“Toma (The Dark Shadows Book 2)"
by Ariel Marie
It was not my plan to read this book in one setting. I had edits to get through, errands to run, dinner to cook – all of which didn’t happen. Again. LOL!
Instead, I got lost in Toma and Anika’s story…as well as the rest of the Olaru family, Cooper, the Dark Shadows, necromancers and their versi, kidnappings, threats, a vampire ball, and, of course, Xalak. (Sucks to be you, Xalak!) Toma is in big time denial about his future…or lack of one…with Anika, as Xalak and his army pull out all the stops to get to Nadira.
Ariel Marie has done an amazing job with the continuing story of the Olaru family and the Dark Shadows. Tension is present from the beginning as the Dark Shadows are determined to hunt down the necromancers and keep Nadira safe. When Nadira’s best friend, Anika, is attacked by Xalak, Toma, already frustrated by not being able to claim his fated mate, is barely capable of controlling his rage. Plans to keep Anika safe go slightly awry when she and Toma grow closer. Too many secrets and words unspoken lead Anika to turn away from Toma…and become Xalak’s hostage. (Where is Idris?)
The author’s descriptive emotions are spot on! I felt Toma’s frustration and rage, Anika’s heartbreak, Nicu’s anger, and even Xalak’s malevolence. Queen Alin is still regal and elegant, but I found out she is definitely a force to be reckoned with. With each scene, the tension grows…as each act of disrespect and violence is more foul than the last. By the time the group reach the cemetery, I was on the edge of my seat! My heart was breaking for the wounded Anika, but when two Olarus go missing, I was ready to join the Dark Shadows! LOL! (Okay, I get a bit over-invested.) There’s some pretty cool supporting characters in this installment – Brian, Cassia, Selena…Idris. (Where is Idris?) Might there be a future pairing in that group?
While the Olarus prevail (where is Idris?), a new evil has been unleashed that just might hate their family more than Sodan Magnus.
I definitely love the pairing of Toma and Anika, and hope to see more of them as this family saga unfolds. The emotional and physical price they each paid, not to mention the sacrifice they were each willing to make, is the true heart of this story.
I highly recommend “Toma (The Dark Shadows Book 2)” – go ahead - 1-click!