Series: , Were-Hunter #2, Dark-Hunterverse #4
Published by Macmillan on December 7th 2003
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Paranormal, Urban, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2017 COYER Summer Reading List
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
Zarek's Point of View:
Dark-Hunter: A soulless guardian who stands between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. Yeah, right. The only part of that Code of Honor I got was eternity and solitude.
Insanity: A condition many say I suffer from after being alone for so long. But I don't suffer from my insanity-I enjoy every minute of it.
Trust: I can't trust anyone...not even myself. The only thing I trust in is my ability to do the wrong thing in any situation and to hurt anyone who gets in my way.
Truth: I endured a lifetime as a Roman slave, and 900 years as an exiled Dark-Hunter. Now I'm tired of enduring. I want the truth about what happened the night I was exiled-I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Astrid (Greek, meaning star): An exceptional woman who can see straight to the truth. Brave and strong, she is a point of light in the darkness. She touches me and I tremble. She smiles and my cold heart shatters.
Zarek: They say even the most damned man can be forgiven. I never believed that until the night Astrid opened her door to me and made this feral beast want to be human again. Made me want to love and be loved. But how can an ex-slave whose soul is owned by a Greek goddess ever dream of touching, let alone holding, a fiery star?
“I don’t suffer from my insanity — I enjoy every minute of it.”
When Zarek was first introduced in Night Embrace, Sherrilyn Kenyon really made him a memorable character. He was brought in as a Hunter gone bad, but she added many depths to his character that made him someone I was interested in learning more about. Dance with the Devil begins right on the heels of Night Embrace. Zarek is being flown back to his exile in Alaska, but the consequences of his “actions” follow him home. He never thought that he’d get off without any repercussions, but he never expected the events to unfold the way they seem to be doing.
Zarek turned out to be surprisingly likable. He’s uncouth, anti-social, and a hard-ass but there is still something redeemable about him. He has a kindness that learned to hide during his years as a Roman slave. In his life kindness was a weakness, and he learned early on to squelch any desire to look out for anyone but himself. So when Artemis decides to take him out, Zarek doesn’t much mind. After 900 years of solitude, he’s ready to give up his lonely existence. Then he meets Astrid, a blind woman who saves him from certain death. Astrid makes him feel things he hasn’t felt in years, making Zarek reevaluate his death wish.
I loved how this story wrapped up the loose ends from the previous novel. Readers get a chance to learn more about the Squires and their hierarchy, meet some more godly characters and get even more information about Ash and his powers. This made my day as the loose ends of Zarek’s storyline in Night Embrace left me wanting more of this series. With each book this universe expands, becoming more and more complex. I thought I would be sad to see the characters fade into the background with each new story, but they really don’t. Readers learn more about every character as the series progresses, even as new characters are introduced.
Zarek and Astrid get together pretty quickly, which is par for the course in this kind of books, yet Kenyon really did a wonderful job keeping the romance from being worthy of eye-rolling. Except for one part. Kenyon committed a grave sin when she included a sex while being hunted by psycho scene. That left me groaning, and almost ruined the remainder of the novel. I get the whole thing of wanting to feel alive with death imminent, but scenes like this are one of the things that annoy me the most. However, this scene was really the only weak scene in the book, so I can say that I really enjoyed this story overall.