Genre UF Romance Published 30 May 2013 Publisher The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
For Evy Rivera, thunderstorms have always caused her physical pain, but she’s never known why. When a record-setting storm arrives on the same night her father finds ancient ancestral documents, Evy is set aglow with mysterious tiny lightnings she can command.
Even worse, she alerts some people in the universe who’ve been looking for her family for a very long time.
Thrown back into ancient Spain and tasked with killing a Spanish legend, she must train alongside Constantine, a sexy yet obstinate Roman warrior. He teaches her how to wield her lightning as a weapon, through more errors than trials. With a relationship as explosive as their late-night training sessions, Evy and Constantine battle their push-pull relationship while trying to ignore the two-thousand-year difference in their birthdates.
Ilif Rotiart, her quasi-mentor, is appalled at Evy’s skill. He would prefer to train her father and keep Evy on the sidelines—where women belong. Evy has a feeling Ilif is keeping something from them, but she must play nice until she uncovers the truth. And if he’s lying, it will be the worst day of his four-hundred-year life.
Evy must sort through the lies and find the truth behind her family’s time-traveling past before the wrong history obliterates the future. She’s spent her whole life fighting for her place. Now, as the first female lightning rider, she’ll dedicate her existence to fighting to save the world.
The Urban Book Thief Review
Ladies and Gents, may I present to you the best UF romance read of 2013 by a first time author (as voted by moi). Jen Grayson not only knows how to write a kick ass heroine but has also trained show horses in France, Switzerland and Germany. Now, this is an author that I can get behind.
Lightning Rider is a unique story about a woman called Evy, a custom bike mechanic who can travel through time with the aid of lightning energy. Evy is also a curvy, hot, sexy, Latino mamma – which I love – as leading Latino ladies are a little thin on the ground in this genre. Our current reigning UF queens (Kate Daniels, Mercy Thomson, Elena Michaels etc.) are usually characterised by their perpetually awesome hair, unique powers and shiny leather bottoms. You will be happy to note that Evy is no different.
Now – I found chapter one quite confusing. You were dumped straight into the narrative (which I normally have no problem with) but… it zipped between the heroine talking about her neighbour, ex-douche boyfriend, an approaching storm, the traffic and her motorcycle. I felt like I was trying to gasp for breath on Evy’s behalf. After this though, everything cleared up quick and we delve straight into the action – no hanging around for this character. No siree.
Early on, we learn that Evy has always been sensitive to electrical storms. Then one evening on her way home from work she is momentarily thrust into ancient Spain during the worst electrical storm for ten years. By the time she gets home, she finds that she can create electric whips from blue energy running through her body. Intrigued about her new sweet, sweet weapons, Evy runs to her Papi to look for answers and she gets more than she bargains for.
Evy learns that she’s from a long family line of lighting riders. Up until this point though, it had a male only club. So as the first female lightning rider in history, she’s an anomaly. And why yes, there also happens to be a prophecy written about her too: given to Evy by a mysterious stranger with an ominous sounding voice. The prophecy features a woman who creates a new path while the world is on the brink of turmoil and leads her people into peace. Or as I would put it – save the cheerleader, save the world. Thought at this point, I probably would have been disappointed if there hadn’t been one. A UF romance with no prophecy – purrlease… what are we? Amateurs?
We meet Ilif Rotiart who is the family’s lightning rider guide. He had lost contact with the Rivera crew after the death of several family members. Ilif explains to Evy and her Papi that riders play a critical role in the existence of all things. Their ancestors have prevented disasters and altered history, simply by manipulating lightning energy as their own personal time portal. Unfortunately, Ilif is not a fan of Evy or women in general. The tension between himself and Evy is pretty high, one could say that it was hate at first sight. Plus, there’s his nemesis Penya, an older time traveller who is good to have around for a life affirming cliché. Ilif and Penya don’t see eye to eye at all. I reckon that this particular storyline has the makings of a mystery that will cover the entire series arc.
Now, Evy is drawn time and time again to visiting ancient Spain, and it is here that we meet ancient hottie Constantine. We then proceed with some outrageous flirting from the pair from the get-go:
I can’t keep the smile hidden. He’s spicy with a side of dangerous, and I like it even though I know I shouldn’t. A merciless flirt, because it gets me what I want, I can’t help pushing him a little further, punishing him for calling me a sorceress and a spy.
Now Evy is a tough chica, her douche-bag ex had recently ransacked her house and stolen her belongings, then emptied her bank account. So she was a complete no man zone for all of five chapters – and I think that she did well considering who she had to work with. I myself would not have shown so much steel-like strength. Constantine. Oh the lovely Constantine. She’s a futuristic foreigner, he’s an ancient warrior. Add heat, a dash of lightning and wow mamma – watch those flames burn.
Constantine is a Roman soldier who has been facing resistance from Spanish natives in his fight to help his motherland occupy the country. His past is violent and sad and he does a good job of being stoic and sexy at the same time. Evy meets him briefly on her first foray into ancient Spain, but when they meet again it’s only been one day for her but five years for him. Not to say the least, he was a little disheartened by this wait. His world since then has changed irreparably and this is where Evy and her super time travelling skills come into play – if she doesn’t help Constantine defeat his Spanish enemies then it will spell trouble for the future of the entire world.
After some gentle persuasion by Constantine, a prophecy and Penya, Evy agrees to help kick ass and so dons a leather skirt and bustier in preparation. Meow. The downside is that she has to battle her own morality over killing people. Something that no one else seems to agree with in this bloody, violent, roman past. Also tugging on her conscience is our rebel Vitiario. He’s a Spanish hero, trying to save his country from Roman occupation. So to make some sense out of her crazy, crazy life she settles her mind with a wee bit of tai chi, which also takes her body to new heights of ninja-like awareness.
Once we hit half-way through the book we get to the prerequisite ‘training of the heroine by the mighty hero’. This part never gets too old for me. This is particularly true in Lightning Rider, as we get to read about a skirt-wearing, sword-wielding Constantine clashing his wits as well as his mighty (mighty) sword with Evy.
There has never been a softness to Constantine’s training, but today it is feral. Our pent-up energy clashes-and this time we let it. He spins and dodges my amateur attacks, allowing me to witness the depth of his skill. My own jealousy at my ineptitude makes me strike too soon, and he lunges. I parry. We dance a tango of death, a sexually charged battle we both know may be our last. Where we could have chosen meaningless sex, he honoured my strength and invited me to step wholly into his world and expose my true self with him here on his battlefield. The one place he can show me who he is, without words, without barriers. And where I can be me, no judgment, no embarrassment, no preconceived notion of what a woman can or can’t be. Here, we are warriors. Nothing else.
Now here’s a warning that I have about this book. Evy starts off very flippant and immature. Book one of this series is clearly laying the foundation, starting with how a very cocky young woman learns how and when to keep her mouth shut. This book is about her journey from a girl to a woman. Evy realises that her ability is a gift that she shouldn’t squalor on her own selfish desires but should be used for the good of the people. Blah, blah, blah. And the woman that we see at the end of the book – this is a character that I definitely want to see a lot more of. So hurry up Ms. Grayson and finish book two cause I hate cliff hangers!