Reading Assignment Challenge: Air Bound by Christine Feehan
For as far back as she can remember, Airiana Ridell has always been aware of her extraordinary gift. She can intuit revealing and illuminating "patterns" in the air around her--whether in a spray of mist, in billowing clouds or in the dense swirls of an impenetrable fog. her abilities led to her placement in a secret government training facility when she was a child, but everything changed after her mother was murdered.
Airiana fled the program , but she couldn't outrun the desperate members of a shadowy cabal who want her, who need her, who will kill to get her. Kidnapped and held aboard a ship bound for dangerous seas, her only chance for rescue is Maxim Prakenskii. He has his reasons for helping her, but he isn't about to reveal them to Airiana. Not yet. Not as the two are drawn together as moth to flame. Not when there are so many secrets yet untold that could shatter the quaint community of Sea Haven and all who reside there...
Wow!! This just might be my new all-time favorite Feehan novel...It is for sure my favorite book in the Sea Haven series and it is all due to Maxim. He is a wonderful hero!! I love Airiana, too, but Maxim really stole the show for me. The things he would say to Airianna made me swoon at times and laugh out loud at others. His absolute belief that he was meant to be alone took a hard beating when he kidnapped/rescued Airianna from her farm in Sea Haven. When he saw her courage, strength and trust once he had her aboard a cargo ship in the middle of the ocean his lone-man past was a dead man walking. And watching him interact with the children he rescued from a human trafficking ring was the last nail in his coffin.
This book has a lot of action but throughout it all the strong romantic thread never got lost. It was, for me, the perfect balance and I both couldn't turn the pages fast enough and wanted to slow down to savor every word in the first read of a book that I know I will reread again and again. Maxim grew up without anyone to count on, trusting only himself, and being forced to do horrible things to stay alive. He is most comfortable in the shadows and spends the majority of his time rubbing shoulders with the scum of the earth. When he is given the mission of protecting Airiana, he sees everything he has been missing from his life. Even knowing that three of his brothers have made marriage work, he doesn't think that his future can hold love. But the more he is around Airiana, the more he is intrigued and impressed with her as a beautiful woman who earns his respect when few ever have.
Oh, watching Airiana consistently breach Maxim's defenses without event trying was the best entertainment and Maxim, who is NOT used to being defenseless has no idea what to do in response. And once he decides that she is it for him? Holy hotness, Batman!! I buckled in and enjoyed one of the most romantic stories I have read in some time. And while the romance between him and Airiana was beautiful, watching Maxim take on four children whose lives have been shattered by violence beyond their imagining was also heart wrenching and heartwarming at the same time. It was its own love story of sorts as these four brave souls placed their absolute trust in this man who would die before he let them down. Soul melting stuff!