Embrace the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy
Lady Shay is the last of her kind. Half human, half Shalott, her blood is a precious aphrodisiac to vampires, who consider it more precious than gold. Though Shalotts are renowned assassins, a curse over Shay lands her on the slave auction block, where her fate is uncertain...
Viper, the beguiling chief of a deadly vampire clan, can't explain his longing to possess the beautiful Shalott who once saved his life, but now he is free to do anything he wants with her. Strangely, while he desires both Shay's blood and body, he wants her to surrender willingly.
A hidden evil has been stalking Shay since she left the slave market with Viper. It is an evil that endangers the very existence of Viper's kind, and there's no reason he should court such danger just to protect a Shalott. But the love he feels for Shay is enough to make him willing to go to hell and back if it means spending an eternity with her in his arms...
There is something about Alexandra Ivy's writing that I really enjoy. Just when I am getting ready to roll my eyes because a character is about to do something stupid and predictable, Alexandra turns the tables on me by having the characters do something unexpected and more often than not, at least with Shay and Viper, something that utilizes brains and common sense. It was so refreshing!
Shay finds herself on the auction block--a demon holds her curse and is going to sell her to the highest bidder, who turns out to be Viper. Viper, however, has no plans to abuse his power over Shay. When Shay slips away, he is certain she is going back on her word to stay with him, but instead he finds she is fulfilling a promise to never leave a friend behind. Instead of getting on his high horse, he simply respects her choice and sets out to support her however he can.
Something bad is happening to various demons and the one who holds Shay's curse goes missing--which is bad because if he dies, so does Shay. Viper and Shay have to figure out how to find the missing demon, break the curse, stay alive when the baddies come after them, and deal with a REALLY nutso bad vampire who is hooked on drugs and wants to use Shay's blood to heal himself. I really enjoyed both Shay and Viper, they kept their heads about them and preferred to communicate rather than get mired down in unneeded drama and misunderstandings. There is also a delightful secondary character in the form of Levet, a three foot tall gargoyle. I loved Levet and the loyalty he and Shay felt towards each other. His interactions with Viper were also a hoot and a half.
I would recommend this second entry in the Guardians of Eternity series. As for myself, I can't wait to read book three.
Prequels and Sequels
Witches and Witchcraft
I Love Library Books
I borrowed this book from my local public library.