Dark Shadows is the second book of the erotic series, Cursed in Darkness, picking up where Eternal Darkness ended.
Once again, the main characters, Layla and Shade, have an obvious attraction and have grown closer in their relationship. The book centers on Layla, and brings a little more depth to her character. I am hoping, as the series develops, we will learn more of Shade’s history as well.
The author is laying out a really interesting story, but there are some parts where I wish she would dig in just a little deeper and the reader could get a better grasp on the storyline. Hancock does well with the fight sequences, and training scenes; they are very detailed and make you feel like you are in the middle of the battle.
The story really builds in the last of couple chapters, and the cliffhanger ending leaves you anticipating what’s to come.
Layla is incredibly weak from serious wounds after the attack and the hunger raging inside of her does not help. When Shade tempts her, with not just his body, but with his blood also, Layla struggles harder than ever. As much as she wants his blood pouring into her mouth while he takes her, she cannot do it. Her secret, her hidden identity will get out—and that she cannot handle.
Layla tries to continue to live her life as normal, however, things turn bad when Layla and Nikalye discover something and Layla has to fight for her life, putting everyone in serious danger.
Layla is on the lookout now, and the only distraction is Shade. When he speaks, when he breathes down her neck and touches her, she cannot remember anything but him. When they get intimate, it is all she can do to keep herself breathing as he pleasures her. She cannot understand how they both react so strongly with each other, but she does not care.
Yet she feels as though something is going to go horribly wrong, not with Shade and herself, but something else, something bigger…and she is not wrong.
It is worse than before and Layla has no choice now but to reveal who she really is, and risk everyone hating her for the rest of her time in the academy.
What is her secret?
Dark Awakening was released June 1, 2012 and is the third book of the Cursed in Darkness Series by Natalie Hancock. I would categorize this series as paranormal erotic romance.
The main character in the book is Layla, a half-blooded vampire called a dhampir. She is bonded to the sexy vampire, Shade. She is an interesting character with a lot of secrets and in the very first chapter we begin to learn more about Layla’s past through a glimpse of her memories. Hancock has created a wonderful character in Layla. She is strong, sexy, and fearless. However, just as I was in the first book, I am intrigued by Layla’s guardian, Nikalye. I am still waiting to see more of his story.
I really believe this series has potential. The storyline is interesting and unique; it just needs a little nudge in the right direction. Though Hancock is descriptive in her writing, it feels as though something is lacking. I don’t know if it is the fact that the story is told by Layla in the first person, and this makes the flow a little choppy, or if the plot needs to be better defined. Something I have noticed is that the sex scenes are improving with each book. In the first book, they seemed a little too technical. In this latest book, writing them appeared to come a little more naturally for Hancock.
I have read all of the books in the series so far. Dark Awakening is my favorite book of the three because of the last couple of chapters. In these chapters, the story really starts to look up. Hancock hits us with a totally unexpected twist, and then keeps us wanting more by waiting until the next installment to resolve it. I will be waiting for the fourth book, Dark Secrets, and hope it comes soon.
In the hundred acres of land, more security and more people are watching Layla’s back now that everyone knows who she is. Layla wants to find the person responsible for the attacks made at her, just like everyone else, but when an attack happens to someone other than her, she and Nikalye are the only ones who know the truth. They are determined to find the culprit once and for all, before someone else is seriously injured.
Layla wishes she could tell Shade everything. He knows something is not right more than he can make her gasp with pleasure by just saying her name, but she cannot tell him, she will not risk putting him in danger any more than she has.
She continuously fights for survival to keep herself and those around her alive, but when more things sinister arrive in the hundred acres of land and the culprit is revealed, the situation turns from bad to deadly.
Will Layla be able to survive?