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Historical, Steampunk, Romance
1913. Austria-Hungary. Wendel may be devilishly handsome, a charming bastard with the manners of disinherited royalty, but he's an abomination. His skin shivers with the icy fire of necromancy. With one touch, he can raise the dead. Worse still, he's being hunted by assassins from Constantinople, and he would rather die than confess why. Ardis escaped her own dark past, fleeing from America as a fugitive to become a mercenary for the Archmages of Vienna. When she discovers Wendel bleeding out on the battlefield, she saves his life with a ransom in mind. She never asked for him to fall to one knee and declare his undying loyalty, or for tension to smolder hot between them. Especially once she discovers his scars run much deeper than his skin.
4 out of 5 (very good)
Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
Ardis, mercenary to the Archmages, rescues Wendel from the battlefield. He will come in useful, since he is a necromancer, he can control the dead, even the long dead. In exchange for saving him, Wendel swears frailty to Ardis. Despite the fact that she shouldn't, Ardis falls for Wendel, but Wendel runs away, chasing his own demons. When their paths cross again, Ardis know she shouldn't leave his side, knows there is more going on than Wendel will tell, and knows it may ultimately cost them both their lives. Classed as steampunk on Amazon, I should like to say it didn't have much in that regard, so if you don't like steampunk, you may well love this. I did! Set during the run up to The First World War, in Europe, it paints a different picture. A Hex covers much of Europe, rendering guns useless, and magic is the driving force. Wendel was forced to work for the organisation called Asphodel from a very young age, Wendel now plots his revenge. Ardis works for the sort of opposition, the Archmages, in a battle to quell the rebellions popping up all over Europe. Forced together by a need to see things through, each has a plan, that may kill them both. I liked this, I liked Ardis and Wendel together, and apart. Their attraction simmers for a large part of the book, but Wendel is first to declare his feelings, even if he does run off after! When Ardis discovered who The Grandmaster is, and what Wendel wants with, it could all have gone belly up for them, but I loved how it all came together! Lots of little sub plots running through, Ardis's father, Wendel hatred of Asphodel, what the Archmages are up to, with Project Lazarus. THAT is the only bit of steampunk, or what I would say is steampunk, I can find. Maybe book two will have more. And I will read book two, because Wendel and Ardis's tale is not yet finished, they have more to say, and I cannot wait to read it! Some violence/action, a little graphic in places, and some sex, but not ever so much, and its not too explicit. Very well written, as far as I'm concerned, with just the right amount of both. 4.5 stars
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.