Krysta is used to getting the drop on vampires. Her “special abilities” aren’t much, but the plan is simple – she plays helpless pretty young thing to lure them in. Then her shoto swords come out and it’s bye-bye, bloodsucker. Until one night she finds herself with an unexpected ally. He’s a vampire, all right, but different. Mysterious. Handsome. And more interested in saving her skin than draining it.
Étienne has been an Immortal Guardian for two hundred years – long enough to know that Krysta is special. He can’t stop thinking about her long legs, even more than her short swords. Then he discovers the vamps she’s exterminating have friends in high places, and the Guardians are in danger too. He’ll have to accept Krysta’s help to save them. The stakes for a mortal are high. But the cost to his heart might be higher…
One of the many things that I love about Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series is that whenever I start the next book, my first thought is I can’t possibly enjoy this more than the last, but I do. A sign of a great book series is when starting the next book feels akin to visiting old friends and I think this is exactly why I enjoy each book more than the last. I’m coming back to characters that I love, plus I learn more about them with each page turn.
As with the previous books in this series, Darkness Rises ticks all the boxes on my list of Things I like to see in a paranormal romance novel. Krysta is a complete and utter badass protagonist. I mean, who wouldn’t be after hunting vampires for six years? I saw a few people on Goodreads had dubbed her ‘selfish’ because of the danger she places her brother in every time she goes hunting and while I do kind of see what they mean, I don’t think this makes her a bad character. She has her reasons for wanting to slay vampires, plus the decision she makes later in the book (I’m being vague because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers) redeems her in my eyes. Everyone – me, you, the postman who just delivered my mail, my neighbour vacuuming downstairs as I type – has acted selfishly to varying degrees at least once in their life. It’s human nature, and as opposed to being put off by a character who acts in such a way, particularly for the reasons that Krysta does, it actually makes me relate to them more.
As for Etienne…damn, just when I think my list of fictional boyfriends couldn’t get any longer, along comes Etienne. Granted, he’s not as high on the list as fellow Immortal Guardians Roland and Marcus, solely because he doesn’t have a cat, but hey, no one’s perfect, right? With Krysta being mortal, he does worry about her safety when they’re hunting, but he doesn’t try to stop her from doing what she needs to do. He respects her reasons for wanting to hunt and rather than acting as a hindrance, he aids her instead. There are so many arrogant men populating the world of paranormal romance, men who think that women aren’t capable of holding their own and need protecting at every turn. There’s none of this in the Immortal Guardians series. Sure, Etienne’s protective of Krysta, but he knows that she’s skilled at what she does and he respects that.
Is it any surprise that I’m already on the next book? It shouldn’t be.