Author: Zoe Archer
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 09/01/10
The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond -- where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn't be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress -- just what he needs.
Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artifact Thalia is after. Huntley's assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn't easy to deceive...
Plot: 3.5 Stars
The idea of the Blades of the Rose, a group of people spanning the globe that protected magical artifacts from falling into the wrong hands, was a very interesting take on the paranormal romance genre. I don't normally read much history fiction of any sort, but I'm glad I gave this novel a shot. The time period didn't seem to affect the storythat much, probably because Thalia was raised away from Victorian England. I really enjoyed the chase across the continent in search of the magical artifact. It was a breath of fresh air to read about such rural areas, since my reading normally focuses on more urban settings. I'll definitely be reading the next books in this series.
Pace: 3 Stars
The beginning of the novel sucked me in right away and jumped right into the action. But then the pace of the novel slowed down a bit. There were twists and turns that I definitely didn't see coming, but a couple seemed a bit forced. Like they were added in to make the novel longer. But overall, this novel kept me on my toes because I never knew what Thalia and Gabriel would have to face next.
Characters: 4 Stars
My favorite part of this whole novel was how the author gave the secondary characters that Thalia and Gabriel met along the way such depth. I really cared for (or in other cases loathed) many of these smaller characters, which gave the scenes more depth. I also enjoyed the knowledge shown by the author in regards to Mongolian tradition. She really did her research and it showed itself in richers scenes and characters. As far as main characters, I really enjoyed Thalia's strength and Gabriel's stubborness. And I agree with Gabriel when he lamented on how much better Thalia was than the boring women in England. The introduction to other members of the Blades of the Rose near the end of the novel was a great way to lead into future novels.
Cover: 3.5 Stars
I really love when romance covers involve a hot dude that has his shirt on. It's not every day you find one of those. And boy did this cover model have a "don't mess with me" attitude going on. It really made me want to get to know Captain Huntley before I even started the book. Although I like the color palette of the cover, the background really threw me for a loop. I would've never guessed that the story takes place in Mongolia after seeing this cover. It looks like a cowboy stomping threw the desert instead of a retired soldier riding through the Mongolian wilderness. There is a point in which they cross a desert, but it's not the majority of the journey.
Overall: 3.5 Stars
Disclosure: I bought this book for my own enjoyment.