To that end, she’s working late one night in the tunnel, when at the edge of her light she sees a pile of rubble. Fearing the slide—small though it is—could spell a weakened wall, she goes to investigate. She hears a noise, a scrabbling she knows is more than rats. There’s something behind the wall, then something inside her head. A voice, weak at first and then stronger, louder, compelling her to dig through the rubble and…”RELEASE ME!”
Diana finds a man, not much more than a skeleton, really, chained in a carved out cavern on the other side of the wall. When she suppresses questions and disbelief and does as he mentally commands, he sends her senses and then her life reeling out of control.
Five years later, Alric, no longer a skeleton, is still chained but emotionally, to Diana, who lay in a coma. One of the Immortals chosen over eight hundred years before to protect humankind from demons, he gave his heart to the woman who braved his threats and intimidation to set him free in the underground tunnel.
For over a century he’d been restrained, tricked by a woman, then trapped and tortured by demons. All that time he’d planned his retribution, the number of demons he would kill and even the humans he might take in revenge. With Diana’s love, he manages to tamp down those feelings, but he knows if he ever loses her, he himself is lost—and in a horrible way, without a soul or care. The trouble is, he can’t ensure her safety.
Case in point, while he was brooding over a fight they’d had, a vampire wormed his way into her mind, bringing her near death. Now Alric stands watch, hoping she wakes and gives him another chance. Then she does wake…and remembers nothing of him or the years they spent together.
In the next few days, Alric forces himself to do the near impossible, to let Diana find her way to the present, in her own time and space. For her part, Diana must accept that his preposterous story—that they’re married, that years have passed, that she rather meekly allows him to protect her as though she was a fragile piece of china—is true. She also has to come to terms once more with her daughter’s death and her own guilt over it. Through their not so delicate dance around each other’s feelings, Diana finds the spunky, independent woman she used to be. Alric finds he can trust her to handle who he really is. But will their new discoveries be enough to get them through the demon battles that lay ahead? And the surprise about-face from one they think they know?
J. K. Coi gives us a tortured hero to root for in DARK IMMORTAL, and a heroine who knows how to calm his raging beast and gentle his heart. Diana and Alric make a good pair. Coi shows Diana’s hesitance to accept Alric’s version of their life very well, and her coming to terms with the truth of it. By the same token, we feel Alric’s sexual need, his longing for the connection they’d once had and his fear of what he would become should she walk away from their love. The ending is a great cap on a well told story.
This is a good companion to the others in the IMMORTAL Series, MY IMMORTAL and IMMORTAL KISS. A fourth book, FOREVER IMMORTAL, is coming soon.