Rating: 4.25 stars
Tammas and Aeron have just gotten over one shock to their relationship when two more happen right in a row. Emry is successful in his work on their bond and Kamala appears on their doorstep with a problem and her nephew, Firez, in tow. Firez is an old schoolmate of Tammas’ and his sister has been kidnapped by a fae. He has come to ask for their help in rescuing her, knowing it will take all the magic and the assistance of one of the fae to get her back. Firez is not totally welcome in their home. He is a part of those who hurt and bullied Tammas in school. Aeron demands payment for their help and Firez must enter into a Fairy compact if he wants their help.
Kidnapping humans to keep as thralls is illegal. Only those humans who go willingly may become thrall but kidnapping the unwary is occuring in the Fairy Court. But Tammas and Aeron know that if they can get her back, the chances of the fairies coming after her again are nil. So with the help of Aeron’s sister, Awela, Kamala, Tammas, Aeron, Awela, and Firez head out to the portal into the Fairy Realm. The plan is for Kamala to watch the portal until they are safely back while Aeron and Awela travel to the Court with Tammas and Firez disguised as their human thralls.
Once at Court, their plans become even more complicated, as the Lady holding the girl wants more humans to take her place. With danger all around them and the eyes of the Fae upon them, Tammas and Firez must act the part of human thralls right down to the collars they wear. The girl is there but unaware of who they are. All must tread delicately or the ones to pay the price will be Tammas and Firez with the cost of their freedom.
Life as a Fairy Thrall is the second story in the Fairy Compact trilogy by Katey Hawthorne. The first story, The Dangers of a Fairy Compact relates the first meeting of Tam and Aeron, although they have been connected by a fairy compact all Tam’s life. Without giving too much away of the plot of that story, it goes without saying that Fairy compacts always come with a price to be paid, ones that will resonate through the years and even alternate worlds. The trilogy is the story of Tammas and Aeron’s entwined lives and the relationship that comes out of a compact neither made of their own volition. These are not your Disneyfied fairies but the fae of old Gaelic myths and lore. Capable of great cruelty as as great good, their moods interchangeable and indeterminable. They cannot be held to human standards something humans often forget. Katey Hawthorne gives us the Fae made real, from their diaphanous wings and unworldly beauty to the power and magic that swirls around them like an aromatic.
It is through the author’s vivid descriptions and wonderful characterizations that Tammas’ world comes across as realistic as the neighborhood I live in. I can see the small cottage with its gardens and trees surrounding it, but more importantly I can feel it as the story is as tactile as moss on a stone. The magic here engages all the senses, it is smelled, and stroked. It is the burbling of a stream and the mist of the woods and that gives these stories a wonderful depth and realism, both needed when the reader needs to believe in the world and characters before her. This tactile nature of these stories carries just as vividly into the sex scenes. Who knew that winged sex could be so hot? Indeed it is so be prepared when entering Hawthorne’s fairy world or her human world either. At the end of the story we are left with Tam and Aeron’s relationship facing yet another hurdle, with another major decision to be made. It will be a hard one, full of angst as well as love. I can’t wait to see how the trilogy finishes up.
I love stories of the Fae and have since I was a child. Tinker-belle never interested me but the Fair Folk of Irish lore fascinated me as much as they had the ability to terrify me. Katey Hawthorne is giving us a wonderful trilogy in this same tradition. Start with the first one. It can be downloaded for free from either Katey Hawthorne’s website, visit http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/p/fairy-compacts.html. Or visit All Romance Publishers and download it free from there. I think you will love the stories as much as I do plus the illustrations by Ruxandra Lache are not to be missed.
The Dangers of a Fairy Compact (Fairy Compact #1)
Life as a Fairy Thrall (Fairy Compact #2)