Genre: paranormal romance
Discipline. Penance. Order. A Sanctuary priest's life revolves around such things. But when Sagan is taken captive and thrust into the Alaskan wilderness, he encounters a woman who challenges his faith and his self-control. Valera is a natural born witch who almost lost herself to the lure of dark magic. By rights, Sagan should shun her, but convention will count for nothing in the face of a passion that could change the world of the Shadowdwellers forever ...
As Chancellor of the Shadowdwellers, Malaya's first duty is to her people. Her bodyguard, Guin, knows this only too well. For tradition's sake, Malaya must marry, and the thought of this lush, vibrant, woman in a loveless union is impossible for him to bear. Guin loves Malaya-not as a subject loves his queen, but as a man craves a woman. And even if he cannot keep her, he'll show her everything she stands to lose . . .
This book contains two stories, the first one is a short story about Sagan, and the second story is the main one about Chancellor Malaya. Still, they are a little bit connected.
Sagan was poisoned and abducted in the previous book. His kidnappers have taken him topside, planning to take him somewhere, when they stumble upon Valeria and her little house in the middle of the Alaskan nowhere. Planning to have a bit of “fun” with her before they move on. But Valeria is a natural born witch, and she plans to just subdue them with her magic. But using defensive magic means making a high voltage blue light, and that burns them both to a crisp immediately. Now she understands why they had her turn of all the lights in the house and douse the fire in the hearth, but it was not her intention to kill them!
But now she has their prisoner to take care of. Her cat familiar tells her the man is poisoned, and she needs to heal him, even though he has already gotten an antidote.
When Sagan awakens, he has no idea what he is doing with a normal human. He has lost all memory of the last few days and cannot even remember his fight. But he has not been attracted to a woman in decades, ever since his handmaiden died he has put all his energy in training an the duties of a penance priest. Which is, partly, hunting down Sinners who have committed crimes in Dreamscape and Shadowscape. And Sagan is very good at his job. He knows that a relationship with a human is a Sin, but he just cannot repent something that feels so good. Even when he finds out that Valeria is a witch, a deadly enemy of his race, it does not deter him. He sees the good in her, and feels nothing of the taint that deathmagic leaves behind. But he knows he cannot stay with her, he is needed in Sanctuary.
But can he really leave her behind after nine glorious days in her arms?
Now that they know that Arcadia is still alive, the woman who tortured Trace, their main advisor, for a whole year, the Chancellors Malaya and her twin brother Tristan are determined to find out who she is. She is a Senate member, and so hiding in plain sight. The Senate is planning on forcing Malaya to marry due to some arcane law, and her bodyguard for the last 50 years, Guin, is not going to stand for it. He has spend those 50 years keeping her safe and he wants her to be happy, and that means a marriage for love, not for state reasons. He knows Malaya will do everything for her people, but he won’t have it. He will leave her if it comes to that. He has witnessed her having casual relationships with other men before, as he is never more than a few feet away from her, even in her bedroom, but this will be too much. He doesn’t care about those lovers, their society is very open to sexual relationships. He loves her too much to stand for it. Of course Malaya is too blind to notice that, she treats him like a close friend, until he lashes out of her, and her eyes slowly start to open. Still, she thinks a short affair between them before her marriage will be fine, not understanding it will never be enough for Guin.
Still, she can’t stand to loose him, and is desperate to find a way out of the Senate’s demands. Her brother has been acting like a fool for the last six months, knowing about this, and not knowing how to tell her. If only she had known sooner, perhaps she would have been able to come up with a plan to thwart them. She does not intend to give in to the Senate’s demands, as their rule is a monarchy and not a democracy, but they are also big on tradition, so she cannot ignore that old law. But they can change it for the future.
In the meanwhile, Arcadia is planning and exacting her revenge on Marcus and Dae, for killing her beloved daughter. She was so close to taking over Sanctuary, and now most of her allies are dead. They will pay for that, and pay heavily. Still, she has her own pawns in Court, and she will get to Malaya, especially now Guin is out of the picture …
I totally planned to stop reading in time for bed, but when it was that time, the book was incredibly good and suspenseful, I could not stop. And even when that bit was over, I just had to know what would happen, how they would find and defeat Arcadia, and before I knew it, the clock had struck twelve. This is not a good thing on a Sunday night with a busy work week ahead. Still, I would never have been able to sleep without knowing the end.
I loved the book. I loved Guin, for his quiet devotion to his mistress, and how he had his own standards and would not settle for crumbs. He is a very big man, strong and completely self assured and capable. A trained assassin who fell for his intended target 50 years ago.
Malaya was a bit spoiled, and a bit naïve, even though she grew up in wartime, and knows how to fight. She comes over as sheltered, and happy to behave to archaic standards. I usually like my heroines a bit more though. Still, she has a big heart, she is very smart, and she does get what she wants.
I do hope there will be a story with Tristan someday.
© 2013 Reviews by Aurian