By far the best from the Elder Races novellas!
Let's start with Xanthe. We met her in Devil's Gate. She was the one who killed the bad guy. This story starts with her return to Other Land. She is an assassin who works for the Queen (aka Tricks) and her mate Tiago. But after her cover is blown she is reassigned to Tricks' protection. Usually she wouldn't be satisfied with the job - not enough action, but it gives her opportunity to see Aubrey, the Chancellor of the Dark Fey.
Ever since Aubrey's wife was unmasked as a traitor, he has subtly changed. There's more darkness to him now, and of course, there's the pain of betrayal. But he notices the beautiful soldier (Xanthe), there is something about her that attracts his attention. Maybe nothing would've happened if it weren't for the almost successful assassination attempt made at him.
By the orders of the queen, Xanthe takes Aubrey to her house, charged with protecting him.
This novella is more focused on the romance itself, the suspense plot is almost nonexistent. It seems more real somehow. They actually had the time to fall in love.
The only tiny reason it's not completely perfect is that Xanthe said yes, only after they realized that the gods have interfered in their lives.
I love both Aubrey (he's just so amazing and lordy) and Xanthe (the dutiful soldier who still manages to be a dreamer). I adore how they slowly started to fall in love, learning things about each other. *sigh*
And yeah we get to see Tricks and Tiago, always a plus. :D
Can't wait for Lord's Fall!