The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Air Bound returns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past…
After escaping from a cult, Lexi found refuge with her sisters on the farm that more than sustained her body—it nurtured her soul as well. But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.
Lexi was discovered and threatened—only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he’s awestruck by the woman he’s rescued. She is destined for him. He can feel it in his soul. But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?
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Rating: 3/5 Stars
Quick Reasons: great character growth/development; a heart-wrenching backstory; a strong focus on family and friend relationships; a mixed bag of suspense and romance; not a lot of action overall
Now, THIS is more like the Christine Feehan I fell in love with! I’m still a bit disappointed—I’ll get to the reasons why in a few minutes—but I liked this read MUCH better than the last two from her, and I have hope things will get back to where they once were in regards to her story telling capabilities.
The characters in this are strong, independent, and supportive in their roles; they battle their own unique struggles, come to terms with the changes and chances thrown at them, and still maintain a clear sense of vulnerability and reckless heart-following. It IS a case of insta-love—or something rather close to it, at least. Maybe…insta-infatuation? That makes a little more sense. So if you’re not an insta-love sort of person…well, I don’t think the romance genre is going to be for you at all, but here’s your warning for this book regardless.
Our main female protagonist, Lexi, has a backstory that is BOUND to rip out your heart and leave you sobbing. She went through so, so much as a child…her emotions, her turmoils with change and paranoia and self-loathing, are a mixing pot of drama and heartache, and readers are sure to empathize with her immediately.
Gavriil, on the other hand, is not such an easy character to pin down. I feel like we didn’t get nearly as much from him as we usually do with our male love interests; he fell a bit flat, felt a bit like a stranger left stranded on the side of the road: you know he’s there, you know he’s got substance and potential, but he doesn’t quite live up to it all. This was the first reason I felt slightly disappointed by this read. I like to know both characters equally; in the past, Christine Feehan has made sure to delve into each character and their pasts without reservation. It felt as if Gavriil was a character she maybe hadn’t had the chance to get to know so well; as if in the process of writing, he leaped off the page and forged his own path without her permission. He just didn’t feel quite as human to me as Lexi; I wish we’d gotten more of him.
There’s also not much in the way of nail-biting action. I fell in love with Christine Feehan’s writing after reading my first Ghostwalkers novel; the suspense, the action, the romantic sub-plot…all of these things really came to life for me. Having read this novel… It’s not quite as action-packed as I’ve grown to know her for. It’s more…a carriage ride through the rain with maybe a hill or two of mud to overcome, where her past novels leaned more toward tornadoes and torrential downpour. While it’s not a bad journey, I wish we’d gotten the same level of “action” from this as from past pursuits.
What this book DID do well, however, was focus on things like family, friendship, the determination and willpower that can be found despite being broken down or cast aside. This novel was an awesome example of finding strength in yourself, finding confidence in who you are, BEING confident in being yourself. While the action and some character development were sorely lacking, I ADORED the fact that Christine Feehan took the time in this novel to put a few important morals to the forefront. And while there were a few well-chosen steamy moments, this book did something I haven’t seen from Christine Feehan before: it pulled away from the “sex” and instead focused on the creation of healthy, happy relationships. It’s like the author decided she needed to take a step back and rediscover what she started writing for…and succeeded. I really love that this book wasn’t as focused on the physical, but instead put importance on the emotional and mental aspects of a relationship—and the ways to find/create a lasting connection outside of the bedroom.
Overall, I enjoyed this read about ten times more than I did the last two I read from her; here’s hoping future installments from Christine Feehan continue on this path and become even better. Highly recommended to lovers of paranormal romance, and to those who have tried her last few books and been disappointed. THIS is more like it.
Trigger warning: there are references to rape, child molestation, kidnapping, abuse and violence. If these things bother or trigger you, take them into consideration before reading.