Title: Touch of Darkness
Author: Christina Dodd
Page Count: 400 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
50 words or less: Second book in the series. Rurik is an archaeologist trying to find the second icon that will get his family out of hock with the devil. Tasya is a photographer on a quest to avenge her family. All sorts of shit goes down. Everyone lies their pants off.
I reviewed the first book in the Darkness Chosen series, Scent of Darkness, at the end of September, and put this, the second book, on hold at the library. Touch of Darkness wasn't the most fantastic book I've ever read, but it definitely didn't need a Viking funeral in the kiddie pool, which is always a good thing.
The situations is much the same for the Wilder family when we pick up their story. Rurik, after finding out his archaeological dig in Scotland is all over the news, which can alert his murderous relatives, the Varinksis, to the plan to recover the stolen icons of the Madonna and free their father Konstantine from the pact with the devil (wow that was a mouthful,) tears ass to Scotland to get the situation under control. When he arrives, he finds a former one night stand, Tasya Hunnicutt, there as a representative from the people funding the digg. He immediately begins to plan on how to pay Tasya back (read: sleep with her again) after she absconded like a thief in the night after their night together.
Needless to say, things rapidly take a turn for the crappy after Rurik and Tasya open the tomb that's the focus of the dig, and they have to run for it once it becomes clear that the Varinskis are waaaaay to close for comfort. They take off over hill and dale, end up at a convent that's a serious blast from Tasya's past, and find out that they've each been lying like crazy to the other pretty much from the first moment they met. They both have the good sense to not be crazy upset about it, though, which was nice. There's a really great fight scene at the end of the book and a cliffhanger that's pretty enjoyable and, of course, a happily ever after.
I have to say I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the first in the series, and it definitely doesn't stand on its own within the series, so if you're interested in reading, make sure you start with Touch of Darkness. The interactions between the Wilder family members and the growing ranks of in-laws are funny and touching at the same time, and the relationship between Rurik and Tasya blossoms near the end and makes the clunkier parts in the middle worth skipping over. There were a few other story lines threaded through the book (why Rurik won't fly airplanes anymore and Tasya's mysterious heritage just to name a couple) that didn't really hold my interest, but skipping over them didn't detract from the story lines I do care about (the relationship between the lead characters, the search for the icons, the situation back at camp Wilder, etc.)
Overall Grade: B+
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