Nice addition to the latest storyarc in this series, the focus is still on the Ancients. This time around it is Afanasiv Belan who will find his mate in a woman who is not what she seems. Whilst the Carpathian males are more or less interchangeable now, the females they find as mates are a bit different. Vasilisa is a Russian spy... just kidding. She's a Royal in a country that forbids any type of royalty or they would be killed. Her special talents are a surprise to both Afanasiv and her many brothers.
This is an easy book to relax into with its familiar world-building and plots. I consider this part 2 of 4 in the current story arc. I am eager to see the Carpathian who is a "demon" caged in Hell. Bringing demons into this world-building was unexpected. It seems there are more and more authors incorporating demons into their stories lately. I kind of like it here and want to see where Ms. Feehan goes with it. Is it possible as we grow older and we see our mortality that we start pondering about Heaven and Hell? Perhaps that is why some of my favourite authors for the past few decades are now adding demons into their worlds?
The fight between good and evil is a painful one here as it becomes personal on a level our characters did not expect. Vasilisa and her brothers are generous and protective caretakers of their land. When they face betrayal from loved ones and friends, it is a punch to the gut. Or I guess a shot to the heart. It is a terrible world we live in where greed and malicious envy turn people into irrational traitors.
There are few surprises in this story as the events unfold in a predictable and tortuous manner. Not painful for the reader; but devastating for Vasilisa and her brothers. Fortunately for her, Afanasiv's newfound connection with her balances out the brutal blows she is dealt. His steadfast manner and calming attitude help her work through the anguish and recall the fond memories. The taint of the demons may stain her and her brethren a bit, but it does not stick.
This paranormal romance is recommended to readers who enjoy angst, betrayal, and fated mates.
*provided by NetGalley