Only love can save her from certain death. Too bad, she doesn’t believe in love . . .
When Bette Dautry comes to him, seeking his protection, Guardian Rollin Casteel suspects the mysterious beauty has an ulterior motive. Unable to resist her seductive charms, he soon hungers to mark her as his. Only Bette disappears before he can sink his teeth into her tender flesh, leaving Rollin with one mission: to find her—and to claim her. . . .
Bette seduces Rollin intent on conceiving his child, believing the mother-child bond to be the only kind of love she can sustain—the only kind of love that can keep her alive. But she never expects to feel so much for her strong and silent lover. Then she discovers Rollin is none other than the heir to the Balinese throne—a man too noble—too dear—to play a role in her dark scheme. A man she would willingly die for, if only he would set her free. . .
Review by Lady with a Quill (Warning - May contain SPOILERS!)
As always, Jen Colly has done a beautiful job building a world that is full of exciting characters, a swiftly moving plot, and a hint at continued mystery to come! While I can't say this one was my favorite, it was still a story I finished in just a few days, and that is saying something during the busy holiday season.
A prisoner in her own home since the death of her parents almost ten years ago, Bette Dautry has finally broken free from her cage. Knowing that her life is coming to an end, as she feels the pull of the deadly sun, she desperately seeks a mate to allow her one of her two dreams in life - to conceive a child. She runs straight to Balinese, a haven for all who need refuge, and into the arms of a Guardian named Rollin. Young and with an instinct to protect, Rollin instantly knows he must keep Bette safe from whatever is frightening her so badly. Taking her into his home, he soon finds himself falling in love with her. However, Bette knows that association with her could ruin his future, and she has doubts that her original plan is worth sacrificing the dreams of the man she has grown to love.
Let me just say - the romance in this book is literally heart-wrenching, and I had a difficult time separating myself from the emotions it dug up within me. Bette was a poor soul who just wanted a child, no matter the cost, but she was such a good person at heart that she couldn't bring herself to ruin Rollin. Rollin was your ultimate protector, ensuring that no one harmed Bette, including herself. Their love seemed doomed from the start, but it ended up being fated. My one issue was the emphasis on their age difference. While they are vampires and thus don't look their age, Bette was hundreds of years old and looked 35, while Rollin was 22 and looked it. Multiple characters brought up the age difference, including Bette, in a way that began to make me a bit uncomfortable. It felt like she was taking advantage of his youth at times, and it was borderline for me in damaging the romance I felt from them. Thankfully, Jen Colly made them so loving towards each other that it transcended any misgivings I had initially.
I can't tell you how excited I am to read the next book in the series. Jen, I need Jovan's book soon and I hope it's next! I just love the taste you've given us of the love between him and Maeryn. I'm craving more of The Cities Below.
**I received a free copy from the author and this is my honest review.**
She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.