HIS DARK BOND has a promising story line yet a somewhat disappointing execution. Paranormal fans may get their fix, but could still be hard pressed to find a fan favorite.
Nessa St. James is having a normal day lecturing at the university, when suddenly a group of lethal warriors crash in to kidnap her. They are the Dominions, the fallen angels of Heaven and they are as dangerous as they are attractive. Their leader Zer is the most lethal of them all and has Nessa in his sights. He knows she is a soul mate, so if he has to kidnap her to keep her safe and gain her compliance, so be it. The Dominions' enemies want Nessa dead and Zer will do everything he can to prevent that from happening because Nessa is the salvation for one of his brothers. She is the means to gain back their wings and redemption. Zer and Nessa share a sizzling attraction, but he knows it will go no further. He has long since lost his emotions and belief that a soul mate exists especially for him. Yet everything about Nessa is showing him he may be completely wrong...
The premise of this book really hooked me in. I was truly excited and ready to read about it, but early on I began to realize there may be a few problems. The first half of the book really makes no progress. In a way it made me question the characters' intelligence. Both Nessa and Zer acknowledge a sexual attraction towards one another, but they think that could never mean they're `bonding' material. As the book goes on, you realize this attraction is obvious to everyone (reader included) but they still refuse to acknowledge its potential. What personally became irksome to me was the repetitiveness of the characters' thoughts. If a character said or thought something once concerning their potential to be soul mates, or lack of, it was rehashed over and over again.
To expect HIS DARK BOND to be sexy would be stating the obvious. In a way it was, but it was also weird. In some parts, Anne Marsh tries to make it kinky but it just ends up being awkward. It was lust with no feelings attached. Which I guess in a way suits the `Fallen' characters since they really aren't supposed to have feelings, but it just didn't seem right. You don't really get a full understanding of what it's like for one of the Fallen or how they experience anything, if at all. It's possible more has been explained in the first book to help readers understand these characters. I will honestly admit I have not read the first book to this series, so I cannot say with certainty whether or not that previous novel would have improved my enjoyment of the second.
As for the characters, I became overwhelmingly frustrated with Nessa. She seemed smart and independent, but when kidnapped by Zer and the Fallen, she just loses her identity. While it is true that her character sees few options that could change her fate, once you get to know her personality, you realize she just gave in too easily on some matters. She didn't like it, didn't want to do what they ask of her, but she did it. It just made no sense to me. To complicate matters, her personality becomes extremely fierce after she concedes to some very important decisions. Finally, after it's too late, she grows a backbone. At this point, I just didn't know what to think about her.
It's possible there is something from the first book I'm missing and it's possible that this just isn't the type of paranormal I enjoy. Either way, I can't say I loved this book which is slightly disappointing since I was really looking forward to it. The characters just didn't connect with me and the story line was either repetitive or confusing. It seems like the building blocks for a great story are there, it just has an uncertain foundation. I will say the ending picked up and became the novel I was expecting from the start.
Unfortunately at that point I was just so confused about my feelings towards these two characters that I didn't know what to think. As dismayed as I am to write this review, I still found it intriguing enough to pick up the first novel or next to be released in this series. I am hoping that being left unsatisfied after reading HIS DARK BOND was just a fluke and that I will have more to look forward to from Anne Marsh in the future. Because after all is said and done, there is much potential and promise to be found in Ms Marsh's writing and I still have high hopes for this series.
Originally posted at The Romance Reviews