Sep 17, 2010

Posted by in Reviews | 12 Comments

Review: Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon (Dark-Hunter #3)

Paranormal Romance
December 1 2003
Mass Market Paperback
362 pages
St. Martin’s Press

Yummy Man – Zarek
Kick Ass Chick – Astrid

From Goodreads
“Zarek’s Point of View:
Dark-Hunter: A soulless guardian who stands between mankind and those who would see mankind destroyed. Yeah, right. The only part of that Code of Honor I got was eternity and solitude.
Insanity: A condition many say I suffer from after being alone for so long. But I don’t suffer from my insanity-I enjoy every minute of it.
Trust: I can’t trust anyone…not even myself. The only thing I trust in is my ability to do the wrong thing in any situation and to hurt anyone who gets in my way.
Truth: I endured a lifetime as a Roman slave, and 900 years as an exiled Dark-Hunter. Now I’m tired of enduring. I want the truth about what happened the night I was exiled-I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Astrid (Greek, meaning star): An exceptional woman who can see straight to the truth. Brave and strong, she is a point of light in the darkness. She touches me and I tremble. She smiles and my cold heart shatters.
Zarek: They say even the most damned man can be forgiven. I never believed that until the night Astrid opened her door to me and made this feral beast want to be human again. Made me want to love and be loved. But how can an ex-slave whose soul is owned by a Greek goddess ever dream of touching, let alone holding, a fiery star?”

JR Ward’s “Lover Awakened”.  Lara Adrian’s “Midnight Awakening”.  Larissa Ione’s “Passion Unleashed”.  What do they have in common?  They are all third installments in a paranormal romance series where each book focuses mainly on one über alpha male and one spunky female.  Have you ever noticed how the third book in such a series is almost always about the most tortured anti-hero hero in the whole series?  The character that everyone thinks is beyond repair and that everyone hides the women and children from?  We had Zhadist, Tegan and Wraith.  And to that, not daring to break with tradition, Sherrilyn Kenyon adds Zarek in “Dance with the Devil”, the third installment in her ‘Dark-Hunter’ series.

The entire ‘Dark-Hunter’ series revolves around tormented main characters.  After all, that is what draws Artemis (whom I HATE) to you as you are dying to ask if you’d like to become an immortal warrior.  Because once you agree, she takes your soul in exchange for one final act of vengeance.  So you have to be a pretty bitter and pissed off human being to agree to that kind of bargain.  So to say that Zarek is the most tortured soul to date in a whole pool of anguished souls…well, you can just imagine how horrible this guy is!

But that’s the thing…  Everyone thinks he’s all evil and doesn’t give two plops about anyone but himself, but they might be wrong!  (Now are we really surprised?)  My heart melted, then turned to angry stone, then softened once again while reading about what Zarek and all that he has been through in his human life as a Roman slave over 2100 years ago.  Talk about someone needing a hug!  ‘Once a slave, always a slave’ is what he thinks.  There is so much to him, but he just doesn’t have any self-worth.  Just thinking about him…Man!  Really, this guy needs a group hug!

Zarek had an oopsie moment back in “Night Embrace”, the second book in the series.  This little glitch caused him to be put on the “he must die because he’s going to expose us and he’s also an ass” list.  So, Artemis (whom I HATE) has decided Zarek is done.  But Acheron (mmm, Acheron…) has asked that Zarek be Judged and only if he is deemed guilty of having no compassion and no regard for others should he be put down.  Enter Astrid.

Astrid is a Nymph and a Judge.  She is sent to Earth to check up on Zarek.  In all her years as a Judge, she has never found any person innocent and worthy of being saved.  Never.  But she is determined to be fair and not just assume that Zarek is a meanie.  She figures if Acheron fought Artemis (whom I HATE) to get this trial for Zarek, then there must be a good reason.  She is sent to Alaska (where Zarek was banished to 900 years ago for killing an entire village – another oopsie moment), hides what she really is and attempts to test Zarek.  The tests don’t go quite as planned, so she decides to try another method of finding out if Zarek is worthy of living.  She decides to visit his dreams – or nightmares as is this case.  And lucky for her, he dreams of his past and of the moments that most shaped his life.  How on earth anyone can survive what he’s been through…*sob*

I like Astrid.  She’s blind while on earth, but she isn’t weakened by it.  She also doesn’t let Zarek get away with being a total jerk.  I found her to be a great match for him.  After all, you need a strong and patient woman to tame the most tortured of the tormented souls.

After reading about all this heart-heavy stuff, it’s nice to have a little comic relief.  Enter Jess (a.k.a.Sundown), Zarek’s ‘best friend’, and enter Acheron’s companion, the she-demon Simi.  Simi is really cute, and it looks like she plays a part in most of the books in this series, which is a good thing in my opinion.  And Jess’ story is the next Dark-Hunter book to be released.  It’s going to be book #20 in this series…so I do have a little catching up to do before I even considering adding it to my to-read pile, but I’m sure that it will be a great read because Jess caught my attention. And that he drew my attention away from Zarek and Astrid, even for just a moment in this intense story, that’s saying something.

I am really enjoying this series.  I want to read more right away, but apparently the next book, “Kiss of the Night” (Wulf’s story) also packs quite the emotional punch.  I need a little break, and some chocolate first.  But, boy oh boy did I enjoy the first two books in the series, and “Dance with the Devil” was no exception.  I’m not overly surprised by how much I enjoyed Zarek’s story though, because well…I am a sucker for the tortured souls. 😉

5 stars

Giggle worthy quotes

“Still Jess rambled.  ‘Do you realize, I put my keys in my mouth to pull out my wallet to pay for gas and they froze there?’”


“’Pork and beans popsicle.  Yummy!  My favorite.’”

  1. I liked Zarek..but as with Z from BDB, they both are not my fav like they are for many. I’m not sure why..

    Doesn’t Zarek have a brother – is it Valerius or am I way off base?

  2. OHHHH ZAREK!!! he was my first! I read his book quite by accident (a mix up with the library giving me the wrong book) and fell in love! i think that week i read DWTD 4 times! i adore it, Zarek is the DH that needed a hug most, he broke my heart with his tough exterior but kind heart.

    Great review hun, i hope you go on to love the rest of the series! im currently on ‘No Mercy’ and LOVING being back in the dark hunter world.

    are you reading them in order? Wulf is next! Ooohhh and then VANE!!! (Acheron and Vane are faves!) Cant wait to hear your thoughts on the rest. =)

  3. Saw Mandi’s comment. yes, Valerius is his brother. =)

  4. Mandi – Interesting…you’re not a sucker for the most tortured souls…hmmm. (Zarek has many half brothers and they are all asses! As Claire said, Valerius is one of them)

    Claire – Yes, I am reading these in order and many have told me that they can’t wait for me to read Vane’s story, so I am very much looking forward to it! Only one more before then, and I’m hoping to read it withing the next couple of weeks. 🙂

  5. you’re going to flip your lid over Vane. everyone does! he makes me into a swoony bitch LOL!!!

  6. Gosh, I loved Zarek, he was such a wicked man, and all sexy alpha. I always did like th bad ones

  7. Just have to chime in with this is my favorite book in the series. And it’s been too long, I should re-read it.

  8. Lovely review! One of my many favourite Dark-Hunter books. Zarek is such a sweetie and totally agree with he’s the one in need of a good hug!
    Love it when he pops up in other books he’s still an ass but funny to boot!

    Oh and Simi love!

  9. I like dark, brooding heroes…just not overly tortured ones…maybe. I’m trying to think of a tortured hero I really, really liked….

  10. If you look at my boyfriend list, none are tortured…

  11. blodeuedd – Why is it we like the bad ones anyways?! lol

    Missy Ann – So far, this is my favorite.

    Ally – Simi is adorable! 🙂

    Mandi – I checked your boyfriend list (yummy btw) and you’re right – none overly tortured. Your favorite DH is Valerius?! I thought he was an ass and that nobody liked him?! In fact, I thought everybody wanted to kill him?! I need to read his book soon then as I’m sure that will explain. 🙂

  12. His book does explain, and trust me if you hate that bitch Artimis now you have no idea what a C U Next Tuesday she is.
    And Zarek = not the worst past. Wait till you get to book 14, you will sob and sob.

    Vane is awesome but it’s that mouthy effer Fang that I got a soft spot for.

    My fave line from this book though?
    “Wake up, Astrid. Your psychotic criminal is playing with knives.” – Sasha

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