Earth Bound (Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart #4)
Jove / July 7, 2015 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital
The #1 New York Timesbestselling author ofAir Boundreturns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past…
After escaping from a cult, Lexi found refuge with her sisters on the farm that more than sustained her body—it nurtured her soul as well. But she never forgot the terror she left behind or the always present fear that the cult would find her again, and claim her. Then her nightmare came true.
Lexi was discovered and threatened—only to be suddenly saved by a stranger. He is Gavriil Prakenskii, and he’s awestruck by the woman he’s rescued. She is destined for him. He can feel it in his soul. But how can Lexi find happiness with a man steeped in secrets and shadows, one intimately acquainted with violence, and whose very love could be the death of them?
Shared experiences can bring people together, especially when they’re traumatic. This is at the heart of Christine Feehan’s Sea Haven/Sisters of the Heart series – reclaiming life through bonds with people who understand what you’ve been through.
Lexi Thompson lives on a farm in Sea Haven with five “sisters.” Not biological sisters, but sisters of the heart. These six women met in a support group for people who have been traumatized by violence. They learn to love and trust each other and settle together in a small farming community. They’re also elementals with magical abilities.
The Prakenskii brothers are from a Russian family that was torn apart when the parents were murdered and the seven sons were forced into secret government training schools to become assassins. They were abused and tortured as part of their training, none more so than the oldest two, including our hero Gavriil.
“Viktor, my oldest brother, and Gavriil were taken to the worst training schools. The conditions were brutal; all of us in the other schools knew about those places and how harsh they were. We were brutalized enough and the thought of being sent to one of the other schools was enough to keep most of the students in line.”
The Prakenskii brothers all seem to be destined to fall in love with one of the sisters. In the previous installments, a Prakenskii has come into the life of one of the sisters and hasn’t left. The brothers hail from a magical family, but the connection shared between people who have been through something awful feels just as strong in these couples.
“It’s possible that the reason these women can be with us is because they’ve suffered similar events,” Gavriil said. “That, or the universe is lining up to give us something wonderful after so many years of nothing.”
Gavriil is described as dangerous, dark. His outward physical appearance of many, many scars and constant pain from old injuries paints images of one big, scary dude. Lexi Thompson was abducted from her home when she was just eight years old. She was taken by a cult and forced into marriage where she was brutalized and abused. Her attacker killed her family. Even the most cursory descriptions of what Lexi went through were difficult to read. Her abuse was so severe that I couldn’t imagine her being anything but broken. This is the first book in this series that I’ve read, so I suspended my doubts and went on the assumption that the relationships with her sisters were helping her heal.
Gavriil and Lexi are drawn to each other. Both broken, both in need of a path out of the darkness but not believing either of them deserved it.
There was something about him she just couldn’t help but be drawn to. He was tragic, yet he didn’t know it. He needed saving, but he didn’t know that either. He was so alone standing there. He didn’t know how to love, so broken, just like she was. She didn’t know how either. Or maybe it was survival mode they both lived in, and they didn’t dare allow anyone else in because if they were ripped apart a second time there would be no fixing either of them.
In the beginning of the book, Lexi’s abductor finds her. Lexi is able to defend herself, but only to a point. It’s Gavriil who finishes the job and ensures that he will never be able to threaten her again. Gavriil is so drawn to Lexi that he brands her as his with a mark that is only visible to the two of them. When she shows him even the smallest act of kindness, he’s a total goner.
One small act of kindness and he was gone. Shredded. Taken over. He wanted to curse. Weep. Fight. There was a part of him that coiled tight, ready to attack. He’d been shot, beaten, tortured and stabbed numerous times. This was far worse. With one touch she had disarmed him. She’d destroyed him. Utterly destroyed him.
As the two of them work together to overcome their pasts, they find what they need in each other – a reason to keep trying.
I don’t know what chance I have to be a civilized man, but if there’s any way at all to be worth something to you, I want to be it.
You already are.
If you like a story of couples overcoming tortured pasts on their way to their happily ever after, then Christine Feehan’s Earth Bound is for you. Despite being a bit lost from not having read the first three books, I enjoyed this story and will be reading the rest of the series.
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Story lover. Genetically gifted with red hair and a quick wit. Find me on Twitter: @Phoebe_Chase