*****5 ‘Undying Lessons’ STARS*****

It says something when a story can reach out making you feel the clawing agony – tangible in its aching intensity.  It’s not often I come across a story that packs so much, yet reveals so little.  With its superb world building, intriguing mythos, smoking hot slayers, a sexy yet suspicious king and one bad*** vampiress with killer fashion sense and attitude, Anne Malcom has produced heaven.  Bloodsucking, a$$kicking, dark, seductive, sexy slayer heaven.  And I cannot wait. For. More.

“I’m half movie quotes, half sarcasm and the rest nonsense.”

It’s hard to fathom an unending life.  It’s even harder, or perhaps just plain unbearable, to imagine living that same unending existence without love, or at the very least caring, trustworthy companionship.  Isla’s (h) okay without it though.  In fact, she wants nothing to do with pesky human emotion.  She does her best to delude herself while she fights to protect those same humans from the atrocity that is her vampire brethren – at the cost of her reputation and perhaps one day even her undying life.

“Even the evilest of minds have justification for their acts.  They’re the hero of their own story; it just depends on where you stand.”

Killing the bloodsuckers is all in a day’s work for Thorne (H).  One of the slayer leaders, he’s focused on the mission – until he claps eyes on Isla in the last place he expected to find a vamp.  Ready to serve up justice slayer style he’s not happy (to say the least) when he starts having uncomfortable feelings for the sexy leach in red soled heels.  It’s not long before Thorne realizes there’s waaaay more to the story.  The only problem?  Isla sure as he!! is not interested in giving him any details.

“He was hot when he got all murdery.”

Forbidden love, espionage, action adventure, paranormal fantasy and mystery this tale has a little bit of everything packed in its pages.  I was glued to my kindle from the start finishing this book in hours.  I loved the beautiful syntax the author uses in this story, it’s like a love story in itself, the beauty of the words melding together to form an epic movie in my mind.  I watched Isla’s past unfold in slow motion aching for the lost innocence and trauma she had to endure.  At her core she’s just a woman with a broken heart trying everything she can, using every justification she can, to numb the pain and escape her reality – a reality that is unending and severe.  Her insight into immortality and the beauty of humanity is haunting.  Her acidic temperament and wit actually charmed me while keeping me snickering and guessing as to her real motivations.  Those motivations are tricky and when we’re introduced to the King Isla’s just as cautious here too, even in the face of his seduction attempts.  And when we get to her interactions with Thorne…whew!  The chemistry and intensity melted my kindle.  The push pull between these two (the King doesn’t stand a chance!) is a teasing slow burn that had me begging for them both to admit their attraction and give in.  And once they do, the palpable sexual energy is just and side dish to the captivating beginning to their love story.  Thorne is a complex alpha warrior – but seeing his tenderness with Isla wrecked me – and once she let her walls crumble and reciprocated I died knowing what it cost her.  I knew going in that this was a series and I’d be left with a cliffhanger – I had no idea just how heart wrenching that ending would be.  My heart was ripped out and bleeding hoping for the forbidden lovers to get their deserved happy ending…it’s still bleeding out.

“So I gave in.”

Agonizing decisions, calculated and unreserved emotion, surprising introspection peppered with macabre humor make this new paranormal romance something I wasn’t expecting, but loved all the more for it.  And all I’m left with is this burning sweet anguish of not knowing…and wanting more – and I will be back for more in a heartbeat, just as soon as book 2 is released.

“Love was never undying.”

K’s Category: 1st date, first novel read by author to date.

Characters: M/F


Sex: Yes, descriptive

HEA: No, cliffhanger.

Standalone: No, This is book 1 in a series.