I just love a happy ending, don’t you? I mean, I think that’s why most of us read romance books anyway. We’re all looking for that storybook ending after pages of angst, hardship, death, destruction, mayhem, danger and, of course, all that sizzling passion. It’s satisfying to know that things work out for the characters we like, particularly when things so often do not in our own lives. It’s romantic, and yes, often sensual escapism, but hopefully, most of the time, there’s a good deal of character building and relationship exploration in between.
I do love when an author takes time to develop the relationships between characters, giving them time to explore and test each other’s boundaries and limits, giving them time to discover secrets and nuances to each other, especially while all hell is breaking loose around them. Doing so gives a fullness and immediacy to the story and to the central relationship of the book. Such a book is difficult to put down. It draws you in, plays your heartstrings, keeps you on edge and in suspense, and titillates all in one.
Thankfully, there are loads of great authors out there in the vampire romance genre capable of casting a spell over readers with well-told tales of passionate romances between powerful, sexy heroes and strong, sensual heroines that play out against the backdrop of supernatural struggles with life-and-death consequences. Alexandra Ivy shows she is just such an author with When Darkness Comes, the first volume in the Guardians of Eternity series.
Our hero is Dante, an arrogant, dead-sexy vampire who is nursing a good measure of bitterness over having been forcefully enslaved as a guardian to The Chalice, a human female who carries within her a powerful spirit being that keeps the Darkness in the world at bay. Our heroine is Abby Barlow, an unassuming but headstrong woman whose hurt-filled past has led her to imprison herself in a low-ceiling life, fearful of opening herself up to further hurt despite longing to break free and really live.
Her pure heart and spirit draw Dante like a moth to a flame while she is frustrated and befuddled by her attraction to the man who annoys her to no end. Fate intervenes, pushing them together when Abby, the one woman who stirs Dante’s cold, empty heart, becomes The Chalice. For the first time, he finds himself willingly committing to the task that has yoked him for 300 years, while Abby is thrust into a dark underworld she hadn’t known existed and now pursued by evil forces bent on destroying her so that their Prince can rise to power again. Together, on the run, they dodge evil wizards and their acolytes, zombies, demons, and witches with questionable intentions, all the while battling the immense passion that smolders between them, threatening to ignite at the slightest provocation.
When Darkness Comes is laden with action and suspense, the relationship between Dante and Abby powerful, emotionally and sensually charged to the nth degree. Their gradual bonding brings untold peace to Dante and draws Abby out of her self-imposed solitude, teaching her to trust and allowing her to blossom into the woman and lover that Dante knew she had the potential to be, all of which ultimately makes When Darkness Comes a romantic’s delight.
Have you read When Darkness Comes? If so, please feel free to leave a comment and let us know what you think.