Monday, February 16, 2009

A Leap of Knowing by Dani Harper

TITLE: A Leap of Knowing
AUTHOR: Dani Harper
PUBLISHER: Cobblestone Press
LENGTH: Novella (roughly 29k)
GENRE: Paranormal erotic romance
COST: $4.99

When veterinarian Morgan Edwards visits Wales, her grandmother’s country, for the first time, she is struck by both its beauty and the mystery of the black mastiff that seems to be following her tour around. The last thing she expects is to see it again back in rural Washington, or to have it rescue her from a dangerous robbery. She doctors it back from its life-threatening injuries, but when the dog disappears, leaving behind a naked man with a fantastic story, she has no idea what to believe anymore…

Captivated. That’s what I was. From the opening when Rhys is fleeing the Romans determined to kill him, to the ending when…well, I don’t want to spoil anybody. But this short novella is a wonderful example of Dani Harper’s light, romantic touch, with a world that’s incredibly easy to disappear into.

Both Rhys and Morgan are strong characters in their own right. Rhys is the epitome of the strong, protective alpha that typifies a lot of the Roman area heroes, even when he walks in the twenty-first century. Morgan is smart and resourceful without ever feeling unrealistic. When she first spots the mastiff in Wales, her empathy toward the animal makes it incredibly easy to like her. That feeling only grows as she returns to her native habitat. The world of veterinary medicine jumps from the pages as much as Rhys’ ancient world did, and as much as modern day Wales did. My only problem with Morgan comes when Rhys tells her his story. Like any practical woman, she doesn’t believe him. That prevails for quite a long time, again realistic, but in light of the facts that she is presented with, I got mildly frustrated that she was being so stubborn about it.

But truthfully, that’s a mild concern. The story carries a gentle sensuality throughout its virtual pages, and the author weaves her spell with careful word choices and even more careful plotting. It’s further proof of the talent she displayed in her shifter novel, Heart of the Winter Wolf, with depths of genuine emotion. I bought her Christmas story when it came out but never got the chance to read it. I think it just got bumped up a ton of places on my TBR pile.


9/10 – Sweet, lovely, and swift


7/10 – Stalwart and true


7/10 – Smart and resourceful, though her own practical side drags out the ending slightly

Entertainment value

8/10 – I got swept up in the romanticism of this whole little story

World building

9/10 – There wasn’t a culture in this that wasn’t fully realized



No comments: