Monday, September 21, 2015

The Dark Ones by Rachel Van Dyken - Blog Tour Review and Excerpt

Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date:  19 September, 2015
Publisher: Van Dyken Inc
Series:  The Dark Ones Saga, book `
Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Age Recommendation: 18 and up
Rating: 5 Stars
~ I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ~ 

Book Description:

To touch a Dark One is death.

To talk to an immortal is suicide.

Yet, I've been marked by both.

A Vampire.

And the King of the immortals.

My life is no longer my own.

And now I know the truth, my life was never mine to begin with.

It was theirs.

It's always been theirs.

My Review:

Let me start off by saying that this book has cemented Rachel Van Dyken as a Go-To author for me.  I have been loving her other works, Eagle Elite and The Bet series, etc...but this just puts her on the top of my list as a must have author to read.  I LOVE Paranormal Romance and she nailed it with this one.  

It's been a while since I have found a new Paranormal Romance series that I could fall in love with and knowing Rachel only as a Contemporary Romance writer (the books of hers I have read so far) I was a little skeptical, I shouldn't have been.  This book has everything a Paranormal Romance Junkie will want.  A unique story line, an intriguing history, a beautiful romance, a group of close knit friends, cruel enemies, and enemies that may be more a friend then you realize, humor, sadness, secrets, a hierarchy, and multiple 'demon' types.  

Genesis has been groomed from her birth to possibly serve the immortals.   She has been told that she will help guide immortal children in the ways of present technology and society.  She's been told she is nothing in comparison to them, she is to be humbled before them, that she is wanting and simply put ugly to them.  A number has not been called in 50 years, until hers is and she is marked by two immortals and finds that life is not at all how she's envisioned.  Immortal mates are dying and Genesis could be the cure.

I loved the character of Genesis, she is a strong female heroine who rises to the challenges set before her even when her life is completely turned upside down and in danger.  Her chemistry with Ethan is wonderful.  I loved that while they have an instant attraction this is not an Insta-love.  Our poor dear Ethan is forced to make a difficult decision to save Genesis, but it is a decision that will cut him to the  core and leave him wanting her but second guessing her feelings toward him.  

Even more than Ethan and Genesis, I loved the cast of characters that we are introduced to.  This band of Elders: Mason, Alex, and Stephanie and The Dark One, Cassius were a joy to get to know and I can not wait for each of their stories.  If the ending of The Dark Ones is any indication each book is just going to get better and better.  Rachel manages to make it so you fall in love equally with each character.  She has done an amazing job introducing them to us and developing their back stories.  In some way or another your heart will break for each of them and like Ethan and Genesis you will just want them to find happiness in love and friendship.  Friendship is the other aspect that I adored about this book.  This is not just a story about falling in love, this is a story about friends holding one another up, putting up with each others idiosyncrasies and still being willing to drop everything when one of you is in need. They totally give each other a hard time and can be complete and utter asses to each other, but it is so clear that they truly love one another that you feel at home with them.  There is something calming and pleasant watching these friends interact, it just makes you want to call up your best friends and give them grief and then a great big hug and a thank you.  

The Dark Ones will have you reading from cover to cover.  It does start a bit slow in the beginning but you will quickly find yourself immersed in their world, flipping pages, and wanting more.  The book does not really end on a cliff hanger, although you get a peak into what is coming in the next book.  It is what could be considered a Stand-Alone since it is an HEA and each story will be written toward a specific couple' but.....1. Once you read this first book you will want to read the ones to come and 2. as always you know I suggest reading a series from book 1 on.  I don't know how it will play out in the long run, but obviously once we get to future books if you start in the middle you will have to deal with a spoiler or two.  Thankfully for all of us, this is book 1 so my suggestion, go get it, read it, haha!  

This is going to be a must get for any Paranormal Romance fans.  If you are a fan of Rachel Van Dyken, you will want this...even if Paranormal isn't your thing you will find this book full of her comfortable writing style, that just makes you smile.  Plan to read it in one sitting, because once you start, you really won't want to put it down!  

~ Happy Reading ~ 


"Ethan, a word?" Alex stood. 

"Sure." Ethan kissed the top of my head and left the room while Mason started rummaging around the kitchen; pots and pans clanged together, and then he pulled out a giant piece of steak. 

"I hope that's not for me." I pointed. 

"Protein…" He threw the steak into the pan. "…feeds the blood, which feeds the mate, which, in turn, feeds you." 

"You gonna start singing Circle of Life?" I joked. 

"Circle of life?" he repeated. 

"Lion King?" 

"Cassius is king." 

I looked helplessly to Stephanie, who was trying to hide her smile behind her hand. 

"Have you seriously never watched Lion King?" 

"Werewolves are scared of TV," Stephanie said with a soft laugh. 

"And sirens are afraid of the dark," he fired back, while she shuddered. "I'm not afraid of the TV. I just don't see the point in sitting in front of a flat box and watching people make fools of themselves." 

"He'd rather be the fool." Stephanie nodded and winked in my direction. 

"Mason…" I walked over to him and put my head on his shoulder. "How about I eat the steak and we watch Lion King?" 


"Dances with Wolves?" 

Stephanie snickered loudly behind her hand. 

"Wolves do not dance," Mason growled. 

"Oh, we know." Stephanie nodded. "I've seen it once. Don't care to see it again." 

"Too much whiskey." Mason kissed the top of my head. "Eat the whole steak, and then we'll talk about King Lion." 

"Lion King." 

"Same thing." 

I sighed helplessly and went to sit at the table while Mason cooked. 

Stephanie gave me a side hug. "Eight tomorrow morning, alright?" 


"Bed." She shrugged. "It's been a long night." Her eyes misted again. 

"Are you sure you're okay?" 

"Yeah." Her voice cracked. "Like Alex said, we get emotional. Can't help it." 

It felt like she was lying, but I was human, how would I know? I nodded and turned my attention back to Mason, who'd started searing the steak. 

"So you cook meat but refuse to eat it?" 

"I'm a vegetarian." He smiled. I'd never realized how pointy his teeth were on the sides. Maybe that's how he'd been able to bite into me before Ethan had mated with me. 

"Your teeth say otherwise." I pointed. "Flat means vegetarian. Pointy means carnivore." 

Mason rolled his eyes. "I didn't say it was natural for me to be a vegetarian." 

"Okay… so why?" 

He let out a heavy sigh. "Meat made my mate sick… for one reason or another. It gave her headaches. She only ate fruits, vegetables, nuts." He flipped the steak. "So I learned to like other foods." 

"And now?" 

He went very quiet, his eyes focusing in on the steak. "Now…" His voice was hoarse. "I honor her with my every meal." 

My throat clogged with emotion. 

The fact that he honored her at all — but with every single meal — killed me. How did he survive that? How did he live every day having known true love? And know he may never experience it again — living forever? 

"Don't pity me." Mason let out a gruff growl. "It makes it harder." 

"Sorry," I whispered. "So pinecones, huh?" 

He laughed. "Yes, well, it's an acquired taste." 

"I bet." 

My heart picked up speed, and then I smelled him. Ethan entered the room, briskly walking by me, kissing my head. "Steak almost done?" 

"I'm a perfectionist." Mason held up his hands. "Let the juices seal." 

Ethan scrunched up his nose. "Her blood tastes better than that steak." 

"Yes, well, her blood tastes good because she's living. She's living because I feed her." 

"Werewolf has a point," I teased. "Besides, if I eat my whole steak, we're going to watch Lion King!" 

"Whose king?" Ethan tilted his head. "What lion? Mason's a wolf." 

And that's how I ended up spending my evening between a vampire and a werewolf, eating steak and watching a Disney movie while they argued over the animal kingdom, not to mention the lion's choice in song. 

It felt right. 

Like I'd finally found my place. 

My home. 

I had no idea that the security I felt was about to get ripped from me, from the very people I'd put my trust in.

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

Want to be kept up to date on new releases? 
Text MAFIA to 66866! 

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