Claimed by Rebecca Zanetti
Emma Paulsen is a geneticist driven by science. But she's also a psychic, so when a dark, good-hearted vampire frees her from the clutches of the evil Kurjans, she realizes he must be the man who's been haunting her dreams. But with a virus threatening vampires' mates, Emma may discover a whole new meaning of "lovesick"...
As King of the Realm, Dage Karys has learned to practice diplomacy. Still, it's taken three hundred years to find his mate, so he'll stop at nothing to protect her--even if it means turning on his back on his own kind...
Whew. This book starts right in the middle of the action!! Emma has been found by the Kurjans and is being transported to one of their strongholds when Dage teleports into the helicopter holding her and lays waste to all inside--including the pilot. Luckily, he is able to teleport them back out before the helicopter crashes, unluckily the landing leaves a LOT to be desired. Dage is determined to keep his mate safe...while his mate is determined to save her sister, Cara, who has been infected with a virus which is not only undoing her mating to Talen, but is also turning her back into a human. As Cara is pregnant with a vampire child and humans aren't strong enough to carry vampire fetuses, the pressure is on to save both of them before the virus progresses to far.
Emma is used to protecting Cara as they grew up with an abusive father and often Emma would focus his attention on her to protect Cara and their mother. However, Emma did not use that as a reason to not trust Dage which I thought was an interesting choice which I appreciated. It also helped that Emma had been dreaming of Dage for years--seeing scenes of his life which allowed her to get to "know" him and his abilities and personality. Emma and Dage are both incredibly strong characters who fit each other so well. Dage does not want to be king but he knows he is the best choice to be so and therefore he sucks it up and does his duty to the best of his ability at all times, although he definitely does what he has to to protect his brothers and their mates as they come first and foremost.
There is a lot going on in this book as the virus attacks not only Cara, a vampire mate, but also at least one shifter and a prophet while Emma and Kane frantically try to figure out a cure. Meanwhile, while Moira (Conn's mate) was mentioned in book one, she is actually "introduced" to the reading in this title as the witches as a whole are brought more into the fold. There will be a lot more action from that segment of the paranormal world in upcoming titles I am sure. Also, demons were introduced and while they played a minor role the implications for further development were huge. There are at least three other couples that have already been paired off (not counting Janie and Zane who will have to wait longer due to their ages at this point) and I can't wait for each of their stories.
Even with all of that going on, all of the raids against the Kurjans, the developing (and devolving) relationships between individuals and groups of paranormals, the virus and the research to cure it, the introduction of new species and characters, Rebecca Zanetti did a phenomenal job of never letting the relationship between Dage and Emma to feel forgotten or overshadowed. The balancing act that she must have performed in order for their story to still be front and center in the reader's mind amidst EVERYTHING else is phenomenal and to be commended. And what a relationship it is...fireworks occurred often as both characters have strong beliefs about the way their relationship will go. Not to mention Emma has seen visions of her death for years and isn't about to commit either herself or Dage too far until she is certain she can change events. And yet. Somehow, both Dage and Emma found themselves falling more and more in love with their partner as well as becoming more and more willing and able to support them in their needs and desires. It truly was beautiful to watch them figure out each of their own issues as well as each others'. That is not to say that Dage was not overbearing and neanderthal at times or that Emma wasn't mule-headed with one foot out the door, but they were both so complex that it simply wasn't that easy. Always, one or the other (or both) would grow from their interactions and you could see the proof of that based on their behavior in later interactions.
I Love Library Books
Witches and Witchcraft
What an Animal
I borrowed this title from my local public library.