Tag: Dark Hunter Series

Throwback Thursday Review: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Posted May 24, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn KenyonReviewer: Rowena
Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Hunter Legends #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 18, 2002
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 337
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars
Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace--the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

See original cover edition: here

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on March 8, 2010.

This book is a nacho kind of book. Full of cheese and yet you crave these kinds of books from time to time. When I was trying to figure out what books I was going to read for the Author Spotlight, I wanted to take the Kinley MacGregor route but ended up picking this book up instead. It’s been years since I read this book and I had forgotten all of the little reasons why I enjoyed this book but reading it again, I could see why.

It’s one of those escape reality, leave all the realness of the world behind you and just read kind of books. I mean, look at the blurb…an older than dirt man cursed and stuck in a book, only able to come out to pleasure women who summon him. He’s a demi-god and he’s stuck forever in a book because he’s a love slave. Are you kidding me?

As cheesy as this book was, SK made it work for me. I enjoyed reading this book but it made me giggle at how obsessed I used to be over this series. I used to be utterly obsessed, stalking the SK website for updates on the books and this is the book that started all of that madness for me. Julian was a too good to be true heroes which SK is popular for. Her heroes are those troubled heroes that you want to hold close to your heart and never let go.

Grace was one of the more memorable heroines from this series. To be honest, a lot of the heroines from this series I don’t remember now outside of their names. But I remembered Grace and seeing her try to help Julian out and introduce him to the modern day world was a treat that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. She was a stand up heroine and when Julian makes her ex boyfriend look like the tool that he was, I rejoiced and I loved Julian all the more.

Being introduced to characters that will show up later in the books was a treat that I enjoyed. This book is kind of fluffy and even though Julian isn’t a Dark Hunter, I liked this book. Would I recommend this book? Yep, I don’t think it’s a must read first for the Dark Hunter series but it would be good to read this book first because Julian shows up in future books and well, he’s a hottie so duh!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5


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Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Posted September 13, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 15 Comments

Retro-Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon.Reviewer: Rowena
Acheron (Dark-Hunter, #12) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Dark Hunter #12
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 31st 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 806
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

Eleven thousand years ago, a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. But the strongest steel is forged from the fires of hell…

Acheron's human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, he became the sole defender of mankind. Only it was never that simple. For centuries, Acheron has fought for our survival and hidden a past he'll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence. Now his survival—and ours—hinges on hers, and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both. War has never been more deadly...or more fun.

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Rowena and I were both obsessed with the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, once upon a time. Even so, by the time this book was released I’d given up on the series. In fact, despite my love for the earlier books, I couldn’t even bring myself to read it. I was tempted after this review, but I just couldn’t do it.

This review was originally posted on August 11, 2008

Hero: Acheron Parthenopeaus
Heroine: You’ll have to read it to find out
Grade: 5 out of 5



There’s so much to cover in this review that I’m almost afraid to begin. Sherrilyn Kenyon does a remarkable job of pulling those emotional heartstrings inside you to drain every bit of emotion out of you. During the first part of the book, even though I was at work reading this (naughty wench that I am) tears streamed down my face as I read what turned Ash into the man that I know and love now. My heart seriously broke each and every time something new would come up and I just felt so hot damn bad for him.

Then there was Ryssa. Naive but courageous Ryssa, who only wanted to take care of him. The sister who loved Ash more than anyone ever dared to show and gosh, it got to a point while I was reading where it was almost too much for me to read. It was hard to push through that first part of the book because there was so much bad in it. So much that Ash suffered, so much crap that Ryssa unknowingly flinched his way just by caring about him. When it happened with Val and Zarek, I understood but in his book, I was mad at Zarek for being so hot damn mad at Val for trying to help him but in this book, I got so mad at Ryssa because as nice as she was to Ash….she only made things just THAT much worst for him. For every bit of kindness she showed him, he paid for it tenfold and I just wanted her to leave him in peace, the way that Ash wanted her to. I would get so mad each and every time that Ryssa would come around because I knew that something bad was going to happen to Ash and I couldn’t understand why she couldn’t see that loving Ash the way she did (even if she couldn’t help loving him) was hurting it far more than it was helping him.

I know that she wanted him to know that someone loved him, unconditionally, no matter what and I could appreciate that but I hated that she made things worst for Ash because ooh I wanted to kill her father and her other stupid ass brother, Styxx so frickin’ bad. I wanted their blood on my hands (bloodthirsty wench that I am) and don’t even get me started on their Uncle Estes.


I could get myself worked up over this book so easily which just goes to show how involved in this story I am, which also goes to show how good a job Sherrilyn Kenyon did with the first part of this book. There were times earlier in the book when I wished that Ryssa would just stay the hell away from Ash, she brought him more pain than anything and I just wanted him to have some kind of peace but she was always getting him into trouble and it was through Ryssa that I had an inkling for why Zarek hated Valerian because though Val meant well, he brought more bad than good and it had to have hurt badly and they just kept being nice and nice which made things so much worst for Ash and Zarek.

And OMGOSH Ash’s powers? Holy shit shit shit…damn damn damn, holy crap in the pants, are you frickin’ serious right now?


…and dude, I LOVE APOLLYMI! The fierceness of her love for her son is to be admired, I mean I don’t agree with the way she took care of some of those problems she had but man, I couldn’t fault her reasoning.

And goodness, I loved seeing the beginning of Ash and Simi. It was seeing him with Simi that softened my heart toward him and made me love him more and more until I was near bursting with my love of his character. Goodness, Ash is seriously the best hero EVER written.

When we got to the present, I was glad for it because the past prepared me for what was to come and it explained so many of my questions (if not, all of them) from before. Questions that I have waited YEARS to get answers to and I’m so glad that I better understand Ash from before and Ash from now.

Soteria was a great heroine, I remember her from The Dream Hunter and I’m not mad about the pairing of her and Ash together because she completed Ash. She saw the Ash that we all know and love and she loved him like nobody else from this series ever could. I’m so glad that Ash’s heroine wasn’t Satara, like I thought before because I seriously hate that biznitch and am not mad at Nick, one bit.

There are so many things that I could say about this book but I don’t have enough time. There were so many great things about this book, seeing Ash finally realize that he’s not alone in anything anymore. He’s got the family that he’s always wanted in the Dark Hunters and their wives…and in Soteria. I can’t seem to call her Tory like she likes to be called because I don’t see where the hell they got Tory from Soteria? Tera? I can see that…but Tory? Nope, not seeing it at all but maybe that’s because I’m not Greek, who knows.

A lot of options were opened for the other characters in this book and I can’t wait to read the rest of the books to find out more about Savitar, Jaden and Nick because I’m thinking Nick is going to be Artemis’ next pet. I think he’s going to be the one to replace Ash and oh wow, that’s going to make for some interesting reading, for sure.

This book was really good, at first I thought that maybe it didn’t hold up to my expectations but then I changed my mind because I loved this book, a whole lot more than I was expecting to (because no mortal could have met my expectations of this book) and whether it held up to my expectations was moot since I loved everything about this book, I loved the old Ash, the new Ash, the story, the characters and I was over the moon to see everyone come together to get Ash’s back, even Savitar and Jaden did their little bests to help Ash out because he finally needed it. For so long, Ash stood alone and it was just good to see that he didn’t have to this time around.

LOVED IT! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT! And now I want more…haha. I’ve got to ask though, how many of you readers out there who have read Ash’s book, played Savin’ Me by Nickelback over and over after you read the book?

I DID! How many of you guys are listening to Saving Me right now?



5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Styxx by Sherilyn Kenyon (with spoilers)

Posted November 11, 2013 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

9781250029881_p0_v2_s114x166Casee’s review of Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

Just when you thought doomsday was over…

Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge.

As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s.

The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished.

Until now.

She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop…

My feelings about this book are complicated. After I read it, I felt so many different things. Now I’ve had over a week to really digest everything it’s mainly what, the and, fuck. When I was done reading it, I immediately texted Holly. I said something about being frazzled and my brain not working right. I was even talking to my husband, trying to wrap my brain around it. He, in turn, was trying to wrap his brain around what I was talking about.

Styxx first came onto the Dark Hunter scene in Talon’s book, Night Embrace (2003). He was a bad guy. Throughout the years, he has been Acheron’s evil twin…or so we thought. It’s been 10 years since Styxx first appeared in book 3 and this book is book 23. It’s only been the last few books that we’ve glimpsed a shred of what may have been decency. If you read this book, you’ll find out that not only is Styxx good, but that he’s been wronged by everyone in his entire life but most especially Acheron. Oh and Acheron is a d-bag.

You don’t have to read Acheron to understand Styxx, but it would be helpful. Long story short, Apollymi hid Acheron in the human realm because the Greek Fates accidentally cursed him. He was hidden in a mortal’s womb with Styxx, which really effed up not only his life, but his destiny.

602 pages (71%) of the book focuses on Styxx’s mortal life as Price Styxx heir to King Xeres and the House of Aricles. 602 pages of a wretched, horrible life. If you read Acheron, you remember that he was touched by Epithymia, the goddess of all desires. Styxx was also touched by her. He basically received all the curses Acheron did with one addition: the Atlantean gods constantly speak in Styxx’s head and he doesn’t know why.

Styxx and Acheron’s lives have always been tied together. So if one dies the other dies. Which actually isn’t true. It’s only if Acheron dies that Styxx dies. Styxx also gets to feel every beating or physical thing that Acheron experiences, which he has to hide. From Acheron’s POV in his book, Styxx always seemed like a stand-offish, arrogant sort. Now we know it’s an armor that he carries around. And Ryssa, the sister that always protects Acheron? She’s a super bitch.

My first review back and it feels like I’m rambling on and on. I’m not even halfway done yet. Or to the worst part. Styxx gets raped. By his own uncle; the uncle who took Acheron to Atlantis and turned him into a whore. Styxx actually tried to rescue Acheron. It was not only unsuccessful, Styxx was turned over by Acheron himself. There were hundreds of pages where Styxx was raped. By guards at the palace. By the Greek god Apollo. By people that were supposed to protect him. All the while the twin brother he tried to protect and the sister he only wanted to love looked at him in disgust. It was sickening. Heartbreaking. Overdone.

Styxx eventually tried to kill himself. Really, who wouldn’t? That’s when he realized his life was literally tied to Acheron’s. It was after that he met Bethany. She was actually an Atlantian goddess, but she doesn’t tell him that. He doesn’t tell him that he’s Price Styxx either. Bethany doesn’t know because when she’s in human form, she’s blind. So she just knows him as Hector, the man she falls in love with. Styxx is just as in love with Bethany and is really the only thing he lives for. In his life, that is not really surprising. His life sucks ass. Literally.

After Acheron is killed in his human life, Bethany also has to face the wrath of Apollymi. Which means that Styxx loses the goddess he loves. When Acheron dies, he finally knows the peace he never knew in life. Until…Artemis brings him back to life which brings Styxx back to life. Honest to God, this book was bit over 800 pages.

While Styxx rots on some island by himself for eleven thousand years, Acheron becomes the Acheron we all know and think we love. Yep, that’s right. I don’t love him anymore. After Styxx is forced to have Ash’s memories, he wants a second chance with him. What does Ash do? He sticks him on one of his island’s on what’s-it-called his other-worldly home. For three years. Forgets him. Then when Styxx decides he wants to just forget the whole thing, Ash dumps him in an apartment in New York or somewhere like that and forgets about him. Until Savitar tells him about the real Styxx. Then he wants to make it all better. Nevermind that he treated his brother like shit, never supported him, he lost the woman he loved, he lost a child, and he’s a stupid ass. Oh and he helped Ash save Tori and didn’t ask for anything in return.

Styxx did get his HEA, but it was a long time coming. Too long. He showed that he deserved redemption even though the only reason he went after Acheron was to end his own life. He had no animosity toward Acheron at the beginning. It eventually turned to hate, but ultimately Styxx’s goal was to die. He lost the woman he loved and the family he could have had. I can’t imagine living with that for eleven thousand years.

Yes, after this book I was somewhat confused. I had to get my brain around something. I still don’t know what it is. I’m still confused. I honestly don’t know why this book was written. I would have been happy with Styxx never getting a book of his own. Or getting a book that was 400 pages. It was just too much.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Lightning Review: Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Posted June 5, 2013 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Holly‘s review of Night Pleasures (Dark Hunters, Book 1) by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Dear Reader, Have you ever wanted to know what it’s like to be immortal? To journey through the night stalking the evil that preys on humans? To have unlimited wealth, unlimited power? That is my existence, and it is dark and dangerous. I play hero to thousands, but am known to none. And I love every minute of it.

Or so I thought until one night when I woke up handcuffed to my worst nightmare: a conservative woman in a button-down shirt. Or in Amanda’s case, buttoned all the way up to her chin. She’s smart, sexy, witty, and wants nothing to do with the paranormal—in other words, me.

My attraction to Amanda Devereaux goes against everything I stand for. Not to mention the last time I fell in love it cost me not only my human life, but also my very soul. Yet every time I look at her, I find myself wanting to try again. Wanting to believe that love and loyalty do exist. Even more disturbing, I find myself wondering if there’s any way a woman like Amanda can love a man whose battle scars run deep, and whose heart was damaged by a betrayal so savage that he’s not sure it will ever beat again.

– Kyrian of Thrace

I reread this some time back. I was really nervous going in because I wasn’t sure it would hold up to the test of time.

I was more disappointed in parts of it than I remember being previously (the way Amanda and Kyrian mentally lusted after each other at the most inappropriate moments) and some parts were just down right cheesey (the villain..really?) but overall I enjoyed it. It’s a very readable novel, and though I spent some time rolling my eyes, I was sti…more I re-read this awhile back. I was really nervous going in because I wasn’t sure it would hold up to the test of time.

I was more disappointed in parts of it than I remember being previously, most notably the way Amanda and Kyrian mentally lusted after each other at the most inappropriate moments. This has long been a pet peeve of mine anyway, but they’re in the middle of a car chase and the bad guys are closing in and Kyrian catches a whiff of Amanda’s scent and is suddenly so hard his pants are uncomfortable? Seriously? Amanda was no better. She’s chased after, thrown into a knife fight and finds out Kyrian is the “good guy” equivalent of a vampire but still wants to jump him at every turn? Seriously?

Some parts were just down right cheesy. The villain especially threw me off. With his cheesy dialogue and constant bumbling, I didn’t understand how he was such an impressive foe for the Dark Hunters. Also, a lot of Kyrian’s lines were just cheestastic. The things he said and thought – things I used to think were sweet and adorable – were so silly I laughed out loud.

But overall I enjoyed it. It’s a very readable novel, and though I spent some time rolling my eyes, I was still swept up in the story.

I’d say it held up fairly well, all things considered.

3 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Sundown’s Story- The Prologue.

Posted August 1, 2011 by Rowena in Promotions | 1 Comment

I haven’t been keeping up much with the Dark Hunters, mostly because there are too many hot dang books and because the series has gone in a completely different direction from when I first started reading the books. I remember being so anxious for Sundown’s book, I lurved him but that was years ago. I have since forgotten all about him and why I used to love him so much.

I would go back and re-read the series but hell, just thinking about doing a complete re-read makes me tired.

But it’s Sundown.

His book is finally out and I’m fangirly enough to get some kind of rise out of that and what’s even better, it comes out tomorrow and St. Martin’s Press has posted the Prologue over at Heroes and Heartbreakers.

For the whole she-bang, click here. But check it out, here’s the prologue to whet your appetite for some Sundown lovin’…don’t forget to pick up your own copy of Retribution, it comes out tomorrow August 2, 2011.




Written by Solace Walters

They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. In the case of William Jessup Brady, it’s been hand carved with a lever-action Henry rifle over his shoulder and a Smith & Wesson six-gun strapped to his hip.

At a time when the world is at its most violent, he’s the meanest of all. Untamed. Uncivilized. A half-breed mongrel dog spawned from the bowels of the Devil’s lowest pit, he is the worst of the scourge that haunts our towns and kills indiscriminately. No one is safe or immune from his wrath. No one is safe from his aim. A gun for hire, he doesn’t shirk from any target. Man, woman, or child.

If you have the cash, he has the bullet. A bullet he will deliver to his victim right between the eyes.

There are those who would make a romantic hero of this villain. Some who think of him like Robin Hood, but Sundown Brady takes from everyone and gives only to himself.

He is truly soulless.

The bounty on this man is $50,000—a fortune, to be sure—and still people are terrified even to try to bring him in. In fact, authorities continue to find the scattered remains of the poor, virtuous marshal who made the mistake of shooting at him in Oklahoma when Brady was robbing a bank. Not one shot hit its mark. Is there any doubt Brady sold his soul to Lucifer for immortality and invulnerability?

Though Brady takes pity on no one, this reporter wants to know if there is anyone out there with the temerity to end Brady’s wickedness. Surely one of you fine, upstanding, decent men would like the fame and money that would come from ridding the world of the most sinister being ever to walk it. I pray you courage, good man.

Straight aim.

Most of all, I wish you luck.

Everything changes today. Unable to believe he’d lived long enough to see this undeserved dream, Jess Brady stood outside the church in his best, itchiest clothes. This was the last turn he’d ever expected for his miserable life.

He’d been robbing banks and staring down experienced men in a gunfight without flinching or breaking a sweat since he was thirteen years old. Yet here, right now, he was as nervous as a one-eyed buck in a barn fire. Every part of him was on edge. Every part of him fully alive, and for the first time since his birth, he was actually looking forward to the future.

His hand shaking, he pulled his old, banged-up gold pocket watch out to check the time. In five minutes, he’d leave his brutal past behind him forever and be reborn a new man. No longer William Jessup Brady, cardsharp, gunslinger, and hired killer, he was about to become William Parker, farmer. . . .

Family man.

Inside those bright white church doors was the most beautiful woman in the world, and she was waiting for him to come inside and make her his.

Dreams do come true. His precious mother had told him that when he was a boy, but his harsh life and drunken father, who’d been consumed by jealousy of and hatred for the entire world, had kicked that out of him by the time he was twelve years old and standing over her pauper’s grave. Nothing good had happened to him since the day she took sick, and the years of her suffering had left a deep-seated bitterness inside him. No one so pure of heart should ever hurt so much.

Not a single thing had ever given him pleasure or made him think for even a second that the world was anything but utter misery for the fools unfortunate enough to be born into it. Not until Matilda Aponi had smiled at him. She alone had made him believe that the world was a beautiful place and that the people in it weren’t all vicious animals out to punish everyone around them. Made him want to be a better man. The man his mother had told him he could be.

One free of hatred and bitterness.

He heard the sound of a horse approaching. That would be his best man, Bart Wilkerson. The only other person in his life he’d ever trusted and the one who’d taken him in when he was a thirteen-year-old runaway. Bart had taught him how to survive in a cold, hostile world that seemed to begrudge him every breath he took. He’d taken bullets for Bart on three separate occasions, and the two of them had been through more turmoil together than two demons scaling Hell’s thorny walls.

Like Jess, Bart was dressed in a long dark coat suit with his graying hair freshly combed. No one would ever be able to tell, looking at them right now, that they were two notorious outlaws. They looked respectable, but Jess wanted more than that. He wanted to be respectable.

Bart slid from his horse and tied her up beside Jess’s buggy, which he’d bought just for this day. Hell, he’d even decorated it with lilies—Matilda’s favorite flower.

“You ready, kid?” Bart asked solemnly.

“Yeah.” Scared though he was, there was nothing else in this world he wanted.


He’d already given all his ill-gotten gains away so that Matilda wouldn’t find out about his past. For her, he’d do anything.

Even be honest.

Jess started for the doors with Bart one step behind him. He’d just reached the steps when a gunshot rang out. He sucked his breath in sharply.

Sudden pain invaded every part of his body as the impact of the shot knocked his hat from his head and sent it flying. It landed a few feet away and tumbled until it got caught in a nearby bush. Jess tried to take a step forward, but more shots followed the first. And all of them hit various parts of his body.

Those shots made him do something he’d never done before.

He fell to his knees in the dirt.

His fury igniting, he wanted to return that fire, but Bart knew he’d sold his guns to buy Matilda’s ring—that had been his final act of ridding himself of the old Jess Brady. He was completely unarmed. The one thing he’d sworn he’d never be.

How could I be so stupid? How could he have put someone at his back when he knew better?

Maybe this was his penance for the sins he’d committed. Maybe this was all a bastard like him deserved.

Gunned down on what should have been the happiest day of his life.

Bart kicked him to the ground.

Panting from the weight of the pain and tasting blood, Jess stared up at him. The one man he’d risked his life for countless times. “Why?”

Bart shrugged nonchalantly as he reloaded his gun. “It’s all about the money, Jess. You know that. And right now, you’re worth a fortune.”

Yeah . . . how could he have forgotten their code? Having killed him, Bart would be the richest man in Gull Hollow. Not that he wasn’t already.

Bart was the one Jess had given all his money to.

Jess coughed up blood as his vision dimmed. He was so cold now. Colder than he’d been even as a kid working in an early-spring field without shoes or a coat. His father had always told him he’d end up like this. You’re trash, boy. All you’ll ever be, and you won’t live long enough to be nothing else. Mark my words. You’ll come to a bad end one day.

And here he lay dying at age twenty-six. So evil, God wouldn’t even let him reach the doors of Matilda’s church.

But in the end, he was Sundown, and Sundown Brady didn’t go quietly to his grave. No damn man would kill him and live. “I’ll be back for you, Bart. Even if I have to sell my soul for it. So help me, God. I will kill you for this.”

Bart laughed. “Give the devil my best regards.”

“William!” Matilda’s agonized scream hurt him more than the bullet wounds did.

He turned for one last look at her, but before he could take it, Bart coldly finished the job and denied him even the solace of seeing her face before he died.

Jess came awake with a curse. At least, he thought it was awake. Hard to tell, though, to be honest. It was darker here than the corner of his father’s heart that had been reserved for any tender feelings the old bastard might have had for him. The silence was so loud, it rang in his ears.

He didn’t even hear his own heartbeat.

’Cause I’m dead.

He remembered the pain of being shot, of trying to see Matilda in her wedding dress. . . .

So this is hell.

But to be honest, he’d expected flames and excruciating agony. Demons flying at him with pitchforks and smells akin to the stuff he’d mucked out of stables as a kid.

Instead, there was nothing inside the blackness.

“That’s because you’re on Olympus. At least your soul is.”

He turned as a lonely light came up to show him the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. Tall, lithe, and curvy, she had hair so red, it shimmered in the dim light. With glowing green eyes, she looked ethereal. More like an angel than like a demon, especially given the flowing white dress she wore that hugged her body. Something about its style reminded him of the white statues he’d seen in some of the fancier hotels he’d boarded in after they’d made a good haul over the years. “What’s Olympus?”

She made a sound that reminded him of a filly about to buck off her rider for irritating her. “I grieve for the poor education of so-called modern man. How can you not know the name of the mountain where the Greek gods dwell?”

He rubbed his jaw and forced down his own irritation at her insult. Until he knew who she was, it probably wasn’t wise to make her too mad. “Well, ma’am, no offense, but it probably has a lot to do with the fact I’m not Greek. I was born in Possum Town, Mississippi, and ain’t been no further east than that.”

She growled low in her throat, then spoke angrily in a language he couldn’t understand, which was probably for the best. No need in both of them being angry.

Clenching her fists, she settled down and pinned him with a killing glare. “I will try to speak so that you can understand me. I am the Greek goddess Artemis.”

“I don’t believe in gods and goddesses.”

“Well, you should, because this one has a deal for you that I think will interest you.”

Now, that made his ears perk up. “Deal how?”

She closed the distance between them so that she could whisper in his ear. “I heard what you said when you were dying at the feet of your best friend. Your soul screamed out for vengeance so loudly that it summoned me here to intercept you from your final destination.”

He locked gazes with her. “You can send me back to kill Bart?”

“Yes, I can.”

Rapid joy tore through him at the mere prospect. For that, she could insult him all day. “At what price?”

“You named it when you were dying.”

“My soul.”

She inclined her head to him before she patted him on the cheek. “That’s the going rate for vengeance around here. But don’t fret. There are other perks to being soulless. If you agree, I’ll give you twenty-four hours to do whatever you wish to the one who betrayed you. No consequences for you whatsoever.”

That he could sink his teeth into. His blackened soul had never been much use to him anyhow.

Artemis smiled. “You will have immortality and all the wealth you could ever imagine.”

“I can imagine a lot.”

“And still it won’t fill even a corner of what you’ll be given.”

When something sounds too good . . .

He ran his thumb across his bottom lip as he eyed her suspiciously. “What’s the mouseprint?”

She laughed evilly. “You are intelligent, after all. Good. It makes the job easier.”


“Hmmm. You will serve in my army of Dark-Hunters.”

He scowled. “Dark what?”

“Hunters,” she repeated. “They are immortal warriors, foot-selected by me.”

“Foot selected?” What was she talking about?

“Whatever the term is,” she snapped irritably. “They are my soldiers who protect the humans against the Daimons who prey on them.”

Technically, they were speaking the same language, but dang . . . Hard to follow a woman who used so many words he’d never heard before. “What’s a Daimon?”

She set her hands on her hips as she paced in front of him. “In short, my brother Apollo’s mess. Centuries ago, he created a race called Apollites.” She paused to look at Jess. “Arrogant of him, no? He thought man was weak and that he could do better.” Then she returned to her pacing. “Anyway, he set them loose on mankind, and the Apollites turned on him and killed his favorite human concubine and my nephew. Not really wise. Why they thought Apollo wouldn’t figure out who killed them is beyond me. So much for improvements, no?”

She rolled her eyes. “Apollites . . . ridiculous. At any rate, they are now cursed by him, and the only way they can live for more than twenty-seven years is to kill humans and steal their souls—we have an Atlantean whore goddess to thank for that little benediction to them.” She flung her hand up in a gesture of supreme agitation. “Don’t even get me started on how badly I’d like to kill her.”

Artemis dropped her hand and faced him. “Anyway, that’s where you come in, if you’ve been paying attention. You sell your soul to me, and you will spend eternity seeking and destroying the Daimons—the name given to the Apollites who feast on humanity. Are you out?”

“You mean in?”

“Whatever. Yes.”

Jess considered it. Last time he’d made a bargain to go in with someone was Bart.

That hadn’t worked out so well in the end.

“I don’t know. I need to think about it.”

Artemis splayed her hand out and waved it to her right. A shimmering light flickered there until images appeared. Jess gasped at the sight. It was incredible. He saw everything as if looking through a glass window—so real, he felt that he could reach out and touch it.

The images showed Bart kicking him to the ground and then the final bullet that went straight into his skull. This time, he saw not only Bart killing him from a distance, but also what Bart did after he stepped over his body. Rage swelled up as Jess watched him kill Matilda’s father and the preacher, then drag his bride into a back room.

“Enough!” he roared, unable to take any more. He’d always known Bart was part animal, but that only proved it. How dare he defile Matilda like that . . .

God damn him.

His fury raging, he glared at Artemis as he literally shook from the weight of his need to bathe in Bart’s blood.

“I’m in.”

“There are a few more details you should know, such as—”

“I don’t care,” he snarled, cutting her off. “So long as it starts with me gutting that bastard, I’ll do anything. And I do mean anything.”

“All right, then.” A bright gold medallion appeared in her palm. She grabbed his arm and pressed the medallion to it.

Searing pain tore through him as he gasped in agony. Still, she kept that medallion on his bicep, oblivious of the smell of burning flesh, which was so foul, it made his stomach pitch. When she finally pulled it away, he felt completely drained and weak. And there was a strange double bow and arrow mark on his arm, where she’d pressed the medallion.

Just as he was about to ask her how he could fight anyone like this, a new warmth crawled up from his toes to the top of his head. Suddenly he felt stronger than he’d ever been before. More alert. He could hear things that made no sense. Things like Artemis’s heartbeat and the whisper of voices from far away. He held more knowledge than he’d ever been taught.

It was like being a god, and yet he knew for all his newfound power, it was nothing compared to what Artemis had.

Cupping the medallion in her hand, she stepped away from him. “You have twenty-four hours, horse guy, to kill your betrayer any way you see fit and to take your revenge. Make them count. Oh, and know that you can’t let daylight touch you. If you do . . . Well, you don’t want to die without your soul. It’s highly unpleasant. Sometime in the next few days, a man named Acheron Parthenopaeus will find you and teach you everything you need to know about being a Dark-Hunter. If you’re smart, you’ll listen to him.” She gave him an evil smirk as she stepped back and raised her arms. “Welcome to the madness.”

Copyright © 2011 by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Man, it’s been a long time since I’ve read these books, this excerpt makes me want to pick it back up again. Sundown, it’s been a long time coming that’s for sure.

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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