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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 September 2004
We first encounter Zarek in "Night Embrace", a sociopathic (his own words) Darkhunter with a chip on his shoulder large enough to break his back. This seems understandable when we learn of his upbringing; growing up a roman slave he is the whipping boy of a powerful family until he is sold into further slavery and degradation and later stoned to death for a crime he didn't commit. Enter the goddess Artemis answering his call for vengeance, however his conversion of man into immortal is not that of a standard DH which makes for some interesting results.

Zarek is an outcast even amongst the Darkhunter clan, an immortal warrior who possesses no social skills and an obvious deathwish. Scrape the surface though and we meet a lonely man deeply scarred by vague memories of a horrendous crime he committed following his rebirth as an immortal. At the end of her tether with him following his actions in New Orleans (see "Night Embrace"), Artemis is determined that Zarek should be executed. Acheron (Ash) is against this idea and negotiates a brief reprieve. He persuades a justice nymph Astrid to judge Zarek's soul, a nymph who in all the history of the world has never found anyone innocent. Jaded by her past experiences Astrid is reluctant to take on this job but agrees to watch over Zarek for a 2 week period and then deliver her verdict.

OK so fans of SK's Darkhunter series will already know the outcome of this book yet the developing relationship between Aastrid and Zarek is beautifully written. Add the spiteful interference of Artemis and her unleashed immortal killer Thanatos and we have a splendid and highly entertaining read with a few interesting twists towards the end. Simi again crops up and her innocent bewilderment and pain are heart-rendering following her face off with Thanatos. Ash's response is impressive and we again witness more of his formidable powers.

Zarek is one of my favourite characters in this series, close behind Ash and Simi of course. He is a reclusive man with his own code of honour, warped by his upbringing and unable to trust anyone until he meets Astrid. Yet again SK has vividly drawn a hero we can fall in love with. I am a huge fan of the DH series and highly recommend each and every one of these books. Fans of truly memorable characters, sizzling hot passion, fun, romance and fantasy will be delighted by "Dance Withe The Devil".
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on 23 December 2005
I only have one criticism of Sherrilyn Kenyon's Darkhunter stories....THEY DON'T COME OUT FAST ENOUGH!
This is by far my favourite book of the Darkhunter series. I think it is because although Zarek featured in other books he wasn't portrayed as a possible leading character and so it was a complete shock when I read Dance with the Devil and SK did such a good job of redeeming him. I agree with the reviewer from Margate and have read this book a few times.
I would recommend that other readers read one of SK's earlier books first. I read Night Play first and although each book can stand on its own, I spent a lot of time confused or skipping over bits I did not understand. I also spent a lot of money purchasing books second hand to gain the whole series. If you have trouble getting these books, skip Fantasy Lover (it is related but not essential) and go for Night Pleasures or Night Embrace first.
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on 22 February 2005
this is my most favourite novel in the dark-hunter series. i've read it over and over and cried everytime i read it because the emotions depicted in this book are so powerful and moving...
Zarek's character is superb being the tormented soul that he is and then came his salvation through Astrid...the love they shared is very inspiring...
read this and i promise you won't regret it...this book is worth your time and money
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on 22 December 2003
Zarek is a man plagued by his passed. He was a slave who was treated very badly, who's body was abused by his owners. Because of the way he was treated before he became a dark-hunter he is unable to trust anyone and believes him self unlovable and unworthy of love. He has become the kind of person who believes that you should do unto others before they do it to you. Yet even though he has this bad attitude going deep inside he has a heart that even after all the knocks it has taken still has a soft spot for anyone weaker than himself.
Astrid is the heroine of this story she is a a judge of the gods,who is considering giving up her job. After 900years of judging men she had not found one man innocent of his crimes. Because of this Artemis thinks she is the perfect judge for this asignment as she wants Zarek dead. The delicious Archeron also wants Astrid to judge Zarek but for a different reason, he knows that the only reason that Astrid Has condemend every man she has been sent out to judge is because she has never been faced by an innocent one. I have read everyone of Ms Kenyon's dark-hunter series so far and loved everyone of them. My only complaint is that Sherrilyn isn't able to write about a new dark-hunter,were-hunter or dream-hunter every month.
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on 27 March 2007
This has to be my favourite of the DH series so far, and I've read almost all of them! This story is particularly beautiful because we find out about Zarek, one of the darkest of the Dark Hunters.

In this story, we find out what has shaped Zarek's wild character and why it is he seems to have a death wish. The illegitimate son of Valerius, a Roman general, Zarek is abused and betrayed throughout his young life and grows to hate everything and everyone. When he is transformed into a Dark Hunter by the goddess Artemis, he reeks vengeance on all those who abused him. But he is wild and mean spirited and no one, it seems, can control him. Even the great Acheron, head of the Dark Hunters, has a hard time keeping him in line.

But then, as in all DH novels, he meets who is to be the love of his life, Astrid who, unknown to Zarek, has been sent by Artemis, who wants him dead, to judge him unfit as a DH and kill him. However, justice, as we know, is 'blind' and Astrid comes to earth as a 'blind' person living in a cabin in the middle of a snowstorm (which she creates so she can get to 'know' Zarek).

Needless to say, as in all the DH novels, tortured soul meets angelic soul and falls in love. But what I loved about this story is that Zarek really does have a fight on his hands, with himself mainly. His childhood memories are horrific and the violence he suffered at the hands of his father and siblings brought me to tears. I almost couldn't blame him for his adult behaviour. He doesn't understand physical or verbal gentleness because he's never received it and, through Astrid, has to learn what it is. And accepting Astrid's unconditional gentleness is almost too painful for him. But, of course, he does learn and is subsequently redeemed.

This book is tragic, heart-breaking, very sexy and sensual, funny - especially Astrid's companion, 'guard wolf', Sasha - and will delight all the senses. It did mine, anyway.

Of course this is a formulaic SK story. So what! It's the journey to redemption we care about. And... there's, a surprising little twist too. I won't spoil it for you...
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on 2 April 2004
Dance with the devil is the second of Sherrilyn Kenyons books I have read. I enjoyed its fast pace and witty lines. Again SK gives us the perfect blend of mystery, romance, humor and magic. Bringing to life the world of the souless immortal Dark Hunter. In particular I liked how this story continues on from Night Embrace where we first met the psychotic but alluring Zarek, and expands on charcters(Ash, Valerius and Artemis) who we have already met. Personally I can't wait for the next installment Kiss of Night!!!!
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I'm so pleased that I'm finally getting around to reading this series because I'm enjoying every minute of it. I knew when we met Zarek in Night Embrace that I was going to love him and I wasn't wrong, learning about his past in Dance with the Devil broke my heart but I now have a new favourite tortured hero! I don't think I've ever come across a hero with such a horrific background (not even Zsadist!) so it is no wonder that Zarek doesn't trust anyone. He deliberately puts on a cold outer shell to prove that he doesn't need anyone and that he is fine all on his own. He pushes people away before they can hurt him because nobody has ever shown him any kindness. Even since he became a Dark-Hunter he has been ostracised by the others and he has spent hundreds of years exiled in Alaska with very little in the way of physical comfort let alone any emotional connection. How Zarek isn't completely insane is beyond me but in spite of the way he has always been treated he has clung stubbornly to life and refused to just give up and die. Nobody has ever taken the time to push past his defences but in spite of that he shows a caring side in the way he secretly looks out for others. Not that he'd ever admit to the nice things he does because he wouldn't want anyone to think he had a softer side!

The only person who has ever fought for Zarek has been Acheron but you could hardly call the two of them friends. Zarek resents the fact that Ash is his boss and able to order him around and he doesn't trust Ash to have his best interests at heart. Even though Zarek keeps him at arms length Ash does his best to protect him and when Artemis decides it is time for Zarek to die Ash makes a bargain with her to save his life. Artemis agrees to stand by the judgement of justice nymph Astrid knowing that Astrid hasn't found anyone innocent in her thousands of years as a judge. Astrid fully expects to find Zarek guilty but when she starts to spend time with him she sees the inconsistencies in his character, the fact that he could so easily have attempted to hurt her but that even though he is snappy and angry he actually goes out of his way to help her. She is the first person to take the time to get to know him properly and see just how hard his life has been. She doesn't pity him but instead admires his will to survive and she comes to respect the man hidden deep inside.

I just want to say how much I loved these two as a couple, their banter was hilarious and I liked the fact that Astrid just kept on pushing him out of his comfort zone trying to get a rise from him. She is the only one who is willing to call him on his behaviour and that makes him want to trust her. Their relationship builds slowly and was so sweet to watch, I loved seeing how he reacted to her and my heart melted when he finally starts to believe in her. Dance with the Devil was hard to read at times, reading about Zarek's past had me in tears (this book should definitely come with a tissues needed warning!) but there were also laugh out loud moments and a lot heart melting romance. I haven't even mentioned the other characters yet but I loved the scenes with Ash (he's definitely a hero I can't wait to spend more time with), Simi is hilarious and I hope we're going to get a book about Jesse at some point. I'm also very curious about Astrid's friend and companion Sasha. I can see why this series is so popular and I'm looking forward to continuing my reading binge with Kiss of the Night.
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I am officially hooked to the Dark Hunter World!

This is the fourth book in the series and features the Dark Hunter Zarek and Astrid. Zarek makes out like he doesn't care about anyone or anything but we have already seen in Night Embrace that this is all basically just a front. Banished to Alaska hundreds of years ago following an incident that sees him shunned by his fellow Dark Hunter's (who all think he is an insane psycho) he has lived out most of his life alone, cold and lonely with only the nightmares of his human life and the bitterness of his death for company. Following the incidents of the Mardi Gras, Artemis wants his dead however Acheron (leader of the Dark Hunter's) manages to seek a reprieve when they agree to let him be judged by a Justice Nymph who has never found anyone not guilty - Astrid. Astrid manages to gain Zareks trust and through visiting his dreams with the help of one of the Dream Hunters we finally see why Zarek is how he is and who wouldn't be after the abuse and mistreatment he received as a slave for his own family in ancient Rome. We then just wait to see if Astrid will find him guilty or not..... I absolutely loved this book, I loved the depth of emotions and thought that had gone into Zareks 'back story' and what girl doesn't like what seems like a little bit of a lost cause?

It took me quite a while to get around to discovering this series as when you look up Sherrilyn Kenyon on Amazon and these books in list order it actually shows Dragonswan as being the first book (but it's not) and Dragonswan is never ever available to buy! As a girl who likes to read all books in a series and most definitely the first one in a series, thinking that I couldn't get the first book did actually stop me starting the series. I have only just discovered that the first book is actually Fantasy Lover, read this and have now proceeded to order the rest of the series:) Sherrilyn has now joined the ranks on Gena Showalter and Kresley Cole on my favourite authors list and I can't wait to read the next one.
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on 26 August 2010
'Dance with the Devil' is Sherrilyn Kenyon's 3rd novel in the Dark Hunter Series and it is by far my favorite! Zarek's human life was one spent as a slave, full of torment and suffering and is consequently filled with rage, distrust and suspicion as a Dark Hunter.. Until he meets Astrid, the first person that see and treats him as more than just a slave.. What he doesn't know is that Astrid is in fact the daughter of a goddess, sent to judge him for his crimes. And the last thing she expects to find is a man who brings back the very feelings she was terrified she had lost.

This novel was just breath taking! I really FELT for Zarek and all that he had been through. I found myself wishing that I could jump into the book myself and help him! I think it really takes something to make a reader feel that way about a character and I am delighted that I found an author that has succeeded in making me feel so! I just loved both Zarek and Astrid and delighted in watching them together!

I think it's best to read the books in order, as it helps in understanding the world of the Dark Hunters, and this way you won't have to worry about being confused by reading things that were more fully explained in the previous books. The first book is called 'Night Pleasures' and 'Night Embrace' is #2. 'Fantasy Lover' is a prequel novel to the series which I think is definitely worth the read also. (Julian and Grace's story being my second favorite to this one!) Hope you enjoy these books as much as I am enjoying them!
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on 28 May 2007
This is my favourite book in the darkhunter series.

It can be very deep and sad at times but it also has its funny moments.

Its the story of Zarek the darkhunter and Astrid the woman who was sent to judge whether he should be allowed to live.

Zarek is a great character very emotionally scarred but absolutely wonderful and it shows how good he really is that he can still display acts of kindness after all hes been through.

This is not the first book in the series and although the can just be read as an independent book you will discover more about the characters if you read them in order (also the outcomes of earlier storylines are mentioned in later books)
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