Monday, May 6, 2013

Waves of Change by Nulli Para Ora

Water gives life, but under the control of a secret race of people, the most abundant element on earth can be a powerful weapon. The Leuk Ahnal have a unique connection to water—they can manipulate it, use it for communication, or even use it to take over another person’s body.

The five kingdoms of the Leuk Ahnal have remained hidden from mankind for millennia. A secret war has been raging between two of these kingdoms, the Ver-Rist Tokos and the Pa lel. The Ver-Rist Tokos king has his eyes set on taking over all the Leuk Ahnal, but the Pa lel stand in his way.

Hot on the trail of his enemy, a Pa lel enforcer discovers the love of his life. But there's a problem. The Ver-Rist Tokos have an unexplained interest in her.

Water is power when two kingdoms fight for control. Is one man’s love enough to protect his woman from the threat beneath the surface?

Where to Buy

"I need to get her wet" - This book starts out with one of the best opening lines ever, and somewhat sets the tone for all that follows. A sweet and sexy romance, it's refreshing to see that even though Alicia and Daniel are highly attracted to one another right from the outset, they don't rush into bed with one another, but take it slow and get to know one another first before they take that step and make it a physical relationship as well. Granted, this is more because of Alicia's inexperience (yes, she's a virgin at the start) and her hesitance to agree to having sex before she knows him, but it speaks well of Daniel's character that he's willing to take it slow and wait for her to be ready for it. In fact, it's Daniel that puts a halt to things between them a couple times because he can tell she's not really ready yet and is just caught up in the moment.

Both Alicia and Daniel are very real and believable characters. Though with Alicia, I do find it hard to believe that she could really be a noted surgeon at only 24, because while child prodigy stories of kids going to college at 13 and getting two doctorates before they've even reached legal drinking age are OK in fiction, it's not something that would really happen in reality I think. That's a discussion for a different venue though, so while I'll note that it did hurt the story's credibility a little bit for me, it ultimately wasn't a big enough sticking point to hurt my enjoyment of it. The characterization was done so well that it was quite believable that Alicia would have some problems dealing with someone being romantically interested in her. She may be quite confident in her abilities as a surgeon, but she's a bit lacking in confidence in her attraction as a woman given her limited experience with social interactions. It was nice to see that even though she questioned why Daniel would be interested in her, she didn't get all twisted up in knots unwilling to believe that he could be as happens in so many books, but instead she was willing to just go with it and give it a chance between them despite her puzzlement and shyness.

I'm not entirely sure if Daniel was intended to be an alpha male type character or not. At times he displays such tendencies, such as getting instantly jealous at the thought of his buddy Chris or anyone else touching her, and his nearly blinding rage when she was threatened and/or attacked because someone was messing with his woman and he felt the instinctive need to protect her. At others he was rather too laid back and easy going to be very alpha male though, particularly with how he so easily and naturally opted to take things slow with Alicia and never tried to push her or overwhelm her with demonstrations of how much he wanted her and never tried to claim her before she was ready and really willing to join with him fully. I think he could have and maybe should have been a little more assertive at times, though in the end, he was assertive and take-charge about things when he really needed to be so I can't fault him all that much, but, yeah, for my tastes it would have suited me a bit better if he'd been just a tad more caveman about things between them than he was, but that's just personal preference on my part. I still wouldn't say no if I ever met a guy with a personality like his in real life.

The side story of why Alicia is being hunted by the rogue king is interesting, though every time she is in danger from them things seem to be worked out just a little too easily. This is true for a few smaller incidents along the way, and for the main climax scene at the end. From the standpoint of a political thriller/suspense plot, it's a bit disappointing, but this is primarily a romance, not an action thriller, so it's forgivable. Still, it would have hurt for the suspense to have been drawn out a bit longer than it was to heighten the tension and keep the reader on the edge of their seat a bit more.

Overall, this was a wonderful read, and one I'd highly recommend to lovers of paranormal romance, particularly those who like their stories to be on the sweet and light side rather than dark and edgy. If you simply must have a chest-thumping alpha male who totally dominates his heroine, then this is probably not the book for you, but if you like stories with a strong heroine and a hero that's willing to compromise at least on most things, then read on, for you'll most likely enjoy this one. 4½ stars for a highly entertaining and sigh-inducing read.

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