“Men only fell this hard in books, the kinds of books he never read.” – Rory Ni Coileain
Title: Gale Force (SoulShares #2)
Author: Rory Ni Coileain
Publisher: Ravenous Romance
Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: Conall Dary is the most powerful mage born to the Fae race since the Realm was parted from the human world, over two thousand years ago. But that very power condemns him to a lifetime of celibacy, because sex calls to power, and he has power enough to drain a world. When he refuses to use his talents for a Noble lady’s petty revenge, he finds himself shanghaied to the human world, his soul torn in half and his magick blocked.
Josh LaFontaine is the beautifully inked owner of Raging Art-On, a Washington, D.C. tattoo and piercing parlor. While taking part in New York City’s Pride march with a former lover’s dance company, his world changes forever when the man of his dreams materializes out of nowhere at his feet . Josh’s sensual and loving touch, the first Conall has ever known, may be enough to give him back the magick he’s lost. But before they can complete their Soulshare, a terrible accident leaves Conall bodiless, lost, and invisible, to everyone except – maybe – the human with whom he shares a soul. But Josh will need to find him before the ancient evil of the Marfach does or everything they have – and more – will be lost.
Review: Rory Ni Coileain steps it up a notch in Gale Force, the second installment in the SoulShare series, and what it leads to is a page turning adventure in a down the rabbit hole, through the looking glass plot that reinforces the romantic theme of two men who share one soul finding each other and fighting for their lives to be together.
One of the things I felt worked so much better in Gale Force, more so than in Hard as Stone, is that Conall and Josh’s connection, while still immediate owing to the SoulShare element, was explored with less surface and more substance here. Where Tiernan and Kevin’s bond was all about the sex, Conall and Josh’s connection is all about the need for them to avoid having sex, and I felt this lent a certain sentimentality to the story of these kindred spirits. Sex is about power—sex draws power to the Fae through their particular brand of elemental magick, and Conall must avoid drawing on that power, for to do so would mean certain destruction of the Realm.
Another theme that’s been reinforced so far in these first two books is that the Fae cannot love, even a soul shared Fae, which, while I’m not sure it really comes across as an inarguable premise—it sure feels a lot like love in spite of the denial—I do like the idea that the sharing of one soul means the human has the capacity to love enough for both men. The human is the Fae’s shield, his protection on earth, but the sealing of that bond can come only with the two men consummating their relationship. Conall and Josh being unable to do so led to the danger and drama that unfolds in Gale Force, and that leads to yet another fun and crazy acid trip encounter with the Marfach, the Fae’s archenemy. It has possessed the dead body of the human who caused so much trouble for Tiernan and Kevin in Hard as Stone, and I have an immeasurable love for the monstrous idea of it.
Some new characters are introduced in Gale Force—namely Terry, Josh’s ex, and Terry’s new lover Bryce—whom I felt were little more than throwaway additions in the grand scheme of the plot, other than to show that Bryce is a huge dick (mission accomplished!) and Terry, for no reason that was immediately apparent to me, traded down in a big way when he lost Josh. Bryce was a convenient device to aid in the Marfach’s mission, and Terry…well, I’m not sure about his role. Looking at the blurbs for the final two books, it doesn’t appear as if he features going forward, which is unfortunate because I liked him a lot and was hoping he’d find his own soul shared Fae to love and protect. Maybe a book five?
I really liked the substance of Gale Force, not only in Josh and Conall’s connection but in the execution of their story. I feel it’s a more complex plot with respect to the relationship than Hard as Stone, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it if you’re looking for a romantic fairy tale with a freaky villainous twist.
You can buy Gale Force (SoulShares #2) here: