I have been waiting for this story since I encountered Carys and Rune earlier in the series. While I love each installment that comes out, there are some that I anticipate more than others. This is definitely one of them. Carys is a rare Vampire Breed female who can day walk and she is the daughter of one of formidable, Sterling Chase, one of her people’s leaders. And Carys is in love with rough underground fighter, Rune, who is a mystery.
This is part of an ongoing series and should be read in order so that the series storylines and even the ongoing inter-personal storylines make sense. And, for this particular book, it would be best to makes sure to read the novella, Marked by Midnight, even if the reader normally skips the novellas because that one has a direct bearing on parts of this story.
The story opens with the Breed working to keep the uneasy peace with the humans even while trying to find out more about this newly revealed race, the Atlanteans, who pose a dangerous threat alongside the shadow organization that would annihilate them as well. All the older generation of warriors and many of the younger ones work to gain intel and protect their own, but things are getting desperate and they need to hunt down their enemies who are developing powerful weapons and drugs to use against them.
Against this backdrop, Carys is focused on Rune. Her family disapproves of her moving out on her own and ignoring all, but what she wants. She hates hurting them, but knows they will never accept the male she has chosen and then there is the fact that Rune will not give her anything more. He will not take her as a mate. He has a hidden past and she is certain that this is what is coming between them so she will take what she can get, for now. What is he hiding and why does he feel that it will destroy everything when it comes out? To save everything she cares for, Carys will have to come into her own as the unique Breed Female that she is.
Rune does have a torturous past and knows after what he has done and where he comes from that he cannot have Carys. In fact, he knows the day will come when he will need to break things off even if it will crush him to do it. But she doesn’t know- can’t know- and a mating would reveal everything to her. Then his past finally catches up to him and Carys is caught in the crossfire. He will do whatever it takes to keep her safe even if it means going back to what he left behind.
This was a riveting story. There is so much going on. There is the ongoing battle behind the scenes of the Breed vs. the secret organization that would destroy them and grab for world power along with the emerging threat of the other alien race as they seek a way to put them in check. And then for Carys, she rejects her connections believing that she can’t have Rune and her heritage at the same time even as her family struggles with her unique place as a Breed female. Carys is on precarious ground with Rune because of his secrets and need to hold her at arm’s length. And then Rune has a past that makes his present circumstances as a cage fighter seem like nothing.
The pacing was fast, but steady. I enjoyed the balance of character driven and action driven scenes. Carys and Rune are explosive together, but their circumstances are interesting, too. The twist that comes when Rune’s secret is out just ramped up the tension to high. Carys is pushed to trust in Rune right about the time things look really bad.
The inclusion of many recognizable characters and their ongoing presence is a big part of what I love about this series. The author is tackling the younger generation in the romances, but the development of the relationships include development of older to younger as well. Love that extra connection and the reunion feeling I have with each time the group comes together as a team to stop a dangerous threat.
There was some forward progression with the overall series arc and I look forward to seeing where things go particularly with the intro to the next pair to get their story.
I can easily recommend this series to Paranormal Romance fans who love action-packed, gritty, passionate and intrigue-filled stories.
I received this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.
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