Monday, March 5, 2012

Darkness Bound (Chimney Rock, #1) by Stella Cameron

"Grief took its own time and to even when you thought you'd beaten it, back came the memories to punch you in the heart one more time."

Leigh Kelly came to Chimney Rock to start life anew.  Her husband had died over a year ago and it was time to move on. She'd left her job with Microsoft to find herself or perhaps redefine herself. She and Chris had dated for two years, yet had only been married a couple of days before he died. They had actually met on the beach of Whidbey Island and Two Chimney's had been his cottage. She'd inherited it from him. She was still haunted by the memories of happier times, but she was ready to move on.

Chimney Rock, however, is not your normal, average town. It holds the veil between worlds--that of the human realm and that of the supernatural. Chimney Rock is home to vampires, fae, and werewolves, just to name a few. Niles Latimer was the alpha pack leader of the werehounds. His type of supernatural were a dying breed he and his pack hoped to save. When it was determined Leigh would make for a compatible werehound mate, a very rare thing, he set out to gain her trust, acceptance, and love. Only problem was the neighboring werewolf pack was making it their business to ensure the demise of the werehounds. They had plans of their own and woman in the area were disappearing...

I truly enjoyed the world Stella Cameron created. While most of the supernatural men are pretty darn gorgeous, some of them have down right sinister and disturbing personalities. Yay, for a good villain! lol The book is suspenseful and keeps you wondering almost to the very end what exactly Leigh is. While we find out a little of what Leigh can do, we don't get the full picture. I hope this will be expanded upon as the series continues. 

Leigh, as I stated above, had decided she was ready to stop grieving and start living again. Her first step was to go somewhere people didn't know her. Chimney Rock seemed the perfect place. She quickly learns, however, Chimney Rock might not be the safe haven she first thought. She's warned on her first day of work by her employer, "This is no big deal but I'd rather you weren't out in the dark on your own." Then Niles warns shortly thereafter, "It's a good idea to lock you doors as soon as you're in the car...And make sure they're locked when it's parked." Slowly, but steadily she's lead into the world of the supernatural.

Niles is in a very vulnerable position. He wants Leigh to like him, but he doesn't want to force her into anything. Plus, how do you tell someone you're not exactly human and make sure they don't turn tail and run? Besides trying to gain her affection he also needs to protect her. Just being associated with him puts her in danger.

I must confess, I usually like the alpha male personality to shine through in romances, but I did find Niles more vulnerable personality quite endearing. I really liked Leigh for the first two thirds of the book, however, around the last third of the book she turned a little too needy for my tastes. An incident with Niles leaves her confused and she went from a confident, strong woman to a very clingy seemingly insecure young woman. The world and story line, however, kept my attention and interest. I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a FAN - the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice. 

Pictures of Whidbey Island in Washington:

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