Shadows Strike (Immortal Guardians #6)
The Immortal Guardians protect the innocent in secret. Sometimes the secret gets out...
U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive...
Themes: vampires, Other, paranormalRating: 4.75 stars
I honestly cannot understand how one woman can come up with so many unique storylines that still tie into a greater and hugely imaginative story arc. The skill of Dianne Duvall is astounding and there is no way to deny that she is one of the great voices of this generation of authors. Duvall’s Immortal Guardians are individuals that you can easily believe exist somewhere in the world, keeping us safe from the unthinkable in the world and as we meet more and more of them and see them falling in love, she takes readers on a crazy ride of vampires, conspiracies, aliens, and Others (still truly undefined). I found this series quite by accident but it was one of the greatest accidents I’ve ever experienced. The story arc has developed through so many changes that I cannot recall just how everything developed, it was such an organic and natural process, but Ethan and Heather’s story brings a nice symmetry to a few things and brings some fun new characters in to the world of these amazing men and women. If you haven’t read previous stories you will definitely miss some of the great underlying details, so I recommend reading the entire series ;), but you will get plenty of backstory so don’t feel like you’ll be lost if you just read Ethan’s story. I am dying to see where Dianne takes all of this next and cannot imagine just how much more she can bring to these people, but I know whatever she does will be magical.
Ethan is going about his business, killing a pack of vampires, when he stumbles across a beautiful, sensual, and surprisingly efficient woman in the woods, one who saves his life when he falters under the assault of the many vampires. Heather has been seeing this night and this man in her dreams for almost a year now, but she never actually believes she would find herself embroiled in a vampire battle. When she welcomes the gorgeous vampire that has inspired other, more erotic dreams, into her home, she never imagined how much her life would truly be altered, but Ethan pulls at her body, heart, and soul. Ethan is just as attracted to Heather, especially when he learns of her special abilities, but keeping her safe is his highest priority. They find themselves swept into a dangerous game between the Immortal Guardians and there newest and most deadly enemy, and only Heather and Ethan can keep danger from escalating to epic proportions. Once the danger passes, can Heather embrace the opportunity for eternal life and love that Ethan is offering her, despite the dangerous life he leads?
What can I say about Ethan? He is the perfect man! Just alpha enough to want to always protect his woman, but willing to let her spread her wings and find her way in the world. He worries constantly about the danger she is placed in, but he allows her to be a part of his world. He is sweet, loving, sensual, and gorgeous. It is obvious that Heather never saw him coming or she might have been better prepared for the sensual assault he conducts on her senses and her heart. It was interesting to see him find love after his relationship with Lisette ended and his behavior when that happened. It’s obvious that he still loves Lisette, but with Heather’s entrance to his life, Ethan begins to understand the difference in loving someone and being deeply and eternally IN LOVE with someone. He shows Heather at every turn that he is a man she can find happiness with, one that will treasure her for her differences, encourage her growth, and protect her with every molecule of his being. His sense of humor and silliness also give this deadly and dangerous warrior a more human side, one that make him seem like an every man at the times he isn’t kicking serious ass. I almost wish his story was longer just so we’d get to live more days with Ethan.
Heather is similarly an awesome character. From the very moment we meet her we wonder just what her story is. She can kick ass with the best of them, carries a James Bond gun (!) and can read people’s minds, but she is a quiet and sweet personality under all her bravado and courage. The dreams she’s been experiencing night after night for over a year have left her exhausted and confused, but she continues to confront the experience every morning, and when she finds herself thrown into a world she never imagined ran alongside her normal human world, she is suddenly faced with decisions that could alter not only her life, but the entire world. Heather is the type of woman that I really love to read about. She has fears, but she refuses to let them keep her from getting shit done. She battles alongside her man and her new friends, determined to do her part to keep the world safe, but in the long run just wants a calm life with the love of her life, now that she has found him. Her interactions with her father were also interesting, standing up to him when needed, but obviously Daddy’s little girl through and through. I really related to Heather in a lot of ways and found that I liked her more with every appearance on the page. I look forward to seeing more of her in future novels as she grows and changes within this extended family.
In the end Shadows Strike was a story about two people finding love during turmoil and danger. The dangers they find themselves in and the action packed battle scenes keep the story moving along as the team of Immortal Guardians, led by David and Seth, fight to keep the Other from creating Armageddon. Ethan is the sweetest and most loving guy, deadly and dangerous to his enemies. The dichotomy of the different sides of him makes him a truly great character and an individual that readers can relate to and fall in love with. Heather was at time just as kickass as Ethan and the other immortals, but when she is with Ethan in the quiet moments you can see the true compassion and empathy that she feels towards others and the love she has developed for her Immortal. Heather’s connections surprisingly play a very important role in this story and the prevention of disasters, and she comes into Ethan’s life at just the right moment. The passion and love between Heather and Ethan is off the charts and there is no denying that they are a perfect match in every way. It was wonderful to see Ethan get his HEA after the bruising his heart took when Lisette met her love. I cannot wait to see who meets their match next and find out just where this crazy author is taking us on the wild ride through her imagination and the world of her sensual and deadly Immortal Guardians.
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review. No compensation was provided.