Title: When Darkness Ends Series: Guardians of Eternity #12
Release Date: May 26th 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Also by this author: When Darkness Comes, Embrace the Darkness, Kill Without Mercy
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*I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.*
ALEXANDRA IVY graduated from Truman University with a degree in theatre before deciding she preferred to bring her characters to life on paper rather than stage. She currently lives in Missouri with her extraordinarily patient husband and teenage sons. To stay updated on Alexandra’s Guardian series or to chat with other readers, please visit her website at www.alexandraivy.com
three copies of WHEN DARKNESS ENDS
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When Darkness Ends starts out with a prologue that felt unnecessary to me, but then jumps right to the heart of the problem in Chapter One. Tallon and Cyn have been abducted. It is soon explained that the reason they were kidnapped was because an Oracle needs their help in tracking down the source of a spell that is influencing the Oracles. Being stuck together is difficult for them both because of the conflict between their opposite personalities and strong physical attraction to one another.
The characters in the story are well-developed. Tallon and Cyn are both likable. Tallon is an atypical princess who doesn’t want men telling her what to do anymore. Cyn is a tough vampire who would like to boss Tallon around. However, he quickly learns to respect her wishes, which I appreciated. He wasn’t a bully.
I felt that the romance developed naturally between Tallon and Cyn. However, the romance between Magnus and Tonya seemed unlikely because she unrealistically dismisses too many of his flaws as being part of a facade to cover his vulnerability. It felt like an excuse to move the romance forward.
I had a little trouble with the point-of-views in the story. There are too many in my opinion. The story is told from the perspectives of Fallon, Cyn, Tonya, Magnus, Styx, and Anthony. That in itself wasn’t a big deal, but the point-of-view character often noticed things that he or she wouldn’t realistically notice. For example, when it was Cyn’s point-of-view, he noted “the perfected alabaster of his skin.” If I was Cyn, I wouldn’t be thinking about how perfectly alabaster my skin was. So, the point-of-view wasn’t totally his.
If you haven’t read the previous books you might get a little lost because terms are not explained. For example, I had no idea what a Commission was, other than what I could infer that it had to do with the Oracles somehow. Since I have only read the first book in the series, I was at a disadvantage. I did like, though, that the series came full circle and tied back in with the first book. I was pleased to see Dante in the story.
This is definitely a story meant for ages 18 and up, but the sex doesn’t take over the story like it does in some paranormal romance novels. I appreciated that the characters stayed on task and dealt with the threat, even if they momentarily were sidetracked by the sex.
Overall, I thought When Darkness Ends had a great mix of romance and action. There is even a little comedic relief because of the gargoyle, Levet. I will definitely go back and read more of the series that I have missed. I give When Darkness Ends 4.5 stars, and I recommend it to readers who like paranormal romance with a serious external threat that must be contained before the characters can truly focus on their relationship.
Laigin (Ireland), 1014 AD
The man woke with a blinding headache, stripped of his clothing as well as his memories.
With a groan, he sat up, shoving his tangled hair out of his face. It was immediately obvious he was in a damp cave. A strange place to wake. But not nearly as strange as the abrupt realization that something was terrifyingly wrong with him.
Despite the darkness he was able to see the limestone walls that had been chiseled by the water dripping from the low ceiling as clear as if it were day. And it was not only his sight that was unbearably acute.
He could smell the distant salt of the sea. And hear the faint scramble of a bug crossing the stone floor. He could even detect the warmth of two creatures that were rapidly approaching the cave.
What madness was this?
No man should have the senses of a god. Not unless he was a monster.
The dark thoughts barely had time to form before they were interrupted by a hunger that thundered through him. He groaned. It was as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks. Months. But it wasn’t the thought of food that made his stomach cramp, he realized with a flare of horror.
It was . . . blood.
His mouth watered, the pain of his fangs ripping through his gums startling him as the image of the red, intoxicatingly rich substance filled his mind.
He had to feed.
Aye. That was what he needed.
Disgusted with the knowledge, he slowly rose to his feet, a virile strength running through his massive body even as his head remained thick with confusion.
His instincts urged him to leave the cave, to hunt down his prey and bury his fangs deep in their throats, but the tantalizing scent of fresh strawberries kept him frozen in place.
It appeared that his prey was willingly coming to him.
And they smelled . . . delectable.
Like an animal, he warily shuffled to the deepest shadows. From his vantage point, he silently watched the two slender creatures enter the cave. His eyes widened at the sheer beauty of the strangers. The male had hair the color of rust with bold green eyes set in a lean face, while the female possessed long tawny hair with eyes the shade of spring grass.
They looked like angels.
His fangs ached, his muscles tensing as he prepared to strike.
Angels or not, they were about to become dinner.
But before he could charge, the male held up a slender hand, the scent of strawberries becoming overpowering.
“Hold, berserker,” he commanded, a tingle of magic in the air.
He frowned. “I am a berserker?”
The confusion only deepened. “Were?”
“Two nights ago you were attacked by a clan of vampires.”
He shook his head, his hand instinctively lifting to touch his neck.
The pretty female grimaced. “Not as a human. The local villagers left you in this cave to see if you would rise as a vampire. Even now they are on their way to either witness your corpse or slaughter you.” She held out a slender hand. “Come with us in peace and we will harbor you until you are able to care for yourself.”
Vampire . . .
He went to his knees in shock.
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