There were definitely some interesting things going on in Night Falls Darkly the first in the Shadow Guard Series, an immortal hunter series set in Victorian England, this one at the time of Jack the Ripper.
The book very original and it held great promise as a mix of historical romance with a paranormal suspense twist: the challenge of the hunt for a dark stoic hero immortal hunter Archer, an unconventional heroine in Archer's ward aspiring doctor Elena, and Archer's fellow hunters with the hint of a mythological tie-in to their origins. While I really liked Lennox's female characters, somehow for me the individual parts of the book just didn't come together in a way that fulfilled all of that promise.
Part of it was that Archer was too bipolar for me, I get that his hot and cold streaks were supposed to be a struggle of desire against duty but, when added to his patronizing treatment of Elena, the result was that I wasn't drawn into their relationship. It also didn't help that Archer and Elena actually spend very little time together during the story, since for one reason or another one of the pair was avoiding the other. Being a period romance, Elena and Archer's courtship is mostly just stolen kisses and the lustful scoping out of forbidden body parts hidden under period garments, though they did have one interesting love scene in which Archer showed Elena the benefit of having a shadow lover.
The hunt for Jack is actually only a very small background piece of the story and instead of being a taunting game of catch-me-if-you-can between Archer and Jack its role is more to provide motivation for Archer to attempt to control Elena - for her own good - and to present a conflict between Jack and his junior Shadow Guard partners, especially the overreaching and ambitious Mark.
But for me the most frustrating part was the presentation of the mythos of the Shadow Guard and their `reclamations. I got the sense that the background there was fascinating, but the information was presented subtly, mostly as vague hints and offhand remarks by the characters. But maybe I am just not smart enough because even when an explanation of sorts is given to Elena near the end of the story, I was still confused as to the origins of the Shadow Guard, what `transcending' really meant(do evil guys get Guardian powers by transcending? if so what happens to a Guardian when they transcend?), and the significance of Archer cutting his hair. I realize that first books in a romantic series are tough even without the challenge of adding in the hunt for a killer to developing the romance and fleshing out the rules of the world, but for me the mythos, and romance of the Shadow Guard never quite made it out of the shadows.
But still there is definitely originality and potential here. If you are fan of historicals looking for something a bit different, Night Falls Darkly may be just what you are looking for and for me maybe the next one, So Still The Night will shed a bit more light on the world of the Shadow Guard.