Monday, December 26, 2016

Review: Moonshadow by Thea Harrison

Title: Moonshadow
Series: Moonshadow #1
Author: Thea Harrison
Release date: December 13, 2016
Cliffhanger: No
Rating: 4.5 stars


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…

Despair had no place here. It had been a long, dark battle, in the darkest of wars, but they would hold. They would all hold.

I've gotten woefully behind in reading Thea Harrison's books. Dragon Bound, book one in the Elder Races, was one of my all-time favorite PNR/fantasy books. EVER. Not only did I fall in love with the humor and snark from her characters, her world building is absolutely top notch. The details put into the people, culture, magic, and the intricate web of how they all interconnect are rich and precise. These key ingredients make her writing surpass the ordinary and reach extraordinary. Moonshadow reminded me all over again what I love about her writing and will be rectifying my lapse in continuing the Elder Races.

As a witch consultant for the LAPD, Sophie has had to be tough to survive the things she's seen and experienced. She's the type of heroine I really go for: a strong, independent woman who doesn't take nonsense from anyone. Her sarcastic, self-depreciating personality had me laughing on more than one occasion and her unpredictability left me guessing what she would say or do next. She wasn't afraid of any person or situation she came across. Rather than from danger, she jumped in front of it and gave it the middle finger. (Much to the eternal chagrin of Nikolas)

When she gets an unusual offer she can't refuse, she jumps on a plane and heads to the UK to try to slip through centuries worth of magic. She gets a whole lot more than she bargained for. A huge monstrosity of a house that repels people from entering and transported past inhabitants in strange and usual ways becomes the promise for an entire race of people. And she is the key to unlocking it. The simple vacation that she took on a whim turns into a desperate race to return a group of dwindling soldiers back to their home.

Sophie meets Nikolas shortly after arriving and right from the start they clash and butt heads. It was without a doubt NOT love at first sight, more like love to hate you at first sight. A bad first impression, and Nik's lack of sensitivity leaves her itching to put him in his place. And every time she ruffled this stoic man's feathers I couldn't help but laugh. She was exactly what he needed.

“I might choose to lock the door when you leave because it’s a good idea, not because you ordered me to.” His eyes narrowed.
“One of these days you’re going to say, ‘Sure, Nik. That’s a good idea, I think I’m going to do that.’” Nik. She liked that.
“Don’t hold your breath.” She laughed.

She scowled. "I'm not a trick pony to perform on your command."
"No, a trick pony doesn't know how to talk back like you do." The exasperation was heavy in his voice. What on earth did he have to be exasperated about? It was enough to make her exasperated at him.

She seemed to be a magnet for trouble with no knowledge of what she was getting herself into. She was exasperating, stubborn, and prickly. But as much as she frustrated him, there was no denying her bravery. She was a fighter, and he respected that.

She resurrected something inside him, the kind of man he used to be, protective of and attentive to those he cared for.

A reluctant partnership was formed and slowly she began to see pieces of what was hidden under his gruff exterior. He's not the easiest to love at first, but by the end he had completely won me over. He showed a lot of growth in character and I loved seeing not only his transformation, but theirs as a couple. The humor kept me highly entertained, and the plot was unique and engrossing.

My only not giving this a full five stars was that there were some simple inconsistencies in the book that could have easily been corrected. But in no way did they detract from my enjoyment of the overall story.

If you haven't read anything by Thea Harrison yet, now is your chance to get in on her brand new series. I was highly impressed by this first offering and will be continuing on with the following installments without a doubt.

Wherever the moon’s shadow touched them, something of their true nature appeared. Moonshadow always revealed truth to those who knew how to see it.


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