“Almighty God, please let my new husband be happy with me tomorrow so I can murder his father.”

Redonk Nutshell: An arranged marriage between a half-eleven Lord and a human Lady results in an unlikely alliance against the corrupt King

The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy is a favorite of mine.  It’s a finely perfected mix of fantasy in a Georgian setting involving elves and a fascinating hierarchy of magic.  Our hero, Dominic Raikes, is the half elf-half human son of Imperial Lord Mor’ded. There is no love lost between father and son – Mor’ded is constantly testing his son for the supremely powerful magic of Black Fire, which Dominic cannot summon.  Regardless, Dominic is an extremely successful General – he has just won possession of the English royal court from a rival Elven Lord. Literally the Monarch is relocated to Lord Mor’ded’s jurisdiction, just in time for Dominic’s arranged marriage to well-born Lady Cassandra Bridges.

Cassandra has been sequestered away in a convent for the better part of her life.  What only a select few know, however, is that this particular convent is a front for the Resistance movement and has been training Cassandra in a task to assassinate the Imperial Lord.  She is human, but has a bit of elven magic in her blood that gives her the gift of…wait for it…dance.  But not just any dance.  Ole’ girl, here, can bust a move that busts heads.  She’s deadly, all wrapped up in a dainty little feminine package.

What neither Dominic or Cassandra count on is their attraction to each other.  It’s not so much physical (they have previously met before), but more that they are attuned to each other on a level that most others don’t detect.  Dominic suspects there is more to his wife than meets the eye.  Meanwhile, Cassandra has discovered that Dominic, hard-ass, unfeeling, coldhearted Elven bastard Dominic, has a soft side, an vulnerable underbelly he rarely shows because of his hatred and fear of his father.

“You must live,” he whispered to her.”For without you, I am done. Done and done with this torment that I have been living. You cannot bring such light to my life and then take it from me, do you hear? Damn it, Cass, do you hear me?”

What won me over about this book was the crazy-cool blend of fantasy and historical fiction.  It’s as if two worlds have collided and bled together, and in spite of the turmoil embroiled between the Elven Lords and the political struggles, our two characters manage to find basic humanity in one another.  They delicately sort through their facades to discover their true selves, and it’s wonderful how artfully well they fit together.

The Fire Lord’s Lover is a favorite of mine.  Ms. Kennedy has a second Elven Lord book coming out this summer, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy

Rating: A

Romance: 4/5     Raunch: 4/5

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