IMMORTAL WARRIOR by Lisa Hendrix
Release Date: November 2008
Publisher: Penguin/Berkley Sensation
Source: Bought this when it first came out but it sat in the TBR until now.
Series: Immortal Brotherhood Series Book #1
He came to England in search of treasure. Two hundred years later, he’s found her…
Ivar Graycloak is a brave warrior, a man known for his strength and integrity. He is also a man with a terrible secret. Long ago he was part of a Viking crew cursed by an evil sorceress to live for eternity as were-creatures. An eagle by day and a man by night, Ivar has lived a solitary existence for over two centuries. Then the king orders him to marry.
Lady Alaida is everything a man could want in a bride—intelligent, spirited, and beautiful—and their wedding night is a balm to Ivar’s lonely spirit. Then a seer brings him word of a dark vision, one that makes Ivar vow to stay away from his lovely wife forever. But now that Ivar has sampled Alaida’s passion, her humor and warmth, he is enthralled. His traitorous body-his very heart-longs for that which he can never possess.
Lady Alaida may surprise him yet, though, for she has a power of her own-a power that will either destroy everything they hold dear or ultimately set them free…
It’s been years since I read Lisa Hendrix. I’m one of those anal “read-in-order-at-all-possible-times” readers so when I knew she had a new series out, I wasn’t in that much of a rush to read it. Bought it, yes, but it sat in the TBR until a few weeks ago when I decided this would fit perfectly in Keishon’s 2010TBR Reading Challenge.
Here we have Ivar/Ivo who is cursed to be an eagle during the day and man at night because of a curse put on him and his friends after one of them killed the son of a wickedly evil sorceress. After years of working for the King, Ivar is rewarded with land but told he has to marry the heiress to get access to it. This has been something Ivar has dreamed of. Having a place to call home, even if he has a secret he must keep hidden.
Alaida is the heiress to her grandfather’s keep and as such has had several not to nice men trying to win her hand in marriage. She wants none of them but can do nothing but wait them out and hope they finally get tired of waiting for her to say yes. Ivar showing up and claiming her and the keep shakes things up. She’ll marry him because the King said so but she plans to leave and seek sanctuary at a convent as soon as she can. Of course things don’t go as she planned and she decides to give Ivo a chance.
If I was going to grade this on just the story, minus the Epilogue, I think it could have and would have very likely been a 4.5 for me as I really did like Ivo and Alaida together, not to mention his friends, Brand and Ari. I could feel Alaida’s frustration at Ivo’s daily disappearances and her struggle to learn more of her husband. Could feel Ivo’s misery that this curse was placed on him and he truly thought there was no end in sight from it. My only issue with this book was that the Epilogue went so far into the future that it showed Ivo and Alaida’s death, yes, 40 years later, but still, I have quirk that I’d rather not see the deaths of the characters in the same book where they got together in. Call me strange but that’s just me.
I know it was Ms. Hendrix’s way of showing the readers that the curse had finally broken and the rest of the men that had been cursed too would now know there was a way to break their own curse and I got that. Really, I did. It was just sad to see them finally be able to be together day and night and then boom! in the epilogue, we read of their deaths.
I was actually debating about continuing this series when I finished this one but a Twitter conversation between Ms. Hendrix and I made me change my mind. Although I didn’t come right out and say what book I had read, from my hints about it, she knew I was talking about IMMORTAL WARRIOR and we exchanged several tweets about it. She promised me no killing of hero & heroine in book 2 so I took her on her word and decided to read that one, too. I’ve said this before to my friends and I’ll say it again, I truly am a very demanding reader when it comes to my romance books.
For readers who want a fast-paced, riveting paranormal romance, this is the one for you.
It was just another scandalous night…
Gambling. Carousing. Flirting. Charlotte, Duchess of Rutherford, will do anything to create a scandal large enough to force her husband to finally petition for a divorce. Once madly in love with Philip, she is now determined to escape from their less than civil marriage and the reminders of his betrayal.
Until he stole her away…
Philip Burgess, Duke of Rutherford, is not a man to tolerate regrets. He wed Charlotte for revenge, not for love or convenience, knowing she would come to hate him. But he never expected he would one day find himself craving her attention or desiring her company….
And gave her something more…
Philip is no longer the cold, deceitful man she married years ago. And when he promises Charlotte a divorce if she will help him become a better husband for another woman, she wonders if she truly wants to lose him—and if Philip may still possess her heart after all…
One of the books on my Fall Into Reading 2010 challenge list. The book/blurb grabbed me when I saw it listed in the Penguin catalog months ago. Since the release date was close to the start of Callapidder’s Fall Into Reading 2010 challenge, I made sure to put it on my list. The premise intrigued me as one of my favorite themes in romance books is marriage-in-trouble.
I’m usually not a fan of flashbacks in books but this one needed it to set up the backstory for readers because of how it started. Heroine’s brother basically stole the hero’s fiancee and as revenge, the hero set out to make the heroine fall in love with him. Worked perfectly as the heroine really thought he loved her. It wasn’t until their wedding night that he told her the true reason he married her. He wanted to hurt her brother and she was the quickest way to do that.
Charlotte spends the next couple of years being as scandalous as possible with the hope that Philip will divorce her and release her from their marriage. Philip has others ideas. Now that she hates his guts, he’s actually fallen in love with her and makes a deal with her. Help him be a better husband (she’s told so he can marry someone else) and he’ll give her the divorce she wants. Not that he has plans to do that. He just wants her back in his house so he can work on getting her to forgive him so they can move on.
The flashbacks were essential in letting us see how they first got together and how quickly it went from love to hate. It explained Charlotte’s behavior and we got to see the hero’s POV as he went about winning her back.
I like that she didn’t make things easy for him and he had to do some work to get her back. I like that she didn’t just let him get away with what he did just because he was a Duke. On the other hand, I didn’t like that he took so long in coming for her. Nor did I like that most of the flashbacks were in his POV. This could have easily made it on my Keeper Shelf if the one scene I wanted was in her POV and not his. We were told how she reacted on their wedding night from his thoughts but we never “saw” it from Charlotte’s POV and I really think it would have been a very emotional scene had that been included.
For a debut book, this came close to almost being perfect for me and I look forward to seeing what else Ashley March has in store for us.
On the beautiful, remote Scottish coast, two lovers are drawn together by a dark legacy and a wild dangerous desire…
Rumors of a truthsayer have brought Katla Sveinsdottir to Orkney, searching for a way to clear her brother’s name. What she finds is far from what she expected. Gavin is a recluse, driven close to madness by the voices that crowd his mind. Katla strikes a bold bargain—offering to share Gavin’s bed in exchange for his help. But as she watches this proud, magnificent man struggle to keep his humanity, she knows that more than her brother’s fate is at stake.
Gavin’s mysterious abilities have grown more powerful over time, as have their terrible consequences. Katla is the only person whose thoughts are hidden from him, though he longs to know if she shares his passion. At last he has found the woman who can calm the demons within him—yet the truth he has sworn to reveal may tear her from him forever…
After reading A STORM OF PASSION, I had to immediately read A STORM OF PLEASURE, Book 2 in Terri Brisbin’s Storm series.
Gavin lives as a recluse as he hears voices. Just like Connor in A STORM OF PASSION and how he has visions, Gavin has the ability to touch someone and know if they’re telling the truth or lying. He also has consequences from his ability. For days after, he can’t hear anything. Up until he met Katla, he was considered a madman by some because he would scream out to the voices in his head when they got to be too much. Then Katla came asking for his help and all is quiet. He’s not sure why the noise quieted down once he met Katla but he made a bargain with her that if she stayed with him for the next month, he’d see her brother’s truth.
Katla journeys to the coast of Scotland in search of Gavin, the Truthsayer rumored to live there, because she needs his help proving her brother’s innocence of treason. She was willing to do whatever needed to be done to save her brother after her father’s death. Agreeing to be with Gavin for a month wasn’t asking much of her to her way of thinking. She knew Gavin had other women and never stayed with one for long so she would uphold her end of the bargain. What started off as a bargain changed for both of them not soon after. Having Katla near him finally gave Gavin the quiet he craved but his powers were growing to the point that he knew something more would happen to him when it came time for him to seek the truth from those he needed to.
While not as dark in tone as A STORM OF PASSION, A STORM OF PLEASURE is no less spellbinding. I know Katla didn’t know the full extent of what she was asking of Gavin so there were times I wanted to shake her to make her really look at Gavin and see what she was putting him through. I highly recommend both of the Storm books because once you start them, you won’t be able to put them down. I hate that we have such a long wait for Duncan’s book, MISTRESS OF THE STORM, that comes out July 2011.