Author: Zoe Archer
Pages: 354 paperback
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance/Adventure
Standalone/Series: Series (#1 of The Blades of the Rose)
Release: September 1st, 2010
Purchased by me *right now on sale at the Kindle store for $4.47 so go get it and pre-order the next three at the same price!
Author info: www.zoearcherbooks.com
Spoiler Alert: Small plot spoilers
GoodReads Blurb: To most people, the realm of magic is the stuff of nursery rhymes and dusty libraries. But for Capt. Gabriel Huntley, it’s become quite real and quite dangerous…
IN HOT PURSUIT…The vicious attack Capt. Gabriel Huntley witnesses in a dark alley sparks a chain of events that will take him to the ends of the Earth and beyond—where what is real and what is imagined become terribly confused. And frankly, Huntley couldn’t be more pleased. Intrigue, danger, and a beautiful woman in distress—just what he needs.
IN HOTTER WATER… Raised thousands of miles from England, Thalia Burgess is no typical Victorian lady. A good thing, because a proper lady would have no hope of recovering the priceless magical artifact Thalia is after. Huntley’s assistance might come in handy, though she has to keep him in the dark. But this distractingly handsome soldier isn’t easy to deceive…
REVIEW: What do you get when you mix Laura Croft from Tomb Raider and Rick O’Connell from Mummy – you get Warrior by Zoe Archer. Though since the story takes place in 19th century England and Mongolia at least where the Laura Croft analogy is concerned there is less technology and other “enhancements”. The book is a great mix of swashbuckling adventure with a dash of paranormal and a very satisfying helping of romance. The protagonists in this story, Gabriel and Thalia, are thrown together as they try to stop the Heirs of Albion from stealing a magical Source. In this story the British Empire is the bad guy as it tries to take over and subjugate the world by finding Sources imbued with magic that if they fall into the wrong hands can be used by the empire to rule the world. The Blades of the Rose, a group that Thalia’s father belongs to, works to stop the Heirs from obtaining the Sources and to return the Sources to their natural protectors, the people or groups that the magic was borne from in the first place to create the Source. Thalia takes up her father’s cause when he becomes too injured to go out on a critical mission and Gabriel comes to her rescue again and again while the attraction that burns between them gets hotter and hotter. Thalia is a great character – she has grown up on the steppes of Mongolia most her life and loves the land and acts and dresses like a Mongol although she was born an English lady. She is no meek English rose to shy away from action or to be outraged at bad language which is good because Gabriel, a former captain in the British Army, has a very filthy mouth. The chemistry between these two was burning hot and made my heart go a-pitter patter as they both fought the passion they felt for each other. And the love scenes Ms. Archer writes are panty scorching hot and fit well in the flow of the story. It was one thing that stuck with me from her Blades of the Rose novella in Half Past Dead (another favorite of mine) is how well balanced the love scenes are with the main story – there is no sacrifice of overall plot to have gratuitous sexy time and the sexy time is just as well written as the action scenes - though it is very descriptive so be warned if you are not a fan of explicit love scenes.
I also loved the setting of the book – I think historical paranormal romance/ action-adventure is becoming a new favorite genre of mine. The settings and descriptions of the Mongolian steppe and Gobi desert were stunning – I found myself looking up pictures of many things described in the book and much of what Ms. Archer described is real. Although I do not have a heightened desire to go riding around on a camel, I now have a new locale added to the places I wish to visit! I’m looking forward to where Ms. Archer takes us in her next books since a new book from the series will be published in the beginning of September/October/November/December. The language of the book is authentic (at least as far as I can tell) and charming as well – now I know how a British soldier might swear or a lady raised on the Mongolian steppes speaks – and it fits the time period of the book and the characters very well. That’s a pet peeve of mine –when the language does not match the character and time period the book is written in – thankfully Ms. Archer’s writing is delightfully British.
Overall a 4.5 out of 5 for me – delightful romance and swashbuckling on the Mongolian steppes!
I love all books snarky, sexy, or action-packed! My favorite genres are urban fantasy and paranormal romance though I read a little of everything. Please feel free to contact me at darklyreading (at) gmail (dot) com