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I Belong

Review: Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle

Dark AwakeningTitle: Dark Awakening

Author: Kendra Leigh Castle

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Series: Dark Dynasties (Book 1)

Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Format: Paperback, 331 Pages

ISBN-10: 1609418379 (Forever/Hachette)

ISBN-13: 978-1609418373 (Forever/Hachette)

Reviewed by: Kristie


Enter the world of the Dark Dynasties…

For centuries, shapeshifting vampire Tynan MacGillivray has prowled the night as an outcast, valued only for his ferocious hunting skills. When a feud among the immortals escalates into all-out war, he is ordered by his ruthless queen to locate a Seer – a human woman with a special gift – who can secure victory for their clan. Ty’s search leads him to a quiet New England town, but once he has the Seer in his grasp, her touch awakens within him a hunger like he’s never known…

Lily Quinn has always been different. Since childhood, she’s had vivid nightmares and an eerie sixth sense. When a sexy, silver-eyed stranger demands her help, Lily plunges into a new world of danger and sensuality. With Ty, she discovers sizzling passions she cannot deny and powers she cannot control. Soon, it is clear that Lily is much more than a Seer – she holds the key to ancient secrets and unthinkable destruction. But will a vampire’s vow of eternal protection stop these evil forces…or unleash her dark destiny?

Quick & Dirty: Dark and entertaining world with a strong female character and some twists and turns that kept me guessing.

Opening Sentence:  The ballroom was bathed in the soft glow of candlelight, and tiny flames danced, reflected in the eyes of those gathered for the ceremony.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Dark Awakening was such a refreshing change in the paranormal romance world for me. It was written is such a way that the main female character, Lily, was not a flake, she was quite tough and level-headed. When strange things were happening to her she didn’t freak out. She was just relieved that she now had answers to all the strange occurrences in her life.

I absolutely enjoyed the way this novel was written. The tone was dark with some humor but the story just flowed from one chapter to the next. This was a novel I just didn’t want to put down; I wanted to find out what would happen next. There were also some twists and turns that I thought I could see coming but the outcomes were completely unexpected.

Dark Awakening is the first novel in the Dark Dynasties series. Vampires have been divided up into different dynasties depending on who the original creator of that line is and who their sire is. Depending on what line you are from, is how you are treated in the vampire world. The main male character, Ty, is a Cait Sith and is seen as the lowest of the low, scum and is practically a slave in some respects. He works for the Ptolemy hoping that it will give his line a better name and respect.

The Ptolemy are the “highbloods” or so they think of the vampire society. Unfortunately, they are being massacred by an unseen force. Ty has been tasked with finding a Seer who will be able to figure out who the killer is and how they are killing off so many of this great and powerful bloodline. When Ty meets Lily, he believes that she is the Seer he is looking for. He eventually (of course!) has to kidnap her to show her the world of the vampires and to prove that she could be the savior of an entire race of vampires.

I absolutely adored this novel and the characters in it and the worldbuilding. Ty is kind of a Debbie Downer but in a cute puppy dog (or kitten!) kind of way. He truly believes what he has been taught is his place in the world. He isn’t happy about it and he tries to do what he can to better himself and his clan but in a way he accepts how terrible he is treated. He often laments his woe to Lily, who tries to cheer him up and of course Lily’s modern day thinking has her wondering why these vampires’ dynasties can treat each other so terribly. Lily is a strong female character. When she finally gives in to the fact that she will never live a normal life again, she decides to live for the moment with Ty and to give in to her destiny.

Dark Awakening had a few twists and turns for me, when I thought it might go the predictable route, there was a twist that kept me guessing until the next twist. This book felt like a refresher for the vampire/paranormal romance genre. The worldbuilding was great too. I enjoyed the dynasty world and background that is revealed as this novel goes along.

Overall, Dark Awakening was a dark and entertaining first book in a series. The book kept me guessing (even though I ruined the end for myself – don’t look at the end!) and was fairly fast paced. I can’t wait to read the second book in this series, Midnight Reckoning.

Notable Scene:

Stupid though she knew it was, Lily felt her eyes sting suddenly with unshed tears. She was a fool. But wasn’t it better to allow herself this little slice of heaven with the only man who’d ever made her feel this way, as short as their connection was destined to be, than to never have it at all and always wonder how it might have been?

She truly didn’t know.

All she knew was that she was now in serious danger of losing not only her life, but also her heart, and to a man she wasn’t at all certain had a heart he would or could give in return.

“Lily. Beautiful Lily,” Ty purred, nuzzling her hair as he wound himself around her and settled down to sleep. “My Lily.”

Yes, Lily thought, giving over to the simple wonder of being held by a man who had just made love to her, who had worshipped her body in a way she’d never before experienced. She was in deep, deep trouble.

And this time, she had no one to blame for it but herself.

Dark Dynasties:

1. Dark Awakening

2. Midnight Reckoning

3. Shadow Rising

4. Immortal Craving


FTC Advisory: I purchased my own copy of Dark Awakening. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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