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Nitesh by JennaKay Francis (Fantasy/Romance)

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Stacy Cooper for http://scooper.wordpress.com/
Favorite Lines: “She closed her eyes against the assault, falling into the secret place she had so often visited in her marriage to Doloth.” (p. 25)

The short story begins with Thalassa and a line of slaves about to be branded. They are spoils of a war that is destroying the countryside. Thalassa is pregnant and able to work with magic. As each new slave awaits their turn she dampens their pain before allowing them to drift off in a peaceful rest.

Until it is her turn. As she is about to drift off a pain attacks her face. She has been labeled as a witch with a pentagram branded upon her cheek. Unknown to her an elf from her past is searching for her.

He is a member of a royal family, but cannot forget the one night they spent together. During his search he begins collecting an unforgettable entourage that will help him in ways he never expected.

I attacked Nitesh and was pleasantly pleased with the book. It is 121 pages and sells for $4.95.

Ms. Francis does a nice job of flipping back and forth between character perspectives. We begin with Thalassa and later travel with Terran, her love interest. It is a crisp and clean transition that was never confusing. There were also flashbacks that worked well and were strategically placed allowing me to understand the emotional baggage the different characters carried.

I enjoyed the characters, especially the young girl, Vaoni. She is complex and innocent at the same time and a character that I wanted to follow. She is wise beyond her years, yet very childlike.

I didn’t particularly care for the late introduction of a few characters and their love interests. It felt a bit contrived but that isn’t enough for me to be turned off of the story.

This short fantasy story was a pleasant and quick read.
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Kathy at http://novelspot.net/node/1383
Rating: 8
Thalassa of Zal had been taken captive with others of her people by the brutal Lord Rhaeven of Asuria. Seeing her beauty, he took her to be one of his bed partners. Fortunately for Thalassa it would be awhile before Rhaeven would take her—she was eight months pregnant. The only thing Thalassa was thankful for was that the sickness that plagued her people was progressing. Most likely it would kill her before Rhaeven had a chance to get his dirty hands on her.

Thalassa met a young Diraenian page named Eri who had been badly beaten. He needed to escape to get back to his lord, Prince Sinclair, who was also being held captive by Lord Rhaeven. Thalassa managed to get Eri assigned to help her while he healed. Eri immediately started making plans to escape to go back and save his lord. When Rhaeven's jealous brother attacked Thalassa one day, Eri killed him and the two were forced to run or be executed. Thalassa carried a silver whistle with her that her mother said could be used to protect her. She blew the whistle and suddenly there appeared Aki: a white dragon that, according to legend, only answered to the call of the Dragon Priestess. While the dragon destroyed the keep with its fiery breath, Thalassa and Eri escaped.

Crown Prince Tarran was heir to the elfin nation of Diraenia. He had recently lost his betrothed to a hunting accident, and he was heart-broken. But Tarran did not believe it was an accident. He believed his younger brother, Unwin, planned the attack. Unwin knew that if Tarran did not produce an heir in the next year, he would have to give the throne up to his younger brother. But while Tarran was grieving the loss of his betrothed, he started to have memories of a beautiful woman from Zal he had met eight months before. Her name was Thalassa. His heart had been lost to her, and he would have liked to make her his own. But she was betrothed to another and was returning to her village to be married. She and Tarran had spent three days together "being in love" and making love as though they would not be forced to part.

Tarran decided to go look for the woman and found her village in ruins, with only one survivor left: a little girl named Vaoni. Vaoni had known Thalassa and told Tarran that the woman must have been taken away by their attackers, the Asurians. Knowing he could not leave the girl alone, he took Vaoni with him. Tarran would find a good place to leave the girl where she would be safe. Then he would go after Thalassa.

This is a great story of love found, lost, and then rediscovered. The characters are vivid and deep—especially Tarran and Thalassa. Each of them digs deep within to find strength and magic they did not think they possessed. There is royal intrigue, acts of devotion, self-sacrifice, and lots of on-going action. I found myself drawn in from the beginning and being really frustrated when I was interrupted by a couple of phone calls. I did not want to stop reading! This is a must read for anyone who loves Fiction Fantasy and Romance.
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Susan Love Romances (http://www.loveromances.com/)
The author has created a fairly complex world with elves, dragons and magic. This world is also filled with people who are greedy and downright mean. She has also inhabited her world with two very likable lead characters. It is to the author’s credit that all these elements are pulled together into a cohesive and heartwarming story.
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Jamie Crawley Roundtable Reviews (http://www.roundtablereviews.com/)
NITESH is packed with all things fantasy... a sea-witch... an elfin prince... a shape-shifter... spells... the list goes on and on!!

Thanks, Jenna, for this read!! I enjoyed it very much and will revisit them time and again!
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D. Hymon - a reader
WOW! I started reading the excerpts last night, and couldn't stop thinking about the characters. Today, I bought the book, and read the entire book in one setting. I was hooked, drawn into the story, and couldn't stop clicking the pages. I had a lot of work to do today, but everything was put on hold until I finished reading this fantastic adventure of Thalassa and Terran and their love.

Years ago, Jenna's stories grabbed my attention, and that was her rough drafts. _BG_ She has grown in the craft, and it is exciting to see her incredible tales published. I commend her on the dedication to the craft, and admire the talent she holds as a writer. Nitesh was a refreshing tale from what I usually read. I can't wait to read more of her books!

Jenna, thank you for a day full of adventure!
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Tina Morgan Fiction Factor
JennaKay Francis brings to life an enchanting tale of fate, love and magic in her novel, Nitesh.

If you're looking for an author that is consistent, likes a positive ending and is sure to delight then you must try Jenna K. Francis. Having read several of her novels I've been pleased with every one and Nitesh is no exception....Francis is a wonderful storyteller and her world and characters are captivating in this romantic fantasy. I highly recommend Nitesh to all fantasy lovers...especially if you like a little romance in the mix.
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Cindy Penn Senior Editor/Web Wizard Word Weaving: essential elements for all text weavers
Once again JennaKay Francis works her marvelous magic to weave a powerful spell in NITESH. JennaKay will sweep you away in fantastic a world of elves, witches, dragons, and shapeshifters.

NITESH seems to have too many loose ends to tie up, but JennaKay does it masterfully. All of the unfinished sub plots are woven into one nice knot, sweeping the reader away in a world of magic. Those who enjoyed FREE SPIRIT, JennaKay's previous novel (soon to be re-released), will delight in the maturity of the voice that has evolved in this second novel. I heartily recommend this novel to all lovers of fantasy. But be warned, for once you begin the journey, you won't want to put the book aside for even a moment.
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Brenda Ramsbacher
Francis does it again! The heartbeat of the land is born between the pages of this tale that gives two people who shouldn't be together a child who will unite the kingdoms once and for all. And what about the sole survivor? Well, this whip of a girl plays an important part in this tale that leads Terran to love and Thalassa to freedom. A sure page-turner that will keep you up late into the night. I hope Francis will tell the tale of Nitesh.
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