Darkness Bound (Night Prowler #5) by J.T. Geissinger
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: June 24 2014
Source: ARC from publisher
The nitty-gritty: Another well-rounded entry into this fantastic series, with Geissinger’s trademark combination of sex, thrills, danger and heartbreak.
The air was warm and humid, redolent with the sweet perfume of flowers, heavy with clouds. The dragon sliced through them as neatly as a scythe. She climbed higher, breaking free of the clouds, then tipped to the left, following an updraft of heated wind. The earth below peeked through in patches of glistening emerald through the fluffy cloudscape. The horizon was aflame with the rising sun, bleeding scarlet into infinity.
Jack wanted to cry at the beauty of it. Instead she laughed, and screamed with exhilaration. The dragon turned back to look at her—grinning, its muzzle and lashes beaded with moisture—then surged forward with a powerful thrust of its wings and climbed higher still, until the air was so think it was hard to breathe.
I don’t think it would be a spoiler to tell you that yes, there is indeed a dragon in Darkness Bound. But it’s not what you think. Or who you think. (That is if you’re unfamiliar with this series. If you’ve read Geissinger’s other books, you probably know what I’m talking about.) Geissinger never fails to amaze me with her storytelling prowess, world-building and her deeply wrought characters. What they say is true: the more you write (or you can substitute “write” for whatever it is you love to do), the better you get. This is book five in her Night Prowler series, and simply put, I never want this series to end. When I finished Edge of Darkness, I was sure she wouldn’t be able to top herself. But she has. Darkness Bound puts a new spin on relationships (and if you’re a fan already, you know this series has seen some really unique ones!) and brings our friends the Ikati closer and closer to danger.
I usually say in my reviews that each of these novels can be read as a stand-alone, so if you’re new to the series, you can easily pick up the story without too much trouble. And I’m saying that again, although I am also begging you to start at the beginning, because there are certain characters and plot threads that do continue from one book to the next, and your enjoyment will be enhanced by reading the series in order. Each book focuses on a different couple—keep in mind that these are romance novels, and yes there is a lot of romance!—one person is usually introduced in the previous book and then takes center stage in the present story, and the other is usually an outsider whom we haven’t yet met.
This time around the outsider is a human, a gritty reporter named Jacqueline “Jack” Dolan who has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize with her fervently written editorial in the New York Times decrying the existence of the Ikati, a group of shape-shifting creatures who have wreaked havoc on humans. Jack’s passionate hatred of the Ikati has gotten the attention of Alejandro, the Alpha male of an Ikati colony that is currently living in the Brazilian rain forests. Alejandro’s plan is to bring Jack to live with the colony—by force, if necessary—in order to sway her opinion and get her to retract her hateful rant.
But Alejandro’s plan backfires in a big way, as soon as Jack arrives in Brazil. An Ikati male named Hawk has been assigned to watch over Jack during her stay, and Hawk is less than thrilled with that idea. And there’s danger brewing. Several enemies are out to either destroy or capture the Queen of the Ikati, and they’re all headed to Brazil on a deadly collision course. With their very way of life hanging in the balance, the Ikati must work together to protect themselves.
Let’s talk about the romance first. The first thing you should know is that if you are about to stop reading this review because eewww romance, Geissinger’s books are loaded with everything that makes a great story: a fantastic fantasy world, deeply developed characters, exciting action scenes, humor and nasty bad guys, all tied together with really good writing. And then there are the sexy times. And boy, are they hot, people! Having read her four previous books, I knew the sex scenes were coming, and yet she made me blush anyway. If I had to complain about anything with this series, it would be that the romance is a wee bit over the top (Hawk is about as alpha male as they come, Jack is about as stubborn but beautiful as they come, and together they practically split atoms with their love-making), but hey, it’s romance. And every other element makes up for the romantic stereotypes. What Geissinger does differently this time is throw in a couple of I-didn’t-see-that-coming twists into their relationship that make the romance feel fresh. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that Hawk is a gorgeous stud with a vulnerable side that will make everyone fall in love with him.
Geissinger brings the Brazilian rain forest to vivid life with her descriptions of the towering trees and unusual wildlife, and I thought it was a perfect setting for this story. Add to that the Ikati themselves, who are shape-shifters that can turn into black panthers, and the rain forest becomes a highly dangerous place to be. She contrasts this with several scenes that are set in Jack’s hometown of New York City, although I much preferred the parts set in Brazil.
The author also throws in a bit of social commentary about racism and accepting those who are different, when Hawk calls Jack a “bigot” for her unfounded hatred of the Ikati. There are some lessons imparted in Darkness Bound, including a subtle story angle about the decline of the rain forests, but the stars of this tale are definitely the complicated characters, who are simply trying to survive in a world full of hatred.
If you are looking to invest in a series with just about everything there is to love about paranormal romance, then this series is for you. I’m beyond excited that book #6, Into Darkness, will be released this October. Highly recommended. Big thanks to the publisher for supplying a review copy. The above quote is taken from an uncorrected proof and may differ in the final version.
J.T. Geissinger is an award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance featuring dark and twisted plots, kick-ass heroines, and alpha heroes whose hearts are even bigger than their muscles. Her debut fantasy romance Shadow’s Edge was a #1 bestseller on Amazon US and UK and won the Prism award for Best First Book. Her follow-up novel, Edge of Oblivion, was a RITA Award finalist for Paranormal Romance from the Romance Writers of America, and she has been nominated for numerous awards for her work.
She resides in Los Angeles with her husband.
Don’t miss the rest of the series:
You can find Darkness Bound here: