Format: .mobi (purchased)
Release Date: April 1, 2010
Dark-Hunter: A soulless guardian who stands between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. Yeah, right. The only part of that Code of Honor I got was eternity and solitude.
Insanity: A condition many say I suffer from after being alone for so long. But I don't suffer from my insanity-I enjoy every minute of it.
Trust: I can't trust anyone...not even myself. The only thing I trust in is my ability to do the wrong thing in any situation and to hurt anyone who gets in my way.
Truth: I endured a lifetime as a Roman slave, and 900 years as an exiled Dark-Hunter. Now I'm tired of enduring. I want the truth about what happened the night I was exiled-I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Astrid (Greek, meaning star): An exceptional woman who can see straight to the truth. Brave and strong, she is a point of light in the darkness. She touches me and I tremble. She smiles and my cold heart shatters.
Zarek: They say even the most damned man can be forgiven. I never believed that until the night Astrid opened her door to me and made this feral beast want to be human again. Made me want to love and be loved. But how can an ex-slave whose soul is owned by a Greek goddess ever dream of touching, let alone holding, a fiery star?
When did tall, dark, deadly and... Insane become so sexy?
Apparently when Zarek first appeared in the Dark-Hunter series. At least that's when it happened for me. All the Dark-Hunters have the propensity for sarcasm and trying one's patience but Zarek makes it an art. From the first moment he stepped onto the pages, he just commanded attention. Granted, it wasn't always a positive thing but it was hard not to like the sort of evil, always antagonistic immortal. Since all Dark-Hunters died tragically, I wondered how bad Zarek's death was to make him that kind of crazy. It turns out his entire human life was beyond tragic and now as an immortal, he seems to have a death wish.
After an incident in New Orleans, Zarek has been sent back to his outpost in Alaska, where he soon finds out there's a bounty on his head and it seems every one wants to be the one to "put him out of his misery" including a near invincible enemy. Having no where to run and seriously wounded, he collapses outside in the cold. When he regains consciousness he finds himself inside a cabin, the reluctant guest of a blind woman and a hostile wolf.
Astrid is a justice nymph sent to see if Zarek deserves to die. In human form she's completely blind, thus allowing her to judge a person fairly and not be influenced by their looks. Her only companion is her wolf shifter friend Sasha. When she meets Zarek she's almost sure he's guilty. He's uncivilized, rude, angry and volatile but something in his voice stays Astrid's judgement and soon she's finding out there's much, much more to this man than every one thinks.
As prickly as he is, there's not much to dislike about Zarek. He has a deeply hidden vulnerable side and even though he's been around for hundreds of years, he hasn't become completely immune to the hurtful comments and assumptions of others. He is one of the most interesting characters I've ever met. His relationship with Astrid begins slowly but builds a strong foundation for something more. Both of them have their own handicaps, Zarek's terrible social skills and Astrid's blindness but it only makes them lean on each other, especially when the enemy comes knocking at their door. Watching Zarek and Astrid grow closer and lean about each other was at times a roller coaster. For every step forward she took with Zarek, he pushed her back 3.
Dance with the Devil keeps the series fresh and new while still maintaining the larger storyline. It introduces more characters like Sundown, Otto and Thanatos while still keeping the focus on Zarek and Astrid. This book also marks the first official appearance of Simi, the lovable Charonte demon who loves to babble. Not that Dance with the Devil needs more humor but Simi provides some of the most entertaining dialogue in the book.
From the first page, I was rooting for Zarek to finally be understood and while he doesn't change his ways (thank goodness), he does find something worth living, and fighting for. Readers get more insight to the world that author Sherrilyn Kenyon has created, including some interesting scenes with Acheron that create more questions rather than answer them.
There isn't any "down time" in Dance with the Devil and that's just fine with me, Zarek is one character that just doesn't slow down.