Publisher: Wicked Muse Publishing
Although his fellow cops knew him as the legendary Victor Payne, they weren’t aware of the entire legend. He was in actuality an ancient King of a mighty race. A race that warred and fed on death and misery. Victor had given up his crown and come to the mortal realm in search of life and feeling. Needed on a possible serial killer case, he is partnered with Detective Marla Valentine. He knows she carries the beast within her, but Marla is completely unaware that she is anything but human, much less that she is part of one of the most bloodthirsty and vicious races in the world.
Let me just say that if you looooove a DOMINANT male, this is your kind of book. It took me a little while to pick up the story, because if you are not aware of Victor's backstory then he comes across as kind of a (dare I say it) beast. Once you are aware of his motivations and rationales, the effect is lessened to a degree (although I would have been throwing hands with Victor quite a bit). This series is unlike anything out in the market today. The world building is brilliantly done and very detailed. The characterizations do not resemble anything I have come across and it may take the reader a little while to adjust to the differences. While I may have considered Victor a little over the top, to another of his kind, it was not only normal but expected. Marla was more of a puzzle for me. Unaware that she is anything but human, Marla is a homicide detective. My kind of girl, right? Tough, authoritative, smart, but she lets herself be completely steamrolled by Victor. Hmmmm. Destined mates or not, I think Victor would have had months of SERIOUS groveling and repentance before I even listened to a word he had to say. Once again, I had to remind myself to not look at her actions from a human perspective. Ms. Elliott was brilliant at submerging herself into Payne and Valentine's beast natures and keeping them true to form.
I thought the basic premise of the story had great merit and was impressed by the myriad layers of story and plot involved in this relatively short book. Gargoyles are a relatively untapped resource in PNR genre, and has loads of potential, but these are not cuddly beings. There are some very nicely written and extremely (and I can not emphasize this enough) HOT sex scenes, but once again the male dominance thing was a tad overwhelming for me, but that seems to be the nature of this particular beast. I really would have liked to have seen Valentine have a little more of a hand at teaching Payne some humility, but since she was mostly unaware of the majority of her life, I think that might have an effect on a person's psyche. As, I stated before if you like a VERY dominant male who calls the shots, then you will love this book. I will probably go back and reread the series as a whole and see if I come away with a different take, because the writing was well done and there were aspects of the book that were definitely well above par. I'll keep you updated and let you know the how it all pans out. I'm sure I will discover a few more intricacies that I overlooked due to the overall hotness of the book. In the mean time, if you have an opportunity to read any of the Beasts series, give it a go and let me know what you think.