ARC Review: Rush of Darkness by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Primal Instinct, Book 7
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Seth McConnell
Heroine: Raine Spenser
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: March 29, 2011
Started On: March 9, 2011
Finished On: March 10, 2011

I can’t exactly pinpoint the reason why, but there is something seriously sexy about paranormal romances that involve a human on one side and a paranormal being on the other end. Book 7 in the Primal Instinct Series takes this one step further where the ultra sexy and uber alpha hero is the human whilst the strong and yet endearingly vulnerable heroine turns out to be the paranormal being.

Rush of Darkness is the story of Raine Spenser and Seth McConnell. Their story began in Touch of Temptation, book 6 of the series which I reviewed earlier. Seth McConnell is an ex-hunter who has spent the past 20 years of his life slaughtering every vampire that he could get his hands on.  Raised in Southern California, Seth had been a young teenager when a rogue nest of vampires had taken away everything that mattered to him and nearly killed and destroyed him in the process as well. His salvation had come in the form of the Collective Army whose aim it has been to remove all traces of paranormal existence from Earth. Driven by rage and the thirst for revenge, Seth had honed himself into a lethal killing machine, unstoppable and feared by the creatures that he hunts down until circumstances force him to take stock of his life and what was actually happening to turn his life around and start working for his lifelong enemy.

Raine Spenser is unique amongst ancient clans; part Deschanel vampire and part Alacea psychic, Raine had been brought up in a loving home by parents who had adored each other and their children. Having led a pretty much sheltered life, Raine had been working for charities that had been investigating the effect of deforestation as her work as an environmentalist when she had been kidnapped by Ross Westmore, a Kraven vampire who gets his high from the thrill of victory. Westmore’s plan is one that is bound to destroy the world and plunge it into darkness and chaos which is what the Watchmen – a group of shape shifters who watch over the clansmen and women of their preternatural world are trying to prevent. Held against her will over a month during which Raine has suffered numerous forms of physical, mental and emotional abuse from her captors, it is a tortured and guilt-ridden Raine that emerges from her captivity at the hands of a mad man.

Seth’s fascination for Raine from the very moment he carries her in his arms after her rescue from Westmore is an unexplainable one. His need to drive away the haunting look that has settled deep inside of Raine and the electric way in which his body reacts to Raine’s mere presence has him at first running away from how he feels but inevitably finds himself unable to stay away from the one woman he wants to claim as his own more than he has wanted anything else in his life.

Raine’s emotions when it comes to the human soldier is as complex as his feelings towards her. Fear of her growing feelings towards a man who had previously made it his life’s mission to destroy her species has Raine pushing him away masking her need for the fierce warrior who stands in front of her with a loathing that she can’t seem to summon. Her dreams of them entwined in lovers embraces has Raine pushing up the shields that guard her emotions and heart more fiercely than ever. But as moths drawn towards flame, these two can only deny their explosive feelings towards each other for so long and it is a combustive coming together if there ever was one that has these two finally taking things to the next level.

However, their journey towards happily ever after is not an easy one. Continuous danger from Westmore who sets in motion an elaborate plan to turn the war that is brewing onto the side of evil once and for all nearly destroys both Raine and Seth and the fragile bond that seems to have forged between the two. The need to protect one another from danger has each of them engaged in a battle of wills with the other, and it is only with ultimate trust and learning to let go of their pasts that would  bring about true happiness to two souls who deserve it more than anyone else in the primal instinct world.

This one wins by far on all fronts in the Primal Instinct series for me. I loved the uniqueness the fact Seth the hero being the human brought into the story. Regardless of the fact he is a human, his wants and needs are as ferocious and as primal as the shape-shifters that I have come across in the series. And Seth totally wins my heart and soul as my favorite hero from the series with his tortured broodiness that makes him so very much appealing. I loved the fact that explicitly drawn out sex scenes weren’t what drove the story right from the very 1st chapter itself, but rather the sexual tension that simmers between Raine and Seth is drawn out, making their ultimate surrender a very explosive and unforgettable one. Don’t let me forget Raine, whose character and what she suffered at the hands of a monstrous species makes her so vulnerable but even then it makes her a determined one in her need for revenge on a group of men who had taken away something from her life that can never be replaced.

All in all, a tortured, hot as sin alpha hero that had my salivary glands working over time, a heroine that needed a bit of TLC and a knock on the head or two to figure out that Mr. Tortured and Hotness himself was here to stay, with the continuous adventure that is always a part of this series makes this book a huge 5-star winner for me. Very highly recommended for fans of the series and fans of Rhyannon Byrd. Mind you, you can always read this book as a standalone without much hassle because Ms. Byrd doesn’t make her supernatural world a complex one, but rather she keeps her explanations simple, drawing the reader in and making you feel right at home with all the species that crops up in between.

I will finish off my review with a glimpse into one of the most super explosive scenes in the story, the event that lent a very satisfying culmination to the simmering sexual tension between Raine and Seth that practically set the pages afire!

While his expression was nothing short of severe, all hard lines and rugged angles, it was pure lust that burned in his eyes as he reached for her and crushed her against him, his mouth taking hers in a raw, dominating kiss. He made a quick sound in the back of his throat, the kiss turning explosive as his big hands roamed her figure, stroking roughly over her back and hips before curving around her ass.
“Need you,” he snarled in a low, gravelly rumble, hoisting her against the front of his body as he took her down to that massive, four-poster bed.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Kobo | Harlequin


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