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Heart of the Hunter
Tina St. John
Ivy
ISBN: 0345459946
June 2004
Historical

Ariana is desperate to free her kidnapped brother Kendrick, and will go to any means necessary to gain his freedom, including delivering the ransom to the kidnappers herself - a dangerous situation for any woman. Undaunted she arranges for passage only to find out sheís been tricked and robbed of her money, her friend and protector killed, and her own life in danger until a cold mysterious stranger comes to her rescue. Barely escaping with their lives they are stunned by what transpires; sure their eyes are playing tricks on them when they view what seems to be the impossible. People canít disappear in thin air, nor transform into different shapes. Or can they? Braendon le Clarce has seen stranger things in his dark past that are just as unexplainable and he has no wish to revisit his past, filled with bloodshed and pain. The fight for their lives is reminiscent of another time, another place that he has no desire to remember. The scar on his face a reminder of that terror filled day years ago that forever changed his life.

Always a loner, Braendon lets no one close. His past is filled with pain, mystery, unnatural happenings and danger, none of which he wishes on anyone. He has no need for anyone. Until he rescues the beauty who opens up old wounds and memories heís tried to keep buried, a woman that calls to his heart, a heart he didnít think he had. Will the mystery of his past be revealed in his quest to protect the beauty he canít seem to resist on what is surely a suicide mission with evil not far behind? An evil that could destroy them all. And what of the legend of the Dragon Chalice and its magical powers? Is it myth or real? Will they live to find out?

This is unlike past books from Ms. St. John. You can depend on Tinaís trademark riveting story, as always, but what separates this from the rest is the introduction of paranormal to an already sterling writing style that stands alone as one of the best medieval authors today. This is no exception. Heart of the Hunter is a thrilling story with many twists and turns and more than one evil enemy to battle along the way. Ms. St. John shows that she can indeed write paranormal with passion, excitement and mystery making me again ask the questions is there anything she canít write with stunning results?

Itís not love at first site for the hero and heroine. Ariana is a strong willed heroine and doesnít trust Braendon in the beginning but sees him as a danger. Still sheís forced to call upon him in order to survive, which leads to a strong bond forged through their need to survive. It grows into something much stronger, which results in one making the ultimate sacrifice for the other.

Heart of the Hunter marks the beginning of the Dragon Chalis Series and what is destined to be an unforgettable series by an author who has yet again delivered a winner that is sure to be a keeper. Pure magic, a must read.

Barb Hoeter, May 2004

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