Chelsea S. selected this book for the RITA® Reader Challenge, which finaled in the paranormal romance category.
Plot Summary: Nathan Lesperance is used to being different. He’s the first Native attorney in Vancouver, and welcome neither with white society nor his sometime tribe. Not to mention the powerful wildness he’s always felt inside him, too dangerous to set free. Then he met Astrid Bramfield and saw his like within her piercing eyes. Now, unless she helps him through the harsh terrain and the harsher unknowns of his true abilities, it could very well get him killed. Astrid has traveled this path before. Once she was a Blade of the Rose, protecting the world’s magic from unscrupulous men, with her husband by her side. But she’s loved and lost, and as a world-class frontierswoman, she knows all about survival. Nathan’s searing gaze and long, lean muscles mean nothing but trouble. Yet something has ignited a forgotten flame inside her; a burning need for adventure, for life – and perhaps even for love.
And now, Chelsea’s review:
This is the third Blades of the Rose book and, having read all three in a row I’ve noticed a definite formula. Woman and man travel to exotic location and embark on adventure to find magical object and protect it from Heirs of Albion (EVIL men who would exploit that magic). Very formulaic, but evidently it’s a successful formula because I’ve been enjoying the hell out of these books.
My likes: The characters are fantastic. I was uncertain initially about Astrid, because she seemed very cold and consumed by self pity, but she warms up. And when she warms up, she absolutely glows—intelligent, competent, brave, and deeply loyal. I liked Nathan right from the start. Being a Native American raised by white men, and a lawyer to on top of it, his personality is full of pride and defiance. He won’t take no for an answer on anything, very much the rebel the title advertises. Astrid and Nathan make a well balanced match. Their relationship builds slowly as they work together and fight for their lives and their mission.
The real brilliance of these books is the adventure elements. Astrid and Nathan brave rapids, climb mountains, fight zombies, and end up thoroughly bruised and exhausted. To me that makes the happily ever after much more fulfilling.
Dislikes: The formulaic nature of these books makes certain plot points were very predictable. Also, I really wish there had been more time devoted to the non-romantic relationships. Astrid’s best friend Graves confronts her after she’s in self imposed exile for four years, and the issues between the two of them are resolved rather briefly and flippantly. But overall, none of this was enough to stop me from really liking this book.