Genre: paranormal romance
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!
After a long year in America, serving Cieran Thruvial until she had the opportunity to kill him in the former novella, Xanthe is home again. As her cover is compromised, she cannot go back to working undercover, and Niniane takes her as a personal guard. Xanthe likes that, as she is fiercely loyal to Niniane, the Dark Fae Queen, and her mate Tiago. She enjoyes most of her duties, and the time at her cottage, soaking up the piece and quiet she lacked for so long in America. It also doesn’t hurt that she gets to meet Chancellor Aubrey Riordan frequently. She has worshipped him from afar for many years now, and now she gets the chance to get to know the real Aubrey.
When Aubrey is attacked and nearly killed, Niniane sees her love for him, and decides to do a little matchmaking. Aubrey is to kept safe and secluded at Xanthe’s cottage, with only Xanthe caring for him, and only Niniane and Tiago will know where he is. In the meantime, Tiago will hunt for his attackers.
Being stuck together, Aubrey and Xanthe almost have no choice but to fall in love, with Aubrey finally seeing Xanthe for who she is, and appreciating her quiet beauty and manners.
As always, I enjoyed reading this short story, Thea Harrison has a very nice writing voice. The story is nicely paced, and the characters are very well done, with enough background on everything around them. This story really focuses on the romance, there is almost no action in it, which I did miss. Also, I would have hoped for at least one full tarot card reading, as there is a hint to them in the blurb. The lovescenes are very hot, and well written.
It was nice catching up on Niniane and Tiago, I do think she is a great Queen of the Dark Fae. I do hope there will be more books starring them, or at least with a big secondary part.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian