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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ruling Eden by Michelle Picard

Ruling Eden by Michelle Picard
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
Genre: Action/Adventure, Paranormal, Fantasy, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full (409 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Bittersweet

Growing up an orphan, Rachel always assumed she'd be alone in the world, until the night before her twenty-fifth birthday. Thrust into the magical realm of Eden's Court, she must overcome the most unique, frightening, and greatest challenge in two worlds: uniting seven warring races in order to prevent the destruction of earth.

But learning to rule is easier than facing her attraction to half-demon, half-angel Gabriel. Born of a forbidden love between mortal enemies, he is convinced he is a liability to Rachel. Once Rachel stops denying their chemistry, she must convince him to pursue their love. Together, they solve two murders, avert a war, and learn to accept their destiny.

I admit it. Ruling Eden had me strapped to my seat for a good few hours. One could say I swallowed the book in one gulp and it tasted good.

The first thing that caught my attention was the main character, Rachel. Though she had the looks of a princess from far away, her mentality was far from it with thoughts like: “Don’t dwell on the ‘what ifs’, “Life’s about the here and now, and you get what you get.” These are things which I have also pondered about at one point or another. Those simple phrases, along with her determination, helped explain why, when a talking dog appeared she didn’t freak out too much. Jack was fantastic. He’s a great comic relief character with a deeper side and, in my opinion it’s a shame he didn’t appear more throughout the story.

Living her "Carpe Diem" life, Rachel steps into Wonderland aka Eden. She proceeds to meet her three gorgeous bodyguards, making me wish I was in her stead. Sebastian, Tarn and Gabriel: muscular, long haired (that’s my weakness), masculine, tight leather pants…yummy! However, Ms. Picard knows what she’s doing, and she describes Gabriel in such a way that makes him even more enticing than the rest.

Accompanied by vivid descriptions and an engaging mystery that could be the precedent of a war, the romance between Gabriel and Rachel begins to bloom. Their romance is intense, but the rest of the characters and the context around them is not forgotten. Ms. Picard builds a novel in which everything fits and makes sense; there are no loose strings. The secondary characters both good and bad are all well constructed. As a matter a fact, half way through the book I was already fond of most of the good guys (although, I think Quent, Sebastian and Tarn are at the top of my list).

Unfortunately, the ending was a bit disappointing. The mystery that almost starts a war is solved, and the main characters come to a decision regarding their relationship, but it almost feels like a “happy for now” ending, and a happy ever after would have been more to my taste. However, as I write this and reflect on it, the ending is true to Rachel’s character, for it matches her “seize the day” belief.

Ruling Eden is well worth reading. The story flows easily, with a plot and characters extremely captivating. Before you know it, you’ll be wishing you were part of Eden. I know I do.