Dark-Hunter – a warrior who calls out to the goddess Artemis for vengeance. Artemis created Dark-Hunters to kill Daimons. They are immortal but can’t go out in the sun and they have fangs.
Daimons – the god Apollo created a superior race called the Apollites. Zeus exiled the race to Atlantis and later, after the Apollite queen had Apollos beloved mistress and child killed, Apollo cursed them to not be able to stand the sun, to only live off other Apollite’s blood and to die painfully on their 27th birthday (the age Ryssa, his mistress, had died). To get around the death sentence, some Apollites choose to suck the souls out of humans which makes them live longer but they have to continue to do it over and over again.
Were-Hunter – thousands of years ago a mad king and a god did experiments of Apollites and animals of prey which resulted in them being able to take the form of a human or animal and shifting back and forth into these forms. They can live hundreds and hundreds of years.
I wanted to shake, then choke and then stab the leading lady in the eye because it was obvious from the beginning that she had misjudged her husband, ran and away from him and then hated him for almost 600 years.
This is a Romeo and Juliet meets Dracula story…literally. Esperetta is Vlad Tepes of the House of Dracul’s daughter. She grew up in a nearby convent and believes her father to be a good man and loving father. One evening as she was walking back to the convent from a visit with her father, she was surrounded by men who tried to rape her. She was saved by a man in black armor who turned out to be Velkan of the House of Danesti, known enemies of her father. Esperetta fell in love with Velkan so they eloped and were married. I’m not sure of the exact details but it sounds like they were super happy for a time but something happened to where Velkan came up with a plan to save them from their families.
Velkan told Esperetta that they would both drink a potion that would make it look like they were dead. When her father saw that they were dead, he would leave them alone and then they would escape to Paris and live happily ever after. But that isn’t what happened. Esperetta drank the potion, when she woke up, she was buried. She dug herself out of her own grave which was her worst fear. Velkan had promised her that she wouldn’t be buried. She then went to her father’s house just in time to see Velkan cutting off her father’s head and handing it to her father’s enemies, the Turks. She screamed and ran so Velkan ran after her and told her that her father had stabbed her in the heart when he saw her lying there just to make sure she was dead but she wouldn’t listen. She escaped and never returned.
Present day…Retta aka Esperetta still thinks the worst of her husband even though everyone knows her Vlad Tepes was not the nicest guy. Her friend Francesca, a Were-Hunter who she met just after leaving Romania, has just told her about how Velkan is going to release the remains of her father to be studied and on display which enrages Retta. Over the years, Velkan has turned the legend of her father into a freak show for tourists. He even gave Braum Stoker the information to write his book and later make the movie about Dracula. Francesca tells Retta that she thinks it is sweet that Velkan cares so much about her that he keeps trying to get her attention by doing these things but Retta is just annoyed and has had enough.
She books a flight to Romania to confront Velkan but when she gets there discovers that her friend, Francesca has been lying to her all these years and was sent by Velkan to watch out for her and take care of her. Francesca’s family has always worked for Velkan. Francesca’s mother, Raluca, tells Retta that Velkan always loved Retta and always watched out for her. She tells her that what Velkan said all those years ago was true. After her father had stabbed her in the heart, he tortured Velkan and impaled him. As Velkan was dying he cried out for revenge to the goddess Artemis who made him into a Dark-Hunter. Because Velkan was a great sorcerer, he had bonded himself to Retta at the time of their marriage so when he became immortal so did Retta. That is why she came back to life after she had died.
Also, Raluca tells Retta that there are people wanting to kill her who belong to the Order of the Dragon. The Order of the Dragon originally went after Daimons but have since deviated from their origins and now kill any immortal, not caring if they are good or evil.
Even after hearing all this, Retta is still hating on Velkan. She wasn’t endearing herself to me at all but I liked Velkan and wanted to see him happy so I couldn’t help but want Retta to be safe.
Despite not liking the leading lady, I still enjoyed the story. I love how Sherrilyn can make a story out of real history or mythology and twist it to make an interesting and believable story. She really knows her mythology and history and somehow keeps all the stories and timelines straight in her head. It’s crazy how all of the stories in the series happen either simultaneously or consecutively…well, not exactly consecutively because they all cross over each other’s timelines somehow or somewhere. How the hell does she do it? Maybe I’ll make a timeline and try to….Naw, I’m way too lazy to do that.
This was the 5th book in Dark Bites but the story would be somewhere between book #10 and #11 in the reading order of the Dark-Hunter series. I’d say it was 10.5. Now, I’m going to start reading the next novella in Dark Bites.