Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Heart of the Hunter & Heart of the Flame; Tina St. John

Both of these are written by Tina St. John, an author I remembered enjoying from the pre blog era (which feels further in the past than it really is). I found these in the UBS and then they languished in my TBR until I finally rescued them in August. I believe there are actually three in this group, although I’m undecided about whether or not I want to look for the remainder. These were published by Ballantine in 2004 and 2005. These are light paranormal medieval romances, a rarity within the paranormal subgenre. No images for these as I couldn't find any that weren't blurry.

Heart of the Hunter

The first in the group, this one is set in early 1275 England and France. Lady Ariana’s brother has disappeared and she’s received a ransom note demanding she bring her brother’s papers to France. She shows up on London’s docks with a single guard, very little money, no plan and no resources. Her guard is murdered, her money stolen and she hasn’t even set sail. Ariana drove me bananas within the first chapter, but I continued to read because Braedon le Chasseur fascinated me. Needless to say, Braedon rescues Ariana over and over and over. I was intrigued though, by Braedon’s history, by his past, by his scar.
Average but flawed.

Heart of the Flame

Set three months after Heart of the Hunter, Kenrick wants to avenge his friends’, the Greycliffs, death and find a fabled chalice that is a vessel of power. He comes across a gravely wounded young woman named Haven, problem number one was her name, and takes her to his demesne to heal. Once she’s not on death’s doorstep, we’re told Haven has, conveniently, memory problems. Haven can’t remember exactly who and what she is. Kenrick figures he’ll just keep her prisoner until she ‘fesses up, and then doesn’t see why this might be an issue, but he’s sure she’s the key both to the murder and to finding the chalice.
This book was a vast improvement over the first one, for me, because Haven is that rare female character, a villaness with a cause. We watch both Haven and Kenrick change perspective and come together. Their world isn’t as black and white at the end as it was at the beginning.

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