The right-hand man of the Nightkind King, Xavier del Torro is both terrifying and alluring. While his true nature frightens Tess, she can’t ignore the appeal of his innate sense of integrity and self-restraint. Thrown into Xavier’s world, Tess must quickly learn to navigate the dangers—both to her life and to her heart. But the biggest threat comes from her own past…
Comment: After the wonderful story which was the previous installment, I kept my hopes for this new book, which I pre ordered months before it was released. And I'm pleased to say it worked for me, because, honestly, I read it in one single day.
This is Tess Graham's story and how she wants to run away from an enemy, someone she can't fight back. She tries to look for a refuge in somebody else's domain and the quickest way is to attend the auction the Vampyres are doing to accept more servants. She hopes to be chosen but during the process she gets disappointed at the whole thing and changes her mind. When she thinks she won't be accepted, she is asked for a interview, but will the unknown be better than what she already knows it's bad?
I liked this story mostly because there was this sense of purpose that was very interesting to follow. The plot was basic and simplistic but it worked for me because it focused on the experiences both main characters were having with the new status in their lives and what was surrounding them.
Tess just wanted a means to escape and she was terrified of what could happen in an environment she wouldn't control, but she slowly started to understand the way of life in Del Torro's house and even got to know him. With time, her reactions seemed more believable and reasonable. I liked how she changed her point of view about several things concerning vampyres and Xavier himself. I really think the best thing in the book was how Tess discovered how to trust and fall into her feelings.
Xavier has a past he regrets and those around him always tried to make him look bigger and worse than he is. In the vampyre world that helped him but his loyalty gained him the trust of the vampyres' leader. Making Tess his employee should have routine but she intrigued him so much, his own behavior changed a bit too. What I liked best was how he didn't turn into alpha mode or even worse macho mode after meeting Tess. He kept being the kind of person others respect and look for but he didn't change his all personality over her. I liked how balanced his character was and how much more credible he felt like on the page.
The romance was ok, I was actually more interested in their personal development, but the romance as very subtle and took some time for Tess to trust him completely. I think this is better done than what an insta-love would have been.
Now, many readers complained about the plot. Sure, someone like Xavier should have seen some things and problems coming, considering how old and knowledgeable about power and control he was, but what seemed to bother them more was how Tess is escaping a situation and then she solves it on her own, with just circumstantial help from Xavier and Julian, the vampyre leader, to the point where everything was solved in two pages. In a way, i get that, I was hoping for a bigger showdown and even more, a much more intricate solution. Ok, sometimes simple is better but in this case a bit of drama wouldn't be that bad. Still, I don't think it's reason to down grade the story.
In the end, for me, this book worked well and I was very happy with the majority of scenes and developments. Sure, some things could been different, and the romance could have been more passionate at the end and the end itself could have used some more romance, but if there's a word for this novel is balance, and I think the story had the perfect amount of it.