This third installment of the Palladin Warriors series brings the story of Valin and Gabriella. Both were introduced in the first book as minor characters and now they get to be in the spotlight as the hero and heroine. A more unlikely pairing would be hard to find with Valin being a Palladin warrior of light and Gabby, a part-succubus part-vampire who seeks to do what she can for good to make up for her dark heritage. It was an exciting story that jumped right in with action and passion. There is a presumption that the reader has read the other books in the series.
Valin knows that Gabriella is his mate, but he thought her lost when they rescued Karissa from the evil Cristos. Then he spotted her- disguised, but very much alive. He had to get to her before one of his fellow Palladins did and ended her because she is a vampire and thought to be the enemy. He knows she is near and suspects she is working with a group of gifted humans who are also fighting the demons and vampires.
Gabby only lives for revenge now. She received the gift of light from Karissa so that she can walk in the light of day, but something happened and she can no longer get sustenance in her old way. She is starving and grows weaker and weaker, but she is determined to take as many evil ones with her as she can before she goes. But then her attention is grabbed when Valin and another Palladin jump in to help her and Aaron, a gifted human, in a fight with a superior force of vampires. He is all that she remembers and the attraction in still there, but self-disgust and doubt reign so she does a runner.
Valin has his hands on Gabby and then she slips away, but he finds her again hiding out with a force of gifted humans including the one who disrupted things earlier by bursting into the Haven to deliver her message. Something is wrong with Gabby and he senses it is really bad, but she keeps him at arms length playing a game of cat and mouse with him. His fellow Palladin, Bennett, reminds him of their mission to gain the humans cooperation with the council and to attempt to put the null, Annie, in protective custody, but Valin has his own mission and Gabby is it. While she’s full of self-loathing, he’s terrified of losing another mate, but even still they can’t avoid the fiery attraction between them even as the powerful enemy sets their plans in motion.
The plot on this one primarily focused on Valin and Gabby’s relationship, but the main story thread with the enemy trying to gain victory by capturing Annie was there as well as peek ins with Roland and Karissa and updates on Logan. Another story thread about Bennett emerged too that hopefully will get some further attention in the series. I wasn’t as into this story as I was with Roland’s story. It was good, but not as compelling for some reason. There were a few things that had me a bit confused or distracted so maybe that’s what caused it. For instance, when it came to Gabby and why she couldn’t feed normally and was dying or why she felt personally responsible for the death of Valin’s mate, but this didn’t really affect my enjoyment of the story so I don’t know.
The characters were well-developed and worked well together. I felt sorry for Gabby and all she went through and I just wanted her to get her happy ending though I wasn’t sure how that was going to work out. Valin deserved some happiness too and I felt bad that he finds his mate in time to discover she’s dying. Not that this stopped them from enjoying each other for some sexy times. I loved how Valin got around her denials and gave them both what they wanted and needed. The twist of Gabby’s connection to Roland was a good one. I always enjoy more page time with Roland and I missed Logan.
Overall, it was enjoyable and I look forward to what is to come from this series. Those who enjoy spicy paranormal romances that include angel warriors, demons, vampires and gifted humans should give this creatively drawn series a try.
My thanks to Net Galley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read and review this book.