I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
She’s angry that I left. I’m angry that I died.
It’s the trouble with our two lives: we don’t only have one past to work through, but two. Double the pain, twice the betrayal.
A million times the tragedy.
***The Moon is the story of Merlin and Nimue from the New Camelot trilogy. It’s recommended that you read the trilogy first, as there are American King spoilers in The Moon.***
(Cards of Love is a massive multi-author project, a series of love letters to the mysterious and inspirational world of tarot cards. These can be read in any order, as the only thing the Cards of Love books share is their common inspiration from the world of tarot.)
Cards of Love: The Moon (New Camelot #3.5) by Sierra Simone is a novella in the New Camelot series. It features Merlin and Nimue. During books 1-3 of the New Camelot series, we’ve gotten to know Merlin and now having a book where he receives his happy ending was a treat.
Merlin and Nimue have suffered pain, betrayal, and heartbreak, in the past. Now in the present, will they be doomed to repeat themselves, or will they finally end up together? Nimue has captured Merlin and wants him to give her what he has. His sight, his magic. Through flashbacks, we’re given their backstory and relationship, while in the present we see Merlin finally let go and place himself in Nimue’s hands, especially after lifetimes of being the only one who remembered the past and saw the future.
The dynamic of Merlin and Nimue was well done and I enjoyed learning more about these two characters and how they loved each other. Overall, I would recommend Sierra Simone’s The Moon, especially after you read the first three books of Simone’s New Camelot trilogy.
A match, I think, and then I think, why?
And then: where am I?
“You’re awake,” says a voice like water. A voice I love. It still doesn’t help me figure out where I am.
“Am I?” I ask. “Awake?”
Like I said earlier, I don’t dream as such, but when I close my eyes, the memories and visions are there, dogging my sleep. And I think maybe—yes, there is also a memory like this. A memory of a dark-haired girl and a cave sparkling with light, the night air heavy with the ecstatic cries we fed it.
“You are awake, Merlin.” The flame moves, calves another flame, and then is blown out. A candle now glows softly against the face of a woman standing at the end of the bed I’m on.
Dark brows arch high over clear blue eyes and a long nose curves gracefully down the woman’s oval face, framed by a high forehead and cheekbones, and a beautiful, if narrow, jaw. Her lips are on the thin side, but perfectly sculpted, giving her an expressive, fascinating mouth. Coffee-dark hair hangs in glossy sheets around her face and down her back.
She’s haunting. Haunting even as a girl, but now even more so as a woman.
“Nimue,” I say, and for the first time I notice how thirsty I am. I make to sit up—and realize my hands are tied to the bed.
Nimue sets the candle down on an end table, and it illuminates the space enough to show me that
I’m indeed in a room and not in the damp mouth of a cave.It means it’s now and not then, which I suppose I should be grateful for.
After all, I died then.
A silver key glints from just below the smile of her clavicle, the bottom tip of it pointing to the sweet valley between her breasts I used to know so well. They are small and pert—her body still the lithe dancer’s body she had as a girl—and my flesh responds to the sight of those little handfuls, the memory of them. The fantasy of her dusky nipples dragging along the underside of my aching cock is enough to have my body warming, and that’s when I really become aware that I’m not only tied to the bed, but I’m also dressed in a pair of black boxer briefs and nothing else.
Well, nothing else except for the padded cuff around my ankle.
Nimue leans forward to untie my wrist, which leaves the front of her swishy dress gaping forward enough that I can see those nipples now, dark rose and erect.
I’d tasted them frequently once upon a time.
Once upon a time, twice.
In another life, I’d known the feel of her breasts against my lips and tongue better than I’d known almost anything else.
With one of my wrists freed, Nimue straightens and nods at the other. “You can untie yourself. You’ll find that the chain allows you more than enough length to do everything you need. I’m obviously trusting you not to do anything self-destructive, but should the need arise, I can take away this particular freedom.” She says it cheerfully, almost as if the idea of taking away my freedom delights her.
The key on her chest glints as she steps back, and I understand that it’s the key that unlocks my cuff—the same cuff that is connected to a ring in the floor by a length of slender chain.
And with it shame.
And with that, fear.
I died once this way, and I’d rather not do it again.
I lunge for my other wrist to untie it, needing to be free, needing to reach for Nimue to kiss her or kill her—but by the time I untie myself, she’s out the door with it shut and locked behind her.