Bound By Darkness

Alexandra Ivy
Bound By Darkness
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Release Date
December 2011
Book 8 of The Guardians of Eternity series
Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance

The Sylvermyst have a reputation as sinister cousins to the fey, and none are more mysterious than Ariyal and his tribe. To save his people from banishment, he sold himself to the evil Morgana. Finally free, he faces a new challenge: Jaelyn, an elite vampire warrior sent to capture him. By rights, he should kill her on sight. Yet he cannot bring himself to hurt her—or to resist her…

Jaelyn is stunningly beautiful, utterly lethal—and always alone. Until Ariyal. From their first encounter, she knows that what's between them is more dangerous than simple lust. And as they unite to thwart a terrifying prophecy that will mean the end of his clan and of the world they know, she will risk everything to fulfill her destiny by his side…

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jan 18, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
193 people found the following review helpful
Action-packed, passionate and wickedly entertaining, BOUND BY DARKNESS is a superb addition to one of my favorite paranormal series. With a leading couple that will leave you breathless and deep, intriguing world, this is one story that should not be missed.

While series fans will find this a very worthy edition to a complex series, it's probably not the best place to start if you're not already acquainted with the world of the Guardians of Eternity; I actually had to go back to previous books in order to recall all the events that have led us to this point.

At the story's opening, we join Ariyal and Jaelyn in the ruins of the palace of the sadistic Morgana Le Fae. For years, Ariyal, a Sylvermyst prince, has been one of Morgana's favorite slaves, who sold himself in order to free his people from service to the Dark Lord. Now that he is free, Ariyal is determined to unite his people and wipe out the threat that the Dark Lord poses to the world, regardless of the cost. Before he can begin his quest, however, he has to deal with Jaelyn.

A Hunter by calling and a vampire by nature, Jaelyn is a ruthless predator who has been charged with protecting the baby that will be used as a vessel for the Dark Lord—the very child that Ariyal has sworn to kill. She has also been contracted to bring Ariyal to the elite council of Vampires known as the Addonexus. Both creatures are brutally strong and utterly capable, both are determined and driven, and both would gladly kill the other if it meant attaining those goals. It's just too bad that the chemistry between them is so fierce as to be nearly unbearable. United by a prophecy and determined to halt the coming darkness that threatens their whole world, Jaelyn and Ariyal will have to fight together if their remarkable relationship has any chance of a future.

I thought this couple was one of the best in the series to date. While the face they present to the world is cool, calm and devastatingly collected, Ariyal and Jaelyn are both complex, fascinating characters that develop beautifully over the course of the story. As a slave, Ariyal vowed never to let anyone else have power over him, yet he knows full well that he would do anything if it meant protecting Jaelyn. Though he was the villain of the last book, Devoured by Darkness, we get a chance here to see Ariyal as the hero, and getting to see both sides of his nature made him that much more fascinating a character. Like so many of the other heroes in this series, Ariyal is not your stereotypical good guy. He certainly has his dark side and his flaws, but these serve to make him that much more complex and tantalizing, especially as we learn more about the Sylvermyst and his role as their potential leader.

Raised to be heartless and trained to be a killer, Jaelyn has never known what it feels like to be wanted or treasured, and though she knows the danger he poses, Ariyal's concern for her safety and his promises of pleasure threaten to break down all the barriers she has built to protect herself from her own heart. He loves her for her strength and her fierceness as much as for her vulnerabilities, just as Jaelyn comes to love his nobility as well as his savage side. These two accept each other just as they are, and it brings out the best in both of them, be it the best fighter, the best warrior or the best lover.

And there is no doubt that the chemistry between them is absolutely smoldering. The force that united them is too powerful to resist, regardless of how they might try, and when they do finally give in to temptation, there is no coldness or insecurity between them at all. Even I could feel the fulfillment between these two when they were together, and it made their quest that much more gripping as they neared a potentially fatal showdown with the Dark Lord and his followers.

The plot was everything I have come to expect from Alexandra Ivy's books. Though the twists and turns were not necessarily shocking, the pace was certainly brisk enough to keep me flipping pages and the action intense from start to finish. Aside from the incredibly powerful characters, the world-building of this series is superb and keeps getting more intricate as new species are introduced and new layers added to plotlines that are already established. I did find it all a little tricky at times to remember the histories and details of all the characters, but I think a long-overdue re-read of the series will put a lot of that confusion to rest. Also, for a quick reference, Alexndra Ivy's website has invaluable details on each character and their stories.

The next Guardians of Eternity book was set up very nicely as well, and I'm quite interested to see where the series will go from here. I have no doubt it will be another pulse-pounding adventure, as all the books have been thus far, and can only hope that it will feature a love story as satisfying and passionate as the one between Jaelyn and Ariyal. Their journey was a wonderful addition to the series and a love story I won't soon forget.
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