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Review – Moonshadow (Moonshadow #1) by Thea Harrison

Reviewed by: E

Her past is a blank, her future uncertain….

Recovering from a shooting, LAPD witch consultant Sophie Ross leaves her job and travels to the U.K. to search for answers about her childhood. When she encounters a Daoine Sidhe knight of the Dark Court, she becomes entangled in an ancient hatred between two arcane forces.

He has given his body and soul to fight for his people….

Barred from his homeland along with his surviving brother knights, Nikolas Sevigny is embroiled in a conflict that threatens everything he holds dear. Only by uniting his people’s resources can they hope to prevail against Isabeau, the deadly Queen of the Light Court. He will do anything and use anyone to return home to Lyonesse.

When Nikolas encounters Sophie, he sees a tool to be used. The insouciant witch might be the key to unlocking every passageway that has been barred to the knights of the Dark Court, even as a fascination for her takes root in what’s left of his soul.

Sophie has no intention of becoming anyone’s pawn, yet the fierce Nikolas is so compelling, she can’t deny the temptation that endangers her guarded heart.

As magic threatens Lyonesse, Queen Isabeau unleashes her merciless Hounds, and Nikolas and Sophie become embroiled in a race for survival. Meanwhile, the passion that ignites between them burns too hot to be denied and quickly turns into obsession.

Thank goodness they both know better than to fall in love…
Blurb came from Goodreads.

I was really excited for the opportunity to dive back into Harrison’s fantasy romance first introduced in Dragon Bound. Set in the same overall world as her Elder Races series, Harrison has jumped continents and introduced a new set of problems and characters in her Moonshadow series. Moonshadow focuses on a fight between the Light and Dark Doaine Sidhe Courts and how it has turned into a war of attrition fought between different realms. Isabeau, the Queen of the Light Court, seems to have inexhaustible resources and is systemically picking off the knights of the Dark Court stranded on Earth while isolating their homeland and center of their power to include their Queen and unconscious King.

Sophie was at a turning point in her life. She was struggling with PTSD after barely surviving a shooting and needed to heal while figuring out how to pay the bills when an opportunity arrived. She received a piece of her past and the opportunity to have a paid vacation visiting a strange looking house, which called, to her. If she was able to enter the house, she would inherit it along with land, a cottage, and a paid annuity. With nothing to lose, she decided to at least give it a try.

Nikolas was desperate, worn-down, and so used to fighting for his life he found he had lost much of his idealistic values he held as a younger Knight. His reaction to anything new or different was always suspicion quickly followed by physical aggression. While he was able to remain alive during his exile unlike many of his fellow warriors, he continued to pay a mental price in isolation and coldness. As a result, he almost killed Sophie the first time they saw each other and he continued his winning ways at their next encounter with death threats, which left Sophie very unimpressed.

I loved the enemies to lovers aspect of this story especially since it didn’t follow the usual misunderstanding or past mistreatment. The difference in how Sophie interacted with everyone else compared to Nikolas made it quite clear he had some work to do to gain her cooperation even when she just might bring the resources Nikolas’ band needed to survive and reunite with their homeland. Watching Nikolas come to terms with his complicated feelings and deal with his resentment because Sophie wasn’t what he expected not to mention her intellect, abilities, and compassion were needed her was very amusing. I also enjoyed seeing Sophie move from aggravation to skeptical business partner to someone fully invested even as I feared for her physical wellbeing.

Harrison deftly expanded her world in Moonshadow providing a different and deeper look into the world of the Sidhe along with a reminder not all things are black and white. I am quite intrigued by the nature of Nikolas’ men and the problems they still face at the conclusion of this story. I am extremely curious about the central characters for the next books in this spinoff as well as a certain individual Sophie befriended. I am also hoping another character gets a chance for redemption. Yes, I have a soft spot for some unsavory characters, must be a deep-seated flaw in my character **grin**. Once again Harrison has demonstrated why she is one of my auto-buy authors with Moonshadow bringing back the same feeling I had when I first discovered her writing.

I give Moonshadow an A.

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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