Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Kensington
Released on March 1, 2011
It is always a delicious pleasure to crack open the first book of a new series with anticipation for what is to come. I adore creative worldbuilding, paranormal elements and strong characters that are accompanied by broad story arcs that will span a series. All that is present in this one. I learned about this series from reading a few author guest posts and reviews last year and I was really glad to finally be able to give the first book a try. Fortunately, I already have the next two books ready to go because I really want to know what happens next for a certain couple that I just know will involve fireworks.
Cara is a single mom and botanist. Her whole world is upended one night when her daughter wakes her with a premonition that bad guys are coming, but right on the heels of this announcement a big handsome stranger announces that she’s in danger and she and her daughter Janey are coming with him. Naturally, Cara resists this insane announcement, but the capable dangerous guy doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Even after revealing who and what he was- a vampire-like race of protectors- and who and what Cara was- his fated mate and yes, they were getting married so he could end some of the danger to her, he still didn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
Talen only meant to rescue the gifted female human and her even more gifted daughter who are coveted for these gifts by another race similar to his own who seek to control the world through power and tyranny, but it is not long before he is hit with the knowledge that Cara is his mate. He will do what it takes to keep her and Janey safe because now they are HIS. Too bad Cara isn’t entirely onboard with this plan. She goes along with him because he’s her ticket to safety and he can protect her daughter not to mention they share an explosive attraction, but she makes it crystal clear that he doesn’t have her absolute trust and she keeps part of herself from him.
The story moves along at a feverish pace most of the time as Talen and Cara battle the bad guys, try to get intel into what the bad guys are up to, do some rescuing and dance around their feelings for each other. They are surrounded by Talen’s family of brothers, their shifter friends and Cara’s feisty older sister Emma. It was an exciting ride right down to the finish and leaves some enticing threads dangling for the next book in the series to pick up.
I really enjoyed this story and learning about the shadow paranormal world that exists alongside humans through Cara’s eyes. I liked how the element of danger was always there because the bad guys were smart and playing for keeps. The relationship plot was enjoyable and realistic. While Cara and Talen were attracted to each other, I liked how it took some time before real love was hinted at and then really developed. Cara was a great heroine. She had a lot thrown at her and she didn’t just roll over and take it, but other than one stupid mistake that was understandable, she also didn’t make dumb decisions. Talen is total alpha male and I wasn’t too enamored with him at first. He has the ‘mine’ down pat. He wants to dominate and for Cara to submit. He plans to look after her and make her happy, but he doesn’t think he’s capable of love. I loved how Cara led him on a merry chase that definitely made him quite aware that his heart was very much engaged in things. They both have a lot to learn about each other and about love. Toss in all the other wonderful characters that were introduced in the story including Janey’s mysterious dream friend and it makes me really anticipate the rest of the series.
Those who enjoy steamy paranormal romance and vampire stories should definitely give this a try.