Review: The Lady’s Guard

Review: The Lady’s GuardThe Lady's Guard (Sinful Brides, #3) by Christi Caldwell
Series: Sinful Brides #3
Published by Montlake on July 25th 2017
Genres: Historical
Pages: 322
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This story of a duke’s daughter and a man of the streets of St. Giles was sweet and a good story and I liked it very much.

THE STORY:  Lady Diana Verney’s life has turned upside down with her duchess mother committed to Bedlam for trying to murder Diana’s half siblings and Diana’s own social ruin. When Diana feels that someone is stalking her, her father does not take her seriously so instead, Diana turns to her half-brother who owns the Hell and Sin Club in St. Giles.  In response, Niall Marksman is asked by Diana’s brother to help protect her.  Niall feels he belongs in the darkness of St. Giles and resents having to protect a pampered Duke’s daughter.

OPINION:  This was a very enjoyable cross-class story.  The woman who has been rejected by her own peers because of her mother matches up with the low born gutter born thief and murderer.

While the topic here is dark, the actual story is taken at a much lighter level.  (Myself I prefer the darker, seedier tales, but this story is pretty good as well.)

Diana is a strong young woman who is trying to make her own way after finding out her mother has committed horrible crimes.  Diana’s estrangement from society and her fears of following in her mother’s madness have propelled Diana into creating a new future for herself. I like Diana as a character because she is woman who does the right thing even when society frowns upon her actions. I also had a great deal of sadness for how isolated Diana is.  The connection that builds between her and Niall was especially sweet in that context.

Niall is a man who is haunted by his past, but the story doesn’t really dwell on those details.  He is man who feels the corruption from the streets and doesn’t want to open himself up to any possibility of happiness because he has not truly dealt with his guilt of his past.  Although Niall has more depth than some of the previous characters in this series, I still think the story could have gone deeper into the characters and the situation.

At times I found the story heartbreaking and lovely, but there was something about it that kept me from being transparently in love with the characters.  I always felt like there was a distance between myself and the characters.  Some quality about them that was too separate and unknowable.

Therefore, this was a book that I really enjoyed as a story, but it lacked the transcendence of the best romance novels.

WORTH MENTIONING:  There are significant appearances by characters from the other books in the series.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE LADY’S GUARD is the third book in the Sinful Brides series.  While this couple is a standalone story, there is an overarching story that continues from book to book and this series is better read in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Moonshadow

Review: MoonshadowMoonshadow (Moonshadow, #1) by Thea Harrison
Series: Moonshadow #1
Published by Amazon Digital Services LLC on December 13th 2016
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 335
Goodreads
four-half-stars

“Sometimes things change irrevocably. You turn a corner, hear a new song, read a book, fall in or out of love, or look at a painting in a different light. Or you get shot several times.”

FINAL DECISION:  Harrison strikes off in a bold new direction in her Elder World.  A fabulous paranormal with an alpha hero and the woman who won’t take his orders. I absolutely loved how Sophie and Nik fought and argued and found themselves in love and true partners in battle.

THE STORY:  Sophie Ross comes to the United Kingdom searching for answers about her past.  After having been shot in her job as a witch consultant for the police, Sophie has to rebuild her life.  After a spell gives her a vision of a handsome and deadly man, Sophie ends up traveling to the U.K. where she meets Nikolas Sevigny — the man in her vision.  Nikolas is a knight of the Dark Court who is working to defeat the Queen of the Light Court. As part of his quest, Nikolas realizes that Sophie might be able to help him return home to engage in the battle.  This book takes place in the Elder Races world.

OPINION: The best part of this book is how Sophie and Nik fight and argue and learn to respect one another.

Nikolas is a definite alpha male. Controlling, in charge, demanding and a warrior in all ways. Nik has spent years alone.  Separated from his homeland by the warring of the Light Court, separated from his brother warriors by necessity, Nik has become colder and more closed in. The hardened years of war have made him more course and more desperate.

Sophie makes this book for me.  She is not going to take any orders, demands or gruff from Nik.  She can take care of herself — and Nik — and she is not going to allow him to control her.  Her combat with Nik allows Sophie to recover a part of herself that was damaged when she was shot as part of her job.  While strong willed and a warrior herself, Sophie is also gentle of heart and caring. In fact, it is her caring nature that draws her into the battle between the Dark and Light Courts.

The relationship between Sophie and Nik is combative and full of disagreements and ultimately explosive passion.  Both Sophie and Nik are warriors and they have to learn to deal with one another. While Sophie is not going to put up with Nik’s demands, she also knows when to bend to accommodate Nik’s own vulnerabilities and how to tame Nik’s instincts without making him a whipped puppy.  There is no damsel in distress in this book rather two equals who learn to fight together.

The story introduced here which involves the battle between the Light and Dark Court is intriguing and had plenty of action and heft to it to kept the pace of this book hopping. The characters are fascinating with good stories that have possibilities that I look forward to seeing played out in the rest of this trilogy.  With a mishmash of English legends including werewolves (in London), Arthurian and Midsummer Night’s Dream fairy characters (which of course have older mythological origins), at play here the book feels fantasy and real at the same time which is one of my favorite parts of Harrison’s Elder Races world books.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This series has an overarching story that begins here but doesn’t conclude in this book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  MOONSHADOW is the first book in the Moonshadow Trilogy.  This series takes place in the same world as the Elder Races series but can be read on its own because it takes place in a different place with new characters.  A good time to try out Harrison’s Elder World books.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4.5 stars.

four-half-stars