Thea Harrison is easily of the best paranormal romance authors out there. Almost without fail, her books sweep me up with passion, excitement, intrigue and good old fashioned romance. And somehow, she manages to do it in vastly different ways with completely unique pairings every time. She changes the dynamics of the couples; she even changes up the species, focusing on various portions of her sweeping Elder Races world. This is the second book in a row centered on the Nightkind demanse, but still, this book is nothing like the last one. Despite that, or maybe because of that, I really enjoyed them both.
Julian wasn’t painted with the kindest brush back in Serpent’s Kiss. He was Carling’s nemesis; he tried to have her put down for crying out loud. Even still, I loved him as the hero here. He’s like a bear with a thorn in his paw. He’s powerful and angry; he lashes out, but he does it because he is hurt. The previous books did a great job setting up his broken relationship with Mellie, the Light Fae heir. As the Vampyre King, he controls so much, but couldn’t hold on to the woman he loved. They broke up with antipathy between them that burns as hot as their passion once did. Now they can’t even be in the same room with each other.
When Mellie is kidnapped, though, Julian drops everything in his life like a hot potato in order to get her back. The hurts between them are still there, of course, but the threat to their lives gives them great perspective. The story becomes a race for the two of them to save themselves, while trying to figure out what really went wrong between them –and whether they want to waste a second chance.
I was completely wrapped up this book from beginning to end. There was so much pain between these characters; both truly believing themselves the injured party. There is just as much love still there and a tension that can barely hide beneath the surface. It was so easy to forgot that I never really liked Julian, because Harrison provides so much perspective for us here. He is so powerful, but it’s his vulnerability that transforms him… not just in terms of Mellie, but with the backstory on him and Carling too.
The mystery of what happened to break up Mellie and Julian wasn’t a huge reveal. You’ll see it coming. But if you’re anything like me, it won’t matter. The book has so much action and momentum; I never doubted what would happen, but it was so engaging, it was all about how we got there. Not only did I enjoy the progression of the romance, but also how their larger fight against the evil Justine played out.
The story is largely self contained, though it builds off of Night’s Honor, so you’d benefit from reading that first. We also get a little time with Soren and Graydon, leaving me excited to get more of their stories.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Thea Harrison
Release Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Berkley Sensation