Review: For the Love of a Goblin Warrior

Reviewed by Jen

Meryn has spent thousands of years trapped in the Shadowlands as a goblin.  He witnessed the death of his wife and children. Now he has been thrust back into the human realm with no warning.  The only languages he knows are long dead.  The world around him is nothing like he once knew. Nothing makes sense.

Nadine is a nurse at the hospital where police take the half-crazed sword-wielding Meryn when he is found on the street.  Though he can’t understand the words she is saying, Meryn can hear the kindness and sincerity in Nadine’s words and she calms him.  Nadine sees beyond the dirty and wounded exterior to the proud and good man beneath.  So much so, her impression of him remains even after he flees the hospital to live on the streets.

Nadine and Meryn cross paths again a week or so later at a local park, but by then, he has miraculously conveniently picked up the English language.  The two strike up a friendship.  Even more, there is an underlying spark they both feel.  Meryn agrees to let his cousin help him build a new life for himself, to pave the way for a real chance with Nadine.  But all the while, he constantly worries about the fact he can’t tell her the truth about himself.

Nadine is working to overcome a difficult childhood.  Her father went to jail for killing her mother who was coincidentally obsessed with a goblin fairy tale. But her feelings for Meryn are changing her life.  Meryn, meanwhile, undergoes an even bigger transformation.  He works through a lot of emotional turmoil as he adjusts to modern day life.  (Some good angst there.)  For the most part, I liked the dynamic of their romance.

But there were a fair share of problems.  Too many things were too easy or, ahem, convenient.  From the ease of Meryn’s transformation to a 21st century man after thousands of years as a goblin… to his incidental meeting with Nadine’s father… to his history with her mother.  And even if you can ignore all that, when we got to the big reveal of his goblin history, she accepted it as if it were an everyday occurrence.   She was more fixated on a stolen necklace than the fact that he was a mythological creature.  That –and the fact that he lied about it.  (*SMH*) Really? I know some people take issue when reviewers complain about realism in PNR… but who the heck would react that way?? It didn’t ring true.

It wasn’t a bad story. It just had too many coincidences and the goblin reveal was a major fail.

Rating: C+

*ARC Provided by Sourcebooks via NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
For the Love of a Goblin Warrior
by Shona Husk
Release Date: January 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks

Review: Kiss of the Goblin Prince

Reviewed by Jen

I am always on the lookout for a story with a great tortured hero.  Shona Husk delivers in spades with Dai.  He lived most of his nearly 2000 years in the goblin realm.  He was cursed along with his family during Roman times to live in the Shadowlands, part-goblin and part-man.  The curse was broken only recently, as his brother found true love.  Now Dai is struggling to live among humans again and to let go of his hate and need for revenge.

Amanda is a widowed mother who has given up on finding love again. But when her sister-in-law marries Roan, Dai is thrust into her world.  The attraction is instant, but both are wary.  Amanda hasn’t been with a man since her husband died seven years ago and her first priority has to be her severely asthmatic daughter.  Dai isn’t sure he even knows how to love or be loved.  He’s never been with a woman. Even before he was thrust into the Shadowland, he was a Roman slave –tortured not only physically, but also sexually and emotionally.

I really enjoyed watching the love story unfold between these two. While the attraction was immediate, the feelings and relationship developed more slowly and believably.  Dai is the more dominant character in the story –and by that I mean, more of it is devoted to him.  He’s got a lot to work out.  Not only with his past and his intimacy issues, but with his magic.  He studied magic for centuries, as he tried to break the goblin curse and now he must figure out how this, too, will fit into his life.  He is very damaged, but underneath, he is really a good man.

I liked this book a lot. It is the second in the Shadowlands series. Unfortunately, I did not read The Goblin King and I felt it in a big way.  There were huge, huge gaps in Dai and Roan’s backstory that must have been explained in the first installment. I was lost in the particulars of their curse –specifically, who cursed them?  How does the goblin summoning thing work?  In what circumstances could they come and go from the Shadowlands in the past?  Stuff like that.  The nagging questions distracted me from the good stuff on several occasions, which is a shame, because the romance part was right up my alley.

My only other beef was that the ending felt a little rushed.  I waited the entire book for the payoff on the sexual tension between Dai and Amanda.  I think another two or three pages would have gone a long way to leaving me satisfied.

Overall, I did like it.  But I bet I would have liked it even more if I had read the first book.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Kiss of the Goblin Prince
by Shona Husk
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks