by Aja James
GENRE: Paranormal, fantasy romance
“Every story has more than one side, like a crystal that captures and reflects different colors of light. Do not take for granted what you think you know… for until you hold the entire jewel in your palm, the temptation is to fall prey to illusion and deception.”
This is a story of the Dark Ones…
Inanna: the vampire warrior
Known as the Angel of Death among her Kind, she has lived millennia alone, one of the remaining True Bloods in existence, unconsciously longing for the one male she could never have…
Gabriel: the forbidden human
His soul recognizes hers from the first encounter. With the first touch, he is awakened… Though he does not know it, he has been searching for her across the ages…
But even as they are finally reunited, their love faces seemingly impossible odds. Would history repeat itself or will they break all the rules and chart a new course together?
“Thou shalt not covet thy human subjects, nor the Pure Ones who are thy slaves. Subjects must be held at an objective distance, ruled by a fair hand. Slaves must be leashed with tight control, mastered by a strong will.”
—Excerpt from the Dark Laws, verse twenty-one of the Ecliptic Scrolls
The trembling in her body began again as she flashed hot and cold. The venom was starting to wear off.
“You’ll make sure he doesn’t suspect the arrangement?” Olivia asked for what was probably the hundredth time, her voice starting to fade.
“He will not suspect.”
“He hates to be manipulated. He has so much pride.”
Inanna didn’t answer.
Yes, she knew. Gabriel’s code of honor reminded Inanna of the most ancient Dark Ones.
Steadfast. Fiercely protective. Self-sacrificing. Nurturing.
“Will you be good to him?” Olivia asked.
Inanna cocked her head a bit. Didn’t she already ask this? Nevertheless she answered, “He will lack for nothing.”
“That’s not what I meant.” Olivia sighed and closed her eyes.
Her shaking had intensified. She was idly scratching herself again.
“I want you to be kind to him. I don’t want him to be lonely. I want you to lo—”
She broke off as her panting got stronger, as she struggled to draw enough oxygen into her failing lungs, arching off the bed in a twist of pain.
“It is time,” Inanna said quietly, knowing that the patient no longer heard her.
With a gust of wind, the windows slammed shut, the lights in the hospice room blacked out. In the heavy darkness there was a flash of white fangs.
Second paranormal of the week. What can I say? Let me start by saying that I didn’t read the first book in the series, I didn’t have a clue what I was getting into and oh my word…this book! I normally don’t really like the whole vampire paranormal but this one is a bit different from all the cookie cutter ones that have saturated the market. Let me explain:
- World building – Ms. James has built a world that while I don’t completely understand the Pure Ones, the Dark Ones and how the humans fit into it but it was fascinating to read. This book is told by the POV of a Dark One, Nana.
- Nana (heroine) – my, my how I loved her. She had a job to do but deep down she was lonely. And to fall in love with a human? In most PNR novels, this would really be a problem and it’s glossed over but Ms. James takes her time letting the reader get to know Nana and what has shaped over her 4,000 years. This knowledge propels her in her love for Gabriel and Ben. In some way, with Olivia, too.
- Gabriel – he is what he seems? I will admit that I couldn’t like him in the beginning. Why does he stay with Olivia when she treats him so badly from day one? Does he really believe in soulmates? But in the end, he really is a good guy. Loyal, swoon-worthy, steadfast, a great father to Ben and in love with Olivia.
- Ben – he is NOT a plot device. He is the glue between Gabriel and Nana. Plus, my goodness is he smart. But then again, I like children in books. When they aren’t a plot device.
There were others characters that help propel Nana and Gabriel’s story and I felt like I knew them from the get-go. Yes, I didn’t read the first book but I never felt lost when it came to the characters in this book. I’m also going to say that this book is hawt. Like, singe the reader hot. I know, I have laid off the hot stuff but for this couple, it worked. Ms. James writing is just fluid and steady. I will say that I almost gave up during the first 30% but by 50%, I just couldn’t put it down. There is plenty of suspense and mystery, too.
Again, I haven’t read a true paranormal/fantasy book this good in a very long time. It seemed real to me and not eye-rolling at all. In fact, I will be reviewing the third book in the series next month, so watch for it. Even if you don’t like or gave up on the genre, The Dark Ones series is definitely worth a look-see.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Aja has been writing stories since the age of six, and novels since the age of thirteen. While she’d be the first to admit that those early efforts weren’t particularly good, she sure loved putting them down on paper!
The best part of writing, according to Aja, is that it’s completely organic, the way the stories develop. When the inspiration hits, she writes just so she herself can learn where the characters are headed because oftentimes, they take her by surprise! It is her ultimate dream to share her stories with as many readers as she possibly can.
Her other loves include art, cooking, old movies (anything with Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Robert Redford, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Clark Gable, and all the song and dance numbers because she can’t watch them and not be happy!)
She adores taking long walks with her husband and running after her two rambunctious kids. She has traveled extensively (all seven continents except Antarctica) and has a multi-cultural upbringing. She speaks two and a half languages and binge watch TV shows when the mood strikes.
Aja has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Comparative Literature and Economics and two Master’s degrees, one of which is in East Asian Studies.
Pinterest: N/A for now
GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE
Aja James will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.