Once, Sarah Bingham's biggest challenge was making her students pay attention in class. Now, after rescuing a wounded stranger, she's landed in the middle of a battle between corrupt vampires and powerful immortals who also need blood to survive. Roland Warbrook is the most compelling man Sarah has ever laid hands on. But his desire for her is mingled with a hunger he can barely control...
In his nine centuries of immortal existence, no woman has tempted Roland as much as Sarah. But asking her to love him is impossible---when it means forfeiting the world she's always known, and the life he would do anything to protect.
©2011 Dianne Duvall (P)2011 Tantor
"This is a strong start in what looks to be a thrilling and chilling new paranormal series. Fantastic!" (Romantic Times)
Loved this book. After looking for something similar to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Midnight Breed, or basically what I now found to be called “paranormal romance” I settled upon the Immortal Guardian Series. This book is intelligently written with a strong female character, Sarah, discovering her knight in shining armor or rather her knight in a tanned ripped body, Roland. Normally, I listen while commuting but I could not set down the iPod and go back to normal life. I went looking for medial tasks so I could listen to more. Well now the house is sparkling and I have completed one of the most breathtaking audible books.
The world the author builds at first seems interesting and it is a different take on vampirism. Though this different interpretation quickly shows itself to be severely flawed.
Main premise of the world: vampires are all bad and give in to blood lust -- the immortal guardians protect "innocent" humans from the vampires.
The 'altruistic guardians' and 'evil vampires' are flimsy, predictable (and not in a good way) and completely unbelievable. (The guardians even all look alike -- black hair and brown eyes -- how boring!)
The author has the guardians and vampires only killing "bad" humans. (There must be a lot of pedophiles in this author's world. I myself have never known one, but they seem to be ubiquitous and abundant in this book. Whenever someone needs to feed, there just happens to be a pedophile nearby. So convenient.)
The book has numerous plot holes. This is not surprising for a new author, but can be distracting nonetheless. ie - in the opening scene, the heroine rescues the hero then takes him to her house just a hundred yards away. She left the "bad guys" knocked out just outside. The hero and heroine promptly fall asleep in her house and stay there all day. Now, wouldn't any half intelligent person think that the "bad guys" might follow the copious trail of blood they left leading to her house?! This possibility wasn't even mentioned, let alone explained why the most logical thing didn't happen. There is another major plot hole at the end, but it would be a spoiler so I won't detail it.
The final irritation -- and main reason why I won't read more by this author -- is her preachy attitude. From the opening scene to the closing scene, she constantly preaches about organic food and cleaners. If you don't believe in these things (which I happen to support, but don't appreciate lectures about) then you will be made to feel like a bad human deserving of being food for a vampire.
The author also seems to be very sure of herself in claiming innocence or sin in a person. Most of her protagonists can tell just by looking at someone if they are "innocent."
Well...there is no such thing as "innocence" and the author acting as jury, judge and executioner, through her characters, is highly annoying.
There are several references to the christian bible -- as if the bible really is true in this paranormal world and even predicted the alien guardians. (That was creepy.)
Every time I read a new author that disappoints me, I tell myself I won't do that again, but that never sticks and a few weeks later...there I am reading another new author. So, this time, I won't bother saying it. I guess I'd never be delighted by a new author if I didn't keep trying.
This author might do it for some, but not for me. Hope this review helps you. Happy reading!
I am Who I am; and you are Who you are...so lets leave it at that.
This book is not unique in its theme on good vs bad vamps....if you have read books from authors like Christine Feehan and Lynsay Sands you will find a lot similarities but the story is so entertaining that you will forget all about the other authors series. The book is so well written and I think the narrator did a really good job. I like how the author sets you up for her next book and maybe even for the entire series. She gives just enough of taste that you will look up when the next one is coming out. (Dec 2011;) The other thing that I like is the whole story was not always about the main characters. This book is a romance with steamy sex scenes. So if your not into that look else where. Also folks who do not want to get involved in a series that will probably be going for a well just like the previous authors mention then also look else where because this book leaves you with a lot of unansweres question. There is also a lot of fight scence which I personally like. Action. Hot men. Sexy romance. Good vs Evil. Good narrator. Makes for fun listening....hope you likey:)
But please don't shove your views down my throat. Smack in the middle of my favorite genre I find Vampires (check), a heroine (check), a bit of action (check), a bit of romance (check), a bit of eat healthy and exercise (what????). For pete's sake, it threaded through the WHOLE story. I don't read escape literature to be reminded of real life. UGH
I read so I can write
Politically correct health nuts make good vamps? Well maybe not, but it's good for laughs. Add a narrator who gets so excited reading the sex scenes that it becomes audio erotica and you have a wrap. I actually listened to the whole thing. It was good for the laughs. If you have extra credits laying around and want some paranormal comedy, go for it.
I had high hopes for this book, but there is something that rubs me the wrong way about the story. The politically correct, vegan, prius driving vampires just lack the intrigue that drives me to read/listen to that genre of book. The discussions about Tofurky, organic cheese and benefits of not putting processed foods in your body were totally off-putting. I want male heroes to be manly men and not worried about "is that organic goat cheese on that pizza?" Okay, I get that the author believes in this lifestyle, but really? Sorry, even if 100 authors write books with the bad guys driving prius', I'm not ever going to believe that isn't totally lame.
This book was so great, awesome, wonderful, could not get through it fast enough, but sad when it was over!!! Roland is so sweet, strong, generous, gorgeous and Sara is the type of heroine you love to read about, funny, sexy, and so so likable. I absolutely can not wait to read/listen to the next one. The book kept me on the edge of my seat.
Definitely! It was entertaining, leads into an ongoing series, and breaks the mold while keeping with certain traditions.
* This review stands for the entire "Immortal Guardians" series. *
Some have compared this author to Christine Feehan and her works. I'll use that. I'd rather contrast them, however. I've read a handful from the latter author, and, although good, every story there is repetitive (copious amounts of adult scenes are, by actual intent, more lust driven than romantically driven - especially in the beginning when the couples, who rarely know each other beforehand, meet up and hook up for life) and formulaic. They barely build upon one another. The most I've noticed is one character linking to another between novels, and the backstory is just repeated in each book (no real continuation of a plot).
In Dianne Duvall's novels (so far), there is a concentration on the individual couples, but there is also a SOLID backstory that is built upon in subsequent stories. In that regard, I would compare these to Nalini Singh's "Psy Changeling" series come to think of it... Anyway, the characters form a rich narrative tapestry in the context of a series. The steamy love scenes are great, and they don't happen without a relationship of substance between the characters. I'm not saying a lot of time passes, but it is believable that they have a bond in my opinion despite the short time-frame.
All narrators fit into one of two categories for me: Good or Bad. Simple. Ms. Potter's performance was "good" in my opinion ; it did not detract from the story. That's all I ask!
I loved the first scene enough to listen to it more than once. It reminded me of the first part of the first episode of "True Blood," when Sookie rescued Bill. When the petite woman is really a hero, it's a nice change of pace - especially for the knight in distress. Role reversal. :)
I laughed at a few points. The couple was engaging in certain activities when a friend stopped by. The atmosphere was just funny to me.
Some people don't seem to care for the "vampires'" dietary preferences or the heroine's use of guns. I think these are of little concern. It's a novel - not a political debate.
This is a twist on an old tale. Vampires aren't what you think (perhaps a true comparison to Feehan's work on that count, but in a very different way). The rules for uniting a couple aren't what you'd expect. There's definitely a paranormal element, but it's scientifically based - logical. There are plenty of secrets to be revealed at the end of each book, but each also ends on a satisfactory note.
"Darkness Dawns" is excellent in my opinion, but it takes an all-time favorite to get 5-stars across the board. I'd rate 4.5 if possible. REMEMBER: Debut novel. Give it a try, and let the author grow along with your understanding of the story she has to tell. I definitely think the series just gets better, and I liked it a great deal to start! Hope this helps.
I spin my own wool and knit. Listening to audiobooks while I craft is one of my favorite things. I'm hooked.
This looks like it will be a great new series for those who like romantic fantasy on the steamy side. Admittedly, there are some marked resemblances to other books in this sub genre. I noticed similarities to the work of S. Kenyon, L. Sands, and C. Feehan. I'm rating this book, however, on it's own merit. Not everyone will have read those other authors' series before reading this one.
The book is well paced, with steamy romance scenes. It is not material suitable for young teens, in my opinioin. What I really enjoyed in this book was how well the action scenes flowed. Fight scenes have a way of losing my interest, but these were written and read in such a way as to keep me involved.
The narrator did a fine job overall, although her male voices were on the weak side. I only gave her 4 stars because while it's only one thing, given that most of the characters in this book are male, it's an important flaw in the narration.
For me, the true sign of a book's worth is how it makes me feel when I finished. If a book in a series ends with a "cliffhanger", I feel unsatisfied. If a book ends on a bad note, I feel cheated. This book finished it's story beautifully and completely. Oh, there's a teaser to inspire you to continue reading the series, but the main story between the focal couple ended in a satisfying way. Well done!
Like many other reviewers I struggled to connect with the characters, the concept of a vegan good guy blood sucker and the overly long narration it takes to describe these 'immortals' made me yawn.
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