Eidolon by Grace Draven

Eidolon Grace DravenWhy I read it:  I enjoyed Radiance and bought the sequel as soon as I knew it was out.  (Actually, I remember Radiance much more fondly with hindsight. It’s a book, I have decided, which gets better the more one thinks about it. If I were to grade it now, it would be far closer to an A than the B I originally awarded it.)

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  In a bid for more power, the Shadow Queen of Haradis has unleashed a malignant force into the world. Her son Brishen, younger prince of the Kai royal house, suddenly finds himself ruler of a kingdom blighted by a diseased darkness and on the brink of war. His human wife Ildiko must decide if she will give up the man she loves in order to secure his throne.

Three enemy kingdoms must unite to save each other, and a one-eyed, reluctant king must raise an army of the dead to defeat an army of the damned.

A tale of alliance and sacrifice.

Note: Spoilers for Radiance follow. Eidolon is not a stand-alone book. It is necessary to read Radiance first to understand what’s going on.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Strangely enough, when I started this book, I wanted to immediately stop and then go back and re-read Radiance (I still may do that actually). Seeing Brishen and Ildiko on the page again reminded me about how much I loved reading their romance. I  said about Radiance that it had little by way of internal conflict, which is true. But it also meant that they had an instant connection and basically were fairly sympatico right the way through the story. I had forgotten how much I enjoyed watching their love blossom.  Once the news of the events at the palace in Haradis reaches Saggara, there is both internal and external conflict galore. If Brishen is the king, he will need heirs of his body. Ildiko cannot give him those heirs, being a different species to her husband. Further, it is unlikely the Kai would accept her as queen in any event. Bastardy is a stain on one’s honour and the Kai do not have polygamy. If Brishen is king and if the king is to do his duty, then he and Ildiko must surely part, mustn’t they?

Controlled Burn by Shannon Stacey, narrated by Tatiana Sokolov

Controlled Burn audioWhy I read it:  I’m a fan of both the author and the narrator so I bought it.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  Rick Gullotti lives the good life. He fights fires, dates beautiful women—though none long enough so they cast wistful glances at jewelry stores—and has great friends. And thanks to helping out the elderly couple who own his building, his rent is low. But when concerns about their health lead him to contact their only son, his life starts getting away from him.

Jessica Broussard has no interest in leaving sunny San Diego or her cushy corner office for Boston, but her father—who happens to be her boss—dispatches her to deal with the grandparents she’s never met. She’s unprepared for the frigid winter, loving relatives who aren’t the monsters she’s been led to believe, and the hot, scruffy firefighter who lives upstairs.

At first, Jessica is determined to get back to her comfortable life as quickly as possible. All she has to do is talk her grandparents into selling their monstrosity of a house and moving to a retirement community. But she underestimates Rick’s dedication—and his considerable charm. Nobody’s taking advantage of his friends on his watch, even if that makes the tempting southern California girl with the long legs his adversary. Unfortunately for them both, the only thing more urgent than the matter at hand is their sizzling chemistry, and it’s quickly becoming too strong to resist.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  Alas real firefighters don’t walk around in their turnout pants and no shirt. And, the firefighters I’ve actually seen in action, are mostly not as hot as the ones on book covers. They do exist though – I’ve seen the calendar. The firefighters in Shannon Stacey’s Boston Fire series however are the real deal. I enjoy their camaraderie and closeness and their sensible approach to a very dangerous job. Work health and safety is not seen as sexy but there is something awesome about a guy who does the right thing and doesn’t showboat. Rick Gullotti is a lieutenant in the Boston Fire Department. He’s not a grandstander after glory. A good day for him is when they put out the fire, save the people (and animals) and his team get home safe. It’s competence porn at its best.

%d bloggers like this: