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WesternSFA
The Elf Lord's Revenge
by Arabella Thorne
Amazon and others, $2.99 ebook, 294pp
Release Date: July 13, 2013
This is a debut book by a writer who’s been writing pretty much all her life. It’s a different take on elves, set in California in the mid-1800’s. No sword-wielding, medieval knights and elves here…well, there might be a little sword-wielding.

Allydan had been traveling to exotic locales but returned home to Alta California to find his family – parents and siblings – foully murdered. Devastated by the loss and with no clue who did it or why, he is adrift and lonely when he meets Emma. Emma is a shopgirl in town, beholden to a nasty little man who uses her. Finally unable to put up with his unwanted advances and snide innuendos, she leaves him on the road one rainy night. While struggling through the storm, she witnesses a horse and wagon careen off the road into a raging canal. She manages to save a baby but not the mother, and almost doesn’t make it but for the unexpected assistance of a dark stranger – Allydan. Allydan takes her and the baby back to the rancho where he has been staying. Being a healer comes in pretty handy when he has to care for Emma’s wounds from the event at the canal.

Emma is both attracted to and confused by his exotic looks and his bedside manner. In time she feels safe and comforted living at the rancho, far from her troubles in town. But when finally healed she must return to town and see to her drunkard father and confront her would-be suitor. But that isn’t all she is forced to confront, the busy-body women in town have not overlooked the fact she is living, unescorted, in the company of a single man.

In the meantime, Allydan’s plea for assistance from his homeland has not gone unanswered. Two of his kin appear to help track down his family’s murderer; a murderer who is still in the vicinity, waiting for another opportunity to strike.

The author did a good job juggling multiple viewpoints and storylines. The characters were well-defined, the plot was solid, and I enjoyed watching Allydan and Emma sort out their differences while a threat hung over them all. It was a very satisfying conclusion, as well. ~~ Catherine Book

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