Reviewed by JenI love dark stories about the fae. And this definitely fits the bill. The Druid Stone is haunting, disturbing, stirring, and sexy all at once.
Sean has been having the same horrific dream over and over again for more than a year. In it, he relives the grisly torture and murder of a man in Ireland nearly 100 years in the past. He's seen doctors and shrinks, he's tried drugs of all kinds, but every night the dream comes back with the same brutal clarity. He's come to believe that he was cursed by his great-grandfather, who gave him a mysterious stone he can't get rid of. Research leads him to Cormac, a Druid, and he hops aboard a plane to Ireland, hoping he can get the curse removed.
Cormac is a man damaged by the mysterious disappearance of his lover 10 years ago. He does his duty with his magic, but lives his life with meaningless one-night stands with random men. When Sean shows up on his doorstep, he thinks the man is a flake and sends him on his way. But thankfully, when Sean is targeted by the Fae King, Cormac is there to rescue him. Of course, at that point, the Druid realizes his mistake.
The story follows Cormac and Sean as they try to unravel the mystery of the stone and figure out the identity of the man dying in Sean's dreams. This, as the two men realize a growing attraction between them.
I definitely enjoyed the book. The authors do a great job presenting the Fae as twisted, selfish, and downright scary. The mystery was good and the resolution was very interesting. But just as good is the characterization of our two male leads. Both men are deeply scarred by their past. The depth of their issues is slowly revealed over the course of the book and it wreaks havoc with their growing feelings for one another. Their friendship is believable. The sexual tension is great. And the love scenes are hot.
I did have a couple of issues. One is the fact that these two fell in love in a week. I can suspend my disbelief for a lot of things in Urban Fantasy, but this is just one of my biggest romance peeves. Sexual attraction, sure. Affection, absolutely. Hope for a future, I'm all on board. But when people profess to love each other in seven days, I can't do anything but roll my eyes. And that's a shame, because almost everything else about the relationship clicked for me.
My only other problem was that there were a couple of times that I got confused about what was going on in the Fae realm. I didn't entirely understand what was happening, especially in the "dreaming" parts. I got the impression it was supposed to be disjointed, due to the unreality of the realm, but I found myself re-reading a couple of parts, looking for a clarity I didn't find.
Overall, though, I did like this one. It was just the right amount of darkness. It was surprising and sexy and... different. It was good.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
The Druid Stoneby Heidi Belleau and Violetta VaneRelease Date: August 6, 2012Publisher: Carina Press