Haidyn thought he had what it takes to be part of the Arcane Guild. His gifts lie with magic, but when he first tried to join the Guild, he just was not strong enough. Too ashamed to return home a failure, he struck out on his own, and eventually ended up using his abilities to become a prostitute. That was six years ago.
His life isn’t exactly happy now, but he has become wealthy in his trade. Things are… passably ok, until he finds out his long lost love has married one of his most depraved clients. He wants desperately to save her from the misery he knows the lawman will inflict. But does he have the power to help her? And will she even want him in her life once she finds out what he has become?
This book is hard to read at times. While Haidyn does not actually have sex with his clients, he must endure some demeaning and disturbing things to get the job done. And while the lawman does not physically get to act out his sick fantasies on him, seeing their sessions play out on the page is uncomfortable reading.
This is book two in Shona Husk’s Arcane series, though the only thing it has in common with book one is the world building, which is pretty interesting. It has that alternate-world fantasy feel that seems both futuristic and distant past at the same time. Unfortunately, the romance element doesn’t hold up. Haidyn and Anisa have a history, but nothing in their present shows me any feeling between them. It’s more like she has no other choice to get away from a horrible situation. That’s not much of a love story. They’re not even together very much at all. Anisa is the real victim in the story. First Haidyn abandoned her, then she got married off to a monster. At least Haidyn chose his own path.
It was ok. I preferred Dark Vow to this one.
*ARC Provided by Carina Press via NetGalley
Dark Secretsby Shona HuskRelease Date: February 18, 2013Publisher: Carina Press