Reviewed by Helyce
Night Reigns is book two in Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Guardians series and for me it was all kinds of awesome. I wish I had read book one first, though, because it apparently ended with a cliffhanger regarding the heroine in this book, Ami. While it was clear early on that there was some question about Ami and what, exactly, she is-I’m happy to report that it is spelled out very nicely in this installment. In fact, it took me quite by surprise and fed my huge love of a science fiction laced paranormal!
First, I feel it’s important to clarify the term Immortal Guardian and Vampire as they are used in this story. Immortal Guardians are technically vampires with special gifts. As humans they were classified as “gifted ones” and therefore had a more complex DNA structure, due to their gifts, that was enhanced upon their being turned. The ungifted humans that are turned become vampires but without the complex DNA structure of the “gifted ones”, they become susceptible to madness as the virus continues to corrode their brains. Both cannot be exposed to sunlight and both must drink blood to survive.
Amiriska, aka Ami, is so much more than she seems. Rescued by the Immortal Guardians Seth and David, from a literal hell in the form of an experimental lab where she’d been enduring horrific tests-her psychic screams somehow reached Seth who was able to find her and rescue her, providing her with a safety she hadn’t known in a long time. As she healed and slowly began to trust, he trained her, teaching her to fight so that she’d never fall prey to those who would hurt her. Understandably, Ami has major trust issues and is very uncomfortable meeting new people, but she’s working on it and she owes her recovery to Seth and David. Seth knows exactly what she is and has guaranteed her protection as long as she requires it.
Marcus has been an Immortal Guardian for over 800 years. For much of his life, he was in love with a woman who loved another man and because this woman loved the man who literally took Marcus into his home as a young man and made him part of his family, Marcus could never be more than a brother to this woman. So he loved her in secret and when she died, he mourned her and grieves for her still, 8 years after her death. Marcus spends his nights fighting the good fight along with his fellow guardians; killing the vampires who have succumbed to the madness as the virus introduced into their system corrodes their brains until they have no control over themselves. Marcus prefers to work alone. He doesn’t have a Second; a trusted human who is so much more than a personal assistant. He is a loner; keeping to himself he tends to put himself into harm’s way more often than not, taking chances because it just doesn’t matter anymore. It is on one such night that he finds himself nearly overpowered by vampires. He is fighting them off, but they keep coming, an army of them one after the other. Then, like magic, his savior arrives out of nowhere, in the form of a pixie of a girl who helps him fight them off.
Later that night, Marcus arrives home broken, bleeding and badly in need of some blood. Unfortunately for him, his fridge is empty and he is too weak to go out again. When his doorbell rings, he drags himself to the door to find Seth, the Immortal Guardian’s leader there. When Seth tells Marcus that he has someone that he wants him to meet Marcus could not have been more surprised when that someone turned out to be the pixie from the forest fight. Additionally, he was completely unprepared, not to mention completely pissed off, when Seth informs Marcus that Ami is to be his Second, effective immediately.
Marcus does not want or need a second, but Ami falls into the role easily and without question. Marcus tries very hard not to notice Ami’s gorgeous red hair, sparkling green eyes and abundant cleavage. It’s difficult, though. No matter what he does to avoid her-changing his sleeping patterns, attempting to leave without disturbing her-somehow she’s always aware of him, what he’s doing, what he needs and most especially, she has an uncanny sense of when he’s in trouble-showing up at just the right time to assist him in the fight. It’s not long before Marcus begins to appreciate Ami as his Second and so much more.
But something is not right. Someone is building a vampire army. The Guardians are finding them harder and harder to defeat. The question is why? What do they want? As more and more young people from the area ago missing, the guardians come together to try and piece together information and try and figure out exactly what is going on. When Marcus and Ami are out fighting one night they come across a vampire who is only observing, not fighting and they question him. When he calls them by the names Roland and Sarah, Marcus does not correct them. The vampire also asks about Bastian, another Immortal Guardian. Could this be the reason? Are the vampires simply trying to defeat the Guardians?
All and more are answered in this fast paced story full of action and intrigue. The Guardians all have different gifts in addition to the normal vampire strengths, from telepathy to teleportation to the ability to heal. In fact, there is a scene where Ami sees one of the guardians sprout wings and fly! I think I squealed a bit at this part and cannot wait to see more of this character. There are short bursts of humor here and there between the guardians that had me smiling and looking forward to their interactions even in the midst of a battle. There are a couple of side stories that carry over from book 1, but I had no trouble keeping up with these as they move through this book, advancing the story arc that will take us into book 3.
I adored Marcus. While he hides and tries desperately not to fall for Ami, it’s impossible. His old world charm and personality come through so strongly even when the author just has him saying “Thank you.” Everything about her amazes him and when he finally lets himself feel something for her, he falls, hard; as does Ami for Marcus. When they realize that she might be an additional target of the vampires and whoever they are working for, Ami has no choice but to be completely honest with Marcus even at the risk of losing him. Of course, it only makes their bond stronger, while answering the many questions that Marcus had about the woman he was falling in love with.
While we get our HEA, much is still unresolved at the end of this book leaving us to wait impatiently for book 3. I will be reading book 1, Darkness Dawns and will anxiously await the next release.