Chains of Darkness (Men in Chains #2)
by Caris Roane
Lucian has woken up bound in chains in a place he doesn't recognize. Weak from being tortured, beaten and cut to ribbons by a whip, he's filled with anger and confusion. Why is he here? What do his captors want from him? And just how much does his situation have to do with the beautiful woman in front of him?
Claire doesn't agree with the way her group has treated Lucian...even though he's a vampire. Torn by her own conscience, she asks one critical question: will he chain himself to her for his freedom? Her intention is to keep an eye on him, prevent him from harming anyone, and use him in her quest to stop the vampire race from their bloodthirsty acts of destruction. But Claire didn't expect Lucian's seductive power, and before she knows it, her captive has captured her own heart and soul.
Themes: paranormal, vampires, slight bondage
Rating: 4.25 stars
The newest series by Caris Roane is dark, gritty, and full of the entire scope of human emotion and depravity, and most of the characters aren't even human. Caris’s novels have always had more of an edge than many romance novels, even paranormal ones, delving into the sins of man and bringing them to light, reminding readers that there are some people that can only be classified as truly evil—but that from that evil can also come real beauty. This series follows the lives of three brothers, descended from a truly evil vampire, but who have become great men with goodness in them and the ability to overcome their genetics and their early upbringing to become protectors. If you missed the first story in the series, Born in Chains, Caris gives enough details in this story to catch you up, still I suggest you run out and read it first so you can capture and understand the true greatness of all these men had to overcome.
Lucian’s story begins with his rescue from imprisonment by the lovely Claire. Claire needs his help to find her best friend and rescue her from the vampire that abducted them both two years ago. But his freedom comes with a high price—being bound emotionally and physically to Claire proves to be an enticement as much as an obstacle for Lucian. As they work together and their emotional bonds grows, the passion they both feel is impossible to resist, even though they both know that nothing lasting can come of their relationship. Determined to keep her safe, Lucian separates them, but sometimes true power comes with working together and without Claire there is no chance for Lucian to defeat the bastard who has haunted him his entire life. But will Claire be able to reach him in time and convince him they are destined to be together, and for more than just the big battle?
I thoroughly enjoyed Lucian and Claire, even more that the H/H from book one. Claire is a woman that I can really respect, willing to sacrifice herself to protect those she loves and also willing to step up to fight against atrocities that will affect entire populations, even if they won’t directly affect her. Sometimes self-sacrificing heroines can be irksome, but Claire pulls it off with such aplomb and dignity that I can’t stop from liking her. She is obviously crazy about Lucian and willing to give into her passion for him, but I wish she had accepted that she belonged with him MUCH sooner, because really it was not much of choice in my opinion. She’s passionate in all things, sexy and sweet, and strong enough to stand up to the dark and dangerous male who steals her heart. Lucian is a very interesting character, a man who stepped up to protect his family at a very young age and never really outgrew that protector personality. His desires are dark, and sometimes a bit too much for Claire, but it is obvious that while he might be a big scary vampire, he is also the best of males and would never intentionally bring harm to an innocent. His interactions with Claire are colored by his past to be sure, but you can see from the tenderness and sweetness that only she pulls from him that Claire quickly becomes the center of his universe. He’s just a great character, sexy, sweet, flawed, and far from perfect, but heroic nonetheless.
In the end, I find myself drawn to this story, more than many other recent reads, and that to me is the sign of a great story. The characters are vivid, complex and sensual. The settings and mythos are fascinating, varied, and rich in detail, giving you a full view of the world of these vampires, without having to go into obnoxious detail. Lucian is a character that digs deep into your heart, full of issues, determined to protect those around him, and sensual and loving to the woman who grabs his heart. Claire is a strong willed, determined and scarily tolerant woman, thrown into this strange world she has adapted to everything with great poise and nothing seems to faze her. The passion explodes between them from beginning to end, whether they are arguing, making love, or fighting for their lives, they experience everything together and the connection between them is more than just the mystical chains they wear. The elements of destiny and layers of connection between the two stories and I suspect the next was well, were intriguing and I am looking forward to where the series takes us in the next book, as well as beyond I hope. If you’re looking for a book with a darker edge, not afraid of the grittier sides of life and the murkier passions that can exist in a man, the Men in Chains series is perfect to fulfill that need, with some sweet and emotional undertones keeping things from becoming too sinister. Another Caris Masterpiece.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.