Elijah Reynolds is the most dominant of lycans, a rare Alpha whose skill on the hunt is surpassed only by his primal sexuality. When the lycans revolt due to the iron fist of angelic rule, he steps into command, becoming both enemy and coveted ally in the conflict between vampires and angels. Vashti is the second most powerful vampire in the world, a lethal beauty with a path of devastation in her wake. Tasked with proposing an alliance between vampires and the lycans who killed her mate, Vash approaches Elijah, whose need to avenge a friend demands Vash's death even as his passion demands her surrender. Soon, their enmity erodes beneath an all-consuming desire. Elijah has never encountered a woman whose warrior spirit and fierce sexual appetite rivals his own, while Vash is faced with the one man strong enough to be her equal. But as war looms, each must decide where their loyalty lies--with their own kind or with the enemy lover they can no longer live without.
Copy provided by NetGalley
***Adult content included in review***
"Take what you need," he said gruffly, understanding. "Whatever you need. And give me everything in return."
Review: Elijah! That's the one word I can use to sum up this book. I've read many books about shifters in the past, but have never been so taken by one as I was with Elijah. Elijah is alpha to the max. He is sexy, controlling, intelligent and smitten with a half-crazy, bad ass, warrior vampress named Vashti. Sounds great....except that vampires and lycans hate one another in this world. This book tells the story of Elijah and Vashti, and how even their mutual distrust and dislike of one another (at least in the beginning) could not keep them apart.
Elijah has been lusting after Vashti since the previous book in this series, A Touch of Crimson. As soon as he laid eyes on her, Elijah knew he was a goner. In this book, Vashti is send by her commanding officer, and closest friend, Syre, to broker a deal between the lycans and the vampires. There is a deadly wraith virus spreading that is turning infected persons into mindless, killing machines. The lycans have recently rebelled from working with their long time partners, the Sentinel angels. Elijah immediately feels a pull towards Vashti, even though he doesn't want to feel that way. Vashti hasn't had a romantic relationship in the last 60 years, since her beloved husband was murdered in a heinous way by lycans. On the other hand, Elijah has sworn to kill Vashti for her earlier transgressions of killing his best friend and beta. The antagonistic relationship begins almost immediately.
"I hate lycans," she said without heat. It was a simple fact, best laid out there in case he missed the memo. "The thought of fucking one makes my skin crawl." "But the idea of fucking me makes you wet." His tone was as emotionless as hers had been.
So Vashti and Elijah begin their uneasy alliance securing the lycans in a proper home. When the sexual tension becomes too much, Vashti opts to take a quick break from Elijah and travel to Las Vegas where she can get a quick meal from a blood donor, and possibly let out some of her sexual frustration. Elijah follows her to Vegas, determined to stop her from drinking from another person. His lycan beast has already claimed Vasti as his own, even if she doesn't know it. What follows is one of the most disturbing and hot scenes I have read in a while. There is a sexual encounter with consent in the loosest possible meaning. But in the end, Elijah shows what kind of man he really is.
Elijah wrapped his forearm with the spilled length of her hair. Fisting the tresses at the root, he pulled her head back and growled in her ear, "You can't tame me."
Upon departing Las Vegas, there is a commotion, and Elijah runs right in to the middle of a house filled with wraiths. There is a great battle, but Elijah is bitten and becomes very ill. Vashti immediately travels to find help in the form of a Sentinel angel, who is sworn to battle against the vamps. The point of view in this story changes around a bit, so we also read the continuation of the Adrian and Linday story that was explored in more depth in A Touch of Crimson. Adrian is the head Sentinel angel, who is not supposed to feel anything. His lot in life is to serve the Creator. However, he has fallen completely, head-over-heels in love with a vampress named Lindsay. Lindsay also happens to have a very close, platonic relationship with Elijah. Vashti attempts to kidnap Lindsay in order to convince Adrian to help her. Adrian eventually allows Lindsay to travel to Elijah to help him, even though it's against his better judgment, because of the depth of friendship Lindsay has for Elijah.
Elijah and Vashti continue to fight their feelings for one another, and it's one of the most beautiful, antagonistic, animalistic, wild and intense relationships I have read about. Vashti attempts to push Elijah away, but ends up with many regrets. Vashti's main issue is that she is fighting herself. And in the process, she is becoming more crazy that she already was. Her confidante and boss, Syre, notices and is ready to end this fledgling relationship in his own way because of the affect it is having on his right-hand vamp. Elijah shows his true spirit when he gives Vashti exactly what she thinks she wants. Elijah is so much an alpha, and so ridiculously confidant in himself, that he makes a risky decision to knock some sense into Vashti. A decision that could very well backfire.
"You're crazy about me, Vashti. You don't know why...It doesn't make sense...But you can't stop thinking about me. Can't stop wanting me. Can't stop wishing you you were with me when you're not. Right now, as pissed off as you are and as righteous as you've convinced yourself you have the right to be, you're hot and wet and aching for me."There is a lovely, wild forest scene that you will love if you are a PNR fan. Afterwards, it seems like Vashti and Elijah have secured their feelings for one another, yet they still have a job to do in eradicating the wraiths they have stumbled upon. There is a big fight where we find out that another person has been trying to undermine Vashti in many ways. There is some progress on finding a cure for the wraith virus, yet many mysteries remain unsolved.
I took off a half of a star only because the ending was left so open. There really wasn't any closure to any of the story lines, and another story thread was begun at the tail end of this book. I believe that a lot of my questions will be answered in the next book, though. I loved this book and am so happy that I found Sylvia Day this year. She has made my reading much more interesting!
"Betcha never seen a lycan who's nailing a vampress, either," Vash said. "Syre's second, no less. It's a whole new world, puppy."