Children of the Veil (The Aisling Chronicles Book 2)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: October 26, 2016
Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 120K
Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: to find her mother in whatever dimension she’s imprisoned. But to do that, she has to face her estranged father, and to do that, she needs a shot of whiskey…or seven. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, she wakes up with one hell of a hangover and a whole barrage of questions.
Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to aid Elizabeth in her search, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her again. Together, they dive headlong into the shadows of her mother’s secrets and find themselves embroiled in a Fae rebellion that will test Finn’s loyalties and their love.
With the Faerie realm verging on chaos, Elizabeth and Finn will embark on a quest that will lead them from the streets of Chicago to London’s seedy Fae underground. But rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means journeying to a place Finn can’t follow, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice between finding her at last or saving her own soul.
Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: find her mother and free her. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, her search leads to more questions than answers. Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to help Elizabeth, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her. Diving into the shadows of her mother’s secrets throws them into a Fae rebellion that will test their love, and rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means making a choice between finding her or saving her own soul.
My legs buckled and he snatched me into his arms, my head lolling against his chest. I breathed in the smell of leather, fresh folded laundry, and that pure, manly scent of Finn-ness. God, I had missed him.
“Who…?” I managed to say, the words feeling like caked mud in my mouth.
He didn’t answer, but slipped me into his car and I sank into the leather seat, darkness eating at the edge of my sight. The purring engine lulled me into a daze, and I must have passed out because the next thing I knew, we were stumbling up the stairs to my apartment.
“I live here,” I slurred.
“I know,” Finn mumbled, his muscled arm propping me up. “Where are your keys?”
Snowflakes collected on the crown of his head, his eyebrows knitting together. The curve of his mouth filled my vision, and my fingers slipped over the soft skin, tracing the delicate cupid bow on his top lip. His face softened, multiple Finns swimming through the muted streetlight.
“Mmmmm…” I murmured, running my hand against the side of his face, trying to keep from seeing double. “Stay still.”
He placed a gentle hand over my hand. “Elizabeth, your keys. It’s freezing out here.”
I brought his palm next to my face, brushing my lips against his callused fingers. Need burned through my body, and I fell against his broad chest, covering his mouth with mine with a moan. For a moment, he kissed me back, his hands pressing firm against my shoulders. The falling snow tickled my neck, sending icy trails down my spine, and I pressed into him seeking his warmth. He made a low sound in his throat.
“You’re drunk,” he whispered.
“I don’t care.” I whispered into his ear.
Finn disentangled himself from my arms, and I slipped on a patch of ice, falling on my ass with a giggle. He leaned over me, patting my jeans in search for my keys. His hands strayed to my waist, tickling my side, and I laughed, grabbing his hands.
He hovered over me, his hair grazing the firm line of his jaw. “Elizabeth, stop. I mean it. Where are your keys?”
He rifled in my coat, and something landed on the balcony with a thud. The book of Yeats’ poetry lay in the snow, white powder quickly accumulating on its worn cover. Finn made to grab it, but I snatched it away, wiping it off and sticking it safe back inside my coat. He stared down at me and swallowed hard, the tinkling crystal of falling snow the only sound in the silent street.
“Elizabeth…” He whispered, his hand brushing away a wet lock of hair plastered to my cheek.
I shrugged away, rifling in my jeans pocket for my keys and threw them at him. A wave of dizziness washed over me and I curled up on the balcony, willing the snow to blanket over me, desiring nothing but to become the winter so I could sleep for four months and reemerge whole again. Stinging numbness gripped my fingers and toes, and I shivered, burying my head against my arm.
“Let’s get you inside.” Finn’s arm slipped beneath my shoulders and under my knees.
Finn stood up and placed his hands on my shoulders, massaging my sore muscles. I turned my head to the side, allowing him access to my neck. He rubbed his thumb down my spine, and I let out a soft moan as the tension in my body released.
“The way you addressed that soldier tonight, and your oath to Phelan,” he said. “I have to admit, I was quite enamored by your display of power.”
“Oh, you ain’t seen nothing yet, Mr. O’Connell.” My fingertips hummed with aisling energy as he brushed my hair aside and kissed me between my shoulder blades. In spite of my exhaustion and everything I learned tonight, my body ached for him.
“I think royalty looks good on you.” He smoothed his hands down my arms, and breathed into my ear. “But then again, I think everything looks good on you, Princess”
I placed my hand over Finn’s. “You just want to see me in a dress again.”
“I suppose I’m still stuck in the 18th century.” He stroked my hair, pulling my wayward curls behind my ears. “I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to seeing women in trousers.”
I stood up and stretched, turning to the cot in the corner. “Well, get used to it, buddy.” Finn grabbed my ass, and I squealed as he pulled me into his lap, the rickety wooden chair groaning beneath our weight.
“I could get used to these tight blue jeans, however.” Finn moved his hand down my hip. “They are quite flattering in a twenty-first century sort of way.”
“I’m glad you approve,” I breathed into his ear, reaching back and placing his cheek close to mine.
“It’s just that a lady’s skirts made it much easier to do this.” Finn wrapped his arm around my waist and slipped his fingers inside the waistband of my jeans.
I gasped, grabbing at his hand—to release me or plunge deeper, I wasn’t sure.
About the Author:
As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshmen. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children. CHILDREN OF THE VEIL is the follow up to her debut urban fantasy novel, THROUGH THE VEIL.
Holy wow, you guys, I’m seriously blown away with what I just read! Yikes, I need to sort through that enormous mess of thoughts and emotions in my head!!!
So, anyway, Elizabeth has broken things up with Finn and decided she will look for her mother, while making sure she doesn’t ever become a sacrificial bride again, or let the Fae politics drag her down. However, things rarely go as planned, and she soon finds herself by Finn’s side again, both working together in order to locate Niamh, stop a war, survive the bloodthirst of the Fir Bolgs, and making sure to keep as much out of the Fianna’s clutches as possible… Can they get a second chance in their love – and live to tell the tale about it?
Honestly, I figured Lizzie went through enough suffering during the first book. I mean, getting married to Bres and tolerating all that abuse, well, what more could be done to break her? But I was wrong, and despite the fact the events in the second book nearly left me mentally crippled, I was delighted to be so!
Colleen Halverson did a majestic job of bringing more trouble on her heroine’s way, but it wasn’t only that. The physical suffering Lizzie had to experience was bad enough, but the emotional scars? Pretty badass on the auhor’s part, and totally ruining us as readers, if you ask me. Lizzie had to live through continuous betrayal, from every side possible, and by the first half of the book, I swear I was like “Ok, no, this guy can’t be trusted. That one either – DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT THE OTHER ONE!”.
I developed trust issues. Against fictional beings. Job VERY well done, Mrs. Halverson!!!
The romance, despite its rough start, escalated rather hotly and in our favor once Finn stopped all that holding back. I wanted him killed in the previous book, but I admit I warmed up to him after seeing how far he was willing to go for Elizabeth. And, OK, his resourcefulness in intimate… situations didn’t hurt… *whistles*
The story was full of twists, and, if you haven’t figured it out yet, there was no certainty for the true colors of any character. So it was really exciting to see what would happen next! Plus, there was this whole butterfly effect – when someone did something conerning magic and the Fae folk, there would be consequences, and no one, not even the main heroes, escaped that kind of law. I liked it!
Now, if someone can get me a design of that swan tattoo, I’m really interested in having it on me. Oh, and I can’t wait for the next book. I’m sure Lizzie, so much more matured now with all her new experiences, and after all that character growth she’s gone through, will be even more amazing to read about!
***I was given an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinion stated in this review is solely mine, and no compensation was given or taken to alter it.***
~More goodies coming your way~
The playlist for the book – if you’re up to it 😉
AND a quiz for those of you who are a tad playful!