Drake is an ancient dragon shifter, one of the most powerful beings in existence, but a millennium trapped in utter darkness has left him ill-equipped for modern society. If it wasn’t for Victoria, the sweet female brave enough to befriend him, he’d be lost. She’s smart and gorgeous and everything he never dared dream of during his years of agonizing loneliness. He may not have anything to offer her, but one thing he knows for sure: he’d die to keep her safe.
Only to fall into the heaven of her touch.
Victoria is a wolf shifter, healer of the Stavros pack. She’s seen a lot, but she’s never met anybody quite like Drake, the fiery, fascinating shifter who can blaze through the skies unseen by mere mortals. He’s lost, dangerous, and the last male she should fall in love with, but the more time she spends helping him navigate modern life, the deeper—and hotter—their connection becomes. She’s thrilled when they finally locate his family, but reuniting with his people plunges them both into unimaginable danger. It’s a race against the clock trying to figure out who wants them dead and who they can trust, especially when the threat is closer than they ever imagined.
Length: 90K words (full length novel)
As Darkness Awakened finished, we met Drake, a dragon shifter who had been trapped in hell for more than a thousand years. He has no memory of how or indeed why he was sacrificed and sent there, but of one thing he's certain, the beautiful wolf shifter, Victoria, smells like home! Her scent leaves him in no doubt she is meant to be his mate and luckily her pack has offered him a home, but not everyone trusts him. Drake will do anything to win the heart of Victoria but feels he is unworthy, as he has nothing of his own to offer her. Each day Drake watches the lovely healer Victoria and bides his time, but woe betides anyone who comes between them. Drake is determined to prove he is able to both protect and provide for the woman who will complete him, but as the only dragon how can he?
Dragons have not been seen for centuries and had been believed to be extinct by many. So, it's a huge surprise when another dragon is spotted over the compound where the wolves and Drake live. Then two more reveal themselves, claiming Drake is part of their Clan, but Drake's memories are hazy at best and he has no true recollection of these two newcomers. Determined to get to the bottom of what's really happening, Drake and Victoria go searching for answers but as their connection and relationship deepens, Drake’s past is stalking him. He may have escaped hell once, but if danger takes Victoria away from him, then hell is right here on earth!
This is just such an amazing new series Ms Reus has written. There are so many diverse characters to interest the reader and you can easily see there are a lot of romantic possibilities for Ms Reus to further explore. Taste of Darkness may feature the sweet Drake and stubborn Victoria, but the supporting characters are not just thrown in. They each have a story to tell and it's a tantalizing read. Drake is not the typical alpha male dragon so many authors give us. He is not arrogant and full of bluster, no he is caring, a little naive and very innocent, but he really wants to give Victoria everything he feels she needs. Victoria, on the other hand, is a loyal young woman who allows her pack to protect her. She understands the wolves’ mentality but she is constantly left feeling stifled and wishes for more freedom.
Two truly likable characters who deserve a happy ending, but it's a hard journey for them with steep learning curves, especially for Drake. He is in a vulnerable position but as the story progresses his character grows and it's wonderful to see him able to rise above his past and find his place. I particularly liked the way he hesitantly expresses himself. As he has been in hell since he was twelve years old, it's not surprising and as his confidence grows so too does the romance. It's no instant lust but when the couple finally do mate, it feels right.
So there's lots going on and I'm sure much more to come. Dragons are back in the world but demons are still trying to escape hell. Taste of Darkness only touched briefly on the vampires existing in this world Ms Reus has created, but I'm sure much more will be revealed in subsequent books. It's well worth reading the previous book if you have missed it and a great read for fans of paranormal romance.