The Immortals Series:
The Redeeming (Tain's Story) September 2008
The Immortals series is a joint venture for three different authors. The first, fourth and fifth books are by Jennifer Ashley (AKA Allyson James). The second book is by Robin T. Popp, and the third by Joy Nash.
If you haven't read the first book, you really should before reading this one. It's a great story (I liked it more than this one.) and it sets the stage for the series.
If you have read it, you can skip this next paragraph:
The paranormal beings in this series are witches, demons, vampires, "The Immortals", and shapeshifters. "The Immortals" are five sons of the Celtic gods and goddesses. (Adrian, Darius, Kalen, Hunter, and Tain) They were created to protect the world from death magic. (Death magical beings include demons and vampires.) After several millennia, the Immortals have been all but forgotten. In the past, witches would chant "The Calling" spell to summon the Immortals for help whenever evil threatened. Those of the 5 whom are still fighting evil today, are doing so at their own leisure. Once these brothers realized that they could live in freedom, they each went their own way. They have not seen one another for hundreds of years.
The world of magic is divided between those who live in "life magic", and those who live in "death magic". Life magic lives in the Immortals, good witches, the Celtic gods/ goddesses, and shapeshifters. Death magic lives in demons and vampires. For millennia, they have battled. Now, some vampires are joining with the beings of life- magic to prevent demons from overtaking the world.
Something was missing... I believe the best word for it is "charm".
Robin Popp's addition to the Immortals series was full of action and suspense. Unfortunately, it was not really a love story. While I enjoy steamy love scenes, far too many scenes in "The Darkening" were centered upon open sex, or the quest for sex, between various characters. It interrupted the plot for me. Still, those scenes were short enough that I didn't get bored before the plot came back into play.
One very engaging aspect of the first book, "The Calling", was the charisma of the hero's partner in battle, Ferrin. Ferrin, a cobra snake, had a sarcasm that was the comic relief that kept the story lively. He was both vulnerable and powerful. A weapon, and best friend for the hero. In "The Darkening", the hero (Darius) has a similar partner named "Fury". A very cool dragon who was powerful and loyal. Unfortunately, he didn't have the ability to mind- speak like Ferrin did, so we didn't get to enjoy him. He was just there when needed in battle.
The hero, Darius, held the emotion that saved this story for me. He wanted nothing more than to unite his family and find companionship. He was lonely after 700 years of being kept prisoner in his mother's realm. When he finally escaped and reached Earth, he had only a portion of his life- force. Although born immortal, Darius could now be killed. Despite that, he risked everything to try to save his youngest brother from the demon who captured him.
Also, Darius has a very unique gift that makes his character fascinating. His body is covered with tattoos that are actual weapons. A dagger, sword, rope, skeleton key, shield, and a dragon. At the touch of his hand, these tattoos leave his body and become real. The battle is on!
New York, Modern Day:
Upon reaching Earth, Darius sees a man beating a woman in a parking lot. Immediately, he rushes to her aid. When the woman realizes that he is one of the Immortals, she offers to help him get to his oldest brother Adrian in Seattle. Before he can go, Darius finds reason to believe that his missing youngest brother is in New York. He will stay and try to save Tain from the demon leader.
Lexi is a werewolf/ witch who works as a bounty hunter. While trying to apprehend a "skip", she finds herself in a tough fight. Out of nowhere, a warrior enters the battle and quickly downs the skip. She is shocked to learn that he is one of the 5 Immortals that she and several other witches attempted to bring to Earth with The Calling spell weeks earlier. Excited that the spell may have worked after all, she takes him to her apartment to contact Adrian.
Tain knows his brothers are searching for him. After 700 years of torture, his mind is bent. He is in love with the female glamour that the demon leader wears. He will kill his own brothers to help destroy the world. Now that Darius has arrived, Tain will pretend to be a victim. It is an easy way to lure Darius to his death.
Darius refuses to believe Adrian's warning about Tain. The oldest must be mistaken. Tain was the most gentle and loving of the 5 brothers. Darius is sure Tain is being held against his will. Whatever it takes, Darius will find and free Tain. When the work is done, Darius will be free to pursue his feelings for Lexi. After centuries of loneliness, he knows he has found the love he always dreamed of.