by D.L. McDermott
The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until today.
The tomb Beth has just discovered is the most complete Celtic burial she’s ever seen. Filled with ancient treasure, impossibly well-preserved, the burial has everything—except a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.
So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of the Tuatha Dé Danann, the mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.
But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.
I received an ARC copy of Cold Iron from the publisher through Netgalley.
I loved the idea of this book more than the actual result. I grew up with an intense fascination with everything Celtic, especially ancient Irish history. Maybe that was the problem. Maybe I let my expectations get too high. If you don't particularly care about the Irish setting, then you'll probably love the book a lot more than I did, for reasons explained below.
The story began with Beth and her ex investigating an ancient burial mound in Ireland. That was definitely something I could get into. It was like history at my fingertips! It didn't even have to be all that accurate, I just wanted more.
But much sooner than I expected Conn arrived, and even though he was very 'when you want the woman, you just take the woman' I was determined that I was going to like him. Because he's Irish and the image on the cover is smokin' hot.
I even liked Beth because she was turning out to be pretty tough. But then she just up and left Ireland to go back to a major American city. What! Where is my Irish atmosphere? I want rolling green hills and small Irish inns with their interesting characters. I wanted to hear more about the burial mound itself. Everything Irish was quickly swept away to be replaced with everyday American life.
'Ok, that's fine', I thought. At least he's an Irish warrior. That counts, right? Wrong. Out of Ireland, and without the setting to constantly remind me of where he came from, Conn became just another alpha male with supernatural abilities. He made the transition to modern Boston life so well that I quickly lost a lot of interest in his character. I know the Fae in the story do get out every once in a while, but you would think he would still retain a lot of his Irish 'otherness'.
The characters themselves were ok, but not very engaging. Beth was sweet and tough, and I should have liked her a lot. I'm not sure why I didn't love her. She was by far the stronger of the two. Toward the end of the book, she was definitely kicking ass and taking names. You go girl!
I think most of my disappointment stemmed from the fact that this book didn't take place in Ireland like I thought it would. Horrible, I know.
Things I liked about the book:
The Fae are described as cruel and unfeeling. Good. I like that better than a lot of the gentle fairy people stories.
Micah. He was a secondary character, but he had a lot more character depth than the two main characters. I enjoyed the chapters with him in them.
THE COVER!!! I mean...WOW.
I think I'll like the next book a lot more because I'll know what to expect. And because of Micah.