by Rebecca Zanetti
Release Date: December 7, 2021
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Book #14 in the Dark Protectors series
Number of pages: 328
Source: ARC from NetGalley
Ages 16 and up
CW: kidnapping, violence
First comes danger . . .
When Vampire-Demon Sam Kyllwood discovers he’s the keeper of some mysterious circle, he laughs it off. When he finds out that his younger brother is supposed to fight to the death in said circle, he snaps right to furious. And that’s before he starts uncontrollably making things explode —it turns out it’s never too late to develop deadly new immortal abilities. But even those explosions are nothing compared to what happens when he tries to handle a very suspicious, brilliant and beyond sexy human female whose piercing eyes ignite a heat that rages deliciously outside even his unbreakable control…
Then comes desire . . .
Honor McDovall is one of the best interrogators Homeland Security has ever had. But no matter how well she appears to fit in, her mystical gifts are slowly driving her mad. She doesn’t understand them, she doesn’t want them, but for now, she’ll use them to detect and defeat danger until she completely loses her mind. Unfortunately, her job brings her face to face with the deadliest man she’s ever met—and she senses Sam is even more gifted than she is. Yet once they kiss, she realizes he’s also more dangerous than the enemies suddenly coming from every direction. Good thing they both like to play with fire . . .
I am beyond thankful that I was able to obtain an ARC of this story. I didn’t come to this series until about 2 years ago (the first book was published more than 10 years ago) and was able to make my way through them (and their offshoots) always knowing I would be able to read the next one soon. Alas, I’ve caught up now. Now I’ll have to display patience while waiting for the next story to be told. As things are ramping up in new era of the series, I’m on the edge of my seat to see what happens next.
Rebecca Zanetti is a master at writing chemistry, especially instant chemistry. And she is always able to keep the chemistry alive throughout the book. Sam and Honor can literally feel each other before they even meet in the same room. I know that’s because of her immense enhancements and his being an immortal and all, but it still felt exciting and different. Even when Honor met Garrett, he could feel her energy but didn’t have that same connection she had with Sam.
In books past, there is often a problem with the mortal character trying to live in denial about the immortal world around them even when they are shown over and over that it’s real. While I understand that would be the reaction of most humans, I appreciate that Honor had a very no-nonsense way of looking at what was happening to her. Instead of losing her mind and freaking out, she forced herself to face what was the reality in front of her. I’m sure that had a lot to do with her psychology training paired with her own unique abilities. It was refreshing. Though Honor didn’t jump instantly on board with getting mated to Sam, she did understand the reasons she should. She just hoped to have time to decide to mate him because they also wanted to and not just because they needed to. When it came right down to it, she was there for it though.
Although Honor was able to be open minded about Sam and the immortal world, that’s not to say that there was no fight at the beginning. But that was before all of the healing, fireballs, and shifters came into play. As far as Honor was concerned, she was being abducted by some rando and she did what needed doing to get herself out of the situations. Of course, being a mortal going against an immortal, it didn’t work. But I have to give her an A for effort.
Because Sam and Garrett have been running with Bear and his motorcycle club in shifter nation, this was a nice trip back to that territory. The way Honor ended up interacting with the bear shifters was so much fun and really cute. And just like Bear and Sam, I’m getting fed up with Garrett and his reckless ways.
In this story, Hope has now had her 18th birthday. That doesn’t stop the adults around her from being overprotective…with good reason. Pax is back in her life and I feel for the kid (now adult). He loves and wants to protect Hope, but he’s caught up with some immortals that may not have the same agenda as he does. Not that they don’t all want what’s best for the Realm, but as an outsider looking in, I know it’s not going to end well for them. All the while, Paxton is getting caught up with them more and more. Meanwhile, Drake is even more delusional with each book. It’s truly like a religious zealot, going all in on Ulric and what Drake thinks he represents. Not even looking into the possibility that the intentions of those around him may not be as magnanimous as his own. Blindly following a religious icon that none of them have ever met. Believing the worst of the Realm and all those who don’t agree with what the Kurjans are doing instead of trying to look at the problem from all sides. And naïve Hope is still so unswerving in her trust in Drake.
I’m so glad Garrett’s book is next. He makes some comments in this story about when he finds his mate that had me laughing and shaking my head at him. The mighty words these immortal warriors always spew before they find their mates and take the even mightier fall.
**I received an ARC of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and given freely*