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September 4, 2014

Liked It: Darkness Awakened & Taste of Darkness by Katie Reus

Darkness Awakened | Taste of Darkness
Darkness 1 & 2
Katie Reus
November 3, 2013 | July 24, 2014
Paranormal Romance 
CrushStar Multimedia LLC

DARKNESS AWAKENED
Years ago he ended things between them to protect her…

As leader of one of the fiercest werewolf packs in the south, Finn Stavros is in full battle mode 24/7. He has no choice—he’s one of the few beings strong enough to fight the Akkadian demons, whose mysterious escape from hell threatens the entire world. With the battle turning bloodier by the second, Finn is ready for anything…until his vampire long lost love shows up on his doorstep in desperate need of his help, sending his heart into a tailspin. He agrees to help her, unaware that she carries a shocking secret that will turn his life upside down.

This time, he’s not letting her go…

Vampire Lyra Marius curses the day she met Finn. The ruthless werewolf promised to love her forever, but he rejected her instead—before she could share her life altering news. Pregnant, kicked out of her coven, and cast aside by the love of her life, Lyra struggled to raise their rare shifter-vampire daughter Vega alone among humans. When the 16-year-old is kidnapped and used to fulfill a frightening prophecy, Lyra swallows her pride and turns to Finn for help. But how long can she fight her feelings for him and keep him from guessing the truth about who Vega really is? As they race against the clock to save their daughter, they must defeat the lethal threat imposed by demons infiltrating the human world and a hell gate that could not only reveal their existence to mankind, but destroy the world in the process.


TASTE OF DARKNESS
He spent more than a thousand years imprisoned in hell…

Drake is an ancient dragon shifter, one of the most powerful beings in existence, but a millennium trapped in utter darkness has left him ill-equipped for modern society. If it wasn’t for Victoria, the sweet female brave enough to befriend him, he’d be lost. She’s smart and gorgeous and everything he never dared dream of during his years of agonizing loneliness. He may not have anything to offer her, but one thing he knows for sure: he’d die to keep her safe.

Only to fall into the heaven of her touch.

Victoria is a wolf shifter, healer of the Stavros pack. She’s seen a lot, but she’s never met anybody quite like Drake, the fiery, fascinating shifter who can blaze through the skies unseen by mere mortals. He’s lost, dangerous, and the last male she should fall in love with, but the more time she spends helping him navigate modern life, the deeper—and hotter—their connection becomes. She’s thrilled when they finally locate his family, but reuniting with his people plunges them both into unimaginable danger. It’s a race against the clock trying to figure out who wants them dead and who they can trust, especially when the threat is closer than they ever imagined.


I've been on the prowl for either a new author or a new series to follow. When I saw Katie Reus' TASTE OF DARKNESS I knew I want to read it because dragons! I love the idea of dragon shifters so it was a one-click for me. Now as TASTE OF DARKNESS is book 2 of her Darkness series, Amazon did something great and put the first one, DARKNESS AWAKENED on a 99 pennies sale so win-win! Both books are short novels and evenly paced making it quick entertaining reads. 

The world of Darkness isn't very complicated. It's set in current time with various paranormal beings, vampires, werewolves, shifters, demons, living amongst us humans in secret. Each kind has their own conflict, politics, and hierarchy, independent from the rest of the otherworldly world. They might mingle once in a while but there's no otherworldly government or a secular council that moderates them. Darkness follows a single timeline but as there's no overarching plot line, each book can stand on it's own for now. 

DARKNESS AWAKENED is old school PNR, a bit formulaic but it worked and it's fairly entertaining. There's a forbidden love and a prophecy thrown in to make things interesting. I like the idea about the hybrids, Akkadian demons, and closing a gate of Hell. The action sequences were great and at times exciting as well as the mystery behind the abduction of Lyra's daughter and the identity of Vega's father.  As for the smexy, I like that Finn and Lyra's is a reconciliation story than a courtship/insta-love because I sure could do away with fast tracked love affairs. The romance is intense and consuming but it's not sweeping or affecting. 

TASTE OF DARKNESS is an okay read as well although I have to say I was expecting more because DRAGONS! I sure am interested in Drake's backstory because he was imprisoned in Hell for 1500 years and the obvious questions are; why and who put him there? For the majority of the book there's no active follow up on this with the story focusing more on Drake and Victoria's romance and a few other distractions. I don't know if Drake's head got shot from being in Hell for too long but the dude could use to ask potent questions. The answer to the mystery was dumped towards the end making the conflict-resolution underwhelming. I mean the backstory is so meaty, spanning millenia, that kind of history should be drawn out slowly or evenly throughout the book, right?

And for someone who hasn't been in this plane for so long, Drake's pretty much acclimated to the present time without any hang ups about it. Granted TASTE OF DARKNESS takes place 4 months after Drake was freed, I still find it odd how adjusted he is. I don't know about you, but if I was imprisoned in Hell for 1500 years, I sure would be a raging maniac until I get my answers not to mention alternately feeling in awe or like an idiot about all the technological advances and rules of society. As for his romance with Victoria, it's kinda cute that they started as friends and I found it funny that Drake did some research on how to please a woman. But like DARKNESS AWAKENED, it's entertaining but it didn't leave much of an impression with me.









45 comments:

  1. Dragon shifters? I like the premises for sure! A little bummed these weren't a little better though but glad you liked them overall.

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    1. I blame it on all the dragon movies I saw as a child, when there are fire breathers around I expect something EPIC to happen. If there's none then I feel let-down

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  2. " I don't know if Drake's head got shot from being in Hell for too long but the dude could use to ask potent questions." <--- I'm smiling so big right now!

    I never understand when a character doesn't ask important/obvious questions. I would probably be the character that never stops asking questions. I'm glad you liked this. I think I would've wanted the story to be meatier too.

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    1. If someone did something wrong to you, the first question you ask is WHY right? Imagine if you got thrown in hell and after 4 months of diddling around, you finally have the means to get your questions answers and he didn't even bother much. So frustrating!

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  3. This definitely sounds unique! I hadn't heard of this series before (seems to be a trend on your blog) so thanks for introducing me to something new!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

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    1. LOL Happy to do the necessary introductions!

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  4. Well, great premise and glad to hear you enjoyed some aspects

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  5. Great review! Sounds like they aren't perfect exactly but fun.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. Yup, that they are. Not memorable though, just okay.

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  6. Dragons and a guy imprisoned in Hell for 1500 years that sounds like a great premise, but I am sad that there weren't more impactful for you.

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    1. Me too, I wish she added depth to Drake's character like mess him up more or something.

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  7. OHHH I love dragons! This deff sounds like a win for me. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. Eh, proceed with caution, it's not exactly epic.

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    1. Too bad the story wasn't as awesome as the cover art :(

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  9. Ah too bad it wasn't that good but I would have been so curious about a dragon story! I also love them! And well the covers are great too.

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    1. Oh well, I guess the search is still on.

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  10. Does PNR stand for "Paranormal romance?"

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  11. I've read a contemporary romance by her recently and didn't like it, maybe dragons will do the trick ;)

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    1. I've been feeling a bit of a fantasy slump myself. I think I'll read some good contemporaries this weekend.

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  12. Taste of Darkness sounds a bit underwhelming, though I do enjoy dragon shifters lol :P

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  13. I caught that $.99 sale too and grabbed book two for review. Didn't read your thoughts closely, but got the gist that you liked it. Dragons caught my attention too. Look forward to my turn to read it.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it better than I did

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  14. Because dragons is always a good reason :D Sorry they didn't turn out to be more exciting reads, though.

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  15. lols @ raging maniac...that would definitely be me. I love dragons...too bad it wasn't touched upon more. 16 yrs? dude, I would have to kick your butt first and then ask for help, lols.

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    1. I need to take you up on your Lolita rec, I saw your reviews for her dragon series, I think that will suit me better.

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  16. Oh man. Love dragons. It's been a while since I've read one though. *flails* I just read one by her in another series and enjoyed it too but not one that really stuck with me long term. Nice little distractions though when you need a quickie :)

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    1. Yeah, I think these are exactly that, distractions!

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  17. I have Taste of Darkness but now you scare me. I want DRAGONS!!! And old school PNR? No thank you.

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    1. HAHAHA! Why balk at old school PNR? Insta love?

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  18. Dragons and shifters together in one book? That sounds amazing - I've heard of a few books using this formula in PNR but I haven't picked any up yet. Glad to hear you enjoyed the series though!

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  19. I love dragon shifter books, there's just something really amazing about that. I hadn't heard of these ones though. It's too bad there wasn't a bit more WOW factor but it sounds like they are worth the read!

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    1. Yes when dragons are involved it better be WOWOWOWOW!

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  20. These don't sound half-bad and it is still early in to the series. I love DRAGONS, and can see you are definitely into the characters and want more, I may snag these.

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    1. I will look forward to comparing notes with you then :)

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  21. I'm already hooked on Reus' Moon Shifter series, but I've been reluctant to give her dragons a whirl, because I already have too many PNR titles on my to-read shelf. And, seeing how you didn't LOVE these, I think I'll leave it be for the time being. Thanks for the review!

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    1. You are welcome... I will check out Moon Shifter, maybe that will be more satisfying to me.

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  22. I have read Darkness Awakened and really enjoyed it, and I have Taste of Darkness on my kindle... I guess I should get to it, right? Dragons are awesome, and I really enjoy Reus' writing.
    Great review, Braine :) Have a wonderful weekend.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. So happy to hear that! At least you enjoyed it better than I did :)

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  23. Dragons would be a sure thing for me too, Braine. I'm sorry this one didn't hit all your buttons. But I'm glad it was overall entertaining. :)

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