Author: Belinda Burke
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Cover Artist: Posh Gosh
Rating: 3.75 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 02/27/2015
Length: Long Novel (~ 100K+)
Genre: Action/Adventure, Bisexual, Fantasy, Gay Romance, Historical, Paranormal
In the hour of the wolf, the dark moon rises…and the night comes alive.
Eire is a land of gold and bronze, bought with fire and blood. Yet for thirty years, there has been peace in the name of the High King. Now, his quest for immortality has unleashed Crom Cruach, the bent one, Crooked King of the void.
The faoladh, wolf-protectors of man, have sought to suppress those that would bring Crom Cruach into the world. It is Marcas, one of those wolves, who will confront darkness in the name of duty—and beside him, Connor, prince of Connacht.
Connor is a wounded warrior, marked with brightness to foil the dark—a mark that means Marcas must protect him. Yet the longer Marcas spends at Connor’s side, the more he finds himself wanting Connor for his own, and from the moment Marcas shows himself to Connor as a man, not a wolf, the attraction between them is obvious.
Connor wants just what Marcas wants, if only he can convince him of that in time, but the same question is before each of them, waiting to be answered. Which must they serve—love or duty? For Marcas, the weight of his service may prove too much—a deadly burden. For Connor, only son of a king, even victory may have its price in separation.
In the end, it may not matter either way. The shadow is already moving…
I am a huge fan of Belinda Burke’s Eight Kingdom series and associated books. So when this book popped up on our review list with a request for me to review…HELL YEAH I jumped on that ASAP. I enjoyed this world and my reading experience, but this story did not speak to me the same way those others did.
I am not very familiar with Celtic Mythology so when I discovered I would be learning something new I did a happy dance. And I was so pleased with what I learned. I loved the world and I loved the battles. I loved discovering new gods and enemies and reading about a world set in the times when gods and goddesses were commonplace. The way this was historical yet not was great. The visuals were stunning as are all Ms. Burke’s works and I really got into the book from a visualization point of view. I also felt all the things the characters were feeling. Ms. Burke is a master at creating feelings of tension and angst and love and hate and happiness in such a way that the leap off the page, and that was so evident in this story. I loved that my imagination and emotions went for a wonderful ride.
However, I never connected with the MCs and I felt the pace was too slow for the length of the book. I found myself questioning Marcas and Connor’s connection and instant love match. I also found myself questioning why there needed to be so many carnal scenes between these men because for me, they were a distraction and greatly slowed the forward movement of the action. For most of the first half of the story, I was left wondering when something would happen. The big bad did his thing early and then it all just stalled while the love story unfolded. Maybe if I had connected to Connor and Marcas sooner this would not have dragged so much.
Overall, I enjoyed this story more than I has issues, but I still prefer Ms. Burke’s Eight Kingdoms series over this story.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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