Author: Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Available: 13th Dec
Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….
Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.
He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….
Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.
When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.
Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.
As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.
Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…
Source: ARC from the author
This spin-off from the Elder Races series moves the action over the ocean to the UK, with a whole new set of characters and a conflict between the Dark and Light Courts. I really appreciate how much Thea Harrison has tried to make it feel like these characters are actually in the UK. The details aren’t always right, but the effort has been made, and the use of supermarket bags from Tesco and Sainsbury’s made me happier than they probably should have done.
The romance here is definitely one of opposites, and they don’t really attract – at least not at first. Sophie is fiercely independent, having been alone for a long time and very used to looking after herself. She’s smart and competent and definitely isn’t going to be bossed around by anyone. Which of course brings her into direct conflict with Nikolas, who has survived as long as he has by bossing about everyone one around him. They snipe and snarl at each other throughout, but I love how even this somehow turned into affection between them in time.
Although it does take time. They’re so opposed at first that I wondered how they could ever possibly find common ground. Their attraction and chemistry help a lot, but mostly it’s Sophie’s compassion and Nik’s protective nature that brings them together. Nik might have lost much of his softness over the years, but his attempts to do good and protect his brothers-in-arms provides ample reason for his actions – leaving Sophie helpless to resist.
The plot largely centres around the need for Nik and his friends to get home and the mysterious house that no one has been able to access for centuries. I loved the idea of that house and spent a lot of the read impatient for them to shut up and get inside. I probably would have been happy with an entire book dedicated to exploring the place and its potential mysteries, so I was a little sad when that didn’t happen. However, what I got instead was a bit of siege warfare, a lot of heat and a some soul-searching, which was just as good.
I was occasionally a little confused, though. For instance, I wasn’t sure how long Nik and his fellows had been cut off from Lyonesse. The house is centuries old, but someone mentions that they’ve been away from home for decades. There also seemed to be some confusion about how many men were about at some points – one moment nine, the next five. I was reading an early copy, so hopefully if that was a continuity error it’s been sorted.
Some of the language was also a bit off at times. Nik calls Sophie a ‘mouthy broad’, which really jarred me. I also would have expected a bit more discomfort from Sophie about driving through country lanes. I don’t know the area in the book all that well, but most English countryside devolves to narrow, single track lanes when it gets isolated. Also, was that Mini an original Mini or a new one, because there is a significant size difference.
All of which are minor picks at best, and most of which I could ignore. Particularly when Robin was on the scene. I really loved Robin. He very nearly stole the whole book for me. If Nik and Sophie hadn’t turned into such a formidable team, he probably would have. However, the main two just sneaked it, particularly with everything at the end.
Filled with humour and action, romance and heat, mystery and complications, this was a great start to this new series. The characters are compelling, the magic is as wonderful as always and I was left so very curious about so many things – particularly Sophie’s heritage. In all, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and can’t wait to see where it all heads next.
Moonshadow is out December 13th.
Visit Thea Harrison for more details.