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

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  4,133 Ratings  ·  291 Reviews

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 hardly deny
Paperback, 438 pages
Published October 16th 2007 by Luna Books
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Jun 03, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 03, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: modernfantasy, sf-f-h
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
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Jan 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
D.B. Jackson
Mar 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 03, 2011 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.

Jan 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: paranormal
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.
Red Lace Reviews
May 22, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Posted to my Livejournal in April 2008, saved here for posterity:

I really enjoyed Heart of Stone. I liked the mixture of crime drama and supernatural romance, though I see it appealing more to women then to men. Lawyer Margrit Knight tests her mettle by running through Central Park after dark each night, aware but uncaring of the danger. There is someone watching her, however, every night she runs, and he's been watching her for years -- not to hurt, but to protect. His name is Alban, and he app
Nov 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction, uf-pnr, abandoned
I picked up this trilogy secondhand after enjoying the start of The Walker Papers series but I really didn't enjoy this at all.

My first big issue was the MC Margrit who I took an instant dislike to. Despite the fears of her friends she likes to go running at night in Central Park, with the 'it'll never happen to me' smug attitude that grated on my nerves. She seems to think she is superior because she is all brave and better than all the scared people. Of course she is also in a dispute with he
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Basic story
Margrit (Grit) is a legal aid defense lawyer of mixed race, she's diminutive in height & size, confrontational, has balls of steel who uses her negotiation skills with a sharp intelligence, intuition, that is enough maybe to give a dragon a run for his money. And boy oh boy does she need it.

Women of the same hair & eye colouring are being murdered & Al a gargoyle is the chief suspect who wants Grit to trust him & figure out who is the real murderer & act for him.
Aug 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Heart of Stone
Negotiator Trilogy/Old Races Universe #1
Loved this.
Margrit Knight, a lawyer and negotiator in New York City gets involved with a world she never knew existed when she meets Alban - a gargoyle and one of the Old Races.

Someone is killing women in Central Park and Alban has been framed. Who and why? That's the big question. Margrit's homicide detective off-on lover, Tony, thinks he has the answer. Margrit helped to give it to him, but when she listens to Alban's side of the story sh
Jun 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-paranormal
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
Nov 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
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
Feb 10, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Kenya Wright
I tried reading this a year ago. I got to five chapters and just put the book down. It was boring with a capitol B. I mean really how long was the freakin gargoyal going to stare at her from a far... then he gets her and its just flat.
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Nov 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I've read a lot of paranormal and fantasy literature in the last couple of years. What was refreshing about this book was the main 'other' species was a gargoyle and the protagonist wasn't endowed with any magical or paranormal powers. She is just a kick ass human woman. Its an excellent book!
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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 hardly deny what she'd seen…and touched.

The mystery man, Alban, was a gargoyle. One of the fabled Old Races who had hidden their existence for centuries. Now he was a murder

Jun 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
~* 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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a long show kick off to the series. Lots of world building and character introduction. If was slow enough to frustrate me but the characters and story are very interesting and I'm looking forward to reading further in the series.

The main character is just cool. Someone I would totally be friends with if she were a real person. I love that she's African American for two reasons. One, minority women are sadly underrepresented in literature but perhaps especially urban fantasy. I've read u
Joshua Vargovich
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
There is no doubt that this is a good book. However, I couldn't finish it. I read the old race collection first and the writing style changed to much for me. To me it lost a lot of it's core fantasy. I was very excited to read this after the old race collections and was disappointed to find out what had become of the main characters. 😥

The redeeming value I guess for some would be the book is still very descriptive and still contained an element of fantasy. To me it just wasn't comparable to the
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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.

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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.” 10 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.”
More quotes…