Book Review: Elijah, Caressed by Ice, Warrior Rising

The month of May was as much about celebrating differences as fantasy serials. The three paranormal/ fantasy romance reads I finished had relationships that involved protagonists who come from different worlds/ races and time/ century.

Elijah is the third in the Nightwalkers paranormal romance series by Jacquelyn Frank and boy did she have a bombshell of a surprise waiting for the captain of King Noah’s elite guard. Two people from inherently different heritage, social rank and stature, not to mention temperament, whose people co-exist in uneasy truce wrought after several centuries of violent warring that would make the feud between the Montagues and Capulets seem childish by comparison. After all, he was responsible for the death of Siena’s royal father.

elijah

From page one, where Elijah is ambushed by a group of necromancers and in dire danger of being vanquished, right to the last chapter when Siena finally accepted their inevitable union and learn to live with him as her equal, Ms Frank held me in thrall with her engaging characters, breathless pace of action (the necromancers are hard to vanquish, now they have one of Nightwalkers to direct them), and the sheer sensuality of the lovebirds’ passion. Both central characters being proud, powerful and stubborn characters, the conflicts were an interesting subplot that builds up the central plot. I’m looking very much forward to the next instalment when Damien and Syreena take centrestage.  Now, that’s an even more interesting pairing.

The Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh is another must-read, and the third novel, Caressed by Ice, is a refreshing departure from the first two, which had Psy women finding mates in changelings.  This time round, Judd Lauren, a former Arrow — an elite squad of pitiless assassins trained by a Psy ex-council man who specialized in mental combat — finds his cold heart being thawed by the fiery passions and convictions of Brenna Kincaid, the surviving victim of the serial killer in book one.

On the way

But as their forbidden feelings for each other began to blossom, against Brenna’s family’s objections, an old enemy who is intimate with Brenna’s fears from her near escape seems returned to haunt her.  Worse, Brenna thinks she is about to succumb to her old madness, especially when dead bodies reminiscent of  the killings from her abduction started showing up.

Ms Singh has turned out yet another winner.  New conflicts and unions, as well as new diabolical plots uncovered are giving the Psy-Changeling series new tangents to grow. I have a hunch she’s priming Sienna for Hawke, and boy, that’s going to be intriguing.

It’s been a while since P C Cast’s Goddess Summoning series, so when I saw Warrior Rising on the shelf, I jumped for it. How could I not when the central character is Achilles from the Iliad? That particular legend ranks up there amongst the Arthurian legends for me, and I have quite a number of different retelling of that Greek war epic, so adding this was second nature.

Of course, I loved it! As I did most of Cast’s Greek time travel romance fantasy novels revolving round some familiar goddesses straight out of ancient Greek myths. This time round, she had two modern day woman who met with untimely deaths transported into the bodies of two Trojan ladies, who were revived by Venus for the purpose of enticing Achilles to forsake the ten-year-old bitter war trumped up on account of Helen of Sparta, and thus end it.

Kat, a kick-ass psychiatrist in her time, became Polyxena while her Afro-American best friend Jacky, became her lady-in-waiting. Well, things were starting to fall into place when the fateful hand of Destiny struck down Patrokles, and everything sort of just went down from there. But all’s well that ends well, and the ill-fated couple is at last united in a matter of speaking.

Cast kept her trademark tongue-in-cheek humour in place and entertained with a rollicking fun twist to a well-loved tragic myth.  I’ve always read only tragic accounts of Achilles in the Trojan war, but this is the first novel which gave him a semblance of a happy ending that was believable. Bravo, Ms Cast!

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