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This is the first book in the ‘Legends of Regia’ series.  Forest is a Halfling able to shape shift and shunned by most of the magical people in Regia.  Her mysteriously unknown father was powerful enough to have secured her a place in college despite her status and after graduating, she was assigned to monitor a portal on Earth into their world – a lowly position for her abilities.

She is summoned back to Regia which is on the verge of civil war between the vampires and werewolves.  She is told about the mission that she has to execute, which if it is successful, could lead to a promotion, acceptance with the big wigs and a Royal favour.  She has to act as a bodyguard to Prince Syrus, who was thought to have been killed in an attack, but was instead blinded.  With the civil war looming, the King and Queen have decided that now is the time for him to visit the man who blinded him to see if he can reverse the spell.  It gets worse for Forest, as he is also a vampire, her mortal enemy.

Before they can start their journey, she has to hide him in her cottage.  During this time Forest realises that Syrus is not the playboy that had previously assumed and they go from hatred, to begrudging respect after she sees how Syrus can fight regardless of his blindness.  He also learns not to goad her and finds out about Earth helped by Forest’s collection of Earth contraband ‘relics’.

They end up embarking on a journey (even though unbeknownst to them it had been aborted) travelling through lands owned by elves, vampires and werewolves meeting wizards, shapeshifters and orgres along the way.  There are several different storylines where we learn about the internal politics of each of these lands and how they all intersect.

There is also the concept of life mates for shifters – an unbreakable attraction that happens when two people make eye contact.  As a shapeshifter, when Forest meets her life mate, he can only see her true self and not her shifting looks, which Syrus does under the influence of human blood, but as he is blind, he can’t make the eye contact and make the connection.  Forest discovers this before they leave on their journey when she finds that she cannot shapeshift in front of him.

I really enjoyed this book, and the cliff hanger at the end had me aching to read the next installment.  While the journey of the love story is as old as story telling itself, the way that it was handled along with the concept of life mates allowed it to feel exciting and interesting.   The characters were all well rounded and it was clear that there was room for growth with the sub characters as well. Hinting at the political situation in each of the different lands, not to mention, Forest’s connection to each one as well as her father’s plans for her, shows that there is a lot of scope for future books without it seeming obvious or stale.  A great winter read, go read it!

Finally, this a copy of this ebook was sent to me, however, I loved it so much that I would have bought it

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