Beyond the Darkness by Jaime Rush
HarperCollins/AVON (Nov. 29, 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
Favorite Lines: “I find it interesting how humans use these odd words to describe the act of reproduction or the parts used therein. And yet, they use those words to describe each other and situations, too, mostly in a derogatory way. Once, in traffic, someone called me a ‘dick.’ I explained that my name was Pope, not Dick, and that seemed to stymie him. Later I found out that ‘dick’ is another word for a man’s penis , though I don’t’ understand the meaning of calling someone a penis. It serves two vital functions in life, after all. By the same token, you also use words related to religion. God, Jesus Christ, and hell are used as exclamations, and yet humans are extraordinarily sensitive to the nature of religion. It’s baffling.” (p. 132, egalley)
Cheveyo: a name that stirs Petra like no other, reviving deep feelings of pleasure. . .and pain. Despite her rare psychic gifts, the beautiful half-human Offspring doesn’t know why the magnificent shapeshifter walked out of her life when the bond they shared was powerful. . .and intensely passionate.
But Cheveyo is not gone. From the shadows, he watches over his beloved, determined that the malevolent enemies he hunts with fang and claw will not invade her world. But now, suddenly, the stakes are getting higher — as an insidious evil plots the destruction of Petra’s race. Cheveyo can remain hidden no longer from the lover who completes him but could destroy him. . . if his own inner darkness doesn’t destroy her first.
I first learned about Jaime Rush when I read the first book in her Offspring series, A Perfect Darkness. While I didn’t continue reading the series, Beyond the Darkness sounded too good to pass by. It is book five in the Offspring series.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that I missed quite a few stories as characters and events were mentioned. However, I quickly caught on to what was happening and was able to run with the story.
What you need to know: The paranormal aspects of the story stem from alien roots. Callorians (the aliens) look like humans but are less dense than humans. They have higher energy vibrations which allow them to change form or give them “abilities.” Their emotions are suppressed similar to the Psy in Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series.
The heroine: She is TSTL at times and immature. I didn’t like her for 75 percent of the story. Let me show you why…
After the hero tells the heroine to stay in the restroom while he fights a villain the heroine decides she can help. So she leaves safety and
Baal looked at her, its pointed ears flicking. Cheveyo took a second to look back, and that’s when Baal moved. It flew past Cheveyo in a dark gray blur–right at her.–p. 33
Yep, she places herself in a mortally dangerous position. Not only is she in danger, but now she’s a distraction to her hero. Another reason I disliked Petra was that she seemed childish. She’s a woman in her twenties and at one point she
She used the bathroom, washed her face with the plain soap he had on the counter, and applied the powder and blush she kept in her purse. She pulled a brush through her tangled hair, reviving faint memories of a mother who used to brush her hair every night. She took the stuffed Toto from her bag and sat down again, catching Cheveyo’s tug of a smile when he saw the dog on her lap.–p. 44
What grown woman carries around a stuffed animal? At first I took Petra’s need to wear makeup and use hairspray as her being shallow. I couldn’t think of a reason why a woman running for her life would focus on physical beauty. It wasn’t until later in the story that I understood her need to control something as being separate from shallow. The realization helped me overlook some of Petra’s flaws.
The hero: He is a practical warrior. He has suffered and has hidden depths. He is also capable of a strong passion . His need to do the right thing consumes his life and he knows he will never be able to provide a secure home for the only woman he wants.
The passion: It’s hot. Petra and Cheveyo feel its burn all the time. Cool, right? Well most of the time I can handle it, but I really thought it was stupid when they almost succumbed to a fit of lust while on the run for their lives. What I mean is that at one point they have just lost the trail of the villains when they’re consumed with a need to make out. They haven’t reached a safe zone and have a small lead on the creatures/people out to get them. They even remark upon the inappropriate timing of their passion, “Not only should I not be doing this at all, I sure as hell shouldn’t be doing it now.”
The romance: As the couple begin to have tender moments I allowed myself to be swept away with them into a quiet type of love. And why have I never thought of shaving as romantic. There are a couple of scenes involving leg shaving that really pushed my buttons in a positive way. Jaime Rush did a spectacular job transforming an everyday ritual into a sensual experience. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed that one action.
The action: The story moved at a rapid pace from the beginning of the story to the end. Constant motion is the easiest way to describe the story. The pace kept the story interesting and the conversation prevented it from becoming stale.
Conclusion: Beyond the Darkness is a standard paranormal romance. You can safely pick it up knowing the hero and heroine will overcome all hurdles to find a life together. As a reader I found it difficult to care about the heroine’s happiness because she didn’t seem worthy of the hero. As the book raced to its conclusion, Petra proved me wrong and I was glad I read the book. I won’t be re-reading it, but it was a nice distraction.