Title: Cold Iron
Author: D.L. McDermott
Series: Cold Iron, book 1
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Pocket Books (February 10th)
Source: Review copy from publisher
“The Fae, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk, the Aes Sídhe, creatures of preternatural beauty and seduction. Archaeologist Beth Carter doesn’t believe in them. She’s always credited her extraordinary ability to identify ancient Celtic sites to hard work and intuition—until she discovers a tomb filled with ancient treasure but missing a body. Her ex-husband, the scholar who stifled her career to advance his own, is unconcerned. Corpses don’t fetch much on the antiquities market. Gold does. Beth knows from past experience that if she isn’t vigilant, Frank will make off with the hoard.
So when a man—tall, broad shouldered, and impossibly handsome—turns up in her bedroom claiming to be the tomb’s inhabitant, one of mythic god-kings of old Ireland, Beth believes it is a ploy cooked up by her ex-husband to scare her away from the excavation.
But Conn is all too real. Ancient, alien, irresistible, the Fae are the stuff of dreams and nightmares, their attentions so addictive their abandoned human lovers wither and die. And this one has fixed his supernatural desire on Beth.”
Cold Iron is the first installment in the Cold Iron series by D.L. McDermott.
Reading a debut novel is almost like buying a lottery ticket (especially if there are not yet reviews for that book). You invest your money (time) and hope for a winning ticket (book). Sometimes you don’t win anything (a bad book), sometimes you get a small price (a book with some potential), other few times you get a second best price (a good book with a few problems) and rarely you get the winning ticket (a book that surprise you and leaves you wanting for more).
I played the lottery when I requested Cold Iron and I’m happy to say I got a winning ticket.
Beth Carter is an archaeologist trying to survive in a man’s world. Something made harder thanks to her ex-husband, Frank, and his manipulations. He has earned the recognition she deserved for her work and there is not much she can do about it. Even after divorcing him he continues to exploits Beth’s ability to identify ancient Celtic sites and gets the credit for it, but Beth is done with Frank and his antics, especially after he desecrated their latest site in Ireland, a tomb preserved in perfect condition, the only thing missing was the body of the inhabitant of the tomb, something Frank didn’t care about.
Beth is tired of Frank machinations, she knows he will try to scare her away from the site, so he can steal artifacts to sell them in the black market. What Beth wasn’t expecting was a man showing up in her room at the inn she was staying, saying his name is Conn and he’s the inhabitant of the tomb and asking for his missing sword. Beth thinks he’s an actor paid by Frank to scare her away. She has had enough and decides to return to the US to denounce Frank with the museum authorities.
In Boston, Beth is surprised when she receives a shipment made by Frank on her name. After further examination Beth discovers Frank mailed the artifacts under her name to incriminate her. But what really worries Beth is that Conn has come to Boston looking for her and his sword. After some encounters with him she can’t deny that he is what he says he is, one of the Fae. A ruthless “man” that won’t stop at anything to get what he wants, including her.
I really liked Beth; she’s a strong heroine that grows page after page. She has been used in the past and is tired of it, so she takes the reins of her life and is willing to do anything to survive, including allying with a man like Conn, whom she finds very attractive, attraction she won’t act upon because she knows the consequences of loving a Fae. They use the women and leave them to die after making them addicted to their “attentions”.
Conn is used to get what he wants when he wants, so when Beth says No to him he finds it frustrating but intriguing. Conn starts as a cold, unfeeling character until his interaction with Beth make him considering his actions. He knows he wants Beth as he hasn’t wanted anybody before, he also knows he needs to change for her to accept him, something not easily done after millennia of being simple a Fae and taking what he wants.
Beth and Conn’s relationship develops slowly, they not only need to learn to trust each other to be together, they also need to adjust to their circumstances, the Fae touch is addictive to humans and the last thing they want is for Beth to suffer from it. I really liked them together, I liked how Beth made Conn softer and I liked how Conn gave strength to Beth to become a better and stronger woman.
From the secondary characters I liked Beth’s friend, Helene, she’s sassy, smart and strong. The other character I really liked is the Fae, Miach MacCecht. Miach is mysterious in a good way, it’s clearly he has a good heart, a heart that is interested in Helene. The second book, Silver Skin, will be their book and saying I can’t wait to read it is the understatement of the year.
The Fae D.L. McDermott gives us in her debut novel are the ones I like, they are not sweet and caring, they are scary and unfeeling, just the way I imagine them to be. At the same time “some of them” are redeemable, they just need to find a good woman to make them want to be better. That was the case of Conn; seeing him go through that transformation was a very nice treat.
The world D.L. McDermott created in Cold Iron is complex and solid. The plot is engaging and with enough twists and turns to have you glued to the pages and leave you wanting for more. So much, that I’m counting the days left to April 14th, to get my hands on the next installment of this series, Silver Skin.
My Verdict: 4 ½ Paws
Other books in the series
Cold Iron (February 10th)
Silver Skin (April 14th)
Stone Song (June 9th)
Other reviews Goodreads