Title: Heart of Knives
Author: L.V. Lewis
Genre: ScFi/ Fantasy Romance
Release Date: June 27, 2017
The Complex Book Series.
A Lone Planet. One Complex.
When an elf princess is threatened for her activism, who will come to her rescue—her fairy prince fiance’ or the handsome human bodyguard she adores?
Princess Amarie Vanyarin has a reputation for doing what’s right, no matter the cost. When she volunteers to act as Elf ambassador at the Complex—a domed community of Humans and Metas on the planet Lorn—a faceless assassin threatens her life. Soon, the civil rights activist is torn between thwarting another war and concentrating on her betrothal to Fairy Prince Erihstall Habbernock. Their plan to strengthen their mystical bond with a love spell goes awry when the magic inadvertently enchants the wrong person.
Or does it?
Amarie soon discovers that her fiancé and Gary Locke, the human bodyguard who’s captured her heart, both have ulterior motives—neither of which bodes well for her.
With the future ahead uncertain, will the headstrong princess continue to fight for Human-Meta peace, or will she choose to confront the emerging threat targeting the men she loves?
Reviewed by Nikki
A prince, a princess, and a soldier walk into a war….
Princess Amarie, an Elf, betrothed to the Fairy Prince Erihstall, becomes magically intertwined with a human soldier, Gary. To say that the prince is unhappy with this unexpected hiccup in his plans would be an understatement. Princess Amarie is left to depend on Gary for her life while continuing to work towards peace between the humans and the Metas.
Heart of Knives is a story of The Complex. It can be a bit predictable in some ways, but that doesn’t take away from the story. It has some familiar setups, but it is not any one story retold. There is some romance, some action, and a lot of fantasy – which can allow for many different readers be able to enjoy it.
The blinders are already beginning their slow descent when Gary reaches Princess Amarie’s apartment. The moving shadows make him nervous and more alert. His boss’ voice slices through the paranoia already building up inside his mind. She’s going to need you, Sergeant. Right. I’ve got a job to do. Time to get to work.
Until a kit shows up, the only weapons Gary has are the Ama Seldova-issued segif on his gun belt and a pocket knife. The gun only temporarily knocks out an individual, and the knife won’t be useful against most Nighters. Against a single opponent, this won’t prove to be an issue. Two attackers, and Gary will have to take some chances. More than that, and the only real option for guaranteed survival is running. Hoping the attack doesn’t come tonight, or has happened already, Gary runs for the elevators leading to the top floor.
During the day, the Complex is filled with Humans and Metas moving about, each doing their job or living as best they can in what amounts to a giant tube. The same is true at night. The Human population gives way to Nighters, who are inherently quiet, which makes the atmosphere far more stifling to Gary as he passes them in the apartment’s lobby. The stares are worse. In Gary’s mind, each one of them looks hungry and thinks he is a stupid, easy meal.
Safely upon reaching the elevator, Gary smacks the ‘Up’ button hard enough to echo back towards the awakened civilians. Snickers echo around him as he turns with a silly look on his face. Hey fella, we’re all here to be peaceful. Chill out. Those words are etched on every face that turned at the sound. Fuck, Gary thinks. Why do I have to be so damned human?
An eternity of stares and seconds later, the elevator doors open. Gary forces himself to step inside with some semblance of dignity. Not too fast, not so slow as to be cartoonish. Now alone, he heaves a sigh. The doors begin to close, and he thinks, Okay, get your bearings back. Relax. You’re a goddamn soldier. Act like one. Before the doors can fuse shut, pale blue fingers slip between them, automatically reversing open. A tall, lean man with the pallor of undeath smiles at him.
“I assume you’re going up,” the man asks.
“Yep. Straight to the top,” Gary replies.
The man pushes the button for the floor below Princess Amarie’s, then steps back and to the side so he’s flush with Gary. Side by side for the full ride, neither looks at the other. Gary decided early on this was the most uncomfortable elevator ride in man’s history that didn’t lead to someone’s death or dismemberment. So far. They reach the man’s (vampire, Gary) floor and the doors slide open. Before exiting, he looks Gary straight in the eye.
“Come and see me sometime, when being a monster hunter isn’t such a new smell on you. We’ll have more fun then,” the man says.
“Don’t do anything I need to come and see you for. We’ll pretend this didn’t happen,” Gary replies, meaning every word.
“Everybody knows that is not how this experiment will go down, Locke. You don’t have enough to lose yet, so it’s no fun to play with you. And please, feel free to visit me any time.”
The man vanishes into shadow as the doors close. Gary stares at the ceiling of the elevator, wondering why vampires were gifted with mind-reading. Willing the car to move up faster than programmed, he thinks, Just one more floor, dude, and we’ve finished the hard part.
The elevator doors open, and immediately Gary knows he’d been wrong. The hard part wasn’t over at all. A piercing scream is sounding through the thick walls of the princess’ suite on his left. What the fuck is happening to her? No time, gotta move. Gary pulls his segif from its holster and finds the nearest door leading left.
With one swift kick, he splinters the solid oak door. With a second kick, he smashes enough to duck in without his vision being impaired. From the corners of his eyes, he sees a flashing light but has no idea what it might be. To his right, however, is the princess. Naked. Her dark olive skin on display. Her arms and face are tilted up and what looks like purple smoke is weaving its way into her nostrils. Another scream escapes her mouth. Bolting from his crouched position, Gary harpoons himself into the princess in a desperate plea to stop this attempted possession.
With a heaving gasp, she falls underneath him, and the smell of her sweet perspiration invades his nostrils, saturating every pore of his being. Gary barely has time to realize he recognizes this scent before he loses all awareness in the emerald green mirrors of the princess’ eyes.
The vision before him is perfection personified. Her skin is so soft to the touch he could caress it forever. The vulnerability in her eyes slays him, and he feels himself reacting to her in a way that is not very professional, but he can’t help himself.
Perhaps it’s the fact that he hasn’t been with a woman in a while. His job keeps him busy, and fuck paying for sex. He’s old school and would rather hook up the old fashioned way. Princess Vanyarin certainly is his type—exotic brunette. Maybe it’s her Meta powers that’s got him under her spell, but it can’t be that. The device he’s wearing should protect him from that.
The fruity-looking fairy boy says something in a language Gary doesn’t understand, and his body’s reaction to the Princess goes into overdrive.
“What in the absolute fuck!”
Gary tries to turn away from the sleek, lithe body beneath him, away from the enchanting eyes, but he can’t. Within seconds, blackness covers him, the world goes cold, then nothing.
Growing up, L.V. Lewis wanted to be an internationally known rock star, but unfortunately, lived in the wrong part of the country to pursue that career (and neither American Idol nor The Voice were available then). An early love for the written word gave her the plan B she sought. Now she pens romance novels that let her live vicariously through rock stars and other fascinating archetypes.