New Concepts Publishing
Though I have read the tales of Lords of the Var out of order this has not detracted from my reading pleasure, though I do recommend they be read in order as there is a background storyline running through them. I started with the third in the series The Bound Prince, then moved on to the first The Savage King, and now this, the second, The Playful Prince, after becoming hooked by The Bound Prince. Consequently, I am now avidly reading the rest, including the other two loosely linked series, Dragon Lords and Galaxy Playmates. I believe you, too, will like them so much, you’ll want to get yours hands on any and all related tales!
The Lords of the Var are of a Cat-Shifting race. They and the Draig, who are Dragon Shifters, are enemies of long-standing. The South is ruled by the Var, the North by the Draig. After many years of battles between the two races, they are now attempting to make peace, which has only been possible because the old Var king, Attor, the main instigator, has died, allowing his older son Kirill to ascend to the throne. There is, however, still a threat – to both the Var and the Draig – but from what quarter does this threat come?
Dr Tori Elliott is an extremely well educated scientist, with several doctorate and master degrees to her name. But those qualifications are not the reason why she has received this latest job, a job that was forced on her. Oh no, not a one of her qualifications, or her work experience in the field, landed her in this job instead of her planned, well-deserved vacation. The main reason she was chosen is she is a young, attractive female. Yep, that’s right. She is stuck because she is a woman. The Human Intelligence Agency believe that sending her to Qurilixen, a male dominated planet, may aid their attempts to rid the primitive planet of all biological warfare by gaining the cooperation of the male race. Privately, Tori is outraged at this. Outwardly, she has to put on a facade of willingness. As the mission director puts it, she can either do it and get paid – or do it and not get paid. What a choice! Deciding to stay on the planet to make sure there are no biological warfare weapons left was not something Tori was planning on. Having found something strange about the soil on the planet, however, Tori is eager to investigate, her instincts buzzing that something is not quite right. But what is the importance of her discovery? Is it something that poses a threat to the planet and those who live on it? How will Tori cope with her growing feelings and sexual attraction to the Var Prince Quinn, especially with his being her liaison with the palace?
Prince Quinn is a firm believer in variety being the spice of life. Bedding a variety of women, anyway. His father’s teachings on this matter have always stuck with him; women are like grapes on a vine, each sweeter than the last. Why taste one when you can sample them all? He has no desire to life-mate as his brother has. Quite the opposite. Associating loving one woman with weakness, to say he is keen to avoid life-mating to one woman would be an understatement of great magnitude. His reaction to Tori bewilders him, but he does not recognize the draw between them as that of two halves of a whole being pulled together. As his feelings for her uncontrollably expand and consume him, he is panicked and resistant. But will his heart win out over his fears? What of the threat facing Tori? Will he be able to keep her, and the other scientists as well as his people, unharmed? Will he have to make a choice between the two?
The Playful Prince is a tale about a man who has no idea of the true meaning of love or how to express it, having been brought up by an emotionally detached father, and a woman who grew up in a loving family, taking for granted that everyone is able to express their emotions. This seemingly pair of complete opposites are actually rather perfect for one another, once they get past their preconceived ideas and discover the real people beneath the facades. They will have you rooting for them; a happy ending highly desired, though there are some tense and uncertain moments along the way. As with the others in the series, The Playful Prince has been very well written by Michelle M Pillow, her style, particularly her ‘swear word’, being rather unique. This story occasionally brings a smile of happiness to your face, and sometimes a frown of worry, but you will always be engrossed in the storyline. Ms Pillow is definitely an author to look out for!
Reviewed By Elizabeth
© October 2005