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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Litha's Constant Whim by Amy Lane

Litha's Constant Whim by Amy Lane
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (110 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 4.5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Whim believes himself to be the least powerful sidhe at Green's Hill: he is as constant as a bumblebee in a hurricane and as faithful as a stray breeze. Whim's prince believes there is more to him than that and on Litha, the night of the summer solstice, sends Whim into the mortal world where he strives to give a piece of himself to others.

It is on Litha that Whim meets Charlie, a young, desperate human who steals a kiss. Whim steals one back and, in turn, craves another taste of this extraordinary man. Their vows to return next Litha and finish what they started launch a thirteen-year tradition of celebration between the mortal and the immortal, between love and patience, that is sustained by Whim's driving, faithful compulsion to love and keep his human close to his heart.

Star crossed lovers meet on the most magical night every year. Litha is the magical day of the year when the day is longest and night is shortest, offering supernatural creatures a chance for a night out. Elf Whim has been venturing outside his protective home on this one occasion for years to give and receive magic. When he encounters a young, despondent Charlie their lives are changed forever. Yet they can only be together on that one day in the span of each long year. The two men will have to decide if their connection is enough and if they can take the final steps to be together, once and for ever.

Litha’s Constant Whim is a wonderfully romantic and beautifully told fairy tale set in a contemporary time. The story is one of a series by the author about Green Hill, the home of elves, fairies, and supernatural creatures. This easily reads as a stand alone but there are references to important events, characters, and actions that link this story to the series. If you’re intrigued enough to read more -– as I suspect you will be -– the other stories are available. There are some major leaps in the plot though as the time frame covers a dozen plus years between the time Charlie and Whim first meet to the end of the story. On the one hand this is nice to focus on their star crossed romance but I also wouldn’t have minded a bit more detail of how they survived when apart as well.

The characters are well described and really come to life. From Whim’s mercurial nature to his one obsession, Charlie, the elf is utterly delightful to read. I laughed and cried at his antics from bursting out singing during sex (which he forgot he was having) to his trick in remembering Charlie’s name in a mind that forgets everything with the wind change. Charlie’s developing life is really interesting and nice to see as he grows, matures, finds love and purpose yet remains true to Whim in his heart. The reasons they are apart and can’t quite come together before the dramatic ending all feels natural and authentic. Responsibilities, fear, and life never feel like excuses or false issues to keep the tension but instead are real.

Although there are some leaps and gaps in the story which may frustrate some readers, this novella hits a good mixture of romance, characterization, and erotica. The romance is heavy on the theme of lovers who yearn for each other, constantly, so this is better suited to those serious romantic readers. The slight bite to the story in the form of separation helps keep it from being sickly sweet. Instead a nicely written story is offered for romance fans who love the idea of love conquering all, even time.

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