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Review: Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron

21 Feb

Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron
Grand Central Publishing (March 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9781455500154

Favorite Lines: “He pulled the lid off a container in the refrigerator and extracted several pieces of raw bacon. As soon as he set the cream on the table he began to chomp through one slice after another.

“Ick,” Leigh said.

“Ick, what?”

She widened her eyes innocently and said, “I didn’t say that.” “Yes you did.”

“Okay.” After what he’d done to her ego, why should she save his feelings. “Eating raw bacon is awful. Jazzy likes that, but he’s a dog.”

Niles looked at the final slice, dropped it into the sink and turned on the disposal. While he washed his hands he gave her an odd, sideways glance. “I eat when I’m uptight.”

“So do I. Usually fudge or cookies.”” (p. 156, egalley)

WHEN NIGHT FALLS

After her husband’s tragic death, Leigh Kelly arrives on Whidbey Island determined to start over. Yet the tiny town of Chimney Rock is not as peaceful as it seems. Women have been disappearing, and Leigh can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched . . . especially at night. Soon, she’s experiencing visions she can’t explain and fighting her attraction to a handsome stranger who seems to know her most intimate desires.

PASSION TRANSFORMS THEM

As the leader of the Team, a pack of werehounds forced to hide their very existence, former special ops soldier Niles Latimer is desperate to prove a man’s heart beats beneath his predator’s body. And Leigh—the mysterious beauty possessing powers she doesn’t yet understand—may be the one woman who can help him. But Niles isn’t the only one who recognizes Leigh’s true identity. Something evil is waiting in the woods—and the hunt has begun . . .

I best know Stella Cameron as the author of contemporary romance and suspense. Darkness Bound is my first glimpse of Cameron as the author of a paranormal romance. She’s published other paranormal romances, but Darkness Bound is the first book in her Chimney Rock series. The idea behind the book is excellent and once I read the blurb on the book I had to read the story. Unfortunately, Darkness Bound didn’t win me over like I thought it would.

Expect to be introduced to a world within the human world. On small Whidbey Island live humans, werehounds, werewolves, fae, witches, vampires and other paranormal creatures. They live along side their human neighbors, but are on the verge of a paranormal war. In this world, the werehounds are the good guys and the werewolves are evil. Most of the paranormal community is power hungry.

Into this world comes a beautiful widow–Leigh Kelly. She is destined to mate with the leader of the alpha werehounds, a man named Niles Latimer. The werewolves want to stop that from happening, but they also want something more. Something that has to do with other women on the island. Sounds good, right? Well, it was until it wasn’t.

It felt like it was written by two people. The first half of the book hooked me, but when the author should have been reeling me in I slipped the hook and swam away.

Darkness Bound is filled with cliches and just way too much going on. A vampire feasting on the blood of his Bride in a white room. Check. Power hungry fae queen looking for more territory. Check. A friendly pet who is much more than animal. Check. There are many other familiar to the paranormal community plot devices that irritated me. All the newness of the book’s werehound exploration died with the introduction of WAY too many paranormal creatures.

The heroine, who I really didn’t care too much for anyway, became TSTL and random shenanigans began to occur. For example, while at a potentially dangerous moment in time the hero tells the heroine to stay put.

“How can you do that?”

His head jerked up and he glowered across the branches at Leigh. “I told you to stay in the car.”

“I’m getting bored. I want to help. This is my place.” She pointed to the chunk of tree he held up by a couple of snags. “That’s huge, Niles. It’s bigger than most trees. you’re tossing it around like a match-stick.”

“I’m strong,” he said. There was no point making up some elaborate story.

She opened her mouth to speak but crossed her arms instead.

“What?” he asked.

“I know how strong you are. Or maybe I don’t. I wonder how much I don’t know about you.”

“Your timing for an inquisition is great,” he said. “What don’t you think I’ve told you? Isn’t it enough to know I’m a–”

“I’m being stupid,” she said, cutting him off.”–p. 212

Yeah, you’re being stupid. You’re getting bored, so you hop out the car and begin lobbing stupid questions at the man who stands between you and danger? Leigh came across as insipid and when she began to glitter a nail was pounded into Darkness Bound‘s coffin.

In the end, I was irritated when I finished Darkness Bound. I know the hero of book two, Darkness Bred, will be Sean–a werehound who had a lot of page time in this book. I don’t know who the heroine is. It better be the Leigh’s twin sister. We met her and learned that her husband was conniving. We also know that he’s up to something more than emotionally beating his wife down, but are left hanging as to his true intentions. I wondered about that entire story line as I read the final pages of the book.

So while tons of other story lines resolved themselves, I really didn’t care. I had formed no bond with either the hero or the heroine. I just wanted to know how the book ended. I sighed a lot. That said, I’ll be looking for the next story to come out. I want to know what happens to Leigh’s sister.

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