Elemental Magic

Author: Sharon Shinn, Rebecca York, Jean Johnson, Carol Berg

Publisher: Berkeley

Release Date: November 6, 2007

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5

Format: PRINT





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Bargain with the Wind

by Sharon Shinn

 

Duncan Baler inherits the estate of Grey Moraine when first his uncle and then his cousin die in quick succession.   Shortly after inheriting the grand estate, he holds a ball and welcomes all the people of County Banlow to the event.   Lady Charis arrives at the ball alone and uninvited.   Lord Duncan is immediately smitten with the mysterious, unknown beauty.   After a whirlwind courtship, they marry and settle into their new life together.   All is not as it appears however as Lady Charis possesses many secrets.   What effect will all the secrets have on all who live within the walls of Grey Moraine?   Can love survive in the harsh light of day when all is revealed?

Bargain with the Wind launches this anthology with a twist on the Cinderella story.   Told from the point of view of Grey Moraine’s housekeeper, it offers an entirely fresh, new perspective on the fairy-tale.   The secrets held by many characters of the book will keep you guessing until the final scene of the story.   I highly enjoyed reading about Lord Duncan and Lady Charis and their romance.

 

http://www.sharonshinn.net/

 

 

Birthright

by Jean Johnson

 

Arasa is on a quest to prove that she is the firstborn twin and, therefore, heir to her father’s Flame Sea throne. She and her sister, Kalasa, have been searching for a way to prove who was first born, each going in different directions with their investigation.   Arasa finds an ancient text stating the true heir would make a barefoot pilgrimage from the “Womb to the Heart”.   The land will protect the heir as she makes the journey over treacherous land, barefoot and weaponless.  

 

Elrik is a sorcerer or mage who assists Arasa at a pivotal time in her search for the Womb.   He agrees to assist her in her quest as the enigmatic Arasa intrigues him.   After joining Kalasa and her fiancé, the four set out on their journey together.   However, someone in their group is not what they appear to be and there is treachery afoot.   Who will complete the journey and become the next ruler of the Flame Sea? Will the burgeoning love between Arasa and Elrik survive the scrutiny if she is the chosen heir?

 

BIRTHRIGHT is an exciting fantasy romance. Jean Johnson has penned another winning tale that will draw readers into a new realm to explore and savor.   It is brimming with sensuality and adventure. Vivid details add remarkable depth to this fascinating and entertaining story. Arasa and Elrik are wonderful characters whose realistic interaction and witty dialogue propel the story to superb conclusion. BIRTHRIGHT illustrates why Johnson is a rising star in the paranormal romance genre.

 

http://www.jeanjohnson.net/

 

 

Unmasking

by Carol Berg

 

Joelle is an Ezzarian “power-born” searcher.   She has trained her entire life to seek out people who are possessed by demons so that her partner, a comforter, can exorcise the demon.   After one particularly grueling failure, Joelle, and her partner Kenehyr, decide to take a bath in one of the sacred pools. The pools are set aside for the elite of their group, the watchers.   They encounter an unknown man bathing in the pool who they assume is a watcher.   When he appears hurt, Joelle offers assistance.   The man turns her down and leaves quickly.  

 

Shortly after the encounter with the stranger, Joelle is sent on a covert mission to help ensure the safety of her people.   She is partnered with a farmer who was born without “power”.   The man, Gareth, is the same one she encountered at the pool and he is not a watcher after all.   Can Joelle and Gareth put their differences aside to work together for the good of the Ezzarian people?   What are the strange feelings this unusual man stirs within Joelle?  

 

UNMASKING is fantasy romance at its finest.   Carol Berg has created an outstanding world populated with realistic characters.   Some wield magic and rule over those who possess no inherent magical abilities.   It is the duty of these magical people to protect the rest of the population.   Two unexpected heroes step forward when a threat to the security of the Ezzarian people appears.   As always, Berg has penned an amazing fantasy. UNMASKING swept me into the realm of the Ezzarians.  It would be wonderful if this story was continued in future books as I would love to revisit this fantastic realm.

 

http://www.sff.net/people/carolberg/

 

 

Huntress Moon

by Rebecca York

 

Zarah is faced with an impossible choice: disgrace or slavery.   If she chooses disgrace, her mother’s cancer will kill her.   If she chooses slavery, her mother will be healed and Zarah will be sent to spy on the leader of a rival city.   It is arranged that she will be sold to Griffin, the leader of Sun Acres, to be his bed slave when she chooses slavery.   All goes according to plan until her heart gets involved.  

 

Griffin is the leader of Sun Acres.   He is weary of all the fighting between the various cities and wants to sign treaties to avoid any further conflict.   This plan does not make him popular with some of the other cities’ leaders.   Unfortunately, that is not the only thing Griffin is dealing with. He has a secret, one that could ruin him if it were to get out.   Things get more complicated for Griffin when Zarah discovers the truth.   Can he convince her to keep his secret?   What of Zarah’s secret?   Will Griffin ever forgive her for what she was forced to do?  

 

HUNTRESS MOON is an exciting paranormal romance set in a parallel universe.   Rebecca York’s popular werewolf series has another superb installment with a tale of love and betrayal.   Griffin and Zarah are a remarkably passionate couple who captured my heart.  While it is not necessary to have read the other books in this series, I urge you to do so.   HUNTRESS MOON is an excellent example of York’s writing.   You will definitely want to read the rest of her books after finishing this superb story.

  

 

ELEMENTAL MAGIC is jam-packed with action, romance, and intrigue. The heroes and heroines are delightfully realistic. They are so well described that they come to life in the pages of this remarkable book.   I felt each emotion as the characters experienced them, whether it was amusement, sorrow, fear or ecstasy.   These four authors from such diverse writing backgrounds came together to create an extraordinary book containing something for every paranormal fan.   All four stories touched my heart.   Reading ELEMENTAL MAGIC is the perfect way to enjoy a magical autumn day!

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Robin Snodgrass

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Romance Junkies Content Editor: Michele

Romance Junkies Publishing Editor: Robin

 


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