A post-apocalyptic Regency novel where the paranormal is becoming distressingly normal.
In 2058, the earth's magnetic poles reversed in one, devastating flip, destroying civilization. Over the next 10,000 years the change in alignment influenced human genes, and the human race began to evolve into elves, dwarves, and other strange beings, exhibiting psychic and magical Gifts.
The world had changed, and with it democracy became a thing of the past. Using rare copies of history books and romances, those with power and money modeled themselves on ancient Regency England, leaving the Gifted and different out in the cold. In response, the Gifted banded together in Clans for protection, ensuring a life of peace and a future for their children. Jeroen Alhalla wasn't one of the protected.
As a member of the new aristocracy and heir to her family's fortune, she is expected to be normal. And she is - except for a forbidden Vision gift, berserker tendencies and pointed, dog-like ears. She fears her family will realize just how different she is and cast her out of Society into the Clans, exiled forever from the life she was born to live.
And as if she didn't have enough problems, a handsome, Gifted fugitive, Quoi Sarman, breaks into her bedroom, desperate for a place to hide. Despite her misgivings, she finds herself harboring Quoi, not willing to give him up to a life of imprisonment for crimes she suspects he didn't commit.
Before settling down with a boring, society-approved husband, Jeroen decides to keep this hot, luscious man as her concubine. It is forbidden to associate with him "he's Gifted after all" but he has pointed ears just like hers and a magic she can't deny. She's not about to give up such a tasty piece because her parents are afraid of a little witchcraft.
Quoi has other ideas and isn't about to put up with her machinations. His best friend has been sent to prison for crimes he didn't commit. Quoi must clear both their names and break his friend out of a maximum-security prison if he has any hope of reclaiming his life amongst the Clans. Still, Jeroen is gorgeous, and if circumstances were otherwise he'd be tempted to let her keep him.
Each time Quoi tries to escape, Jeroen thwarts him and tempts him to distraction. Their struggle is interrupted when an army sweeps through town and kidnaps everyone with a Gift, including Jeroen.
Quoi realizes he can't leave her to an uncertain fate, so instead of going after his best friend, he frees her from her kidnappers, then shows her a whole new world ˆ one where her oddities and Gifts are accepted and embraced.
With Quoi's guidance, Jeroen discovers her true Gift. Through touch she magnifies the Gifts of others. Quoi can melt stone with a caress of his hand, but with her at his side he can melt mountains.
He entices her with the promise of a future with him. She wants him desperately, yet she can't let go of where she came from or who she is. Quoi is torn. He wants to stay with her, but it is long past time to continue his quest to save his best friend.
When Jeroen and Quoi are recaptured, Jeroen realizes it is time to stop running from herself and from the armies. It is time to get down to the bottom of who's behind the war or their entire society, normal and Gifted, will be torn apart.
She faces her fate bravely, only to find the perpetrator is one of her own: a Peer of her father's who has craved her since they day he laid eyes on her. A Peer who has been secretly imprisoning the Gifted in a dormant volcano and using them as slaves for his own, selfish purposes.
To save the Gifted Clans, Jeroen is forced to accept what she is, ears and all. Together, she and Quoi combine their powers to liberate his people by melting a hole in the side of the volcano. Now everyone will know the extent of her Gifts, and she will probably be exiled, but it is worth the risk to save so many from enslavement.
In the end, Jeroen refuses to choose between Quoi and her world. Instead, she forces her family to accept who she is and give their blessing to her marriage. Eventually she persuades her Peers to accept her as well, and together Jeroen and Quoi battle against the prejudice and fear of those who are different, forging a path of peace between the New Aristocracy and the Gifted.
While it's not quite the democracy of old America, it's a place to start.
I love the gender reversal here. The plot flows naturally and there isn’t a lot of fancy shmancy adverbial crap.
But, it’s a recitation of events with not much sense of character or voice.
If you’ve got five wow pages to start, I’d probably read a partial on this, but your synopsis can serve you better if it’s zippier.