Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “You’re a real bastard. Did you know that?”
Airiana Ridell spent her childhood going to school at a secret government facility where she learned to control and expand her extraordinary gifts. When her mother is brutally murdered, Airiana leaves the program and strikes out on her own. Fate leads her to Sea Haven and soon she is happily endorsed on the farm with her sisters of the heart. But there are dangerous men hunting for Airiana. Men who will stop at nothing to control her-killing anyone who dares to stand in her way. When Airiana is captured and held aboard a ship sailing towards her doom, her only hope is the man who kidnapped her in the first place.
Maxim Prakenskii, spy turned mercenary for hire, kidnapped Airiana thinking he was saving her life. Little did he know his actions would only serve to place her in further danger. Now Maxim must figure out how to save Airiana while pushing forward his own secret agenda. As the sparks between Airiana and Maxim begin to burn out of control, they learn all roads lead back to Sea Haven.
Feehan’s Sisters of the Heart series is a spin-off her Drake Sisters series. We are introduced to five “sisters” who have settled in Sea Haven; each burdened with a gift that has them in need of healing. Air Bound is the third in the series. Each book in the series plays off and expands on events that happened in the last Drake book, Hidden Currents. You do not need to read the Drake series in order to understand this series (each storyline is self-contained with a resolvable conflict) but the characters and long reaching arc do overlap.
I enjoyed Air Bound. An action based storyline filled with intrigue, magic, romance and some surprising humorous moments with an even steady flow and engaging characters. Feehan does well in introducing the protagonists and integrating their backstories into the main plot in order to give us a well-rounded informative base on which to begin our adventure. Multiple storylines run simultaneously, weaving in and out but never overwhelming the reader.
I have a love/hate relationship with Feehan’s books. Either her couples are perfect matches in strength and intelligence or the heroes are so alpha they completely overshadow the heroine and I find myself wanting to stab them repeatedly. Luckily, Air Bound is the former. While there is no denying Maxim is the quintessential over protective alpha, Airiana is more than able to hold her own with her limitless intelligence, fantastic gifts, and quiet stubbornness. Maxim respects Airiana and listens to her; treating her as an equal.
Airiana and Maxim similarities makes their pairing seem more natural and effortless. Both are air elementals though Maxim’s abilities are far more advanced than Airiana’s. They are the flip sides of a coin. Maxim was trained to kill while Airiana was trained to benefit. The chemistry between them is instantly noticeable, becoming more substantial as they get to know each other better. Airiana’s quiet nature grounds Maxim’s more volatile one and allows her to show him that he is indeed worthy of her love. Of any love. Theirs is an instant attraction but the romance is slow to develop. The love scenes are detailed and add plenty of spice to the story. Feehan doesn’t rush into their lovemaking for solid reasons, which makes it all the more tantalizing and sexy when it does happen.
I did feel that too much time was spent on Airiana and Maxim talking over their feelings for one another. Over and over they rehash the same points; Maxim feels he isn’t any good for her and Airiana tries to convince him he is. The story dragged here as they kept spinning their wheels in the same spot. Once they are able to move forward and not look back on their issues, the story’s pace picked up considerably.
There are two main storylines that intertwine in here, one of which harkens back to the events in Hidden Currents. Things are still up in the air with Ellie Drake and I for one can’t WAIT to see what happens when she and Jackson return to Sea Haven. And Feehan lets it slip they are on their way. Feehan also allows for more interface with Airiana’s “sisters”. We see their peaceful pacifist masks drop, showing they are definitely far more dangerous than it has been let on. I enjoyed seeing the inclusion of some faces from the past appear and add to the storyline, answering some questions that had been bothering me since the beginning of this series.
The conflict is resolved in an explosive action packed finale that will leave you ready for book four of the series. Fans of this series will not be disappointed by Air Bound. Feehan definitely ups her game with this installment.