You can vote for it here. Order ebook: Kindle Nook Even the most powerful hands need a delicate touch… Emmaline Gallagher is a master of wielding personal glamour. As a free fae who lives among humans, she must hide her true self at all times as she works undercover within the powerful Phaendir—for if certain factions within the Phaendir gain control, the fae will be wiped from existence. Now, an object of fae power lies within a locked ancient box.

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Aeric has kept the fire of his thirst for vengeance stoked hotter than those of his Blacksmith forge, intent on killing Emmaline at the first opportunity and praying to his gods daily for that opportunity. For over three hundred years, Emmaline has lived the life of spy and double agent as a free fae in the human world.

Emmaline needs the Blacksmith and the Blacksmith wants her dead by his own hand. Not exactly the auspices of a great working relationship, but they will have to work together to pull off the daring acquisition of the second piece of the bosca fadbh without the Phaendir finding out about it. Despite a strong, admirable heroine with a dark and twisted past, a passionate, fiery hero with an axe Dark, dangerous, and well balanced, Wicked Enchantment was a five star read for me, but several issues with plot and pacing and a couple of problems with dialogue tripped me up in this installment.

I was very put off by the first third of Cruel Enchantment, and found it laden with too many handy coincidences to be able to maintain my willing suspension of disbelief. The premise of the book is fine, the concept of the plot was intriguing, but the way in which it was executed at the beginning robbed the story of its intensity and suspense and made the initial scenes between Emmaline and Aeric seem implausible and inorganic to me.

I would have had an easier and more forgiving time at the beginning. Then, to compound my difficulty in swallowing that fortuitous happenstance, the two weeks in which Aeric holds Emmaline prisoner, threatening to kill her, trying to kill her, and getting roaring drunk to drown out his unwanted lust for her, pass in a muddled mess of disjointed and confusing pacing, timing, and impotent character action that by the end felt far more like a few days than a couple of weeks.

Before the slings and arrows start to fly, I have to say that after that awkward beginning there were several good things that start to happen with the story. The book picked up and I started getting into it.

I have no complaints about the two lead characters from a romantic standpoint. I found them well suited to each other and strong in their own right. They had a lovely array of scenes to further their relationship that were at turns poignant, tender, and sexy as hell. And my pleasure with the book through the middle of the story was secure because of it. And then the book went a little awry again towards the end. I felt as if I was leapfrogging through the later part of the story at times.

That disconcerting lack of fluidity continued through to the end of the book, with a myriad of life- and quest-threatening plot threads popping up in seemingly random rapid fire, and just as rapidly being resolved with a minimum of development.

The strongest and most fervent pleasure was in the character of Emmaline, who I greatly admired as a damaged, layered, and crafty heroine full of courage and determination, even in the face of crushing emotion and debilitating torment. And I love the world that Bast has created for this series.

There are so many truly nifty things about it that I admire greatly. I wish we had been allowed more interaction with the various fantastical creatures of Piefferburg and with the familiar characters we met from the first book.

I was also pleased to note that the third book in the series, Dark Enchantment, is set for release on April 5, I just hope the next book is a little closer to the first in both style and substance.


Cruel Enchantment



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