ETERNAL DARKNESS (Cursed in Darkness #1) by Natalie Hancock
ABOUT THE BOOK: Layla, a twenty-one-year-old half-breed known as a dhampir, is incredibly beautiful and deadly. She drinks vampire blood for power and to stop the burning hunger.
The vampire academy is a hundred acres of land surrounded by high tech security to ensure that none enter or leave. She is the protection.
When she has lessons with the vampires, she struggles with her hunger and has to learn to trust them—a big issue for Layla because of her past, something she can neither forget nor run from. The past that haunts her dreams reminds her that she cannot hide as she lives her life in the academy.
Then there is Shade—an impossibly handsome vampire and Layla’s one-on-one instructor. Desires she never knew rise whenever he looks at her. She cannot stop how her body reacts to his touch or how much she wants his body and his blood.
It is a forbidden lust that they share, one they must keep a secret from those around them or Layla risks everyone finding out who she really is.
Someone wants her dead. Layla’s goals, deal with the vampires who hate dhampir’s and keep herself alive. Can she do it?
REVIEW: ETERNAL DARKNESS is the first storyline in Natalie Hancock’s Cursed in Darkness series that follows half-breed dhampir Layla as she struggles with what she is in a world of full-blooded vampires and shifters. Each novel is approximately 150 pages in length-so a quick read on a lazy afternoon.
Natalie introduces the reader to an adult version of Vampire Academy where beings like Layla are snubbed and ridiculed, as well as feared for their need to feed from other vampires. Layla is an enigma in the world of vampires-she is stronger and faster, well trained in the martial arts and aware of everything that goes on around her, but Layla is also haunted by a past that incudes Shadow Demons and humans with a need for vengeance. And in true paranormal style, Layla’s past will catch up with her during her stay at The Academy. But Layla tends to stay by herself, refusing to get involved lest someone find out her true heritage and identity, until the one man who can pull her out of her shell.
We are introduced to Shade-Layla’s lover and for all intents and purposes, the one person who is considered her equal. Their relationship develops quickly and we are privy to Layla’s need to be wanted and loved. Her relationship with her father is a welcome change from other paranormal parental conflicts and along with her BFF and guardian Nikalye, Layla is well protected within the confines of The Academy. But as the story develops we learn that there are those willing to risk everything for a shot at the half-breed vampire and Layla is not as safe as everyone had promised.
Natalie recites a history of vampires and dhampir’s that is unlike many other paranormal storyline and in that, it is a welcome change. She draws the reader into the story as our heroine must explain to the other students the history and lore about vampires, humans, dhampirs and Shadow Demons and in doing so Natalie puts an interesting spin on the origins of the first vampire. I am impressed with Natalie’s take on the paranormal genre and I am looking forward to catching up with the series. Oh, and don’t worry, all seven books were released in 2012-you will not be far behind.
1. Eternal Darkness
2. Dark Shadows
3. Dark Awakening
4. Dark Secrets
5. Ascend from Darkness
6. Darkness Arising
7. Darkness Unveiled
Copy supplied by the author.
Reviewed by Sandy