Nightbred by Lynn Viehl
ORDER A COPY: Nightbred: Lords of the Darkyn
Publishing Date: December 4, 2012
Paperback: 336 pages
Rating: 3 stars
Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of grueling warrior training. But he has no future to offer Chris, the mortal woman he loves, without his own territory. When he learns of a lost Templar treasure, Jamys vows to possess it and win his lady’s heart.
No one knows Chris Lang wants to be a tresora so she can live with Jamys, her secret love. Her superiors offer to make her dream come true, but only if she finds the lost treasure before Jamys can. Working together, Chris and Jamys track the jewels through a shadowy maze of priceless artifacts, decadent secrets, and one ruthless opponent who can possess an immortal’s mind…and will stop at nothing to have Chris.
Lynn Viehl finally gives us the long awaited story of Jamys Durand. In opposition to most supernatural stories which feature bulky warriors frozen at their peak of maturity, Jamys faced death and was made a Darkyn at the young age of 17, just on the cusp of adulthood. Jamys is a 700 year old Darkyn, but his youthful appearance has been a hindrance all his existence.
Jamys and his father were betrayed by Jamys’s mother to their enemies, the Brethren, who tortured them for years. These years of torture left Jamys unable to speak and almost without his sanity, add to that Jamys’s premature turning, this has left Thierry Durand as an overprotective father to his 700 year old teenage son. You can imagine that endless treatment not as a grown man and a warrior, but as a child who needed to be guided and protected, is a worse fate than the years of torture at the hands of the Brethren.
This was a fate that Jamys had resigned himself long ago, until he met Chris Lang, a friend of Samantha Brown, homicide detective and mate of the powerful Lord Lucan Alenfar. Now Jamys is focused on becoming a warrior in his own right and winning his own jardin–a territory of his own to rule so he could take Chris as his mate. He has been focusing all his time on training and planning on how to meet this goal since he left her side three years ago. Now Jamys has received news that could makes his dream a reality. The High Lord Richard Tremayne has offered a boon to anyone who can recover the three emeralds known as the Emeralds of Eternity–reign over the territory known as Ireland. Now Jamys will stop at nothing to be the first to locate the jewels so he can finally be with Chris, even if he must go behind his father’s back and trespass into Lucan’s jardin where the jewels were last seen. And who better to help Jamys in his quest than his lovely Chris who is grew up in the area Jamys will be searching. It will also give him the time he needs to convince her that they belong together.
Jamys is not the only Darkyn searching for this prize, but with so many dreams resting on his success, Jamys is a man possessed.
Although this is Book 2 of the Lord of the Darkyn series, there is several in the original Darkyn series. This was my first read from this series and although I could follow along, I did have to check out the descriptions for the other books which filled in some blanks for the other characters mentioned. Since I am not that familiar with the story and the world building, it took me awhile to get into it, and it was written more for those who have been following. We are reminded of Jayms torture and his mother’s deception, but there is no real explanation for newcomers, but I am sure if you have been following the series, you would definitely be excited that Lynn has finally gotten to Jamys and Chris’s story.
Overall I was disappointed. I love when an author gives us something different. In this story, Jamys was turned before he reached full maturity and this leads to issues with him being treated as a child by his father as well as the other warriors and Darkyn, even though he was over 700 years old. This opened up so many interesting avenues to explore with our hero being a cute 700 year old teenager, rather than a savage, muscular, sexy warrior. Aside from some early references to him needing to get away from his father’s overbearing love and a couple of warriors making comments about fighting with a boy, it just wasn’t stressed enough.
Also there is supposed to be a big storyline about the treasure hunt, but there is very, very little of a hunt in this book. They end up making very few stops on their quest.
There is also a good amount of time focusing on Lucen and Samantha which will swing around and be part of Jamys and Chris’s story, but it took time away from us really getting into their story.
This was my first Lynn Viehl story, but in this story women don’t rate very high. Samatha, the homicide detective, is kept on a short leash by Lucen and since her boss is under the Lucen’s govern, he sends her home when Lucen dictates. She can’t leave until it’s dark out and then has to be home by midnight. Also, the human helpers to the Darkyn are supposed to do whatever is dictated by the Lord they have given their service to, including giving them blood or sex to that Lord or whoever they are assigned to assist.
Received an ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher. Thank you.
The caress of his breath across the bare back of her neck made her close her eyes briefly Jamys knew she was hurt because he smelled the fresh blood, the Kyn were almost like sharks that way.
“I cut myself on a piece of glass I had in my pocket.” She reached for the box of tissues, but Jamys had her bleeding hand in his, and was examining the small wounds. “It’s nothing.”
His eyes shifted to hers, and she saw a thin ring of glowing amber encircling his pupils, which had begun to contract to thin vertical slivers. “Why hide it from me? Do you think I will feed on you?”
“No, I was embarrassed because I was clumsy.” From the look he gave her it was clear that he didn’t believe her. “I’ve been assigned to you, my lord, and I’m trained to take care of your needs. If you want the blood, I’ll go get a glass.”
Jamys kept his eyes on hers as he slowly lifted her injured hand to his mouth. His dents acérées flashed for a moment before he sank them into the heel of his own hand.
Chris caught her breath as he raised his head. Two drops of blood beaded in the small puncture wounds that were already beginning to close. “What are you doing?”
“Healing you.” Jamys guided one of her hurt fingers to his palm, and gently pressed the cut into the blood, Chris caught her breath as she felt the cool mingling of his blood with hers, and then her cut went numb. He repeated the act again with her other finger, and then used a tissue to blot the blood away.
Chris saw both of her cuts had closed, just as fast as the punctures in his palm. “Why did you bother?”
“You are not my food, Christian, or my servant. You are my friend, and I do not want you hurt.” He put his hand to the back of her head, holding it as he pressed a kiss to her brow. “Do you understand?”
“Sure. Friendship works for me.” No, it didn’t, but he wasn’t asking for someone else. At least he still liked her. “Your eyes are doing the cat thing, though, and I know that means you haven’t fed for a while. Or you want to have wild monkey sex. Or both.” Had she actually said that out loud? God, she had. “I’ll, um, go make a glass of bloodwine for you.”
“I do not want sex with a wild monkey.” Jamys removed the long comb holding her hair back and placed it on the counter. As the twist slumped against her nape, he worked his hand through it, releasing the wavy mass. “Your hair was scarlet when I saw you last.”
“Mud brown is what I was born with.” She knew with it down she looked about sixteen, too. “I stopped dyeing it after you left.”
His fingers stilled as he found the one hairpin she wore to keep her silver streak out of sight.
“That’s not dyed, either,” she admitted. “I started going gray like an old lady back in high school.”
“Do not hide it.” He spread the strands out. “It does not make you seem older. It is beautiful.”
“I don’t think any woman under the age of ninety would agree with you.” As he brought the silvery lock to his lips, Chris forgot to breathe. “You’re kissing my hair.”
“It feels like gossamer.” He smoothed it back and looked all over her face. “Your piercings, what happened to them?”
“No one takes you seriously when you wear rings in your eyebrow, so I let them close up.” Absently she touched a tiny scar on the curve of her lip, and then she understood why he hadn’t recognized her at first. “You were expecting me to look the way I did three years ago?”
“That is how I remember you.” He touched each place where she had been pierced, and when he reached her lip he ran his thumb back and forth over the small dimple. “’You seem so different now.”
“I’m not the same girl I was. I grew up.” She ignored the way the cross under her blouse seemed suddenly to weight as much as an anchor. “Everyone does, even if they’re Kyn and they don’t age. You’ve changed, too.” She eyed the black hair spilling over his shoulders. She often envied the Kyn their hair, which like their fingernails sometimes grew several inches longer overnight, usually right after it was cut. The Kyn never had to suffer a bad hair day more than one day. “You’ve nailed the ponytail look, I think, but how did you get all the new muscle?”
Suddenly he looked tired and unhappy. “I have also been training.”