Title: Surrender the Dark (The Dark, #1)
Author: Tibby Armstrong
Publisher: Penguin Random House, LLC
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Genre(s): Paranormal Romance/Vampires/Witches/Weres/Fae
Page Count: 263
Reviewed by: Renée
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
As a provocative series of paranormal temptation begins, a vampire king seduces the supernaturally gifted man hunting him. But when the stakes are literally life or death, their struggle for control is no game.
Benjamin Fuller is a hunter, born and bred. Blinded as a child by the vampire who slaughtered his family, he’s blessed with a second sight that allows him to catch and kill his quarry. What his gift can’t help him see coming is his fierce, almost carnal attraction to the mystery man who claims to be a fellow hunter and whose touch triggers both lust and revulsion. When he gains the upper hand, Benjamin vows to bring his enemy to his knees.
After many years spent in exile, the only one who can help restore Tzadkiel Dragoumanos to his rightful place as War King is a blind hunter with golden curls, a lithe dancer’s physique, and distinctive facial scars—scars Tzadkiel gave him two decades ago. The mere scent of Benjamin Fuller provokes an unwelcome rush of insatiable desire. Yet to win an all-out supernatural war, Tzadkiel must resist the ravenous hunger to possess his prey—for now.
The writing, the world-building, was top notch. Surrender the Dark gripped me with its story. Sworn enemies to lovers? Check.
Tzadkiel is a millennia-old vampire who has awakened after 20 years to find his mora (his family) is all but decimated. He only remembers that day 20 years ago, when that 8-year-old boy gave him a drink of water and unknowingly helped him to escape the psychotic family of vampire hunters who held him captive. He was able to kill the family who held him in the process of escape, except the boy of course, but they’d weakened him almost to death. And he now swears to kill the hunter(s) who’ve murdered his family over the last 20 years.
Benjamin is the 8 year old boy who was born and bred to kill vampires. It’s all he knows and shows us a variation of how much hate is taught and ingrained in one’s life. He has sworn to kill the evil vampires, and he can’t wait to come across the one that killed his family.
Dilemma, much? Both truly sworn enemies, once they come across each other. And they hate each other with a passion. Not normal romance-hate, pure, pure hate, for a good long while. Delicious for me, because that kind of enemies-to-lovers promises to be scorching hot when they give in, amiright?
I loved how the author threw them together against a shared enemy. Instead of taking the easy way where they could just jump into angry sex, they got closer to each other another way. I really liked that.
So what didn’t work for me? My tastes run to romance first, other plotlines second. And this one was all world-building and not nearly enough romance. The hate and figuring out what was going on in this paranormal world stayed front and center for so much of this book, that the romance didn’t have nearly enough time to develop. By the end, it was very insta-lovey for me because there was almost zero relationship development.
I’d definitely read this author again. Armstrong is a talented writer, and the world she created was amazing. I just need more romance, personally.