This is the story where we get to find out the act of vengeance Zarek carried out when he became a Dark-Hunter. And we see that now that he's a god, Zarek is having a great time sending thunderbolts to strike Valerius every once in a while. (Valerius was forced to whip Zarek when they were both human and basically blinded poor ol' Zarek)
Anyway. Valerius and Tabby plus a cast of thousands. I liked Tabby...an excellent heroine. I especially liked the fact that she makes the first moves towards Valerius. So much so that he asks her 'How many Dark-Hunters have you slept with?' I laughed at that. And Tabby handled it very well considering.
Valerius is the usual DH with issues that are incredibly trivial considering he's had a generally good life as a human. They have a nice enough hot romance. Basically Valerius is kinda grateful Tabby treats him with respect because all the other Greek DHs don't and he's lonely. And yes, Valerius is very aware that he was a member of the Roman ruling classes. What I didn't understand is why the author paints Valerius as having some kind of jinx and then goes nowhere with this idea??? And what was all that business in Valerius being Marla the transvestites escort in the beauty contest. Was it really just for colour? But in a way I know I'm wasting my time looking for coherent plot-lines in a DH novel. That's just not the author's style. In actual fact the padding in this novel is better than the plot. Go figure.
We meet a lot of old friends in this story; Ash, Simi, the 2000-year old greek Kyrian who seems to have metaphorphosed into your typical working-class american bozo somehow. There's a lovely little digression that shows Kyrian struggling with some very human problems after all those years of immortality. I was amazed (and disappointed) at how much Simi's voice had changed from Dance With the Devil. In that novel the 300-year old charonnte demon spoke and behaved like a babbling intuitive 3/4 year old child. In this novel she's a teen demon slut. So god knows why Ash gets so upset when she gets consensually laid. And did the editors put in the African-American Dark-Hunters? All Janice and Kasim did was say hello and goodbye. Pointless really.
And I cannot emphasize enough how ditzy the story is...it veers from comic to traumatic within a few chapters. I could never figure out the conclusion of the gods part of the plot...the Stryker character just fizzles out. But its all very interesting for a while. It's something like this. Stryer and Desiderius, the daimon from Kyrian's story who reincarnates himself to steal Kyrian's baby daughter who is also Tabby's neice. Something to do with giving the baby to the Atlantean goddess Apollymi so that they can become very powerful. But first they have to immobilize Ash which they do.
And we find out what happened to poor Nick. Strangely this is the first DH story that I've read that features some real tragedy. But then the author ties up nearly all the loose ends very nicely in her usual fashion. The second best DH in my opinion...Dance with the Devil is better.
Genre; vampire romance. movie rating 15; pre-marital and oral sex, child sees parents bodies, bloody violence, extensive use of knives, distressed child, female murder, suicide.