Earth Bound (Sea Haven # 4) by Christine Feehan
Synopsis: 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?
Review: I truly love this series. It is one of those series that you just feel good reading. The setting, the characters, the struggles, the sense of redemption the characters go through, the passion, the humor, the love, all make for a wonderful story and a wonderful series. This latest installment doesn’t disappoint, in fact, I have to say that this is my favorite thus far in the whole Sisters of the Heart series! I love Gavriil and Lexi as a couple and as characters. Lexi is a beautiful soul and Gavriil is a hard man in desperate need of a soft touch and true acceptance and love. Lexi’s backstory is heartbreaking; she was taken from her family at 8 years old to be raised in a cult where she was forced to “marry” the man who abducted her. In her mid to late teen years, she plans an escape and succeeds, but in the back of her mind is always this fear that her “husband” will find her and take her back. Gavriil Prakenskii is the brother who was viciously attacked, barely survived, and then hunted down to be assassinated because he was no longer “usable” by his government as an assassin. His brothers all help him disappear and he comes to Sea Haven after many years of hiding because his youngest brother, Ilya, has been placed on a hit list. He has come to lead the assassins away and to say goodbye to his brothers. He never expects to meet Lexi, but when he does, he knows she is his, his chance at a better life and a chance to find peace and love. He claims that chance and is there to save her from her “husband” when he comes to take her back. That sets up the story where they need to work together to eliminate the cult threat to Lexi, while Gavriil tries to win Lexi’s fragile trust. Their story is heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. I absolutely loved Gavriil’s patience and his ferocious need to protect Lexi, and Lexi’s ability to accept Gavriil for the man he is, flaws and all.
Favorite Quote 1: This scene is a cute exchange between Gavriil and Lexi I call “I’m the boss.”
Lexi lifted one eyebrow. “I’m betting you haven’t eaten in a while.”
“I’m used to doing things for myself.”
“That’s good, because I can barely take care of myself, but just for the next few days, until we get this nerve thing under control, I thought maybe we could compromise.”
“How does that work?”
She smiled at him again. Her mouth was beautiful, her lips full and soft, a terrible temptation. “You do everything I say, of course. Right now, I need my hair back so I can make the tea and get the lunch Levi sent over for us.”
“Can you cook? I might consider letting you boss me around for a couple of days if you can cook.”
“Of course I can cook. And I always use fresh, organic vegetables and herbs.” She managed a haughty look even with her sparkling eyes. “Believe me, doing everything I say will be totally worth it. I’m a very good cook, although I tell my sisters I’m not so they occasionally feed me after I’ve worked all day.”
“I didn’t notice a lot of use in that kitchen of yours,” he hedged. “Letting you boss me around won’t be easy. I have to know what you’re saying is true.” He tugged on her hair as if he was considering the proposal.
“What’s to think about? I stick needles in you daily and make you drink all kinds of concoctions that I won’t tell you what’s in them, boss you around and feed you wonderful meals. I’ll even let you have this bed. It’s the most comfortable. That’s a huge concession right there.”
“You never sleep in it.”
“Exactly. It’s brand-new, never been used. Totally comfortable. Judith made certain it was the best. Bamboo, no nasty creatures or fungus would dare touch that mattress.”
“This sounds like a dream come true. Really. How could a man go wrong?”
“There’s more,” Lexi added. Her smile widened, taking his breath away.
“I can’t wait,” he said.
“When you’re all better and forever beholden to me because I’m such a good healer, you can work the farm with me. I might even let you drive my tractor, although I’m not making any promises. That’s my baby and I don’t let just anyone drive it.”
“This proposition of yours just gets better and better,” he replied.
Favorite Quote 2: This scene is when Lexi is having nightmares and Gavriil can’t wake her, so he speaks to her telepathically, hoping to bring her out of her nightmares and memories. I call it “You already are.”
I’m here with you, Lexi, and you’re safe. I killed that man for you. I made sure he suffered before he died and told me who knew where you are. I’ll find them and I’ll kill them. Every one of them, until I know you’re safe. He used telepathic communication, enabled by the connection between their palms as well as their gifts.
He told me details about what he’d done to you and I lost control. I’ve never lost control in my life. I’m not ashamed of it, but it did throw me for a long while, which is part of the reason I had my hand around your throat. You can hate me if you want to, or despise what I am, but he’s gone. Wiped out. He can’t come back.
Her weeping lessened. He felt her stillness and knew he had her attention. Now you know the worst of me. The very worst. You know what they made me, a monster capable of terrible things. I’ve done things beyond any hope of redemption and I couldn’t feel a thing while I did them. I looked at him and could only see you–what he’d done to you.
There was the faintest of stirrings in his mind. A brush of her mind against his. Her weeping stopped completely. She didn’t move away from him as she should have. She didn’t push at the hand spread out over her skin. She stayed very still, but he knew she was listening now.
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.
Three words. That was all it took, and she had his heart in the palm of her hands.