Sunday, February 8, 2009

Review: Touch of Darkness by Christina Dodd

Title: Touch of Darkness
Series: Darkness Chosen
Author: Christina Dodd
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: August 7, 2007
Publisher: Signet
ISBN: 0451221842
ISBN-13: 9780451221841

Handsome, powerful Rurik Wilder holds the power to transform himself into a fierce bird of prey—a gift that's caused death and destruction.

At last he's offered the chance to redeem himself. Only one woman stands in his way—a beautiful writer determined to wreak revenge on the assassins who murdered her family. Assassins, it's been rumored, who have powers no human should ever possess...

My rating:

Rurik Wilder is determined to break the curse on his family and save his father's soul. He knows he's close to finding the missing piece of the holy icon that can accomplish all that. All clues point to a cave, an ancient warrior's grave, on a small Scottish island, but Rurik isn't the only one adamant on finding that icon.

Photographer and writer Tasya Hunnicutt wants to find the icon to provide irrefutable proof on the Varinskis, the family that killed her parents. Unfortunately for her, Rurik, her lover, is also a Varinski.

The two embark on a perilous journey across Europe in hopes of locating the icon, dodging the Varinski assassins along the way. They're a little too resilient, but Tasya refuses to believe the rumors of the family's supernatural abilities, until Rurik is forced to give her a demonstration in order to save her life.

Now Tasya is forced to make a life-altering decision. Is it possible for a man of Varinski descent to feel any kind of tender emotion? And can she really trust him enough to place her life and heart in his hands?

Yet another winner—and an improvement from the first installment in this wonderful series.

Rurik is an easier character to relate to, compared to his brother Jasha. Rurik is scarred from a past accident when he was still an Air Force pilot. It was that accident that spurred him into denouncing somewhat his ability to change into a predator.
He's also gentler than Jasha was in Scent of Darkness, yes, still using sex to bend his woman to his will, yet doing it with more "style and class". Rurik is also a lot quicker to admit his feelings, which is another plus.

Tasya...What to say about Tasya. Two immature, emotionally-inept, bitchy heroines in a row is almost too much to take, but at least Tasya came around a little quicker than her predecessor Ann. Which mostly had to do with Rurik's behavior toward her.
Still, I found all that secret-keeping a little tedious, when everybody with half a brain could figure the part of the story about her origins just by examining her name. Duh!

Ms. Dodd heightened the action and peril another notch in this one and expanded on the main story-arc, dealing another tidbit about the possible unraveling of the pact with the Evil One.
The conflict between Tasya and Rurik was a beauty of behold. From the beginning they never were on the same page and as soon as a truth was told, another secret sprouted out, and the two constantly skirted on the edge of betrayal.

There was also another great cliffy at the end, unfortunately I have the entire series, so it didn't create the desired effect, but still...Oh, boy. It made me itch to pick the next book immediately.
As the series progresses the stories get more and more engaging and complex, so this series is definitely highly recommended by this satisfied reader.


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