Series: The Dark Shadows Book 2
Author: Ariel Marie
Cover Designer: Natasha Snow
Release Date: February 20, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
For centuries, the Dark Shadows have been charged with protecting the Vampire nation. Necromancers, their mortal enemies, are growing bolder and stronger in their attempt to destroy the vampires.
Anika Massey, best friend to the vampirian princess, has lusted after her friend’s older brother, Toma, for years and he doesn’t seem to even notice she exists. At least, she didn’t think the Dark Shadows warrior did, until the necromancers turned their focus on her.
He noticed her. One touch and Toma Olaru knew he wouldn’t be able to give her up. Since their first meeting he could not get the curvy human female off of his mind. He knew it wasn’t right for him to have feelings for his sister’s best friend, but fate had decided that she’s his mate. She’s human and according to Vampire laws, he cannot have her and should have never touched her.
Anika understands the ways of the vampires and knows she must let Toma go, but will Toma be willing to let her go?
Toma Olaru is the middle offspring of the Vampire King. He’s one of the most deadly members of the Dark Shadows. His presence has been known to produce fear in the heart of most… except Anika’s. Fear is the last thing that comes to mind when he’s around her.
After working a 12-hour shift she took a deep breath and stared out into the eerily quiet parking lot. A pitch-black parking lot, she added, laughing nervously to herself. Anika Massey never thought that she would be too chicken to walk out of the hospital at night by herself.
“You can do it, Massey!” she muttered to herself.
She had become accustomed to having her vampire guard trailing her everywhere she went after her best friend, Nadira, had been attacked about a month ago. Today was her first day with no guard and she was more nervous than a prostitute walking into church.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the door to the hospital and practically ran to her silver Toyota Camry. She looked into the car first, made sure no one was hiding in the back seats and then jumped in and locked the doors.
“This is crazy!” she said, shaking her head as she started the car and put it into drive.
She didn’t live far from the hospital and made sure that she drove a little faster than normal to hurry home. She thought of all the tips that her Vampire guard, Idris had given her before he was pulled from guarding her. He had taught her tips on how to spot someone following her; he had installed a new alarm system in her condo and even taught her a few self-defense maneuvers, just in case someone threatened her.
Her best friend Nadira Olaru, a vampire princess, wanted to have a purpose in life and had become a nurse. They met back in nursing school and have been inseparable since. Nadira was even able to pull some strings to help Anika get her nursing job at Lutheran Hospital, a private paranormal hospital that few humans were privileged to know about and Anika was one hundred percent human. She was one of the few humans that work at the hospital.
In all of her twenty-nine years, she would never have thought that there were supernatural beings walking this Earth with humans. Nadira was patient in explaining about her being born a vampire and the other paranormals.
A little over a month ago, Nadira became the target of a group of powerful beings called necromancers who were currently at war with the vampires. An attempt was made to snatch Nadira, and Anika was with her right before it happened. As a precaution, Nadira’s father, the king of vampires, assigned a guard to watch over Anika. It had been a month now and since there were no other occurrences involving Anika, it was decided that she would no longer require a guard.
“I’ll be fine. The necros do not want a pleasantly plump human,” she tried to reassure herself as she pulled into the parking lot of her condominium.
She didn’t live in the best of neighborhoods but at least there were plenty of street lamps illuminating the parking lot. Her building was an all brick three-story building with two condos on each level. Goosebumps spread across her arms as she began walking up to her third floor condo. The Cleveland night air could be chilly in the fall.
She hurried up the stairs when a feeling of dread began to appear in her belly. She slowed down as she made it to the top of the stairs on her level. She silently cursed herself for taking the top floor condo and the buildings lack of an elevator.
At five foot five and one hundred and sixty pounds, she wasn’t drastically over weight but she was definitely out of shape and had thought it would be great exercise when she first bought the place. She definitely wasn’t what was plastered all across the supermarket magazines.
The condo across from her had been empty for a few months. The previous owners moved due to the husband’s job transferring him to Phoenix, Arizona. She stopped outside her door, putting her ear to it to listen to see if someone was in her apartment.
“Get a grip Massey, there is no one in your condo!” She unlocked the door, and immediately noticed something was wrong. She pushed the door open and flipped the light switch in her entryway and immediately a scream tore from her throat.
“Oh my God!”
Her place had been ransacked. Everything was flipped over, her pictures slashed and thrown across the room. The pillows in her couches were slashed and the filling scattered across the floor. Even her television didn’t make it; it was cracked as if someone kicked it in.
“Snowball?” She called out for her little West Highland white terrier that her parents had given her for her birthday seven years ago.
She didn’t come running like she normally would when Anika came home. She frantically wiped her face as tears flowed down her cheeks. She knew she shouldn’t go into the apartment but she had to find her beloved dog.
“Baby, mommy is home,” her voice cracked ending on a whisper.
She pulled out her phone as she carefully entered into her apartment stepping over her broken coffee table and slowly making her way down the hallway. She stopped dead on her feet at her bedroom door, frozen, as she stared at Snowball’s tortured, bloody body hanging from the ceiling fan in her bedroom.
“No….” she moaned falling against the doorway, sobs racking her body.
She backed up, bumping into a solid mass. She quickly turned around and saw a hooded figure. A scream flew out of her mouth, quickly cut off as the figure grabbed her by the throat and lifted her off her feet, then slammed her into the wall.
“Where is she?” the figure growled.
She shook her head as she clawed at his hands. She fought to get a breath as he pulled back and slammed her again against the wall causing her world to go black.
*** My Review ***
This Is How You DO It!
It was not my plan to read this book in one setting. I had edits to get through, errands to run, dinner to cook – all of which didn’t happen. Again. LOL!
Instead, I got lost in Toma and Anika’s story…as well as the rest of the Olaru family, Cooper, the Dark Shadows, necromancers and their versi, kidnappings, threats, a vampire ball, and, of course, Xalak. (Sucks to be you, Xalak!) Toma is in big time denial about his future…or lack of one…with Anika, as Xalak and his army pull out all the stops to get to Nadira.
Ariel Marie has done an amazing job with the continuing story of the Olaru family and the Dark Shadows. Tension is present from the beginning as the Dark Shadows are determined to hunt down the necromancers and keep Nadira safe. When Nadira’s best friend, Anika, is attacked by Xalak, Toma, already frustrated by not being able to claim his fated mate, is barely capable of controlling his rage. Plans to keep Anika safe go slightly awry when she and Toma grow closer. Too many secrets and words unspoken lead Anika to turn away from Toma…and become Xalak’s hostage. (Where is Idris?)
The author’s descriptive emotions are spot on! I felt Toma’s frustration and rage, Anika’s heartbreak, Nicu’s anger, and even Xalak’s malevolence. Queen Alin is still regal and elegant, but I found out she is definitely a force to be reckoned with. With each scene, the tension grows…as each act of disrespect and violence is more foul than the last. By the time the group reach the cemetery, I was on the edge of my seat! My heart was breaking for the wounded Anika, but when two Olarus go missing, I was ready to join the Dark Shadows! LOL! (Okay, I get a bit over-invested.) There’s some pretty cool supporting characters in this installment – Brian, Cassia, Selena…Idris. (Where is Idris?) Might there be a future pairing in that group?
While the Olarus prevail (where is Idris?), a new evil has been unleashed that just might hate their family more than Sodan Magnus.
I definitely love the pairing of Toma and Anika, and hope to see more of them as this family saga unfolds. The emotional and physical price they each paid, not to mention the sacrifice they were each willing to make, is the true heart of this story.
I highly recommend “Toma (The Dark Shadows Book 2)” – go ahead – scroll down and 1-click!
About the Author
Ariel Marie fell in love with books at an early age. She can still remember her first favorite book from childhood. She read the book so many times that it fell apart and she was devastated! Fast-forward thirty years later, Ariel now writes books she hopes readers will fall in love with and read over and over. Paranormal romance is her favorite genre. Who doesn’t love Shifters, Witches, Faes and all the other paranormals? She just loves writing about couple’s first meeting, the magnetism of when their eyes first meet and the first kiss! Her favorite part of writing paranormals is creating the world that the characters live in.
Ariel Marie’s Social Media Links
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