Review: Kinked by Thea Harrison (Elder Races #6)
November 5 2013
Mass Market Paperback
Received from publisher
Yummy Man – Quentin
Kick Ass Chick – Aryal
From Goodreads –
As a harpy, Sentinel Aryal is accustomed to dealing with hate, but Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn manages to inspire in her a burning ire unlike anything she’s ever known. Aryal believes the new Sentinel to be a criminal, and vows to take him out as soon as the opportunity arises. But the harpy’s incessant wrath has pushed Quentin to the limit, and forces him to make a deadly vow of his own.
To put an end to the conflict, Dragos, Lord of the Wyr, sends them on a reconnaissance mission to the Elven land of Numenlaur. Forced to work together, Aryal and Quentin’s mutual antagonism escalates. Each fight draws forth more passion—culminating in an explosively sexual confrontation. But when their quest reveals real danger, Aryal and Quentin must resolve their differences in ways beyond the physical, before the entire Wyr is threatened.
Kinked is the sixth book in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races paranormal romance series. This is a good series. The creatures you encounter are unique to this genre and the writing is phenomenal. There is a real reason why Thea’s books have gotten so popular, so quickly.
Kinked follows Quentin (a panther shifter/elf/fae hybrid) and Aryal (a harpy) as they are forced to work out their differences only to realize that they are in fact, mates. Aryal is a bitch. Plain and simple. But she’s a harpy and harpies are simply not the most social of creatures. On top of that, Aryal is not the most trusting person and she is incredibly loyal to those she cares about. So if you even look like you are going to mess with someone in her inner circle, watch out. That is why she has had Quentin on her radar lately. She feels there is something malicious about him. She feels he is out to hurt Dragos and will do anything to prove that she is right.
Quentin did do something to hurt Dragos but Aryal can’t find proof. Doesn’t mean she won’t keep trying. She is obsessed over it and it causes both Quentin and Aryal’s tempers to flare. They are always kicking the sh*t out of each other over the smallest of things. But enough is enough. Dragos has reached his limit and has sent them off on a mission together in order to work things out.
I like this idea. In romance books, I need to have lots of couple time. I need to have lots of alone couple alone time – and I’m not just talking about sex. The author needs to convince me that yes, these two are truly meant to be together and the best way to do that is to give lots of time to the pair on the page. And that is exactly what happens in Kinked.
I can’t say I felt strongly one way or another for Quentin before this book. Yes, we saw him here and there but not really enough for me to like him or hate him. After his book, I like him. I like him a lot. He’s different from any other male character in this series – and there are a lot of male characters in this series. Thea does a great job with that – making each character unique in a series with tons of characters. Quentin is definitely an alpha but he is almost understated about it. He’s not in your face all the time – except with Aryal. There is just something about her that makes him crazy. He is wonderful with her (once things settle down and they start acting civil) and they end up being a really good match.
Aryal and her temper were just about to get on my nerves when Dragos pulled her in and forced her to re-think things. She really is a great character once you get past the snarky and hard exterior. It was nice to see her softer side.
The story was interesting. Aryal and Quentin must travel back to one of the elven lands to check up on things. Of course, things don’t go as smoothly as they expected them to and they encounter someone that has other plans for them. I liked the twist. It helped us see how Aryal and Quentin deal with stressful situations and it showed how naturally they rally together. It also brought, what I feel is, an important obstacle for Aryal. This obstacle really helped develop her character further. It helps us understand harpies and other flying wyr and it showed how easily Quentin can sooth Aryal when needed. Everything made sense in the story for me. Well, everything but one thing.
Most people talk about the ‘scene with the crop’, and I’m an going to be one of those people too. There is a certain BDSM undertone to this book. At first, I have to admit that I didn’t love that this was in the book and that it felt almost like it was just added because it is the fad of the moment. I am tired of this trend. BDSM is not new and people acting like it is drives me nuts. Also, it is everywhere and often, it is horribly done. Thanks to that, I am annoyed by it now. And seeing it in this book, one of my favorite series, bugged me. But Aryal and Quentin never really go into the whole BDSM thing with each other. It’s more the control aspect of it that they use and that really works for them seeing that they are both extremely alpha and need to be in control in all aspects of their lives. To be able to give up control to the other person is a huge sign of trust and of growing love. But there is a scene with a crop. I understand the reason for the crop in this scene. I understand that it is how one character decided they must transform internal emotional anguish into physical pain to deal. But it felt oddly done. And it came out of nowhere, even though BDSM was teased throughout the book. It didn’t fit for me. And unfortunately it’s one of the last scenes of the book so the bad taste it put in my mouth stayed longer than if the scene was one of the first. But that didn’t really kill my liking of the book, it just made me scratch my head a little. I didn’t see the necessity of the scene or of the mention of BDSM at all really. Control is one thing, BDSM is another.
All in all though, this was a solid installment. I enjoyed it and found Aryal and Quentin to be fun to read. Their ‘hatred’ for each other translated to some heated and super sexy scenes and their tender moments brought a true smile to my face. I can’t wait to see how these two fare in future installments.
Kinked, continued the series nicely. I would definitely recommend this book to readers of the genre.
Books in the Elder Races series –
Dragon Bound (#1)
Storm’s Heart (#2)
Serpent’s Kiss (#3)
True Colors (#3.5)
Oracle’s Moon (#4)
Natural Evil (#4.5)
Devil’s Gate (#4.6)
Hunter’s Season (#4.7)
Lord’s Fall (#5)
The Wicked (#5.5)
Dragos Takes A Holiday (#6.5)