Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ARC Review: Taste of Darkness

Taste of Darkness (Darkness #2)

by Katie Reus


He spent more than a thousand years imprisoned in hell…
Drake is an ancient dragon shifter, one of the most powerful beings in existence, but a millennium trapped in utter darkness has left him ill-equipped for modern society. If it wasn’t for Victoria, the sweet female brave enough to befriend him, he’d be lost. She’s smart and gorgeous and everything he never dared dream of during his years of agonizing loneliness. He may not have anything to offer her, but one thing he knows for sure: he’d die to keep her safe.
Only to fall into the heaven of her touch.
Victoria is a wolf shifter, healer of the Stavros pack. She’s seen a lot, but she’s never met anybody quite like Drake, the fiery, fascinating shifter who can blaze through the skies unseen by mere mortals. He’s lost, dangerous, and the last male she should fall in love with, but the more time she spends helping him navigate modern life, the deeper—and hotter—their connection becomes. She’s thrilled when they finally locate his family, but reuniting with his people plunges them both into unimaginable danger. It’s a race against the clock trying to figure out who wants them dead and who they can trust, especially when the threat is closer than they ever imagined.
Themes: paranormal, shifters, dragons
Rating: 3.75 stars
Heat Rating: 
Well that was a different take on the world of the noble and dangerous dragon shifter… guess even they can have the human faults of jealousy and self-entitlement. I have read all kinds of stories about dragon shifters, where they are villains, heroes, killers, and protectors, but this story is one that takes a unique spin on the myth and I just loved seeing how human these dragons really were.  While I continually try to categorize paranormals romance into being either a shifter, vampire, or magick user subgenre, Katie continues to challenge me, intermingling all the different types of magic and having worlds colliding in a beautifully well constructed way again and again.  I must say that while I liked book one in the series a lot, this story really grabbed my attention in a way a lot of books haven’t been able to do lately.  With a full host of emotional baggage, sexy men, great dialogue and the emotional connection that can only be found with your mate, Taste of Darkness is more a taste of greatness in my opinion.
Drake is finally accepting that he really has escaped from Hell and is determined to make himself worthy of the woman he knows is his mate, Victoria, the sexy as hell she-wolf healer that has captured him heart and soul.  Victoria thankfully is just as hooked by him, seeing that they could have a great relationship if only he would trust in them.  But when his past intrudes in their somewhat shaky courtship, Victoria is determined to give Drake the options he has been lacking in hell, the chance to reunite with his family, even if it means she loses him.  Drake has other plans for them, not really caring about this family who left him to rot in hell, though proving that to Victoria is difficult to say the least.  Is it possible for Drake to embrace his past and still have a chance for a future with Victoria or will he have to give up his mate for the vengeance his soul screams for?
I have been dying for a few months now to find out more about Drake, ever since he crawled out of the Hell Gate and immediately began protecting the wolf pack and others in book one.  I could tell immediately I would like his character because honestly how many others—man, woman, demon, witch, shifter, or other—would be able to survive fifteen hundred years in hell and come out swinging to protect others instead of lashing out and becoming evil? Drake is sexy as hell and very intense in his emotions, when he is with Victoria especially, but being around his mate we get to see the softer sweeter side of the dragon.   When he is faced with his family he lashes out at first, his pain leading him to reject their advances, but once he thinks things through better he knows he can’t ignore them completely, not if he wants to uncover the truth about his imprisonment.  Only when the truth comes out, the villain is someone that even I didn’t see coming, a particular skill of Katie’s and it rips through this dragon family, and Drake, like a tornado through a corn field. Drake’s inner strength and the love of his mate is only way he can maintain his sanity and defeat all foes, so he and Victoria have a chance at a long happy mating.
Victoria is a the kind of she-wolf that always seems to capture my attention and make me wish I could turn into a wolf myself; her skills as a healer make her a prized and coddled member of the pack, but in recent months she has started to chafe a bit at all the smothering, specifically ever since Drake appeared and she understood he was to play a major role in her future.  Falling in love with Drake is easily done, but keeping her heart from breaking as she tries to help him heal and recover from his centuries in hell is another story.  Victoria’s strong will and determination to give Drake the greatest chance at recovery shows the true depth of her feelings for him and reminds readers that while males are supposedly the stronger of the species, we women know that the emotional strength we provide is what really keeps the world functioning.
All in all this was a really great sequel to the original story in the series.  Continuing to introduce us to all new characters, Reus brings all different types of paranormals together to form strong and amazing mate bonds between completely unexpected matches. Victoria has a inner strength and deep beauty is the type of woman that every man wants for himself and every woman aspires to be. Drake is an uber-sexy and dangerous male that is in many ways as new to the world and vulnerable as a youth, but in others is as world weary and educated as the oldest veterans of war. Together they blend in a beautiful and heartwarming couple, determined to overcome all odds and find a way to be together. As they battle to find the truth of Drake’s past the darkness they uncover is more and more heartbreaking to see Drake discover.  I am thrilled and excited to learn where this series will take us next and cannot wait to find out who finds a connection in the future.  Dragons, wolves, and witches Oh My!
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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