Damien by Jacquelyn Frank
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
From the blurb:
They are the Nightwalkers, mysterious beings who dwell in the shadows of our world, and Damien, the Vampire Prince, is among the most powerful of them all. But one woman will tempt him with a desire unlike anything he has known, and together they will face a terrifying and relentless foe...
HE'D NEVER LOVED. BUT SHE WAS IRRESISTIBLE.
As reigning Vampire Prince, Damien has tasted every pleasure the world has to offer--consorting with kings and queens and delighting in sensual adventure. Now, tired of such pursuits, he devotes his energies to protecting his people. The war between human necromancers and Nightwalkers has escalated, and when the enemy makes a daring move, kidnapping Syreena, a Lycanthrope Princess, Damien boldly follows. He succeeds in rescuing her, but is unprepared for the erotic longing her lush sensuality awakens in him.
Gifted with rare abilities, Syreena grew up in a cloistered setting and was forbidden to form attachments to others, yet the connection Damien feels with her is immediate, intoxicating, and impossible for either to resist. But claiming Syreena as his mate could have shattering repercussions for every Nightwalker--and leave their enemies more dangerous than ever before...
Temptation tastes sweetest at night.
As the title indicates, this book is about Damien, the Vampire Prince, who finds himself strangely attracted to Syreena, the Lycan Princess. When he follows her from the hidden Nightwalker Library and finds her nearly dead after an attack by Ruth, he takes an unusual and forbidden step to save her life. And for the first time in his very long life he's in love. Syreena isn't easily swayed but the pain and need she experiences after going home, coupled with Damien's honest questions and convictions, gets her quickly to the point where she accepts him as her destined mate.
The relationship permeates the book and Ms. Frank again draws richly complex characters against an action-packed and dangerous background. Damien is not used to answering to anyone but himself and this leads him to make some decisions that his mate fiercely objects to. Syreena on the other hand has spent her whole life doing what was best for other, following directions and doing as she was told, without ever considering what SHE wants. She can be feisty and certainly gives Damien a run for his money. Then there is Jasmine, who has been with Damien as his primary adviser for 5 centuries and who reacts with volatility and disdain at his choice of mate (as if that was truly a choice). She hatches a plot that takes Damien away from Syreena and nearly costs all three of them their lives.
The world Ms. Frank has created is rich with mysticism, mythical creatures and extraordinarily complex, passionate characters. The plot runs smoothly, secrets are revealed at appropriate times and the action scenes are richly described. The dialogue feels realistic, never stilted, and I found myself unable to put this book down unless I absolutely had to.
Each book of the series not only furthers the overall plot, but also the connection between the various Nightwalker species, forcing them into cooperation with one another and making this an extraordinary journey for all of them.
I must take a moment to thank my friend Michelle for alerting me to this series. Without her, I wouldn't have picked up the first book and would have missed out on something very unique and amazing.
On to the next one...
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