Reviewed by Toni
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
When exchange student Morgan meets Tiernan Doherty, a Northern Ireland police sergeant, she’s sucked into a world of magic and love, promises and death, for the good sergeant is a faerie with promises and vows holding him to that world while his attraction to Morgan pulls him into hers. Everyone in town knows of Tiernan’s otherworldly origins and they are certain their love affair will be a disaster, but it seems destined for the two to be together if Morgan can free Tiernan from the forces binding him to his people.
I’ve given this novel, the first in the series, 5-plus stars, because the writing style is excellent, and the characters are fascinating, likable, and superb in delineation. I am, however, ambivalent about the content. The author has habit of using a word, then repeating it again and again, and after a while, this became irritating. In one paragraph alone, she uses the word “arse” six times, on one page, fourteen times. In that same chapter, the phase “stomach growled” is used eleven times, and the word “cockle” eight. This continues with other words and phrases throughout the entire novel and it got a bit tiresome after a while.
For me, the story was too long, mainly because the same conversations are repeated with variations. When people learn Tiernan is interested in Morgan, everyone warns her, “Beware Tiernan Doherty. He and his people aren’t like us. He’s dangerous,” but no one will ever come out and say exactly why. They simply make vague accusations. Once someone does say, “He kills women,” but gives no proof. Surely a statement like that should be backed up with facts? If he’s a killer and it’s well-known, why isn’t he in jail somewhere? No answer.
Several times throughout, Morgan begs various people, “Tell me about Tiernan,” but it takes over three hundred pages for someone to get around to giving her half a straight answer.
As for the women in Tiernan’s life, it seems they treat him worse than he treats them, and they do it mostly because Morgan is a threat. Their supernatural status as faeries is hinted out but no one says so directly. Indeed, there’s a great amount of hinting and reference going on. Tiernan’s also hated by someone named Connor, also bound to these two women, but again, the reason is obliquely referred to. This circumlocution was also an irritant, especially since it’s recurring.
Having given what seems a completely negative review, let me say that, contrary to popular belief, I like this story. It’s intriguing. The references to myths and legends is fascinating. The descriptions of the seashore, the seals, and so forth is beautiful. Author Perkins has a way with words making this story seem like the recounting of a contemporary fairytale; indeed, the repetition of various words and phrases that I find so annoying, if viewed in the context of telling a fable or myth, become completely acceptable. The cadence and rhythm of the conversations with their wonderful Irish lilt is melodious and captivating, giving the story a touch of mysticism and magic.
Tiernan is a remarkable creation, a man torn between two worlds, wanting to become the man he feels he’s destined to be with Morgan, but unable to free himself from Em and Withypol’s claims upon him. For some reason, when envisioning him, I kept getting an image of a young Liam Neeson. He’s a policeman, has served in the army, and apparently, even if a faerie, is totally acclimated to the human world, except for that chain of service binding him to the other realm.
NOTE: There’s a great deal of frank language but most of it will slide past those of us ignorant of Irish sexual slang, so don’t fret it.
This is the first of a series and ends on a cliffhanger. If that’s intended to make the reader want to find Book 2 and begin reading it immediately, it works, for no one is going to want to stop at Book 1. We simply have to keep going and learn how Morgan’s going to free Tiernan from the debt he owes Em!