Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My friend was so right. This story definitely had shades of Harlequin Presents, with a little Romeo and Juliet thrown in--the feuding families, not the starcrossed lovers.
Celino is a butthead. A sexy one, but a butthead all the same. He could not be more of an arrogant, Harlequin Presents-type hero.
Meli, well she's definitely got more brass than the usual heroine in that line. And she's completely badass. I have to admit, I would have liked it better if she almost tried to kill him before they got together. Is that wrong of me?
This was short and sweet, and it made me feel things. I felt Meli's rejection and broken heart, her loneliness at being jilted and made unmarriageable as a result. I felt Celino's confusion at finding the perfect woman, and not knowing how to get and keep her. I felt the attraction and steam between this pair. I felt that their bond was stronger than anything that could keep them apart.
Ilona Andrews is a very talented writer. Her style is brisk, atmospheric and involving. She has a noir feel to her storytelling that I love. In this story, there is a vivid, naturalistic grace to the scenes and the setting. I could clearly see the bright colors and smell the dahlias that play such a large role, taste the pink wine, sweet coffee, and fruity dessert pastry that Celino would die for. In marked contrast, there are skillfully-executed science fiction elements, painting a vision of the future on another planet where fighting families have formed business empires that bring a new meaning to the word cutthroat, all delivered with a cinematic poise. The sci-fi setting was a deliberate mislead on the part of the author, in my opinion. Actually, this is a story of an arranged-marriage couple turned enemies turned lovers that feels so earthbound and familiar, although done in such a unique way.
Silent Blade is short and sweet. It's not action-packed, so don't look for that. Instead, it's a tender surprise of a love story that is delightfully old-fashioned, despite the futuristic setting. This was a real class act.
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