on June 2, 2015
Pages: 347 pages
Amazon • Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Since the day Lord Dillon earned his spurs, rumors of his savagery on the battlefield have preceded him into every room, stilling tongues and sparking fear. Weary of battle, he wishes only to find a woman he can wed who will approach him not with fear, but with the tenderness that has been absent from his life for so long. Yet only the wisewoman seems invariably at ease in his presence. Perhaps because she garners the same fear in others that he does himself.
For seven years, Alyssa has been by Lord Dillon's side, counseling him from the shadows, healing him with her hands, and staving off the worst of his loneliness while his fearsome reputation keeps others at bay. Blessed--or cursed--with gifts that label her a sorceress, she is forced to conceal her youth and the love she harbors for him beneath umbral robes that lead Dillon and his people to believe she is the same aged wisewoman who served his father.
All is revealed, however, and passions flare when an enemy threatens Dillon's life and Alyssa sacrifices everything to save him. When Dillon discovers that the wisewoman is far from elderly, he is instantly entranced. And, as he and Alyssa work together to defeat an enemy bent on destroying them both, Dillon will risk anything--even the wrath of his king--to be with her.
The author describes this book as a prequel to the Immortal Guardians but it has a different feel to it. I am glad that I started with the Immortal Guardians as it gave me the background to enjoy this story.
Alyssa is a gifted one with an ability to heal, discern thoughts and see events in the future. Because of past discrimination, her family keeps their gifted abilities a secret. When her grandmother gets too old as the sage to the king, Alyssa takes over in disguise. Alyssa finds herself being the advisor to Lord Dillon, the most feared warrior in the land, and to whom Alyssa nurses affection for. For seven years, Alyssa impersonates her aged grandmother by wearing a cape, imitates her grandmother’s speech and keeps her body hidden. The advisor and the warrior develop a friendship where the warrior shares his deepest desires for the future.
When Lord Dillion was attacked, Alyssa heals him which led to the revelation of who Alyssa truly was. It also led to acknowledgment of Dillon and Alyssa’s feelings held at bay for so long. I think those were my favorite scenes in the book. Very endearing and very intense.
I really enjoyed this one because while it focused a lot on Dillon and Alyssa, the author still kept me guessing as to who was trying to kill Lord Dillon and their motives. There was a lot of passion but there was a lot of adventure too.
Dianne Duvall always creates likable characters and this book was no exception. Dillon was honorable, strong and so protective of his lady. Initially suspected his brother Robert, but he also proved himself to be loyal knight. Alyssa was a resourceful young woman with strength and she was very kind. She gave of herself even when the actions resulted in harm to her. The plot was very interesting and engaging. I couldn’t stop listening to the book. I found Alyssa and Dillon very hot but also very charming as a couple. The years of friendship added a layer of understanding and genuine respect for each other. They truly understood each other and were caring of each other’s professional responsibilities. I loved the sacrifices they were willing to make to protect the other, yet keeping the community in mind.
It was really cool to see Roland, Seth and Marcus make cameos. I would recommend readers start with that series first though. If you want suspense, action, love, supernatural abilities and great world building, you have to try Dianne Duvall’s books. I cannot wait for the next installment of the Immortal Guardians.
*Special thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook, which was given in exchange for an honest review