The number-one New York Times best-selling author of Air Bound returns to the mysterious coastal town of Sea Haven, where six sisters of the heart are bound by the elements, and one is stalked by an inescapable past.
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?
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Usual story, terrible narration
Four Down, Two to go
Earth Bound is probably not the best book to start with if you are new to the series.
While it is the fourth book in the "Sisters of the Heart" series(there are a total of 6 sisters of the heart), this is actually the 11th book set in the Northern California town of Sea Haven, where there is magic in the wind, and the real estate is sentient.
Books 1-7 detail the courtship of the seven Drake sisters, a magical family that lives in Sea Haven and protects the residents. The Russians show up in book #3, and we meet the Prakenskii brothers, seven magical siblings that are sort of a cross between James Bond and the Terminator with a strong dose of the Tin Man.
Prakenskii #7 courts Drake #6, then helps save Drake #7from a Greek billionaire. Prakenskii #6 is a minor character in book #7, and is facing certain death at the end of that story.
Book 8 (Sister of the Heart 1) we find that Prakenskii aren't so easy to kill.
Book 9 (sisters 2) Prakenskii #3 comes looking for Prakenskii #6 and stays in Sea Haven.
Book 10 (Sisters 3) Prakenskii #2 sends Prakenskii #5 to protect one of the Sisters of the Heart from some very nasty bad guys. Prakenskii #5 ends up back in Sea Haven with the woman he was protecting, and 4 Italian orphans.
Prakenskii #4 will be the hero of the next book, and Prakenskii #1 will be in the final book.
Weaving through the whole series are a numbers of bad guys, a evil Greek billionaire, his equally nasty brother who runs a biker gang, assorted Russian mobsters, a couple of high ranking Russian government officials, and some loathsome religious cult members. Overall themes include the cost of human trafficking, both on the victims, and on the law enforcement professionals attempting to stop the trade.
By Earth Bound, the 11 book, there is a lot of background information that a new reader needs to know so that the story makes sense. The info dump could have been handled better.
An added complication is that Prakenskii's #6,#3 and #5 are now settled in Sea Haven with brand new American identities. So sometimes the brothers use their Russian names, sometimes they use their new identities.
The story is about 75% the courtship/love story between Lexi, and her destined Prakenskii. The balance of the story telling advances several of the ongoing story arcs, and the vanquishing of a collection of religious cult members.
Mike Chamberlain the reader, has a pleasant tenor voice, there are no irritating vocal quirk, and a minimum of verbal typos From a technical standpoint a very nice recording.
However, while Chamberlain is a professional reader, he is not a very skilled voice actor. There are paragraph length pauses between each sentence which really kills the flow of the action sequences.
Even more of a problem is that all of the characters sound alike. All the brothers, all the sisters, and the Italian kids. And everyone speaks in a generic American accent. Although he did try with the Italian kids, who sound different, but not particularly Italian.
This book in particular needed someone who could do character voices. Two of the Prakenskii brothers should have Russian accents, including the courting hero.
Phil Gigante who narrated the previous book did an excellent job, creating distinct voices for each of the characters. In summary, if you really liked Phil Gigante's performance in Air Bound you might want to save your credit, and buy a copy of the book to read. If your taste runs toward straight narration then this might just the reader for you.