My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames
In this third installment of the Royal House of Shadows series, we see a Little Red Riding Hood theme. Our heroine Reda is a cop who froze during a robbery, causing her partner to get shot (she feels the weight of guilt and blame of his death, feeling she is such a coward). So she has since taken a leave of absence from the force, and is instead hunting down a painting and book. We enter the story as she gets the book.
We are given little snippets and hints that her mother gave her this one of a kind book about Little Red Riding Hood when she was a child, then told her all would become clear once she was 16. But her mother died, and her no-nonsense father felt that any little bit of magic (the dreams about the book Reda had) was bs. So Reda was shoved in therapy. In the book, there’s a picture of the wolf prince who always seemed to have Little Red in a trance, a sensual haze so to speak, as if she were brainwashed (Reda’s reasoning not mine). Then there’s the woodsman. Oh the sexy sexy woodsman. What will it take for Reda to understand that Dayn is both?
Dayn is Nicolai and Breena’s brother, and in his prologue, he is every bit the spoiled prince. But he overhears the battle through his father’s mind-speak, and carries that guilt that due to his selfishness, his family died. Well, really, he just wasn’t there to fight, that’s all, but he sees it the other way. In fact I got really tired of being “told” he was being/acting selfish, when I felt he was behaving normally. This was a common theme throughout the book, which it bugged me so much. Just as Reda’s cowardice is constantly thrown in our faces-it was obnoxious. Either show me she’s a coward, or show me she sees herself as one, but don’t keep telling me she is. I find it hard to see a female cop as coward. She should have had a different profession. So, Reda’s back in therapy, because not just her partner’s death, but the dreams of Little Red are back. But she’s drawn to the book, she couldn’t stop searching if she tried. And once she reads the book, she ends up in Dayn’s world.
Dayn was thrown to the Wolfyn realm. He has hidden his identity from the vampire-hating Wolfyn, and has instead stayed low on the radar. But he knows his guide is coming and once she’s there, he’ll have 4 days to make it to his ancestral home to take it back. But Dayn holds more than just his identity secret, his Big Secret (which is spoiled in the blurb of the book-not cool) causes Reda to have a massive freak-out. And that’s where I stopped liking her. It really made me mad. She had come a long way, and then she reverted to her “cowardly” self. I spoke with a friend of mine and we both felt that based on what we, the readers, were given, Reda’s behavior was unreasonable and confusing. Her brainwashing and entrancing issues were not well-done, so it felt confusing. I had to figure out that her problem with the Wolfyn was that she didn’t want to be entranced.
I did really like the ending, and the set up for the coming battle…you know, THE battle. The one each book has been gearing up for. I liked how Reda finally grew up, and I liked Dayn. Hopefully he can unite the Wolfyn and the Vampires.
**ARC courtesy of netgalley.com