This was the third book (or fourth if you count the prequel) in the Sons of Navarus series. It is a series that builds on things from the last book so it must be read in order.
The Son in this story, Terek, had me fascinated in the other stories by the little bits I learned about him. I was intrigued to find out how Ms. Bisset would handle his romance since the rumor from the other books was that he had a harem. And yes, some of the barriers I imagined as a result of that particular arrangement did play a part in the plot.
Terek is an older vampire who is more than 700 years old. He is ‘gifted’ with the ability to read everyone’s minds (personally, I’ve always found that a dubious gift). He has sired over a thousand vampires and many of them are women whom he expects to come to him when he returns to his home and care for his needs as he does theirs. Terek has always thought of himself a truly good sire who looks on all his vampire progeny as family and does his best to make them happy.
Now that the war with the Archons is well begun, the Sons learn that the Archons have begun targeting not only the Sons, but any vampires they have sired as well. Vasilijie is the first to experience this. He feels the deaths of his vampires and hares off with Saint in pursuit to save them. Terek has an experience close to home that teaches him that the hunters sent out by the Archon is really happening. He watches a hunter stake a vampire who was in the process of turning a human. The hunter disappears and Terek makes a quick decision to help the human woman who asks for his aid. She will die unless he turns her so he does.
Ilona wakes into the new world that she was unaware of, but is now forever a part of- the world of vampires. She is scared and disgusted at the same time. Her new sire, Terek, tries to help her adjust, but she wants nothing to do with him while at the same time she is also attracted. On the flip side, Terek is frustrated and worried because his newest child wants nothing to do with him and for the first time ever he can’t read her thoughts to find out how to change things. This novel experience forces him to become introspective and take advice from the least likely of sources. It has become of utmost importance to him that Ilona accept him even as he’s still working out why.
Slowly, Ilona adjusts to her new life and makes friends with the other women living in Terek’s home. But as she works through things in her mind, there is one matter she will not accept. She may be attracted to Terek, but there is no way that she will just become one of his women even if it means denying herself her sire’s blood. Will Terek change the habit of a lifetime that protects him from the possibility of heartbreak for the sake of Ilona? And that’s the big question.
I enjoy how each book in this series has a slightly different feel to the plot based on the character of the hero. This one is still tight and exciting just like the last one, but where the last story was stormy and tempestuous because of Saint this one is slightly more gentle and introspective like Terek- well until something horrendous took place and Terek because the fierce, lethal warrior he had once been. Terek was so many faceted.
Sometimes when I get a hold of a paranormal romance series, the original plot thread gets buried or stagnates under the romance in each succeeding book. I like how these don’t. There is always the cut away to scenes with the villains and even with the other Sons that shows the progress and plotting that is taking place around the romance. This leads me to my thoughts on the romance.
At first, the romance felt a bit awkward and forced to me. Jasmine told Terek that Ilona was different from all the other women he had sired- that she was THE one- so to Terek, she must be. I was willing to be patient because even though he bought into this thinking enough to be physically attracted to Ilona and worried about her, he had not gotten to the point where he was planning to change his ways.
I enjoyed how Ilona responded (or should I say reacted) to Terek’s assumptions that she would depend on him and accept all that he had to offer. Ilona put him through his paces and made him question what he knew about almost everything. He started to really think about his own motives all those years and he had his epiphany that allowed him to finally open up and chance his heart again. Ilona was a tough gal who didn’t just accept things which made it hard on everyone in the beginning, but she is also sensible so eventually she works through things gradually. I found her transition from human to vampire very believable. I also found her desire to be loved and respected as an individual admirable. And may I say that it almost goes without saying that the passion is agua caliente hot between these two when they finally start to sort things out.
This was a good strong installment to the series and again, I’m eager to find out which Son will get his story next. Give this series a try if you enjoy passionate vampire heroes and sassy heroines with a mysterious prophecy and a vampire civil war thrown in to make things interesting.