This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Released on September 16, 2014
A whole new paranormal world populated by immortal beings living in secret amongst the humans and destined to have a fated mate to love? Um, yes please! I dived right in as soon as my schedule would allow and finished in two sittings. I enjoyed the author’s other works so I was happy to find that even though this was paranormal romance series that it struck a similar tone. The humor, sweetness and sense of family was all there to appreciate again.
Now, true confession time…I read this sixth book first. This was on purpose and not my usual oopsies about getting books out of order. That being said, I’m really going to suggest that other people not follow my example, but instead, choose to read them in order. I muddled through, but I knew that it would have been easier and more rewarding to get the worldbuilding and all the key players and ongoing story arcs as they unfolded. Not that I was totally lost and I did still appreciate lots of what I was reading as it was made clearer.
The story opens when Jesska Shane is bursting with happiness as she is on the brink of finishing high school, going to Paris with the love of her life and then college and marriage. That’s when tragedy strikes and she loses Brady right before her eyes. Her downward spiral starts and ends with family estrangement, self-medicating through pills and alcohol, and self-inflicting of pain through cuttings. She lives a hollow gray life barely holding it together because she won’t get help, won’t let go of her old life, but won’t take the final step of oblivion either. Little does she know that events unfolding a world away are her hope.
Kaspar Baldursson, king of his clan, discovers that his brother has gotten himself into some serious troubles as he is now the prisoner of the Cauld Ane, the offshoot Scottish clan. Somehow Ari kept secret a human woman and three children that are a powerful, gifted trifectorate when the three sisters come together and someone else wants them. The two oldest children were stolen from Ari and his human woman, but the woman and youngest disappeared. His brother made some mistakes contacting the oldest children and will say nothing about what is going on. Kaspar meets a mysterious clanswoman who tells him that Ari’s youngest child is now in danger from Ari’s enemies and he needs to protect her. Kaspar sets out to find her and her mother, Megan. His search leads him to Megan, but then his world is rocked when he learns that Jesska, Megan’s sister is his fated mate. He feels his mate’s pain and sorrow as soon as he is close. He is determined to have her, human or not, and sort out his brother’s mess too while protecting everyone from the unknown threat. But can he compete against the ghost of Jesska’s lost love and gain her love for his own?
This story had a lot going on. There were suspense threads, romance threads and character growth threads. The first half of the book is dominated by Jesska’s grief spiral and then her slow healing while she and Kaspar court and love. Jesska’s unhealthy grief makes her ugly toward a lot of people and have very self-destructive habits. It was hard to read it all and it didn’t help that she had the nosy-bossy qualities going too. I really struggled to be patient with her, but it was also neat to see the entrance of Kaspar in her life like a breath of fresh air. I enjoyed that he was just what she needed in that he was strong and firm, but also tender and loving. Oh, she totally had him wrapped around her finger, but he wasn’t afraid to tell her ‘no’ when it came to her safety or her health. He wasn’t afraid to listen to her good judgment either. I loved that they found each other and she started healing.
I did have one niggle as she moved on. She made her peace with Brady, his parents, her siblings and even God- and all that was good and needed, but I wish she had shared an actual scene with her folks too since she was pretty ugly to them especially since they knew she would hate them because of their decision to commit her when she accidentally almost killed herself with her cutting, but they made the choice that showed their love because they would rather her live and get better more than anything. I’m actually amazed that she got released just because she turned eighteen because I know with drug overdoses accidental or otherwise people are kept in the psych ward no matter what their age until they’ve undergone a full psych exam and put into ongoing care. But then again, maybe that stuff happened and she just fooled her way through the system.
The suspense side was two-pronged. There was the issue with Brady’s murderer, but then there was the scheming of unknown others along with all the action around Kaspar’s brother Ari, Megan and the people in Scotland. Now this is the part where I wish I had read stuff in order because I was well behind the eight ball and so confused for some time with stuff. The Cauld Ane world and these immortal beings is all still a bit vague. I get that they have gifts, they’re immortal, and they get fated mates, but what they are and how their kind goes about things is still a bit of mystery to me. Again, I think it’s because it was probably all detailed out in an earlier book that I missed. What I do understand was enough to keep me intrigued in the story.
So in the end, I enjoyed this paranormal world, the storyline and the characters. I plan to go back and get the story in order. I’m recommending this series to those who enjoy paranormal romance that’s a little spicy, but still on the sweet end of the spectrum.
My thanks to the author for providing this book in exchange for my honest review.