Darkness Unknown by Alexis Morgan
Series: Paladins of Darkness #5
Published: January 27, 2009 by Pocket Books
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Gwen Mosely’s life changes forever when she stumbles across a handsome stranger, bleeding and left for dead in the woods behind her farm. But the real shock is how his wounds heal overnight — a trait he shares with Gwen’s teenaged half-brother Chase.
Jarvis Donahue can’t keep his eyes — or his hands — off the sexy redhead who rescued him. Gwen’s warm smile and lust-filled eyes are impossible to resist…but Jarvis immediately recognizes Chase as a fellow Paladin, a warrior born to defend mankind in the relentless battle against the Others. Although Gwen may hate Jarvis for it, he is dutybound to introduce Chase to the Paladins’ dangerous lifestyle.
As the barrier between the two worlds weakens, the threat grows perilously close to Gwen’s farm. Jarvis is determined to protect his lover — but if he reveals his identity, he not only betrays his people’s secret, he risks losing her forever.
We met Jarvis back in book two of this series so I was happy to see that Darkness Unknown was his story. Jarvis is a lot like the Seattle Paladin leader, Devlin Bane, in that he’s levelheaded, calm in a crisis, and a natural leader. Those skills have led him well but he’s on uneven footing with his attraction to Gwen. Things are even more complicated because he needs to help Chase control his aggression and come into his Paladin status but he knows that if Gwen ever discovers he’s training her brother to be a killer she’ll never forgive him. I liked seeing the recruitment of a Paladin and though Chase starts out as an angry 17 year old, you can tell he wants to do better but he just doesn’t know how to control his emotions. Jarvis quickly becomes like a father figure for Chase, along with another Paladin, Jake, and the bonding moments between the men were really sweet.
Each book has featured a strong and outspoken heroine and Gwen fits right into that category. She gave up everything to take care of Chase when their mother died and she’s fiercely protective of him; with 10 years between them she’s often more of a mother than a sister to Chase. But raising Chase and running the family farm as left Gwen floundering when it comes to relationships so when Jarvis continues to come around she sees how good he is with Chase and how flirtatious he is with her. Gwen can’t resist Jarvis even knowing that he’s keeping a ton of secrets. I do feel that Gwen put blinders on pretty quickly and didn’t question Jarvis’s secrets; she pretty much trusts him and assumes he’s one of the good guys right away.
“Jarvis, I don’t know where this will lead, either. But I don’t want you to walk away from me one minute before you absolutely have to.”
I really enjoyed that Gwen is strong and independent but she’s also incredibly forgiving and caring and she has just the right soft touch to be a welcoming home for Jarvis. He doesn’t show it very often, but Jarvis has accepted that he’ll remain alone and Gwen shows him that that doesn’t have to be the case. I really enjoyed them together, especially the way they bring out a more playful side in each other. It was nice to finally see Jarvis let go and fall in love.
The mystery of the blue stones and the traitors in the Regent organization is still on-going and I’m dying to know who all is behind it, though I have a few guesses.
4 stars – it was enjoyable
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