Ever since the incident that caused her family to move, Brianna Paxton has lived a life of anonymity. She’s smart and pretty, but not enough to help her stand out among her peers or to catch the eye of any guy. It’s like she almost doesn’t exist to the her male counterparts, like they stare straight through her, that is when they even happen to look her way. But all that changes one night at a party, where the one guy that Brianna would kill to be noticed by, Blake Williams, truly sees her for the first time. In an instant, a thousand-year-old secret comes bubbling to the surface and a war long buried, but far from over, is reignited.
With deadly enemies and tangled souls comes bloodlust and lust-lust. With hearts on the line, figuratively and literally, will an ancient battle to the death seal their fate long before they’ve had a chance to test the strength of their confusing, but blossoming relationship or does Brianna’s destiny prove to be the key to ending this war once and for all?
Okay, I have to give credit where credit is due. When I first picked this book up, I’ll admit I was at my limit on female protagonists never being noticed, always invisible, except for, you know, every guy in the history of ever in that book. So yeah… I may have went on a mini rant on Goodreads about it (Forgive me, Talia!). Anyhoodles, I bet you’re asking yourself now, what relevance does this even have, Christina? Well, I’ll tell you. Ms. Vance is a freaking genius and totally made me put my foot in my mouth because she had a legitimate reason for Brianna always being ignored by guys, AND I ONE HUNDRED PERCENT ADORE HER FOR IT! Of course, I can’t tell you the reason, but there is one, and I just didn’t want you to get frustrated like I did and be a jerk.
The author manages to pull the readers into this enthralling book mainly because of the multi-faceted characters that emerge throughout this story, providing ones you’ll love to love and ones you’ll love to hate. Each character, even the secondary ones, are so well developed and unique, that you’ll find yourself compelled to turn the pages to find out what new layer you’ll discover as the story unfolds. Each character has a role to fill, and I felt a connection to each of them and their purpose in the story.
I’m a huge fan of reinvented mythology or tales of mythological beings set in present time, but I’m not well read on Celtic/Irish folklore. I quite enjoyed unraveling the curse of the Bandia and the Milesians and the war that has been brewing between them for thousands of years. Ms. Vance did a magnificent job of teasing the readers, letting out just enough information at the appropriate times, revealing secrets long sealed at the perfect moment to make an impact, all while keeping the reader just as curious as the main character herself about who she is and why her world is suddenly so confusing. Usually I’m not one for suspense, but I found myself more intrigued and glued to what was happening in the moment, rather than racing to put the puzzle pieces together out of aggravation with the need to know everything. I loved the pacing of the story and having that feeling of being on the edge of my seat, and felt every detail was connected to the next, making the story as a whole one of the best, most original plots I’ve read in a while. There’s unimaginable depth and surprises around every corner, and I found it extremely difficult to put this book down.
Lastly, this author can write some sizzling chemistry. You feel the spark and attraction between Blake and Brianna, the need of intimacy between their bonded souls. I often found myself rereading the passages where they were together because you feel their chemistry set the page on fire. It’s so good.
I rarely ever go back and reread a book immediately, but I did with this one. On the first read, I would have been hard-pressed to find a problem worth mentioning at all, but I did come across something that stuck out to me a little more the second time around. The hot and cold action between Blake and Brie can be a little frustrating at times. The intimate, more sincere moments they share can quickly boil over into a heated argument, and I found myself a little more noticeably agitated about it on the second read-through. Of course, it’s easy to dismiss this as a true problem because you have to remember that even though their souls become bound– which means they’re undeniably connected to one another on such a deep level– that all Blake has ever known is the stories he was told while growing up. No matter how he feels about Brianna, a part of him isn’t able to take her at face value because she’ll always be the enemy to him.
Though it wasn’t left with a cliffhanger ending (THANK GOODNESS!), the author did leave it wide open for the series to continue. I can’t see what adventures await us and to discover how this will all play out, particularly how the relationship between Blake and Brianna will grow. I need Gold (Bandia #2), like, yesterday.