But first, we should start at the beginning of my obsession with my love for Dragos Cuelebre, a wyr dragon shifter that rules NYC with an iron — or should I say clawed — fist. He’s old, like crack-of-dawn-of-the-universe old and so he has had time to gather up a group of ultra loyal Sentinels as his enforcers. ‘Cuz let’s face it, anyone with the wealth and power of Dragos is going to be under attack. However, it turns out the dragon’s weak spot doesn’t come in the form of dark vampires or evil elves. Instead the big guy is taken down by a woman — a young, beautiful shifter named Pia Giovanni who captures him body, mind and spirit.
Once the man in charge fell and fell hard, the rest of his group hasn’t been far behind. Storm’s Heart saw Dargos’ first in command, thunderbird Tiago Black Eagle, finally admit his feelings for fae princess Niniane, then in Serpent’s Kiss Rune was the next to find love and, well, you get the drift.
Ironically, it is the lone female Sentinel, Aryal, who seems the most allergic to love. She is a harpy — and proud of it! She has super speed, super strength, a super quick temper and, as a general rule, she doesn’t get along with anyone. However, she has a particular problem with new Sentinel Quentin Caeravorn.
Part of Aryal’s dislike of the Quentin has to do with the mystery surrounding him. No one is quite sure who — or what — he is. But because he is one of Pia’s best friends, Dragos takes him into the fold. Aryal, however, is not quite as accepting. In Kinked, Aryal decides that Quentin is up to no good and she vows to take him out the first chance she gets, which is not an empty threat. Don’t believe me? Then just check out our girl’s stance on the book cover. Her hard-ass vibe is no act, she really is as deadly as she is beautiful. Talking with Harrison about her heroine, the author describes Aryal as “one of the deadliest Wyr fighters in the world. She earned her position, nobody conceded it to her. As a predator Wyr, she's also just as aggressive as any other sentinel. The cover art captures her confidence and self assurance.”
Aryal’s front-and-center stance certainly reflects her strength, but the placement of Quentin is also quite telling. Anyone who is looking to get close to Aryal is gonna have to get through Quentin first because — you guessed it — these two hook up. In Kinked, while on a mission in the Elven land of Numenlaur (which is the way-cool sun kissed fantasy land in the cover’s background), all of the drama and angst between the couple transforms itself into a burning hot relationship.
Harrison shared with me that she pushed hard to get both Aryal and Quentin on the book’s cover because it shows that they are “truly equal partners." Huzzah!
Make sure to catch up with Aryal and Quentin by reading (or in my case, re-reading) Thea Harrison’s Elder Races series before Kinked is released on November 5. And if you are looking for more great books featuring shapeshifters, then check out our Everything Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Page!