Saturday, July 9, 2011

Inferno By Linda Howard (Raintree Part 1)

Back cover synopsis: 

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated them, the Ansara wizards are rising up again to take on their bitterest foes.  As king, it's up to Dante Raintree to protect his clan, but when Lorna Clay walks into his life, suddenly fire, always his to control, defeats him, leaving him wondering whether Lorna is to blame.  Will Dante's strength be enough to win the fight of his life??

This book is my dirty pleasure.  I reread it before I wrote this, just to brush up a little on some of the best parts.  And once again, I was sucked in by the fast paced action and romance that I finished it in 12 hours.  So, its time to tell you why I love this book.

Dante Raintree is a rich and powerful casino owner in Reno, Nevada.  But that's not all he is, he is also Dranir(or king in layman's terms) of the Raintree clan.  When Lorna Clay is brought to his office on the suspicion of cheating in his casino his world is suddenly thrown into chaos.

Lorna Clay has always known she was different, she was constantly reminded of that when she was a child.  Now a days she prefers to be invisible, unnoticeable to everyone. That's how she has lived her life so far and it has worked to keep her out of harms way and a little money in her pocket.  Everything was fine until, while gambling in the Inferno casino, she was grabbed by security and taken to the owner.  From that moment on her world has spun out of control and in her own words has gone into the Twilight Zone.

When Dante sees Lorna in person for the first time, he is completely enthralled   She is likewise affected, but will not admit it, stubborn to the end as she is.  But before he can even figure out who let alone what she is, they are thrown into danger.  The casino is on fire and they are on the 19th floor with no elevators!!

Grabbing Lorna, they make their way down the staircase and try to get outside.  Unfortunately, they run into other patrons of the hotel/casino also trying to escape but panicking (and we all know what can happen in those situation...)  To keep order and to get everyone out and to safely, Dante does something he didn't even know he was capable of until now.  He uses his power of mind control to calm everyone down and get them out of the stairwell and out side before they are cooked alive.

When everyone is safe he goes to battle the fire himself with Lorna along for the ride, unable to break his mind control.  Dante being able to control fire, try's to battle he monstrous flames to no avail and sees that without help he and Lorna are going to die.  Without time to consider the consequences, he taps into Lorna's power to at least get the fire in check until the firefighter can get a hold of the flame, all the while sensing that something supernatural is feeding the inferno.

Once rescued and and the fire extinguished, he take Lorna back to his house to determine who and what she is.  If she is part of the Ansara he would have to kill her, if she is a "stray", she is the most under trained and powerful stray he has ever met.  One thing is for sure, he needs to find out and soon.

After being what she considers kidnapped and kept prisoner by his weird mental leash, Lorna is more than upset with Dante and shows it every way she can, either with upper cuts to the face or messing with his coffee.  All the while he is telling her thing so ridiculous that they seem right out of a science fiction book about how she is gifted and no alone in the world.  The only problem with that is it all makes sense to her.  Dante offers to train her to use her abilities just to protect herself from other "gifted" beings, but she is so guarded and jaded from a troubled childhood, its hard for her to trust anyone.

After he saves her life again in another near miss, she realizes that this man will always be with her and shes not sure how she feels about that.

     Her mother certainly wouldn't have risked a nail, much less her life, to save Lorna from anything.  So what was this. . . this stranger doing, putting his own life in danger to protect her?  She hated him for doing this to her, for making himself someone whose footprint would always be on her heart.

And as for Dante, he is realizing its more that just a simple attraction to a woman.

     He loved her.  This wasn't just sex, just a brief affair, or just anything.  It was the real deal.  He loved her courage, her gallantry, her grumpiness.  He loved the snarky comments, the stubbornness and vulnerability she hated for anyone to see.

When more and more of what is happening to the both of them seem more like a deliberate attempt on their lives and not just mere coincident, their very young relationship gets tested as it is pit up against century's of war.  Will their love survive, I don't know, I will let you get entranced by this book as I was and find out for yourself.  Hopefully it will have you wanting more.  Enjoy.

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