Surrender the Dark by Tibby Armstrong

(No Series Name)
Will be Published May 23, 2017


As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.

Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.

After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.

The story opens as an adorable eight-year old, Benjamin Fuller, is playing outside when lured into his house by his horrid uncle. He has to repeat to himself the nursery rhyme that gives him a bit of bravery to face up to his family's cruel legacy as hunter of vampires and the supernatural. Not only does the uncle kill, he steals and tortures, but when Benjamin has to put on a brave (sort-of) face and join in, all hell breaks loose. Fast forward into the future and the two are at each other's throats. Benjamin has become a full-grown hunter determined to find the vamp who scarred him for life and destroyed his family, while the vamp is wanting to restore his kingdom and power.

I probably don't need to say that he's not a cruel vampire who feeds on people like Dracula. That wouldn't work for this kind of book. The author isn't using anything new in terms of characters, but what does is write these well. Benjamin is annoying a little when he's stubborn to face the facts but he doesn't take THAT long and is reasonable. It was interesting with him being blind and how his world worked from without and within due to that.

The bar was his friend and even that was intriguing since the author didn't have throwaway characters - she gives the regular bartender a part, too. Benjamin's friends are an interesting blend as well - a witch who weakens her power with jewelry because she's too terrified of her parents, and a boy from a mental hospital who wants more than anything to have some kind of "superpower." The three bonded during breakdowns, but they bonded for life, so the set-up for all the connections between them made this more than a quick and easy lay of a book with little substance other than bedroom play and unrealistic love interest.

Imagine explaining that one to others - 'hey, these are my best friends. We met in the asylum.' Here's the guy I'm in love with - 'I met him when I was supposed to kill him.'

There's no quick dive into the sack either, thankfully, and the author makes sure to have plenty of other story to complement anything developing between the two main characters. There's the bigger picture of a bigger threat than either realized, the conflict between what needs to happen (a death) to fix something no matter what their feelings are, and a chase for a small mystery. If you're into paranormal romance of this type, this well-written story should have you glued. Characters aren't new but they are well done. Storyline keeps a story amidst a relationship that doesn't cause eyerolls. It's not all heat and spark - fortunately there's substance as well.

Read and reviewed after receiving from netgalley         

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