Title: The Dark Ones
Series: The Dark Ones Saga #1
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Release Date: September 20th, 2015
To touch a Dark One is death.
To talk to an immortal is suicide.
Yet, I've been marked by both.
And the King of the immortals.
My life is no longer my own.
And now I know the truth, my life was never mine to begin with.
It was theirs.
It's always been theirs.
"Ethan, a word?" Alex stood.
"Sure." Ethan kissed the top of my head and left the room while Mason started rummaging around the kitchen; pots and pans clanged together, and then he pulled out a giant piece of steak.
"Protein…" He threw the steak into the pan. "…feeds the blood, which feeds the mate, which, in turn, feeds you."
"You gonna start singing Circle of Life?" I joked.
"Circle of life?" he repeated.
"Cassius is king."
I looked helplessly to Stephanie, who was trying to hide her smile behind her hand.
"Have you seriously never watched Lion King?"
"Werewolves are scared of TV," Stephanie said with a soft laugh.
"And sirens are afraid of the dark," he fired back, while she shuddered. "I'm not afraid of the TV. I just don't see the point in sitting in front of a flat box and watching people make fools of themselves."
"He'd rather be the fool." Stephanie nodded and winked in my direction.
"Mason…" I walked over to him and put my head on his shoulder. "How about I eat the steak and we watch Lion King?"
"Dances with Wolves?"
Stephanie snickered loudly behind her hand.
"Wolves do not dance," Mason growled.
"Oh, we know." Stephanie nodded. "I've seen it once. Don't care to see it again."
"Too much whiskey." Mason kissed the top of my head. "Eat the whole steak, and then we'll talk about King Lion."
I sighed helplessly and went to sit at the table while Mason cooked.
Stephanie gave me a side hug. "Eight tomorrow morning, alright?"
"Bed." She shrugged. "It's been a long night." Her eyes misted again.
"Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah." Her voice cracked. "Like Alex said, we get emotional. Can't help it."
It felt like she was lying, but I was human, how would I know? I nodded and turned my attention back to Mason, who'd started searing the steak.
"So you cook meat but refuse to eat it?"
"I'm a vegetarian." He smiled. I'd never realized how pointy his teeth were on the sides. Maybe that's how he'd been able to bite into me before Ethan had mated with me.
"Your teeth say otherwise." I pointed. "Flat means vegetarian. Pointy means carnivore."
Mason rolled his eyes. "I didn't say it was natural for me to be a vegetarian."
"Okay… so why?"
He let out a heavy sigh. "Meat made my mate sick… for one reason or another. It gave her headaches. She only ate fruits, vegetables, nuts." He flipped the steak. "So I learned to like other foods."
He went very quiet, his eyes focusing in on the steak. "Now…" His voice was hoarse. "I honor her with my every meal."
My throat clogged with emotion.
The fact that he honored her at all — but with every single meal — killed me. How did he survive that? How did he live every day having known true love? And know he may never experience it again — living forever?
"Don't pity me." Mason let out a gruff growl. "It makes it harder."
"Sorry," I whispered. "So pinecones, huh?"
He laughed. "Yes, well, it's an acquired taste."
My heart picked up speed, and then I smelled him. Ethan entered the room, briskly walking by me, kissing my head. "Steak almost done?"
"I'm a perfectionist." Mason held up his hands. "Let the juices seal."
Ethan scrunched up his nose. "Her blood tastes better than that steak."
"Yes, well, her blood tastes good because she's living. She's living because I feed her."
"Werewolf has a point," I teased. "Besides, if I eat my whole steak, we're going to watch Lion King!"
"Whose king?" Ethan tilted his head. "What lion? Mason's a wolf."
And that's how I ended up spending my evening between a vampire and a werewolf, eating steak and watching a Disney movie while they argued over the animal kingdom, not to mention the lion's choice in song.
It felt right.
Like I'd finally found my place.
I had no idea that the security I felt was about to get ripped from me, from the very people I'd put my trust in.
About the Author:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
I am a big fan of Rachel Van Dyken but I've read only a few of her Contemporary Romances so I wasn't exactly sure what to expect of a Paranormal Romance written by her. But, OMFG!!! This book was simply out of this world good. Once I started reading, I simply couldn't put it down. And I know I've said that before for other books, but this one is just in a league of it's own. I really didn't feel how the time by while I was reading. I looked at the clock once and the next thing I know, it's like 5 AM and I just finished the book. I have to say, I thought there is something wrong with my clock because I definitely didn't expect it to be that late (or early) but after checking and re-checking every clock at home, I finally accepted that I spent the night reading (again) and this time not even feeling it.
The story is simply captivating. It will pull you in and once hooked, you won't be released until you finish the last page. Or probably not even then. I was just left craving more. The main and supporting characters are quite intriguing and complex. They are well developed and feel quite real, even though they are supernatural beings. The story line is quite interesting and different from everything I've read so far as paranormal books, so it makes it worthy reading. And if this doesn't convince you, keep in mind that there are quite a few characters worth drooling after ;)
And Ethan, one of the Elders and a vampire at that, is one of those worth drooling characters. With his slightly long dark hair and mesmerizing blue eyes, he can simply melt you with his gaze. But that's not the only thing that makes him swoon worthy. He has a heart that loves deep and it has been broken in a way that he is still collecting the pieces a 100 years later. But that's when he meets Genesis, and things go out of hand. No matter what they do, they simply can't stay away from each other. And in the end they are willing to give their lives, literally, to save the other one. Their story is painful and heartbreaking with danger creeping around every corner. But together, they manage to survive and find their HEA.
As a bonus to Genesis and Ethan's love story, the scenes a sprinkled with man candies :D There is Alex, who is a siren and is painfully beautiful with his almost white hair and glowing blue eyes. If you are into the more rugged look, the you will definitely fall for Mason, the werewolf. With his shaggy brown hair that hangs past his shoulders, black eyes and attractive but predatory smile, he is exactly the bad boy with a heart of gold you are looking for :) And if that's not enough for you, then there is Cassius, the Dark One. He is the ultimate alpha dominant male, or at least, he sounds like one :) To be honest, I can't wait to read his story. I think it will be quite interesting :) Hopefully it comes out soon :)
So, if I have to summarize, this book is out of this world good. It is intriguing and entertaining with amazing and complex characters. The story is painful and heartbreaking, sprinkled with danger and romance. It is the perfect formula for a page turner and I can guarantee that it won't disappoint. In my opinion this is simply a must read :)