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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Book Review: Storm Bound by Dani Harper book tour kickoff + giveaway

Storm Bound (Grim #2)
By: Dani Harper


From the bestselling author of Changeling Moon, this thrilling and sensual novel adds a new chapter to Dani Harper’s Celtic folklore–themed Grim Series.

Kidnapped on his wedding day in the twelfth century and forced into a thousand years of servitude by a cold-hearted faery princess, rugged blacksmith Aidan dreams of nothing but revenge on his captor. Then the spell of a beautiful witch awakens him to the present day—and a passionate desire. But to build a future, he must first confront his past…

Modern witch and magic-shop owner Brooke doesn’t think her life is missing anything, until a wayward enchantment lands a brooding medieval blacksmith in her spell room—and in her arms. Yet even after their passion proves to be truly magical, Aidan’s first commitment is to vengeance. Now Brooke must team up with friends and ancient warriors alike—and push her own powers to their limits—to save her love from the wrath of an evil fae.


I am a sucker for anything fae. Well, more like anything fae and male <G>. This is book two in the Grim Series. Just like in, Storm Warrior (book #1), Harper  created a unique twist on the Black Dog mythos and the ancient Welsh Tylwyth Teg (fae) and wove it into a tale set in our modern world. Each book has a romance between a modern time heroine and a hero who had been kidnapped by the fae and turned into a Grim for the fae’s amusement or for punishment. The men break free of their curse, but find themselves in a new land (America) and dealing with a world that has moved on without them, all the while trying to avoid being recaptured by the fae, because we all know the fae don’t like to lose. Harper has created touching stories about love and loyalty with an added bonus of humor. What do you think happens when you take a Welsh man born 1000 or 2000 years ago and drop him into the life of a modern woman? Exactly!

Storm Bound is about Aidan ap Llanfor. He was taken by the fae princess Celynnen on his wedding day because she wanted a toy. When he wouldn’t become her lover she turned him into a Grim. He finds an unlikely friend in the Lord of the Wild Hunt, Lurien. I have to admit Lurien is my favorite character and he plays a prominent role in this story. He has watched The Nine Realms Kingdom fall into chaos after the king was murdered. The queen is barley holding on to power and the unbalance in the fae world is leaking into ours. He has an agenda and providing Aiden with a chance to escape will further his own plans.

Brooke is a witch with real powers based in earth magic. She finally has her own shop where she creates spells to help and heal people. Lately she has been getting a lot of magical signs like the exact same tarot card reading nine times in a row. When a spell goes wrong, or maybe right, she brings Aidan into her life. He is full of vengeance for the one who took his life away 1000 years ago and still clinging to a memory of an old love.

The main story of the book is the romance between Aidan and Brooke, but the subplot that runs through the series about the Tylwyth Teg and what is happening in their kingdom is what appeals to me the most. Harper has done a lot of research in Welsh mythology and earth magic. Sometimes the amount of information included overshadows the story in places. I liked book one a little better, but having Lurien with his flowing black hair and black leathers riding the fae horse Bayard in the Wild Hunt just makes my heart go pitter patter. I am also thrilled she connected the two books through a friendship between Brooke and ­­­­Morgan from book one. The two ex Grims meet. Makes me think Haper has some other hidden subplot cooking.


Read my 5 sheep review of Storm Warrior

4 “Lord of the Wild” Sheep





Sharon Stogner

Excerpt
Celynnen wanted what she wanted. And what the princess wanted from him was everything, both body and soul. Most of all, she wanted him as a willing partner in her bed. The Fae had often been known to seek out human lovers as diversions, but Aidan ap Llanfor had been determined to die before complying with his captor’s wishes in any way.

But it hadn’t been that easy.

He was still chained in the courtyard when she came to him one night, dressed in little more than moonlight. Her hair cascaded wildly down her smooth backside like a waterfall of silver, her shapely arms open to reveal her flawless breasts caressed by a transparent fabric that seemed to have tiny stars woven into it. The see-through material wandered its sparkling way between her legs, illuminating the perfection of her vee before winding around her angled hips. Her long legs were naked, her delicate feet bare except for an exquisite silver bracelet around one perfectly-turned ankle. Tall and lithe, bold in her nakedness, she was a goddess: Diana the Huntress stalking the earth with the moon as her consort.

Aidan’s chains fell away as she lightly grasped one of his hands. “Come with me.” Her voice was a soft sultry whisper. Her other hand drew a circle around the luscious nipple of her breast and she licked her lips in such a way that a tiny droplet of sweat ran down his spine in spite of himself. “Let me show you the pleasures of my bed, dearest Aidan. Do mortals not sing songs of the skills of faery lovers?”

Such unearthly beauty coupled with such an alluring offer would have brought a lesser man to his knees. But while Aidan’s memories might be slowly fading under the influence of the faery realm’s magic, he refused to forget that this inhuman creature was his captor, the despoiler of his life, the one who had plundered whatever dreams he might have had. He was less than a slave to her; he was a temporary plaything, a toy, and he knew it.

He spat at her, marring the nearly invisible fabric right over the spot where her icy heart likely lay. “I’ll not be your pet,” he declared, fully aware of his danger. Although Celynnen appeared to have no weapon, she was more than capable of killing him with a single word. Aidan stood straight, calmly waiting for the death blow to fall, his only regret that he was unable to fulfill his vow to bring about her demise as well.

The blow didn’t come. He could see the fury in her iridescent eyes, the sharp relief of her features as an unholy anger lit them from within. “You are gravely mistaken, mortal,” she said, and her voice was deep with rage. “You will be my pet for as long as I will it.”

A shard of green lightning suddenly snaked down from a cloudless night sky and wrapped itself around him.

“You will learn to do much more than merely obey me,” she declared, as a violent seizure threw him to the ground. Every muscle and tendon, each bone and sinew, suddenly seemed to tear apart from each other and reshape themselves. Convulsing uncontrollably, he would have screamed from the pain had he been able to draw enough breath.

“You will learn to devote yourself to me until you crave my every wish,” she intoned.

The bones in his face felt as if they’d exploded, reforming into something alien. His spine stretched torturously until his tailbone uncurled and grew, adding fresh agony to his suffering. Skin split and reknit, fingers shortened, toes lengthened. He was able to draw in a great sucking gasp of air just as the torment reached a crescendo – and his scream came out as a long, hideous howl. The sound rose into the night sky like a live thing, as if to plead with the stars themselves for an end to the unbearable. Perhaps they heard him. His body was still ablaze with pain, but compared to what he’d just been through, he could shoulder it. Panting heavily for breath, he lay on his side with his eyes closed.

“You will learn to adore me with every breath you take,” she said finally, emphasizing each word. “Until every thought you have is of your undying love for me.”

Damn that to hell. Aidan fought to get up then, his eyes opening to a new nightmare. His strong hands and powerful arms, the instruments of his craft, were gone. Instead, long legs stretched out before him, ending in enormous paws. The blackest of fur shrouded his skin, and a long dark muzzle intruded on his field of sight. He glanced about, taking in the thickly muscled torso and haunches, and the strange new appendage of a tail, and as he struggled unsteadily to his feet, Celynnen laughed.

“Did I not say you would be my pet?” She stood boldly in the bright moonlight, her all but naked body silvered by it. There was something silver in her hands too, a great wide band crafted of intricate links.

What she held was a collar, as if he was truly and completely a dog. With a lion-like roar, he leapt at her with bared fangs, bent on tearing out her marble-white throat. His fearsome teeth never connected however. She backhanded him with such power that he struck the stone wall he’d been chained to and left an impression in it, sliding to the ground in a dazed heap. He tried to rally himself for another lunge, but at a word from Celynnen he was tied with invisible bonds as securely as if he’d been bound with iron chains from his own forge. Even his muzzle was spelled shut, so that all he could do was curl his lip and snarl at her.

Her perfect face was smug with satisfaction as she knelt beside him and placed the heavy collar around his thick neck. There was no clasp. Instead she ran a finger over the links and recited some sort of spell in a language Aidan had never heard. The collar knit itself together as if it was a live thing, and he winced inwardly as he heard the final snick of the last link.

Still kneeling, she smiled radiantly at him and suddenly it seemed as if her beauty intensified somehow. “I think I like you much better like this,” she said, and every word was an unwanted caress. … In the same moment that she vanished, he was freed from whatever magic had held him helpless, and he rose slowly to his feet.

He was no dog.

Massive and powerful, Aidan ap Llanfor was as far from a pet as a dragon was from a housecat. Celynnen had made him one of the most feared creatures in Welsh legend. He was a grim, the gwyllgi of stories told ’round the fire, the barghest of lore: a monstrous black hound charged with one errand only – to be an omen of death to those unlucky enough to see him.

Within moments he felt the tug and pull of some invisible force.






About the Author:
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Dani Harper is a former newspaper editor whose passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing paranormal fiction. A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, Dani recently ventured south with her husband to rural Washington to be closer to their grown children. She is the author of Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn, as well as First Bite, a Dark Wolf Story, and Storm Warrior, the first book in the Grim Series.




TOUR GIVEAWAY: NOTE - Contest open to US/Canada/UK
GRAND PRIZE: A signed paperback copy of STORM BOUND, an MP3-CD of STORM WARRIOR, a set of the LLEWELLYN TAROT cards, a Celtic-style blank journal, a Celtic symbol pendant (pewter), a pewter magnet of a “black dog” (mastiff), plus a Dani Harper tote bag and swag.

RUNNERS UP: 10 runners up – Reader’s choice of a Kindle ebook from Dani’s backlist (Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, Changeling Dawn, First Bite or Storm Warrior) Note – if you do not own a Kindle, Amazon provides a free app for your computer, iPad, or smartphone so you will be able to read this ebook.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

38 comments:

  1. Dani Harper is a new to me author, but I'm intrigued thanks to your sharing of the cover on Pinterest ;) I've added this to my reading list because I love stories about warriors from an earlier time getting plunked in the modern world. Thanks for the tease, Sharon. Now I want to know why he's wet!

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  2. Congrats to Dani on the new release! It looks and sounds fantastic!!! This definitely on the top of my wishlist now!

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  3. Huge thanks to I SMELL SHEEP for inviting me to their blog --- I really appreciate being able to kick off my book tour here amongst the flock. :) Thank you for the well wishes too!

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  4. wonderful mix of historical and paranormal!

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  5. Great excerpt. This series sounds cool. Can't wait to read what happens next.

    mythic021@gmail.com

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  6. Lovely review, adding this one to my neverending wishlist as well!

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  7. I'm reading this now! Timed it so I finished my last book last night so I was free to start this one as soon as I woke up and it was downloaded to my Kindle! I'm loving it so far and I just got to where the link between Brooke and Morgan came up and got ridiculously excited at the connection! Lol!

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  8. Congrats to Dani on the new release! I haven't read any of her books but they do sound amazing. I will have to correct this problem right away :) Thank you for the giveaway!

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  9. Where have you been all my life. After reading the reviews and looking at Dani's Goodreads page I went right away and ordered the Audible edition of these two Grim series books. YEAH. I just finished the Outlander series so I was ready for something else good. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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  10. Congrats Dani on your new release with Book 2 in the Grimm series. I loved Book 1 and look forward to reading Storm Bound. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  11. Congrats Dani on your new release with Book 2 in the Grimm series. I loved Book 1 and look forward to reading Storm Bound. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  12. Congrats Dani on your new release with Book 2 in the Grimm series. I loved Book 1 and look forward to reading Storm Bound. Thanks for the opportunity.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

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  13. This book sounds so good. Looking forward to reading this one. I've really enjoyed your other books.

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  14. What an exciting book! I have added it to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt.

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  15. Looking forward to reading this new installment. Congratulations!!!! I wish you every success and joy :)

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  16. First time on this blog. Sounds like a great book. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  17. Love this blog!! Can't wait to read this!! Congratulations on the release!!

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  18. Love Dani's books so can't wait to start this series

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  19. Greatly enjoyed both the review and excerpt! Thanks to all for the great contest!

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  20. Great giveaway! Thank you so much.
    I bought and will read, as soon as I re-read Storm Warrior....lol (I have a memory problem)...;-)

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  21. I loved the first book in the series and have been eagerly awaiting the next. Great review and excerpt.

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  22. I have loved Dani's books for years and will add these to my wish list

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  23. i love Dani`sbooks they are all so great and fun to read thanks so much for the giveaway

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  24. I have heard great things about this author and this series. I definitely would like to read this one for sure. I love paranormal and several of her series look awesome. Thanks for the great giveaway.

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  25. Thank you I Smell Sheep for hosting Dani!

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  26. Congratulations Dani. Thank you for this giveaway.

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  27. I love the premise of this and can't wait to read it.

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  28. Thank you for the chance. Love the covers.

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  29. A great blog hop. Would enjoy reading your book.

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  30. I love Dani Harper. Congratulations on the new book!

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  31. Just found all the sites and blogs. The books look so cool. Can't wait to read them!

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  32. Congratulations Dani! I can't wait to start reading the book =D
    Joanna Moreno

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  33. Congrats on the new release - this is on my TBR list!

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  34. Thank you I Smell Sheep for hosting Dani!

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  35. I just can't wait!!! I really want to read this book - sounds so great! =)

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