The seventh book in the Paladins of Darkness series, published April 2011.
Caught between two worlds, a powerful warrior must choose between impossible destinies when he meets a woman whose love will either make or break him. . . .
As the daughter of a Regent, Sasha has long known about the secret underworld of the Paladins and their work protecting her kind from the dark forces on the other side of the energy barrier. So when she is sent on her first solo investigation, on the path to becoming the first female Regent, she is determined to get the Seattle Paladins in line. Offering sanctuary to their Kalith enemies is simply unacceptable! But when she meets Larem, she is inexorably drawn to a dark and valiant warrior who is not at all what he appears to be. As the power struggle between Regents and Paladins rages on, someone starts making attacks on her life. Sasha must choose between loyalty to her own kind and the warrior she loves . . . with the very fate of humanity hanging in the balance.
A lot has happened with the Seattle Paladins in the past books. They have been guarding the secret barrier between Earth and Kalithia for ages now, and only recently learned that not everyone living there is mad and hungry for the light of Earth. There are worthy warriors living there too, defending their side of the barrier against those who have become ill and want to cross over. Which is a bad thing for Earth, as they kind of pollute their environment. But lately a few warriors, and even two little children have crossed the barrier, and are now the mates of humans and Paladins. Understanding between the two species has been building for those who fight, but the Regents, who govern the Paladins and fund them, are not happy with this development. The Others, or Kalith, are the enemy, and should be killed at sight, and not living among humans!
So when the Paladins get the news a new person is coming over to put the mess the corrupt Colonel Kincaid left behind, to rights, they are not happy. Promises have been made over the past decades, and never kept. So why would this new administrator be any different? And the Kalith are also worried, will they be send back? They have build a new life here, and are happy with their new families. So when they find out it is a woman administrator, Larem, the only single Kalith, is asked to befriend her, and show her there is not much difference between humans and Kalith. Larem reluctantly agrees.
Sasha knows she is not really welcome in the Seattle Paladin headquarters, but she is determined to make it work. She really wants to improve the quality of life for the Paladins, and make sure she uses her small budget to its best. So she has to convince Devlin Bane of that fact. She also has to convince her father and his collegue Regents that she is the best person for the job, and she wants to become the new Regent for this area. She approves of the new tests Laurel is running, trying to make the Paladins last longer, and fight back their decline after each time they die.
Her first day on the job, Sasha makes a speech to all the Paladins, and promises to do her best. They are a bunch of really big and handsome man, but one of them stands apart for Sasha. He is just different from the rest. And when he offers to show her around a bit, she is glad. The attraction between them is strong, and although Larem knows he shouldn’t, he gives in to it. He has already lost out on a chance for a mate of his own, and now he wants Sasha. Even though he knows he will ruin her chances to ever become a Regent, if she has a Kalith for a lover. And when Sasha finally finds out the truth, she is not happy with it.
Larem is still trying to find a new purpose. He doesn’t want to fight his own people, but he doesn’t mind training with his new Paladin friends, and teach them what he knows. He is also studying and trying out his new healing powers, and helping out in the local animal shelter. He is especially drawn to a big white dog, who was severely abused by his former master and distrusts all humans. With a lot of patience, Larem gains his trust, and he heals the dog’s leg bit by bit. One day when walking Chance, they meet Sasha, and Chance instantly likes her.
But there are other people who don’t like the presence of the Kalith in Seattle, and when they find out about Sasha and Larem, Sasha’s life is in danger. How dares she, a human woman, a Regent’s daughter, consort with an alien! Sasha is not one to back down when things get though, so will Larem be able to keep her safe? And especially when D.J. and Cullen make some progress in cracking Kincaid’s computer, and finding the evidence that he was not the only dirty Regent …
Another great book in this unique series, written by Alexis Morgan. I do love series with warriors, a kind of brotherhood, and the strong mates they find. I liked Sasha, she doesn’t give in to intimidation, she goes for what she wants, what she thinks is right. She has been in love with a Paladin before, only to lose him for good just after he proposed. Since then, she has had no real relationships. Until she meets Larem, and he just is the one. He is kind, and caring, and very handsome of course. And among all the other handsome warriors, he is the one she wants.
Larem is not happy with living on Earth yet, though he would have been executed for treason if he had stayed behind on Kalithia. He doesn’t know what to do with his life yet, and feel she is just hanging on. He is happiest working with animals. But he is grateful for his real friendships with a few of the Paladins who stand up for him when needed (and when not). And now there is Sasha. And for the first time in a long time, he has feelings for a woman again. And even when she doesn’t like it, he is a warrior foremost, and he will defend “his woman” and even kill if needs be.
They just were great together, and especially the scenes with the dog, Chance.
A little bit of suspense in the end of the book, and I must admit, I had seen that coming. But still, a good story, and I am certainly looking forward to the next one, which was released this week.