Dark Within by Candice Gilmer

Dark Within by Candice Gilmer
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (188 pgs)
Other: M/F
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Thistledown

There was a time Marissa van Dyke loved Halloween. Then tragedy struck. Now the sight of a jack-o-lantern only reminds her of what she’s lost. In fact, she’d prefer to just hibernate.

But recently her nightmares are becoming too intense to ignore. Dreams filled with horror-movie creatures that come closer to killing her every time. Where these vampires and werewolves are coming from, she doesn’t know. She only knows they’re relentless.

Neil Drigan has no interest in finding a mate. Bind himself to one woman? No thank you. Permanent is for the wolf pack Alpha–his brother. Yet lately he persistently dreams about running, in full wolf form, to save a beautiful woman who smells of flowers–and death.

At first the woman’s identity is a mystery, until he realizes the dreams are a residual imprint of something that really happened. Not only is the woman temptation wrapped in real flesh and blood, she’s still in danger. And the one thing he never thought he wanted.

There are monsters and there are monsters. Which one wants her dead?

Marissa van Dyke has nightmares. Really real ones at that. When one steps over the boundary between real and dream, she begins to question her sanity. In this first book in the Mythical Knights series, we meet a team of Templar Knights dedicated to stomping out naughty paranormal types. We also meet a group of hunky werewolves and a coven of vampires that really should know better.

Marissa is a girl who hates Halloween, so dreaming about monsters just doesn’t do it for her. Her parents were murdered on the day and she tries to keep all reminders as far away as possible. When her friend invites her to a Halloween party, she initially says no but as she gets to know a certain hottie werewolf those plans are up for grabs.

Neil Drigan isn’t interested in settling down. Quite the opposite really. But when a certain sexy woman crosses his path, he can’t get her out of his mind-or his dreams. He keeps getting out of his cage on full moons and a mystery surrounding what he’s been up to brings the Templar Knights sniffing around where they don’t need to be.

All isn’t well. A series of blood rapes are happening and everyone is stumped. It will take these supernatural forces all working together to stop it before Marissa’s worst nightmare comes true.

I enjoyed the premise of this book. Monsters, nightmares, Halloween…It was fun. Some of the opportunities I had were the short chapters (I would have made fewer chapters with separations), occasional stilted language and fight scenes that needed more elaboration. There were also a lot of characters and it made it hard to keep up with the story.

Overall, I liked the book. The heat level during the erotic scenes was nice, but again the dialog between the characters was strange. The shifter mate trope was used well and I think the series has some really great potential. Marissa was someone I liked and wanted to see happy and I think Neil may just be her knight in furry armor.

Let the fur fly!

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