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I Belong


Review: Hunter’s Season by Thea Harrison

Hunter's Season (4.7) by Thea HarrisonTitle: Hunter’s Season

Author: Thea Harrison

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: The Elder Races Series (Novella 4.7)

Publication Date: September 18, 2012

Format: eNovella, 105 Pages

ISBN-13: 978-1619213111 (Samhain)

Reviewed by: Sheila

Synopsis

Duty. Devotion. Desire. When fate brings two isolated people together, love is in the cards.

As a palace guard and assassin for the Dark Fae, Xanthe always wore a mask, hiding her emotions to do her duty. But when her identity is compromised, she trades undercover work for guarding Queen Niniane—a position that often brings her in contact with Chancellor Aubrey Riordan.

Aubrey’s trust is shattered. A year ago his wife tried to assassinate their new queen in his name, a betrayal of everything he believes in. And now an attack on his life is proof the dark conspiracy is not yet over. Although injured and weak, Aubrey can’t help but be drawn to this shy assassin and loyal protector. Xanthe is everything Naida wasn’t, and the passion she stirs in him is something he thought had long passed him by.

Quick & Dirty: Paranormal Fae romance between a soldier and a politician, filled with danger both in and out of the bedroom!

Opening SentenceAs soon as Xanthe reached Adriyel, she left her mount at the palace stable and sent a message to Her Majesty’s Chief of Security that said: “It is done.”

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Hunter’s Season is a wonderful look into the Other land, particularly the Dark Fae city of Adriyel.  Xanthe, introduced in the previous novella Devil’s Gate, has returned home upon the completion of her latest assignment.  But being back has her heart in turmoil. The crush she has nursed for Chancellor Riordan has only grown stronger with time.  When he becomes the target of an assassination attempt, she does everything in her power to keep him safe.  Sparks fly and love ignites in this fabulous ending of a three-part novella series set within the enchanting world of the Elder Races.

Xanthe Tenanye is an assassin in the Dark Fae Military.  Now that there has been a regime change and her thirst for revenge fulfilled, she is feeling out of step.  Xanthe is furiously loyal to the new Queen and is given the honor of serving as one of her personal guards.  It is just an added bonus that she gets to see the sexy and regal Aubrey much more than before.  Her compassion and her sense of duty are at times both an asset and a hindrance in the romance department.  Xanthe is most assuredly torn between her heart and her mind.  Will she be able to reconcile the two before the opportunity of love everlasting passes her by?

Lord Aubrey Riordan is one the most relaxed Dark Fae I have ever seen.  Yes, his past is full of bitterness and betrayal but he doesn’t really let it affect his day to day life.  He also doesn’t use it as an excuse to hide behind either.  Once Aubrey finally noticed the wonderful woman before him, he started doing everything he could to make her his; position and rank be damned.  I loved the fact that even though his pride was hurt by her help, he didn’t lessen her gift.  He chose instead to honor her sacrifice for him and helped in any way he could.  The fact that he treated her as an equal was both heartwarming and sigh-worthy.  Love should be a partnership if it is to stand the test of time.

The big threat in Hunter’s Season falls on threats toward Aubrey.  Who is behind all of these dastardly deeds?  Can Xanthe keep them both safe until the culprit is found?  Will Aubrey fight for who and what he wants?  And why is Niniane looking at them with that little gleam in her eye?

An unexpected and whole-heartedly fabulous added bonus to this novella is a quick update on Tiago and Niniane.  The new Queen of the Dark Fae and her Head of Security, Tiago, have been adjusting to life in the royal arena quite well.  Those fae that supported the previous King have been “disposed” of and now they have the opportunity to look forward.  They are still just as adorable together as they were in their book, Storm’s Heart.  The one insight that we are privy to are the things that most couples begin to think about when their lives are settled.  Though the answers are not forthcoming, the hope remains for a continued happy ever after for the faerie and thunderbird.

This is the conclusion to the three part novella mini-story surrounding the mysterious tarot deck and its owners.  Though the deck is an object of Power and the catalyst for several key events, there is still a sense of vagueness surrounding it.  Yes, there were answers to some of the questions about the deck and its history.  Yes, the journey did end. Yet, even after all of this I find myself vaguely unsatisfied.  I suppose I expected the tarot deck to have a more important role in the forefront of the last story, not staying in the background like some weird puppet master’s strings.

Given all of that, Hunter’s Season was beautifully written and well rounded for a novella.  The pace was consistent as well as the characters themselves.  Everything felt genuine, from the self-depreciation to the crazy twist ending.  I find myself enjoying ALL of the stories found within The Elder Race’s series, and that is not something I can often boast of.  Harrison is a tremendously gifted writer and I wait with baited breathe for the next book from her.

Notable Scene:

The smell of cooking steak wafted out of the cottage, and his stomach growled.  His appetite for food had come back with a vengeance.  It was a solid metaphor, as his appetite for other things had now resurfaced.  He had sustained two serious injuries, one spiritual and the other physical, and it appeared that he would end up surviving them both after all.

As for the quiet, reserved Xanthe-he could see nothing to hold him back from going after what he know acknowledged that he wanted.  He no longer had any ties or previous commitments.  He was free to act on whatever he desired.

Now it was time for his own hunting season.

The Elder Races Series:

1. Dragon Bound

2. Storm’s Heart

3. Serpent’s Kiss

3.5 True Colors

4. Oracle’s Moon

4.5 Natural Evil

4.6 Devil’s Gate

4.7 Hunters Season

5. Lord’s Fall

FTC Advisory: Samhain Publishing graciously provided me with a copy of Hunter’s Season.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  The only payment received came in the form of hugs and kisses from my little boys.

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