Review: Lord of the Hunt (Court of Annwyn, Book 2) by Shona Husk

lord of the huntReviewed by Sharon S.

She Wasn’t Cut Out for His World…

The realm of the fairies might be unbelievably beautiful, but its people are notoriously treacherous. Raised among mortals, Taryn hoped to avoid her fairy heritage her whole life. But now she must cross over to Annwyn and appeal to the King to pardon her exiled parents, or they’re sure to die. And to get to the King, she’ll first have to face the Lord of the Hunt…

He Can’t Imagine Life Without Her…

Verden, Lord of the Hunt, is sworn to serve to King. But the moment he sees Taryn, the attraction is instant and devastating. How can he not help the beautiful, brave young woman who refuses to bend to the will of the court? Yet the power in Annwyn is shifting, its magic failing. No matter how much he may love Taryn, the Hunter knows that abandoning his duty could bring down the mortal world forever.

I have reviewed all three books in Shona’s Goblin series and both books in her Court of Annwyn series. I am not a big paranormal romance reader, but I love Shona’s writing and stories. I have never been disappointed by her books. I was so excited when she decided to write a series about the Fae. They are my favorite supernatural characters. Lord of the Hunt is Verden’s story. We briefly met Verden in book 1 Outcast Prince. He was cold and ridged in his ways, but I knew there was more to him. This book can be read as a stand-alone.

Verden has only lived in Annwyn, traveling into the human realm only when his job as the Hunter required it. He never mixed with humans. He has spent his whole life playing the games of the court, lying and gambling to reach the highest status the King could bestow. His loyalty to the King has been unwavering until now. Taryn is fairy, but was raised in the human world because her father was banished before her birth, and her mother followed because she loved him more than her loyalty to the King and his court. Taryn has also had to pretend and lie about who she was so she could fit in with the humans, but it was nothing compared to the games she would have to play in Annwyn.

Annwyn is dying because the King and Queen’s relationship is failing and full of nothing but hate and resentment. Their son and heir Prince Felan hasn’t found a human wife yet, therefore the power can’t seamlessly shift to him and bring Annwyn back in balance. The failing of Annwyn also has dire consequences for the human realm. Taryn goes to Annwyn to get the King to lift her father’s banishment so her family can come back to Annwyn and not die in the power shift that is coming. Taryn is a fish out of water in fairy and must quickly learn how to play the court games and politics. Failure would most certainly result in her death there. Taryn’s innocence touches a forgotten part of Verden that had been buried by the numbness of life at Court. He struggles with his loyalty to the King and the life he fought so hard for and the unknown of love and freedom with Taryn.

I love the world Husk has created in this series. There is enough world building complexity to satisfy the urban fantasy lover in me as well as feed the addiction for my favorite romance troupe, forbidden love. The sexual tension built between Verden and Taryn while they had to hide their feelings for each other at Court made those moments when they could be together much more intense. They pain they both go through breaks your heart. Yes, I shed some tears. This book also set up the next one about Prince Felan and his quest to win back the only woman he has ever loved.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lord of the Hunt (Annwyn)

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Guest Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This is book number 4 in Julie Kagawa’s “Iron Fey Series”.

This story is written in the first person.  I’m not usually a fan of a book written this way but I found I enjoyed this one.  The book is written for a Teen audience but adults will like it as well.  Julie also names her chapters which give the reader a hint as to what each chapter is about.

Julie has a great writing style that gives the reader “ears” to her words – you can almost hear the conversations as they take place.    She also becomes our eyes.  The reader can picture exactly what her characters are seeing.

The story starts with Ashallayn and Puck talking to each other.  As they interact, you can almost hear the sarcasm.  At times, this sarcasm has the reader laughing.  What I loved about the story was that the sarcasm, between Ash and Puck, carried all the way through.

Ash is a fey who is in love with a half-human named Meghan – but he’s not the only one.  Because of who they are, they are currently unable to be together.  Ash is trying to find a way to change that.  We also meet his first love, Ariella.

Ash has asked Grimalkin, a cat, for his help.  But Grimalkin lets him know there is a price for his favor.  This is a great reason to turn the page.  The reader wants to know what that price is.  But Julie has also made Ash a smart young man.  He’s smart enough to put some stipulations on his “payment”.

In order for Ash to be with Meghan he must complete a journey.  The journey will not be easy but it is not one that he makes alone.  As you continue reading you think of other “adventure” stories such as “Alice in Wonderland”, “The Wizard of Oz”, and “The Chronicles of Narnia” – and for the adults, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Julie also puts in some lessons in her story.  She shows Ash that not all tasks can be completed by one person.  Sometimes you need to work as a team to get things done.  During the journey there are trials that he must accomplish.  She also makes you think – can we go back and change the past?  She lets us see a side of Ash that is very hateful and another side where he would make a terrific father.

There are all different forms of love and toward the end of the story Julie writes one that will touch your heart.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book and how much I liked it.  I will have to put her other 3 books on my to read list.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, Book 4)

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Review: Forever Vampire by Michele Hauf

by Sharon S., guest reviewer
 
I had no idea how much I would enjoy this story! Hauf’s voice is a breath of fresh air for me. I would describe this book as an enchanting dark fairy tale (with real faeries <G>). The author has built an Urban Fantasy world that is unique and vivid consisting of Vampires, Werewolves and Faeries. She does a great job of introducing you to this world without making you feel like you are being spoon fed information. There is great pacing to the story and a twist at the end.
 
I was totally enchanted by our lovers, Valliant and Lyric, even their names are fairy tale like <G>. Vail (swoon) is a vampire that grew up in Faery, but recently got thrown out. Now this is where is gets complicated <G>. He wants to kill his birth father, has never met his birth mother Viviane (she is insane from being raped by Vail’s birth father) who is married to a Were/Vampire hybrid, Rhys (and they have a son, his half brother, Trystan), and his faery step mother made him believe vampires were filth. He has issues <G>.

Lyric, is a member of a lying, thieving vampire mob family. She grew up wanting the fairy tale life, complete with a prince to love her forever. She gave up on that dream because in her vampire world, everything and everyone has a price, you use and get used all the time. She is loved by her mother and brother, but there is a hole in her heart.
 
Faeries and Vampires hate each other. So when these two meet, there are sparks, and where there are sparks…there is erotic sex <G>. I love watching these two flirt and play like two horny teenagers. While trying to figure out who they are and how to live in a world where they don’t fit in, they realize where they belong is together and that is all that matters. Made my heart sing.
 
Read about the other books in Hauf’s Beautiful Creatures World.
 
Author’s Website: http://www.michelehauf.com/
 
Rating: ★★★★★
 
Buy: Forever Vampire

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Review: A Tale of Two Goblins by H.P. Mallory

by Sharon S., guest reviewer

A Tale of Two Goblins is book #2 in the Dulcie O’Neil series.

H.P. Mallory has struck Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Gold!

She has combined mystery, romance, supernatural creatures, thrown in a heaping spoonful of humor and *3 big hunks of burning alpha male <G>. Put this all in a book and shake…you get a story that sings to me!

Let’s get the formalities out of the way…The story is told in the first person POV. Dulcie is a fun smart-mouth heroine and I don’t think I will ever get tired of being inside her head. All the secondary characters are quirky and well developed. The mystery and action are fast paced and clever. Mallory has done an excellent job of slowly revealing the main characters flaws and secrets. All the while, introducing us to a new and exciting world.

Now, onto the important things. We all read PNR (paranormal romance) for one reason, smexy men (okay, maybe I am generalizing, but let’s be honest ladies. ;)) Dulcie has not one, not two, but three incredibly sexy alpha males who care (i.e. want to get in her pants, as she puts it) for her.

  • The front runner is Knight. He is a loki (a type of shapeshifter), neither Dulcie or the reader really know what he is and what his powers are. He is a self-assured ass most of the time, but in a very mysterious and endearing way.
  • Bram is a very old and powerful vampire that walks that line between good and bad. He is also a self-assured ass that seems to have a weak spot for Dulcie.
  • Then there is Quillian. Her old boss and guess what? He is also a self-assured ass that has a soft spot for Dulcie (are you feeling sorry for poor Dulcie yet <G>). Quillian, for reasons we don’t know, is involved in illegal activities.

You don’t need to read the first in this series (To Kill A Warlock) to appreciate this book, but you would be missing a whole lot of goodness if you did.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: A Tale of Two Goblins, A Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy (Book 2 of the Dulcie O’Neil Series)

What is the Little Mermaid Syndrome?

*This post does not deal with the medical condition; it deals with the literary condition.

littlemermaid

The Little Mermaid Syndrome is the desire to be part of another’s world.

A fictional character under the influence of LMS would go any length to become like the one they desire. This coveting is usually driven by love. In other cases the driving emotion is obsession.

Conditions:

The ripest situations for the LMS are in Fantasy and Paranormal genres where partners are more likely to be unmatched. By unmatched I mean a plain/weak human and a beautiful/strong supernatural being.

In these cases it is usually the human who wants become like their partner. Rarer is for the magical being to desire to be become human or have the means to become human. Plainly put it is a simple fact the LMS goes only one way.

Why is this?

I think it is all part of the escapism fantasy. We tire of the normal and are looking beyond our world for something better; be it vampires, werewolves, fairies, elves, or selkies. The idea behind this is that being connected to one of these more exotic beings or being one makes our world that much more exciting and ripe for adventure.

Human (normal) –> Vampire (supernatural)

Human (normal) –> Lycanthrope (supernatural)

Thumblina (normal, despite being supernaturally tiny) –> Fairy (supernatural)

The exception to the rule is the Little Mermaid.

Mermaid (supernatural) –> Human (normal)

This is because the human in this tale is clueless to the existence of the preternatural world. The mermaid must make herself known because their interaction would never happen otherwise as they do not exist in the same habitat. One lives on land and the other in water. It’s not like with vampires or werewolves which appear completely human and can intermingle in the same locations.

Witches and wizards are to my knowledge the only magical beings that could instill the LMS in their partner and do nothing about it. You’re either born with magic or you’re not. There’s no gray area.

Books featuring LMS:

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