Genre: futuristic romance
After the death of the former GrandLord T'Yew years ago, the Yews withdrew to their self-sustained estate and disappeared from Celtan society. When a rash of politically motivated attempted murders happen - and a piece of evidence linking the crimes to the Yew family is found - no one can vouch for the Family's or current head of the household Loridana's integrity. To discover more, Draeg Blackthorn is enlisted to insinuate himself into the estate as a stableman for the stridebeasts - beautiful creatures that hold a place in Lori's heart no member of her family ever could…
Never officially acknowledged as GrandLady D'Yew, Lori has decided to abandon her bloodline and live on her won with her true family - her animals. She spends her days catering to the unfair whims of her Family, and her nights exploring the streets of Druida, plotting her escape. But the arrival of the new stableman, who seems to love her animals as much as she does, threatens to disrupt her plans for freedom. The growing bond between Lori and Draeg is real - even if the things he tells her aren't.
It has only happened once before, that immediately after finishing a book, I wanted to read it again, and that was Anne Bishop - Written in Red. So that will probably tell you how much I loved this book. But it was already past my bedtime when I finished it, so I read the second half again the next day. And still loved it so much! As I told my friend Peggy on Facebook: I closed the book with a smile, while the tears were still drying on my cheeks.
The bad thing was, it made me crave a re-reading of the rest of the series. And yes, I caved. So instead of reading some of my shiny new books, I am re-reading the Celta series, for the umptieth time.
As a young girl, Lori became the new head of the household, D'Yew, as she was the most powerful in flair. She has been raised very rigidly, always aware of her position, and not allowed any freedom at all. The residence herself or her family members who run the house and the estate, keep a very close eye on her, and don't hesitate to punish her severely for anything they don't like. She has two cousins who are spoiled and have all the freedom denied to her. Lori has found a FamCat last year, but he is not even allowed inside the Residence. Her cousin has even tried to kill it. The only joy she has, is in taking care of her stridebeasts, and breeding them, making them even better. But as she is only allowed to have six, that is not easy or fast. And now, as a boon, she is been given two Earthan horses to take care of, with the help of a new stablemaster, who is NOT family! He is not allowed inside the Residence either, he has a room above the stable.
Draeg can’t believe Loridana is behind the murder attempts, she really is an innocent young lady, who has no power at all over her Family or her Residence as she should have. What he doesn't understand is that she won't fight for her right, fight for what is hers. He doesn't know what she has endured, and she will never, ever have outsiders meddle in family matters again. Draeg falls for Lori hard, but when he learns of her plans of just leaving the estate, and go live south of Druida on a small estate her late father has left her, he plans to stop her, anyway he can. Abandoning ones' family is just unheard of in his book. But then, he doesn't know her family … And will she still love him when she finds out about his lies?
I fell hard for this story, I felt for Lori, and how she had to deceive her family and the Residence itself of her true feelings and thoughts. I rooted for her, to set out and make a life of her own, and to just give the reigns over to her nasty family. I understood her, while Draeg could not. And I kept wondering, did he really just want the woman, or the Lady and her Estate?
But Lori really grew in this story, into her Flair powers, and in character. She was strong, even at her young age, and I loved it. And her FamCat, who was not arrogant like so many FamCats I have read about before. He was truly supporting his FamWoman, and helping her.
It was a truly epic ending, and I did not really see it coming. The only thing I would have liked, was for Draeg to grovel … and that did not happen. Sigh. Heartmates.
Could you read this as a stand alone? Perhaps. I do recommend the whole series though.
© 2015 Reviews by Aurian