In a land where humans and elves find it difficult to communicate, Tari—an elf—is bound to Captain Arion—a human military officer—in a ceremony designed to promote friendship between the two races. When the ceremony is over the pair discover that the impossible has happened: they can understand each other in spite of the language barrier.
Thrown into a storm of politics, Tari and Arion are put in danger by those who want humans and elves to remain separate.
To make matters worse, Tari realizes she has fallen in love with Arion, who has the emotional capabilities of a rock. As both societies dictate that an elf and a human can never be together, Tari must conceal her feelings. Unfortunately the taciturn Arion is watchful and attentive to Tari’s well being, constantly pushing her to her limits with his loyalty, friendship, and dreadfully informal habit of touching her.
If Tari and Arion survive, their tumultuous relationship will either strengthen their countries’ alliance, or cripple the human courts of nobility. The deciding factor will be Arion, and his indecipherable feelings for Tari.
Note: This book has undergone a bunch of cover changes, but this is the most current one as of this writing.
Review – KM Shea has risen to become one of my favorite writers – though I guess technically after MBRC she was pretty much, but as I’m reading her back catalog it’s been cemented.
While this is a fantasy romance, the romance part isn’t the biggest – Shea spends time showing us how despite the fact they can communicate Tari and Arion start off on the same uneven ground as the other bound pairs. Mystery, ignorance and prejudice has kept the humans and Lesser Elves from truly understanding each others’ cultures and being able to communicate doesn’t actually help them as much as the scholars seem to think it should.
Arion doesn’t quite get that for Elves they may be “touchy-feely” but that doesn’t mean instant intimacy. Tari doesn’t understand that humans are truly the pettiest creatures ever so taking them on face value can sometimes be problematic.
Watching as the two unfold what it means to be Bonded is the best part. Yes there is the mystery of who wants them…well probably not dead given who the villain turns out to be, but at the very least, no longer Bonded.
Then, in no particular order, we have these problems as well:
- cross-romancing is frowned upon (y’all can be civil, distant friends, but the second you start that romance all bets are off. What do you think this is – some sort of way to get our peoples to get along?!)
- their individual careers which are important to their individual race’s safety (pfft who needs a career?)
- the constant pressure from both sides’ Scholars being practically giddy with excitement over their legendary “Bond”
But guys it’s fun reading as Tari drinks the entire Patrol unit under the table or Arion fails dismally at flirting (several times). The both of them really just…make an impression. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. But always amusing.
The pace was uneven at times, seeming to struggle to link all the fun world bits with the resolutions of the bad guys’ varied plots (which were, at best, not well thought out). However on balance this is a fun engaging read that will lighten your heart.
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Published by: Author-published
Release: April 1, 2013
Series: Elves of Lessa Book 1
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