Review: Heart of Darkness by Lauren Dane

Reviewed by Jen

I had high expectations going into this book –A– because I have heard great things about Lauren Dane and –B– some of my other bookish friends gave it generally positive reviews. While I didn’t actively dislike it, unfortunately, this wasn’t a winner for me. The worldbuilding is solid and pretty interesting, but I failed to connect with the characters and I didn’t feel invested in their romance.

Meriel is a powerful witch and the heir apparent to her family’s clan. The only thing that is holding her back from reaching her potential is the fact that she has not found her bondmate and ascended with him. Finding her magical other-half happens pretty quickly, though, when she goes to investigate a loner witch who is using her family’s magical font without permission.

Dominic was never part of a clan and has no desire to change that. He just wants to run his club and be left alone. But when he and Meriel cross paths, there is no denying the instant attraction. They know they are bond mates right away, but they choose to take some time before they ascend together, so Dominic can get used to the idea. In the meantime, they get thrust into an investigation involving rogue witches and mages who are draining the magic out of others. So they work together to solve that mystery as they fall deeper for one another.

I read in another review that the reader liked how mature these characters were about their bond, and yes, they were mature, but for me, they were also boring. In theory, they both have good stuff going for them. Dominic has a mysterious past and he’s dominant and sexy, while still respectful. And Meriel is powerful and confident without being conceited or overbearing. But it all fell flat for me.  I didn’t care if they were being mature because I just didn’t care about them. There were sexy times to be sure, but they didn’t titillate me because I felt no tension. It all just… was. They’re bondmates — no real conflict, no angst, just a very straightforward path to HEA.

The mage threat, meanwhile, was weak and the personal tie to one of the characters felt convenient and contrived.

I just wasn’t feeling this one. But many others enjoyed it, so it may be better for you.

Rating: C+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Heart of Darkness
by Lauren Dane
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Berkley

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