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Monday, January 11, 2010

Damien’s Destiny by Jean Hart Stewart

Damien’s Destiny by Jean Hart Stewart
Publisher: Cerridwen Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Historical
Length: Short (127 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Cholla

Songs of the Mages, Book One

Damien is a mage, inheriting from Merlin the potential for enchantment and wizardry. When he rescues Toria from drowning herself, Damien knows she claims a special place in his heart. He will need all his abilities to help Toria overcome her fear of being touched by any man after she was raped by her guardian. He hides her in a school for girls until she is of age, and then brings her to Tregaron, his home as Earl of Sinclair.

Toria’s lecherous guardian, Baron Heath, continues to stalk her. Damien must summon all his capabilities to protect her. As he tries to safeguard her life, the battle to conquer her fear of men looms ever more difficult. Damien refuses to influence her thinking with his extraordinary powers. Will he be able to triumph, save her from the wicked baron and finally claim Toria as his destiny?

Being lord of the manor and the surrounding land does have its benefits. Especially when you’re a mage like Damien Sinclair. When young Toria attempts to drown herself and her horrible secret on the shores of his land, he rushes in to save her, not knowing he’s about to lose his heart. In an attempt to save her from her cruel guardian, Baron Heath, she’s whisked off to a private school to be educated and allowed to grow to womanhood in safety.

Damien is wise for his age and knows that if he truly wants to win Toria’s affections, that he has to do it the old fashioned way and not by influencing her through magic. This decision haunts him constantly throughout the story. He knows what is right and sticks to it, even when he thinks it’s going to be his undoing. Throughout the years she’s in school, he puts forth an extreme amount of effort to first make her comfortable and then to woo her to his side. He’s a true gentleman, through and through, and was a refreshing sort of hero. Not overly pushy or over-the-top alpha male. Just considerate, charming, and stern when need be.

Toria, having suffered through a violent physical attack when she was younger, begins the story as a scared and timid girl. As she gains confidence and becomes more at home within her own skin, she grows and blossoms as a young woman with a mind of her own. She’s not afraid to tell you she thinks you’re wrong or being obstinate and I like her added bit of spunk. I also enjoy the way she can make her protector, Damien, bow to her will when her life isn’t at stake.

I really enjoyed the tension and adventure wrapped up in the pages of Damien’s Destiny. A nice balance of fear for Toria, desire that went between both Toria and Damien, as well as an interesting side story dealing with Damien’s sister and one of his good friends. This is a well-rounded, exciting story of love and new beginnings. A must read for any true romantic soul.