Born of Night
I finished this book a couple of days ago, and haven’t stopped thinking about it! Great little book (a few eye-rolling moments, but overall, one of my favorites!) I can’t wait for the next one in the series to come out. While it doesn’t contain any vampires, or hunky “weres”, the guys (not exactly human), are all-out sexy, and the main character captured my heart. I never thought I’d be that interested in “futuristic” themed novels, this one was easy to love.
Again, in the spirit of the author’s usual theme (at least with the Dark-Hunters), the main male hero (Nykyrian Quiakides, once known as “Hybrid Andarion”) was raised as an abused and tortured child due to his differences (he is half human and half Andarion – a predatorial species that has been known to feast on human flesh and have fangs). He is eventually adopted by an important government official who continues to raise the child in wrath, for the sake of building him into the ultimate assassin.
Somber. Cold. Lethal. Traits that had been drilled into him as a child. In all the years Sheridan had known him, Nykyrian had never once smiled. Never once broken that staunch military training that had left him emotionally bankrupt.
As an adult, he ends up working for a government association called The League. Being the strongest, quickest and most lethal assassin, he completed their assignments by killing certain targeted members of society. When his most recent target is an entire family (including a mother and her child), his morals force him to quit (of course, risking his own life, as now he becomes the hunted).
“What are you going to do?”
“What I’ve always done. Stand and fight.”
Sheridan let out a bitter laugh. How easy Nykyrian made it sound, but he knew what The League was capable of. They both did. “They’ll come for you with everything they have.”
“And I will fight them with everything they taught me to be.”
A chill went down his spine. What they had taught Nykyrian to be was a predator of the first order of insanity. May the gods help them all. This was the one man who wouldn’t go down without a costly head count. Nykyrian was the best they ever trained and The League had no idea exactly what they created.
Now in hiding, he is part of a group for hire called “The Sentella” (a group of intelligent but deadly outcasts). While they provide services in protection and rescue missions, their goal continues to be ridding the universe of the scourge that plagues society.
The League checked the united galaxies and kept their governments in line. The Sentella kept The League and the independent assassins others employed in check.
At last, the innocent had their own paladins. And it was a calling none of them took lightly. Whenever an assassin or politician crossed the line, they answered to The Sentella.
During a particular rescue mission, he encounters a kidnapped female (Kiara Zamir) and realizes she is the famous ballerina whose past performances have appeased his tormented soul. He is hired by her father (the president of her particular planet) to protect her, as she has been targeted for death (all of her life) in an attempt to overthrow her father. Nykyrian’s highly guarded personal space is intruded upon by her very curious and affectionate nature.
But it wasn’t that simple. She’d seen his heart and new Nykyrian to be so much more. Like Hauk, she owed her life to him. And somehow, she was going to give him a life, too.
One filled with trust and kindness. Surely he deserved that after all he’d done for them?
He is unwilling to express his emotions, resisting her, believing himself to be disgusting and unworthy of love, but she eventually succeeds in weakening his heart’s defenses. While she believes she knows his heart, she also has the shock of her life, when they are attacked, and she sees him, forced into action, to carry out his role as the ruthless killer he is.
Her cheeks were flushed and the horror in her eyes kicked him straight in the gut. He knew what a monster he was.
But seeing that monster through her amber eyes was the most painful thing he’d ever endured.
You’re nothing but an animal, unfit to be around decent people. No wonder your parents threw you away.
Trying to push the hurt away, he got up and found one of Syn’s unopened toothbrushes. The little paranoid OCD bastard always kept extras so that he could change them out every few weeks. Nykyrian handed one to Kiara and stayed with her while she straightened herself up.
He would clean the blood off of his own clothes, but the sight of it smeared over Syn’s white linens would only make it worse for her. There was nothing more nauseating than blood on white – which was why he wore black and all his linens were black.
When she was finished, he reached across her to get a towel.
She flinched, and stepped back.
His heart twisted at her involuntary reaction. Did she really think after all they’d been though and shared that he could hurt her?
You wanted her to hate you. Congratulations. She does.
But he’d never wanted her to look at him that way – like he was unfeeling garbage. Just because he didn’t show his feelings, it didn’t mean he didn’t have them.
His own life is always in danger, being hunted by The League and his vengeful brothers, (who have hopes of gaining notoriety, by succeeding in killing the most legendary lethal assassin in history). With all odds against them (his own self-hatred along with society’s prejudices for Nykyrian’s kind) coupled with her over-protective father’s suspicions of Nykyrian’s intentions with his daughter, along with the numerous hits on both of their lives, will they succeed in keeping their love and their lives intact?
OK, I couldn’t pass this one up. A quick excerpt of one of my favorite moments in the book (and there are many!):
Sadness welled up in her throat, choking her as she thought of all the pain he’d suffered in his life.
Nykyrian pulled his hand away from her hair. “You’ve changed your mind.”
The despondency in his voice wrenched her stomach. “No,” she whispered.
He frowned, smoothing a curl from her cheek, stroking her cheekbone with her thumb. “You look so sad.”
She held his hand to her cheek. She moved his hand to her lips and kissed his scarred knuckles. “I wish I could take away your pain. I wish I could go back to when you were born and take you somewhere safe. Far away from all the people who’ve hurt you.”
His eyes were liquid emeralds. “You’re doing that now.”
This is another series that introduces you to a group where every character feels real, and each one has a story to tell. My only *slight* complaint were the occasional “bratty” reactions of the heroine. From insisting that she could go certain places without protection, to getting Nykyrian’s attention by calling him “Hybrid”, (after having connected so deeply with each other, and knowing how damaging that name was to him. Ugh! I gritted my teeth on that one). I likened her to an 80’s spoiled, rich, soap opera character.
However, the male (and even female) heroes of this group were complex and absorbing. There were lots of exciting, and very detailed battles, and revelations that took my breath away! Oh and a charming little tidbit that did NOT escape me…
“My God, you have dimples.”
His smile vanished instantly. “I know.”
“No, no, no, no, no!” she said reaching up to touch his cheek. “Don’t you dare hide those. They’re beautiful.”
He dodged her touch. “They look stupid.”
She let out an aggravated breath. “They are sexy as all get-out.”
I wholeheartedly agree. That is one trait that makes me melt! It just had to be commented on 😉
So anyway, I just touched on a few key points to get you started. There is MUCH more to explore (including the wonderful passion and angst between the two main characters). I will be anticipating each one and while I know she originally only wrote three in this series, I am hoping the author will continue to expand on it.