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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Darkest Hours by S.K. Yule

Darkest Hours (Darkest Book I) by S.K. Yule
Publisher: Amira Press
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (165 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3.5 cherries
Reviewed by Poinsettia

When small town librarian Ebony learns of her illness, she is devastated to think of the many things she has missed out on in life . . . especially true love.

Ashe, however, has experienced nearly everything during his considerable years as a vampire and thinks only one thing about love . . . never again.

When fate throws the two together on a journey laced with deceit and lies, Ebony and Ashe discover the one thing neither thought to ever find... love.

Can Ebony convince Ashe that true love lasts forever? Can Ashe overcome the betrayal of his past in time to save Ebony?

Ebony never thought she’d fall in love, but when she meets Ashe, she dares to hope for a happily ever after.

Ebony White leads a quiet, predicable life. She never expected to be diagnosed with a terminal illness. Still reeling from the horrible news, she literally runs right into Ashe Aleksandrov in the middle of a dark alley. Ebony is frightened and intrigued by Ashe, and practically runs away from the encounter, never thinking she’d see him again. However, fate has other plans. Ebony’s encounter with Ashe has put her in more danger than she could ever imagine. Ashe, a vampire dedicated to protecting humans, takes it upon himself to personally protect Ebony.

Both are immediately attracted to each other. However, Ebony is convinced that a man as handsome as Ashe would never be genuinely interested in a simple woman like her. Ashe has been in love before, and the experience left him scarred. He vowed never to lose his heart to a woman again. As Ebony and Ashe fight their attraction, there are those who plot against them. Will Ebony and Ashe embrace their connection before it is too late?

Ebony is one of the sweetest most selfless characters I’ve encountered. Even though she has little time to live, she is more concerned with the people around her and how they’ll handle the news of her illness. As if that wasn’t enough, she is soon attacked and thrust into a world filled with vampires. It would be perfectly normal for her to have a nervous breakdown given all the pressure she’s under, but she handles everything that comes her way with an amazing amount of grace. As nice as Ebony was, I would have found her a bit more relatable if she’d been a bit more flawed. She just seemed to be a bit too perfect at times.

Ashe is the classic tall, dark, and handsome hero. Not only is he amazingly attractive, but he is a good man who is fiercely loyal to those he cares about. He feels his connection to Ebony immediately, but denies it almost to the point of losing her forever. He will have to open his heart if his old wounds are ever going to heal. He and his brothers also tend to be a bit over protective of the women in their lives. I would have liked to see the women play a more active role in the action of the story.

Ms. Yule also makes excellent use of descriptive language. “Fall sighed a gentle breeze, felling numerous leaves of gold and red from gnarled branches of the huge Oak tree that stood in the center of Plainview, surrounded by the old red brick roads of the town square.” This is the opening line of Darkest Hours. I could immediately picture the scene in my mind and felt as though I was walking next to Ebony.

Another aspect of Darkest Hours that I found intriguing was the concept of shadow drifters, which are vampires who have made a deal with Satan. These evil vampires play a minor role in this story, but it is clear at the end of Darkest Hours, that they will play a larger role in the series as a whole. Something big is on the horizon that will affect Ebony, Ashe, and Ashe’s family. Ms. Yule reveals just enough information to tantalize the reader and make them want to pick up the next book.

I enjoyed reading Darkest Hours. Ms. Yule's concept of vampires and their lifestyle was interesting and her characters were likable. The end of the book left me wanting to know more and had me seeking out the second book in the series. Any fan of paranormal romance will certainly want to pick up a copy today.

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