Dark Succession by Teresa D'Amario ~ A Paranormal Romance Favorite for 2010Boy, is it good to have Teresa D'Amario back! I lost count of the many times I read SheWolf since the first time and I've been waiting for Nora's story as well as Ryland's. I was very interested in seeing how a villain could be turned into a hero for the next book as its one of things on my wishlists for romance themes.
D'Amario doesn't disappoint! Dark Succession is a sexy paranormal romance but it's also a gut wrenching fantasy and suspense all rolled into one. After being captured and tortured then saved by Anna, heroine of SheWolf, Nora (daughter to the former pack leader Sean and Laura) has moved on to college where the guys give her attention more for her status than for herself. After almost being attacked by a group of college guys, Ryland intervenes and rescues Nora then takes her back to his compound where he hides a harrowing secret not only within his pack but also one he doesn't know about that's been hidden as a lie within his own family. Soon, members of Ryland's pack being to disappear and as Nora uncovers the reasons why, a pattern emerges bringing them close to the pack as things begin to unravel.
Ryland came dangerously close to being anti-hero and there are some heavy things he is involved with. His brother (another secret) left him a no-holds-barred unruly wolven pack of convicts, rapists and war mongers and it's up to him keep order even as he fights to control his attraction to Nora.
Nora was a strong heroine although she had some faults due to how she saw her body. I like that she was a strong SheWolf and she took charge when needed but also had to overcome the time she spent as a prisoner. It was an interesting admission when she meets similar prisoners at Ryland's compound and how she saw him through her eyes.
I loved and really enjoyed this book and was tickled when an excerpt for SheWolf was included. Although there was no particular scene to top my favorite one from SheWolf (ahem, the one in Anna's office, hehe) the tension and the sexiness of Ryland was strong enough to topple the previous hero Kieren (sorry Kieren but Ryland was just wow).
Anna makes an appearance here later in the story and I was hoping we'd see a bit of the old Uwharrie camp just for old time's sake. Knowing how Laura reacted to Anna when she arrived and considering Nora's coming into her own SheWolf, I can see why that would probably not turn out well.
All in all I loved Dark Succession which is a wonderful addition to SheWolf. Ryland and Nora's dance of attraction mixed with the murder mystery within the pack, topped off with how Nora would be able to stay in a confined compound made me glued to the pages to find out how all of it will be resolved. I loved that this book had twist after twist with not only finding out the truth about Ryland's family but also about the revelation of the murderer. Early on I thought it was the obvious choice but later there were certain clues to tip off the gender. Eventually, my guess was totally off but it was interesting to see how it lead to the culprit after a previous surprise attack.
D'Amario did an awesome job and if there's another book in the series, I'll be eagerly waiting to grab a copy and dive into the world of the True Mates.
Note to readers: Although this story stands alone, you may want to check out SheWolf not only for the great story but for a little extra flavoring to the world and how the characters are connected. There's also a bit of interesting backstory in how you'll see Ryland's scenes in SheWolf which gets turned on its head in Dark Succession.
Highly recommended as one of my faves for 2010.