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Crescendo

Rachel Haimowitz

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History made them enemies. Chance made them master and slave. Love overcame it all. But love isn't always enough....

Bridging the hatred of centuries did not come easy for Freyrík Farr and Ayden Vaska. As prince of a war-torn human province, Freyrík could ill afford to fall for an enemy. And Ayden, an elven warrior with three hundred years of bitterness in his heart, wanted no part of love—not elven, and especially not human. Yet they came together despite themselves and despite the will of their peoples, joining heart and mind to fight a race of Dark Beasts threatening the extinction of mankind.

But the Dark Beast threat pales beside the dangers of the human High Court, home of the Aegis Exalted and the harshest test yet of Ayden's and Freyrík's fledgling love.

While Ayden is stripped of his magic, Freyrík is forced to choose between his love for elf, Aegis, and brother, all the while seeking the one uncertain path that might save his doomed race. Time is fast running out for mankind, and only by making peace amongst themselves and with their ancient elven enemies can they end the Dark war—and undo the tragedy that's plagued humans, elves, and Dark Beasts alike for the last three hundred years.

Freyrík had long ago come to realize the gods rarely intervened in the lives of men, no matter what prayers or sacrifices were made. Yet only recently had he come to see their indifference as a blessing, for when the gods' great shadow fell upon you, it might well blot out the sun.

Which was how he found himself in the darkness now, tucked down in the canopy bed of his traveling tent with the man—the elf—he loved. The elf he'd sworn to see safely home. The elf he was now escorting to the one place more treacherous than even the darker forests: the High Court of Aegea.

"Maybe—"

"No," Ayden said, and none too gently, at that. "How many times do I have to say it? I'll not run away without you."

Freyrík rolled over to face him, glad for once of the elfglow in the dark tent, wondering if Ayden could see him back in a light that was not—according to the elf—really there. "You know I can't leave."

"Then neither can I. Go to sleep."

Before Freyrík could try a new tack, Ayden rolled away. For a moment he thought the elf angry, but then Ayden pressed his bare back to Freyrík's chest and tugged Freyrík's arm over his waist. He held to it with both hands as if he suspected Freyrík might take to pacing. Which, admittedly, was tempting.

"I can hear your thoughts roiling," Ayden grumbled. "Sleep."

As if he could with the dangers of the morrow looming so. "Not until you've heard me out."

Ayden sighed but then pressed up tighter against him, his arse grinding against Freyrík's groin. "Fine. Speak." Another wiggle that would have ended all conversation were Freyrík not so anxious. "But know my thoughts are not on your words."

Freyrík clenched his fist, his forearm flexing beneath Ayden's grip. 'Twas all he could do not to push the elf away and shake some sense into him.

He startled when Ayden's hand snaked between them, probing. "Perhaps your thoughts aren't, either?"

And gods befanged, but those questing fingers raised evidence to support Ayden's theory. A moment's trying to coax more from him, then another. Freyrík grunted and pulled Ayden's hand away before he lost the will to stop him.

Ayden hmph'd and did not try again.

5 - M/M Good Book Reviews
"This is an incredible wonderful fantastic story that is written by a true storyteller who keeps you reading with every word written.... The world building is again fantastic, giving us a wonderful picture of the world they live in.... This is an incredibly woven tale that I couldn't put down and didn't want to end."

5 - Booked Up
"I simply loved this book! I could not put it down, it held my interest and attention until the very last page... and then I still wanted more! There is a great balance between the darker side and love with Freyrik and Ayden, with a bit of humor mixed in -- at the exact right moments! I highly recommend!"

5 - Jenre at Well Read
"Overall, this was a pretty terrific book. I liked the characters and in particular how the author had perfectly captured the frustrations of both characters for their situation - even if Ayden was annoying at times. I especially liked the clever way that some of the ideas and concepts given to us in the first book are slowly turned on their heads. The last 50 pages were a surprise to me and that is always a good thing. If you're looking for a complex, character based fantasy book then I would recommend both of these books in the Song of the Fallen duology"

5 - Jeff at Top 2 Bottom Reviews
"The writing and editing are impeccable, and the intricate details of the world building which are so masterfully woven into the plot are almost beyond comprehension. Crescendo is a powerful story of love, loyalty, forgiveness and redemption."

5 - Wendy at Hearts On Fire Reviews
"Expect to have your heart in your throat a few times along the way, but it’s definitely a journey worth taking. If I could change anything, it would be to have just a little more clarity around the ending. Don’t get me wrong, there’s no cliffhanger here and I’m plenty satisfied with where Freyrik and Ayden end up, but I did have some lingering questions on the resolution of the conflict and how the races ultimately move forward. I don’t know if there’s any chance for a future third book, but if so, I’d grab it in a hot minute! If not, I’m happy enough with where this book and my imagination have landed. I highly recommend this series – just make sure you don’t wait as long as I did between the two books!!!"

4.5 - Darien at Pants Off Reviews
"Miss Haimowitz has got it, she has outdone herself in this one when it comes to the writing.... I am not surprised by the awesmazingness that is this book. The bitter hate humans feel towards things they don't understand/fear is captured splendidly. The adventure would make any fan of fantasy happy in their pants, such imagery and passion filled the pages.... This is fantastic read filled with love, anger, hatred and a plot so deeply intricate you will lose yourself in the pages."

4 - Alex at Between the Covers
"Although the ending left me a off balance, I highly enjoyed this fantasy romance.... [T]he balance of action and politics saved this story from relying too heavily on either. For those who love politics, it will sate that, and for those who love action, there is a fair amount (although perhaps not as much as the first book, or at least differently structured)."

Series

Song of the Fallen

Length

107,000 words
245 pages

Release Date

November 18, 2011

Book Type

Novel

Categories

Gay

ISBN

978-1-937058-14-2 (print)
978-1-937058-15-9 (ebook)

Cover Art

Nathie Block

Keywords

M/M, fantasy