Dragonsworn – Dark-Hunter Series #21 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dragonsworn

By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dark-Hunter #21/Hunter Legends (First I’ve heard of this one)/Lords of Avalon #?/Were-Hunter #? I’m kind of lost to where each of these are at but I will try to go over them and number them correctly soon.

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Another great adventure by Sherrilyn Kenyon! This time she paired a dragon named Falcyn with a daimon named Medea who, inadvertently, get sucked into another realm along with her sort-of-kind-of brother Urian and his grandson Blaise who thinks he is his brother.

Medea needs Falcyn’s dragonstone to heal her people from a disease her grandfather, Apollo the god, brought down upon them. Morgen Le Fey, the evil leader of Camelot and Apollo also want the stone so they keep sending their minions after them and setting traps to try to steal it.

I’m not sure I like the Lords of Avalon spin on this series because it just complicates an already complex storyline and I get a little lost. I have read all of this author’s series except for the Lords of Avalon series which was her first series she ever wrote under the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor. I did read the first one but really didn’t like it that much so I never read the rest. I’m glad I did read that first one though because it helped me understand some of the references in this book.

I won’t put spoilers in but there was a revelation in this book which will have an impact on Urian but I’m not sure it will be a good thing. You will have to read it to find out.

There are still a lot of characters who need their story told like Jared, Savitar and my favorite Jaden just to name a few.

I can’t wait for the next one but I hope it veers away from this Camelot story and more back to the Dark-Hunter side of it.

 

Night Embrace – Dark-Hunter Series #2 – Sherrilyn Kenyon

Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter Novels Book 2)

 

I am re-reading the Dark-Hunter series and enjoying it although I find myself taking my time instead of gobbling it up like I do when I read a book for the first time.

There is always so much information and story-building packed into Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books that I feel like I have to lead with some definitions and terms before I get started or everyone will be confused.

Apollites – A race of people made by Apollo with the intention that he would one day replace Zeus. He thought that he could create a race superior to humans. Apollites are stronger and taller than humans with psychic powers. Angered by this, Zeus made declared war on them and exiled them to Atlantis.

When the Apollite queen became jealous of Apollo’s beloved mistress, Ryssa, she ordered Ryssa and her newborn’s son to be killed and ripped apart. In sorrow and rage over this, Apollo cursed all Apollites to die painfully on their 27th birthday because that was how old Ryssa was. They also could no longer live in the daylight and had to live only off of Apollite blood. In doing this, he also cursed his son, Stryker.

Daimon – some Apollites live longer because they have learned to suck the souls out of humans to extend their lives but they have to keep a steady diet of souls to live. Daimons have black tattoo-like marks on their chests like inkblots where they gather souls.

Dark-Hunter – a warrior who sold his soul to the goddess Artemis for a single act of vengeance. They hunt and kill Daimons to protect mankind and are immortal. Each warrior has his own unique power or set of powers such as mind-reading, telekinesis and healing. Because Daimons have animalistic instincts and features such as fangs, so do Dark-Hunters but they do not drink blood. They also cannot go into the sunlight. They cannot marry or have a lover for more than one night. Because Dark-Hunters are so powerful, two cannot be near each other or their powers will drain. They also cannot hurt or kill each other because what one does to the other happens to them also; if one hits and breaks the nose of another Dark-Hunter, his or her nose will break also.

Were-Hunter – A long time ago, a king with the help of a god did magickal experiments on animals of prey and Apollites to save his sons from the Apollite curse of dying when they reach the age of 27 which resulted in humans and animals to shift into each form. There are two kinds of Were-Hunters, Arcadian and Katagaria. The gods cursed them to hate each other so they always fight between the two races.

Arcadian – Were-Hunters who are born human but can shift into animal form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. Arcadians believe they are superior to Katagaria because they are more human. When they sleep, they retain the natural form of a human.

Arcadian Sentinel – soldiers, chosen by the Fates, who hunt down Slayers. Only a few are born to each patria. A Sentinel knows he or she has been chosen because when they reach maturity, geometrical shapes appear and cover one side of their face. Many choose to use their magick to hide the markings to blend in with humans and so other Weres don’t know what they are.

Katagaria – are animal hearted Were-Hunters who are born in animal form and able to transform into human form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. When they sleep, they retain their natural form of an animal.

Slayer – Katagaria who are lost to their animal impulses and attack Arcadians. More violent and vicious Slayers are referred to as True Slayers. Slayers and True Slayers are hunted down by Sentinels. Even other Katagaria look down upon Slayers.

The Story

Talon is an ancient Celt who was cursed by the god Camulus to lose everyone he ever loved. After he lost his beloved wife Nynia when she bled to death after giving birth to their stillborn son, he was heartbroken but had to lead his tribe and take care of his younger sister. His cousin, wanting leadership for himself, turned the clan against Talon and killed his sister right in front of him and then killed Talon. With his last breath, he called out to Artemis and became a Dark-Hunter.

Talon is now one of the Dark-Hunters for the New Orleans area. He used to share it with Kyrian Hunter but since Kyrian won his soul back from Artemis, she decided to replace him with Kyrian’s enemy, Valerius. And since Mardi Gras is coming up, she called in temporary help but she chose the most psycho Dark-Hunter of all, Zarek of Moesia. He has been isolated in Alaska for the last 900 years because he does not play well with others. Talon is not looking forward to Mardi Gras at all.

He meets Sunshine when she is attacked by a group of Daimons and he helps rescue her. One of the Daimons pushes him in front of a Bacchus Mardi Gras float and Sunshine ends up taking him home to her flat above her father’s bar.

I cracked up at how he woke up naked with pink tie-dye curtains surrounding the bed and how Sunshine and her mother talked about him like he wasn’t there. The things they said were hilarious like how they had no qualms talking about his body and his private parts. He thought they were certifiably nuts.

Meanwhile, Camulus has teamed up with the god Dionysius aka Bacchus and someone named Styxx. They seemed to have engineered the meeting between Talon and Sunshine for some reason. Camulus and Dionysius want their god statuses back and have plans along with Styxx to release the Destroyer, the goddess Apollymi, on Mardi Gras when the veil between worlds will be at its thinnest. To do this, they need to kill Acheron, the leader of the Dark-Hunters.

Each one has their own additional motives for doing this. Camulus wants to hurt Talon. Dionysius thinks he can be a powerful god and Styxx wants revenge on Acheron. The trio stir up all kinds of problems to keep the Dark-Hunters busy. They use Zarek’s reputation against him and make it look like he murdered a woman and shredded her with the metal claw he wears on his hand. Then they sic Daimons on him and call the police so they see him attacking the Daimons. He escapes but his picture has been shown on television and is now a wanted man. Artemis wants him killed because she thinks he is psycho and will expose Dark-Hunters to the humans. They use Kyrian and his best friend Julian’s hatred of Valerius to stir up trouble and keep Acheron busy playing referee between them. And they keep Talon busy with Sunshine.

Sunshine starts having dreams about Talon and his earlier life. She believes Nynia’s soul was reborn in her but Sunshine is nothing like Nynia who was timid and did everything that Talon wanted. Sunshine is outspoken and a free-spirit. She would never let a man dictate how her life should be or be second best in a relationship. She’s been there and done that already with her ex-husband who she has not told Talon about.

Talon starts falling for Sunshine but knows he can never be with her because of his curse and because he is a Dark-Hunter. He knows that if he falls in love with Sunshine, Camulus will kill her.

This book introduced a lot of characters who we will see in future books in the series and it introduced Sanctuary, a bar where a lot of action happens in future books. Sanctuary is a bar owned by a family of Were-Hunters but, as of yet, we do not know what kind or what animal. It is a place where humans, gods and Were-Hunters all gather…not that the humans know this. They just think it is a cool biker bar.

We are introduced to and/or learned more about:

Vane and Fury Kattalakis – two Katagaria Were-Hunter wolves. Vane stood in as bodyguard for Sunshine as a favor to Talon for a day while she sold her art in Jackson Square. He seems very unsociable and was bored the entire time until he saw Sunshine’s friend, Bride. He seemed interested in her.

Acheron – We know very little about this man except that he has unimaginable powers and that he was the first Dark-Hunter. His eyes are swirling silver and he likes to dye his hair different colors. He has a strange bird-like tattoo and the goddess Artemis has a strange obsession and attraction with him that he doesn’t seem to share.

Styxx – He looks just like Acheron except for the swirling eyes. He hates Acheron.

Artemis – She is….well, I don’t know what to think of her. She is a goddess so she is spoiled and selfish. She has a weird obsession with Acheron like she is attracted to him and wants him even though it is obvious he doesn’t feel the same way and she abuses and torments him. Yet she seems to be on the side of the humans and wants to protect them…sort of.

Valerius – He is the grandson and spitting image of the Roman who tortured and killed Kyrian of Thrace. Julian also hates him. Zarek, from comments Valerius made to him, was who his father used as a whipping boy. He is arrogant and haughty and thinks he is better than everyone. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends.

Zarek – He is totally anti-social and scary. He isn’t even nice to people who try to be nice to him. He keeps himself closed off from everyone yet I see some good in him…not much but some. I can understand why he is like this because he was used as a whipping boy all his life for Valerius’ family. When Ash met him, he was disfigured, scarred and blind in one eye. Acheron removed all of it and restored his body.

There were also a lot of other appearances of some characters who will be in future books and some who will not or have not been yet but they had very minor roles in this book so I am not going to mention them here. I don’t think I could remember them all and I didn’t jot them down as I was reading.

With each book I am amazed at how much I missed or have forgotten but now I know what to look so I am trying to keep it all organized and straight in my head. This series is already complex and it will only get more so as it continues. It keeps me on my toes and intrigued.

 

Love Bytes and Santa Wears Spurs – Dark Bites – Sherrilyn Kenyon

These two stories are included in Dark Bites but, as far as I can tell, have no connection with the Dark-Hunter series nor are they paranormal. They are just romances so I am clumping them together in one post.

Both these stories happen near Christmas time.

Love Bytes

Samantha Parker and Adrian Cole work for the same web-based company. Samantha works in a cubicle but Adrian is the computer guru and expert of the company and has his own office.

Adrian seems to be needed by everyone at all hours of the day whether it be by employees or his mother and sister and they all seem to depend on him and use him a little too much and he allows it. His mom and sister say mean things to him or try to guilt-trip him when he tries to tell them, “no”.

Samantha collects figurines of knights but thinks she will never really get a “knight in shining armor” in her life. She is secretly in love with Adrian but thinks that he would never even look at her in that way and the company has a policy of no relationships between management and underlings.

Adrian comes to work a lot in mismatched clothes because he is color blind and his sister plays bad jokes on him with his clothes when she is mad at him or just because she thinks it is funny. He pays her a lot of money to do his laundry and match his clothes but she takes him for granted and sometimes doesn’t even do the job he pays her for. Samantha agrees to take him shopping for new clothes and get him a makeover suitable for his position in the company.

From there, it is just the basic romance novella.

 

Santa Wears Spurs

It starts out by Danger O’Connell racing across the cold winter Texas plains with his pinto to return money to an orphanage that his brother, Pete, stole. I thought this was funny because I have owned a Pinto and there was no “racing” about it. It would barely go 45mph before it would start shuddering around me and when I came to a stop light, I’d have to do a little dance with my feet on the clutch and gas to keep it from dying. Even then, it would die and would take forever to start. People behind me would get pissed because it took so long to get through the light and sometimes, I would have to wait for the next light.

Danger was orphaned young and only had his brother to help raise him. His brother turned him to a life of crime to survive. He was hardcore until he met and fell in love with a woman but he left her for fear that his brother would use her against him or hurt her because his brother liked their life of crime.

Catherine O’Callahan and her friend run an orphanage and boarding house. She took in four orphans in town and she has a four year old daughter from her husband. Her husband left her without a word before she had a chance to tell him she was pregnant.

When a knock on the door on Christmas Eve, she answers it and drops the lantern she is holding when she sees the man with his horse standing there. That’s when I realized pinto was a horse and not a car and that this was back in the time before cars. I should have known by the word not being capitalized that it was a horse and not a car. Geesh!

Anyway, the man turns out to be her husband, Michael. His nickname is Danger but Catherine doesn’t know that and she doesn’t know that he is an outlaw with the last name of O’Connell hunted by the law and his brother. His brother will never let him go.

They sleep together that night but in the morning, there is a marshal in the kitchen who Catherine rents a room to and Michael introduces himself with a different name. Catherine becomes suspicious. Michael knows he can’t stay because of the law and because of his dangerous brother.

I liked the story but didn’t like that it had nothing to do with the Dark-Hunter series.

 

Fear the Darkness – Dark Bites – Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

This is just an extra scene about Nick Gautier coming home to New Orleans two years after Hurricane Katrina.

It’s hard reading about Nick’s transformation to the dark side. Before his mom was killed by a Daimon, he was such a goofy, fun-loving and care-free guy…maybe a little too much…and now, he is being eating up by hatred for Acheron and thoughts of revenge. He blames Acheron for the death of his mom and for not bringing her back to life like he did for others they know. He thinks Acheron did it to get back at him for sleeping with his adopted daughter, Simi but there are things Acheron just can’t do.

Nick has had a lot of changes since his mother died. He has become a Dark-Hunter. He has also made some kind of deal with the leader of the Daimons, Stryker, who is the sworn enemy of all Dark-Hunters but Nick’s hatred for Acheron has driven him into a deal with Stryker. I am having a hard time remembering the details of Nick’s deal with Stryker and I also can’t remember if Nick even knows that he is the Malachai yet but it isn’t mentioned in this piece so I am assuming he does not know yet. The only thing I do know is that he is sharing blood with Stryker so they are both more powerful but Stryker can see what Nick sees through his eyes….I think.

Nick goes to visit his mom’s grave for the first time since she was killed and runs into his Aunt Menyara who tells him that Acheron often sends flowers to his mom’s grave. She also tells him that she knows Acheron is a good man and she knows what and who he is. She tells him that Acheron just was not able to bring his mom back to life.

Then Nick walks around for a while and is saddened by how his beloved town looks with all the construction and lack of music and just how much it is the same but different. He looks inside a restaurant and sees his ex-boss Kyrian with his wife and their two children having dinner with Julian and Grace, Vane and Bride, and Valerius and Tabitha. He can understand why Tabitha is there since she is Kyrian’s wife Amanda’s twin sister but Valerius has been Julian and Kyrian’s sworn enemy for thousands of years. Nick is just floored to see them all chatting and laughing like old friends.

Satara, Stryker’s half-sister, shows up and starts telling Nick all kinds of half-truths and lies and trying to fuel Nick’s hatred and tries to turn him against Kyrian. She asks why it is that Amanda gets to go on to have a happy life after Acheron brought her back to life but his mom is dead. She also tells him that Acheron’s mother is Apollymi, The Destroyer, and tells Nick how when she is angered, she releases storms that destroy cities which insinuates that Apollymi was the reason for Hurricane Katrina even though it is untrue but Nick doesn’t know that. She also tells him that Stryker is Apollymi’s son and that she is the actual leader of the Daimons which is also a lie.

She then introduces Nick to a Skoti Dream-Hunter and tells him that the Skoti can bring his mom back to life but Nick has to kidnap Kyrian’s daughter Marissa and take her down to Kalosis, the Atlantean hell realm, before he’ll bring Nick’s mother back to life.

I have to believe that Nick has ulterior motives and plans for working with Stryker and Satara and that he would never really kidnap Marissa but you never know.

This story or scene was super short but very interesting and insightful. Now, I really have to re-read the series to remember everything that happened.

Shadow of the Moon – Novella in Dark Bites – Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

A few terms to begin –

Apollites – A race of people made by Apollo with the intention that he would one day replace Zeus. He thought that he could create a race superior to humans. Apollites are stronger and taller than humans with psychic powers. Angered by this, Zeus made declared war on them and exiled them to Atlantis.

When the Apollite queen became jealous of Apollo’s beloved mistress, Ryssa, she ordered Ryssa and her newborn’s son to be killed and ripped apart. In sorrow and rage over this, Apollo cursed all Apollites to die painfully on their 27th birthday because that was how old Ryssa was. They also could no longer live in the daylight and had to live only off of Apollite blood. In doing this, he also cursed his son, Stryker.

Some Apollites live longer because they have learned to suck the souls out of humans to extend their lives but they have to keep a steady diet of souls to live.

Were-Hunter – A long time ago, a king with the help of a god did magickal experiments on animals of prey and Apollites to save his sons from the Apollite curse of dying when they reach the age of 27 which resulted in humans and animals to shift into each form. There are two kinds of Were-Hunters, Arcadian and Katagaria. The gods cursed them to hate each other so they always fight between the two races.

Arcadian – Were-Hunters who are born human but can shift into animal form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. Arcadians believe they are superior to Katagaria because they are more human. When they sleep, they retain the natural form of a human.

Arcadian Sentinel – soldiers, chosen by the Fates, who hunt down Slayers. Only a few are born to each patria. A Sentinel knows he or she has been chosen because when they reach maturity, geometrical shapes appear and cover one side of their face. Many choose to use their magick to hide the markings to blend in with humans and so other Weres don’t know what they are.

Katagaria – are animal hearted Were-Hunters who are born in animal form and able to transform into human form when they reach puberty and unlock their magickal powers. When they sleep, they retain their natural form of an animal.

Slayer – Katagaria who are lost to their animal impulses and attack Arcadians. More violent and vicious Slayers are referred to as True Slayers. Slayers and True Slayers are hunted down by Sentinels. Even other Katagaria look down upon Slayers.

Note: When Were-Hunters have mixed parentage, an Arcadian mother and a Katagaria father or vice-versa, they can be born either as Arcadian or Katagaria. It is rare but a Katagaria can be born in human form so they are thought to be Arcadian but when they reach puberty, their true or natural form will turn out to be their animal.

Mating – Were-Hunters do not get to choose their own mates. The Fates choose them and the Fates often seem to be cruel about it. Were-Hunters have to have sex in order to find their mate and when they are assigned their mate, matching tribal designs are burned into their skin (usually on the palms of their hands but not always). Once the mark appears, the couple has three weeks to complete a mating ritual or the male is rendered impotent for as long as the female is alive. The female can have sex with others but will never have children. Even if they complete the ritual, the male can only have sex with his mate.

Bonded Mates – a mated couple can choose to complete a binding ritual which will tie them together forever. If one dies, the other one dies.

THE STORY

Once again, I couldn’t stand the leading lady for most of the story. Angelia grew up with Fury in their Arcadian wolf pack. She was his best friend until she, along with the rest of the pack, discovered he was really a Katagaria. The pack beat him and Angelia stabbed him, just missing his heart. Fury left the pack and hasn’t seen her since.

Fury was born as part of a litter to his Arcadian mother who absolutely hates anything Katagaria. His mother kept Fury, Dare and Star and gave Vane, Fang and Anya to their father. The story didn’t actually say it but I’m guessing the three she kept were born in human form. I tried really hard not to think about that birth but I just couldn’t help the visual out of my head. She had puppies and human babies all at once. That’s gotta be quite the experience!

Fury’s mother, Bryani, was kidnapped and raped by a pack of Katagaria and one of those turned out to be her mate, Fury’s father. Bryani turned out to be quite the psycho but the father is just as bad if not worse. Bryani raised Fury without hugs or sentiment. Once, he broke his arm and when another pack mate tried to hug him, Bryani told him not to and said that Fury was stupid for doing something that would break his arm.

His only friend was Angelia who had been orphaned when she was three. A pack of Katagaria went through her village and killed everyone. Her mother covered her in mud and hid her in the cellar but was killed herself. For this, Angelia hates all Katagaria.

Centuries later, Fury now lives with his brothers Vane and Fang along with Vane’s wife. Fury has a bad attitude and most people don’t like him much. His brother Fang, is in love with a were-bear but her family is dead-set against it. They own and run the Sanctuary, a paranormal bar and restaurant where any race, breed, god or demon is welcome as long as they don’t spill blood or expose themselves to humans…that is…expose their paranormal sides. Fang sends Fury to the Sanctuary, even though no one there really likes him, with a note to give to Aimee, the were-bear. He pretends he is there to see someone else.

While he is there, he learns that the Sanctuary doctor, Carson, has a Katagaria were-lion in the infirmary. He was running in his lion form out in the wild when a tessera (I haven’t quite figured out what that word means but I think it means a group of four soldiers) of Arcadians appeared and shot them with something. One lion was able to make it back to his pride and tell them what happened but he died just afterwards. The other lion, Jacob, is now stuck in lion form and unable to use any of his magickal powers. He also has lost his ability to communicate via telepathy as most Were-Hunters do.

Fury sniffs the lion so he can track the Arcadians who did this to him and he smells Angelia on the lion and an unknown jackal. Then all of the sudden, Angelia and Dare show up at the bar. They want to know where the lion is which pretty much convinces Fury of their guilt. Dare tries to shoot Fury but Fury tackles him to the ground so the shot went wild. All of the humans in the bar ran but the owners of the bar kicked Fury out. Outside, Dare and Angelia shock Fury with electricity. Electricity messes with Were-Hunters systems and magick. Then they slip a metriazo collar on him. The collar sends electrical pulses to the subject not allowing them to shift into animal form. They take him into the woods to their camp where Dare and the jackal, Oscar, torture him to find out about what happened to the lion.

Angelia doesn’t really like that they are torturing Fury but she believes in their cause so she puts up with it. They need to know if their weapon works against Katagaria. She believes all Katagaria are dangerous animals and the weapon would trap them into their animal form and strip them of their magic so they would not be dangerous any more. But in truth, most Katagaria aren’t dangerous unless provoked and they don’t do vengeance since that is a human trait. They attack only to protect their family and loved ones. Finally, when Dare and Oscar started using a hot poker on Fury, Angelia transported Fury away.

They end up at his brother’s house. Fury asks his brother not to let Angelia to leave but not to hurt her and then he collapses. He sleeps for a few hours to heal.

It is Thanksgiving Day which Angelia knows nothing about since she is from a different time period, Medieval England, and she goes into heat. There are many males in the house because it is a holiday so she is afraid they will attack her to have sex with her but Fury insists that she eat dinner with them. His two year old nephew is sitting with them at the table and all the males are polite. One of them tells her that he does know that she is in heat but they are respectful of women and would never hurt her.

At one point, Zarek shows up. Zarek is a really scary fellow. He’s a Dark-Hunter turned god. When Angelia tells Bride, Vane’s wife, about how Katagaria killed her family, Zarek said, “It makes you wonder what they did to provoke that attack.” Which made Angelia think a little. Then Bride tells her the story of why her family was attacked. They killed a bunch of pregnant Katagaria and their young for no reason and had kidnapped some of the pups and had them in cages so the Katagaria attacked them.

I have to stop there as not to spoil the story but I did end up kind of liking Angelia but not much. She must appear in other books because Sherrilyn’s website says that Bride introduced her to hair color and she loves to dye her hair different colors a lot. That didn’t happen in this story.

This story is #6 in Dark Bites but is #15.75 in the Dark-Hunter Series. It’s 15.75, not because it is any shorter than the rest of the novellas in Dark Bites but because there is another novella in between book #15 and #16 so I didn’t really know how to number them. Maybe I should change my numbering system to ‘a’ and ‘b’ instead of the fractions.

A Hard Day’s Night Searcher – Novella in Dark Bites – Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

I spent most of my time laughing while reading this book because there was a lot of hilarious scenes.

It starts out with Raphael Santiago, A Dark-Hunter, trying to tell his Squire, Jeff, that he is in trouble for writing a story in a Sci-Fi magazine about Dark-Hunters but Jeff doesn’t get it. The biggest rule for a Squire is to protect the secrets of the existence of Dark-Hunters. When the Squire Council finds out about this, he could be imprisoned or killed. Jeff thinks that he has disguised the story pretty well and no one will believe it anyway. Instead of Daimons, he wrote that they were cursed soul-sucking vampires but Raphael points out that the fact that they die at age 27 unless they suck the souls out of the humans to elongate their lives is exactly what a Daimon is. Just because he used the Norse gods Odin and Freya instead of Apollo and Artemis, doesn’t make it okay. Then instead of Dark-Hunter, he used Night Searcher.

The funniest part though is that he changed Raphael’s name to Ralph St. James which is just the English version of Raphael and Santiago and he described him as a Taye Diggs look-alike and described Raphael’s tattoos with just a slight variation. Raphael says, “I really resent you making me a Taye Diggs clone. Nothing against the man, but other than the occasional bald head, the color of our skin, and a diamond stud in our left ear, we have nothing in common.”

Raphael thinks that maybe no one will see it and Jeff will be okay until he asks how many subscribers the magazine has and Jeff tells him that there are 150,000 worldwide. Raphael tells him, “You are so dead.”

His phone rings and it is another Dark-Hunter, Ephani. She tells him that her Squire, Celena is on her way over there to take Jeff into custody. Celena is a by-the-rules type of person. She never breaks a rule and follows all procedures to the nth degree. He hides Jeff in the closet and meets Celena at the door.

Celena tells Raphael that she wants him to hand over Jeff. Raphael tries reasoning with her and saying that nobody will read the magazine anyway or find out but Celena insists on taking Jeff into custody. Raphael asks, “Come on. Haven’t you ever broke a rule?” and she simply states, “No.”

He ends up making a deal with her. Since she is depriving him of his Squire because he is in hiding, Celena has to Squire for him for a week. If she doesn’t break a rule in that week, he will hand over Jeff. A substitute can Squire for Ephani. Celena agrees because she knows she won’t break any rules. While Celena goes to get her things for the week, Raphael sends Jeff to his boat on the docks to hide.

Raphael has ulterior motives for wanting Celena to be at his house. Although it is against the rules for a Dark-Hunter and Squire to get together, he wants Celena. He thinks she is hot and he has all kinds of naughty thoughts about her….that is…until she gets back and starts being his Squire.

She lays out a bunch of equipment on the table for him before he goes out to patrol for Daimons for the night. She has three stakes because two might break, a Kevlar vest, a watch with an alarm set for twenty minutes before daybreak that she has synchronized the time with the National Weather Service, and a body bag just in case he doesn’t make it home before the sun comes up. She tells him to zip himself up in it and press #1 on his auto dial which she has already programmed with her number and she will find him and pick him up because his phone also now has a tracker on it.

Yeah, all naughty thoughts gone!

After a few days of this, he calls Ephani and tells her to come get her Squire because she is nuts and he wants to wring her neck. He tells Ephani that Celena re-organized his kitchen and replaced all his food with nutritional food. He tried explaining to Celena that he is immortal and no matter how unhealthy the food is that he eats, it will never make him fat or kill him. She didn’t care. Ephani just laughed. Then she told him why Celena is so uptight. Her father and family were Squires. The Dark-Hunter they worked for was killed by Daimons. Then the first Dark-Hunter Celena was assigned to didn’t make it home before daybreak. Celena didn’t make it to her in time and watched as she ignited into flames. After hearing this, Raphael understood Celena a little better.

His naughty thoughts are back that night. He tries to kiss her but she tells him that she will kick him in his balls and makes it so graphic that all naughty thoughts poof away.

Celena also likes Raphael. She has been in love with him ever since she met him but she knows the rules and she won’t jeopardize her job.

I really can’t go into any more without spoiling the story.

It was a super cute story which made me laugh most of the way through it. I think Sherrilyn did a superb job of endearing the characters to me in even though the story was so short. I know it is hard to get a lot of depth and personality in characters in novellas but Sherrilyn always seems to accomplish it. Plus humor works on me every time.

This is the 6th book in Dark Bites and 10.5 in the Dark-Hunter series.

Until Death We Do Part – Novella in Dark Bites – Dark Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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.

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