Review – The Dark Ones by Rachel Van Dyken

The Dark Ones BT BannerSynopsisTo touch a Dark One is death.

To talk to an immortal is suicide.

Yet, I’ve been marked by both.

A Vampire.

And the King of the immortals.

My life is no longer my own.

And now I know the truth, my life was never mine to begin with.

It was theirs.

It’s always been theirs.
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Rebecca ~
When RVD announced she was going to be writing a PNR series, I was elated. One of my favorite authors writing one of my favorite genres; I could not have asked for more. From the first intense chapter until the Epilogue, I simply couldn’t read fast enough. This story has everything; forbidden romance, villains who aren’t what they seem, a brooding hero, lovable heroine, betrayal, unrequited love, and endless twists. Whether you are a longtime paranormal fan or brand new to the genre, this story definitely has something to offer all romance readers.

Tracy~
I fell in love with this book.  How one author can keep writing one amazing book after another, I have no clue.  RVD has a talent to create stories that suck me from the first page and leave me with a horrible book hangover when I finish.  This being her first PNR, I didn’t know where the story would lead us or who I was going to “root” for the most.  The synopsis leaves us with just a taste as to what might happen, and I loved that I didn’t’ know more when I started reading.

Rebecca~
Me too! There are definitely several elements I never saw coming. I especially enjoyed the new twists on some of the paranormal elements. I especially enjoyed the mixture of different creatures/people that don’t typically intermingle in PNR. This book has everything, vampires, werewolves, siren, fallen angels, and more.

Tracy~
And of course there was the human, Genesis who had no clue what she was getting into when her number was called.  Genesis was a great mix of being naive to a situation yet still being a strong heroine.

Rebecca~
I liked Genesis from the first chapters and my adoration only grew throughout the book. She is a strong and resilient heroine. The story begins through her eyes, so we learn the true nature of the immortal world as she does. After several chapters, I was thrilled to see Ethan’s point of view as well. He is definitely a complex and intense hero. The more he tries to push Genesis away, the more I knew they were going to be a perfect match.

“I’m a vampire love. What did you expect me to do? Bite you into silence?”

Tracy~
I was so excited when I turned the page and saw we were getting Ethan’s POV.  He’s the brooding, loved scorned, sexy vampire trying to save the immortals from the prophecy, having his POV gave an insight we would have not gotten without his chapters.  He was so torn about his feelings true for Genesis and what he had experienced in the past. I never knew what mood Ethan was going to be in and I loved that in the story; was he going to be playful, distant, protective…

Rebecca~
Even though though it’s her first PNR, there are aspects that make it uniquely RVD. The most prominent being the supporting cast. Few authors can write such strong and interesting supporting characters and side stories as RVD. I became smitten with Mason from his first appearance. The relationship he develops with Genesis becomes vital, but he also plays an important role for Ethan. I cannot wait for Mason’s full story one day. At the end of this book, we know which couple is likely to be featured in the next installment.

Tracy~
Not only did I love this book, but it got me so excited to get the stories of everyone else.  I can’t wait to see where this series goes.

There is no greater sacrifice than laying down one’s life for the life of a friend.

four_half-stars_ExcerptI still tasted her blood on my lips, was embarrassed for the first time in a century when Alex glanced up from his spot at the kitchen table to see me licking my lips like I’d just devoured the poor girl.

He shook his head. “Been that long, huh?”

“Alex…” I closed my eyes and prayed for patience. “…remind me why I let you live here?”

“I’m good-looking,” he answered simply. “Besides, I’m a hell of a fighter — scrappy, I think is how you define my kind. You need me.”

“Stop.” I pressed my fingertips to my temples and rubbed. The ache to have her had consumed me so much that I’d run down the stairs moving so fast I’d nearly collided with a wall, and grabbed blood from the fridge.

I didn’t need it.

But I craved it.

And if I didn’t drink the donated blood, I sure as hell was going to drain her and enjoyed very last drop.

“I wonder” Alex’s voice pierced my thoughts. “What’s it like?” He leaned forward. “Having to learn self-control all over again… being as ancient as you are?”

I ignored him.

He kept talking.

“Blood-free for a century and now…” He grinned and licked his lips. “Kind of like falling off the wagon, yeah?”

“You’re giving me a headache.” I threw the empty bag of blood at his face. He moved to the side and snickered. “And I’m fine. Everything is just—”

Her smell was intoxicating. She was walking down the stairs, so her heart picked up speed, her body giving off a scent of burnt vanilla and oranges with a hint of sugar. My mouth literally watered.

“Fine?” Alex said in a mocking voice. “Was that what you were going to say? Damn, man show a little decorum, you look… starved.”

“I am,” I whispered and fought the urge to rock back and forth. That was the problem with mating — with bonding. Nothing tasted like her, nothing ever would, and typically, having her as my mate gave me full access.

But the more I took…

The stronger the bond.

And the more I wanted…

It was a vicious overwhelming cycle. It would lead me to become emotionally invested while she, as a human, could simply pretend.

It wasn’t fair.

Immortals, in essence, were cursed with a deep desire to be like a human — to possess them, to bond with them forever — while humans only felt the same draw to us if they actually loved us.

Ridiculous.

“Oh, there you are.” Stephanie pushed Genesis forward and pulled out a chair.

Slowly, Genesis took a seat and glared at each one of us. “Where’s Mason?”

It shouldn’t have pissed me off.

But it had.

“He’s none of your concern,” I spat.

“Easy!” Alex chuckled. “Rule number one, don’t ask your mate where the other dude is. Just… don’t.”

Genesis blinked at Alex then back at me. “Because you guys have the capacity for jealousy.”

Alex whistled while Stephanie laughed.

Immortals were the most jealous beings on the planet. Had her school taught her nothing?

Was I to be her tutor as well?

“So…” Alex trained his eyes on her, putting her at as much ease as he could without stopping her poor heart. “Now that the mating is complete, you get to learn all about us and service your man here.” He slapped my back.

Really. Really. Poor choice of words.

Genesis paled.

I rolled my eyes. “He’s kidding.”

Alex laughed. “I think it needs to be said that having a human at the house has already helped my mood immensely.”

“That makes one of you,” Genesis said under her breath.

Alex leaned forward and whispered, “Ethan, try not to be so grouchy. Keep the fangs in and all.”

I extended them just to prove a point.

Genesis recoiled.

I instantly felt guilty.

Damn it.

“You won’t…” I licked my lips. “You won’t have to service me, as Alex so delicately put it.”

“Is that what mates do?” Genesis asked, her eyes searching mine. “They…” She lifted her hands into the air and dropped them.

“If that’s what you think they do, we have a very big problem.” Alex mimicked her movements and winked.

She blushed.

I hissed at him and returned my attention to her. “It’s like a human relationship, only stronger. You’ll attend functions with me, be by my side, at my beck and call for as long as you live.”

I didn’t want to say until one day she just didn’t wake up. It sounded too cruel.

“And when I’m bored out of my mind… I do what?” She crossed her arms. “I mean, what could you possibly need from me?”

“Adorable.” Alex sighed happily. “I’m so glad we kept her.”

“Alex…” I was two seconds away from slamming him into the nearest wall. “Make yourself useful and find our human a snack.”

“I’m not a pet!” Genesis yelled. “And I’m not your human!”

“You are,” I yelled right back, “mine!”

“Kids.” Stephanie stepped between us.

I didn’t even realize I’d gotten out of the chair and was towering over her, fangs out, hands raised. She’d turned me into a monster. And still, my eyes found her erratic pulse. One more taste…

“Ethan—” Stephanie pushed against my chest. I didn’t move. “Ethan!”

“Friend…” Mason walked into the room. “Sit your ass down before she hands it to you.”

“Like she could!” I roared.

“Like I have!” Stephanie pushed me again. “Don’t tempt me… again.”

I sat, while Mason made his way over to Genesis and offered an easy smile. The man had nothing to smile about, yet he was smiling — at my mate.

I growled.

Mason gave me the finger and kept his attention trained on Genesis. “How do you feel?”

“Better.” She returned his smile and squeezed his outstretched hand. “Thanks for not… killing me when I asked.”

“Damn…” Alex said from the kitchen.

“You were in pain.” Mason shrugged. “And I’m glad you’re alright.”

“She’s fine. We’re fine. Everything’s fine,” I said through clenched teeth. “Now it’s probably time to give her answers before she thinks she can run off and actually survive in the real world without being hunted by a Dark One, or worse, found by Cassius.”

“He isn’t all bad,” Stephanie said defensively.

We all glared at her.

“What?” She lifted her hands into the air. “I’m just saying he’s been trying as hard as we have. So what if he’s gotten a bit possessive over the last few numbers that have been called.”

Alex slammed his fist onto the table. “He stole Ethan’s—”

“Enough.” I held up my hand. The pain in my chest grew until it was hard to breathe. I knew what would take that pain away.

Genesis.

But I was too angry to ask for it. Too ashamed to fall to my knees in front of a mere mortal and beg for her to end the pain by allowing me one solitary drop of her blood.

As if on cue, another bag of blood hit me in the head.

Alex must have sensed my mood.

I bit into it and looked away from Genesis’s horrified expression.

Meet The Author-001RachelAuthorheadshotRachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!

You can connect with her on Facebook www.facebook.com/rachelvandyken or join her fan group Rachel’s New Rockin Readers. Her website is www.rachelvandykenauthor.com .

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