Published by Tantor Audio on June 13, 2023
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Length: 12 hrs
Source: Tantor Audio
I received this book for free from Tantor Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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Immortal Guardians have hunted and slain psychotic vampires for thousands of years. Now someone is hunting them. Humanity remains oblivious to the existence of immortals, vampires, and gifted ones, so how does this rising nemesis even know who they are and where to find them? Could it be the machinations of an old nemesis—one they thought they defeated? Or is this something new? Because unlike the foes they’ve faced in the past, this one doesn’t just target immortals. He targets those who are near and dear to them.
A gifted one under the Immortal Guardians’ protection, Nicole has worked hard to land her dream job—that of an Immortal Guardian’s Second or mortal guard—and loves working with Sean. He’s smart. He’s funny. And despite the sometimes dark existence he leads, the two of them laugh a lot. Years spent as a special ops soldier prepared Nicole well, enabling her to keep Sean safe despite his tendency to dive headlong into danger. But can it keep her safe? The enemy they face is determined and shrewd. Uncovering his identity may require new methods of engagement and force her to take a few risks.
Sean hasn’t been immortal long, but he knows the rules. And according to the rules, Nicole is off-limits. She’s his Second. His guard. His best friend. The one person who knows him better than anyone else. Though he loves every minute he spends with her, friendship is all they can ever have... isn’t it? Sean soon begins to question that as the two of them engage in a deadly cat-and-mouse game with the enemy, one that will reveal the true depth of their feelings for each other and drive him to abandon the rules altogether.
Rogue Darkness is a friends-to-lovers story full of thrills, laughter and new dangers.
For the youngest Immortal Guardian, Sean, couldn’t have gotten luckier having been assigned Nicole as his Second, his human assistant/protector. Not only is Nicole trained and experienced in weapons and fighting, but her sense of humor keeps Sean laughing even while spending his nights fighting vampires. In the months since Nicole has been assigned as his second, Nicole has become Sean’s best friend. And while she might lack his Immortal speed, she has saved his butt more than once since they started working as a team.
Sean, Nicole and newly turned Immortal, Tessa, are out hunting for vampires at the local campus when they come upon a group of vampires who have attacked a group of female students. Instead of fighting, one vampires takes his prize and makes a run for it. Tessa is in pursuit and is shocked to find that she know him as one of Gershom’s vampires. She thought Brice was killed with the others months ago. When Sean catches up to Tessa, Brice tosses the girl he is carrying and runs. More surprising than knowing the vampire is the fact that the woman he was carrying away was Becca Dorman, Immortal Nick Belanger’s adopted daughter, who has been attending college in North Carolina.
But when vampires make a grab for Becca again only a few nights later, the question is whether Becca is in the wrong-place, wrong-time or is she being personally targeted and why? Becca is no match for any vampire but since Becca and Nicole could pass as sisters, Nicole offers to step in as bait to see if the vampires will try a third time to make a grab for Becca. Nicole might have more training but she is still human and Sean isn’t very happy about Nicole putting herself in danger. When Seth, David and Chris Riordan decide that if Nicole (Becca) is grabbed again, she shouldn’t fight and she should allow her captures to take her to their base so that they can get some answers to who is behind this all, Sean has had enough. Sean is going to do whatever he has to to keep his best friend safe even if he has to go against Seth’s orders to do it.
I LOVE this series! LOVE IT! Twelve stories in, with two short stories and two spinoffs and every story in these series is unique. The characters each have their own personalities and brings something different to the story telling. There is so much more to this series than just vampire hunting. It’s all about the characters and the relationships between this large (and growing) group of Immortals and their friends.
We first met Sean in Darkness Rises, and we have witnessed, Sean and Nicole’s immediate and still growing friendship. They are fun to be around and manage to keep even the most dangerous situations light-hearted. In Rogue Darkness, Sean and Nicole begin to realize that their thoughts about each other are turning less best friend and more romantic in nature. Both fear that acting on their own feelings, which may not be reciprocated, could cause them serious trouble with the Network as the Immortal/Second work relationship shouldn’t be including sexy, naked times. They pretend that everything is status quo between them but when Nicole’s life is at risk, Sean realizes he can’t risk losing the most important person in his life. It was very funny whenever Sean tried to protest Nicole going out alone to act as bait, because she’s his Second and he was worried about her, everyone’s response was “Yeah. Sure. Because she’s your second, right.” Everyone but Sean and Nicole being aware that there was more to their bond than merely boss and employee.
This is hands-down my favorite series. Because each individual story brings something new to the series, I consider this my desert island collection. I could read this series from start to finish over and over again and never get bored.
I love all the stories and all the characters and Rogue Darkness brings its own fun and laughter in the form of Sean and Nicole. They even manage to find their own unique way of escaping danger by way of…dragon?
Kirsten Potter does an amazing presentation and really brings these characters to life. My only issue is that I started this series by paperback and not all her voices for these well-established characters match what is in my head but I will forgive her for not checking with me first.
Rogue Darkness is a Must Read so grab your copy today!
Determined to slip back into slumber, she snuggled into the covers hugged the hand she held to her chest. She stiffened. The hand she held? Instantly alert, she belatedly registered the big warm body behind her. Her eyes flew open. Oh, shit. She wasn’t in Becca’s dorm room. She was in her room, at Sean’s house, which meant the big body curled up against her was…”Sean?”
A sigh ruffled her hair as the muscled arm wrapped around her tightened. “Hmmm?”
What the hell had happened? Why was she home? And why was Sean snuggling up to her as if they were lovers? Wait, they weren’t lovers, were they? A quick glance down revealed she wore a tank top and pajama bottoms. Oddly, Nicole alternated between feeling relieved and disappointed. She peeked over her shoulder. Sean slept on top of the covers in a T-shirt and sweat pants. Nope, they were definitely not lovers. So why was he in her bed holding her so tightly? Her mind raced.
Something must have happened. Something must have happened to her. Nicole’s gaze strayed to the blinds around which bright sunlight peeked. It was daytime so whatever occurred must have taken place last night. She struggled to recall the events of the previous evening and could dredge up nothing. Vaguely she remembered heading to her favorite restaurant for dinner but had no memory of reaching it. Had she reached it? Nicole frowned as a foggy memory of Tessa tried to force it’s way through the haze. Had she seen Tessa last night? Several moments of contemplation merely yielded more frustration. She couldn’t remember.
Okay, don’t panic. Stay calm. She had been injured in the line of duty before when the Immortal Guardians the blitzed that huge mercenary base and she and the rest of the Network special ops soldiers backed them up, she’d been shot. It had hurt like hell and had pissed her off because Richart had teleported her away to Network Headquarters for triage so she’d missed the of the battle. Nicole had no difficulty remembering that. Then there’d been the night that Tessa had impaled her with a dagger. That memory was clear as day. And, Nicole had suffered brain damage once thanks to Gersham’s sorry ass. As with last night though, she had no memory of the last. She’d been Sean’s Second by then and new to the job, Sean had suffered injuries of his own and had been furious when he’d learned what had happened to her. For days he had hovered over her worried that she’d suffer permanent damage until she’d finally convinced him she was okay. He had hovered. He hadn’t clung and right now, Sean was clinging to her as if he’d thought she would fall off a cliff if he let go.
“Sean?” she said softly, dread pooling in her stomach.
“Umm?” Shifting in his sleep, he snuggled closer. Even with concern crowding her, she felt her pulse pick up at the contact but now wasn’t the time.
“Sean?” she repeated a little louder, not wanting to startle him yet eager to get some answers.
His muscles tensed. “Nicole?”
“Yeah. What happened?”
A long moment passed then he hugged her even closer, nearly cutting off her breath. “You almost died,” he whispered, his voice hoarse.
A chill skittered through her. “Tell me.”
Without relinquishing his grip, he relayed the events of the previous night. Nicole had to admit it unnerved her. She had almost died. She’d hoped Sean was exaggerating but when he went into medic-mode and started talking about a possible broken neck, her spinal cord and excessive blood-loss, yeah, it unnerved her. She swallowed hard.
“Well, that didn’t exactly go according to plan, did it?”
“No.” And still he held her.
“Was Seth pissed?”
“Only at Gary.”
“I assume Gary was the vampire.”
“Where’s Gary now?”
“Dead. Seth killed him after reading his mind.” The tone of his voice left no doubt in her mind that Sean wished he had been the one to kill him.
“You brought me home after Seth healed me?”
He nodded, his chin brushing the back of her head. “Melanie said you’d be loopy for awhile and I wanted you to be comfortable.
He’d also apparently felt quite clingy. She frowned, or had she felt clingy? Melanie had admitted to saying some pretty personal things to Bastian in front of several other Immortals while she’d been under the influence of a bite. Nicole bit her lip as a new concern rose. “I didn’t do anything I should feel embarrassed about, did I?” A vampire’s bite didn’t just leave victims loopy, it could also lower inhibitions.
“Other than ravishing me and stealing my innocence, then farting in your sleep? No.”
She laughed. “I did not.”
“Okay. You didn’t fart in your sleep.”
She grinned. “But I did steal your innocence?”
“No,” he said, injecting his response with amusing petulance. “I kept waiting for you to but noooo, all you wanted to do was sleep.”
Again, she laughed “I’m serious.”
“You didn’t do anything,” he divulged softly, his voice gaining a somber edge. “You just slept. So deeply, I worried that…”
She wouldn’t wake up? Affection filled her as she patted the hand still cradled against her chest. “I’m okay. I don’t even have a headache.”
A sigh ruffled her hair. “Thank goodness your head is so hard.”