Series: de Reyne Domination #1
Published by Dragonblade Publishing on January 1, 2012
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Self Purchased
After decades of warring between the Lairds of Kerr and Prudhoe Castles in Northumbria, a tentative peace is reached. The Lady Carington Kerr is sent to Prudhoe as a hostage to ensure her father’s good behavior, and a more reluctant hostage there never was.
Small and dark, with emerald eyes and a luscious figure, she is as gorgeous as she is fiery. Enter Sir Creed de Reyne. A gentle giant of a man, he is, by nature, calm and wise. He is the ice to Carington’s fire. As Carington resists the attempts to keep her in her English prison, Creed is placed in charge of the captive as both jailer and protector.
But Creed is also as reluctant a protector as she is a hostage; six months prior, he had been given the important assignment of escorting Isabella of Angoulệme from France to England as the bride of King John. Isabella, a woman-child of twelve years, was smitten with Creed from the start. When he spurned her advances, she fabricated a story of Creed’s indiscretions against her and brought the king’s wrath upon him. Creed fled to Prudhoe and straight into another assignment guarding a firebrand of a young woman.
Creed soon discovers that Carington is far different from the petty child who would become queen and against both his judgment and his wishes, he falls for the Scots lass. Suffering through tragedy and triumph, Creed and Carington have a love that only strengthens with each passing moment. Even when Creed is forced to flee for his life and leave Carington behind, their only thoughts are of being together again.
With Isabella and King John closing in, Creed and Carington must fight for their very survival as two countries and a kingdom seek to separate them.
This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
Guardian of Darkness is the first book in the de Reyne Domination series. Every time that I pick up this author I am reminded of how much I dearly adore this author. Whether it’s in physical format or audio, her books always seem to work for me. I found this one as a freebie on Amazon just last week, but within reading the first page, I was completely hooked on this one. It was one of those random readings that you never expect to enjoy as much as you do. I know that her covers can really cringe at times, but her writing is spectacular and I especially adore that she is willing to write this time era’s in historical romance which has become rare within the genre (for me it gets more brownie points for being non-regency) I truly think that this book will work for readers who are open-minded, like historical authenticity in their historical’s and adore all heart being packed into a story.
Guardian of Darkness is a sexy, vibrantly emotion-filled story that captures the attention:
- Sir Creed de Reyne-a warrior, a knight for the King, defender and protector, a man of honor and integrity
- Lady Carington Kerr-a Scottish lady, daughter of a powerful clan chief, sassy and independent,
Guardian of Darkness begins with the heroine, Cari, who has been offered to be a hostage in complex negotiations for peace between England and Scotland especially to calm down the border skirmishes. Cari is not happy with her situation at all and doesn’t understand why it was so needed but she is willing to go through the hassle for her father. But Cari is also at her wits end in the process and fights against her captors one of which happens to be our hero, Sir Creed de Reyne. Creed is a man of honor and has a kind heart despite his strong warrior instincts. He has had a rough time of it. He has just returned from a mission gone wrong with the King’s new wife who attempted to destroy his good reputation, but his brother and Lord stood by him in support knowing of his character. But now Creed is starting to have feelings for Cari, the intimacy is slowly building between them, but as tensions rise with the King of England, their relationship could bring more opposition with her father and what marrying her would mean for them. But Creed and Cari are willing to fight for their love and forge their way into their own HEA…
She could feel his hands in her hair, his lips on hers. She was becoming warm at the mere memory. And he had a smell about him, something musky and masculine, that stirred her more deeply than she could comprehend.
Guardian of Darkness was such an interesting story and while I have read captor/captive situations I don’t think I have read a circumstance upon which this is built here. I do know that these scenarios were actually done in the historical past to aid in conflicts being resolved, but I love seeing the take upon which Le Veque wrote this story here. It’s very interesting though that the heroine is so against this as her father agreed to this arrangement. I mean the first chapter she attempts to run away and I give brownie points to the men guarding her because she definitely doesn’t make it easy and they are really gracious about it and are careful to not hurt her at all. Cari is a heroine that acts upon rash decisions at times and is very unpredictable so she did take some getting used to because I really felt for the hero, his brother, and their band of men. Creed is such a gentle giant, and you can tell how careful he is with Cari but is also strong about setting firm boundaries of behavior. Cari reacts to Creed in a certain way though, that differs from the other men, but she still reacts very crazily at times, although I found it entertaining and fun at times, at others it became a bit aggravating me. I mean Cari knew WHY she was in this situation, but kept attempting to run away and I am like where you going to go girl?? haha, And it’s not like she is being harmed by the others in the group. Now there is one soldier in the group that is NOT a hero, he becomes the villain, so he does add some tension within the plotline that proved to be interesting. I just felt for CREED so much in this book, because he has such a kind heart, and is just doing his duty with Cari, but is very gracious about her run-away attempts. I did enjoy seeing him being firm but sweet with Cari. There is also such a strong brotherly bond that is introduced and I truly adored this depth in the story as well.
Her magnificent smile was enough to cause his knees to go weak, a strange warmth filling him. Never in his life had he felt such giddiness, like a drunken man with too much time and pleasure on his hands. Her smile could make him walk through fire without another thought.
Now the romance that builds between Creed and Cari is such a wonderful one, and I was on board with it pretty quickly. It is a slow-building romance though but these small sweet intimate moments that build between Creed and Cari just worked for the story so well. I mean their relationship is forbidden. Creed’s honor is in question due to what happened with the King’s now-wife (although that wasn’t his fault) and then we have the fact that Cari is a political hostage to bring good behavior from her father, and shouldn’t be compromised in any such way. But while their chemistry is off the charts, there is also something deeper building between them. We see how Creed and Cari really come together and are willing to risk everything to pave their own path together. I truly love these types of forbidden relationships and seeing how the hero/heroine finds their way to a HEA. The way that Kathryn Le Veque built this story was so beautiful and I was cheering for these two all the way.
Overall I found Guardian of Darkness to be a stimulating read that captures the reader’s attention from the get-go, it’s a tale of sacrifice, love, and fighting for what matters….