I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Heart of Darkness by Lauren Dane
Published by Penguin on 2011
Reviewed by Jo
From national bestselling author Lauren Dane comes a white hot new series about a dangerous family legacy and sensual paranormal passions played to the death on the knife-edge of darkness . . . Meriel Owen, next in line to control the largest organization of witches in the country, is asked to investigate the owner of a notorious club reportedly siphoning magick from the font of the clan. It's a direct violation of the clan's rules, but one look at Dominic Bright and Meriel's willing to make a deal. One taste of the sexually feral outlaw witch and she's eager to go further: He's her bond-mate, a legal conduit into the world of clan witched and their magick. Playing by the rules isn't Dominic's style, but bonding with Meriel-night after explosive night-is. However, Meriel has unwittingly invited someone else into her world: Dominic's mother, a dangerous and poisonously influential magick addict whose lust for death and power corrupts all she touches. Now her shadow is closing in on Meriel, her clan and the man Meriel loves, and it's casting them all into the inescapable heart of darkness. 'Dane always delivers a stemy, exciting ride . . . she leaves me wanting more!' Larissa Ione, New York Times bestselling author 'Unputdownable . . . great characters, wonderful world-building and, as always, a delicious romance. If you pick this book up, make sure you've cleared the afternoon.' Anne Aguirre, national bestselling author
Meriel Owen is next in line to run Clan Owen and she is also a very talented attorney. One of her main jobs is to keep all threats to Clan Owen either contained somehow or to make them disappear and that is on top of what she does in her legal job. At this point in history, there are many things that are pulling at Meriel. Times are changing again for those with magick and Meriel is determined to find a way to protect not only her people but all witches if she can.
Dominic Bright is not part of any clan and he has a reason to not want to have anything to do with them. However, that didn’t stop him from using the power he has to tap into the Clan Owen power to keep his club safe. Dominic and his partner knew that sooner or later someone from the clan would come knocking on their door. He never expected Meriel or his instant attraction to her.
Meriel went to confront a rouge club owner and instead found her destined soulmate. Meriel can understand Dominic’s hesitation to have anything to do with the entire clan at first and she is more than willing to just let this thing between them go naturally. Dominic wants Meriel like nothing he has ever wanted before and that confuses him. But he is not willing to totally dismiss what she is saying either. As their relationship grows, both Dominic and Meriel learn that a lot of Dominic’s past isn’t what he always thought it was. When the past puts both of them in danger, it’s Meriel and her clan who give both of them the strength and power they need to defeat that threat.
In a time of fast changing reality, two hearts find each other and the love that will let them defeat any challenge. Meriel and Dominic don’t expect the instant passion they find in Heart of Darkness, but are not willing to let it go once found. I have to say that I loved both Meriel and Dominic when I met them. Meriel because she is a modern woman who knows that in order to stay powerful you must change with the times and is willing to drag her clan into the future. Dominic because even with what he grew up knowing, he was more than willing to learn the truth of what Meriel was telling him and learn from some hard truths. I was riveted to Meriel and Dominic’s story from the first page because I could tell there was so much just waiting to be revealed as each page turned. Clan Owen has a new and kicking’ team to help lead it into an unknown and threatening future. I also loved that this series continues and expands the theme of two other much-loved series (de La Vega Cats and Cascadia Wolves) from Lauren. With two strong and loving lead characters, passion, magick and suspense, Heart of Darknessbecame an instant favorite and earned a space on my keeper shelves. Joyfully Recommended to all paranormal lovers, who want a paranormal that is a little different. I can’t wait for the next book and I bet you will be waiting with me after reading Heart of Darkness.