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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One Thousand Kisses by Jody Wallace

One Thousand Kisses by Jody Wallace
The Fey Realm Book Two
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Paranormal, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Contemporary
Length: Full Length (307 Pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Holly

When one path closes, another opens—if they survive the journey.
The Fey Realm, Book 2

Embor Fiertag, Primary of the Court, has overcome no tougher challenge than the three facing him right now: get reelected, capture the rogue agents who tried to murder him, and improve his love life. The third one should be easy—except he hasn’t exactly told Court trainee Anisette Serendipity she’s his foretold bondmate. Plus, she’s dating his chief political rival and doesn’t seem to like Embor. At. All.

Ani has good reason to avoid the stern, serious Embor. Her wayward sister almost got him killed once, and now he monitors Ani like he expects her to do worse. But Ani’s not the adventurous type. She can’t even break up with Warran Torval, a man she knows she doesn’t want, a man who spends half his time plotting Embor’s downfall.

When Torval attempts to force a bond with Ani, Embor senses her fear and steps in…directly into an unsavory political strategy gone all too right. Forced to flee together to humanspace with a manipulative magical cat, Embor and Ani must find the courage to reveal—and heal—their vulnerabilities before the fabric between the Fey Realm and humanspace is ripped to shreds.

This is Jody Wallace’s second book in the Fey Realm. I do love the world Ms. Wallace has built for this series, the Realm filled with magic and the fey, and humanspace, where nothing works quite right for those with magic in them. The characters, even the villains, have many dimensions to them, and I like that even the heroes have some flaws.

Embor Fiertag has a lot on his mind. As Primary of the Court, he is running for re-election, against a very unscrupulous opponent. He is also trying to uncover the location of the assassins who tried to murder him, and he can’t share his concerns with anyone. He has kept to himself that the seers foretold his one true mate, and that mate is Anisette ‘Ani’ Serendipity. This could prove a bit sensitive, since Embor’s chief political rival, Warren Torval, is currently courting Ani.

When Torval tries to force a mating with Ani, Embor rescues her and they escape to humanspace, where magic is much weaker. As they try to track the assassins, with the aid of a magical cat, Ani and Embor slowly become closer, though Ember confuses Ani by not acting on their, she thinks, mutual attraction. Can Embor find the assassins, stop the Torvals from ruining the Realm, and convince Ani they are destined to be together? And what is Master Fey, the cat, really after?

The first part of this book, in the Realm, slowly unfolds, and there is political intrigue and mystery surrounding Ani and Embor at every turn. It is only when the Torvals try to force a mating on Ani, and then remove her memories of the attempt, that the action picks up. The second part of the story, in humanspace, is faster paced, and there are several really hilarious episodes with Embor as he plays the hero.

Anisette ‘Ani’ Serendipity is a very appealing character. She begins as someone who doesn’t want to cause trouble. She has gone along with Warren Torval’s attentions to her, because she wasn’t sure how to just get out of it. When she finally takes action, however, she discovers just how strong she really is. When she and Embor escape to humanspace, she proves that she has much more to offer than just genteel manners, and becomes more sure of her own strength and worth.

Embor Fiertag is a strong and sexy character. He is determined not to rush his suit for Ani, but slowly realizes he has to act when she becomes endangered. I liked that he may be the Primary, and very strong, but he has flaws and weaknesses, especially where Ani is concerned. His addiction to fey drugs and substances shows a side of him that he isn’t proud of.

There are lots of twists and turns in this, and one very big surprise that I won’t reveal here, but that brought tears to my eyes. There is one scene that I really loved, when Embor meets with his allies in humanspace and experiences whiskey and being drunk, human style, for the first time. The secondary characters are well drawn, and many are back from the first book. This is a terrific romance, and one I think everyone will love.