I received this book for free from Bewitching Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Highland Gargoyles #1
Published by Lisa Carlisle on October 17, 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance
Source: Bewitching Book Tours
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Gargoyles, tree witches, and wolf shifters have divided the Isle of Stone after a great battle twenty-five years ago. When Kayla, a tree witch, hears about the unconventional rock concerts in the gargoyle’s territory, she sneaks from her coven and into their territory to see for herself. Night after night, she returns to see one in particular shift into human form and play guitar at these unconventional shows.
For several nights, Mason has kept watch for the pixie-like female. He plans to seduce her, thinking she’s a visitor from another island. When he discovers she’s one of the tree witches, he retreats, attempting to keep his distance. The temptation is strong, but forbidden.
Kayla and Mason attempt to meet in secret, but other elements on the isle command their attention. A magical cloak created by the three clans on the island is thinning, leading to repercussions for all the clans. Kayla and Mason are caught in the middle of it, and their actions may change the fate for all.
This novella was originally releases as part of the Highland Shifters paranormal romance boxed set.
18+ due to adult content.
Five torches blazed on the stage all at once, lit by an unseen force. The audience erupted in cheers as the dancing lights from the flickering fire basked the statues. The flames lowered, casting the gargoyles in an eerie, almost reverent glow.
Movement. So slight, Kayla wondered if it was simply a play of light and shadows in her anticipation for the change. She fixed her gaze on the statue in front of her, the one she’d gravitated to each time she’d had snuck out to see the show. Its massive gray form stood straight on two legs built for sturdiness. Its chest jutted out proudly. Gray wings with detailed feathers etched in the stone arched from a point below its shoulder blades. Eyes cast straight ahead on a face that appeared to be a mixture of canine and lion. Its right hand twitched, so slightly she would have missed it if she hadn’t stared so intently. Then a clawed foot inched forward.
Murmurs of astonishment burst from the crowd as the transformation began. Their cries of fervor grew louder as the monstrous statues transformed into taller, slimmer figures with the bronzed skin of warriors who battled under the midday sun. The tartan fabric fell over their thighs as they stood erect, covering their nudity.
Kayla barely blinked, mesmerized as always, as the statue before her stood to full height, taking on the form of a human male, but with beautiful raven wings. Hair just as black snaked rebelliously past his chin. The stony eyes flickered with animation, turning to a mossy green. His deep gaze seared the audience, seeming to burn anything in the path. When he found Kayla, he stopped.
His expression was unreadable, but the intensity in his unblinking eyes made her swallow. She froze under the scrutiny as if hypnotized, unable to break eye contact. Her stomach lurched, heart pounded, and every muscle in her body tightened, fueled with blood now scorching through her veins. His penetrating appraisal affected her so. When his eyes took on a smoldering glint, her skin tingled and a red-hot awareness grew between her thighs.
He broke the stare and continued to assess the audience. She gasped, not realizing she had been holding her breath, and panted while she tried to breathe at a normal rate. He turned on robust legs and strode to a guitar stand. She tore her eyes from him to note the other gargoyles. They, too, had shifted into the form of striking males. One had black hair draped further down his back, one had long blond hair, and two had reddish-brown hair—one wavy and shaggy, the other straight. They took their place at other instruments. She sought the guitarist again and caught the first sound of the pick striking the strings. On hearing the guitar projected through the amp, the crowd roared again, pressing Kayla forward.
The freak show was about to begin.
Spotlights flooded the musicians, powered by solar panels near a massive amplifier. The guitarist continued playing and the others joined in, playing a raucous crossover between hard rock and heavy metal. The one with long blond hair grabbed hold of the microphone and belted out a shattering cry that sounded like a call to battle. The crowd went pin drop silent to listen and then cheered in unison as the band played on. The front man sang piercing growls and low croons about the Knights in Stone, the protectors of the ancient forests, battling against the evil tree witches.
Kayla couldn’t resist invading the gargoyles land to see the music festival they were having. Something, or someone attracted her to it, and she couldn’t resist going. After five nights in a row, one of the man comes to her. She knows they are forbidden to interact, but she doesn’t know why this rule exists to begin with. Should she break the rules, or should she abide by them?
Mason saw the same girl visiting every night, until he decides to approach her. When he finds out she was a tree witch, he knew he needed to stay away, but his attraction to her, was stronger than his will. When the wolves approaches them, he learns, that nothing is as it seems and that maybe they are destined to something different. Is he willing to change?
Knights of Stone is a really good beginning of a promising new series. Not only the concept is very original, but the characters are easy to like and connect. There are also several promising secondary characters in a huge new world yet to be explored. The passionate scenes are hot and the couple’s chemistry is undeniable.
I believe this is the first time I’ve read a story of a gargoyle shifter, and it’s really refreshing to see something new. Ms. Carlisle has definitely piqued my interesting and I’m really looking forward to this new series.
You may read this book because you enjoy a quilted male; you should read this book if you like shifter’s romance; but you MUST read this book if you are ready to surprised with a fresh new concept in a tantalizing new series!
“She softened against his hard chest in the way he loved, appealing to his protective nature as a gargoyle and his lustful nature as a man.”