Dark Defender by Alexis Morgan
Paladins of Darkness #2
A car explosion tore apart Brenna Nichols’s life when it killed her father and left her in the hospital. Things get even stranger when the boy her father took in 12 years ago arrives — all grown up and making some crazy claims. Paladin Blake Trahern reached out to his old mentor, Judge Nichols because he was the only Regent Trahern trusted. But whatever the Judge found got him killed and now Trahern feels responsible for keeping Brenna safe.
In a change of scenery, Dark Defender takes us away from the Seattle Paladins as we follow Trahern to St. Louis. I liked getting to meet some other Paladins and see more of the extensive network of Regents, Paladins, and Handlers. In the first book, Trahern is told the next death could easily tip him over the edge of turning Other. Trahern isn’t the most cuddly of guys, to begin with, but knowing he’s so close to the edge leaves a heavy shadow over him. Even with Trahern’s grumpy and short-tempered demeanor, it’s clear how much he cares for Brenna and how determined he is to make his old mentor proud. These Paladins have a core of honor and Alexis Morgan never had me doubting Trahern even when he let his dark moods get the best of him.
“He was hardheaded, bossy, egotistical…and so very sweet when she least expected it.”
Brenna was the perfect heroine for Trahern; with her intelligence, courage, and compassion she can stand beside Trahern or even stand up to him if needed. Brenna’s been through a nightmare losing her father right in front of her but she’s a fighter. She never gives up and once she understands Trahern’s true nature and the world he lives in, she accepts and welcomes him as he is. More than anything, Trahern needed to know someone loved and cared for him since he never had that growing up until he met the Judge.
As a couple, Brenna and Trahern have a slower burn, mostly due to circumstances. They’re on the run for a bit and Brenna is recovering from her injuries, but once these two give into their feelings it’s all fireworks. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Trahern had a wicked sense of humor that would make itself known everyone once in a while. I loved those moments when he loosened up and once he learned that he could get on Brenna’s nerves and fire her up, he doesn’t hold back.
5 out of 5 stars
Tags: Childhood Friends | Immortal
Fairly graphic sword fighting violence
As a Paladin warrior, Blake Trahern fights and dies again and again to keep mankind safe from the Others. Sensing his humanity slipping away with each battle, he retreats from the world…until the one person who still has a claim on his soul needs his help. It’s been twelve years since Blake vanished from Brenna Nichols’s life, years that have turned her from a love-struck teen into a headstrong, sensual woman. He’ll fearlessly give his life to protect her — yet he dare not risk his heart.
Brenna is stunned by Blake’s reappearance, and by a shocking discovery about her father. Everything she has ever believed is thrown into question — everything except the desire that Blake still ignites. But as they search together for a traitor among the Paladins, danger looms: the next battle could tip Blake into madness, destroying his life, his soul…and the only woman he has ever loved.
Published by Pocket Books on November 28, 2006