Formats available: ebook
Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Cold Iron #2
Length: 369 pages
Publisher: Pocket Star
Date Released: April 14, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, All Romance
Helene Whitney has been losing time. Not losing track of time, but missing hours, finding whole blank spaces in her day she can’t account for. A year ago she would have put it down to overwork and exhaustion, but that was before she found out about the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Beautiful People, the Fae.
Ancient, immortal, tricksy and cruel, these creatures out of myth and legend rule the Irish enclaves of South Boston and Charlestown, and one of them has been using magic to abduct and control Helene for hours every day, gaining access to the collection at her museum and searching for ancient objects of Fae power.
Now, Helene’s only hope of escaping this unknown assailant lies with the Fae sorcerer, Miach MacCecht, a man she knows she can never trust—and who may prove impossible to resist.
This was the story I wanted at the end of Cold Iron (reviewed at The Book Pushers), and I read it in one sitting.
Silver Skin felt like a totally different story from Cold Iron, because the hero and the heroine felt like much stronger people. Helene and Miach are both, in their various ways, survivors.
Helene is Beth’s friend from Cold Iron. She’s the development director (read chief fund raiser) for the museum where Beth works. Her introduction to the reality of the Fae in the 21st century was brutal and almost fatal. But she walked away, in spite of her attraction to the sorceror Miach.
Some things come at just too high a price.
But she can’t stay away. Not because of Miach, but because some other, and unknown fae is stealing hours out of her life. She recognizes enough to know that she is being compelled, but can’t remember who is doing the compelling or what she is being compelled to do in her lost hours.
The only person she feels safe in telling her problem to is Beth, but Beth is out of the country on a dig. When Helene tries to tell her over the phone, the compulsion prevents her speaking the words. She only knows one other person who might be able to help her, but she doesn’t want to put herself back in his world. She has no choice, and she has to know if he’s the cause. He was before.
Miach runs the protection rackets in the Irish neighborhoods of South Boston, and he has for centuries. He’s the most powerful fae to remain on this side of the wall between the sidhe and our world. While the fae are generally selfish and self-centered, Miach has his own reasons for wanting to keep the fae court and the wild hunt out of our world. His family, his mixed blood children, grand-children and great-grandchildren, will be the first playthings of the court. He protects his own.
He wanted Helene to be his from the moment he first met her, but when his sons conspired to turn her over to the Prince Consort, he lost his chance. Until some other fae placed multiple geasa on her; making her forget, making her search her museum, making her someone else’s pawn.
In order to break the compulsions, even Miach needs help. And information. Someone is helping the Prince Consort to try breaking the barrier between worlds. Digging into that plot could get them all killed.
If the curse that has been placed upon Helene doesn’t destroy her first.
Escape Rating A-: Even while kidnapped and tortured, Helene never lets herself be a victim. No matter how bad things get (and they get very bad) Helene goes into every situation with her eyes wide open, and always searching for a way out. She’s attracted to Miach, but is unwilling to be compelled into a relationship. And the more she fights, the more he values her. While there is an element of the thrill of the chase to their relationship, it also feels like Miach wants a real relationship with a whole person; he’s cared for all the women in his life over the past 2 millennia, and wants a partner and not a slave.
Helene is in grave danger for the entire story, and wants to grab life with both hands. She decides that Miach is part of what she wants, and it is her decision and not a compulsion.
In addition to just how hot the relationship between Miach and Helene gets to be, we also see more of the fae who have survived and adapted to our world, and the breadth and depth of the plot to return the court. The twists and turns in the plot were convoluted, but made complete sense once you saw them. This part of the story is going to spill over multiple books, as it should. We only saw the beginning of how far the Prince Consort is willing to go to return the courts to the world, and he’s both intelligent and very, very sick.
I had such fun with Silver Skin that I started Stone Song the minute I finished. The war between the adapted fae in our world and the high court is heating up nicely!