Heart Of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy, #1)
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Heart Of Stone (Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1)

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3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  3,002 ratings  ·  246 reviews
What secrets lie shrouded in darkness?

Okay, so jogging through Central Park after midnight wasn't a bright idea. But Margrit Knight never thought she'd encounter a dark new world filled with magical beings -- not to mention a dying woman and a mysterious stranger with blood on his hands. Her logical, lawyer instincts told her it couldn't all be real -- but she could hardl

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Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2007)
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Wealhtheow
Jun 03, 2010 Wealhtheow rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of paranormal romances
Margrit "Grit" Knight (ugh, the name!) is a public defender with too little time and too much courage. A chance encounter with a handsome stranger in Central Park entangles her in a web of lies, power games and revenge. And not all the people pulling the strings are human...

I'm torn in how I feel about this book. On the one hand, it's not well written. The plot rests on a precarious tower of coincidences, each more unlikely than the last. The dialog is like what middle schoolers think hard-bitte...more
Natasha
Heart Of Stone is the first novel in a new contemporary fantasy trilogy by C. E. Murphy. It's also the first book I've read by Murphy before. She's mostly known for her Urban Shaman fantasy trilogy, which I have yet to read also.
First in a trilogy called “The Negotiator,” I found this book fantastic!
Lately I've been reading new books from series I've previously read, but I couldn't find a great new series to start. Then I picked up "Heart of Stone", because the storyline was compelling, and I r...more
Seth
This one's a great variant on the modern fantasy genre. Not because the world is unusual--it's completely stock: supernatural races in hiding in the world and our female protagonist discovers them and falls instantly in lust with the one trustworthy one in the lot--but because of the strength of the protagonist.

Our protag isn't beautiful (well, she probably is; they all are), she isn't strong physically, mentally, psychically, or magically (although she has some cojones and she's in good shape a...more
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
3.5 rounded up to 4.

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this book as the Negotiator trilogy isn't one that I hear mentioned very often in my book reading circles in comparison to her more popular Walker Papers series. So I was a bit nervous about starting it; wondering if the reason there was no buzz was simply because it wasn't very good. But I have to say that while the book didn't blow my mind, I definitely did enjoy it for the most part. I particularly enjoyed the audiobook narration (s...more
Susana
2.5 stars



I'm afraid that the latest books I've chosen to read all suffer from the same problem:

Identity Crisis

This tends to happen when a story you're reading is supposed to be something else entirely, but the plot and characters end up taking a completely different path, leaving the reader completely dumbfounded and unsure of what he/she is reading.

Is this urban fantasy?
No, it has too many paranormal romance traits... like lusting after a guy while you're walking through a sewer...

So, it's p...more
CaliGirlRae
2 1/2

I'm a bit late catching up on some of the more popular urban fantasy books of today. After taking a break from the paranormal genre, I'm slowly dipping my feet in a little at a time.

Heart of Stone is apart of my book discussion group and I've been meaning to check it out. I thought this was as good a time as any to dive into this series and check out Harlequin's Luna line as well.

This first entry of the Negotiator series focuses on hardcore lawyer Margrit Knight. During a night jog in Centr...more
Kristen
I normally don't like female protagonists in urban fantasy books. After one book where the more-beautiful-than-can-even-be-described woman who has a multitude of skills and an unbelievable physical prowess solves a mystery with her wit, sexual banter, and vagina (usually in that order), you've seen them all. Plus, they all have really stupid names. Where are all the strippers who mothered these children?

However, I was really impressed with this book. I liked the protagonist a lot. Yes, she's pr...more
Kingsgrave
First and foremost, I understand that this is a Harlequin production. That means, de rigeur, a certain amount of sexual tension is to be expected. That said, I get extremely frustrated with an author who can't have a male character interact with her protagonist unless he's got a hard-on for her. I've known gorgeous, very feminine women who go through their lives without half the amount of domineering sexual attention Margrit gets from the males around her in just a week or so. It's narrative cho...more
Deva
It is painfully evident as to why this series is called The Negotiator Trilogy. Our heroine, Margrit Knight, is a world class negotiator. Her skills are ridiculously sick ... Superior even. She's a lawyer, which makes a lot of sense, and basically finds a way to BS her way into the lives of the people of the Old Races. Well, I can't say that she completely BS'd her way into their lives when somethings basically landed at her doorstep.

Heart Of Stone is a play on a gargoyle, Alban, who finds himse...more
Lightreads
DNF around 60% through. A largely unobjectionable if boring urban fantasy about the lawyer who encounters the supernatural while out jogging at night. But you know how we all have these specific things that a book has to get right? Like, the author can invent a magical creature out of nowhere, no problem, but she better get the details of how the heroine bakes biscuits exactly correct?

Well, it turns out one of mine is poverty legal services. Who knew! And this book gets that so completely and of...more
D.G.
Feb 18, 2013 D.G. marked it as dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I can't stand this woman. Running in the Park at night doesn't make her brave, just TSTL, specially when she probably does it everyday, at the same time and running a similar route. Has it never occurred to her that a group of thugs can ambush her? What would her 'speed' do for her there? And that idea that 'I know I could outrun this person' is ridiculous. You should never assume anything about a person you don't know.

DNF
pianogal
Overall, I'm just gonna give this book an "Eh..." I liked Alban, but could live without pretty everyone else. They all just seemed flat to me. I did think the mythology behind the gargoyles was interesting, although I'm not sure that I would go flying with Alby. I'm not the best with heights. I might revisit this series some day, but it'll probably be a while.
Jenna
I love the C.E. Murphy Urban Shaman series so I picked up this one. It lacked the punch and witty commentary that I found in that series. I'll leave you to read the synopsis as so many other reviewers have summed it up very nicely.

Some of the things I liked:
1. The mythology behind the Old Races is very unique and I thought it was well laid out
2. I really liked Alban. He seems very old world, kind and considerate.
3. I liked Margrit but thought that she has a definite chip on her shoulder. She was...more
Hannah
A very enjoyable start to the Negotiator trilogy, with interesting, well-sketched and realistic characters. Margrit's a likeable heroine with plenty of guts (particularly refreshing because she survives by her abilities as an attorney, not by some latent super-ability), and Alban is surprisingly sweet (not exactly expected of a gargoyle, but it's a nice and unusual take). The bad guys are awesome, and you'll find yourself liking all the side characters as well. The only problem I had was that Ma...more
Coffcat
Jan 28, 2008 Coffcat rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Coffcat by: Sarai
Shelves: urban-fantasy
I really enjoyed this book. I felt that having gargoyles was a unique twist and the main character in the book wasn't a carbon copy of all the other "kick'n butt and taking names" heroines that seem to be quite proliferant all of a sudden. While she is tough, she's more brain tough instead of guns, knives, and hunky back up tough. Being a lawyer too makes things a little more fun.

I'm sincerely glad that this book was a beginning for a series because that's what it felt like. One long "introduci...more
Daffodil
A lot of UF features a strong female protaganist who can fight with magic, swords, teeth and occaisionly claws. Heart of Stone is different. Margrit Knight's strength lies not in the physical or magical, but the mental. As a lawyer with Legal Aide, she's learned the value of determination, stubborness and negotiating. Suddenly thrust into a world with Gargolyes, Dragons, Djinn, Selkies and Vampires, Margrit's heritage and experience give her an interesting perspective in dealing with the five Ol...more
D.B. Jackson
I read the first three books of this series in quick succession, mostly because I had to know that happened next to Margrit and the rest. Catie Murphy is a master storyteller, and phenomenal writer. (She is also, in the interests of full disclosure, a colleague and friend.) The magical world she has imagined for this series is complex, fascinating, and ultimately deeply satisfying. Her characters are engaging, her prose is, as always, lovely and flowing, and the tension she creates throughout th...more
Nicole
Feb 16, 2009 Nicole rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Keri
I liked her idea. I thought it was vampires, but she chose something else to work with. i thought it was a good idea, but i did not feel that she executed the idea all the way through. there were questions and things left unanswered, even though it is a series, there were things that should have been answered in this book. It's worth reading though, as i said, i liked her approach on the supernatural world. However, her attire in New York City for the middle of January was way off. She was not w...more
Book Reading Gals
Title: Heart of Stone

Series: Gargoyle series Book #1

Author: Christine Warren

Genre: Romance/Paranormal

Blurb: Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people--and her powers in check--while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum's...more
Cindi
I truly enjoyed this urban fantasy read; it was substantially different from the PNR I've recently been reading. Mostly I believe the reason I enjoyed it was because of the heroine, Margrit (nicknamed "Grit", a name that serves her well). You see, Grit LAUGHS.

Margrit is an underpaid twenty-something Legal Aid lawyer who digs in and fights for her cases. She is also an amalgamam of races, with her cafe au lait skin and corkscrew curls brown hair; she also mentioned Native American and more. Possi...more
Kevin
"Talking to you in the park the same night that girl died was an unspeakably bad coincidence" Alban to Margrit

That's just one of my problems with this book, he watches her for 3 years and speaks to her on the night of the 1st murder. 2nd coincidence Cara another of the old races comes to her for help, why because she was on TV. She arrives on the same day that Grit wins the pardon and is on TV isn't that awful fast. BTW Cara is a squatter, does she even have a TV or power to run it? 3rd bad coin...more
Erin
Sep 27, 2008 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of urban fantasy
Heart of Stone follows Margrit Knight, a lawyer who works with Legal Aide, struggling to navigate a world that she was not aware of before. This world, her world, is now filled with Gargoyles, Selkies, Dragons, Djinn, and Vampires... Her personality will not allow her to turn away someone who needs help, and her fearlessness propells her to make deals with the most powerful and dangerous of the Old Races.

The book is filled with with everything that makes a book entertaining- swift pace, old foes...more
Cathy
Like the Walker Papers, this first installment of the Negotiator takes the supernatural tale to a new level. Here there be dragons....oh, and selkies, gargoyles, djinn, and let's throw in a vampire for good measure.

Margrit is a multi-racial lawyer. Multi-racial is important because it allows her the advantage of viewing the "old races" from a different vantage point. She's strong, sometimes cocky, and smart although with a tinge of believing herself to be impervious to harm, perhaps because she...more
Indigo
Really wanted to like this one a lot, but spent the first 2/3 of the book being annoyed with racefaily terminology, and weak characterization -- considering the Walker Papers has neither of these, I was unpleasantly surprised to find them here.

Until I got to the end of the Nook edition and saw the date. 2007 -- so some of her early work. That makes the weaknesses forgivable.

I found the human characters least interesting, which is, I suppose a situational hazard for urban fantasy. But again, I kn...more
Music_lover3
I loved this book, despite it being written in third person POV. Normally I don't like third person POV, but since I liked the Walker Papers novels, I thought I'd give this one a try. I can honestly say, I think this book is better than the Walker Papers novels. I think the quality of this book is a lot better than the Walker Papers novels, but I still think they're good books. I loved reading from Margrit's and Alban's POV's and I was getting whiplash with all the deals Margrit made. For her be...more
K
If you like genre UF, you'll probably like this. I don't, and I had a hard time in places.

Good things first: The premise was different. Lawyer instead of fighter? Interesting. The heroine had some serious hurdles because she wasn't a kung-fu expert. Tackling racial divides? Great. My favorite line: "My people have been in the United States since the seventeen hundreds. I don't know what else it takes to be just an American."

Gripes: Not much outside the standard UF tropes to really get me enthuse...more
Beth Cato
When Margrit goes running late one night in Central Park, she doesn't expect to be approached by a handsome, pale man who tries to talk with her in a most un-New Yorker way. And when she arrives home and turns on the news, she doesn't expect to see about a murdered woman in the park - and a suspect who exactly fits the description of the man who approached her. Nor does she expect to see that man again the next day, and again. He insists that he's innocent and that's he's a gargoyle - and he can...more
Red Lace
Sep 21, 2014 Red Lace rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: urban fantasy fans
Margrit Knight, skilled attorney for legal aid by day and daring (foolishly so) woman by night, finds herself pulled into a world she never knew existed. Old Races – gargoyles, dragons, vampires, djinn, and selkie live amongst the unsuspecting humanity, trying desperately to keep their presence secret. However when a very manly and beautiful gargoyle asks Margrit for help, she can’t refuse. She’s a woman of risk, after all. Now facing off dragons and vampires, as well as being attracted to her ‘...more
Tracy
~* 4.5 Stars *~
Start Looking Up

His life is lived in shadows, exiled from his own kind and alone in the world but for her, the woman he protects every night. He doesn't know her name. He doesn't know what she does for a living. He's never broken through the racial boundaries and dared speak to her, his human ward.

Though he wants to. Aches to with a need that grows by the year, by the night.

He is Alban Korund. He is gargoyle.

Most of Margrit Knight's friends joke about her having a death wish, and...more
Hester
Pretty slow and cliched start tbh, I was a tiny bit underwhelmed.
Though what kept me going is I've always liked gargoyles as a thing but never read a book with them included before- though he is a long living, good looking one but I suppose nothings perfect.
The main character was fiesty and clever. If a tiny bit stupid about her own safety- as fiesty heroines all tend to be (mouthing off to someone who could kill you in a heartbeat makes you more idiotic than smart in my opinion but hey, works...more
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8695
C.E. Murphy is a writer of fantasy novels and short stories. She also writes "action-adventure romance" novels under the pseudonym Cate Dermody, which was her grandmother's maiden name.
More about C.E. Murphy...
Urban Shaman  (Walker Papers, #1) Coyote Dreams (Walker Papers, #3) Thunderbird Falls  (Walker Papers, #2) Walking Dead (Walker Papers, #4) Spirit Dances (Walker Papers, #6)

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“They're constants, aren't they?" ... "Books are. That's why we like them so much. They seem immutable. They're not, of course. Not from the author's first draft to the tenth printing, but they seem like it.” 8 likes
“I’m a lawyer. I meet people every day who are on the surface considerably worse than you are. You, Janx, Alban, you’re really all so…normal. You can do stuff I can’t, but so can Michael Jordan.” Dismay hit her palpably enough to make her want to step back, though she held her ground even as she
groaned. “Please don’t tell me he’s one of you.”
Daisani’s shoulders rose and fell, a single admission of silent laughter. “I believe Mr. Jordan is as human as you are, Miss Knight.”
5 likes
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