Karina Cooper wraps up her Dark Mission series in grand fashion with this final installment. It’s a romance, yes, but it’s more than that. Cooper brings back all the characters and couples of previous stories to wrap up the overall arc involving the mission, the church, the witches, and the genetic puzzle that’s been causing so many to die.
But let’s start with the love story. Our hero is Shawn, a member of the resistance. His life’s mission is to destroy the man who killed his parents: Laurence Lauderdale, head of the Order. Now he has his chance to get even. The resistance is planning to kidnap Lauderdale’s daughter Kayleigh, hoping the brilliant doctor can help them with the cure to what’s causing the witches/ missionaries to degenerate. Instead, Shawn uses the opportunity to snatch her for his own gains.
Before the kidnapping, though, Shawn masquerades as Kayleigh’s bodyguard. And despite the hatred he bears for her family, there is a sizzling connection between them. There are even a few, er, physical interludes. But when the chips fall, Shawn goes forward with his plan.
Kayleigh feels understandably betrayed when her sexy bodyguard goes from kissing her to taking her prisoner. The two of them go round and round, from passion to fury and back again. The sexual tension is always right there, simmering at the surface. Sometimes, I questioned how Kayleigh could keep wanting him, the way he runs hot and cold with her. But no matter how often he pushes her away, she keep giving in when he pulls her back.
The bigger arc explodes when Kayleigh’s dad sets his master plan in motion. Not only must Kayleigh and Shawn end up working together to save New Seattle, but they are also joined by Silas and Jessie, Naomi and Phin, Caleb and Juliet, Parker and Simon, & Danny and Jonas. Each has a part to play in averting another apocalypse. It’s kind of epic, and I am glad that Cooper didn’t rush the climax. It was, however, difficult at times to remember all of the people and threads from the previous books. Even one, admittedly, left me scratching my head when the book was over. (If you catch the subtle nod to May’s parentage, I bow down to your excellent memory and attention to detail.)
All that being said, you may want to even consider a series re-read before you start this one. (Don’t forget Before the Witches either.) Part of me wishes I had done that. By the same token, if you are a new reader, you could probably still catch on to the romance, but the rest will leave you majorly confused. I suggest you start the series at the beginning for maximum enjoyment.
Overall, it wasn’t my favorite romance in the series, but it was definitely a worthy end to the Dark Mission saga.
*ARC Provided by Avon
One for the Wickedby Karina CooperRelease Date: April 30, 2013Publisher: Avon