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Monday, June 21, 2010

ARC Review: Inez Kelley - Salome At Sunrise + Giveaway

Salome at Sunrise
by Inez Kelley
On Sale Date: Jun 21, 2010
Category: Fantasy Romance, Romance, Shifters
eISBN: 9781426890253
Connected novel to Myla At Moonlight
On sale at: Carina Press

Cover Summary:
Bryton Haruk sets out on a suicide mission to stop the bloodthirsty Skullmen from terrorizing the war-weary Land of Eldwyn. Consumed by guilt over the death of his wife, Bryton seeks revenge and reunion in the afterlife with his lost love. His purpose is determined, his bravery unmatched, until the queen casts a spell to save Bryton from himself.

Salome is that spell. A bird-shifter, she can harness the earth's breeze and take the form of a beautiful, innocent woman. Her challenge is to harness Bryton's pain and guide him to peace. She entrances and irritates him, tempting Bryton from his mission. Even as he gives in to the passion between them, Bryton insists on mounting a solo attack on the brigands' compound, and Salome fears her love won't be enough to save him...

Leontine's Review: First of all, while SALOME AT SUNRISE can be read as a stand-alone I recommend reading Myla At Moonlight first to experience the full impact and character development of the core cast. Salome At Sunrise contains similar elements such as the heroine is created from a spell, soaring romance and an adversary who needs to be defeated in order for peace to settle in the land of Eldwynn.

It all begins with Bryton, he is the kings Might and Law but revenge burns bright in his soul for the skullmen and drives him to reckless behavior. The once easy-going charmer that Bryton was is gone and instead I found a bitter and angry man who is consumed by guilt and revenge. It actually shocked me a bit to find him this way and it instantly fired my curiosity what happened to him. In those first chapters I got it that something happened to his wife which fueled his recklessly pursuit of these Skullmen but to get the whole picture was a step-by-step progress.

Bryton eat, sleeps and breaths honor. He is a charmer, easy to laugh or make other people laugh and deeply loves those close to him. Still, none of these character traits were on the forefront in his own story. Bryon is grieving with a depth of true love lost and the portrayal of his character made me want him to find joy and love again. The progress of grieving and falling in love again with Salome had a few minor bumps in the road for me. Bryton grieved so intense for Katrina that at some moments it was hard to surrender myself to the attraction simmering between Salome and him. Bryton and Salome had a push-pull situation going on where Bryton did most of the pushing and Salome did most of the pulling.

Salome is created from a spell to bring peace and healing to Bryton. Salome is innocence personified but quickly learns to show her fiery side to Bryton. Her innocence and inner fire is what gives humor to their verbal sparring, sometimes Bryton would say something and would mean in figurative and Salome would pick it up literally. Salome gradually learns the ways of this world and while she keeps her wide-eyed moments of innocence, by the end of the story you know she is a woman to be reckoned with!

The Skullmen also played a significant role, not only as the adversaries, but also as the personal tormentors of Bryton. I heard via the characters of their malicious deeds and for the greater part of this story there were no actual encounters, which delivered the feeling while reading the story that their threat was a distant one. I never felt Bryton and Salome were in any danger most of the time and this only changed after two thirds in to the story.

Salome At Sunrise is a road trip romance that gives way for moments filled with many dialogues, finding out about the diabolical acts of the Skullmen and a budding passion. The focus of the story was on the main characters and their developing feelings. Salome’s center of attention was Bryton, trying to let him find inner peace and healing again. This progress contained desolate moments of pain and guilt combined with tender moments of humor and forgiveness. The romance was endearing and sweet as it was passionate and raw. Inez Kelley has a knack for making me feel all that her characters are going through, not only the main characters but also the supportive ones, as Myla and Taric also have some page time.

Inez Kelley has a lush voice creating beautiful descriptions of the backdrop allowing me to envision this world in the mind’s eye next to letting me absorb the emotions zinging between the H/h. Both elements easily let me immerse me again in the story told. I was encompassed by the all-or-nothing ending of the story and the love that crested in those scenes. SALOME AT SUNRISE is romance with a capital R, containing light fantasy elements and two characters who are a match for each other in heart and spirit. 

Bryton rolled, his eyes open, staring at the star-strewn sky. His steady rising chest belied the thunder of his heartbeat but Salome heard it clearly. He turned his head, his gaze locking with hers. Heat arced between them, not the scorch of summer or the sting of fire but a low, brewing storm that gathered strength and power. One wing twitched and she blinked. No clouds darkened the night sky but a primal tempest was coming. It would not sway the trees, it would not feed the earth. It would affect only the two of them, and the outcome would sizzle with the kiss of lightning.

The thought of Salome with another man, any man, soured his tongue. He couldn’t deny it, he wanted her. But it wouldn’t be right and she didn’t even understand why. How do you explain love to a magic spell? How do you explain the difference between raw, hard-core sex and making real love? How could he make her understand that he was afraid he’d lose Katina all over again, this time in Salome’s arms?

Inez Kelley has been so generous to add a giveaway to this review!! *woohoot* All you have to do is leave a comment to win an e-copy of SALOME AT SUNRISE. The winner will be randomly drawn on June 25th 2010. The winner will be e-mailed :)


elaing8 said...

Nice review Leontine.
please count me in for the giveaway.Fingers crossed,you're drawing on my birthday ;)


Cathy M said...

Sounds like Inez has got another winner on her hands. I really enjoyed Myla by Midnight, and am interested in seeing how Bryton's story comes together.

Happy almost birthday, Elaing8.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Sherry said...

It's been a while since I've read a book by Inez Kelley but I've always enjoyed her books.


Cecile said...

Girl, you talk about me!! You rock at your reviews! I am definitely putting this one on my list! I hope I win though, lol!
So that means count me in! LOL!

Hugs to you hon!!!

Anonymous said...

Great review. I'm going to put this on my list. Awesome cover also.

cories119 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Stella (Ex Libris) said...

Thanks for the great review, now I want to read this! :-)

Please enter me too.

Thank you!

stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

Annemiek V said...

I've read one book of Inez Kelley, Jinxed, and i liked it! This book also rings my bell, thanks Leontine for your great review. (As always! You make my wishlist larger by the day ;-))

Love Annemiek.

Leontine said...

@cories - I let random.org roll and it picked cories as the winner...congratz!!

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