Monday, May 22, 2017

ARC Review: Surrender the Dark by Tibby Armstrong

As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

Jewel's rating:

I had not read anything by this author before reading Surrender the Dark. I read the blurb, though, and just had to see how the author managed to make a vampire hunter and the vampire that killed his family and blinded him go from enemies to lovers. Had to. And, man oh man was it a fantastic ride! Seriously, I loved every moment. In fact, I read the whole book in one sitting, I loved it so much.

Surrender the Dark is not like other vampire stories I've read. Here, vampires aren't actually evil or soulless, though the hunters would have you believe differently. In fact, way back in history, the family that became hunters and the family that were granted immortality were related and they coexisted peacefully for some time, until...they didn't. Jealousy or bad decisions...who can say, but they've been blood enemies for hundreds, if not thousands of years, at this point. Surrender the Dark calls into question who the indiscriminate killers really are.

"Hunter born. Hunter bred. Kill the vampires or you’ll be dead."

Quite the nursery rhyme, am I right? Well it was what Benjamin Fuller was raised on. He's a hunter, born and bred. And when Ben was eight, his parents and uncle were slaughtered by a vampire and he was blinded. To be fair, though, the vampire had been captured and tortured by said parents and uncle, so you could say things are...complicated. For most of the last 20 years, Benjamin, fueled by anger and hate, has hunted and killed as many vampires as he could find in Boston. He hunts with his two best friends, Nyx, who is part witch and part fae, and Akito, who has always wanted to be a superhero.

Tzadkiel has been walking this earth for thousands of years. Vampires have a rich history filled with honor and ritual. But now, they are mostly just trying to survive. Tzadkiel has been in hiding, trying to heal from his injuries that were inflicted by Benjamin's family. Twenty years and he's still weak from the iron and poison he was injected with. Tzadkiel has a plan, though, to get his strength back and also strengthen his mora (his vampire family) once again. To that end, the hunted hunts the hunter. Tzadkiel keeps disillusioning Ben regarding everything he had been taught about vampires. Well, mostly. Tzadkiel might harbor a tiny bit of a grudge for all his mora that have died at the hands of Benjamin Fuller and as Tzadkiel is still suffering the after effects of the torture he endured, two decades ago, he's got some reason to be pissy about it. In fact, they both have plenty of reason to distrust the other.

Still, both Tzadkiel and Benjamin are attracted to one another and neither of them can seem to stop it. And, because there is something going on in Boston that puts everyone in danger, they keep finding themselves in situations where allying themselves with each other is more favorable to the alternative. So they strike a bargain. A temporary alliance to see the danger through and then? Well, then, there is a debt to pay; justice to serve. See? Complicated. I loved how it all resolved, though. Nothing went down like I thought it would, but I loved it, and Tzadkiel and Benjamin do get their HEA.

So, did I enjoy Surrender the Dark? Oh, hell yes, I did! I loved it. This is exactly my kind of vampire story and exactly the way I like my enemies-to-lovers stories. I had no idea what to expect going in, and the story just latched right onto me and I couldn't put it down. I would definitely recommend Surrender the Dark to anyone who loves paranormal/vampire stories. It felt fresh and it thoroughly entertained and enthralled me.


ARC of Surrender the Dark was generously provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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