by Irene Chandler, futuristic (2008)
Liquid Silver Books, $4.75, ISBN 978-1-59578-472-8
The Shining One is an enjoyable fantasy story, but the romantic elements don't really work for me as the main characters generate as much steam as a broken down heater in winter. Set in a completely different world, one that I'd wager is a post-apocalyptic version of Earth a long time into the future, this one sees a band of nomads called the Sahirei traveling to a place called the Mirrorwoods. With them is our heroine, the woman who currently goes by the name Quinnevra Archer, and a mysterious healer known as Lorr. Quinn and Lorr will become attracted to each other as they and Sahirei encounter a few dangerous adventures in their journey.
Blissfully free of the more awkward nomenclature system of some fantasy romances out there, The Shining One is a very readable glimpse into the life of the nomadic folks of Sahirei. The author has done a very good job in making the setting come to life without making her setting come off as too generic or unoriginal. The pacing is good and the characters are wonderfully normal without being too over the top or superheroic. No "mate mate mate" stuff here, no magic babies, and no weird alien sex.
The thing is, the characters are not very believable as people who are attracted to each other. The author pretty much just tell me that those two are attracted to each other without showing me why this would happen. As a result, the romance feels tacked on and even lifeless.
Therefore, while I enjoy reading The Shining One, it's because of the fantasy elements that appeal to me. As a romance, this one doesn't really do it for me.
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