Monday, January 25, 2010

Dark Desires of the Druids II: Sex and Subterfuge

The second in my Victorian Druids series. Looking back, there are things I'd change and add to the story, but at the time, well, I don't know why I didn't add/change them in the first place. Hindsight and all.

This is a very different story than Raven's story. Morgana is a very different character. Stronger, older, more experienced. And Lucien. I have a special place in my writing-heart for him. He's a man who doesn't take no for an answer and one who knows his worth.

Sex & Subterfuge: Philadelphia, America, 1882 Lucien and Morgana's first meeting:

“My parents were murdered not six weeks ago,” he said flatly. “By a magicker.”

The anger left her, replaced by compassion and understanding. “I’m
sorry,” she whispered, her fingers reaching out to squeeze his hand. The show of sympathy startled him, denting the wall of grief he’d built in the weeks since the murder. Since he’d been forced here when he should’ve seen to his duties – and Isadore, his beloved sister – at home.

“We’ve all experienced tragedy,” James said, not unkindly, but with very little of the understanding his cousin showed. Morgana stepped away from him and it felt as if the world went with her. The hand that momentarily held his lay gently on Blackthorne’s arm.

“We’ve had similar problems,” she said in answer to his earlier question. “Certain volatile ingredients have surfaced. Problems with false elixirs and blatant lies of magickal remedies.”

“Any leads on a collector?”

“No,” she said after a short pause. “None.”

Blackthorne stepped between Lucien and Morgana. Raising an eyebrow at the protective gesture, he wondered from whom Blackthorne protected his cousin.
“We’ll be sure to contact you in a timely manner should we learn anything.”

Lucien acknowledged the insult with another quirk of his eyebrow. Morgana stepped around James with an impatient huff.

“James, please host Lord Granville,” she said, her gaze holding his steadily.

“If you insist,” Blackthorne said curtly.

“Thank you, James,” she replied softly, and Lucien had the feeling there was more to that exchange than simple courtesy.

“If you’ll excuse me,” Helston interrupted. The man had been quiet nearly the entire time. Whatever his position in Morgana’s world, she obviously trusted him enough to hear his reason for being here. “I have an appointment, Morgana.” He kissed his hostess’s hand and nodded to Blackthorne, who seemed to like Helston even less than Lucien. Maybe he wasn’t trusted, then, but tolerated. “Lord Granville, a pleasure.”

Without a word, Blackthorne followed Helston out.

“Lord Granville,” Morgana slipped her hand around his arm. “I’ll have my man, Takoda, show you to James’s house in a bit. I’d like to hear more of London.” She smiled up at him, the look in her eyes anything but businesslike. Her scent, lilacs and woman, surrounded him and he wanted to taste her fragrant skin. Was it as silky as it appeared? He’d have bet his steamship that it was.

4.5 Cherries from Whipped Cream Reviews: The characters are all well defined and multi-faceted. I also appreciated the research that must have gone into this book to make everything so true to the time period.

4 Nymphs from Literary Nymphs: Isabel Roman had done a wonderful job of telling this story about how strong the female line was in the American Blackthorne family. The simple fact that Morgana put everyone else before her...told me she had a great concern for others.

4 Stars from Manic Readers: The second installment of the Druids series is just as interesting a read as the first. There is danger, treachery, romance and passion aplenty.

3.5 Tombstones from Bitten By Books: Overall, though, this isn’t a bad continuation of the series. I will definitely continue reading...

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