Hunter’s Season by Thea Harrison
(Elder Races, #4.7)
In Six Words: Thea continues to delight and enthrall.
1. Dragon Bound
2. Storm’s Heart
3. Serpent’s Kiss
3.5. True Colors (Joint Review @ Ruby’s Reads)
4. Oracle’s Moon
4.5. Natural Evil (Joint Review @ Ruby’s Reads)
4.6. Devil’s Gate
4.7. Hunter’s Season
5. Lord’s Fall
Why I Continue Reading This Series
The Elder Races series is easily one of my favorites. Thea Harrison has taken everything I love about romances and put it into a series. Alpha males, strong heroines, INTRIGUE!, paranormal beasties, politics, and SEX! (What? It’s true.) It’s really no surprise that I have continued reading this series (and why I will keep reading this series as long as Thea Harrison is writing books). And no, you are NOT hallucinating. That is a 10 you see there. Hunter’s Season succeeds as a novella in a way no other has for me. It hit all my good spots.
Duty. Devotion. Desire. When fate brings two isolated people together, love is in the cards.
As a palace guard and assassin for the Dark Fae, Xanthe always wore a mask, hiding her emotions to do her duty. But when her identity is compromised, she trades undercover work for guarding Queen Niniane—a position that often brings her in contact with Chancellor Aubrey Riordan.
Aubrey’s trust is shattered. A year ago his wife tried to assassinate their new queen in his name, a betrayal of everything he believes in. And now an attack on his life is proof the dark conspiracy is not yet over. Although injured and weak, Aubrey can’t help but be drawn to this shy assassin and loyal protector. Xanthe is everything Naida wasn’t, and the passion she stirs in him is something he thought had long passed him by.
Warning: Take a man recovering from an assassination attempt, the assassin sworn to protect him, add in a magical Tarot card deck and an isolated cabin, and watch the sparks fly!
Thoughts on Book 4.7
Novellas, despite their short length, are not easy to write. Erotica lends itself well to novellas because who needs the romance? It’s about the dirt. But when it comes to writing a good romance novella–as Thea Harrison does–it is hard to present a believable romance in such a limited amount of space. And with each successive Elder Races novella, Thea Harrison continues to bring the romance (and yes, some sex, too), re-creating the same tension we love in her full-length books.
As a faithful reader of the Elder Races series, both Aubrey and Xanthe are not unfamiliar characters. But until now, they have been characters existing on the side, furthering others’ stories rather than having their own. Xanthe is one of those strong female characters–strong in physical strength and intelligence. She is the kind of character I’ve always wanted to be: a cool, calm fighter. Aubrey is the kind of character I’ve always fallen for in romances: the man strong enough to break down all the barriers the leading lady puts up in their path. And, as always, Thea Harrison has the ability to write characters I can’t help falling in love with. Every. Time.
The romance is a slow burn, setting the stage for a complete explosion once it ignites. You know. A rawr-rawr kind of explosion. I loved how Aubrey and Xanthe’s relationship blossomed over the time they spent in her cottage, how Aubrey flustered and teased Xanthe in a way that no one else could, and how Xanthe managed to get under Aubrey’s skin, forcing him to follow his instincts and fight what what he wanted. Hunter’s Season is, by far, the best Elder Races novella to date, and one of the best novellas period that I’ve read. I’m kicking myself a little for putting off reading it for so long.
If you’re caught up with the series, don’t make the same mistake I did. Go read this now. And if you’re not caught up with the series–what the hell are you waiting for?