Archer, Zoe. Stranger. New York: Zebra, 2010.
Mass Market Paperback | $6.99 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1420106824 | 486 pages | Victorian Romance/Paranormal Romance
I was anxious to pick up Stranger after meeting Catullus Graves in Scoundrel, one of the previous Blades of the Rose books. And while I fully intend to pick up the other two books in the series when I’m able, I’m glad I got the chance to read Catullus’ story, because he is an awesome hero. Given my excitement with the most recent Archer/Leigh nerd hero, I’m glad to read about another compelling intelligent male character from her.
I also love the way his past, with his ancestors being slaves and still dealing with racism, is written, and how it fits into the broader scope of the series, with the Blades of the Rose fighting back against colonialism.
Gemma is an okay heroine, but I definitely felt more investment with Catullus’ perspective, especially as she didn’t seem as connected to all of this compared to London from Scoundrel, what with her connection to the Heirs. But Gemma also has her own past of not being valued by the men in her life, and I love the way she and Catullus come together as people who have both been somewhat ill-treated by others, even if it is in different ways.
The adventure plot is also a lot of fun, with once again just the right balance of that and sensuality and romance. I love Archer’s take on Arthurian legend, discussing the connection of Glastonbury to Avalon, as well as introducing characters like King Arthur and Merlin.
This is a fun historical/paranormal adventure-romance, with an absolutely swoonworthy hero and a compelling story that kept me invested from start to finish. I would recommend it to anyone who loves a good blend of historical and paranormal romance.