Duty. Devotion. Desire. When fate brings two isolated people together, love is in the cards.
As a palace guard and assassin for the Dark Fae, Xanthe always wore a mask, hiding her emotions to do her duty. But when her identity is compromised, she trades undercover work for guarding Queen Niniane—a position that often brings her in contact with Chancellor Aubrey Riordan.
Aubrey’s trust is shattered. A year ago his wife tried to assassinate their new queen in his name, a betrayal of everything he believes in. And now an attack on his life is proof the dark conspiracy is not yet over. Although injured and weak, Aubrey can’t help but be drawn to this shy assassin and loyal protector. Xanthe is everything Naida wasn’t, and the passion she stirs in him is something he thought had long passed him by.
Warning: Take a man recovering from an assassination attempt, the assassin sworn to protect him, add in a magical Tarot card deck and an isolated cabin, and watch the sparks fly!
*Blurb from Goodreads*
Don’t forget to take a look at our early post today to see what Thea Harrison has to say and to enter her giveaway.
MinnChica: Since I first got my hands on Thea Harrison, the Elder Races has become one of my favorite paranormal romance series. Her novella’s from Samhain are such a treat to get while waiting for the next full length book to come out. I was excited to learn that we were headed back to the Dark Elven court to see Tricks and Tiago again, but also get to learn more about Aubrey, Chancellor to the Dark Elf court. I thought Harrison did a wonderful job with the romance in this book, and was so glad to get to see a badass heroine soften up, and a cold-hearted hero melt a little. There were so many great things about this novella, and I’ll admit I’m a little bummed to say goodbye to the Tarot cards and this ongoing story line!
E: This was a bittersweet read for me. Bitter because it is the end of this storyline and the Elder Races novella for now but sweet because it was such a great read. I loved seeing some of the changes in the Dark Elf court as the ripples from Tricks’ attempted assassination continued to spread. This was a slower paced story compared to the others with the majority of the action happening in and around a little cabin between Aubrey and Xanthe. Watching the two of them discover that despite their very complex professional lives they were both simple guarded people at heart was a wonderful journey. Even with the quieter pace I never felt that any action was lacking which just illustrated Harrison’s skill.
MinnChica: I felt like it was a slower paced book as well, but for Aubrey and Xanthe, it worked. They were both used to such high stress jobs and situations with their work, that the chance to take a break and stop to smell the roses really gave them a chance to be themselves. It gave them a chance to get to know one another, to leave the social norms of the Dark Court behind and just breathe and be. I liked that the book was more about the romance and the discovery of self for both Aubrey and Xanthe. It felt like a more core romance novella, and romance is one of those things that Harrison does so incredibly well. As the book came closer to the end, I was desperate for it to continue, for the chance to spend more and more time with these two. Because their quiet life in the cottage was one that I adored reading about.
E: Yes that cottage was such a lovely place. It seemed like the place that stressed out people would dream about. I know that would provide a lovely vacation spot. One of the other things I really liked was how Aubrey was used to commanding or making a statement and things would just happen but not anything regarding Xanthe. Her quiet resistance was hilarious along with his reactions to it. He was a pretty reasonable person and had spent years trying to blunt the effects of Urien’s rule so having that part of his nature wasn’t a bad thing, he just wasn’t used to being told no. Xanthe’s quiet professionalism was also pretty amazing. Her little slip-ups here and there added to her character and provided depth otherwise on the surface she wouldn’t stand out in a crowd a definite advantage in her particular line of work.
MinnChica: I really liked Xanthe. She was different from the other heroines we’ve seen so far in the Elder Races books. She was strong and quiet and shy, and yet she had this calm about her that seemed to calm everyone else around her. She was special in her own unique ways, and a different kind of woman than I’m used to seeing from Harrison. Aubrey was a little different in his own way as well. He was so tortured and hurt by the mistake of his dead wife that he really took on a lot of responsibility that no one else placed on him. And yet everyone else around him knew what a strong and noble person he was. I loved the two of them together, and really thought that they complemented each other well.
E: It was quite refreshing to see a relationship that really wasn’t a complete opposites attract or the pairing of two Alphas. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy those *grin* but I also like to see paranormal romances between people who have a lot of similarities. I think one of the reasons I have enjoyed the Tarot Card series is because the heroes and heroines are more of the ordinary type just going about their lives. They are the ones that keep the world going so the really important people can be important. These glimpses provide so much to flesh out the world of the Elder Races.
MinnChica: All in all I really enjoyed this final novella from Harrison that followed the Tarot Cards. I liked that something so small and innocuous tied together four very different couples. I adored the romance between Aubrey and Xanthe, I thought it was sweet and subdued and gentle and well put together. I liked that this book was a little more calm, didn’t have as much action as the previous novellas in the series. It not only fit the characters perfectly at this time in their lives and romance, but it also brought the series to a close, in a way that I enjoyed immensely.
I give Hunter’s Season a B+
E: I enjoyed seeing Tricks and Tiago again in their element. Tiago’s basic personality stayed true and so did his intimidation factor. That certainly came out with Xanthe’s reaction and also that of her pet cat. The story of the cat was tied up neatly even if a few individuals were sad the overall result was certainly worth it. Tricks also proved that while she was responsible and cared for her land as a whole she continued to care for people as individuals. Her deft touches in this novella were a treat to read. Harrison certainly provided a treat for her closing novella in the Tarot Card series.
I give Hunter’s Season an A.