Lady Veronica Elal has been freed from her tower—and entered a life of servitude. It doesn’t matter that her wizard master has odd ideas about circumventing Convocation tradition and making their relationship equal. Nic prides herself on her practicality and that means not pretending her marriage is full of hearts and flowers. Besides she understands that, despite her new husband’s idealism, they face obstacles so great the pair of them could be crushed to nothing, even without dashing themselves brainless trying to fight the Convocation.
Lord Gabriel Phel has come this far against impossible odds. He was born with powerful wizard magic, the first in his family in generations. He’s managed to begin the process of reinstating his fallen house. And—having staked his family’s meager fortune to win a familiar to amplify his magic, a highborn daughter to be mother to his children, his lady, and lover—he rescued Nic in a distant land, successfully bringing her home to House Phel. Though she’s cynical about their chances of success, he’s certain they can defy their enemies and flourish. Together.
But, the more Gabriel discovers about working with the fiery Nic, attempting to learn the finer points of wizardry and marriage, the more illicit fantasies plague him. His need for Nic—and the dark cravings she stirs in his black wizard’s heart—grow daily. Though Nic has reconciled herself to being possessed by Gabriel—and indeed yearns for even more from her brooding and reluctant master—creating a new life for herself isn’t easy. Especially when Gabriel seems determined to subvert the foundation of her world. Starting with her father.
This is a good sequel to Dark Wizard, which I reviewed and enjoyed. I’m a bit grumpy that it ends on a cliff hanger, although I appreciated that the cliff hanger doesn’t have to do with Nic and Gabriel’s relationship. When I reread this book, I struggled a bit with the pacing, but I also found it fairly absorbing both times I read it. I would not recommend picking up this book before reading Dark Wizard because it follows closely on the events that ended Dark Wizard. Nic and Gabriel have to navigate their relationship and how it differs from the one they had imagined, figure out what their life together will look like, and deal with the repercussions from their actions in the previous book. That last part is a bit of a spoiler. Continue reading