Once, they lived in secret alongside mankind. Now, emerged from the shadows, the Breed faces enemies on both sides—human and vampire alike. No one knows that better than Lazaro Archer, one of the eldest, most powerful of his kind. His beloved Breedmate and family massacred by a madman twenty years ago, Lazaro refuses to open his heart again.
Sworn to his duty as the leader of the Order’s command center in Italy, the last thing the hardened warrior wants is to be tasked with the rescue and safekeeping of an innocent woman in need of his protection. But when a covert mission takes a deadly wrong turn, Lazaro finds himself in the unlikely role of hero with a familiar, intriguing beauty he should not desire, but cannot resist.
Melena Walsh has never forgotten the dashing Breed male who saved her life as a child. But the chivalrous hero of her past is in hard contrast to the embittered, dangerous man on whom her safety now depends. And with an unwanted—yet undeniable—desire igniting between them, Melena fears that Lazaro’s protection may come at the price of her heart….
Rating~ 3 stars
Lazaro Archer was first introduced in the series when his whole family excluding his then teenage grandson Kellan, was murdered twenty years ago. Lazaro and Kellan having lost their family joined the order. Lazaro now resides in Italy and is the leader of the order’s command center there. He never quite got over his breedmate’s death, the guilt of not being able to protect his family and ever since has dedicated his life to the order.
Daughter of a Darkhaven leader in America, Melena Walsh helps her father with his business by using her breedmate gift and as a child she was saved from drowning by Lazaro. Melena is there in Italy to help her father with his meeting that is coordinated by Lazaro. Melena never forgot that Lazaro had saved her from dying.
While the premise and the plot line was interesting even for a novella I just had problems connecting with the story at times. Melena had a case of hero worship for Lazaro because he saved her life as a child which to be honest I found very unsettling. I don’t have problems with the hero or heroine being thousands years old and the partner human or younger in years because most of the PNR stories/series has at least one such character. The problem I had was they met when Melena was a child, lazaro and her father were friends and Lazaro was mated at the time. So every time the past was mentioned I felt a bit icky and the whole thing was present in the back of my mind throughout the whole story which affected my enjoyment of the story and my ability to ‘live’ in the book. I might have been ok with their relationship if they had never met before but unfortunately they had. Another thing there was very little mention of Kellan by Lazaro even in his thoughts, I mean Kellan is his only family left yet there was not any mention of him apart from at the start of the book.
I think people who would be or are able to get past the issue of Lazaro meeting Melena as a child would really enjoy the book since it follows the similar methodology as the other books in the series; the attraction, time running out to do whatever it is needed to be done, danger, action and the short time span for the couple to fall in love. I was not able to get my issue hence only a three star rating.
Have you read any of other novellas from the 1001 Dark Knights series? If yes which ones did you like best?