Monday, May 25, 2015

ARC Review: When Darkness Ends

When Darkness Ends (Guardians of Eternity #12)



The Guardians of Eternity are facing a final battle to save their world—but battles of the heart may be the most difficult to fight…
Cyn, the vampire clan chief of Ireland, is an unabashed hedonist whose beauty is surpassed only by his insatiable appetite for pleasure. It’s no wonder he’s furious when he’s transported from the magical land of the pureblooded feys to his desolate private lair—only to have his very existence thrown into a chaos that even he cannot charm his way out of…
Most women may be all but powerless against Cyn, but Fallon, a sharp-witted fairy princess, is less than beguiled by the silver-tongued vampire. She’s a serious soul with no time for the sort of games he plays—especially when they learn that someone is trying to close the veil that separates the dimensions. But seduction may prove the most powerful force of all, as attraction ignites between the unlikely pair even as worlds are colliding around them…
Themes:  demons, vampires, magick, paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Heat Rating:
 Oh, my gods, has the end of this series arrived?  After finishing this story I get the distinct impression that this might be the end of the series. There are so many final endings, that I cannot see where the story might go next.  This series has been going for a long time now and so much has happened in the lives of these demons that I almost understand why they need this craziness to end, but it's sad for readers to say goodbye.  This story revolves around the threat that is so often overlooked by these all powerful and deadly men and women, the humans that surround them and the inability for most of them to embrace differences in their own species much less the fact that they aren’t really the top of the food chain. With cameos by many of my favorite characters from the series, there is a lot going on in Fallon and Cyn's story, but the love between them remains the most important theme in the story, and maybe a side love story as well (wink wink, nudge nudge).  And never to be neglected, I must mention that everyone's favorite gargoyle plays an important part in this tale as well. If this really is the end, I am sad to see it but feel like I have lived with these characters through a lot.

Cyn and Fallon have been pulled into the heart of a conspiracy that could end their world and the only way they can save themselves and their world is working together... which would be easier if they could stop sniping at each other.  Cyn has lusted after Fallon since the first time he saw her, but her haughtiness and annoying way of acting around him puts him constantly on edge, even as she digs under his skin and into his heart.  Fallon has found herself in a complete culture shock, never having left the safety of her world and her father's castle, but being called to save the world is a heady experience, even if she has to work alongside the annoying and frustrating vampire.  Even as the passion heats up between them, their mission becomes even more complicated as Fallon's fiancé pushes into their isolation and changes Fallon's life forever, ultimately for the good, but leaving her floundering.  As they uncover the layers of danger and battle the villains out to end their world, Cyn and Fallon will have to accept that their lives will change forever and the evil in the world will be the least of their worries if her father has his way.

Fallon is the type of woman that you have to look deeper into if you want to discover her true nature.  First meeting her, Fallon comes across as a spoiled brat, a woman that has lived in her bubble so long that she will never be able to handle a male like Cyn.  But boy would you be wrong.  As she begins to come out of her shell and truly show us the woman she is, we begin to love her more and more.  Fallon has some serious skills, ones that she has had to hide for a long time, and she is determined to use her magic to the benefit of all.  As she learns more and more about the true man that Cyn is, she begins to fall for him and when she is unable to resist him she learns that the passion of their fights makes the love between them so intense that I needed a cold shower. Fallon turned out to be a wonderful woman and she captures my imagination as well as my heart, becoming the perfect mate for Cyn in every way.  And never let it be said that a woman can't save the world!

Cyn was a layered hero, full of passion, with friendships and loyalty that bring help whenever he calls.  He has lusted after Fallon since he first saw her, but never imagined she would become so integral to his life and happiness. Being a berserker, combined with his vampire nature, makes him a serious threat to anyone that tries to come between him and what (or who) he wants.  As it becomes apparent that Fallon is the perfect woman for him, his inner beast comes out and makes more of an ass, until he finally lives up his resistance and instead puts that passion into making her his woman.  His intelligence and skill allow for them to solve the puzzles of the villain out to destroy their world, but only when he works with Fallon are they able to really win the day.  I loved Cyn even when he was being grouchy and grumpy, and he was really a great hero character. 

When Darkness Ends is a story of two people from really opposing ways of life who have to come together to save their world and all their friends and in the end fall in love while they battle.  Cyn is a kick ass warrior, used to having everything his way, but when he comes up against Fallon it becomes a case of the immovable object hitting a brick wall.   Fallon was a heroine I really loved, one that learned to stand up for herself against all enemies and advocate for herself, even though it goes against the way she has lived her very long life to this point. The sparks fly off the page whenever Cyn and Fallon are together whether they are arguing or making love and you find yourself really rooting for them every step of the way.  There are a few sad moments and some moments where you want to tell both Cyn and Fallon to think before they speak in fear or anger, but in the end they find a way and that conflict and the fact that they overcome it is what makes their relationship so strong.  The way this story ended,  I will say I am sad to see the series end, but it ended with an awesome story.  Looking forward to more from Alexandra, whether from this series or another, because I have yet to find anything she writes, even on her group projects, that I didn't love.  Keep the awesomeness coming Ms. Ivy. 

*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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