Darkness Awakened (Darkness #1)
by Katie Reus
As leader of one of the fiercest werewolf packs in the south, Finn Stavros is in full battle mode 24/7. He has no choice—he’s one of the few beings strong enough to fight the Akkadian demons, whose mysterious escape from hell threatens the entire world. With the battle turning bloodier by the second, Finn is ready for anything…until his vampire long lost love shows up on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, sending his heart into a tailspin. He agrees to help her, unaware that she carries a shocking secret that will turn his life upside down.
This time, he’s not letting her go…
Vampire Lyra Marius curses the day she met Finn. The ruthless werewolf promised to love her forever, but he rejected her instead—before she could share her life altering news. Pregnant, kicked out of her coven, and cast aside by the love of her life, Lyra struggled to raise their rare shifter-vampire daughter Vega alone among humans. When the 16-year-old is kidnapped and used to fulfill a frightening prophecy, Lyra swallows her pride and turns to Finn for help. But how long can she fight her feelings for him and keep him from guessing the truth about who Vega really is? As they race against the clock to save their daughter, they must defeat the lethal threat imposed by demons infiltrating the human world and a hell gate that could not only reveal their existence to mankind, but destroy the world in the process.
Another great new series by author Katie Reus begins with Darkness Awakened, a story of lost love, rediscovery and the power of family and love. While I have read several of Reus's series in the past, I have only began the Moon Shifters series which I suspect provided the basis for this series as there are many similarities. I have enjoyed this new series and am looking forward to more, and though this story was shorter than I expected, it was no less a great novel and an interesting introduction to a fascinating world of supernatural beings. Reus writes with extreme attention to detail, a deep understanding of “human” emotion, and a unique twist on many supernatural myths, but the best and most important part of any Reus novel is the ability to take two such different people and bring them together in a deep and lasting love that will leave you breathless in wonder and share the passion of the ages with you.
DA begins with Lyra returning to the one man that she has always loved, the one who turned her away seventeen years ago, seeking his help in rescuing her daughter who has been kidnapped by someone that wants to use her blood to open a portal to hell. Finn is amazed and terrified all at once to have Lyra back in his life, to have another chance to keep her at his side, but the fear she is facing is one that could force the distance between them even wider if he doesn’t help her overcome it and save her daughter. But as they get closer and closer to saving Vega, uncovering treachery and working together, Lyra’s guilt over the secret she holds makes feeling any connection with Finn impossible to deal with. But the passion between them has never died and when they are unable to keep from embracing that heat, Lyra is forced again to try to reveal the secret she has kept for decades. And when the secret comes out everything changes for them all forever.
Finn is sexy as hell for sure, though I expect nothing less from Reus, but sexy is just the beginning of the draw of Finn. Loyal, steadfast, and strong, Finn is the ultimate Alpha male. He is sweet and loving to those that make up his family and provides the security that they need to feel safe and grow. He leads his pack with a strong and fair hand while maintaining the wisdom and guidance that has made all great leaders loved. When he is around Lyra and Vega you see the softer side of Finn and it makes you melt, even as you cry for all the lost time he and Lyra have suffered. Lyra is a kick ass momma and a great female lead. She is determined to do whatever it takes to keep her daughter safe, even sacrificing her own heart and sanctuary to return to Finn and beg for his help. But seeing him again brings up all the feelings she had turned from and smothered since he kicked her to the curb. She is a strong woman …er vampire, and a mother bear who you don’t want to keep from her cub. When she is in action, fighting for her safety and her family’s, she is deadly grace and when she is snuggling with her man she is a wildcat that will make any man sweat. Together Finn and Lyra are explosive, whether in the bedroom, fighting together, or fighting each other, and it is beyond sexy to see the fireworks between them even after being apart for almost two decades.
The best thing about any supernatural story is the chance to explore different worlds and different species. Reus does that better than most, not limiting her stories to just werewolves or vampires but bringing in many different beings: dragons, demons, jaguars, and even hybrids. Finn and Lyra break your heart, fill your soul, and make you flash hot as they rediscover their love and rekindle the passion that made them so great together all those years ago. Working through their problems as they find a way to save Vega and bring them together as a family, shows Lyra and Finn the great team they make and shows us that even though love can sometimes be pushed away it never dies and all it takes is a spark to bring it back to burning conflagration. This great new series is one that I am looking forward to venturing deeper into. I’m hoping Victoria and “Drake” are the next to get a book (hint hint), but whatever comes next I know I will enjoy it immensely and look forward to the next in the Darkness series.