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Review: After Dark by Gena Showalter & Kait Ballenger

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After Dark
Author: Gena Showalter 
& Kait Ballenger 
Release Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
ISBN: #978-0373778256
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback, e-book
Book Source: Publisher/ Author

About the book:

     The Darkest Angel (Lords of the Underworld #4.5)
     Winged warrior Lysander has been alive for centuries, and yet he’s never known desire-until he meets Bianka. Spawned from the bloodline of his enemy, the beautiful but deadly Harpy is determined to lead the untouched Lysander into temptation. He may try to evade her attempts, but even the most iron-willed demon assassin can resist for only so long…. 
     Shadow Hunter (Execution Underground #0.5)
     Vampire hunter Damon Brock’s first assignment with the Execution Underground is Rochester, New York, a city crawling with the undead. But he isn’t the only hunter in town gunning for vamp blood. Tiffany Solow is fierce and ruthless when it comes to slaying the monsters that destroyed her family-and she works solo. But being alone is no longer so desirable when she meets the mysterious hunter who wants more than just her turf. As they work to massacre the local covens, the line between good and evil blurs when they are forced to decide between their lifelong beliefs… and their newfound hearts.

What Im talking about:

     Note: The Darkest Angel was originally released as part of the Heart of Darkness Anthology, published by Harlequin in December 2009. I did not read the story at this time; however, I read and reviewed the book on GoodReads in January 2010, and this was my review:
     The Darkest Angel by Gena Showalter
This is a fabulous tale set in Gena’s Lords of the Underworld series. The primary characters are Lysander, a heavenly angel, and Bianka, a wicked Harpy. We met Bianka in a previous novel. Their story is fun! The romance is wonderful, and the novella sets up some of the story line for the next novel. This is a must read for any Lord fans.
My Rating: 4 stars
 
Shadow Hunter by Kait Ballenger
     The Execution Underground is an elite group of genetically enhance humans trained to track and kill all things supernatural. Upon acceptance into EU, each hunter is given a serum injection that gives longer life and increased strength and healing abilities. Damon is a hunter for EU, determined to kill the evil vampire Caius in revenge over the death of fellow hunter and best friend, Mark.
     Tiffany Solow is working undercover as a (blood) Host for Caius. She is the baby sister of Mark, and like Damon, she is determined to destroy Caius for his roll in Mark’s death. She also blames Mark’s best friend, only known as “B” to her, for his death because B left Mark during battle to hunt down vampires. B (aka Damon) and Tiffany have a history as letter-writing friends who have fallen for one another, even though they’ve never met.
     Shadow Hunter opens with a bang and the action rarely slows down. Although both Damon and Tiffany are focused on bringing down Caius, there is a big mystery concerning what appears to be new behavior from vampires. The story really picks up as the mystery becomes more involved and complex, creating an engrossing tale.
     Damon and Tiffany experience immediate lust and a deep attraction for one another. The heat between the pair is smokin. However, I did get briefly annoyed that Damon kept reminding himself that Tiffany is Mark’s little sister, and therefore, he should leave her alone. Luckily, his desire for Tiffany overrides his sense of honor for his friendship with Mark, and the pair give into their passion. Also, I was frustrated that Damon keeps the truth of his identity, and later what happened to Mark, from Tiffany.
     One thing I enjoyed about Twilight Hunter is that this PNR is about humans falling in love, and all of the paranormals are bad guys. That doesn’t happen much any longer. It is a refreshing change of pace.
     I do feel it necessary to warn readers, without spilling spoilers, that Twilight Hunter has a HUGE cliffhanger at the end of the book. The story didn’t finish, and that is such a huge pet peeve of mine, especially since this is listed as a PNR (paranormal romance). The entire story was well-developed, especially for the shortened length; however, the ending felt like a nightmarish Urban Fantasy (UF).
     Bottom line… Although there was a lot of information presented in the front end of the book, overall the story read smoothly, the romance was well-developed, and the action was exciting. The initial tension between Tiffany and Damon was fun to read. However, the book ended with too much unresolved for my liking, and I sincerely hope issues get wrapped up quickly.*
My Rating: 3 Stars
     *I had the chance to correspond with the author about how this book ended, and I am happy to report that subsequent books in this series will have traditional paranormal romance HEA endings. She also told me that Damon and Tiffany will have a book in the future.

My Rating:

 
Liked it – recommend (B+)




Purchase Info:
After Dark: The Darkest Angel\Shadow Hunter
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