The second book in the Elven Lords series, published August 2011.
There’s a fine line between duty and desire…
Giles Beaumont is stuck in a role he never wanted, trying to safeguard a woman of incendiary powers who doesn’t think she needs a protector. Cecily Sutton has no idea of the enormity of her true task, and no inkling of the effect she’s having on Giles. But somewhere along their perilous journey together, they’ll have no choice but to uncover the deep, dark connection that binds them one to the other …
For the past 9 years, ever since she escaped in the previous book, The Fire Lord’s Lover, Cecily has lived quietly with her mother and the man who saved her as her new father in a quiet little town at the coast of England. Cecily loves the quiet life, tending the garden, sewing and embroidering their clothes, and most of all, swimming in the ocean every day. She is half human, half elven, and has inherited most of her Elven Lord father’s magic. Which he can not find out, or she will be killed. The Rebellion thinks to use her as a weapon against the evil Elven Lords who have taken over the rule of England. She can not only control the element of water, but also of the storm, something no other child of her father can do, and he himself ofcourse.
Cecily’s father is a spy in the Rebellion, and he has been missing for almost a year now. Suddenly the troops of Lord Breden are plundering their little village, looking for new soldiers to enlist. All those years Thomas’ magic has kept the village hidden, and his new daughter safe. But now war is upon them. Giles is trying to keep his eye on Cecily, to keep her safe, but she won’t obey him to hide away, and follows him in to the village. Giles has a magic sword, and a lot of elven blood and their good looks as well. So he fights like the devil himself, but he is no match for the hundreds of soldiers set upon them. Until Cecily unleashes her magic, and destroys the soldiers.
Cecily has had a big crush on Giles for years now, and as he has declined her seduction a few years ago, she really doesn’t understand why he is so concerned for her safety now. Surely he barely knows who she is! After all, he is very popular with the village maidens, and she wants to marry the quiet Will.
But after the battle, in which her mother and a lot of villagers are killed, the other villagers treat Giles and Cecily as monsters, even though they saved their lives. The surviving young men, including Will, have decided to join Breden’s army after all, to keep the rest of them safe. And so Giles and Cecily set out for London, to the head of the Rebellion, to find out more about her missing father Thomas. Giles is hoping for a new and dangerous assignment, keeping watch over Cecily all those years was boring for a young man, and he wants some adventure. All Cecily wants is to live a quiet life in her little cottage near the sea, but life has other plans for her.
When they have finally reached London, lots of things have happened to them, making them fall in love with each other, but Giles knows he is not worthy of Cecily, who is after all, one of the nobles of the realm. A lowly blacksmith can never be for the likes of her. The leaders of the Rebellion set them both on the trail of Thomas, and with the request to finish his mission, finding a magical ring.
Many years ago 7 Elven Lords conquered England, divided it into seven pieces which each of them ruled, and each has his or her own specific magic. They have shielded England from the rest of the world, enslaving the humans within with their magic, their dragons and the magical scepters they wield. The King of England has become a pawn in their games, who ever “owns” him, has the upper hand over the other Elven Lords and Ladies. And they fight wars to win him to their side. The rest of Europe doesn’t seem to mind much, as long as they stay in England and trade the beautiful products made with their magic.
Of course the English people don’t want to stay enslaved, and are seeking means to send the Elven Lords back where they came from. The Rebellion is growing in power slowly, and their first big secret victory was in The Fire Lord’s Lover.
The start of the book was slow, the dialogue bad, and a lot of things got repeated again and again. I though Cecily a bit silly, and certainly not my kind of heroine. But after the first quarter of the book or so, things improved. More action, more danger, and Cecily sure grew up. Now it is Giles who is stubborn, wanting to keep her safe, even though she has so much magic she doesn’t really need him. Their journey together is dangerous, and I enjoyed everything Kathryne Kennedy invented. The strange magics, the dangers, the many beauties.
Both Cecily and Giles have to make important decisions, and face difficult tasks. Cecily even more than Giles. And when he lost his beautiful Elven looks, he sure felt in a hole of selfpity. Understandable of course, but it took him too long to get over it.
So, I liked most of the book, especially the story itself. There is not really much humor, or witty bantering as I love in my paranormal romances, but some nice love scenes and lots of magical creatures and happenings. I am curious to the next book, which will be published next year.