The Moon Shines Red (Heart of Darkness #1)
Lord Lochlan was cursed in the womb, condemned by the perceived crimes of his parents.
On the thirteenth year of his birth, the red glow of the moon washed over land and sea like a faded bloody stain. A constant reminder of the curse that marked him before he was born. Every night he gazed at it like he was lured and haunted by it. It followed him, it beseeched him. It called out to him. Just once he wanted to see the moon glow as everyone else saw it. Bright and illuminating. But he knew that would never be possible.
The all too familiar feeling of despair suffocated him, like long gangling fingers squeezing his neck, cutting off his air. He fell to his knees and begged for the sky to fall on him. He had suffered long and tirelessly and he was desperate for it to end. And yet, he fought to breathe. He fought to stand back on his feet. Because fighting back was as instinctual to him as breathing. He had come too far to let his loneliness and despair get the best of him now. He was battle worn and weary, but he still had a reason to live.
Or so he hoped.
He stood back on his feet and he fought against the doom that hovered over him since the day he was born and he stared up into the darkened sky.
At the moon that shines red only for him.
I should have stayed away from him. But I couldn’t.
HE was my love…my life. And he just might kill me.
I suppose that means…he may also be my end.
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!!! This book, set both in the human and faery world was absolutely wonderful. Our hero, Lochlan is cursed, feared by others and carries a huge burden that leaves him in such a state of loneliness. Then he meets Elin, a sweet ordinary girl who we find out is anything but ordinary. She does not fear him like everyone else and the love story that unfolds was so painfully heartbreaking! Elin is faced with her own personal burden of immense pain when her life as she knows it is completely turned upside down. Although Lochlan can’t be there for her like really wants to, he is never far from her, always protecting her.
“…all the healing has to begin somewhere. For me, that somewhere began when the loneliest soul I’d ever known offered to give company to the saddest.”
I won’t give spoilers but it seemed like it was impossible for Elin and Lochlan to really be together. For so long, I just couldn’t see how they could get there HEA. My poor heart could hardly take it 💔💔💔.
There is great world building and action packed scenes that make this fantasy romance complete. This author is a great storyteller and pieces of the puzzle get revealed at just the right time. The pace was just right and the side characters are all brilliantly developed. We also have a great bromance with Lochlan and Searly! Searly is an essential character who always supported Lochlan and his love and sacrifices made brought on so many emotions.
This book does not end on a cliffhanger but it does set you up for Book 2 which you don’t NEED to read but trust me, you will WANT to read it!
Heat Level: None
POV: 3rd Person
A Monster Like Me (Heart of Darkness #2)
Zeph had been a child, thrust into a war that wasn’t his. When he was older, he discovered he had landed on the wrong side of everything.
He’d been fighting for sweet revenge, because of lies he’d believed—and those lies proved to be his ruin. Falling into despair, Zeph decides living is too painful. So, he writes his final act with poison and chooses to end his story.
But Fate has other plans for Zeph and when he finds himself in the hands of his enemies, he has to decide: Does he want to live? Or does he want to die?
Or maybe that choice is no longer his to make.
Ruled by shadows and armed with secrets he never intended to share, Zeph will be put through his toughest battle yet: the war within himself.
“He isn’t a lost cause. He’s just—lost.”
That’s what Arwyn believes. She sees the monster he has become, but what she also sees is someone worth fighting for. Armed with secrets of her own, she’s determined to help Zeph fight his demons, because there was more on the line than Zeph’s soul. So much more.
Revenge may be sweet. But redemption is sweeter. The question is, can Zeph find the boy he used to be, or will he always believe that no one could ever love—a monster like him.
“You are everything good. And I am everything children are afraid of.”
**CAUTION**Contains a brief descriptive scene of childhood rape.
This is book 2 in the Heart of Darkness Duology and is recommended the reader begin with book 1, The Moon Shines Red.
The fantastical Heart of Darkness series continues and this one was even better than the first. This is Zeph’s story and if you read the first book, then like me, you are probably already fascinated with this anti-hero. How does a villain become the hero? How does a man like Zeph find redemption after all he’s done? There was so much darkness in Zeph and his past actions were seemingly so unforgivable. From the beginning we see him in so much despair that he tries to end his own life but he is unwillingly given a second chance.
Arwyn is an elf that sees another side of Zeph because to her, Zeph was her saviour. She has been in love with him for a long time but of course Zeph does not feel worthy of reciprocating such feelings.
“What is it you think I do not see? Your shadows? The darkness?…It is only at night that we can see the stars, Zeph. Darkness doesn’t have to be scary. It can be beautiful. You have just forgotten.”
The intensity of Arwyn and Zeph’s connection was a palpable thing. Arwyn is an empath and so has the ability to sense other people’s emotions and her connection with Zeph appears to be even more heightened.
“Your heart is racing.” Zeph’s hand covered the thumping organ. “You know my heartbeats?””Sometimes, I don’t know if they are yours or mine.”
I’ve never wanted such a broken hero to find his happy ending. I felt his pain in my bones! Pamela Sparkman unravels Zeph’s story at just the right pace. I was constantly engaged from beginning to end, always needing more and yet feeling fully satisfied by the end of this tale.
This is one of these books with very incredible and unforgettable secondary characters. The level of friendship and love had me so emotional. The character development was amazing and the plot was solid. Most of this book focuses on Zeph’s journey to forgive himself and ends with a few battles and great action packed scenes and eventually culminates in one hell of an amazing ending! Highly, highly recommended series!
Series: Heart Of Darkness, #2 (Book 1 recommended to be read first)
Heat Level: Very Mild
*ARC generously provided in exchange for an honest review
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Pamela Sparkman grew up in Alabama. She became an avid reader at a young age. The written word has always fascinated her and she wrote her first short story while still in elementary school. Inspiration for her stories always begins with a song. She believes music is the pulse of life and books are the heart of it.
When she isn’t writing, however, she’s spending time with her family and taking one day at a time.