Author: Alexis Morgan
Series: Paladins of Darkness (book #1)
Next in series: Dark Defender
My rating: 4 Stars
Synopsis: Devlin Bane is a Paladin, one of an ancient race of warriors born to defend the Earth from deadly invaders known as the Others. The Paladins of renowned for their fighting skills and for their ability to rejuvenate after death, however, each resurrection results in additional losses of their humanity until they ultimately turn into the monsters they are destined to fight. Now, Devlin has finally found someone to live for, Laurel Young, the doctor assigned to be his handler. Unfortunately, someone wants Devlin permanently dead and will not hesitate to use Laurel as bait.
Review: Morgan’s characters are intriguing and she writes a compelling action-packed plot that ratchets up a notch toward the end. Nevertheless, the descriptions of the Paladin’s world, as well as that of the Others, are insufficient. The mythos and characterization are one dimensional and inadequately explained. The identity of the villain, for example, is almost immediately obvious due to the lack of detail, and Devlin’s backstory and training to become a Paladin is suspiciously absent.
The romance in the story is sweet. Devlin is a typical alpha male but has some endearing insecurities and Laurel is intelligent and independent. The fact that they are forced to keep their feelings secret because relationships between Paladins and their handlers are frowned upon adds another layer to the underlying tension between them. However, it was difficult to become completely immersed in them as a couple as their connection seems forced and even somewhat clinical. The character that really caught my attention is Blake Trahern, the hero of the next book, who appeals to my “bad boy with a heart of gold” fetish.
Despite its shortcomings, the book is exciting and enjoyable, and there are enough elements, such as the conspiracy and the search for a cure for the Paladin’s condition, to retain my interest in finding out where the story is going. Consequently, I will be continuing with the series.