Eight months ago a mysterious drug killed Tess Gordon's brother, and now it's spreading through her rehab counseling clients. They all claim they're not addicted, the drug leaves no trace except its drained victims, and the cops aren't interested. Aching with loss, Tess vows to find the source. What she finds instead is Thomas.
Slavery. Duty. Enchantment.
Thomas, the half-fae guardian of the goblin market, has plenty of problems-and just got another one. Pressed into the service of the Unseelie Queen, all he wants is his freedom. But Tess won't go away, and the human girl is in way over her head.
One perilous late-autumn night, the fae and human worlds collide. Tess's and Thomas's separate tasks are inextricably tangled. Now, a half-fae and a human rehab counselor must walk the knife-edge of obligation, love, death and transformation--with the entire Unseelie Court, including the malevolent Wild Hunt, out for their blood.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tess Gordon’s job as rehab counselor for those caught in addiction involves her in much of life’s misery with clients who have spiraled out of control damaging themselves and everyone around them. When she loses her own brother to the demons of addiction to a drug no one has ever heard of or can proves exists, that seems to be the cruelest of blows. Tess’s crusade to save others from her brother’s fate requires a journey into the underbelly of Portland to what she does not realize is a goblin market. Thomas, a half-fae enslaved by the Unseelie Fairy Queen, guards the market against Fae who would cross boundaries and humans who might see things they should not. Tess knows her brother and a young man whom she is trying to protect where drawn to the market; she has also been there collecting unusual trinkets for some time. Thomas has the onerous task of finding the thief who stole from the Queen objects of power for which she has nefarious plans. He is caught between two deep desires: protecting Tess from the Queen’s minions and most especially the deadly, relentless Wild Hunt, and fulfilling the job which he is compelled to do which is capture the thief. Thomas has yearned for so long to be free and human again. Meeting Tess, a seemingly powerless human, and being inextricably drawn to her fills Thomas’s heart in a way he had long forgotten. There is power in courage of those such as Tess who would risk all to save the lost and enslaved, most especially Thomas. When Tess sees Thomas for who he really is, and after the initial shock of finding out the Fae are real, she sets her mind to releasing the enslaved and finding the vanished as well as avenging her brother’s death regardless of the personal cost. Tess and Thomas each exemplify courage and determination to preserve against seemingly insurmountable odds. What they find in each other gives them strength and hope when dark and difficult times arise. This very enjoyable Dark Fantasy tale has all the foundations of a good story whether you enjoy those supernatural elements or not including action, adventure, and well thought out characters underpinned by a love story balancing the darker aspects. Ms. Sterling’s writing will take readers on quite a ride engendering a desire to go on to the next in the series to spend more time in this enchanting world.
*I offered to read this book for an honest review. Thomas's enslavement to the Unseelie Queen is coming close to an end, but not close enough. All he wants is to be completely human again. His current job is to prevent the Queen's items from being stolen from storage at the Goblin Market. While at the market, Thomas's eye is drawn to a tall woman who is talking to glamoured and dangerous fae. Tess's experience with her brother drew brought out her drive to help others in trouble with drugs. She works in a rehab center for drug addicts and she's got a few clients that are getting worse, even though they claim to have not used drugs. Tess tracks one client to the Artisans Market under the bridge, asking about a new drug while picking up fancy trinkets she finds tucked around the market. Tess finds a spark of a new interest in a man that helps her out of the market. She also digs deeper than she should to find a world far more dangerous than she could have imagined from the fairy tales she was told. Tess will give anything to help those that are in danger... The story is of fae nature and we see the fae influence in the story by way of descriptions. The details of the world and people given with creative descriptions. We get the story from both Thomas and Tess's POVs. This format provides a lot of information from the proper venue. Thomas has the knowledge of the fae, and worries about Tess being to close to the world he knows could do worse than kill her. Tess is determined to help those in danger from the new drug on the street. She never sways from her plan. We also see the reaction of introducing the world of fae to Tess from her and Thomas's sides. It's scary and heart aching. There is a blooming relationship between Tess and Thomas, that may not survive the knowledge that he's half Trow. There are fae, other fae, that have their own agendas in their world. The Queen has a goal in mind, that we don't know about. We learn what it is as the story unfolds. Hunter is another with his own agenda. Hunter despises Thomas to begin with for being half human, half fae along with having the Queen's ear without being full fae. Hunter will use or kill Thomas for his needs. There is a game to play with the fae, but Tess doesn't know how to do that yet. All at work comes to a high on Allantide - Halloween. The dangers come after Thomas and Tess and they finally face off for their lives. I don't think I will look at Fall leaves the same way again. The ending... Thank you Mel for doing what you did. I loved that we didn't get the ending that we 100% thought would happen. Oh, part of it is what I wanted. But there was a small piece, once you read you'll know what it is, that held true to the story and was a great thing to see happen. I enjoyed the dangerous fae written here. I am looking forward to reading on in the series.