Sometimes I think I am too hard on novellas. I complain because there isn't enough substance; that I don't connect to the characters; or I don't believe in the love story. Sometimes I ask myself, Is it fair to expect an entire story in half the word count of a full length book?
Then --every blue moon-- I come across a novella like this one -- one that delivers-- and I'm glad my standards exist, because it proves size isn't everything
It doesn't hurt that story begins with a tie in to my favorite couple in the series: Grace and Khalil. Our heroine, Olivia, is a great friend of Grace's who has been tapped to go on mission for the vampire Carling. She is a human witch and a symbologist who is working with a team to move Carling's ancient library out of her island home. There are seven people in the group, including Khalil's dysfunctional daughter Phaedra, and members of a security team lead by a Wyr named Sebastian.
Sparks fly between Olivia and Sebastian right away. I liked our hero immediately. He's not seven feet tall or as old as time. He is actually kind of short for a man --and about 200 years into his 250 year lifespan. And if that doesn't humanize him enough, he is also fighting a curse that's turning him blind --and fighting the ennui of a life without love. He is vulnerable, yet still powerful. He's fast and strong, feared and filthy rich. Plus, he sees the value in Olivia.. despite the fact that she isn't a 20 year-old virgin or a raving beauty.
There is a tangible sexual tension between them, but their path to happily every after looks wide open. I really enjoyed watching them fall for one another and the love scenes were great too. There's a bit of drama in an external conflict I won't spoil, but the love story is really the heart of the book. Very satisfying --and reminded me why I love the Elder Races series so much. Now I am more jazzed than ever for Kinked! (Is it November yet?)
Rating: B+*ARC Provided by Samhain