by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark-Hunter #1, Dark-Hunterverse #2
Published on September 15, 2009 by St. Martin's Press
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance, Romance
The Dark-Hunters are ancient warriors who have sworn to protect mankind and the fate of the world is in their hands. . .
He is solitude. He is darkness. He is the ruler of the night. Yet Kyrian of Thrace has just woken up handcuffed to his worst nightmare: An accountant. Worse, she's being hunted by one of the most lethal vampires out there. And if Amanda Devereaux goes down, then he does too. But it's not just their lives that are hanging in the balance. Kyrian and Amanda are all that stands between humanity and oblivion. Let's hope they win.
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In the first book of the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon (though not the first book in the universe, I learned) I’ve begun to warm up to her writing and the hype around these books. Night Pleasures is a tale of Kyrian of Thrace, the long-ago friend of Julian Alexander who we met last in Fantasy Lover. With Kyrian comes Amanda, sister of Selena who is Grace Alexander’s best friend. See the connections? Love it.
Much like other romances, the book focused less on the story and more on the growing attraction between our two lovebirds. Kyrian is all dark and mysterious with a loner complex, making it hard for him to let anyone in, especially a woman. Amanda has had enough of the paranormal and occult from her family so being saddled with someone who’s not human anymore isn’t the most fun she’s had. Despite their differences, I liked the sarcasm and banter between them. It kept the story light and quick. Unlike in many romances I’ve read, there’s no restraint of feelings between them. They both have a tendency to say what they want (or who).
My issues with the characters themselves came out once Kyrian started getting attached. He went from sexy hunter of the night to a teddy bear – he lost his edge. And it made the romance somewhat…lacking. Similar to Fantasy Lover, something about their chemistry didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t quite believable. Yeah, but it’s a work of fiction, and he’s a weird vampire-thing. Of course it isn’t going to be believable. I couldn’t care less if he was Dracula, I wanted a romance I could lose myself in and this wasn’t it. Something kept me at a distance.
Also, can I get a romance that ISN’T about two people with major issues about the opposite sex??? I got so sick of listening to them talk about their pasts because, frankly, I wasn’t invested enough to care.
Now the plot, romance aside, is what kept me reading through to the end. As mentioned when I reviewed the previous book, I’m a sucker for any mythology ties in books. If you’re going ancient Greek, I want it. We’re still in the Greek myth continuing from Julian’s story and the gods’ children have arrived with plans for destruction. And if Kyrian can’t kill the Big Bad, he and more of his kind — we’re talking the protectors of the earth here — are dead. Talk about a little tension. Plus, this guy has it out for Kyrian’s lady and her sister so can’t be running around alone.
Though the plot was solid enough for a romance, I still had issues with Kenyon’s writing style. The snark knew no bounds even when it didn’t fit the mood. The story flows quickly but the writing is basic at best. I didn’t feel like it had much of a specific flare to say “hey, this is a book by Sherrilyn Kenyon,” unlike Jeaniene Frost’s books for example. Night Pleasures didn’t stand out at all.
I’ve heard the series gets better over the course of all the books, but there are a lot and I’m someone who has to read a series in order. I mean, this one would’ve made far less sense without first reading Fantasy Lover so I’d rather not deal with the confusion that comes with reading out-of-order for the remainder of the books. That being said, give me something original! So far these books fall in the just another paranormal romance category, quickly read and soon forgotten. Nothing special here.