In the first of a
dazzling new romantic trilogy, one woman’s courageous search plunges her
into a millennia-old supernatural war—and an irresistible passion…
Kayla Friday has dedicated her life to science and reason. But for her,
Seattle is a place of eerie loss and fragmented, frightening memories.
And now the only clue to her sister’s murder reveals a secret battle
between two ancient mythologies…and puts Kayla in the sights of
lethally-sexy werewolf mercenary Hart. He’ll do whatever it takes to
obtain the key to the Gate of the Land of the Dead and free what’s left
of his soul. But seducing the determined Kayla is putting them at the
mercy of powerful desires neither can control. And as the clock ticks
down to hellish catastrophe, the untested bond between Kayla and Hart
may lead to the ultimate sacrifice.
Kayla's life gets turned upside down when her sister is murdered and she finds out that the things that go bump in the night are real. Seattle has been taken over by a plethora of supernaturals, and in her search for answers she finds herself caught in the middle of a centuries old war. But most of all, she has caught the attention of Hart, a werewolf mercenary who will stop at nothing to make his mark. But that may change as a fragile spark flames between them even as the world crumbles around them.
The romance between Kayla and Hart seemed so unlikely and yet it somehow really worked for me. Kayla is so innocent and everything that is pure and good, while Hart can only be described as damaged with very rough edges. Unlike other shifters, he never fully merged with his animal side and cannot control it. Long ago abandoned by his kind, Hart hasn't had a moment's peace in his life due to the massive struggle to control his more deadly half. So, it is o wonder he is so angry and bitter at the world. Honestly if Hart's perspective hadn't been shown with his vulnerabilities, I would have said that Kayla is incredibly naive for trusting Hart. Yet, those glimpses into his true feelings show just how damaged he is, and how much he really needs her despite how much he fights it. Her softness and need to help others added to his rough edges really makes them quite perfect for one another.
The mythology behind Hearts of Darkness is a tangled weave of Norse, Native American, and Babylonian blended in with shape-shifters, dragons, and wraiths. It definitely made for an interesting combination to say the least. The setting may be in a modern day Seattle, but it had more of a Steampunk feel due to the wraiths destroying the power network. There are monocles, and steam powered vehicles to compensate for the lack of power as well as other gadgets. Also, the shifters seem to have surrounded themselves with rules of propriety and other controls that remind me of the Elizabethan era in a last ditch effort to keep them from fading out.
I'll admit that I was a little put off by all of the different elements together as the learning curve made things slower in the beginning. However, once things started to flow a little faster, I really started to appreciate the uniqueness of the story. I don't think I've ever read something quite like this, which can be very hard to come by in the very saturated paranormal romance genre. I have a feeling the next installment will be a little faster now that the massive amounts of world building are established. All in all, Hearts of Darkness was a decent start to the Deadglass series, and promises a solid block of entertainment.