I’m glad I stuck with this series. Not only did I enjoy this second installment more than the first, I am really excited about reading the third. As I had hoped, this book explains so much more about the larger series arc, and about who are villains are and what they hope to accomplish. The world-building remains interesting and the characters, fleshed out. The romance is about on-par with the last book.
This is Lily and Gideon’s story, two people who are even more tortured than the main characters from book 1. Lily has spent the past two years as a captive to the evil crazy Calydon named Nate. She is a Satinka, a member of a nearly extinct race, connected to earth magic, capable of bonding to a Calydon man and boosting his power. It’s a gift designed to give only to her mate, but that hasn’t stopped others from trying to take it by force. That’s one of the reasons she has made it her life’s work to expose the Calydon’s. The other reason: Gideon killed her grandmother, destroying her family.
Of course, Gideon knows none of this when he is sent to rescue Lily from the prison Nate created. And the animosity makes it even stranger when the two are powerfully attracted to one another. Gideon isn’t worried, though, since he’s already met his sheva. No warrior gets a second soul mate, right? Er, wrong.
The story follows these two as they fight against the bond neither of them wants, while trying to stop the plot Nate started in the last installment. Now Frank is leading that charge and we learn more about who and what he is, as we get closer to the execution of his plan to free the ancient Calydon, Ezekiel.
Frank is a better bad-guy than Nate was. He’s much scarier and here, the author provides some backstory to help us understand how he got this way and why he is doing what he is doing. Gideon is a bit more fleshed out than Quinn was. The death of his first sheva shaped his life. I enjoyed watching his icy facade crumble as his bond with Lily grew.
Meanwhile, Lily is a real survivor. Yes, she is pretty awful in her initial assessment of our hero, but I can’t really blame her, knowing her history. As she gets to know him, she is able to put her prejudice aside and see the real man. This woman has been through some really rough stuff, so the very fact that she is able to love –or even function, much less fight– is pretty impressive. The sexual tension is good, too, though it takes awhile before these two seal the deal. (A very different approach than we had in book 1.)
I saved the best for last in this: I am so excited about book 3. I don’t want to spoil it, because it was a great reveal, but I love who the couple will be! I was hoping this would happen, but I didn’t think it would. Thank you, Stephanie Rowe. I can’t wait to jump in and see what happens next.
Rating: B (B+ for the twist at the end)
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Stephanie Rowe
Release Date: April 11, 2012