Monday, August 11, 2014

eBook Review: Darkness Awakened

Years ago he ended things between them to protect her…

As leader of one of the fiercest werewolf packs in the south, Finn Stavros is in full battle mode 24/7. He has no choice—he’s one of the few beings strong enough to fight the Akkadian demons, whose mysterious escape from hell threatens the entire world. With the battle turning bloodier by the second, Finn is ready for anything…until his vampire long lost love shows up on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, sending his heart into a tailspin. He agrees to help her, unaware that she carries a shocking secret that will turn his life upside down.

This time, he’s not letting her go…

Vampire Lyra Marius curses the day she met Finn. The ruthless werewolf promised to love her forever, but he rejected her instead—before she could share her life altering news. Pregnant, kicked out of her coven, and cast aside by the love of her life, Lyra struggled to raise their rare shifter-vampire daughter Vega alone among humans. When the 16-year-old is kidnapped and used to fulfill a frightening prophecy, Lyra swallows her pride and turns to Finn for help. But how long can she fight her feelings for him and keep him from guessing the truth about who Vega really is? As they race against the clock to save their daughter, they must defeat the lethal threat imposed by demons infiltrating the human world and a hell gate that could not only reveal their existence to mankind, but destroy the world in the process.

Okay so for the record I know that one of Reus' most used tropes is the "Once lovers but ended for his/her/their safety", but damned if it doesn't get me every single time.

Reus' paranormal romances never fail me. Her heroes are always smoking examples of men, her heroines don't let themselves be torn down and there is always a heated chemistry both in and out of the bed. DARKNESS AWAKENED is no exception.

In one corner you have Finn - uber Alpha leader of Biloxi, he challenged and defeated his maniacal ruthless uncle years before and has spent the time since rebuilding the Pack into something admirable. In the other corner you have Lyra - a natural born vampire princess in exile ever since her relationship with Finn ended in flames 17 years before. She's lived on her own all these years in the human world and will be damned if anyone tries to harm her or theirher daughter.

Then you have assorted other characters, a lot of whom will feature in the next book TASTE OF DARKNESS to varying degrees.

I say "assorted other characters" because while they were interesting, and were part of the reason why I am so eager to read the next book, this story was squarely about Lyra, Finn and their daughter Vega.  Everyone else existed as peripherals to their little family.  Oh hey pack member you have an issue with my future mate?  Go ahead and die now.  You think I'm not good enough for your alpha?  Go ahead and eat your heart okay?  These two, once they committed to the idea (in Lyra's case mostly unconsciously), everybody else could go screw themselves because nothing would keep them apart.  Not even each other.

I liked that Vega wasn't just a damsel in distress, she actively sought ways to exploit her captors' weaknesses and plotted ways to thwart them.  Yes the telepathic bond with Lyra was a bit convenient...but that could be overlooked since she was supposed to be the Uber Child of Prophecy (aka The Star Child) and that only accounted for a small amount of how she was eventually saved.

My only complaint was that this felt as if it belonged to a larger universe, but I'm not entirely sure if that was true.  Some of the "events" that are mentioned in vague ways could point to other books Reus has written, but specifics were not very forthcoming.  Add to that the abbreviated world building and I sometimes wondered if I was missing something vital.

This was, in all the ways that matter, an engaging and steamy read.  If you've enjoyed her previous books definitely read this. If you're new to her body of work this is just long enough to satisfy, but short enough to only take a night or two of reading to know if you like her style.