smile. He was barefoot as well. He wore a simple linen robe that wrapped and belted at the waist, with thin cotton pants underneath. “The belly dancer outfit was my favorite part.”
“How very sheikh-ish you look.” Her face tilted up as he neared and her midnight-colored eyes were wide.
He played with her jewelry, letting the dangling earrings slide over his fingers. The heavy, gold linked necklace at her neck was shamefully erotic. It highlighted the delicacy of her throat and collarbones, and evoked the concept of bondage. He said deeply, “You should wear jewelry more often.”
The bells at her wrist tingled as she raised a hand and laid it at his chest where the robe parted. Her fingertips were cool on his bare skin, her hand unsteady, resting against him as light as a trembling butterfly. “It’s at times like this that I want to say something incredibly foolish,” she said. She sounded breathless.
He captured her fingers and brought them up to his lips. “Like what?”
She murmured, “Like I’ll wear anything you want me to, whenever you want.”
“I see nothing at all with that statement.” He mouth the words against her fingers.
She snickered. “Of course you don’t. And I’m not saying it. I’m only confessing to the impulse.”
He told her, “You should always tell me your foolish impulses so that I may take advantage of them.”
“That is not going to happen, your majesty,” she informed him. “The ones I do tell you are bad enough.”
ORDER A COPY: Oracle’s Moon
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: March 6, 2012
Paperback: 313 pages
Rating: 5 stars
He will watch over her…An untested young woman must claim her place as the Oracle—and contend with a powerful Djinn who has decided to become a part of her life…
As a second daughter, Grace Andreas never had to worry about the intrigues of the Elder Races. But when her sister, Petra, and Petra’s husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister’s two young children—neither of which she is prepared for.
Yet, she is not alone. Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn prince of House Marid—driven by his genuine caring for the children—has decided to make himself a part of the household both as their guardian and as an exasperating counterpoint to Grace’s impudence toward the Elder Races.
But when an attempt is made on Grace’s life, she realizes that Khalil is the only one who can protect her—and offer her more than a mortal man.
The Andreas family has had the honor of being the Oracle for centuries, with this gift being passed down from female to female from generation to generation. Grace Andreas never wanted the honor of being the Oracle, but she knew when she woke up in the hospital after that horrific car accident, that her older sister must be dead. Grace could feel the power of the Oracle stirring within her now.
Not only had the car accident taken her sister and brother-in-law, it has taken Grace’s freedom. You see, not only had she inherited the power of the Oracle, but she was now responsible for the care of her orphaned niece and nephew, and Oracle or not, diapers need to be changed and laundry needs to be washed.
Grace tries not to let it all get to her. Her niece and nephew are such wonderful children. It’s just that she has no money, the bills are piling up, the roof is falling in, her knee was badly damaged in the car accident and now all manner of Elder Races creatures keep showing up at her doorstep, including this pompous, bossy Djinn named Khalil…um, something important…who has become the bane of her existence.
When some of the most dangerous and powerful of the Elder Races start knocking on her door, especially when the dragon himself, Dragos Cuelebre, lands his plane-sized dragon butt on her front lawn, she knows that she needs help to protect herself and the children, because if these powerful creatures decide to ignore the code of Sanctuary, there will be nothing she, a mere mortal, can do. Maybe it’s time to strike a bargain with the bane of her existence, as long as he’s gonna hang around anyway.
But she’ll have to be careful, since there is nothing a Djinn likes better than striking a bargain.
I love, love, love this series! I love Thea’s writing style and I absolutely love her characters.
I enjoyed that in this story her characters stayed “in character” throughout the story and although they grew an emotional attachment to each other, fundamentally they stayed the same. Khalil is a Djinn and has little contact with humans over his centuries, but he quickly becomes protective of Grace’s children, and as their caregiver to Grace herself. Even when he sits and reads to the children, there is a formality to him that doesn’t change. Although you can see an inner change to his thinking and his feelings towards Grace, those feelings don’t change his character.
I also loved that although Grace’s knee has been badly injured in the accident which took her sister’s life, it is presented that it is too late in the healing process for Khalil to use magic to heal her. Although it sucks for her that she will always have this injury, I like that Thea doesn’t have Khalil sweep in and magically make everything better for her. He doesn’t magically heal her. She is poor but he doesn’t take over her life and give her money or magically make repairs that need to be made, etc. This type of control and charity would have rubbed Grace the wrong way and would have kept them from being able to build a relationship. He protects her and the children from danger and helps her in other ways, but the only controlling he tries to force over her is for Grace to call him when she or the children are in danger. He doesn’t come in and try to take over their lives.
This was a very “love me as I am” story and I really enjoyed it.
My only disappointment stems from the fact that the Djinn are a creature of energy and can draw their energies together to resemble a human form. If they are powerful enough, they can also use their power and magic to create a more human-type body or to actually create a full human body and become mortal. When Khalil takes Grace on a date, he decides he wants to create a body and actually experience what human touch would be like. When Grace touches Khalil’s arm, he is overwhelmed by the experience of just this simple touch. This was such an interesting concept and so fascinating to me, and I was disappointed that when we finally got to the “good stuff” it was a short scene. I would have liked it drawn out a bit longer so we could enjoy watching him experience simple touches and build that up more to a crescendo.
Grace headed in desperation for the coffee maker. Apparently, it was going to be one of those mornings. Funny how often those happen after a short night’s sleep. She set the machine to brew an extra strong pot, because these days caffeine was her best friend. The coffee maker sat on the worn countertop beside the kitchen window. As she switched on the machine, the sunny morning darkened. She leaned over the counter to check out the sky. The sky was blue, dotted with fluffy cumulous clouds and directly overhead a huge portion of it rippled. Wow. Was that wrong. Before she could do more than stare, the rippling mass of nothingness descended onto the wide, neglected lawn, and for the second time in as many days, a dragon appeared on her property. Not a dragon—The Dragon–Dragos Cuelebre, the only known dragon in existence. Cuelebre was easily the size of a private jet. He was a deep bronze color that gleamed in the early sunlight. The bronze darkened to black at the ends of his gigantic wings, tail and long, powerful legs. He turned an enormous triangular, horned head to look around the clearing with fierce metallic gold eyes before he shimmered into a shape-shift. His form shrank into that of a massive man, almost seven feet tall in height with bronze colored skin, inky black hair and gold dragon’s eyes.
She had to stop getting kicked in the head like this. She had to. She looked at the brewing coffee with equal parts panic and despair. Then she looked at Chloe and Max. Chloe was tearfully muttering to the last of the banana in her hand. Max kicked a tiny plump foot as he licked his fingers. Grace’s appalled gaze traveled back to the scene outside the window where Cuelebre stood in the direction of the front of the house. He had a brutal handsomeness, as though he had be hewn out of granite, and to her mind’s eye, the air around him boiled with the force of his presence. Violence is forbidden here. She has said that to Cuelebre just yesterday morning when he had come to confront Rune and Carling and eventually the Elder Tribunal as well. Cuelebre’s mate had accompanied him yesterday, but this morning the dragon was alone. He was more frightening when he was alone.
“People can be taken from this place,” Dragos had said, “and violence done to them elsewhere.”
Grace started to shake. She fumbled with the thread of connection to Khalil and pulled on it. She sensed him streaking toward them. His bright power arching like a shooting comet. Then he filled the kitchen with his presence as his form coalesced beside her. Max crowed in surprise.
Chloe said, “Hello there, doggy-cat. Would you like a bite of my banana?”
Grace turned to face Khalil. He had looked powerful and exotic last night, ivory and crimson, and gleaming raven-black hair. In the full light of morning, he appeared more alien than ever. He wore undyed linen this time and his ivory skin was poreless. Those piercing diamond eyes focused on her. Then he glanced sharply around the cheerful domestic scene. He gripped her shoulder in one huge hand. “What is it?”
A sharp knock at the same time. Dry mouthed, she whispered to Khalil, “Would you mind answering that please?”
His hard, elegant face turned toward the front of the house. Then he vanished. She felt him streak toward the front door. Grace looked at Chloe who assumed a pious expression and she held up the last of her fruit. Chloe said, “I was only trying to share.”
Grace leaned back against the counter and slid to the floor. Her bad knee protested so she stretched out her leg. She leaned an elbow on her other upraised knee and rested her head on the heel of that hand. Her blood pounded through her body in great sledge hammer thuds. She felt it throbbing in her eyes, at her temples. Male voices sounded in the background, but her heartbeat pounded too loudly in her ears for her to make out what Khalil and the Dragon said to each other. I can’t do this, she thought. Oh, Petra, you were the one who always wanted to be the Oracle. I never wanted this. I was never supposed to be this. I’m not big enough, strong enough or smart enough to be the Oracle. It’s too much.–Woman up, Gracie! Take responsibility! Do your job! You never have accepted this. You grew up hoping you would never have to be the Oracle and you’ve been kicking against it from the moment you knew your big sister was dead. Like the accident it just happened to you. If you can’t take this on for the people like Rune and Carling, who might need the Oracle’s help, do it for the children, and make sure you live a good, long life while you’re at it so Chloe can have the same kind of happy, carefree childhood you had.
Feeling twice as clumsy as usual, Grace grabbed hold of the counter and used it to haul herself to her feet, balancing all of her weight on her good leg. She hurried toward the front of the house. Tension and antagonism crackled in the air like thunder and lightening. Khalil stood in front of the screen door, arms crossed and expression stony. On the other side of the flimsy barrier an angry dragon towered in human form.
“I see we’re not gettin’ along.” Grace said breathlessly as she came up beside Khalil. She put a hand on Khalil’s bicep and said telepathically, “Thank you.”
He threw her a disgusted glance. Hilarity bubbled up. Oh, yes, that’s right. He didn’t like to be thanked. Well, that was his problem. She kept her hand on Khalil’s arm and turned to the Lord of the Wyr.
“Good morning. What can I do for you? Can I help you quickly or did you want to consult with the Oracle. I’m in the middle of feeding two children so if you want a consultation, it’ll have to wait until after breakfast.”
The Dragon’s hot-gold gaze shifted from Khalil to her and she felt the impact to her bones.
“Interesting,” said Cuelebre. “How did you get a prince of the House Marid to answer your door like a servant?”
“Do not answer that.” Khalil said between his teeth. “It is none of his business.”
Grace had, in fact, been about to answer Cuelebre’s question. Her mouth hung open for a moment before she shut it with a snap. According to the database article she had read, the House Marid was the most powerful of all the Houses of Djinn. So Khalil was a prince? The article hadn’t mentioned anything about royalty. Just that the Houses used consensus in decision making. She filed the observation under, Irrelevant at the moment, interesting enough to pursue at a later time.
“Hungry kids.” She said to Cuelebre. “Tick-tock.” This was the second domain ruler that she had been rude to in as many days. Clearly she was on a roll. She had just five more domain rulers in the United States to go. Give her ‘til the end of the month and she would have plenty of time to piss off everybody.
ORDER A COPY: Serpent’s Kiss (A Novel of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: October 4, 2011
Paperback: 312 pages
Rating: 4 stars
In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, a Queen on the brink of sanity has no one to rely on except the Wyr warrior whose conviction is every bit as strong as his passion.
In order to save his friend’s life, Wyr sentinel Rune Ainissesthai made a bargain with Vampyre Queen Carling—without knowing what she would ask from him in return. But when Rune attempts to make good on his debt, he finds a woman on the edge.
Recently, Carling’s Power has become erratic, forcing her followers to flee in fear. Despite the danger, Rune is drawn to the ailing Queen and decides to help her find a cure for the serpen’s kiss—the vampyric disease that’s killing her.
With their desire for each other escalating just as quickly as Carling’s instability spirals out of control, the sentinel and the Queen will have to rely on each other if they have any hope of surviving the serpent’s kiss.
Carling Severan, is a vampyre, a sorceress, and a member of the Counsel of Elder Races. Carling was turned into vampire during the time of ancient Eygpt. Although great age brings great wisdom and power, it also brings madness. Those few vampyres who have reached such an advanced age have been lost to a type of mental deterioration and they have needed to be destroyed.
Carling is one of the oldest of the Nightkind still existing, and she has notice the accelerating deterioration of her mind. As an older vampire and powerful sorceress, her “episodes” are affecting the world around her and the King of the Nightkind has asked her to confine herself to the Other land until her death.
Wyr Sentinel and gryphon Rune Ainissesthai had made a promise to Carling to come to her in one week’s time and do a favor of her choosing, if she would save a mortally wounded Tiago. Now his week was up and he needs to make good on his promise. Upon his arrival at Avalon, the first thing he noticed was the Carling’s usual army of attendants and sycophants was absent. They have abandoned her during her final days.
After Carling releases Rune from his promise with only a kiss, Rune decides he will stay and help Carling try to find a solution to stop her further deterioration.
When the Carling is next drawn into one of her “episodes,” Rune is surprised to find that her episodes are actually Carling reliving her memories. He is further surprised to find himself drawn into her memories and how real it all feels to him. When they finally figure out that Rune is actually interacting with Carling in the past and changing her past, they know they must be very careful because any change in the past could be detrimental to the future. But as Carling relives some of her most painful memories of her youth, Rune finds it almost impossible to sit back and allow Carling’s mistreatment no matter what effect it may bring to their future.
Rune and Carling’s research bring them back to San Fransciso in search of answers, but the King of the Nightkind is distressed that Carling has left her exile, enough that he will approach the Counsel to have the very powerful Carling destroyed before her madness can lead to disaster.
Rune with do whatever he must to protect Carling, even turn his back on his oldest friend, Drago. Will they be able to find a cure for Carling before the madness takes over?
This is a great series and I am really excited to get to the next book Oracle’s Moon. We meet the Oracle at the end of this story and it will also feature the Jinn prince. I also want to squeeze in one of the short stories which involves Seremela, the medusa, that we meet in the last story, Storm’s Heart.
I thought I would enjoy Rune and Carling’s story a little more than I did since I was looking forward to it so much. Rune is such a great, laid back character, in his worn jeans and his Jerry Garcia T-shirts. He is as old as Drago and the other sentinels, but instead of remaining aloof to the human world, Rune enjoys the music and the stylings of our world and blends in well. Carling’s personality changes with her time spent with Rune, and the idea is that he teaches her how to relax and remember how to enjoy the world in what should be her last days. I found I didn’t relate as well to the changed Carling hanging out in her new jeans. Her aloof, imperial and cool vampyre personality were so much of her character in Storm’s Heart, it seemed wrong to have her chilling out with Rune.
It wasn’t a bad story, but there was some build up of things in the beginning that I thought would be worked into the solution of Carling’s problem, but they just sort of dropped off and it sort of ended with a whimper instead of a bang. Again, not a bad story, but after the build up and the excitement in the first two books, it just didn’t meet it’s full potential in comparison to Dragon Bound and Storm’s Heart.
This is part of my catch up with a series with audiobooks experiment which is going very well. The only audiobook left is Oracle’s Moon. I have already downloaded the short stories which I will try to sneak in before I get to Lord’s Fall which comes out in November.
I couldn’t make up my mind about using the fun scene or the sexy scene but since I usually use the sexy scene, I decided to go with fun this time. This scene includes Seremela when she comes to San Francisco to consult with Rune and Carling.
As a medusa, Seremela Telemar was Demonkind, although she lived in Chicago, well outside the Demonkind demesne in Houston. She was a pretty woman in late middle age. Carling guessed her to be around three hundred and eighty years old. Her head snakes had grown to the length of her thighs.
When she reached old age, they would touch the floor. Her skin was a creamy pale green with a faint snakeskin patterns, and her slitted eyes had a nictating membrane that was open for the moment. Several of her head snakes tasted the air as they peered curiously around her waist and over her shoulder at Carling.
However, most of the medusa’s head snakes were more interested in Rune.
Carling watched a couple of the snakes slide up his arm. Was she imagining things, or was it actually possible for a head snake to look adoring?
Neither Rune nor Seremela were paying attention to what the medusa’s snakes were doing. They were busy in conversation, talking to each other as they focused on her.
Carling cocked her head and pursed her lips.
She strode forward and snatched up the two head snakes, one in each hand. Rune watched her in mild surprise. Seremela jumped and blushed, and began to apologize profusely, “I’m so sorry, I wasn’t paying attention. You know they have a mind of their own and, well, they like Rune.”
ORDER A COPY: Storm’s Heart (A Novel of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Berkley Sensations
Publishing Date: August 2, 2011
Paperback: 305 pages
Rating: 4 stars
He’s a Wyr warrior, a god of storms. She’s the heir to the Dark Fae throne. But desire will bring both to their knees in this 2nd Novel of the Elder Races.
During the rule of her murderous Dark Fae uncle, Thistle “Tricks” Periwinkle found sanctuary 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 Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make 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.
When Drago Cuelebre, leader of the Wyr kind, killed Urien Lorelle, the king of the Dark Fae, who was holding Drago’s mate, Pia, hostage, he started a chain of events that would bring his public relations guru, Tricks Periwinkle, into the limelight. Trick’s real name is Niniane Lorelle. She is the sole surviving royal heir, and she had been in hiding with the Wyr since her Uncle Urien slaughtered her family 200 years ago.
Now that Urien is dead, Niniane is meeting with the Dark Fae delegation in Chicago to discuss taking over as the rightful Queen of the Dark Fae and returning to the Other land to the Dark Fae castle. Urien had forbidden the Dark Fae from traveling to our world and was stealing the beautiful works of the Dark Fae artisans and selling them here and keeping the profits for himself. Many are hoping that the return of the true heir might again shine a prosperous light on the Dark Fae. But there are a few who had already hoped to claim the crown for themselves if ever Urien was killed, and they are not happy to find Niniane still alive and standing on their doorstep.
When assignation attempts are made against Niniane, forcing her into hiding, Diago’s most fierce sentinel, Tiago Black Eagle, insists on going to Chicago to find her and protect her on her travel to the Dark Fae realm. Even those who support Niniane, do not like the idea of a Wyr sentinel acting as guard to their future Queen. It appears too much like a Wyr takeover of the Dark Fae kingdom. But Tiago is not going to let anyone have another try at murdering Niniane, so like it or not, he is going to accompany her and protect her.
While both Niniane and Tiago know that his protection of her is causing enough of an uproar, they soon find that their insane attraction to each other cannot be denied.
Like Drago in Dragon Bound, Tiago is almost as old as the earth. He has lived centuries and in certain cultures he has been worshiped as a God. But unlike Drago, Tiago seems to be a little more flexible. Not that he’s not an alpha male, but he isn’t completely a “do as I say, now!” type of guy. I LOVE this big strong guy who understands that his tiny fae is a real girly-girl and he appreciates and loves that about her and he buys her fru-fru things that he knows she will like.
I am loving this series and can’t wait to hear more. This is part of my catch up to a series by audiobook project. I have already downloaded the next audiobook, Serpent’s Kiss, which features the sentinel Rune, a griffin, who is a little more modern day than our two prior heroes, and the Vampire Queen, who we meet in this story. I am looking forward to it.
“Come on, Niniane. Open the door.”
“Wait, I’m in hiding. Don’t use that name either.”
He put his hands on his hips. “Then what the hell do you want me to call you?”
“Nothing. Thank you for stopping by and go away. I’m okay. Everything’s okay. It’s all taken care of now. Just don’t watch any TV for a while, okay? You can go back to New York, or wherever it is you lair when you’re not killing things.”
He scowled. No, thank you and don’t watch any TV? What the hell did she mean by that? He muttered, “I do not live in a lair.”
He settled his shoulder against the heavy metal door that was constructed to meet fire-safety codes and keep thieves out. After pushing with a steady increase of pressure, the lock and chain broke.
The motel room was a pigsty. Shopping bags were piled on the bed nearest the door, with clothes and other items spilling out. Clothes tags littered the floor. Niniane lay on her back on the other bed, which was rumpled. She had kicked off the pillows, and they were on the floor too. She was dressed in some kind of porno version of camouflage, in very short shorts and a tiny stretchy T-shirt that left her narrow waist bare. Her head was hanging off the end of the bed. She held a bottle of vodka in one small hand. It was significantly low in liquid. She clutched a remote control in the other hand. A cigarette smoldering in a half-full ashtray and an open bag of Cheetos lay on the bed beside her.
Her compact, curvaceous body was laid out like some kind of offering to a pagan god. As someone who had once been a pagan god, he knew what he was talking about, and he definitely appreciated the view. As her head hung over the end of the bed, it accentuated the thrust of round luscious breasts that curved over a contrasting narrow waist. A gold ring glinted in her navel, just begging to be licked. Her graceful hip bones and the arc of her pelvis were outlined by shorts that Congress ought to make illegal. Slender, shapely bare legs tipped with toes painted a saucy pink completed the package, and his appreciative cock swelled to salute every visible succulent inch of her.
He glowered, thrown off balance by his own intense, unwelcome reaction. Rein it in, stud. Under the reek of smoke he could smell feminine perfume and—was that the scent of blood?
“Oh, you shouldn’ta done that,” Niniane said. Large upside-down Fae eyes tried to focus on him. “Breaking and entering. That’s against the law.” She sniggered.
Tiago took refuge from his strange feelings in the much more familiar emotion of aggression. “What are you doing?” he demanded. “What do you mean ‘go back to New York’? Do I smell blood?”
“I can only answer one question at a time, you know,” she said.
ORDER A COPY: Dragon Bound (A Novel of the Elder Races)
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Publishing Date: May 3, 2011
Paperback: 312 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Half-human and half-wyr, Pia Giovanni spent her life keeping a low profile among the wyrkind and avoiding the continuing conflict between them and their dark Fae enemies. But after being blackmailed into stealing a coin from the hoard of a dragon, Pia finds herself targeted by one of the most powerful-and passionate-of the Elder races.
Pia Giovanni is a human/wyr half breed. Her mother always told her she must keep hidden and keep silent about who she was. That she should stay in the human realm and never travel to the ‘other lands’. To never let the humans know she was different and never, ever let any of the elder races know she existed. She should have listened better to her mother.
Now her stupid ex-boyfriend with his giant gambling debts, in his desperation, told his handlers that he could get them anything they wanted and it appears what they want is something that belongs to Dragos Cuelebra. So he blackmails Pia into finding Drago’s hoard and stealing one of his possessions. But Drago is no ordinary human. He’s a king and a dangerous wyr-dragon who is almost as old as the earth itself.
Now the wyr-dragon is seriously pissed and he wants the thief who dared to steal from him. He uses his vast powers to locate Pia and through her dreams he attempts to find her greatest desire so he can use that to trap her. When her greatest desire leads to an incredible sexual fantasy, Drago want to locate her for more than just punishment for stealing.
Pia thought she was safe, crossing into the elven domain where the wyr could not cross, especially not the wyr king, but she didn’t count on Drago’s determination to catch his thief. When the elves find out that he was crossed into their territory, they give him 12 hours to get out of town or they will declare war for his trespass.
But more dangerous forces are involved in the theft then a simple bookie, and now Drago and Pia are on the run from goblins, elves, and the Dark Fey King, who has been Drago’s nemesis for centuries.
Neither Drago nor Pia understand the unbelievable attraction for each other, but they are enjoying exploring it at every opportunity.
This series was highly recommended to me and I was recently offered a review copy of the upcoming Lord’s Fall, so I decided to give it a try and on a recent very long car trip I download an audiobook copy so that I could use my long drive wisely and catch up on this series.
I should be disappointed that this story had the standard H/H characters of the powerful alpha male, used to ordering everyone around and always getting what he wants, and who is fascinated by the one person who doesn’t do what he wants or what he expects, and Pia is constantly waffling between I trust him/I don’t trust him and I want him to take care of me/I want to be independent. So I am amazed that I found myself really enjoying the storytelling; the build toward what she stole from his hoard, who Pia really is and why her mother was hiding her, the romance between the H/H, as well as the whole cast of secondary characters.
This is the first of the series and the upcoming release is the fifth book. They appear to be a balance between the secondary characters getting their HEA and a continuing story of Pia and Drago. (Don’t quote me on that.) There are also four short stories in the series already.
I will definitely be downloading the audiobook for Book #2 for my trip home and will be getting back to you with a review of that and Book #5, Lord’s Fall.
The dragon lay spread-eagled where they had bound him. He was chained twice, first with the magical black shackles. The second set was attached in four points to the floor. He stared at the ceiling, thoughts weaving in a serpentine path. Every few minutes he would pull at the floor chains. He ignored his bleeding ankles and wrists. He could feel a weakness growing in the chain on his left arm and concentrated on that.
His cell door opened. He turned his head, the serpentine path turning lethal.
A battered, filthy Pia backed into the room, and Dragos became sane.
He began to shake. He watched her listening at the cracked door for a few moments before she pulled the door shut. She turned around. When she caught sight of him, her shoulders sagged.
“Oh, for crying out loud.” She rolled her eyes. “Two sets of manacles? Now I suppose we need two sets of keys. This day keeps getting better and better.”
“Come here,” he said. He gave the chain anchoring his left arm an enormous wrench. The chain groaned but didn’t break. “Come here. Come here.”
She cocked her head, her weary gaze becoming very sober. She limped across the cell and collapsed to her knees beside him. “They beat you too,” she said. She touched his ribs with a light gentle hand.
His shaking increased. Talking to her before the Goblins took her had been easy. He had explained to her with his usual calm ruthlessness how he thought things might go. Overall she had seemed to take it well. He approached the confrontation as he always did, ready and focused to meet any upcoming challenge.
Then that first Goblin had driven his fist into her stomach, and he had gone bat-shit crazy. Every kick, every blow she suffered was like corrosive acid in his veins. He wanted to howl and rage. The dragon strained to rip their hearts from their chests while they watched.
He had clung to his self-control by the merest thread, by the realization of how much worse it could get for her if they got the reaction out of him they were searching for.
They hurt her. They hurt her, and that hurt him inside somewhere, in a place he had never been hurt before. He had sustained physical injury and pain many times before. It meant little to him. But this new hurt—he was in shock. He had never realized just how invincible he had been until it was ripped away from him.