By K. M. Shea
In the epic stories falling in love is often described as a beautiful, wonderful experience. Tari finds it to be life threatening, embarrassing, and nothing but heartache.
When Tari, an elf, is selected to be bound to Captain Arion, a human military officer, in a ceremony designed to promote friendship between their countries it is discovered that the two can communicate with each other in spite of the language barrier. Not everyone is supportive of the change Tari and Arion symbolize, so in addition to attending evening teas and royal luncheons Tari and Arion dodge kidnapping attempts and blackmail plots crafted by powerful political figures.
Tari is dumbfounded when she realizes she has fallen in love with Arion, who has the emotional capabilities of a rock. As both human and elf society dictate that an elf and a human can never be together, Tari must conceal her feelings. Unfortunately the taciturn Arion is watchful and attentive to Tari’s well-being, constantly pushing her to her limits with his loyalty, friendship, and dreadfully informal habit of touching her.
If Tari and Arion survive, their tumultuous realationship will either strengthen their countries’ alliance, or cripple the human courts of nobility. The deciding factor will be Arion, and his indecipherable feelings for Tari.
I got a trial subscription to Kindle Unlimited from Amazon and I ended up reading as many of K. M. Shea’s novels as possible. I just liked them. They are wholesome and lovely and just a good read. This is a story about elves and humans who have an uneasy treaty between the two worlds, but the differences between their worlds is staggering. Language is an enormous barrier, and many humans and elves dedicate their entire lives to learning as much as they can about each other’s culture. There is a ritual, usually performed on the young of both species that binds one elf to one human for life. Normally this binding is purely political and nothing comes of the process, but when Tari and Arion, two adults are bound in a special ceremony, they become celebrities when they find out that they can perfectly understand each other without translators, and even sometimes feel what the other is feeling or know where the other is. This is a love story above all else, and there are a few discrepancies in the plot that confused me. The story made it seem like it was taboo for an elf and a human to love one another and fall in love, but in the end everything seemed peachy and there was no conflict. Oh well, it was still a fun story, though not my favorite from Shea. I get a little skeptical when people use elves in their stories, because in my opinion elves can only be done seriously in high fantasy by masters. Tolkien started it and I have very little patience for other versions because they seem like pale imitations.
I give this a 3 out of 5 for an average, though fun romance.