More people should be reading this series. It’s dark. And sexy. A similar vibe to the early Black Dagger Brotherhood books. This book, in particular, stands out as the darkest and most emotional installment to date. It focuses more on the romance than the earlier books, which is a good thing, even though the world building is strong and interesting enough to sustain urban fantasy fans.
This is Gavin’s story, which kind of surprised me, because I expected him to be a hero we would have to wait for. He’s the top dog among the Wrath brothers. He’s gorgeous and in command of every situation. Women fall at his feet. But as this book begins, things are looking pretty rough. He is in Obsidius (hell) being brutally punished for sleeping with a married woman. He’s actually facing death, when the succubus Sabelle calls in a debt he owes her for her hand in saving his brother’s life. Most succubi would demand sexual enslavement, but not Sabelle. She needs protection.
Sabelle is nothing like others of her kind. Most succubi are selfish and pretty much horrible, but their lives are pretty miserable too. Every succubus essentially lives the life of a whore, whether she wants to or not. She is ruled by her pimp, to whom she send the souls she receives. It’s really hard not to feel sorry for Sabelle, because she doesn’t want meaningless sex. She doesn’t want to kill anyone. She just wants to be a good mom to her twins. Unfortunately, their father is her pimp –a big no-no in succubus-land. He keeps her under his thumb with threats to her freedom, her kids, and her younger sister. And she has had enough. She has a plan to score a high ticket item to buy her freedom, but it’s very dangerous and that’s where Gavin comes in.
Gavin’s got all kinds of preconceived ideas about Sabelle, but they are quickly laid to rest as he realizes what an amazing person she is. He even grows quickly attracted to her, but it gets very complicated very fast. His mating urge is beating down his door. A black witch is hankering for his body and his soul. And there are forces working against him –and Sabelle—they don’t even know about. Despite all that, neither can fight the growing feelings they have for one another.
This romance is good stuff. This is thanks largely to the fact that Keri Lake has crafted two really well developed, sympathetic characters. As a mother, it’s impossible not to relate to Sabelle’s motivations. I love how she’s made out to have the kind of concerns and insecurities that come with the changes of motherhood. But her feelings and desire for Gavin ring just as true. I love how he allows his view of her to change. I love how he treats her children.. how he comes to treat her. I didn’t want to put it down.
But the road to happiness is not a linear one. There is a really tough part of the storyline for these two, and the author warns about it in the forward. I understand the warning, but I almost wish it wasn’t there because I found myself waiting for it. It was hard to read, but I take my hat off to Lake for the emotional impact she created.
The other Wrath brothers play a smaller part in this story than in the previous books, but they do make appearances. In fact, there are cut scenes involving the stories developing for Calix and Zayne. I am interested in both. I hope the audience continues to grow for this series. It’s worth reading. I would recommend to fans of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance alike.
*ARC provide by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Keri Lake
Release Date: December 5, 2014