I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
by Thea Harrison
Released: November 5, 2013
Series: Elder Races #6
Published by Berkley
Hi Thea and welcome back to Under the Covers. Congrats on the release of Kinked!
What is one of your favorite Myths/legends to write about?
When I started to write my reply to this question, I realized it wasn’t going to be a simple or easy answer! I’ve had so much fun with the world building in the Elder Races series. It’s almost impossible to pick just one.
I really enjoyed taking the Oracle of Delphi and putting it into a modern context for Oracle’s Moon. When I turned my attention to the witches’ demesne in Louisville, I wanted to make sure it felt as rich and developed as the rest of the world building I’d done for the other demesnes and mythological creatures. That story was fun for a lot of reasons, because I also really enjoyed building the Djinn society based on Middle Eastern legends.
Another favorite has been developing the Elves, in Lord’s Fall and continued in Kinked. And a third was when I created my own version of Vampyres in Serpent’s Kiss. I have two more Vampyre stories that I’m dying to tell. When I get excited about a story, it’s hard to wait for the right time to tell it!
You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you and why? (All creatures, including mythological, apply.)
Awesome question! I think I have two answers for that one. If it was a gift, then I think it would have to be something winged and strong. I think there’s something to be said for being as fearless as a harpy, although I’m quite sure I wouldn’t win any popularity contests!
If the ability was a curse and meant to be nasty, the witch would probably turn me into my phobia—a spider! That would be the meanest, nastiest thing anybody could ever do to me!
Since Aryal is a harpy and considered an immortal Wyr, how did you approach her character development in order to make her believable and someone that readers can identify with?
I’ll be honest, I was worried about writing Aryal. I really didn’t want to compromise her identity. Aryal has strong emotions but no real morals in the abstract sense, no true compulsion to do what is right for its own sake. She’s abrasive and dangerous… And I had to figure out how to also make her sympathetic.
My first decision was to not be in a hurry to write her story. I wanted to take the time to show her character from a couple of different points of view. The reader first sees Aryal from Pia’s perspective in Dragon Bound, but then in Storm’s Heart I was able to show Aryal from Tricks’ point of view, someone who loved her. I also wanted to make sure that humor came into the mix. Still, the real test came when I sat down and actually started writing Kinked. Then I had to get close enough to her to write her as a main POV character. It helped that I had so many established relationships and characters to work with—such as Grym, Dragos and Graydon—and the world-building in place. With that in place, I could concentrate on developing Aryal herself. I’m very grateful to my editor Cindy Hwang for providing such a supportive platform to write Kinked.
Do you have an Elder Race Bible to help keep your facts start? If not, how the heck do you keep your facts start?
So far I’ve had two things in my favor—I’ve got a bit of a freakish memory for detail when it comes to writing, and I also have fantastic beta readers who are good at spotting issues. Still, the world has become big and complicated enough that I’ve got someone working on a series bible right now. It’s over a hundred pages by now and should be done by the end of the year.
Who was the harder character to write Aryal or Quentin and why?
Neither character was as hard as I had feared they would be when I started Kinked. Still, Quentin was easier. I felt more confident writing his character, and I felt the stakes were pretty high on getting Aryal’s character right.
Was there anything about Aryal that surprised you as her story unfolded?
I think I probably had the same experience as a writer that several readers have had so far in reading the book—I was surprised at how much I ended up liking and enjoying her. I wouldn’t want to rush out and befriend a real-life Aryal, but I think she’s pretty cool between the pages, and I’m really looking forward to writing more about her.
In the event of an apocalypses (zombie, alien, solar flare or 4 horsemen) which of your characters would you like to team up with?
I would absolutely like to team up with Dragos—as long as I was someone he valued, otherwise he might ditch me in a heartbeat.
What is next for the Elder Race series?
I’m now contracted for books 7-9, so I’m writing Graydon’s story which will be released around August of 2014. The main characters have also been decided for books 8 and 9, and I’m eager to get to those stories!
I also wrote a self-published project, a novella entitled Dragos Takes A Holiday, which releases November 25th. I loved spending time with Dragos and Pia, and their little son Peanut gets his POV debut.
Thanks for sharing with us today!
It’s been a pleasure to visit with you. Thanks for having me!
“It was such a treat to delve back into Ms. Harrison’s Elder Races Series again. I have always been a fan of this world…” ~ Under the Covers
Forced to work together, Quentin and Aryal would have to stay together despite their hate for each other. Frustrated with both of them, Dragos sends them on a mission to assess a situation in Numenlaur, the oldest Elven land. It is a dangerous mission, leaving Quentin and Aryal depending on each other. Though their feelings for each other were purely hate from the beginning, it quickly turns to lust. The sexual tension between was high but what intrigued me most was the break down of both their proverbial protective wall. Ms. Harrison did a wonderful job breaking their defenses and showing both their vulnerabilities for us to see. Humanizing these very strong and deadly characters was not an easy task I’m sure but Ms. Harrison still managed to do it well.
Aryal and Quentin actually made me laugh. Not only they got on each other’s nerves, they actually tried to get at each other’s throats…literally. These two, really took the love-hate relationship to a whole new level. I enjoyed their relationship for the most part. However, there were some parts I didn’t quite enjoy. There were certain parts in the book that the hate between them was so strong that I almost didn’t believe softer emotions were possible. There was also a hint of BDSM that I thought was out of place, and possibly this book could do without. Don’t get me wrong, Aryal and Quentin were hot together, but again certain scenes didn’t appeal to me.
It was such a treat to delve back into Ms. Harrison’s Elder Races Series again. I have always been a fan of this world starting with Dragon Bound the first installment of this series. Which is Dragos and Pia’s book. I believe he is one of the first dragon shifters’ I’ve ever fallen for as well as the start with my love for Ms. Harrison’s work.
With that said, seeing Dragos again in action and still having a strong love affair with Pia was definitely one of the highlights of this book. Seems like there are a lot going on in this world , but Dragos certainly is still in control keeping the peace within the races. Pia’s true being is still a mystery to the public eye , but I feel like something is brewing and this may be a big issue in the upcoming books.
Though Kinked is not my fave of the series, it is still an enjoyable read and of course another good addition to the Elder Race series. Dragos Takes a Holiday will be releasing soon which I’m certain will be a great holiday read.
ARC provided by publisher
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Thea Harrison is the pen name for Teddy Harrison. Thea has traveled extensively, having lived in England and explored Europe for several years. Now she resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.
She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. She experienced waitressing as a teenager, has worked as an activist for a non-profit consumer rights organization, has been a receptionist, an office manager, a penniless graduate student, a director of development and research, and a single mom. Her graduate degrees are in Philanthropic Studies and Library Information Science, but her first love has always been writing fiction.
Her paranormal Elder Races series began May 3, 2011 with Dragon Bound, which won RT Book Review’s Book of the Year Award, and the Romance Writer’s of America RITA in the paranormal romance category.
All five of her full length novels in the Elder Races series have won Top Picks from RT Book Reviews. Book two in the series, Storm’s Heart, and book four, Oracle’s Moon, hit the USA Today bestseller’s list, while book three, Serpent’s Kiss, hit the New York Times extended bestseller list. Her fifth book, Lord’s Fall, hit both the USA Today and the New York Times extended lists.
She adores animals and currently resides with two small dogs that have very large personalities.
We have one copy of KINKED up for grabs for US only.
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I coblog and review here at Under the Covers and occasionally review for Hot Listens.I love to read PNR, UF, Contemporary, New Adult, and Romantic Suspense. Occasionally, I will venture to Erotica, BDSM reads and rarely Historical Romance. There are some sub-genres that I don’t always enjoy, but I’m open to stepping out of my comfort zone.For the most part, as long as there’s a hint of romance, I’m pretty much in.