We're the D'Artigo sisters: sexy, savvy ex-operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But being half-human, half-Fae means our powers go haywire at all the wrong times. My sister Delilah is a Death Maiden and werecat who belongs to the Autumn Lord. My sister Menolly is a vampire who's dating a gorgeous werepuma, and the godfather of the undead-set. And me? I'm Camille, Priestess of the Moon Mother, married to a dragon, a youkai, and a Svartan. But my dragon father-in-law has decided that he doesn't like having me for a member of the family...
It's Winter Solstice, and Aeval welcomes me into her Court of Darkness. With Morio still dangerously weak from his injuries and Vanzir alive only thanks to my silence, the thought of training under Morgaine doesn't seem as daunting as it did. But then, Hyto returns to shatter my life. Captured and swept off to the Dragon Reaches, can I manage to stay alive long enough to escape, even as Smoky's father intends to break my spirit, then my body?
Things were really starting to look up for Camile. She's more in love then ever with her triad of husbands, now that Morio is on the mend, and the other two are home safe with her, well as safe as they can be considering the war. Even her upcoming training with Morgaine doesn't bother her as much anymore. All that changes when she is captured by Smoky's father, who is bent on vengence. He plans to break her mind, body, and soul slowly in the most horrific ways possible. She knows she must hold on to hope with every last shred, but how long can she really hang on with what she is about to face?
Not once in this entire series has the danger been as real and horrific as it was in Courting Darkness. In the author's note at the end she talks about how the story was dark, but that it had to be that way due to Hyto's nature. I completely agree with her, especially since he is by far the sickest thing the sisters have faced. That's really saying something when you look back over everything that has happened. My heart was pounding for the entire book and I literally cringed everytime Hyto came around. However, it isn't all dark as we got to see just how strong Camile is. What she withstands is nothing short of remarkable, but what is even more impressive is her character growth in the end. She learns that she can't always be the rock and that sometimes its okay to lean on others for support. In the past she has always taken on the heaviest burdens, but now I see her sharing some of that with the others, making the group only stronger in the end. The more these sisters grow and mature, the greater a force the become to be reckoned with. I know I wouldn't want to be on their bad side.
Courting Darkness, like all of Camille's books, comes jammed packed with sensuality. (Who can blame her as she has three incredibly sexy men for husbands!) It's always entertaining to watch them all struggle to get along and make things work, as each man is very different. Of course the focus in this book was mostly on Smoky due to the circumstances. I really enjoyed the closer look into his life. As a dragon he is so very territorial and quick to anger, yet his devotion to Camile is incredible. To see such a powerful being practically bow down before her is quite amazing. Despite his extreme reaction to certain events, I found myself falling even more for him, so that he is probably my favorite of her husbands.
With each new installment in this series, my favorite sister always seems to shift to whose ever turn it is to narrate. I think this really shows how talented Yasmine Galenorn is as she is able to make the reader fall for each sister over and over again. They all have their own unique "voice," and the variety really ratchets the enjoyment factor tenfold. As always, the ending left me satisfied yet more than hungry for more. So, make sure you don't miss Courting Darkness as it is yet another great installment in this stellar series.