Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Bound by Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

The Faeries may have a fearsome reputation, but none more so than their close cousins, the Sylvermyst. Ariyal, the leader of his tribe, sold himself into slavery to Morgana LeFay to save his tribe, and he became her favorite lover and play-toy, which meant extended sessions of torture. But now Morgan is dead, and Ariyal is finally free- free to take revenge on Jaelyn, the vampire assassin who kidnapped him.

But he can't bring himself to hurt her- and he finds his mind lingering more on pleasing her, than with any actual thoughts of revenge. And seeing that she has been sent to capture him, this is something that should definitely trouble him.

Jaelyn, meanwhile, is having problems of her own. She is supposed to be an ultimate assassin, strong, strong-willed and utterly lethal and without mercy. But she can't help herself but respond to Jaelyn- something that should long ago have been trained or burnt out of her. And the Addonexi don't take kindly to assassins who can't live up to their ideals.

But when they become aware of a prophecy, that if it comes true, could mean the end of both their worlds and races, they must reluctantly work together to find out the truth and keep it from coming true. But will either of their peoples look kindly on their coming together, or will they have to give up everything that they are for each other? And can they keep the Evil One imprisoned, or will one of them have to sacrifice themselves to do so? And is there any hope for a happy ending for them, when the Sylvermyst seem to hate vampires?

I liked this series. I haven't seen enough of them to read the entire "Guardians of Eternity" series, but just scattered ones here and there, but this one turned the usual scenario of "tortured, stanf-offish hero, passionate heroine" right on its head. Here. it's the other way around, although Jaelyn has a hard time controlling her emotions around Ariyal.

And Ariyal, too, wants to take revenge on Jaelyn, but he finds himself wanting her too much to be in any way cruel to her. But I liked the way they sparked off one another and their comments back and forth at and with each other. When they did come together, they were hot when they did. I wanted to see them get their chance at a happy ending, but I never really felt that they were in trouble that they couldn't get out of somehow- even when they went up against the Dark Lord in his prison, I didn't get that much feeling of imminent danger to them. But other than that, the romance and sex was satisfying, and while I felt like I was coming into the story somewhere in the middle (because I missed the previous book), I still enjoyed what I read.

If you haven't read the book before this one (where, presumably, you get to see Jaelyn kidnap Ariyal and hold him prisoner), this story may feel like the second book of a duology that you picked up without knowing it's a sequel. But the romance and sex are hot, and even if you don't get the feeling that the hero and heroine are in that much danger, as I did, you'll probably still end up enjoying the story. Recommended, but not highly.

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