Review: ‘Darkness Dawns’ Dianne Duvall

Once, Sarah Bingham’s biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she’s landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control…

In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible–when it means forfeiting the world she’s always known, and the life he would do anything to protect…

Where do I even begin with this review? Well, I should probably start by stating how monumentally pissed I am with myself. I mean, Darkness Dawns was published in 2011 and I’ve only just read it? As I said in the first instalment of my Troublesome Tropes series, I have something of a love/hate relationship with the paranormal romance genre.

However…This. Book. Is. Amazing. My reading experience was akin to coming up for a gulp of air after being immersed in an ocean of overused tropes.

Darkness Dawns is the first book in Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series and the story is centred around mortal Sarah and Immortal Guardian Roland. Sarah is everything that I want in a paranormal romance woman. She is an absolute badass. All too often in this genre, women are relegated to the role of damsel in distress, but not Sarah. The book opens (spoiler alert) with her witnessing the attempted murder of Roland, but does she turn around and run in the opposite direction, lest the perpetrators turn their attention on her? Nope. She simply grabs a shovel and gives them a good ol’ whack over the head. She’s strong-willed and feisty and can more than hold her own.

As for Roland… He sums up why my blog is named what it’s named. He has a tough exterior, but when it comes to Sarah, he’s an absolute softie. There’s also none of the possessive “You’re mine” crap so often found in paranormal romance books. Plus, he has a cat. I have literally never come across a paranormal romance man who owns a pet. Being an animal lover, this fact endeared him to me. There’s just something utterly charming about a man who spends his nights fighting vampires, then goes home to put a pouch of Whiskas in his cat’s food bowl.

Now let’s talk about Dianne Duvall’s writing. I have read a lot of poorly written paranormal romance novels. Some authors seem to want to blast through character and world building in order to reach the steamy scenes. Not Dianne Duvall, though. She’s evidently put a lot of time and consideration into the Immortal Guardians universe and this time and consideration has resulted in a world that’s so fascinating and believable that I’ve just spent three hours reading the second book in the series, completely immersed in it and oblivious to everything around me. Furthermore, the characters are three dimensional and complex, meaning that they feel like real people. As a result, I’ve become completely emotionally invested in this series already. I need to hear every character’s story and I can’t wait to carry on with my journey through the Immortal Guardians universe. Although I did just discover that Seth’s story isn’t until book 9! I better get reading.

My only quibble with Darkness Dawns is the revelation about Sarah at the very end of the book. I won’t spoil the big reveal, but it literally comes out of nowhere and seems a little too convenient for my liking. Aside from that, though, I loved this book!

Have you read Darkness Dawns or any of Dianne Duvall’s other books? Let me know in the comments.

Want to read Darkness Dawns? You can buy your copy through Amazon or Hive Books.

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