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Friday, December 18, 2009

Lover Enslaved by Jodi Redford

Lover Enslaved by Jodi Redford
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Full
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fern

Sometimes love is the only prize worth stealing…

Thieves of Aurion, Book 1

Mara Sheppard has no love for the Fae, but to free her brother from prison, she’ll do whatever the treacherous Queen Nalia asks. Even kidnap Dashael Rhyder, a womanizing thief.

She should have known the deal would go sour.

It’s almost too easy to bait and trap Dashael. Resisting his potent Fae allure isn’t. Especially since Nalia’s unexpected demand for a missing magical rune means Mara will have to hold strong far longer than she’d planned.

Dashael’s best shot at escaping? Seduce her. If he can survive a few dozen of his closest enemies out for blood and the queen’s scheme to make him her personal stud…he might just make it.

Then his game of seduction trips over a snag named Mara, and he falls. Hard. For a commitment-phobic thief, love might as well be a prison sentence. Yet the idea of losing her makes him miserable.

Mara can’t deny that her enemy has stolen her heart. But their love is about to be tested by a lifetime of secrets. The risk may not be worth it. Especially if a life together means death for one of them.

Lover Enslaved is one of those stories that are impossible to summarize. The blurb provides insight, but doesn’t come close to going into the depth of the material or the meat of the characters. Jodi Redford has combined elements of fantasy, suspense, humor and romance; crafting an amazing story that engages the reader and keeps them turning the pages.

As the story begins with our heroine, Mara, you know it’s going to be good. She’s staking out the target she’s been sent to bring in to save her brother–the uber-gorgeous fae thief, Dashael Rhyder, aka Dash. The moment they meet, sparks fly and passions ignite. The attraction that exists between them is enhanced by brilliant dialogue that will keep you in stitches. Ms. Redford has a way with words, and there was more than one occasion when I let a giggle loose and got a curious stare from my husband while enjoying this story. Mara wants Dash, but if she doesn’t want the Queen that controls her brother’s fate to kill him, she can’t touch him. Of course, Dash is absolutely irresistible, meaning each time he strides onto the page you wither and melt right along with Mara. I thought the supporting cast was great, and many of the secondary themes were intriguing. But in the end, it all came down to the mouth-watering Dash and oh-so sensuous and kick-ass Mara.

The writing/premise/characters are wonderful, which is important when you’re reading something this length. I loved the world in which magic, fae, and mystical creatures exist. The entire work has an urban fantasy kind of feel, but with darker–yet oddly comical–undertones. I was pleased with the balance, as you are never allowed to go too far into any one element. The focus, as always, remained on the prize. Can Mara rescue her brother? Will Dash gain his freedom? And, of course, will they get their happily ever after?

Fantasy fans will adore this book. If you’re looking for a story to escape with for a few hours, Lover Enslaved will fit the ticket nicely. Be sure to put this delightful gem on your TBR lists.