Thursday, March 8, 2018

Book Review: 'Her Knight In Shining Stone' by Tamsin Baker

Roman and his gargoyle shifter brothers perch on the public library in New York City. As the oldest, Roman is the one most in danger of going literally insane – having been unmated for far too long. Yet finally he senses the woman who can mate with him. Christiana can’t believe she’s about to leave her abusive boyfriend for this near-stranger, but there’s something about him that just calls to her and she just can’t deny the attraction that sizzles between them. Will she regret her decision?
I have to be honest, this is the first gargoyle shifter story I’ve ever read. Much like dragon-shifter stories, up until now I have preferred to keep some of my paranormal creatures as myth and not jump on the bandwagon to read ever-more-obscure shifter stories. I was curious about the blurb to this story though – and have to be honest the thought of there being gargoyle shifters on the NY public library was just a story I couldn’t walk past. And in a number of ways I found this an incredibly satisfying story to read. I found a lot of the “my beloved, my mate” aspect to this world actually very reminiscent of vampire stories. I also enjoyed the small snippets of gargoyle-world building that the author added. I did, however, find it a little jarring that a centuries old gargoyle had such very modern day language (like saying “all good” in response to his brother’s query to how he was). I was also a little disappointed with the clich├ęd-ness of Christiana’s overbearing and abusive boyfriend. I couldn’t help but skim over Roman’s fight with the crazy-chef boyfriend, eager to get past that (and what I really felt was Christiana’s complete lack of sense) and learn more about the gargoyles, their lore and see Roman and Christiana build the start of their relationship instead.
I was quite pleased that the chapters changed perspectives from Roman to Christiana. Far from being jarring with the head-jumping I was relieved and glad that I could see the story unfold from both main characters’ perspectives. Because initially – when Roman first met Christiana – I was wondering what the hell that girl was thinking. Sticking with an abusive boyfriend, making goo-goo eyes at Roman and even willing to run off with Roman all on less than a night of knowing the gargoyle. It was really hard to wrap my head around what was going on with Christiana – so having the perspective change and being able to see where she was coming from was a relief and very welcome to me. I was quite excited by the main plotline too. Clearly left open to continue in the following stories in the series (hopefully the other brothers’ tales of finding their mates too) I thought the plot was well thought out and interesting enough to capture most readers imagination. It will be interesting to see how it pans out in later stories.
Readers looking for a strong, alpha-male, take-charge, insta-love-mate type of story will probably really like this. I thoroughly enjoyed the world-building and have to admit I enjoyed Roman’s character. I was a little less sold on Christiana’s character but warmed up to her a bit throughout the story. The sex is deliciously explicit and super hot. Readers looking for a steamy, sexy erotica story shouldn’t be disappointed.
I think this is a good start to an interesting new series.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.