Favorite Lines: ”She fought to breathe while the fear crashed over her like a dark wave. Aaron’s angry voice grew louder, adding to the cruel spikes driving into her head. The phone slipped from her trembling fingers, crashing to the floorboard with a sickening thud. She clapped her hands to her skull, swallowed back the bile in her throat. He was going to get her. Help me…” (p. 40, e-galley)
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…
Kaylea Cross released book one in her Empowered series in April 2012. That book, Darkest Caress, is a soft, easy to read book about two people destined to belong to each other. It’s not awe-inspiring, but it’s a nice addition to the paranormal romance market.
Think alpha male paired with a woman who knows nothing about the paranormal. Then add instant mate phenomena to the equation and you’ve got the premise of Darkest Caress. Olivia is different from other women. Months before the events of the story she began getting migraines which affected her vision. It also causes her to see people’s auras, but she doesn’t know what it means. Her new potential house buyer, Daegan does though.
Daegan knows that he and his fellow “warriors” are about to go to war. Thanks to their mixed Celtic/Baltic German heritage they are part of a race known as the Empowered. They have different magical abilities and will need to use them against the Obsidian Lord’s Dark Army which seeks to enslave humanity. They are not vampires.
“We’re not vampires…His teeth punctured your skin, but that’s all. No drinking, I swear.”–p. 121
Thoughts: The bad guy didn’t seem too bad, so those who like their paranormal romance books light on the black evil should be happy. While the characters never lived up to their evil reputations there is a torture scene which might bother some. Fans of Christine Feehan’s Dark series may appreciate the way Cross’s hero and heroine feel extreme despair when parted until they bond.
Overall: Darkest Caress is a pretty average addition to the paranormal romance genre. It’s not a book I’d race out to buy, but it is great for those moments when you’re in between series or looking for a quick read.