The Fire Lord's Lover
Historical Fantasy Romance
Elven Lords/Book 1
Sourcebooks Casablanca/July 6, 2010
From Goodreads ~
In a magical land ruled by ruthless Elven lords, the Fire Lord's son, Dominic Raikes, plays a deadly game to conceal his growing might from his malevolent father—until his arranged bride awakens in him passions he thought he had buried forever.
Lady Cassandra has been raised in outward purity and innocence, while secretly being trained as an assassin. Her mission is to bring down the Elven Lord and his champion son. But when she gets to court, she discovers that nothing is what it seems, least of all the man she married.
But beneath the gilded castles lies an unspeakable evil, greater than either Dominic or Cassandra had ever fathomed, and without each other they may not survive.
The was a free download that has been sitting on my nook™ for months. After reading it I am so ready for more of Ms. Kennedy's fascinating world. The combination of Georgian England and the alluringly but often deadly Fae take readers into a magical realm full of the familiar and the enchanted. I found myself drawn to not only the characters but the details of the world.
General Dominic Raikes leads his Elven father, The Imperial Lord's army to victory but the relationship he has with his father is far from a loving father/son bond. Theirs is one of competition with Dominic always having to prove his worth, being a half-blood bastard, tainted with the blood of a human. Dominic has learned to snuff out his emotions, showing only a cold exterior least his father use anyone or anything Dominic cares for to control him. His haughty detachment keeps him at arms length from all, with only a dragon to share his inner most thoughts. Dominic was interesting since I knew there was more to him than the coldness he initially shows to Cassandra. His indifference towards her in public and the physical need of her he has in private shows his battle between his human side and his elven side. He doesn't think he can survive if he lets human emotions control him.
Lady Cassandra has been school to be the proper lady and wife. She's also been trained to assassinate the powerful and evil Elven Imperial Lord who is now her father-in-law. The fact that he can kill her as easily as squashing a bug doesn't deter Cass from her mission. She has faith in her god and her beliefs and in the Rebellion. When Cass is wed to Dominic she knows it's political and not a love match but she still comes to love him and it's that love that breaks down his barriers. I liked how Cass didn't give up on either her mission or Dominic even when both seemed to be doomed to failure. She has this intriguing balance of innocence and deadly skills that really worked. She has a great deal of common sense which kept her from becoming a TSTL heroine (thanks be!).
The romance is a troubled one without love or trust. Dominic's father wants Cassandra to have a child quickly so he can raise the child to become his next champion. The guy's a real sick bastard and a true Fae with no love or kindness in him. I thought he made a very formidable enemy for Dominic and Cass.
I did like how the romance progressed with Dominic trying his best to maintain his coldness towards Cass while she continued to knocked down his barriers. It would have worked better had Dominic not changed so much once he did give in to his feelings for Cass. The coldness he had maintained for most of his life disappeared overnight, leaving him a little too mushy for my tastes. I liked his dark, brooding side and was sad to see him abandon it so quickly.
The world itself is an illusion of beauty while underneath lies a evil darkness. It's a scary world Cass and Dominic must live in and I liked how they were both able to find the good hidden beneath the deceptions. Kennedy makes the obstacles they must overcome seem almost too large but uses the constructs of this fantasy world's magic to bring about an outcome I didn't foresee.
In a world ruled by Fae, the humans and half-bloods must work together to combat the crazy evil that are the Imperial Lords who rule England. I look forward to reading more about this fantasy world filled with the familiar and the extraordinary.
Elven Lord Series ~
The Fire Lord's Lover
The Lady of the Storm
The Lord of Illusion (February 2012)