Cliff’s Descent by Dianne Duvall

Cliff’s Descent by Dianne Duvall (Author), Kirsten Potter (Narrator)
Immortal Guardians Series, Book 11
Publisher: Self-published, Audio publisher: Tantor Audio
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

Voted BoM by LASR Readers 2013 copy

Every mortal who works at network headquarters knows that vampires reside below them. They were the first to surrender to the powerful Immortal Guardians who hunt them. And they did so, hoping they can be saved, that the doctors and scientists the Immortal Guardians employ can halt the progressive brain damage that robs all vampires of their sanity. Though curious, Emma never thought she would meet any of the vampires who remain under heavy guard several stories beneath her office. Then mercenaries strike, bombarding the building with heavy artillery. The vampires are freed to join the fray… and Cliff saves her life.

From that moment on, she can’t stop thinking about him regardless of the restrictions placed on interactions with vampires. When Emma discovers a way to speak to Cliff at network headquarters, she becomes even more fascinated by him. He’s smart, charming, and honorable to his core despite the darkness that lies ahead. And he seems to crave her company as much as she does his. Aware of the eyes that watch them, they keep their encounters innocent, limiting them to those of mere acquaintances. Nevertheless, their attraction grows and she soon falls in love with him even as the madness begins to claim him.

Cliff realizes his future is dark. As one vampire friend after another succumbs to insanity, hope that network doctors will be able to find a cure in time to keep him from meeting the same fate begins to dwindle, leaving him little to look forward to… until he meets Emma. Just speaking to her brings him a happiness and contentment he hasn’t experienced since before his transformation. And when they finally find a way to be alone together, everything changes. Emma burrows her way right into his heart and quiets the voices. She sparks dreams of a future with her that strengthen his determination to beat back the madness. But as time passes, the voices grow louder and insanity begins to chip away at him until he fears it will eradicate every part of him she fell in love with.

Will the two of them find a way to defy the odds and find their happily-ever-after? Or will Cliff’s descent consume him?

I have the eBook but I listened to Cliff’s Descent in the audio version because I wanted the full effect. I have been waiting for a resolving of Cliff’s situation for good or sad for a very long time. Ms. Duvall has provided this reader with everything I could hope for, and a surprise too. I enjoyed the narration by Kirsten Potter because she has Ms. Duvall’s characters and personalities down pat, from their accents, quirks, and humor, to the oftentimes silly and fun razzing at Sheldon’s expense. The narrator’s vocal range is astounding and a strong plus for any reader who enjoys listening to books in addition to reading print. The character from the Bronx tickled my funny bone. It was the first time I’d heard it the series and I grinned every time he was on stage.

Even though it might be coming from the long side of the series, I truly believe that a reader jumping into the Immortal Guardian’s world could enjoy this story as a starter. I say that because it is told from Cliff’s side. He can only tell us what he heard or experienced from his point of view. Fans of the series will remember well where WE were when certain things happened so in my mind, I filled in the blanks. For a newbie reader, this might whet the appetite to investigate the earlier books and discover a banquet of excitement, thrills and romance. To be meeting Roland, Sarah, Marcus and Ami for the first time …? Wow. As it is, I get to be there when Cliff, Vincent and Joe first met the Immortal Guardians. That was an action packed time. It’s tough being a vampire that is doomed to go crazy violent with no hope of sanity sticking around. Yet, Cliff was the exception to most every vampire I met throughout the series. His sense of honor, stubbornness, strength of character and true grit in his determination to hold out as long as possible, to give Dr. Lipton the chance to find a breakthrough – was an inspiration. Cliff has tugged on my heartstrings for so long, I wanted him to have a future, I wanted Dr. Lipton to find a cure. The big question was, how? The virus didn’t originate from any natural source so it didn’t look good. Aaah, but that’s the best part about a romance story, the hope for a happy ever after.

My hope was realized when the story finally picked up from when I last saw Cliff coming out of the woods, after the big, explosive final showdown with Gershom in Death of Darkness. Cliff complained of feeling off and his ears felt weird. Well, I’ll tell you, it wasn’t what I thought it was. That was the huge surprise. I’m thrilled that Cliff gets his second chance but I am not going to tell you how or why because that’s the BEST part of the happy ever after. I was as surprised as Cliff, and almost just as happy. I say almost because his joy was doubled and tripled because of the woman who stole his heart. What a beautiful romantic ending.

Cliff’s Descent was worth the wait. The novel hit all my happy buttons, tied up a loose end that ached for completion and made the Immortal Guardian’s world that much better. It’s a keeper and one I’ll re-read and re-listen to, just like I have all the books in the series. Thank you, Ms. Duvall, for a much awaited happy ever after that was a sheer joy to read. I’m a delighted fan.


  1. I loved this book! The ending wasn’t what I had hoped for but I see that for the characters involved, it was the perfect ending. Dianne Duvall’s books are always worth waiting for. I actually schedule release days off so I can devour her work.

    • Xeranthemum says

      I see your point, Karen, about the ending. I was so happy for Cliff though, that I just rolled with it. I think it’s pretty cool that you take the day off just to read when a new one comes out. I end up reading into the wee hours of the morning – pure quiet me-time. I can’t wait for the next book!

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