Saturday, September 12, 2015

Review: The Darkness Beyond (Paladins of Darkness #8) by Alexis Morgan

Book coverThe Darkness Beyond (Paladins of Darkness #8) by Alexis Morgan
Purchase link: Amazon

My rating: star star star star

Heat rating: Flame  Flame  Flame

An online game of cat and mouse leads a Paladin warrior on a deadly rescue mission to claim the irresistible lover who should be his greatest enemy.

D.J. Clayborne has finally met his match. After weeks of playing cyber tag, a mysterious hacker bests D.J. at his own game. His nemesis downloads a top-secret history of the Paladins, forcing him to go on the hunt. The trail leads D.J. straight to Regina Morrison, a woman who is as sexy as she is talented in the cyber world.

Reggie has been working around the clock to stop a legendary computer hacker from accessing her clients’ files, but the last thing she expects is to have D.J. show up at her door. Or that he’s even hotter than his evasive avatar. Soon they’re flirting with a dangerous line between duty and desire.

Now, Reggie’s investigation gets her kidnapped by the Others and forced across the hostile energy barrier into an alien world. And it’s up to D.J. to track down the captivating woman whose ability to break through his firewalls is also breaking through to his warrior’s heart.

I've been meaning to catch up on this series so I thought I'd knuckle down and read this installment but I have to admit I had a hard time getting into it. Don't get me wrong, I love this series and I love Ms Morgan's writing but Reggie, the heroine stumped me. Why? Because she is a hacker and I despise hackers, even if she is a white hat hacker.

The story starts with Reggie trying to track down DJ and to bring him to justice because apparently he's a well known black hat hacker. I had a hard time liking Reggie because of her profession and as a result, it was a hard slog through the first 50% of the book. She didn't leave well enough alone even when she was warned which of course, gets her captured by the bad guys and her needing to be rescued by DJ. I had so little sympathy for her being captured, I even wondered what the heck was the matter with me. Reggie was not unlikable. In fact, none of Ms Morgan's heroines are. She tends to write great heroines who are level headed, strong and brave, and Reggie is no different. However, I was blinded by my own personal prejudices against hackers, so I overlooked the fact that she was tenacious, strong and resilient. She was also inquisitive and persistent, which probably led to her accepting her new reality with Paladins and Kaliths a lot easier. I got to like her a lot better when she let her stubbornness take over, standing firm when DJ told her to leave and then fighting for her man. You gotta admire a woman who will lay it out on the line and fight for who she loved.

As for DJ, he's such an enigma. On the one hand, he's this mischievous hacker who hacks for fun and games (I get that my prejudices to hackers didn't extend to DJ since he's the hero and he was not a malicious hacker!) and on the other, he's this kick ass Paladin who lays his life on the line many times over to keep the ignorant safe. I loved that when he realized he messed up, he tried to clean up his mess and when he needed help and couldn't do it himself, he fessed up to his brothers in arms. DJ is such a charming fellow.

I love the Paladins and the series. The sense of brotherhood and camaraderie. The men who fight to keep the world safe, not asking anything in return and then finding the other halves of their souls and their happy ending. I'm moving right on to the next book in the series.

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The other books in the series:

About the author

authorAlexis Morgan grew up near St. Louis and received a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She and her husband have made the Pacific Northwest their home for more than thirty years, where she launched her career as a writer. She is published in paranormal romance, fantasy romance, American West historicals, and most recently, contemporary romances with her new Snowberry Creek series.

Author links: Website - Facebook - Twitter - Goodreads

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