Whim believes himself to be the least powerful sidhe at Green’s Hill: he is as constant as a bumblebee in a hurricane and as faithful as a stray breeze. Whim’s prince believes there is more to him than that and on Litha, the night of the summer solstice, sends Whim into the mortal world where he strives to give a piece of himself to others.
It is on Litha that Whim meets Charlie, a young, desperate human who steals a kiss. Whim steals one back and, in turn, craves another taste of this extraordinary man. Their vows to return next Litha and finish what they started launch a thirteen-year tradition of celebration between the mortal and the immortal, between love and patience, that is sustained by Whim’s driving, faithful compulsion to love and keep his human close to his heart.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was recommended to me by someone who said “it’s a great series!” Well this is the first book I’ve read and no doubt it’s a good series. This is clearly meant to be a tie in to an ongoing series about the area, Green Hill. The other books seem to be m/m/f/m or some variation of that, yes *gasp* there is a chick but you don’t have to read those books to follow this one. Litha’s Constant Whim is set nicely in the atmosphere but skims over the issues and events likely highlighted in the other books. If you’re interested, you can go back and read about them. If not, you can still enjoy this one.
The story follows well over a decade as elf Whim meets a young Charlie on the most magical night of the year, Litha. Their encounter changed the lives of both men and they continue to meet on that day year after year. Their relationship is sweet, romantic, and very bittersweet. This is definitely a star crossed lovers theme and only the strong writing of Lane can keep this one from being annoying or coying. Instead the reasons and sacrifices both men make feel authentic and honest as they struggle with their yearning for each other and their responsibilities.
The setting is nice but feels very incomplete. On the one hand I can see what this story intended to do. It’s meant as a nice m/m only interlude into a complex series involving what appears to be a pretty big and complicated cast. The main character of the other series is a quirky and intriguing girl but knowing the m/m audience, the story offers only a hint of that connection while focusing on the two men. It works well but left me wanting to know more about the magical world. The world building suffers from the distant connection and leaves holes in the setting. Not enough to ruin the story, but enough to notice.
The characters are the real star though and watching the two men change over the years due to their relationship is the real strength. Whim starts as a fluttering minded, quickly distracted elf that seems to drift through life without focus or cares. Meeting Charlie gives Whim an incredibly sharp focus and also brings Whim real emotions, both good and bad. Whim now feels things much more intensely and his change is great to watch. Just as Charlie growing from a young, distraught man to a mature, intelligent adult mirrors Whim’s maturation.
While the leaps in time are nice to see, sometimes I wish the story had been longer and more developed. Not only would I have appreciated more world building but I really wanted to know more about what Charlie and Whim did in between. There are mentions of lovers but most of this is skimmed over and meant to show how Charlie and Whim have a true, ever lasting love. It’s certainly romantic and I have no complaints about that and the sharp edge of separation keeps the story from being too sweet. I still would have liked more development in how both men lived their lives independently of this strong connection.
The final big event is dramatic and tense but fitting to the story. The sacrifices each man makes helps bring a weight to the romance and a happy ending for the star crossed lovers. It’s a nice, easy read that may bring tears to some sensitive readers but still enough bite to satisfy those fantasy cravers. I’m not sure how it fits into the series but it does intrigue me to read more.
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