Elemental Attraction : Book 1, Water Waltz
Water Waltz by Hayley B. James
Series : Elemental Attraction, Book 1
Publisher : Dreamspinner Press BUY HERE
Genre : Angels, Demons, Espionage
Length : 290 pages e-book (80,011 words)
In a land where humans are enslaved as sexual toys, angels and demons are in constant conflict with their playthings. The demon Varun works with STAR, an organization devoted to human liberty, and it’s a never-ending battle.
Two years ago, the angel Triste broke Varun’s heart by choosing to be his butler instead of his beloved, giving Varun no explanation and no hope. However, that doesn’t mean that Triste will simply sit back and watch as Varun takes the human Elden under his protection, and Triste’s secret investigation will unearth terrible secrets, including the kernels of a pernicious plot.
Despite appearances, Triste and Varun are still in love, and Varun may well risk everything to protect Triste and discover why the angel left him heartbroken. But a still worse danger hangs over them as they seek to calm the threat of a catastrophic war.
As of late I’ve been making an effort to read some of the books I already own. No, I haven’t stopped buying books, but we’re not going there. After reading some junk and paging through my Nook I came across Water Waltz, by Hayley B. James. After reading junk I guess I was a little disappointed in my book buying prowess ’cause I wasn’t expecting Water Waltz to be awesome. It was. It’s the story of a demon named Varun and his trusty angel butler Triste. They have history. Lots and lots of it! After a rather intense romance Triste suddenly broke apart their relationship and became Varun’s butler. Varun is capable of controlling water, making him a rather powerful assassin for STAR, the secret organization dedicated to protecting human “strays.” After a rescue, Varun inexplicably doesn’t return the human “stray” to STAR. He lies to STAR about the humans whereabouts. Triste is left wondering why. Triste is also left watching Varun’s relationship with Fremont, a devil.
To further complicate matters Varun’s former rival and Triste’s ex-boyfriend Zephyr shows up. Everywhere! Then Zephyr becomes Triste’s case handler and they kind of have some sex. Triste has spent the last two years on assignment watching the man he loves move on with his life. But of course Varun hasn’t been moving on. The human Varun is harbouring isn’t nice. He’s an assassin sent by the human king who wants to start a war. The whole plot finally becomes apparent to everyone when Triste gets poisoned by the human Varun has been harbouring. After barely surviving the poison Triste and Varun have to travel to the human lands to help prevent a war. While there they have to place their trust another human. The son of the crazy king and brother to the assassin.
In many ways this was a spy novel with complex world building. For over half of the book the reader is completely in the dark about the characters motivations and agendas. At various points throughout the book everyone is subject to some kind of suspicion, and trust, or it’s lack, is a major theme. The only thing that is quickly obvious is Triste and Varun are deeply in love with each other. Both men try to lose themselves in work and physical relations with others. It doesn’t work. Both men are hurt but can’t bear to be away from each other.
Water Waltz is the first of a series. Fremont and Zephyr were very sympathetic characters despite being in the wrong relationships. Fire Tango is the second. I’ve already bought it!
Rated 4 stars by Faye