This book reminded me a lot of the Immortals After Dark series by Kresley Cole. I have somewhat mixed feelings about that. I'm a big fan of those books, and many of the things I like about them, I liked about this. But at the same time, it bothered me just a little every time I saw a parallel.
The story follows Izel, a descendant of the Campbell clan of Immortals. She has gone to visit her Grandfather, a great magician. But when she arrives at his home, he is gone. In his place is a hulking warrior named Kelvin. He is member of the Pookah race, sworn enemies of the Campbells. He is there to kill who he expects to be the last son of his old rival. Instead, obviously, he finds a daughter.
Though she is descended from magic, Izel is really quite weak. She is plain and has never felt emotions. But as Kelvin advances on her, everything changes. A powerful spell that was cast on her long ago, drops away. She is revealed to be beautiful --and mortal. The last remaining human on earth. And all those emotions she has never felt, coming rushing in with a vengeance.
Kelvin is shocked by what is revealed. Even more shocking, he realizes she is likely his fated female. That is some pretty unwelcome news, considering she is his family's enemy. The only way he can be sure, however, is if he "attempts" her on the Solstice that comes once a year. Translation = has sex with her (much like the demons in IAD.) He decides to bring her back to his people as he tries to figure out what to do with her.
In the meantime, all the immortal races are preparing for the Court of Contention, a time of chaos and war among all the factions (much like the Ascension in IAD.) Kelvin's brother and cousins are doing their part to fight the races of the lower realm. They even have their very own ever-knowing, snarky yet slightly crazy witch helping them with visions of the future (much like the loveable Nix in IAD.) Obviously, they are dealing with their own fated mates off-page, in stories I suspect we will see in the same time frame through different perspectives in future books (much like IAD books 1,2, & 3.)
Anyway, Kelvin and Izel must deal with their growing attraction to one another over the course of their journey. This is hard for Izel because she is overwhelmed by her new emotions --and it's tough for Kelvin because his feelings fly in the face of his family honor. There's a lot of spark in their relationship. They've got a fun battle of wits and wills going on. The sexual tension is great --and it was weird to find myself hoping they WOULDN'T have sex because it wasn't the Solstice yet. Kelvin is keeping some pretty big secrets and it becomes a waiting game to see how long it will take before they blow up in his face and then to see how much damage they will do.
I liked it. It was funny. It was sexy. The Pookah's had a fantastic brogue. And there is a great glossary that could help with the world-building. Unfortunately, it was at the end of my ebook, so I didn't see it until after I read the story, but I encourage you to check it out first. I think it you'll be glad you did. It's a good story... just some of the elements felt a little familiar.*ARC Provided by NetGalley