(A Novel of the Elder Races #4)
Adult Paranormal Romance
Available March 6th
Received from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
As a second daughter, Grace Andreas never had to worry about the intrigues of the Elder Races. But when her sister, Petra, and Petra's husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister's two young children - neither of which she is prepared for.
Yet, she is not alone. Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn prince of House Marid - driven by his genuine caring for the children - has decided to make himself a part of the household both as their guardian and as an exasperating counterpoint to Grace's impudence toward the Elder Races.
But when an attempt is made on Grace's life, she realizes that Khalil is the only one who can protect her - and offer her more than a mortal man...
Where the first three books in the Novels of the Elder Races gave us the deeply passionate, intense, and funny stories of three powerful members of the Wyr demesne and their mates, this fourth installment leads us away from the Wyr connected to Dragos Cuelebre and gives a humorous and fresh romantic pair. One of the highlights of this paranormal romance series in general is Ms. Harrison’s focus on lesser known supernatural entities, and Oracle’s Moon entertains us yet again as a Djinn prince who can exist as nothing more than smoke and air finds himself drawn to a woman who has inherited the ancient power of the Oracle of Delphi. Ms. Harrison has an innate ability to make each novel distinct and unique, with each of her alpha heroes and strong-minded heroines setting themselves apart from those who came before to give us something unexpected and immensely appealing each and every time.
Grace is a young woman who fully embodies the radiant beauty and stunning spirit implied by her name, stepping up to take care of her niece and nephew without a single complaint or hint of resentment for the unexpected turn her life has taken. Her love for her sister’s kids shines from every page, and their family interactions have us laughing, smiling, and feeling an intimate kinship with them as they struggle to not replace what was lost, but rather rebuild it in their new image–a family whose cracks show through in body and mind but who are rendered more stunning for their imperfections. When Khalil insinuates himself into her life against her wishes, she holds her ground and stands up to a man whose power cows most of those with whom he comes in contact, forcing him to toe a line she defines with regard to the children and herself, and ensuring the balance of mental and emotional power is as equal between them as the ancient Power that emanates from both of them physically.
Khalil is perhaps the most enjoyable of Ms. Harrison heroes yet, his interactions with Grace and the little ones incredibly charming and endearing, the hilarity completely at odds with what we expect from someone as ancient and compelling as he. Khalil is so old that not much about life surprises him anymore, and he approaches each event or interaction with a type of detachment that results from having seemingly experienced everything at least once before. With Grace and the kids however, he shakes off his complacency in adorable fashion, venturing into human interaction with his own child-like curiosity as he tests boundaries, asks questions, and makes demands in a way that is remarkably lacking in authority despite the exquisite intensity of his Djinn energy. For him, everything with Grace is a new tactile or abstract sensation, and there’s nothing more satisfying than watching a man that has seen, felt, and experienced everything find joy and contentment in the simplest of everyday pleasures.
Even with the seriousness of the challenges facing Grace and the pain of Khalil’s past with his daughter, Oracle’s Moon has a lightness to it that's infectious and completely addicting, and we close the last page with the almost overwhelming desire to just flip back to the beginning and start all over again. Though we get a complete tale for Khalil and Grace, there is enough room in their physical relationship and the complexity of their distinct Powers for their story to not be fully concluded, and we can only hope that as with Pia and Dragos, Ms. Harrison might return us to their story again in the future so that we might get to treasure them one more time.
I'm typically not a reader who highlights favorite or meaningful quotes while reading, but this interaction between Grace and Khalil was just too cute not to share (please note the below passage is taken from the ARC and may differ from the final printed version):
She did not protest, and he thought it was a measure of how the vision had shaken her. He looked at Chloe. "Come over to the table. Sit with your aunt. I will clear away this mess and...I will achieve pancakes."
Grace's lovely, tired face wobbled with what looked suspiciously like mirth, but she had been under so much stress he decided his first impression could not be correct. "You'll achieve pancakes?"
"I do not see why not," he said.
"Have you achieved them before?" she asked. A touch of liveliness came back into her vivid eyes and they sparkled.
"That question is irrelevant," he told her, while his eyes narrowed in suspicion on her tired face. On a Djinn, her expression would definitely be laughter. "I will achieve pancakes now."