Release Day Review and Sweepstakes: A Stone-Kissed Sea (Book #4: Elemental World Series) by Elizabeth Hunter

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A Stone-Kissed Sea (Book #4: Elemental World Series) by Elizabeth Hunter.  Published December 6, 2016 by Smashwords.  ISBN13: 9781941674109

Purple Goodreads

Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity.  Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point.  When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.

Source: ARC from author and purchase

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

It seems the very long Elixir arc may finally be coming to an end! 

Makeda Abel has been aware of vampires her entire life.  Her father has long been an archivist/historian for Katya, leader of the Pacific Northwest and Makeda has worked with several vampires over the course of her scientific career.  In fact, Makeda has spent the bulk of her career working in a Katya-funded lab devoted to human blood diseases.  Content with her life and her work, Makeda has never had an interest in studying vampire illnesses, but Elixir is on the verge of becoming a plague and Makeda is gifted.

Lucien Thrax is likely one of the most knowledgeable of all known vampires.  At 2,000+ years old, Lucien is not used to being questioned and he is even less used to needing help.  Unfortunately, after years of study and experimentation, the only solution to the Elixir problem Lucien has managed is a test kit that will detect the presence of the virus in the afflicted.  Clearly, Lucien and the rest of the vampire world is in need of fresh eyes and a new perspective.  The moment Makeda Abel walks into his lab, Lucien is aroused and angered.  She’s arrogant, head-strong, unafraid, and ego-threatening intelligent.  Furthermore, she stirs something in Lucien he had thought long-dead, interest in taking a mate.

As if their relationship weren’t contentious enough, things become absolutely combustible when Makeda’s life is threatened and she has to be turned in order to save her.  Her senses are heightened, her thirsts are ravenous, and her attraction to Lucien is near-uncontrollable.  She doesn’t want to want Lucien, but the fact of the matter is, they need one another if they are going to solve the Elixir problem.  Even with her commendable control, Makeda can’t be around humans so she and Lucien relocate to Ethiopia where they are in close quarters 24/7.  The close quarters allows for the breakthrough the entire vampire world has been waiting for, for Makeda to shore up her abilities under the tutelage of none of than Kato, and for the intimacy between she and Lucien to bloom. 

Playing out in the background of Lucien and Makeda’s lives is a huge upheaval in the immortal world led by Lucien’s vampiric mother, Saba.  Though Saba is absolutely capable of overthrowing the western council on her own, she calls on her “son” and Makeda to accompany her.  Though she is young, Makeda’s control and intelligence make her indispensable to the takeover, and her absence would distract Lucien.  As the group, along with a few other ancients travel the world, Makeda gets a crash-course in vampire politics, etiquette, and war.  With Lucien by her side, Makeda grows ever stronger and far more comfortable in a life that was forced upon her. 

The Bottom Line:  As always, Hunter has put together a well-written story full of everything awesome: plot and sub-plot, dialogue, characters, naughty bits, visits from old characters, and just enough dropped hints to indicate the series is far, far from over.  All happy-makers as far as I’m concerned!! 

For me, this book was really all about Makeda and the overthrowing of the Athenian court with Lucien playing more of a supporting role.  From the very beginning, Makeda was an interesting character for me with her arrogance and intelligence.  Even as a human, Makeda’s personality screamed vampire which made her transition far less dramatic than that of others in the series.  The lack (or at least dramatically decreased) amount of drama allowed for other aspects of the story to begin to play out far sooner than I would have expected.  Which leads to the huge political upheaval in the immortal world.  WOWSA!!  It is in this part of the read that I see the future of the Elemental World series happening.  Saba, Kato, and several other ancients were heavily featured in this read and are clearly back on the immortal playing field.  They are having none of the shenanigans that have been a part of the Elixir plague and looking to set things right.  I’m tremendously excited to see what may come for these characters and their new world order.

In all, I am still seeing freshness and being surprised by this series even this deep in.  Hunter takes the reader on a ride each and every time and I, for one, am still getting in line!!

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About the author and where to find her:

copy-of-ehbiopicELIZABETH HUNTER is a contemporary fantasy, paranormal romance, and paranormal mystery author. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Honors College and a former English teacher. She once substitute taught a kindergarten class, but decided that middle school was far less frightening. She’s the author of the Elemental Mysteries, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries.

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