Monday, March 12, 2018

ARC Review: Guardian's Bond by Rhenna Morgan

Series:     Ancient Ink #1
Pub. Date:March 12, 2018
Publisher:Carina Press
Length:393 pages

I'm a big fan of Rhenna Morgan's Men of Haven series, but this is the first time I have read one of her paranormals (despite having her Eden series on my TBR forever). So I'm glad to be getting in on the Ancient Ink series at the outset, and this will spur me to get started on Eden

Ancient Ink centers around a race of magical people in a somewhat clannish society. Their various powers are tied to the Otherworld and they have a animal companion, which allows them to shapeshift into that form. They are a long-lived race integrated with human society, but don't seem to be "out" as far as their magical abilities go. The world setting is the modern United States, so not a ton of world building is needed and you instead will be focusing on the characters and their relationships.

I will start with our slightly dark and damaged hero, Eerikki "Priest" Rahandras, who is the high priest of his fractured clan. After betrayal and tragedy, Priest and his clan scattered and are in semi-hiding. For nearly fifty years, Priest has been struggling with guilt, shame, and a darkness inside him that threatens to take over. He has also been attempting to rebuild his clan and guide them on their spiritual and emotional quests into the Otherworld to receive their magical gifts. When someone from Priest's past has come back into his life with bad news, the timeline must accelerate by necessity as everyone is in danger. Priest is one of my favorite types of heroes... the strength, caring and protective nature of an alpha male, with a little bit of vulnerability to draw you into an emotional connection with his character. Rhenna writes these types of heroes particularly well.

Our heroine, Kateri Falsen, has forced herself into a scientific and logical mindset and does not believe the stories of her magical heritage. But when a tragedy forces her to face the truth, her world is turned upside down and she will be forced to adapt. Katy was a doubter and reluctant to enter the life, or accept or hero, so she is not my favored type of heroine. Though she didn't drag out her acceptance a horribly long time... I was really surprised that she lasted as long as she did when faced with all that was Priest. I liked Katy's journey thru the Otherworld and the companion she was gifted. Though I don't feel like we got to know her character overmuch. I hope that there is continued character development for both Katy and Priest in the future books.

This story is in the fated mates trope, but the relationship was not an instalove situation. There was definitely instant lust and chemistry on both parts, and instant recognition on Priest's part. However, Rhenna did a great job of dragging out the romance to keep you interested instead of hitting you with everything at once. I liked the build up, and Priest definitely kept my attention as he attempted to win his mate.

This series will have a continuing story arc with romantic interludes for different couples along the way. I am looking forward to what Rhenna has in store for us with the future books.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Carina Press.

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