Series: Elder Races #4.7
Published by Samhain Publishing on 9/18/12
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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Duty. Devotion. Desire. When fate brings two isolated people together, love is in the cards.
As a palace guard and assassin for the Dark Fae, Xanthe always wore a mask, hiding her emotions to do her duty. But when her identity is compromised, she trades undercover work for guarding Queen Niniane—a position that often brings her in contact with Chancellor Aubrey Riordan.
Aubrey’s trust is shattered. A year ago his wife tried to assassinate their new queen in his name, a betrayal of everything he believes in. And now an attack on his life is proof the dark conspiracy is not yet over. Although injured and weak, Aubrey can’t help but be drawn to this shy assassin and loyal protector. Xanthe is everything Naida wasn’t, and the passion she stirs in him is something he thought had long passed him by.
Warning: Take a man recovering from an assassination attempt, the assassin sworn to protect him, add in a magical Tarot card deck and an isolated cabin, and watch the sparks fly!
I love Thea Harrison‘s Elder Races series. I truly, truly do. It’s magical, full of amazing world-building, characters that light up the pages, and intense, passionate romance. All of the full-length books and novellas have been a sheer joy to experience. One of the most well-crafted paranormal worlds ever, and the romance is just incredible. If you have not experienced this writer’s talent yet, get with the frakin program!
That being said, of all the amazing pieces of fiction set in the Elder Races world, this novella is my favorite so far. The world-building was minimal, but the love story was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read. I was touched beyond belief as I watched Aubrey and Xanthe’s love blossom and consume them. Seeing as she had to care for him while his body recovered from a brutal attack, it was only a matter of time before their close quarters brought them closer together. It happened so naturally, so beautifully. Their reactions and inhibitions and emotions were so realistic and palpable. On the lighter side, I loved when Aubrey playfully teased Xanthe after he realized that she had a crush on him. And I love how he occasionally slipped out of his political role and said Fuck. It made me laugh just as much as Xanthe. It’s really hard not to love these two.
Of course, it did not hurt that Tiago, sexy beast that he is, had a few scenes. I sure do miss him, and he hasn’t changed a bit. Always professional, but still putty in Niniane’s hands. Heh. And they don’t call Niniane Tricks for nothing. That’s all I have to say about that!
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