“Human hands will deliver him,
The mate foreseen of old,
A comely lad, fair of face,
That bard’s tales have foretold.” – Eden Winters
Author: Eden Winters
Publisher: Rocky Ridge Books
Pages/Word Count: 118
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Blurb: Long, long ago in a faraway land, men were men (except when they were wolves), meddlesome aunts were meddlesome aunts, evil opportunists were evil opportunists, and heroes weren’t always the sharpest swords in the scabbard.
By the time Galen Olaf-kin woke up and smelled the spiced ale, it was too late, and he never finished the wicked deed for which he stood trial. Banished from his home, he flees to the forest, taking nothing but the unwanted infant he’s rescued. Perhaps the legends are true and the forest lord will take them both in. The lord is said to give sanctuary to outcasts, but none of the stories mention the naughty, tempting things he whispers, or that he shares Galen’s forbidden passions.
Lord Erik rolls his eyes at the prophecy that says when human hands deliver a babe to the forest, he’ll meet the mate destined to reunite forest folk with humankind. What interest has he in a child? The handsome human who brings the babe is another matter entirely, and little things like destiny and his own bumbling won’t keep Erik from claiming Galen as his own.
Review: If you’ve ever read Eden Winters’ Angel of 13th Street, The Wish, Settling the Score, or any of the other books she’d published prior to the original release of Galen and the Forest Lord two years ago, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say this book was different from anything she’d published before, not only because it’s a paranormal/Alt U/fantasy/fairy tale but also because it’s funny. Yes, there are some truly lighthearted, grinning ear-to-ear moments in this book, and I’m every bit as charmed by it now as I was the first time I’d read in 2011. Galen and his wolf, Lord Erik, have stood the test of time and are just as endearing today as they were when they and their world were first introduced. It’s a world of magic, where the town witch is a woman of some influence, a town where men like Galen are not at all tolerated, and a world where the shifters provide the comic relief.
An act of greed and betrayal at the hands of the man who’d raised him after his own parents’ deaths sends Galen off on his own hero’s journey, with an illegitimate babe in tow, on an uncertain path toward a future that may have been prophesied but won’t mean squat if he and his destiny collide, only to keep butting heads. It seems Galen is destined to be Lord Erik’s mate, whether they like it or not, though, because not only does Erik need a mate and Galen fits the prophecy (or at least there are those who are determined to make him fit), but it also seems the inner wolf has a thing or two to say about the desire to fulfill the bond.
Eden Winters plays the perfect balance between romantic complications, clever humor, betrayal, and danger when she introduces the turning point in the story, the point where Erik takes full command of the situation and proves he’s not always the dim-bulb he sometimes seems, and the point where Erik and Galen finally come to the realization that wolf or not, prophecy or not, they sort of just are, and it works perfectly.
If you’re in the mood for a whimsical romantic comedy with just enough bite to sink your teeth into, Galen and the Forest Lord fits the bill.