Dark Dynasties Series:
Shadow Rising: Damien Tremaine and Ariane
Release Date: July 31st 2012
As one of the Grigori, a noble vampire dynasty shrouded in mystery, Ariane has spent her life hidden away in the desert. Like all of her kind, she is a watcher, fated to observe, forbidden to act. Yet when her best friend, Sammael, vanishes, she defies all rules and flees her safe haven to bring him home.
A shape-shifting assassin for the House of Shadows, Damien Tremaine is hired to locate Sammael. His hunt for the wayward Grigori leads him to Ariane, the rogue vamp who stands between him and his bounty. Damien never lets emotion interfere with his work, but a single touch from the sexy, beguiling vampire shatters his self-control. Drawn together by their common goal, what begins as an alliance of necessity soon becomes one of desire. But when the secret at the dark heart of the Grigori comes to light, Damien and Ariane must make a choice that could bind them eternally...or tear them—and everything they care about—apart.
I started this series on book 2 and then went back and read book 1 and I am so glad I did! This series was such a great find! I enjoy the concept of the different dynasties and the differences between each dynasty. It adds a unique twist to the vampire genre.
Since I started reading this series I have been intrigued by the Grigori, they are such a secretive, mysterious dynasty. So I was glad that this book featured one of the Grigori and I was not disappointed by Ariane. Ariane has been sheltered her entire 900 years as a vampire, she remained at the Grigori compound not once leaving in all of her years. Unlike the rest of the Grigori who remain cold, she has emotion and struggles against it, so she is considered flawed and they never let her forget it. What I liked about Ariane, was her sense of loyalty, her one and only friend went missing and she was going to do anything she could to find him; including risking being hunted by the rest of the Grigori. Once she left the compound she really realized how much of a half life she was living. I loved how Ms. Castle had Ariane struggling to adapt to the world around her and how to develop relationships with the people she meets. I also loved how compassionate Ariane is, she had a great capacity to care, but she was also fierce. She didn’t hesitate to attack and defend against those she felt wronged her or hers. Ariane, also didn’t have any rose colored glasses when it came to Damien, she knew who and what he was and she never tried to change him. It takes a strong woman to accept her man as he is. There was so much to like about Ariane and I couldn’t find any fault with her.
Damien, since the beginning has been an a$$. He cares about #1, it’s how he has always gone through life, even as a human. As one of the Shade as well as a Cat Shifter that was further reinforced. He never worked with a partner but as his and Arianes’ paths kept crossing it became clear they may need to team up. At first he was not too happy about it, but sooner rather than later, he got with the program. Little by little Ariane, got under Damiens skin and he did not know how to react to that. It became fun to watch as he floundered over what to do. He was such an easy target for Vlad, to tease. Damiens progression from the first book to the third was small but significant. In the first book, Damien would not have called anyone a friend, but by the third book he had accumulated a very small group of friends including Vlad. Although, there has been some small progression for Damien, he still stays true to who he is, a cocky, self indulgent a$$, who cares about few people but those in his inner circle of which Ariane became the center. Damien worms his way into your heart and easily becomes one of your favorites of this series.
A lot of the characters in the previous books reappear in this book, adding to the story line. It is always fun to circle back around to characters you previously read about to see how they are doing past their book. One of my favorite side characters has become Vlad, he is quite entertaining in his own right and I look forward to reading his book one of these days. I will most definitely be continuing on with this great series by Kendra Leigh Castle. It is fun, entertaining and refreshing. I do suggest starting from the beginning; everything is a lot clearer if you do.
*ARC was provided through NetGalley for an honest review, no other compensation was given.