Everlong by Hailey Edwards
Series: Daughters of Askara #1
Also in this series: Evermine, Eversworn
Publication Date: March 30, 2010
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Point-of-View: Alternating First Person
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler » No « Hide Spoiler
Content Warning: View Spoiler » Rape, Abuse, Slavery, Mutilation « Hide Spoiler
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The most damaged heart can fly with the right pair of wings.
Madelyn’s life is far from fairytale perfect. She is second in line for the throne of a corrupt, brutal monarchy. Or at least she was until her dark guardian sacrificed his life to hide her safely in a realm of infinite possibilities.
For years she’s lived among a colony of escaped slaves as her guardian’s widow. Even in this simple life, though, nothing is as it seems. Her hero kept a secret—a younger brother named Clayton Delaney. Warrior, winged demon…and the man who now wants to lay claim to her heart.
No longer cast in his brother’s shadow, Clayton meets all obstacles head on, including one named Maddie. His infatuation with her reaches the breaking point when she undergoes a royal rite of passage, going into heat and pushing them both over the edge.
Just as Maddie learns that some risks are worth taking, she discovers that her guardian may be alive. And she’s forced to make a choice between the man she’d thought she loved, and the demon willing to lend her his wings.
Warning: This book contains virginal angst, a hero who’s too nice for his own good, wings, claws, and convenient use of glamour. It contains heartbreaking loss, conversation with a woodland creature, and sweet, sweet demon loving.
Everlong is the first book in the Daughters of Askara series by Hailey Edwards. I’ve read a number of books by Edwards and generally enjoy them, so I went into this with high expectations. Unfortunately, the heroine’s “head in the sand” approach to basically everything left me frustrated.
Madelyn is the Princess of Askara, a brutal monarchy. It is time for her ascension, a ceremony where she was to claim her title as Princess and accept her place as second in line for the thrown. During the ceremony she and her personal slave, Emma, are to be tattooed from head to foot to denote their stations in life, and then Maddie is meant to take a man to her bed for the first time. Emma’s after, Maddie’s step-father, has decided she must choose him as her consort for the evening. In return, he agrees to grant Emma and Maddie’s Guardian, Harper, their freedom. Although she has every intention of sacrificing herself for them, Harper takes the choice out of their hands by whisking them away to an alternate universe before the ceremony can be completed. Only Harper is killed and Maddie is left mourning him for five long years.
On Earth, Maddie and Emma open a diner and do their best to blend in the colony where Harper left them. Emma makes friends and joins the community, but Maddie chooses to keep herself apart, grieving for her dead Guardian. Until the 5th anniversary of his death, when she finally meets his older brother, Clayton. Clayton has kept himself away from Maddie to allow her time to grieve, but now that her mourning time has passed and she’s going into heat, he knows he has to stay near to protect her. Because when the females of their race go into heat, the males will do anything to claim them. Clayton may want Maddie for himself, but he would never dishonor his brother’s memory that way. The best he can do is keep her safe….unless she decides she wants him, then all bets are off.
I didn’t care for the way Maddie kept her head in the sand and refused to see anything that was going on around her. I really wanted to see her come into her own, but I don’t really think it that happened. She was better toward the end of the novel, but it ended before I was satisfied that she was anything more than a literal spoiled princess. She was basically a walking zombie, never engaging with anyone or seeing what was right in front of her nose. I didn’t understand why she acted the way she did, or more importantly, why anyone put up with it.
I did like Clayton. He was a good leader and an honorable male. This was a quick read. I enjoyed the world and the secondary characters, but Maddie kind of ruined it for me. I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5