Unexpected Eden (Eden #1)
by Rhenna Morgan
Paradise, love, power…and a prophecy with a price.
Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.
Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question--is she Myren, or human, which makes her forbidden fruit?
When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.
“So are you ready to give flying a go?” Eryx asked.
Lexi glanced at the landscape behind her. “In front of everyone?”
Eryx edged closer, but didn’t crowd. He stroked her cheekbone. “They’re to keep you safe. Until we find Maxis, we need them.”
She wrinkled her nose and scowled. “Am I going to flop on my face?”
“Tell her about your first try.” Ludan smirked and crossed his arms.
“Can it.” Eryx said, but kept his focus on Lexi. “Picture it in your mind and let the energy do the rest.”
She nodded and sucked in a breath.
He stepped back.
Her eyelids fluttered shut and her hands fisted at her sides. The soft drone of nature hummed and wind swirled between them.
He held his breath, anxiety wrenching the muscles along his forearms.
“Yeah, not working.” Her shoulders slumped and she ducked her chin.
“At least you’re not jumping off of rocks or tall ledges,” Ludan said.
Eryx glared at Ludan and stepped between them. “You’re not helping.”
Lexi sidestepped and asked Ludan, “Who did that?”
Ludan didn’t respond, but the way Lexi’s lips spread into a sly smile told him Ludan had pointed at him.
Interfering family and friends. He couldn’t wait until Ludan found someone he gave a shit about impressing. Payback would be a bitch. He turned Lexi away from his somo. “You need to relax. If you tense up it gets harder.”
“Easy for you to say. You’re not the one learning with a bunch of strangers watching.”
“Forget about them.” He cupped her shoulders and lowered his voice. “Close your eyes and think about your dreams. Remember how it felt to fly.”
The wind around them stirred, nothing too strong, but more than what Mother Nature generated on her own and crackling with untrained energy.
He eased back. “Just like that. Remember the feelings. How you took off. How you turned. What the wind felt like on your skin.”
Lexi relaxed her head, faced aimed at the sky with her eyes still closed. Peaceful looking with the barest smile on her lips.
He lifted off the ground and hovered a few stories above her. Pale silver shimmers danced in a fine halo around her head and shoulders, power ready for release. “Now open your eyes and come with me.”
Her chest lifted on a slow, deep breath and she opened her eyes. For a split second, her gaze clouded, then sharpened. She took two steps forward and shot into the sky. Overshooting his position, she squeaked and began to fall.
“Whoa!” Eryx snatched and steadied her against him. “You have to keep thinking. Autopilot doesn’t kick in right away. It’s like driving a car. When you’ve been doing it for years, you don’t even think about it. But when you first start, it’s all you can think about.”
She laughed, not the least bit concerned she’d nearly tumbled to the Earth. “I did it.” She braced her hands on his chest, the smile on her face enough to grip his heart and lock on tight. “I really did it.”
Her warm breath fanned against his face. His thoughts scrambled and a raw, achy need pushed to the surface.
Her mouth softened and she rubbed her hand, slow against his heart. “You okay?”
Reason batted at the back of his head, shrieking to get back in the game. Now wasn’t the time or place for selfish impulse. “I’m fine.”
She lifted an eyebrow.
“I like seeing you smile.” It was only a sliver of the truth, a speck of the impact she had on his heart.
Her face glowed, the tips of her cheeks a pale pink. She glanced at Ludan, still on the ground, but poised for action. “Can we do it again?”
“That’s what we’re here for.” What he really wanted was to cart her home and practice at something much more carnal. He faced her forward. “Ludan will cover from below. I’ll stay close.”
She shot from his arms without a beat of hesitation. With every minute her movements smoothed. Her confidence radiated against his senses hot and heavy, slipping into its Myren nature as easy as a river found its course.
If she knew the type of relationship he craved from her, would she adjust to the idea of him as easily? He shoved the idea away before it could take root and tightened his distance to Lexi. He should be focused on her training, not postulating relationship suicide.
Every task he gave her she tackled, her enthusiasm and tenacity unhindered by the realm she’d left behind. And it was rubbing off. Not just on him, but Ludan and Ramsay too if the awe-filled commentary via link was any indication. Most people balked when it came to learning to land, but Lexi? She laughed and plowed toward it like she did everything else.
Her latest approach was faster than previous landings, arms high and opened for balance.
Eryx balanced on the balls of his feet, ready to catch her if she faltered.
Her energy sputtered.
He darted forward and swept her into his arms just as her knees buckled. “I let you go too long.” His voice was gruff, the angry beat of his heart and the fact that his stomach was lodged in his throat making a lighthearted tone impossible.
Lexi draped her arms around his neck. “Hardly.” A contented sigh hummed past her lips and her head relaxed against his shoulder. “But I am tired.”
Eryx lowered her to the ground, but kept an arm around her waist. “That’s burnout. Just like you had too much before, now you’re running low. You need food and rest. Once you’ve acclimated, the extremes won’t be so great.”
Stomach rumbling in agreement, she pressed a hand against her belly. “I love it.” Huffing, she leaned over and rested her hands on her knees, and looked up at him. Her eyes twinkled and she smiled wide enough to show perfect white teeth. “For the first time in my life, I feel right. I think I could handle just about anything you throw at me today.”
Could you handle the idea of being my mate? The thought leapt up along with a growl he barely kept in check.
I went into Unexpected Eden with high hopes and while I did enjoy it, it wasn't quite what I expected... Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. I was just hoping for more.
Eryx has been searching for the mate he met in his dreams for years and when he finally finds Lexi he completely turns her life upside down. Lexi has no family, only one friend, and hasn't had the easiest life. Of course she's wary of Eryx at first, but quickly gives into to his belief that she belongs in Eden.
What results is a whirlwind romance at it's fullest. Eryx whisks Lexi off to Eden where she learns that she's one of Eden's lost ones. While she does take a little time to come to terms with everything, I personally felt that she gave into everything Eryx threw at her pretty quickly. She has her awakening, comes into her powers, and mates with Eryx all within a few days.
While I'm a huge fan of insta-love and fated mates, I just feel that everything happened way too quickly under the circumstances. Not to mention, Eryx is hiding a pretty huge secret from Lexi that she doesn't find out until after they're mated, and she doesn't even make him apologize, just brushes it off like it doesn't matter. I'm sorry but any woman in her right mind would be pissed to have that thrown at them along with everything else she's been through.
Pushing all other issues aside, I think my main problem with Unexpected Eden was really the lack of chemistry between Eryx and Lexi. Because of the short time frame and the fact that Eryx was always off taking care of his Malran duties, we don't see much alone time between the couple. I just figured in a place like Eden, the chemistry and romance would be off the charts.
Overall it was a decent read with lots of word building and a beautiful foreign world. There was a side story developing between Eryx's sister, Galena, and a prisoner from the enemy army, Reese, that I would probably read about if they happen to have their own book. And I'd love for Ludan to have his own book too since he was probably my favorite character in Unexpected Eden.
Rhenna Morgan writes for the same reason she reads—to escape reality.
Yes, her life rocks—two beautiful little girls, a great husband, a steady job, and the kind of friends that would take you out back if you hurt her. But, like most women, she’s got obligations stacked tight from dusk to dawn. So, when the world gets her down, she slips into something…less realistic.
Romance is a must. So is a steamy romp (or four). Nothing thrills her more than the fantasy of new, exciting worlds, strong, intuitive men, and the sigh of, “Oh if only that could happen to me.”
So, if you’re picking up one of her books, expect portals into alternate realms and men who’ll fight to keep the women they want. Romantic escape for the women who need it.
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