Aimery Fitz Clare is human, second son to a noble house, and a master falconer. To him Gillian flees in the guise of a falcon, hoping to escape her immortal keepers. To her surprise, Aimery's kindness is a powerful seduction, and never mind his beauty and warmth! But does she dare embrace this forbidden love, and can it survive her jealous brethren baring their fangs?
Comment: I've had this book for a while, long since I've discovered this author's books around 6 or 7 years ago. Unlike her most known erotic works, this title belongs to one of her more paranormal worlds. Sure there's some erotic hints but the book is PNR.
This is the story of Gillian. She escapes probable death during the plague years in the 14th century by accepting to be changed by Upyrs, a sort of paranormal mix between vampire and shape shifter beings. She ends up living with upyrs who shape shift into a pack of wolves.
But Gillian never really felt part of them so when she finally has control and age she goes away to look for her destiny. She changes shape into a hawk or falcon and lets herself be caught by Aimery, a well respected knight but also the target of envy and fear.
When they all arrive at Aimery's brother ruling house, Gillian starts to find out more about humans and falls for Aimery...
I confess I didn't have much expectations about this to begin with. I just wanted a story that could offer an interesting paranormal world and a good romance.
I got to see what the book would be like from the first pages actually: something boring for the most part and with elements that I didn't thin were well fit together.
The story has a good idea but the way the story evolved was too whimsical for my taste. The setting is an historical world, not some alien world, but I think that aspect of the story wasn't maximized in the best way. The characters, mostly the upyrs didn't seem to care about the time they were in, the society rules didn't seem to matter much and the other character's reaction to that was indifferent. I mean this was how it looked like to me.
It almost felt like everything was happening on another plane of existence or something, a very weird feeling it gave me.
I was bored a lot time. I skipped the sex scenes as all the involved seemed to be bastions of perfection in that area. I skimmed some parts where the apparent enemy of the "good"? upyrs was plotting her schemes, because honestly that didn't really moved the plot forward, it just annoyed me like those bad guys who like to minutely share their plans.
As for the upyrs that we are supposed to like...well, I get that they live long lives and have different interests than humans and so on, but I felt in them a sort of lazy uncaring for anything other than sex and self benefits so I can't really say I was captivated by them.
It seems further books are about two characters we've known here and maybe one day I'll read them, but right now those stories don't seem appealing at all to me.
The romance can be described as sweet. Gillian and Aimery start their relationship with Gillian deceiving Aimery for self protection but they fall in love. Why, apart from their love for birds and freedom and caring I don't know, but it happened. Still, their relationship, despite the factual but unnecessary sex scenes - in my opinion - didn't seem to reach that level of true sharing and commitment and sharing of values and love I kind of hoped for. It felt very bland for me.
Sincerely, what interested me the most was actually the enemy's feelings for Aimery's older brother Edmund. She only wanted to use him but I kind of glimpsed interest in her part...none of the upcoming books is about them though, so I can't know if I was right in hoping for something there.
Also interesting was Claris, Edmund's indifferent and disillusioned wife who had a evil side and she was obsessed with Aimery. It seemed weird how everyone was ok with this, but the attachment between all characters seemed inexistent so... still the most interesting thing in the book was this flawed character alright.
In the end I wasn't convinced nor captivated enough to keep reading. I never felt really invested in any character and by the way the story ends, I was actually even less worried about it. Sure some interesting points exist but aren't enough to support the rest, I think.
The next two books in the series focus on known characters and then there are more whose setting is the 20th century. Right now I don't feel like reading any.
This story wasn't the entertaining journey I thought would happen, and it feels a bit sad, but we can't help what we feel, right?