Artistic Vision by Dana Marie Bell
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (227 Pages)
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Foxglove
Desire is the raw material. Lust is the spark…and love will sculpt their destiny.
The Gray Court, Book 3
Akane Russo, one of the Hob’s top Blades, can’t wait for her current assignment to end. She’s been tasked with protecting Shane Dunne from the Malmayne clan’s scheme to kidnap him once again. But no one—not even her Seer half—warned her she’d have to protect herself from his heated gaze. Or that her dragon half would find him an irresistible puzzle.
Shane knew his destined bride would never come to him willingly, but she’s stuck with him and he plans to use her predicament to his advantage. It’s only a matter of time before she succumbs to what they both want. Their Claiming will be beautiful beyond even his wildest imaginings—and his wild, free dragoness will finally see herself as he sees her.
Then his unique, hybrid-borne visions reveal a new danger. The prophecy of the Child of Dunne can only be fulfilled down a path he must travel alone. To a place so dark and dangerous that even his truebond’s flame may not be bright enough to lead him home.
Artistic Vision is Dana Marie Bell’s third visit to her Grey Court world, and is the best one so far.
Shane Dunne uses his visions to create magnificent art, and the most beautiful piece he’s ever done is of his mate, Akane Russo. Akane is one of Robin Goodfellow’s Blades, and assigned to guard and protect Shane from the treachery and plotting of the Malmayne clan. She isn’t anyone’s mate, no matter how gorgeous Shane is. Until danger surfaces and threatens to take Shane away forever-then Akane will do whatever it takes to save him and claim him.
As the Prophecy comes closer to being fulfilled, the danger around the Dunne and Blackthorn clans increases. When Shane is poisoned by someone he looked on as a friend, the only way to save him is something Akane is afraid may take him from her forever. She never wanted a mate, but now that they are together, no one is going to hurt him again. But which of the Malmayne clan is leading this latest round of treachery and betrayal? Can Akane dig deep enough to uncover the guilty party? Can she do what must be done to save the man she has come to love, in spite of her resolve?
I have been looking forward to Shane and Akane’s story for a while, and it did not disappoint. I love the depth Ms. Bell adds to each of her characters, and the many layers of this very magical and mystical realm, with the Black, White and Grey Courts. This is a thrill ride of a story, with passion and danger throughout, but there is a wonderfully wicked sense of humor here at work as well. The characters have such vivid personalities, I expected to look up and see them materialize in front of me.
Akane Russo is loyal, brave and determined to do her job: protect Shane Dunne even if does suffer from a delusion that she is his mate. Her seer half has flashes of insight, while her dragon half is determined to resist. As one of The Hob’s infamous Blades, she has no room in her life for romance, especially with someone as irritating and insufferable as Shane Dunne. I loved watching as her attitude went from bored irritation, to curiosity, admiration and finally love. I loved her determination to save Shane, once she accepted that he was her mate, and the fear that she could destroy him with the cure he needed.
Shane Dunne is a talented artist, creating masterpieces from the visions that rule his future. He is determined to claim Akane for his mate, but he also loves to tease and annoy her, just to see her passion erupt. He is keeping secrets, and knows what is coming, but he also knows he can’t change what has to happen. I loved the playful and silly banter Shane used with Akane, and his “aw shucks ma’am” farm boy persona he adopted just to get a rise from his mate.
There are several threats to the Dunne/Blackthorn clan, and Shane is at the center of more than one. The Malmayne clan, or at least the heads of the clan, have pledged allegiance to the Black Court, and have misinterpreted the Prophecy concerning “a child of Dunne”. These threads were brought together neatly, and the immediate danger has been averted.
The secondary characters play a large role in this story, with every family member being integral to stopping the evil from taking hold and creating chaos. But the main thread, the romance between two of the rarest of supernatural beings, true hybrids, is the centerpiece of this book. This is most definitely Shane and Akane’s book, and everything else takes a back seat to the passion and beauty of the union of these two fantastic characters.
I recommend this for those who like intrigue mixed with magic and passion, but I recommend you read the first two books in the series to get the richness of this world and all its inhabitants.