Featured Early Book Review: Night’s Honor (Elder Races #7) by Thea Harrison
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Set in a supernatural version of one of my favorite places in the world – the San Francisco Bay area – Night’s Honor opens with leisurely pace that smartly sets the scene without boring the reader or trying to stuff in too much. In the world of the Elder Races, there are many different kinds of monsters; most are beautiful, all are deadly to humans, and humans not only know of their existence but coexist beside them. Tess, our heroine, is plucky, intelligent, stubborn, and desperate, leading her to bid for a Vampyre’s patronage at their annual swanky ball. She knows her limits and what she is willing to do to secure safety, making her a unique potential a commodity to Vampyre Xavier Del Torro. Close friend and advisor to the king of Nightkind, Xavier quickly proves himself to be more tolerant and patient than most of the others of his race, and is a constant enigma that keeps Tess intrigued and curious even through her fear of him.
“Tess, you are good for my soul,” he said. He gave her a completely serious look. “If I ever feel that I am suffering from an overabundance of pride, I shall look for you immediately so you can trample all over it.”
Xavier is elegant and reserved and urbane, with a warm heart and quick mind. Lethal too, spymaster that he is, yet he cleverly hides it beneath a civilised veneer of decorum and neutral politeness. As I got to know him though – as he opened up to Tess throughout the book – I loved his poet’s soul and the little Spanish heritage nuances in his speech and mannerisms. Xavier could very well be the inspiration for the colloquialism “still waters run deep”.
She cradled his head in both hands, her uneven breath sounding in his ear. “What was that? Were you quoting something?”
“Love poetry,” he muttered, kissing along her collarbone as he ran his hands underneath the hem of her sweater. “From the Song of Solomon.”
An exclamation of a laugh shook out of her. “You’re a romantic?”
“I was, once upon a time,” he admitted. He curved his hands around her narrow rib cage. She fit so perfectly against him. “I still am, on occasion. When life permits.”
“I’m not a romantic,” she confessed. Nuzzling his cheek, she slipped his jacket off his shoulders. He shrugged it off and let it fall to the floor.
“I forgive you,” he told her expansively, with a grin.
Tess could have easily been one of those heroines who doesn’t know when to stop being stubborn and causes problems for everyone around her, but she actually shows real growth of character throughout the plot arc and that pacing is perfect. Tess is determined and courageous and not afraid to confront her fears or work on improving her flaws. I respect that a lot in a person and even more so in the female lead of a paranormal romance story, where the author could easily just cheat and find a magical solution or gloss over the trouble spots. Readers of paranormals are generally willing to suspend disbelief to a decent degree, but author Thea Harrison doesn’t need to take advantage of that, having crafted such a solid, believably enjoyable story.
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