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113 of 121 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
Leonie, a half faerie finds herself, along with the man she has wanted since forever, fighting evil magical forces that she barely understands.

On the positive side: It's an interesting set-up. A strong female character, who bucks the system, and finds herself with the guy of her dreams (who apparently has issues), in a world filled with magic and old castles. Medieval story fans will have lots of stuff to like here, as this has lots of long ago rituals and historical references in it's pages. People who like multidimensional characters will be ok with this book since the characters aren't perfect, ergo human.

Also, it's written with a tone that perfectly suits the time period while not being unreadable for todays audiences. The language used is modern english flavored with the occasional archaic word to make you feel like you're there and reading something from there.

And now the negative side:

I want it clear that most of my problems with this piece of work are personal issues/opinions that don't necessarily reflect how everyone else will see this story.

First off, there are several writing tropes that I personally have problems with, and a lot of them are in this book. Things like: lying in order to create tension. I understand that if each character tells the truth about their situation, the actual story will not even happen, making lying necessary for the sake of the adventure. My problem is that this sort of thing creates a false complication, a manufactured problem that no one in their right mind would even have. I end up screaming at the characters, because there is no logical reason they should keep lying after a certain point, and the only reason for them to do this is for the sake of dramatic timing to serve the story rather than common sense. Lying has it's place but should be used properly, and not abused just to make things interesting writing-wise.

Secondly, having uneven characterization is a problem. Sometimes, we as human beings can't have one single opinion on a subject. In fact, sometimes we have a certain opinion only if specific conditions are met, an opinion that we would never even consider otherwise. So having a character who can sometimes be a male chauvinist and sometimes not a male chauvinist, is ok, since it can make a character more real to have that dual nature, but only if written properly.

The Peregrine, the half faerie heroine's love interest, can't seem to decide if he's sexist or not. His behavior could have been justified using old or twisted prejudices during the time period, unfortunately it was implied in the start that he was beyond that. As it is, I felt that in the beginning of the book he was a feminist, and then suddenly he changed sides when the writer needed him to. When the female protagonist needed to have someone to prove she was a "strong female character" the Peregrine became a sexist. It served the story, but in the end, wasn't true to the character. Perhaps, it would have been better if it happened in smaller instances as well, instead of only the big story arc ones. If his dual nature also happened during quiet moments, when crazy life threatening creatures weren't trying to kill them, I might have bought it more.

This is one of the drawbacks for not having a solid character. Apart from the fact that they appear quite indecisive, they also become a random obstacle that needs to be overcome rather than an actual character. The Peregrine became a plot device that served to prop up the female protagonist instead of a living breathing person.

Thirdly, a clunky exposition character. There's a character in this book who was called upon to explain everything that's going on. He came at the very end and did it in such a long and ham fisted way. There are characters who do this sort of thing in all books, but you don't notice them because they organically tell their explanations through the course of the story. This guy came out and did his thing only because everyone was already completely frustrated. No one knew anything about what was going on, and we only had 2 chapters left for things to get resolved. Of course, he could have done this sooner, but he preferred to do it now... at the end... when it was more dramatic... when everyone was going to die... and time was of the essence... he did his thing and explained on... and on... and on... and on...

The worst part is that most of his explanations were things that came out of nowhere. Throughout the books there were a little foreshadowing things going on, but not enough to justify these sudden out-of-nowhere reasons!

Lastly, repeated words. I read more than one comment about this book that called out the fact that the author used the word "smirk" too often. I never really noticed it. Personally my problem was with the overuse of the word "haps".

The truth is, the repeated words thing, isn't really a problem. It's a style of writing. Readers have to be willing to accept such a style. Sadly, I wasn't willing to accept the style because I wasn't invested in the story. I was taken out of it too often by all the previous reasons listed here. Because of that I began to nit-pick things and notice writing nuances that I shouldn't even see.

2 stars. I personally can't deal with lying characters, and/or characters who could be explaining stuff much earlier on, and/or slightly indecisive characters. If that isn't a problem for you, and you think it's a normal thing for some books to have, so it isn't that big a deal, then don't judge this book by my review. I say this honestly and without sarcasm: Read it for the adventure, the romance, and the magic. And, Enjoy...
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69 of 74 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 6, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I started this book yesterday morning and read it all day. This morning I got up and finished it. I wish this happened more often but not every book has a steady pace that keeps me turning pages. I'm rather surprised at the "lackluster" reviews. Romance is not my favorite genre but the paranormal is. I thought this book had just enough romance that it didn't ruin it for me. I like romance, just not romance overkill. I thought the pace was steady with no slow parts and exciting enough to have me glued to the book all day.

I liked the heroine, Leonie, who was half human and half faerie. She had to keep her faerie origins a secret because people didn't understand magic and the supernatural even though they knew it existed. They thought it was evil and it was very likely they would have killed her as a witch. Philippe was also very likeable. He was a cursed knight who could never love again. His curse was that he would murder whoever he loved with his own hands. After seeing his wife's death caused by the same person who cursed him, he had no desire to cause another woman's death. Leonie had fallen in love with Philippe almost from the first time she had seen him when she was a young girl. Years later when she saw him again, nothing had changed. Then something happened that made her fear and dislike him. Hoping to have him imprisoned , she is shocked at the king's punishment.

I don't like reviewers who tell the whole book so I will let you read the details for yourself. I thought it was very good and all of the characters were interesting. I highly recommend this book for lovers of the paranormal and romance.
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43 of 48 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 24, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I enjoyed the historical setting; the relationships and rankings of the time are well done and believable, but I expected more of a heroine--Leonie, who's half faerie--with magical powers. However, I loved her way with her bow and arrows. Philippe, the hero, has commitment issues, but that's not his fault. I actually liked the other characters more: Rufus, the king; the blacksmith's son, Sigge; de Mowbray, the Black Earl of Northumbria; and especially Ilse, de Mowbray's intelligent and magical dog.

There was plenty of danger, evil, demons,and sorcery, and eventually the heroine defeats her attackers with the help of friends--and family. But there wasn't enough adventure--just misery and suffering; it took too long for anything exciting to happen--and some scenes just slowed the story down...*

A minor quibble. Apparently the author liked the word smirk, and Leonie smirked way too often. Not a positive characteristic.

In the Acknowlegements, I learned that Ilse was a Scottish deerhound. Nice addition to the story.

*Adult content.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on October 13, 2012
This book was recommended to me by a friend, and although I normally don't read paranormal stories, this one was a great, intriguing read. The romance was involving and passionate, and the characters had enough twists and turns in their lives to make me read the entire book in just a few hours. I could definitely tell that the author had done a great deal of research, and the details she included really made the plot come to life. Not the usual, canned storyline, and I appreciated that, too!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2012
I normally love Delle Jacobs and can't wait until the next book comes out, but this book was so poorly written I wondered several times if Delle was OK.

First are the repetitions. 'Haps' happened so many times that it just became irritating after a very short while. There were a couple scenes where multiple characters said it multiple times within just a few pages. Then, there was 'Smirk' which Leone does way too often.

But, my biggest complaint was the confusing scenes and the convoluted story progression. At times I wondered if my book was missing whole paragraphs, lines or chapters.

Here's an example: At first Phillipe leaves Leone's uncle's castle to take care of property given to him by the king. Leone watches him leave with all his knights. You are given to understand that he will be gone for a rather long time since there is no one to oversee his new property, not to mention it is several days away. The next morning Leone heads to the forest to gather dye making materials...and in the next paragraph Phillipe is alone in the forest and finds Leone. What?!? He was leaving the territory! He was with a contingent of knights! How is it possible that he is back and alone?!? Then, later in the story, both Phillipe and Leone and a group of vassals go to the property and find it trashed, and he's surprised. What?!? Didn't he do as his king told him to do? Was he ignoring a royal edict and doing whatever he wanted to do? Is that why he's never been to his property? Neither scenario was ever explained as to why and how they happened.

Or, how about when the heroes finally overcome the villain; I'm still trying to figure out what happened there. I know they won. I know the villain ended up dead. But, other than that, it's a big, confusing blur.

Things like that happened over and over again. There were more than a dozen places where the story would move at a snail's pace, and then in the blink of an eye, it was rushing so fast that parts of the narration were dropped, forgot or lost in the frenzy. There were more than a dozen places where I still have no idea what happened because it just wasn't explained properly or completely. I found myself reading and rereading whole sections and still never figuring out what actually happened or how.

My last complaint was about the sex in the book. Now, I don't care how steamy a novel is, the steamier the better in my opinion, and Delle has always provided hot, steamy and wonderfully detailed sex scenes...but, a virgin doesn't do what she did (and rather well, I might add)! Yes, I know, she technically wasn't a virgin at the time, but please, they had only been 'together' once or twice, so she was still virginal in her thinking.

I was very disappointed in this book. This is a first effort from a first-time author, not the wonderful immersion in a well-told story that we expect from Delle. Which brings me back to...I wonder if Delle is OK?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 27, 2012
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This was a sort of lackluster book for me, it never really hooked me into its story. Leonie is a pretty strong heroine. She arches well and is sort of the odd duck out at her castle home, though everyone loves her anyways. She is half faerie, though no one except her nursemaid knows that.

Philippe is an errant knight, who is the king's right hand man, however he is cursed and because of this has been living a chaste life.

Of course, fate conspires and they have to get married. Doesn't hurt (except his chastity) that they are attracted to one another.

There is also this matter of ghoulins running around attacking Leonie and brainwashing her.

There are dashes of historical in this, the son of William the Conqueror is king and makes a few appearances. It is mostly fantasy though.

I think what really kept pulling me out of the narrative was the language the author used, it was sort of forced sounding Renaissance Festival speak. Also, I got a little frustrated with the deus ex machina type reveals that kept popping up at the end of the book. I would have liked them to be built into the narrative a little more (things having to do with Philippe mostly).

Anyways, it isn't a bad book, I enjoyed parts of it and it has a neat mythology woven into it. However, I probably wouldn't go out of my way to read it again or tell someone else to.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2014
Smirk...sneer....haps (which apparently means "perhaps"). Get used to those words. Also, if you are looking for a fantasy, be forewarned that this is a soft porn based in a fantasy setting. I'm not a prude, but I got tired of hearing about Philippe's shaft.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2012
It may have been the medieval dialect but a few times I had to reread a paragraph or two to understand what the author was trying to portray. I enjoy any story involving fairies and distant lands filled with handsome hunky men and castles but this one lost me a bit at times and several of the scenes were chaotic. I think if the story would have had a few more adjectives and the scenes elaborated on a bit the reader could enjoy the story much more. For example - I had to reread what happened to the villain several times and still am unclear as to what happened to him.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2012
A hard read. Drawn out and slow. Catches your interest in the beginning and end. The middle is very slow.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2013
It was hard to move through. Well written yes, but so discriptive in some spots it drug with it. We didn't have to know about her hair each time, we know the color, and the texture at first describing. We know what her husband look like. Details are great, but you need only do it once. I like the adult themes in it so it didn't make it like a Harry Potter Book. I think she needed to be more independent, but at those times it would have been hard this is understood.
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