CdnMrs Reviews Darkest Caress by Kaylea Cross

Two-hundred-year-old Daegan Blackwell is one of the last remaining Empowered, an ancient magical race. Daegan’s duty is to lead and protect his remaining Brethren in the coming war foretold by prophecy. The last thing he expects is to meet the one woman who will either save or destroy him—his destined mate.

Fiercely independent Realtor Olivia Farrell believes darkly handsome Daegan is simply a prospective client. Until she’s attacked by a man with a strange aura—and Daegan fights him off, taking away her pain with just his touch. At first, Olivia refuses to believe she’s part of a magical race, yet mounting evidence and her powerful chemistry with Daegan are too strong to deny.

But as Daegan’s partner, Olivia becomes a target in the battle between good and evil that threatens her life, as well as the very existence of the Empowered. And the only one who can save her is the man claiming to be her destiny…

  • File Size: 558 KB
  • List Price: $5.99
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (April 23, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Buy at Amazon

Darkest Caress is a quick and sexy read. Although it’s one of those “group of immortal guys/brothers/warriors fighting bad guys and saving the world” kind of books its originality won’t leave you comparing it to other similar series (BDB, LOTU, Alyssa Day’s Atlantis series, Moning’s Highlanders, etc, etc).

Here’s a quick run down of what I liked and wasn’t crazy about when it came to Darkest Caress.

The Good

  • I really enjoyed that Kaylea Cross choose different locales than the standard big cities (NY, Chicago, Seattle, London, New Orleans, etc) to have her story unfold. She chose Vancouver and a small town in Lithuania. Now, part of me is excited because of the inclusion of a Canadian location, but the majority of me is just excited to see an author trying something new and different.
  • I love Olivia “Liv” Farrell! Kaylea Cross really makes the character of Olivia both believable and likeable. I don’t necessarily agree with the blurb’s assertion that Liv’s fiercely independent but she’s certainly her own person and she does NOT take the whole idea of immortal warriors and chosen mates at face value. She wants proof and she wants to decide for herself if she’s going to become part of the craziness that surrounds the Empowered and their cause. Personally, I’m sick of seeing females just kind of shrug and join their immortal honey-buns for lives of chaos and violence without looking back. So I found Liv’s character really refreshing.
  •  I really enjoyed Kaylea Cross’ take on the “chosen mate” storyline. I don’t necessarily mind the whole chosen mate storyline, but, for me, it needs to be done a certain way or it kind of freaks me out. I mean, how would you react to some muscle-bound, hottie coming up to you and telling you that he could only be with you forever and ever? Uh… ok maybe don’t answer that, but the chosen mate thing has been done time and time again and very rarely do we hear about any negative effects of this mystical matchmaking process.  Daegan, the hero of Darkest Caress, watched his parents, products of a chosen mating, tear each other apart because although the fates had picked them as a mated pair they were a terrible match. Daegan refuses to do this to Liv and puts himself through physical pain to allow her the choice to stay with him or to walk away, even though it would mean his death. It’s nice to see a character in the chosen mate scenario thinking with more than just his dick.
  •  The set up for book two in this series was really well done. Kaylea Cross starts to weave together the storyline for book two in her series even before she’s finished with book one. There’s no sudden cliff hanger or complete stop to the storyline in Darkest Caress it seamlessly flows into the next book in the series, which, unfortunately, isn’t out yet! Nooooo!

 The Not So Great

  • When an Empowered finds his chosen mate each of them go through what Kaylea Cross has dubbed The Heat Cycle. It’s similar to an animal going through heat, but it also gives the two people sever fevers and makes them intensely aroused without the possibility of fulfillment until they bond with each other. I think I get what the author’s doing here, trying to create tension and urgency, but I can’t get over the ickiness of not having control over one’s own body. It’s probably just me, but at first Liv doesn’t even know what’s happening to her and to me it’s too close to some kind of metaphysical sexual enslavement. I don’t know. It bothered me. That is all.
  • I liked Daegan, I really did and I thought it was really noble how he wanted Liv to choose for herself whether she wanted to be with him rather than being forced by the Heat Cycle. Thing is, he never actually says any of this to Liv. The dude has horrible communication skills which create these huge misunderstandings with Liv that his brothers end up having to fix. Daegan’s still redeemable, but there were times while reading the Darkest Caress that I really felt like for once, the hero, instead of the heroine, was too stupid to live and deserved a big fat knuckle sandwich.

Overall, I really enjoyed Darkest Caress. Kaylea Cross took a done to death premise and infused it with originality. I look forward to reading more from this author, specifically from this series.

Arc provided by Netgalley.

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