True Colors (Elder Races #3.5)

By Thea Harrison

Publisher: Samhain Publisher, Ltd.
Publication Date: December 13, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Purchased

Meeting your soulmate? Great. Preventing your possible murder? Even better.

Alice Clark, a Wyr and schoolteacher, has had two friends murdered in as many days, and she’s just found the body of a third. She arrives at the scene only minutes before Gideon Riehl, a wolf Wyr and current detective in the Wyr Division of Violent Crime—and, as Alice oh-so-inconveniently recognizes at first sight, her mate.

But the sudden connection Riehl and Alice feel is complicated when the murders are linked to a serial killer who last struck seven years ago, killing seven people in seven days. They have just one night before the killer strikes again. And every sign points to Alice as the next victim.

Warning: This book contains a hot police detective, a violent murderer on the hunt, and a heroine that can blend in anywhere…

Goodreads Summary

Every seven years, someone is killing seven of the rarest of the rare wyrm of the Elder Races – Alice has just stumbled into the latest crime scene, finding the horror of her mutilated best friend. Not knowing he’s with the Wyr Division of Violent Crime, she hides when wolf shifter Gideon shows up to investigate and to her shock, immediately scents him as her mate.

Once Gideon figures out Alice was in her friend’s apartment, he also knows she needs his protection as more than just a mate – she’s marked for death as one of the rare wyr, a rainbow chameleon. Two of Alice’s friends have already vanished and when a family of three chameleons disappears, Gideon has to protect his mate and end the string of murders that might just happen again in seven years.

This is a little side story/novella from the main Elder Races books, published by Samhain Publishing instead of Berkley Sensation. Gideon was mentioned briefly as a replacement for Tiago, who left his position in Storm’s Heart, but otherwise these are new characters that I doubt will be included in the regular series when it resumes with Oracle’s Moon. For such a little piece, I thought the plot had some exciting moments and I liked Alice and the expanding Elder Races universe. Sometimes plot threads resolved too miraculously, but this is a novella so I cut Harrison some slack.

I really liked Alice as sort of the anti-kick butt heroine. As a chameleon, her instinct is to blend and hide and while you’re not going to find her with a crossbow, her skills lie in being intuitive and smart – usually. She was a little too passive with some plot elements that even a quiet, mousy person should have caught. She still ended up being my favorite part of the book simply because she was so different.

I generally have just an issue or two that starts knocking a book down from an A+ rating – I’m insanely stingy with that grade. In this case, it was an entire character. The first book in the series, Dragon Bound, is easily one of my favorite books of the year and I don’t expect every character to live up to Dragos, but I do have some expectations about needing some sort of emotional reaction to my hero or heroine. Dragos gave me a case of the rawrs. Tiago (in Storm’s Heart) was funny and made me swoon. Rune (in Serpent’s Kiss) frustrated me, confused me and a whole lot else. Despite a lot of gallant behavior, words that told me he cared for Alice and was dedicated to his job, I just never thought I got anything beyond the surface of Gideon. The best I can say about him is that through him, we got to see a few glimpses of one of my favorite Sentinels (and a teeny tiny bit of Dragos).

The length of this didn’t bother me since I read a lot of novellas and have a good idea about what to expect with them. Harrison is keeping me glued to this series and I thought most of the plot was fresh and interesting. I wish I’d have had some sort of emotional reaction to Gideon – it would have elevated this from B territory up to A.

A side note that has nothing to do with the quality of the novella nor did it affect my rating: as with most Samhain books, a portion of the book is dedicated to previews of books that are coming soon, so while the indicator on the bottom of your ereader screen may look like you have more story left, this actually ends at the 89% point.




  1. […] they don’t make my stomach feel all that great. This is the second novella released, and like True Colors, it takes place outside of the general world of the main characters in the full length novels. […]

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