by Amy McKinley
is an ADULT title
GENRE: Paranormal Romance
Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.
Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction?
Jade’s temples throbbed. She headed toward the east turret where she knew her mom favored her morning meals. As she burst into the room, Jade startled Aiesa. A fork clattered right before her brother, accompanied by shrieks of joy, jumped up from his chair and ran to her.
Jade pasted a wide grin on her face as she bent to pick up her half-brother. His arms wrapped around her neck was the sweetest thing ever. She sunk into his embrace and inhaled deeply, closing her eyes. He had the best little demon smell. She clutched him to her until he squirmed. Releasing him, she realized that for the first time in a while, her shoulders were relaxed. Opening her eyes, she met her mom’s gaze over her brother’s shoulders.
Her mother’s dark hair hung down in a fall of midnight. A storm of worry shone in her eyes. Aiesa half rose, her mouth forming a circle. Damn. Tension rocketed back up again. Nahl pushed at her, forcing her gaze back to him.
“Hey, little demon, you’re looking very handsome this morning.” Jade tweaked his nose.
He favored both their mother and step-demon with hair black as night and ebony eyes. And lucky for him, he inherited Xavior’s olive-toned skin, but not their mother’s deep-red lips. On Mom, they looked stunning. On a boy, well…not so much.
“I’m fierce, not handsome.” Nahl frowned at Jade, grasping her long tresses for emphasis.
“Fierce and handsome.” She chuckled. “What mayhem have you got planned today?”
He beamed as she sat him down, then scampered back to his food. “I get to go to Kristo’s to work on magic. We’re going to turn beetles into snakes.”
“That sounds like fun.” She snuck a peek at her mother, who watched her closely.
Nahl’s laugh turned wicked as he gazed his sister with glee. “Then the snakes into spiders.”
Jade shuddered. “Wonderful.” She couldn’t stand spiders as her mischievous little brother knew very well.
“Why don’t you head over early, Nahl? Cade can escort you there. He’s in the war room with your father. Go find him.” Aiesa instructed her young son.
“Okay, Mom.” Nahl hopped off his chair. A quick hug and kiss were given to their mom and Jade before he raced from the room.
“I can’t believe how much he’s grown since the last time I saw him.”
“Hmm, why don’t you have a seat, Jade?” Aiesa’s gaze never left her daughter.
“Sure.” After sitting down, Jade glanced nervously around the bright room. The sunlight streamed in, illuminating the blue and green mosaic tiles. The room emanated the feeling of being at the seaside. All it lacked was a bit of sand.
With a little illusion, Aiesa used to take her daughters to breakfast on the beach in this very room. It had been heaven. Perhaps that’s why I’m drawn to California in the human realm.
Unable to avoid it any longer, Jade met her mother’s gaze.
Grasping her hand, Aiesa asked, “The fiery orange circle around your eyes is new. How long has the Fates’ curse been active?”
Icy fingers crawled up Jade’s spine, and her stomach churned with worry with her fears confirmed by her mother’s words.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden is the first in the Five Fates Series.
Connect with Amy
Twitter: Amy McKinley@amymckinley7
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3.75 out of 5 stars
Hidden by Amy McKinley is an erotic paranormal romance that centers on one of five sister demigoddesses who have been targeted because they have been cursed by the Fates to be a threat to the gods. Jade is the first of them to have her beast awakening, seen through the effects of her paintings. She has to find her balance before the beast takes over completely, but she never suspects the major role a Worr demon named Roen will play in her struggle against the Oneiroi who seek to kill her. Finding a way to deal with Jade’s challenges and keep her alive long enough to explore the attraction between her and Roen is complicated, especially since there are so many beings who have a vested interest in the outcome, and not everyone wants the same result.
This paranormal story is a fascinating twist on the concept of the Olympic gods and their relationships with various generations of offspring. It was startling to realize that this very sensual and intense relationship that is unfolding between two very strong personalities who each have remarkable talents reflects the events taking place between non-human beings. The author does a wonderful job of personifying many of the beings that are normally seen only in myths, and the story provides intriguing insights on the conflicts between the various factions. There are great twists, such as Jade having a ‘step-demon’ in her life who is wonderfully protective of all of the daughters that came with the female he married, her gift that allows her to effect changes, and the motivation for the Oneroi Nightmare’s actions.
I think that this is theoretically the introductory tale to a series that features all five of the sisters, and as such, it is chock full of details that can be somewhat overwhelming, because there are so many conflicts and opposing factions that one almost needs a diagram to keep track of alliances and connections. The action gets a little jerky and chaotic because so many different facets are included and I suspect that things would be better if the story was a little longer so that events were able to unfold more sequentially. I am a little puzzled because it seems that two different pantheons are involved, as I thought that Helios and Apollo were the Greek and Latin names for the same deity but two different individuals are cited in this story, yet Helios is referred to as a god instead of a Titan. There are multiple strings dangling that hopefully will be addressed in future stories, and perhaps a brief index will also be included with subsequent tales to assist in keeping track of who each character is. This is a refreshingly novel look at some of the beings who populate traditional mythology and an entertaining introduction to a multiplicity of mysteries.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review.