Title: The Hellhound King
Author: Lori Devoti
Copyright: 2010 (Harlequin); 280 pgs.
Series: Silhouette Nocturne #82; Unbound #5
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Spoilers for the 4th Book!
Her: Marina Adal. Elfin princess – and a witch. Tired of being a political pawn of the royals in Alfheim, she fled to Gunngar. Her reign of terror there was nothing more than an act to keep the elf lords – a different group of elves than the royals – believing that she is on their side. Raf was the first, and only, person who made her feel she was wanted for herself, and not who she was or what she could do for him.
Him: Raf Dolg. Hellhound. Marina’s former lover. His need to avenge his family brought him to Gunngar and to the employ of the elf lords. Raf needs something they possess and all he is asked to do is spy on Marina. The last thing he expected was to start caring about her.
Elfin Politics 101: Alfheim was once ruled by royals. Marina is, it seems, the heir presumptive. However, the elf lords took power after her parents were killed. The elf lords are tech savvy and have introduced technology to Alfheim. Don’t be surprised when you see a car or a computer. Since no elf lord can claim the throne – it will only accept the true heir – they are willing to be the power behind it and they want Marina on their side. The royals, naturally, are traditionalist and want things returned to the old ways. In the power struggle to control the elfin princess, Marina’s uncle Geir has the advantage. He uses Marina’s younger sister, Ky, as leverage to keep her from fleeing Alfheim again.
What to do, what to do? Raf still needs what the elf lords have and that means he’s got to convince Marina that she’d be better off with them. However, it doesn’t take long for Raf to realize that Marina wouldn’t be any better off with the elf lords. If he turns his back on his chance for vengeance, and Marina abandons her sister again, they could leave Alfheim and start a new life together. But Raf can’t walk away and neither can Marina.
Forbidden: The elves have little tolerance for other beings, so it no big surprise that a hellhound has no business consorting with the princess. Right from the prologue, it’s established that Marina’s never met one before and that she’s fallen for Raf, big time. It breaks her heart to learn he was spying on her and she has him imprisoned. Raf is the typical hellhound — though it takes him a bit to realize that he’s in love, once he’s acknowledge it, he’ll doing anything to keep her at his side.
What I liked: Raf. I still love Ms. Devoti’s hellhounds (and garms). Like the last book, this one is also set in another world, though it does start off in our world. The dragon, the same one from Dark Crusade, makes an appearance, and if I’m not mistaken, the 6th book will feature him.
What I didn’t like: Marina. It was hard for me to reconcile the fact that this was the same character from Dark Crusade. In Dark Crusade, she’s a strong character — and the antagonist. In this book, she a helpless prisoner. If you read the two books back-to-back, you might feel disoriented. Other than that, I had no other real issue with the character. She is in a difficult position and she can no longer see a way out without help.
Recommended to: Fans of her previous books and fans of shape-shifters.
Started: 20 January 2010
Finished: 26 January 2010