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Reviewed by Caitlin Lyle Farley for Readers' Favorite
Temple of Dawn is a short, but oh so sweet fantasy romance between a soft but capable Temple sister and a delightfully roguish dark elf. When the High Priest summons Messendra one night, she and her roommate, Halla, assume he’s going to rewards Messendra’s years of dedication to the Temple of Dawn by granting her knighthood. Instead, she discovers that he intends to sacrifice her. But Messendra escapes into the Sun City. She travels into the Elven Quarter seeking help but instead comes face to face with the hunter hired to capture her, a dark elf called Raegar. His need for the coin he’ll earn from turning Messendra in outweighs Raegar’s growing belief that Messendra is telling the truth; however, he may be willing to help her in return for her innocence.
Between Raegar’s cheeky innuendo and Messendra’s awakening sexuality, author Belinda Jane builds a fantasy romance that’s as steamy as it is adorable in Temple of Dawn, book one of Belinda Jane’s Dark Elf Romance series. Well-incorporated backstory adds depth to both characters as their feelings develop and although there are no overly explicit descriptions in Temple of Dawn, even the more humorous of Raegar and Messendra’s physical encounters are charged with delicious chemistry. Fascinating world-building and mentions of a greater conflict threatening the land of Saol hopefully mean that the author intends to expand widely on this world as she continues the series. Several twists lead to a surprising and highly satisfying conclusion as Messendra attempts to expose the High Priest’s wickedness and Raegar is forced to choose a side.