Author: Tes Hilaire
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: February 1, 2012
Roland once was a Paladin, a warrior gifted with special powers to protect mankind in its earliest days. For hundreds of years he fought alongside his kinsmen against underworld fiends until the unthinkable happened: he was turned by a vampire. Forsaken by his brothers and fighting new violent instincts, Roland believes his soul lost. But then his best friend Logan delivers a young woman for protection. She turns out to be a Lost Paladin -- and the only female Paladin left alive. She’s also Roland’s bond-mate.
Karissa Donovan knows the difference between good and evil, and the sexy-as-hell vampire holding her prisoner is certainly not good. Sure, he might not have sucked her dry—yet, but that doesn’t mean she trusts him. But circumstances force Karissa to put her life in Roland’s hands. With each new danger they face, and each subsequent sacrifice he makes for her, she realizes that the question was never a matter of her trusting him, but of convincing him to trust in the integrity of a soul that he’d never truly lost.
I found this to be a fresh and interesting take on Vampires and "Angels" (The Paladins are no longer angels but they used to be) and as I love novels with darker themes and tortured hero’s this particular story was right up my alley. Thanks to Net Galley and Sourcebooks for allowing me the opportunity to review this novel.
I found Karissa and Roland to be a good match together, and you could feel the emotion on the page. Poor Karissa has had a lot to deal with and take in in a short period of time, but she handles it well, and while I’m not usually a fan of temper tantrums, I found the results of Karissa’s initial tantrum and being held hostage by someone who’s protecting her (though she doesn’t believe that) to be amusing. Roland knows Karissa is meant for him but he resists as much as he can knowing that for him, he found his mate too late having fallen from the graces of his old family through no fault of his own. He believes himself to be evil, but his actions prove the opposite and it takes Karissa to prove that to him.
Spoiler Alert: Read at your own risk.
Roland struggles with the need to save Karissa’s life because the only way to do so was to change her into a vampire against her knowledge and he doesn’t want to doom her to a life of darkness, but with encouragement from his “brothers” he does so, realizing they’re right and that he can’t let her die. I liked that he struggled with doing it without her permission, but what bothered me was Karissa’s lack of reaction to it. She just accepted it with no reaction really. To me it just read like, "Oh I woke up and now I’m a vampire. *shrug.* Okay, fine by me." I just wanted to see more to it, even if it was just her happiness at knowing that she gets to spend her life with her mate. I guess I felt this could have been an extremely emotional scene even with everything going on around them, and for me it was lacking.
Otherwise, I very much enjoyed the story and look forward to future books of the Paladin Warriors. It’s nice to read something with a different take on the paranormal stereotypes.
4.5/5 “Paladin” Lattes.
All My Best,