I finished this one a few days ago, and already finished book five too! This book was, to date, the most emotionally charged of the series. You are taken on an emotional roller coaster, as Ryder and Diana attempt to navigate through a turbulent patch in their unusual love affair.
Diana is realizing that her involvement with Ryder and his dark lifestyle is wearing down on the dreams she once had…a husband, children, and someone to grow old with. As the few years have progressed with Ryder, Diana feels her biological clock ticking, and she recognizes the call of “the darkness” growing within her. She both fears and is greatly attracted to Ryder’s dark side, and realizes that some distance from his world will be the only way she might truly find out what she wants in life.
The change hadn’t happened overnight. It was only in the past year or so, when they’d become more involved with Manhattan’s other vampires, that Ryder had begun to change. She hadn’t noticed at first, but recently it had become impossible to ignore. Ryder was darker and more powerful than she could have imagined. Worse, yet, she liked his transformation. Too much.
And that was what troubled her most-how much she wanted to share in his darkness, how much she craved the intense emotions only he could rouse. Was she losing herself to him?
Ryder, dejected with the realization that he may be losing Diana, understands why she must sever their relationship (even if only temporarily). On occasion, he has had to resist the urge to completely “turn her” during intimate situations where they have both almost gone too far, (after Diana requested he “bite her”).
After biting her the other night, he had been forced to acknowledge just how badly he wanted her with him forever. After more than a century of avoiding humans and their emotions, he had allowed himself to care for her. She had restored him. Made him alive again. Losing her…
While they remain separated, they struggle against the urge to see each other.
“I care for you, only…Foley says that each bite-”
“I won’t bite you again,” he said. Not unless you ask me to.
“I won’t ask again. I can’t lose myself like this. I can’t stay with-”
“Don’t push me away, darlin’. I know you’re scared, but I am too. In all my life, you’re the only woman I’ve ever…”
Ryder didn’t finish. Instead he buried his head against her midsection and wrapped his arms tight around her like a supplicant embracing his reason for being. Then he shocked her by kissing the scar against her ribs-a product of the drive-by shooting that had killed her father.
Diana had closed her eyes against the sudden threat of tears and the constriction that closed her throat. She cradled his head and stroked his hair, trying to ease the pain. Trying to curb her own.
As more time goes by, without contact, Diana realizes that their connection is weakening, as she no longer “feels” him. She attempts to live a normal life, and throws herself into her work. She leads a dangerous new case that is possible tied to her father’s murderers, and finds herself working with her ex-fiance, Alex. While she thought she was over him, they re-connect instantly, and old feelings resurface. Realizing she was the one who pushed Alex away (during the dark period after her fathers death), she suddenly realizes that they could pick up where they left off, and she could finally have the life she once dreamed of.
He didn’t give her the chance to protest, replacing his finger with his mouth. Kissing her until her head was spinning and she had to grab his shoulders for stability.
“Alex, this is crazy. Especially now,” she said and yet she couldn’t keep herself from going on tiptoe and kissing him back.
He wrapped his arms around her and dragged her tight to him. “Don’t push me away again.”
His words shattered the moment and she did just that. They were both breathing roughly as they squared off. “I’m sorry, Alex.”
“Don’t be sorry. Just be sure of what you want. There won’t be a third time for us.” He turned on his heel and stalked away.
She watched his retreating back much as she had ten years earlier. Only this time…
She couldn’t just stand there and let him walk out of her life. not when he might be the one man who could help her forget a certain vampire.
Ryder, desperate to shake off his depression, finds himself hanging out with his new vampire entourage at the “Blood Bank” bar. He encounters a beautiful, ancient vampire who greatly resembles Diana. The power she emanates affects him to the core, and, despite his friend’s warnings, he is drawn to her.
“Easy, mi amigo. She’s not to be taken lightly,” Diego warned, but Ryder had no way to suppress the experience of her.
Painfully, he stood there, poised on the edge of…anticipation both sexual and intellectual. What could this vamp be like that she had so much sway without his even knowing her name, without his having seen her face?
She turned then, and energy surged through him, singeing his senses. The force of her acknowledgement was so strong he had to rein in the beast before it rushed to her side.
And here I will leave you, to read the rest. Just like a normal relationship with a temporary “time-out”, each person learns to re-adjust to life without the other, and in time, may even try something new. While love may be abundant between these two, will it be enough for Diana to accept the loss of her ideals? Will they adjust without each other, or will they re-connect for good? The dangerous twists and turns, emotional struggles and the crazy ending will astound you! I couldn’t put it down!