Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Conall Dary is the most powerful mage born to the Fae race since the Realm was parted from the human world, over two thousand years ago. But that very power condemns him to a lifetime of celibacy, because sex calls to power, and he has power enough to drain a world. When he refuses to use his talents for a Noble lady’s petty revenge, he finds himself shanghaied to the human world, his soul torn in half and his magick blocked.
Josh LaFontaine is the beautifully inked owner of Raging Art-On, a Washington, D.C. tattoo and piercing parlor. While taking part in New York City’s Pride march with a former lover’s dance company, his world changes forever when the man of his dreams materializes out of nowhere at his feet . Josh’s sensual and loving touch, the first Conall has ever known, may be enough to give him back the magick he’s lost. But before they can complete their Soulshare, a terrible accident leaves Conall bodiless, lost, and invisible, to everyone except – maybe – the human with whom he shares a soul. But Josh will need to find him before the ancient evil of the Marfach does or everything they have – and more – will be lost.
Hard As Stone, the first in the SoulShares series, pulled me wholeheartedly into Rory Ni Coileain’s amazing collision of fantasy and contemporary urban American society. I found her world building amazing, her characters complex and compelling and the drama and pain of a soul ripped in two irresistible. How was she going to top it, I wondered? Gale Force is the answer and an outstanding one to boot!
At the end of Hard As Stone, after Fae Tiernan Guaire and human Kevin Almstead have united in the SoulShares bond, we were informed that more were Fae coming and that Tiernan, Kevin and the bar Purgatory had to be ready. But no one could have been prepared for the next Fae to be hurled through the Pattern, his soul ripped in two. That would be the most powerful mage ever born, Conall Dary. If there is a complete opposite of the sexy, sarcastic Tiernan, it would be Conall Dary. Virginal, lonely, he is so powerful that he has kept everyone at bay and himself isolated because he feared the damage he could inflict. That isolation has also made him a target and somewhat naive as to what the other Fae are capable of. That outlook and a refusal to use his power for petty revenge gets him tossed out of the Realm in the worst way possible.
The author’s descriptions of the Fae Realm and its inhabitants are sharp and complete in both the emotions and characters involved. Their pettiness is on a scale we find horrific as is the manner in which they demand their “requests” be attended to. That Conall is too good for this Realm is immediately understood, although not by him. He has internalized the Fae culture’s image of himself and the damage that has caused his self image is acute. I fell in love with Conall here and that love only deepened once he fell at the feet (literally) of Josh LaFontaine during a Pride parade.
Josh LaFontaine. Here is another character to love. Covered in his own ink, magic swirls around him. I loved him for his bravery, compassion, and determination. Such a remarkable character and those tats of his…well, that’s one of the highlights of this story and I won’t spoil it for you here. With each new couple and their passage to a SoulShares bond, the series gets better, the evil that is the Marfach becomes more diabolical, and the scope of the plot widens to show that the author’s plan for all her characters is more complicated and delightful than I had anticipated.
Yes, that magnificent monster, the Marfach is back and even more determined to return to the Realm of the Fae. Rory Ni Coileain’s ability to drive up the suspense and impression of evil is marvelous. The Marfach is so twisted that you can almost smell the stench. What a creation! And now that it resides in the poor reanimated flesh of the bouncer, we get the thoughts of both beings in one. That aspect of this story only serves to amp up our anticipation of the evil to come. Love that about this stoy too!
Gale Force is one wild fantasy ride! It has it all. A virginal hero (and Fae at that), magic, a monster, and a forever love waiting to be found. Rory Ni Coileain delivers it all in a fast paced, vividly described and beautifully detailed story you won’t want to put down. I am on to the next in the series, Deep Plunge. Put this book and the other SoulShares stories on your TBR list. It is one of ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Must Reads!
Cover art: Not credited which is fine because there is nothing that really speaks to the story within on the cover.
ebook, 230 pages
Published March 12th 2013 by Ravenous Romance (first published March 10th 2013)
Books in the SoulShares series in the order they were written and should be read are:
Hard As Stone (Soulshares #1)
Gale Force (SoulShares #2)
Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3)
Firestorm (SoulShares #4)