Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr
by Elizabeth Amber
In the heart of Tuscany’s centuries-old wine country, three half-Satyr brothers receive a letter that sends them in search of three endangered half-Faerie brides. The daughters of a dying king, they present a unique opportunity for the wealthy, charismatic Lords of Satyr to beget heirs to inherit their Italian vineyard and ancient secrets.
For not just any woman will do as a Satyr wife. Each month at Moonful, the brothers change physically, becoming more powerfully potent. They’re driven by the darker side of their natures to indulge in a nightlong ritual in a sacred gathering place ringed with statues of Bacchus, nymphs, dryads, and fauns.
Eldest brother Nick considers it his duty to sire heirs. But he prefers to keep his conjugal visits to Jane, his new FaerieBlend wife, proper while engaging in more carnal activities with experienced courtesans.
Unaware that she’s half-Faerie, Jane is desperate to rid herself of the terrible abilities she acquired when she turned thirteen. Only then will she bear Nick’s children and find a true home with him. Until then, she must deceive him.
As the grapevines begin to bloom, an ancient cult hatches plans that could destroy Nick and Jane’s blossoming happiness.
When I accepted this book for review, I wasn’t really sure how it would turn out, but I was definitely intrigued by the plot premise. To my delight, Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr was an incredibly gripping novel that left me wanting more. How fortunate for me that I had the second book waiting when I finished!
In Nicholas we are introduced to the three Satyr brothers, keepers of the doorway between two worlds: Earthworld and Elseworld. Being part Human and part Satyr, they are not your ordinary men, they are so much more. Each month at Moonful, or the full moon, they become more Satyr than human and have an overwhelming need to mate. When they receive a letter from the King of Elseworld sending them on a “quest” to find the dying king’s half-human daughters and protect them, but only marriage will give them full protection from the factions warring for the kingdom, the brothers aren’t so sure they want to undertake this quest. But who are they to deny a king’s demand?
Nicholas is the first to set out to find his bride. Leaving his brothers to care for the vineyard and winery, he heads to Rome. In almost no time at all he finds his bride, Jane, and acquires her hand in marriage. Life isn’t always as simple as one would like it to be, though, and Nicholas finds that marriage to a woman who has no idea of her heritage is much more difficult than he would like. Jane, on the other hand has a rude awakening in the discovery that her husband does not plan to share all of himself with her. What follows is an in-depth tale that explores love in a different time and place.
Jane was an interesting woman. She was so very strong, and yet incredibly naïve and troubled. She had a secret she was keeping from her husband while wanting him to open up to her. Unaware that her physical attributes that frightened and even repulsed her about herself were quite normal considering her bloodline, she spends quite a bit of the book trying to find a way to “cure” herself. Not knowing that if she talked with her husband about it, instead of living in fear of his reaction to them, she might have found relief and understanding. I admired her tenacity, even while I wished that she would really “see” the truth to the people around her and in her life, both the good and the bad. When she finally comes to that much awaited realization, I wanted to cheer and then give her a hug! She was finally on the road to a better, happier life.
Nicholas was quite the hero. He was arrogant and domineering, being your typical example of what titled and privileged men were like in his time period (heck in this day and age as well!). They honestly believed that you should not bring the more heated sexual acts to your wife’s bedroom… silly men! When his sweet, innocent wife makes a bet with him, he is convinced that a few of his more interesting sexual requests will be the end of that foolishness. Imagine his surprise when she blossoms under his tutelage and he finds he wants no other in his bed. Nicholas and his strength actually made me sweat on more than one occasion. He even made me smile when he finally let go of some of his rigid control and let his playfulness out even when it was quite obvious he felt such behavior wasn’t at all prudent. I really enjoyed seeing him come out of his stuffy shell and join his wife in their marriage.
I was intrigued by the realistic descriptions of a time when it was accepted, if not openly encouraged, that a husband kept mistresses for his more “carnal” needs he dared not bring to his wife’s bedchamber. I was excited and pleased with how Ms. Amber worked her characters around this belief to a more pleasurable relationship between a husband and a wife.
Nicholas is an incredible example of the skillful blending of mythical beings, danger, suspense, romance, erotic couplings, and societal mores of a different time period. All these aspects are brought together to make a stunning tale of love. Elizabeth Amber astounded me with her incredible imagery and fast-paced dialogue that never left one stalled-out in the middle of a conversation. As I said before, Nicholas, The Lords of Satyr is a gripping, intensely sensual love story that will leave you wanting more!
Reviewed by: Viscaria