Naked Souls by Kate Hill
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Genre: Historical, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (239 pgs)
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Holly
Betrayed and imprisoned, Overlord Lysander is forced to mate with beautiful Queen Flora. Lysander has never found a woman more desirable. Resisting her is impossible, especially when manipulated by carnal magic.
Trapped in a loveless marriage, Flora has dreamed about Lysander since meeting him at the high king’s gathering. She never imaged she would one day be forced into his bed by her maniacal husband.
Damaged by an abusive past, King Typhon obsesses about two things—keeping his kingdom safe at any cost, and the innocent maid who stirs his body and soul. Love is a luxury a leader can’t afford, especially when he’s consorting with the fleshtress, a creature who thrives on mortal lust.
Compelled to love a man she can never have, Crystal longs for brooding King Typhon. She sees past his madness and into his heart, but to save the man she must destroy the king.
In a magical world at war, passion abounds as four people are stripped to their souls, but will love or lust conquer all?
Palace intrigue, evil magic and star crossed lovers: these are just a few of the interesting undercurrents in Naked Souls. King Typhon marries Flora to unite his land with her fathers, but it is not a happy union. Due to Typhon’s use of the powerful magical herb wymist, he is unable to father an heir to the throne. Typhon is determined to destroy Aberhill, and it’s rulers, especially the powerful overlord Lysander. But first, he captures Lysander, and with the help of Lysander’s former mentor Hecta, collars his powers. He decides to force Lysander to beget a son on Queen Flora before he kills Lysander, but things don’t go quite as planned. Can Lysander regain his powers, and defeat the evil that is Typhon? And what of Flora, in love for the first time, with a man who is not her husband? Can Flora and Lysander find a way to be together, defeat Typhon and save both lands?
I have to be honest and say that when I began this book, I had flashbacks to another of Kate Hill’s books. The story of Flora, Lysander and Typhon has much in common with an earlier novella I read. But there is so much more to this one, and more differences than similarities once I got into the story.
I loved the characters in this one: Flora is a determined woman, but she doesn’t realize her own strengths. She has a gentle heart, and a quick mind, and is able to think for herself. Lysander is the powerful overlord of Aberhill, second only to his brother, the king. He is strong in both body and in magic, and is shocked to be betrayed by his old mentor. He is not quick to trust, and I loved that he wasn’t trusting of Flora at first, when being forced to mate with her. Their verbal sparring in the first confrontation between them after the capture is excellent, showing Lysander’s doubt of her character. I also loved that Flora gave as good as she got in the exchange, not backing down from his verbal assault.
Unlike the previous book I read, Ms Hill gave King Typhon a softer side, one that appears when he is not under the influence of the wymist, but these glimpses become fewer as he becomes more addicted to the power it gives him.
Of course, this has screaming hot sex, as well as gentle passion and marvelous tension. I recommend this for those who like their knights virile, their passion scorching hot, and their villains redeemable. But beware, this one may just heat up your blood and cause intense perspiring to occur.