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Two-hundred-year-old Daegan Blackwell is one of the last remaining Empowered, an ancient magical race. Daegan’s duty is to lead and protect his remaining Brethren in the coming war foretold by prophecy. The last thing he expects is to meet the one woman who will either save or destroy him-his destined mate.
Fiercely independent Realtor Olivia Farrell believes darkly handsome Daegan is simply a prospective client. Until she’s attacked by a man with a strange aura-and Daegan fights him off, taking away her pain with just his touch. At first, Olivia refuses to believe she’s part of a magical race, yet mounting evidence and her powerful chemistry with Daegan are too strong to deny.
But as Daegan’s partner, Olivia becomes a target in the battle between good and evil that threatens her life, as well as the very existence of the Empowered. And the only one who can save her is the man claiming to be her destin
I’ve been wanting to read Kaylea Cross ever since my friends recommend her Romantic Suspense series. I decided to start with this new paranormal release because, it’s a brand new series and I LOVE finding a good one, don’t you?
Darkest Caress is a paranormal romance centered around a group (very small group) called the Empowered. They are unique and I’d never even heard of an Empowered, so it took me a few chapters to understand their gifts and abilities. The Empowered are an ancient race originating from Lithuania & Baltic Sea area. They exhibit varying metaphysical abilities, and gain some healing from the sea. These abilities typically manifest in their twenties, those who are unaware may not recognize themselves as Empowered. Lifespan for an Empowered, provided they don’t die in the war with the Dark Army, is upwards of 400 years. The Dark Army consists generally of ‘fallen’ Empowered, and led by the Obsidian Lord.
Olivia works as a real estate agent and when showing a massive estate, she meets Daegan Blackwell. Deagan’s the current Coven Leader for the Empowered, and posing as a high powered security CEO looking to relocate. He immediately recognized Olivia as his mate, but Olivia is reluctant to believe she is one of the Empowered, and learning she’s Deagan’s ‘mate’ is a bit surreal.
Olivia fights this pre-arranged relationship because it just doesn’t make sense in her world. I enjoyed the relationship building between Olivia and Daegan. I personally struggled with the idea of ‘mates’ being predestined, without laying eyes on each other. That’s a personal quirk for me, and doubt it’s something everyone challenges when reading paranormal plots. The love between the characters is deep and full of insecurities you’d expect from such a quick pairing combined with a scary new world. Because this is complete new series and new variety of paranormal, I think she does a great job of explaining her world without making it too complex to enjoy.
Darkest Caress is full of rich legends about Lithuanian mythology. I truly enjoyed the unique history contained in this story. I love that it was inspired by her trip to the Baltic states! Ms. Cross writing is engaging and the characters are well developed. The suspense was intense, and I wanted to rush through it to get past that feeling of panic. I found her writing to be just as my friends have described and I’ll be looking for her suspense novels soon!
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