Dark Embrace by Lexxie Couper

DARK

Dark Embrace by Lexxie Couper
Pricipatus Book 2
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (331 Pages)
Other: M/F
Rating: Best Book
Reviewed by Foxglove

Should she kill him? Seduce him? Or both?

A Principatus story.

As an ex-succubus granted her soul by the Highest of Powers, Inari Chayse has spent the twenty years since her “rebirth” channeling her voracious sexual energy into kicking the asses of all malevolent paranormal beings.

Torn between the sex demon she was and the demon assassin she has become, she has no intention of complicating her life further. But when the vampire who pleasures her dreams walks into her paranormal strip club—and takes complete, humiliating command of her body—complicated doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Fifty years ago, Ezryn Navarr abdicated his trueborn throne to spare his people a bloody destruction. He never expected to find himself in a Sydney strip club, buried in the deliciously sensual body of the very divine assassin he’s been commanded to kill. The bigger surprise? Inari awakens something he thought long dead. His humanity.

As their tormented desires intertwine with a centuries-old battle of blood and power, redemption seems as unobtainable as love. The backlash will rock the entire vampire race, leading to their salvation…or their deaths.

When succubus Inari Chayse refuses an order to seduce and drain a very special target, she gets the attention of the Highest of Powers, and she becomes something she never expected. She is granted the status of Principatus, one of demon assassins working for the protection of humanity. For twenty years, she has ignored her passionate side, thinking that she must not give in, or she could lose her status as Principatus, but her dreams of a dark and alluring master vampire have her confused and on edge.

When the ghost of her sister visits her, she believes she is losing her mind. When she actually meets the vampire she has been dreaming of, it is a shock, both because he actually exists, and because of the unusual circumstances of their meeting. Ezryn Navarr is a master vampire, of royal blood and once the destined leader of the race, until the machinations of his twin caused a breech and Ezryn was passed over in favor of Haral. When Inari kills a rogue vampire preying on innocents, Haral orders Ezryn to destroy the Principatus, and gives him a deadline: kill her in four days, or Haral begins murdering vampires who supported Ezryn as the true heir. As Ezryn and Inari grow closer, both fight what is building between them, until time runs out and Ezryn must take a stand. Can a Master Vampire and a Principatus together stop the insanity of the vampire leader? Can Ezryn ever forget what he has learned about Inari and trust her again? Can there be a happy ending for two individuals so strong, yet so wounded?

Dark Embrace is the second of Lexxie Couper’s Principatus books, and is a dark and thrilling story of greed, lust envy and desire. The world Ms. Couper has created is an intriguing mix of supernatural beings living in the real world, side by side with humans in the modern locations around Sydney Australia, and a look at things that go bump in the night. I like this world, because I know there will always be something there to tempt me to the darker side, and yet, there is always a thread of wonder in Ms. Couper’s stories as well. The characters are compelling, with depth and feeling and passions.

Inari Chayse is a former succubus, now fighting for the Highest of Powers to eliminate evil and protect humanity. She is strong, dangerous, and very lonely. She feels guilty for the death of her sister Tianya at the hands of a demon, and she wants to avenge that death. I like Inari, with her sense of loyalty and her desire to protect humanity. I enjoyed watching as she believed she had lost her power as a Principatus, and learned how to integrate her two so different sides to become the true protector she was meant to be. I also enjoyed watching her confusion concerning Ezryn, a master vampire she should hate, but wants to love.

Ezryn Navarr, born and raised to assume the position of overlord of the vampire race once his father passes, is strong, loyal to friends and family and race, handsome and determined. When his twin, Haral, uses trickery and deceit to take the position that is rightfully Ezryn’s, he puts as much distance as he can between them. Until Haral makes mistakes, and shows how evil and depraved he truly is, Ezryn has ignored him, but now he has to act. Ordered to destroy the Principatus, he is determined to protect those his brother threatens until he meets Inari, then he is torn by his feelings. How can he kill the one woman who makes him feel alive? When he thinks Inari has betrayed him and lured him using her succubus powers, he is ready to destroy her. I like watching Ezryn come to terms with all that he has to do, and his tough decisions concerning his people, his friends and the evil his brother represents.

This story is strong and the passions are hot and extremely potent, and there is a sense of evil at times, mostly when Haral is present. The characters in this are all well crafted, and the presence of the first Principatus, Ven Watkins, was an added draw for me. There are several story threads here that are brought to a more than satisfactory conclusion, and the addition of Inari’s sister Tianya was intriguing: is she a ghost, or just a figment of Inari’s imagination? As a Lexxie Couper book, of course the sex is off the charts hot and frequent, and I was thoroughly satisfied by the way this story came to its conclusion. I look forward to more from this world, and hope that Ven gets his own story as well. This is for those who like their romance paranormal with a dark twist. But be aware that this one just could melt your ereader, or burn your fingers, so keep the ice close at hand.

Comments

  1. Oh man, I can’t say enough how much I love this review. It’s been a while since I’ve written a paranormal and I was a tad worried about the response. Foxglove, you really have made me smile. Thank you so much.

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