Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Date: July 31, 2012
Ariane is a Grigori - a noble vampire dynasty that secludes themselves and live in secrecy. Yet all other vampire clans/dynasties fear them. The Grigori watch things happen but never interfere. But now, Ariane's best friend, Sam, has gone missing and the Grigori refuse to take action; so, Ariane sets out to find him on her own. Along the way she meets Damien, a shape-shifting assassin that has been hired to track down Sam and return Ariane to the Grigori. (By the way, Damien shifts into a humongous cat). The two form an alliance to find Sam that quickly escalates to something more. And as they come closer to finding Sam, they learn a secret that could destroy all vampires.
I loved this book. It was straight up romantic urban fantasy. The chemistry between the two main characters was off the charts hot. Damien was one of those jerks with a hard exterior that was really a soft kitten inside (pun intended). I loved watching them fight their attraction for each other. I couldn't help thinking when I was reading the book that this is what Daemon from the Luxe books could grow in to. Granted, I've only read Obsidian but I always wanted to know more about Daemon's feelings and felt like he could have been revealed a little better to the reader. Castle does that. She shows us the gruff and jerky side of Damien but lets us also see that he's vulnerable. In Obsidian, we see the jerk in Daemon but we never get to see his vulnerability until that last little "chapter" at the end from his POV. But I have faith that I'll see those other sides of Daemon in the remaining books. Another Damien/Daemon comparison: Damien calls Ariane "kitten."
So, I had no idea when I got this book that it was the third book in a series. But, I had no problem understanding the story, what had happened before didn't really matter in the telling of this story (although I am highly curious to see how much of a factor Damien was in the prior stories). I will most definitely be looking for the other books in the series. This was a great urban fantasy and I can't wait to read more of Castle's work.