Born the useless fourth son of the Lord of Glimmerveen, Wryler dreams of getting married and escaping the rustic confines of his father’s castle. A wealthy merchant’s son seems to hold the key to Wryler’s safe if somewhat dreary future. However, the arrival of a mysterious stranger on the eve of Wryler’s betrothal sends his plans into disarray and Wryler finds himself traded off in marriage to one of the most notorious rogues in the land.
Is Lord Aeric Rouchet the scoundrel he appears to be, or is he something much worse? Separated from his family and thrust into a strange and dangerous new life at the foreboding Gryffon Hall, Wryler must unravel the secret of his husband’s shadowed life and defeat the curse which threatens not only his growing affection for the barbarian in his bed, but the lives of everyone the Lord of Gryffon Hall is sworn to protect.
I adored this story. I enjoyed how it was equal parts author created fantasy world, Grimm’s Fairytales and some wonderful mythology and fantastic beastology. The way all of the elements blended together made for a book I couldn’t put down. I really enjoyed Wryler and Aeric individually and together. They work well and you can tell they have deep affection for each other. Yet they’re both strong individuals that can handle themselves in many sticky situations.
I really liked Wryler. He was so shy and timid at the beginning. He wasn’t sure who or what he wanted but he was resigned to his fate. But watching as his feelings for Aeric grew and he learned more about the man and where he now lives you couldn’t help but see him grow page by page. Wryler had the best of intentions throughout the story, even if his methods sometimes didn’t work or were the wrong way to go about things. I adored the scene when Aeric says he loves Wryler. You can feel his emotions there very clearly.
Aeric was fascinaing. We didn’t get to see as much of him as I would have liked. However there is a reason for it that’s revealed later. You can feel his devotion to Wryler quickly. It’s actually quite sweet how much he cares for Wryler despite Wryler being a bit oblivious to some of it and unsure of his own worth for others. Aeric took his role of protector seriously. He ensured everyone living within the castle had what they needed and took precautions to keep from being harmed by creatures in the Black Forest.
I only had a few issues with the story. One is kind of minor but left me wondering how it worked and the others were me wanting more depth. The minor one was how how Wryler’s bumbling manservant was kept safe from the creatures in the forest. The only explanation given was everyone was protected by blood or by marriage and he was none of those. I would have liked more information about Wryler’s mother’s family. It felt like there was more there since it was talked about by both Wryler and Aeric more than once. I wanted a bit more of the backstory and importance of it to be included in the story. The last issue I had was once the curse was over, a whole year is skipped. I wanted one more chapter at least to show the cleanup and immediate ramifications of the spell being broken before the final chapter. I adored the last chapter so I definitely don’t want that to go away though!
The ending is a very sweet happily ever after and it was sweet how in love these two are. I hope we get to see more of these two and the world they live in, but their story is complete so I don’t know what else we could see. Unless there’s another couple somewhere later. I would definitely read it if there is.
Alexis Duran was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. At the University of Oregon, her fascination with people and relationships led her to major in Sociology, but her main love has always been creative writing. She’s worked in museums, finance, film production and for several performing arts organizations. Her favorite job so far has been inventorying the collection of a haunted Victorian Mansion. She is the author of the Masters and Mages and Edge of Night m/m fantasy series as well as several stand-alone romances. Her fiction has won several awards including the Rupert Hughes Award from the Maui Writers Conference and First Runner Up from Love Romances Cafe. She lives with one dog and four and a half cats. She is always working on the next novel and has several new ideas brewing at all times.
You can connect with Alexis at www.alexisduranblog.com, http://twitter.com/AlexisSDuran. http://www.facebook.com/alexis.duran.18294 and https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8332457.Alexis_Duran