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Monday, September 14, 2009

Always & Forever by Zequeatta Jaques

Always & Forever by Zequeatta Jaques
Publisher: Siren BookStrand
Genre: Sci-fi
Length: Full (235 pages)
Heat: Sensual
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by: Heather

Born on the world of Garrearth yet of complete human origin, Rowan faces prejudice and betrayal. After leaving his village at the age of eighteen, can he trust a woman who says she loves him, or will she betray him as did Fern?

Can the woman he has captured and taken from her homeland truly love him? Willingly, Catalena faces his doubt of her emotion as they strive to find the Ring of Kings, which is foretold only she can locate for the People of the Land.

Fighting his love felt, Rowan returns Catalena to the people of Garrearth from which he stole her. Once again, he faces their prejudice against his human origin when Catalena declares her love for him, and her wish to return with him to the country of the People of the Land. Does he dare to believe in the impossible?

No matter the setting, people never really change. Hero Rowan’s dealt with prejudice his entire life, being a full-blood human in a society convinced they’re superior to humans. Having a temper didn’t help. After being jilted by one lover, he’s sworn never to let another woman close – especially a Garrean.

Catalena is the Garrean High Commander’s daughter. She’s pledged to marry another. But when Rowan’s king orders him to fetch the woman foretold by a seer – the woman who would find the lost Ring of Kings that would proclaim the dying king’s successor – he does his duty. Only childhood pest has turned into hellion-with-claws. Catalena is stunned to discover herself prisoner of a child believed dead. A child grown into a fearsome warrior with no sense of humor.

This is adventure of the highest order. Political intrigue, impending war, and personal agendas. Zaqueatta Jacques has drawn a world as real and recognizable as our own, peopled with fully developed characters with all the strengths and weaknesses of their readers. Misunderstands and tensions abound, until you really want to reach into the story and throttle someone for being particularly dense. Barring one incident that seriously wobbled my Rowan hero-worship, I loved the characters in this story and really wanted a HEA. It was a great good-over-evil romp. Watching people having to confront and conquer their personal biases was enlightening. The story satisfied completely. The author left herself wide open to create other tales in this wonderful world, which I definitely hope will be forthcoming. I’ll be watching!