Title: Blood Before Sunrise
Author: Amanda Bonilla
May Contain Spoilers
“She needed a bargaining chip and this was it. Raif’s daughter’s life for hers. And he knew damn good and well I was right. Just like he’d assured me the night I’d killed Azriel, this was far from over. His daughter was alive, I knew it. And I was going to find her.”
For months Darian and her Shaede guardian Raif have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation—and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, for their efforts they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine, and too enticing for Darian to ignore.
Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her lover Tyler is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Fae warrior offers his guidance—at an extraordinary price—Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunt turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian finds herself caught between the man she loves like a brother, and the man whose love she can’t live without…
Blood Before Sunrise is another action-packed entry in the Shaede Assassin series, and it features a kick-ass heroine and her sexy as hell lover. Darian is self-assured, cocky, and ruthless, and she doesn’t hesitate to let other people know how deadly she can be. Once a victim of domestic abuse, she is bound and determined that no one will brutalize her again. Instead, she strikes first and asks questions later. While I like a strong heroine, there are times when Darian takes things too far, and that makes it hard to like her. She is the product of violence. After being freed from her husband’s abuses, she becomes one with the night. A trained killer, she does not shirk from bloodshed or pain. She is proud of what she has made herself, and she hates having to depend on anyone. This gets her into so much trouble, and made me question her common sense more than once. It made me hard to relate to her. There are times when you just have to ask for help; it doesn’t make you less of a person for it, but Darian is carrying so much baggage that she doesn’t understand that yet.
In this outing, Darian is determined to find Raif’s missing daughter. Delilah, the Oracle, knows where she is, but she’s not spilling the information Darian needs to track Brakae down. Even after Raif tells her to drop it, Darian vows to find Brakae and reunite father and daughter. This is a character trait of Darian’s that drove me nuts. She doesn’t care what anyone else wants, and regardless of how often she is told to leave things be, she just can’t. It’s not in her personality to give up. Not only does this almost get her killed numerous times, it almost causes the end of the world! Like asking for assistance, there are times when you need to just give up, especially if your continued persistence is going to cause the death of every one you know and love.
While I like Tyler, Darian’s lover, a lot, I also like Raif, and wonder if he wouldn’t make a better match for Darian. Tyler is bound to her, and until someone starts messing with his mind, he worships the ground Darian walks on. Raif, on the other hand, doesn’t cut her much slack, and I think a relationship between them would be a little more interesting, as well as volatile. The conflict between Tyler and Raif was engaging, mainly because it was so one-sided. Poor Tyler needed a Xanax, but I don’t think they are available in Jinn strength. It probably wouldn’t have helped much with his raging jealously issues, anyway.
I love the world building in this series, and love the concept of such a strong, fearless heroine. I did have problems with Darian’s thought processes, though, and found her too impulsive and completely lacking in common sense. She makes so many bad decisions that I feared for her continued good health. Because she kept making the same errors in judgment, by the halfway point in the story I became fearful that she would never learn from her mistakes. That was frustrating for me. Otherwise, Blood Before Sunrise blasts along at a blistering pace full of magic, combat, and bloodshed as Darian attempts to extract herself from all of the stupid situations she gets herself into. I wish Tyler and Raif would have had larger roles, because I find them both so interesting. My personality conflict with Darian was my biggest hindrance to totally loving this book.
Review copy provided by publisher