Author: Nalini Singh
Publication: Harlequin; Original edition (November 15, 2011)
Description: Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.…
As the dark Lord who condemns souls to damnation in the Abyss, Micah is nothing but a feared monster wrapped in impenetrable black armor. He has no idea he is the last heir of Elden, its last hope. Only one woman knows—the daughter of his enemy.
Liliana is nothing like her father, the Blood Sorcerer who'd cursed Micah. She sees past Micah's armor to the prince inside. A prince whose sinful touch she craves. But first she has to brave his dark, dangerous lair and help him remember.
Because they only have till midnight to save Elden.
The fabled desert kingdom of Zulheina was Tariq's birthright, and he was a man who held tightly what belonged to him. And that meant he had to reclaim a very special woman--the woman who had broken his heart years before in New Zealand. And once he had lured her to this distant land, he meant to keep his new bride here forever....
But Jasmine Coleridge was not as easily tamed as he had imagined. Her beguiling blend of untouched innocence and dazzling sensuality threatened, once again, to bring the haughty sheikh to his knees--and made him wonder who was the true prisoner....
My Thoughts: This eARC contained two stories. Lord of the Abyss was a fantasy with blood sorcerers and a family that has magic powers. The abused daughter of the sorcerer - a blood sorcerer herself - goes to find the youngest son of the family to aid him in taking back his country from her father. The son - Micah - was sent away by his mother to save his life and has become the Lord of the Abyss whose duty it is to capture evil souls and consign them to the Abyss. He is an object of fear to those around him. He doesn't remember his past until Liliana gradually brings back his memory.
Micah may be an object of fear but he is still honorable and kind. His true self as a Prince of Elden is not destroyed. But it is buried under the spells cast by the blood sorcerer who wants to destry Micah's whole family.
Even though she is ugly and has no self-esteem, Micah falls in love with Liliana. He admires her courage and sense of honor. She tells him stories and makes him laugh. Her goal is to restore his memory and get him back to Elden before her father manages to completely destroy the country. She is determined to defeat her father and thinks that her death will be necessary to defeat him. She is reconciled to this until she gets to know Micah.
This was a nice romance (with some very hot love scenes) and fantasy adventure all in one.
Desert Warrior was the second story. Apparently this one was first published in 2005. It reads a bit that way with a too handsome to be true sheik and a beautiful but insecure heroine. She was forced by her family to give him up at age 18 and he has been nursing a broken heart and damaged pride ever since. Her heart was broken too but she was too young to stand up and rebel against the only family she knew. No matter how badly they treated her.
When his parents die, she goes to his desert kingdom to comfort him. Almost immediately he decides to marry her but never to trust her with his heart again. Since she loves him, she agrees. Next there are many instances of him being emotionally cruel to her as he tramples on her pride and her already low self-esteem. There are also lots of hot love scenes because, whether he will admit it or not, they do love each other.
I don't know how or why Jasmine puts up with the stuff Tariq throws at her. I would think that love could be destroyed if it were treated as badly as it was in this story. The story was filled with intense emotions and heartbreak on the way to the happy ending. It was an emotional roller coaster of a story. Very intense!
She'd grown up hearing the people her father had enslaved whispering of the four royal children, the true heirs to the jewel that was once Elden. The hope in their furtive voices had nurtured her own, fostering dreams of a future in which fear, sharp and acrid wasn't her constant companion.I got this eARC from Harlequin via NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.