Publication Date: 11/05/2013
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Sensation
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Sensation)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, IndieBound
Thea Harrison on the WEB: Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads
Books in the series:
Dragon Bound (2011), Storm's Heart (2011), Serpent's Kiss (2011), Oracle's Moon (2012), Lord's Fall (2012), Kinked (2013)
Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
Excerpt from Kinked, courtesy of the author's website.
Two opponents must confront the cause of their obsessive fury in the latest Novel of the Elder Races…
As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
Q & A with Thea Harrison: Those participating in the blog tour were allowed to ask questions for Thea that might get answered in the Q & A. Mine was one of them!
Q: What is one of your favorite Myths/legends to write about?
A: When I started to write my reply to this question, I realized it wasn’t going to be a simple or easy answer! I’ve had so much fun with the world building in the Elder Races series. It’s almost impossible to pick just one.
I really enjoyed taking the Oracle of Delphi and putting it into a modern context for Oracle’s Moon. When I turned my attention to the witches’ demesne in Louisville, I wanted to make sure it felt as rich and developed as the rest of the world building I’d done for the other demesnes and mythological creatures. That story was fun for a lot of reasons, because I also really enjoyed building the Djinn society based on Middle Eastern legends.
Another favorite has been developing the Elves, in Lord’s Fall and continued in Kinked. And a third was when I created my own version of Vampyres in Serpent’s Kiss. I have two more Vampyre stories that I’m dying to tell. When I get excited about a story, it’s hard to wait for the right time to tell it!
Q: You've been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you and why? (All creatures, including mythological, apply.)
A: Awesome question! I think I have two answers for that one. If it was a gift, then I think it would have to be something winged and strong. I think there’s something to be said for being as fearless as a harpy, although I’m quite sure I wouldn’t win any popularity contests!
If the ability was a curse and meant to be nasty, the witch would probably turn me into my phobia—a spider! That would be the meanest, nastiest thing anybody could ever do to me!
Q: Since Aryal is a harpy and considered an immortal Wyr, how did you approach her character development in order to make her believable and someone that readers can identify with?
A: I’ll be honest, I was worried about writing Aryal. I really didn’t want to compromise her identity. Aryal has strong emotions but no real morals in the abstract sense, no true compulsion to do what is right for its own sake. She’s abrasive and dangerous… And I had to figure out how to also make her sympathetic.
My first decision was to not be in a hurry to write her story. I wanted to take the time to show her character from a couple of different points of view. The reader first sees Aryal from Pia’s perspective in Dragon Bound, but then in Storm’s Heart I was able to show Aryal from Tricks’ point of view, someone who loved her. I also wanted to make sure that humor came into the mix. Still, the real test came when I sat down and actually started writing Kinked. Then I had to get close enough to her to write her as a main POV character. It helped that I had so many established relationships and characters to work with—such as Grym, Dragos and Graydon—and the world-building in place. With that in place, I could concentrate on developing Aryal herself. I’m very grateful to my editor Cindy Hwang for providing such a supportive platform to write Kinked.
Q: Do you have an Elder Race Bible to help keep your facts start? If not, how the heck do you keep your facts start?
A: So far I’ve had two things in my favor—I’ve got a bit of a freakish memory for detail when it comes to writing, and I also have fantastic beta readers who are good at spotting issues. Still, the world has become big and complicated enough that I’ve got someone working on a series bible right now. It’s over a hundred pages by now and should be done by the end of the year.
Q: Who was the harder character to write Aryal or Quentin and why?
A: Neither character was as hard as I had feared they would be when I started Kinked. Still, Quentin was easier. I felt more confident writing his character, and I felt the stakes were pretty high on getting Aryal’s character right.
Q: Was there anything about Aryal that surprised you as her story unfolded?
A: I think I probably had the same experience as a writer that several readers have had so far in reading the book—I was surprised at how much I ended up liking and enjoying her. I wouldn’t want to rush out and befriend a real-life Aryal, but I think she’s pretty cool between the pages, and I’m really looking forward to writing more about her.
Q: In the event of an apocalypses (zombie, alien, solar flare or 4 horsemen) which of your characters would you like to team up with?
A: I would absolutely like to team up with Dragos—as long as I was someone he valued, otherwise he might ditch me in a heartbeat.
Q: What is next for the Elder Race series?
A: I’m now contracted for books 7-9, so I’m writing Graydon’s story which will be released around August of 2014. The main characters have also been decided for books 8 and 9, and I’m eager to get to those stories!
I also wrote a self-published project, a novella entitled Dragos Takes A Holiday, which releases November 25th. I loved spending time with Dragos and Pia, and their little son Peanut gets his POV debut.
It’s been a pleasure to visit with you. Thanks for having me!
When it comes to paranormal romance Thea Harrison is one of the best. Her Elder Races series is highly successful and the world building is both complex and believable. In the fifth book in the series, Kinked, readers are treated to a relationship between two very passionate characters. There is a fine line between love and hate for Aryal and Quentin and they both hit it head on. Harrison uses extreme circumstances and clever dialogue to move this story forward at a swift pace. Readers who love this series, will be very happy with the progression these characters take. New readers to the series may be a little behind, but will still enjoy this fiery relationship with all it's ups and downs.
Aryal and Quentin hate each other. They cannot stand the ground each other walks on. They fight verbally, physically, emotionally. They even go so far as to plot the murder of each other. So how can you go from total and unenviable hate to love? Thea Harrison makes it look easy in Kinked. She takes a character who has had a rather checkered past in the series and is challenged to make her likable, believable, even lovable.
Aryal is no picnic. She is abrasive, harsh and down right mean at times. She has not been the most favored character by many fans of the Elder Races series, so it was quite the task for Harrison to change minds already made up about her. She was tasked with showing Aryal's vulnerability. Showing the reasons behind her behavior beyond the fact that she is a harpy. Making her appealing to another character and to the reader enough to make her believable as a heroine and as a lover. Harrison could have compromised and 'changed' Aryal to give her that chance at love, but I'm so glad she didn't. Aryal is that same abrasive, strong willed woman we first got to know in Dragon Bound. I liked the fact that Harrison finds someone who can really stand up to Aryal in Quentin. He was the perfect compliment to her exhausting personality.
Quentin was a great hero. He had just as many flaws as Aryal, but they were different. Just as complex and annoying as she was, but not. He has secrets on top of secrets and he has something to prove. His past was nothing less than criminal and Aryal doesn't trust him. He can't even stand the sight her let alone think about loving her in the beginning. But it all starts with respect. Respect of Aryal's warrior abilities for her complete belief in her own path. Quentin can go toe to toe with this harpy and he doesn't give her any quarter. She might be a woman, but he doesn't care. She's dangerous. And so is he. What a combination!
Readers are treated to a real love/hate battle of wills and when these two finally come together it is explosive. The romance between these two is a bit different from past relationships in the series. It is edgier, grittier, darker in a sense. They are both dominate in everything they do. They want to possess each other as much as love each other and their sexual encounters prove that out. I liked the fact that Harrison ramps the tension up between these two from the beginning, so that when it does break loose it's amazing. I liked the control issues they shared and felt it was very appropriate for these two characters.
Beyond the relationship between Aryal and Quentin readers are still treated to a good story. Because of their hatred for each other Dragos believes the only way to solve their issues is to work together. He sends them on a mission into Elven lands to find out why a missing party has not returned. It turns into an adventure neither of them could have predicted. Though there is not very much new world building there is a lot of relationship building. I think Aryal and Quentin's story had to focus more on the two of them then on other things, but I would have liked to have felt like the rest of the story was just as important. As it is the other events in the book pale in comparison to the what is happening between the main characters.
Overall this is a great romance. It has an urban fantasy edge though it is strictly paranormal romance. I enjoyed the heated passion between the main characters and felt this was a good addition to the series. Harrison has been tasked with writing at least three more Elder Races books and I can't imagine they would be anything less than amazing!
Kinked will be available TOMORROW from your favorite bookseller or you can pre-order now.
I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Thea Harrison resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.
She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. Her graduate degrees are in Philanthropic Studies and Library Information Science, but her first love has always been writing fiction. She's back with her paranormal Elder Races series. You can check out her website at: www.theaharrison.com, and also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Kinked by Thea Harrison.
~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, November 18th.
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