Thursday, November 17, 2011

Storm's Heart by Thea Harrison, narrated by Sophie Eastlake

Why I listened to it: I loved Dragon Bound and wanted to hear the next in the series.

What it's about: Tiago Black, a Thunderbird shapeshifter Wyr is one of Dragos' Sentinels and his Warlord.  Niniane Lorelle (who we knew as Thistle "Tricks" Periwinkle in the previous book) is the rightful heir to the Dark Fae throne.  An attack on Niniane's life brings Tiago to Chicago to help Niniane and while there, he discovers a very inconvenient and sudden attraction to the little fairy.    He accompanies her as she tries to discover who is behind the attempts on her life and as she travels to Adriyel for her coronation.  Even if Niniane and Tiago can sort out their own relationship, will the Dark Fae accept a Wyr sharing the throne?

What I thought: I'd read a number of reviews that suggested the second book in the series wasn't as good as the first.  I guess that meant my expectations were lower but I actually really enjoyed this one.  I think the audio really works for me in this series as Sophie Eastlake is doing an excellent job of the narration.  The story is quite different from Dragon Bound and I wonder if that is why other commenters were disappointed.  As much as I liked Dragon Bound, I actually enjoyed the difference. 
Tiago struck me as an alpha man (or, more accurately an alpha Wyr) so confident in himself that he was in no way threatened by Niniane's position as Dark Fae Queen.  His interest, once it landed on Niniane, was 100% on her care, protection, safety and success.  When a strong man is in love with a powerful woman, it can be difficult to accept him being in a "subordinate" relationship.  But, Tiago didn't care AT ALL and it was obvious in the book.  That meant that I had no difficulty in believing their HEA because I didn't see that there would be any jockeying for power between them.    I liked Tiago's single-minded devotion to Niniane and the sexy way he called her "fairy" when he was aroused (whether by anger or something else!).  Niniane was also a smart heroine too who realised the limitations of her size but was clever about how she could defend herself.  The question regarding the Dark Fae accepting Tiago as consort to Niniane wasn't fully answered in this book, but I expected it will be in future offerings in the series.  In any event, I was happy enough to accept that for now, no final answer was necessary.  
Once again, Sophie Eastlake nails the narration.  She is fast becoming one of my favourites.  She doesn't have a deep hero voice, but it is easy to tell who is talking and she got Tiago's attitude absolutely right.    Overall, I did enjoy Dragon Bound better but only a little bit.

Grade:  B+

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