Valerius isn't a popular Dark-Hunter-he's a Roman, which means that the largely Greek Hunters have a major grudge against him and his civilization for superseding them. To make things worse, he's very conscious of his aristocratic background and breeding. So it serves him right when he runs into Tabitha Devereaux. She's sassy, sexy, and completely unwilling to take him seriously. (Not to mention that she's the twin sister of the wife of former Dark-Hunter Kyrian-Val's mortal enemy.) What Tabitha does take seriously is hunting and killing vampires-and soon she and Val have to grapple with the deadliest of all Daimons-one who's managed to come back from the dead, and holds a serious grudge against both of them. To win against evil, Val will have to loosen up, learn to trust, and put everything on the line to protect a man he hates and a woman who drives him nuts, in Seize the Night by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon.
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Seize the Night
By Sherrilyn Kenyon
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2005 Sherrilyn Kenyon
All rights reserved.
"I don't give a damn if they throw me down into the deepest, slimiest pit for eternity. I belong here and no one is going to make me leave. No one!"
Tabitha Devereaux took a deep breath and struggled not to argue as she tried to pick the lock on the handcuffs that her sister Selena had used to fasten herself to the wrought-iron gate that surrounded the famed Jackson Square. Selena had hidden the key in her bra and Tabitha had no desire to search there for it.
No doubt that would get them both arrested, even in New Orleans.
Luckily there wasn't a big crowd on the street in the middle of October, right at dusk, but what people were there all stared at them as they passed by. Not that Tabitha cared. She was more than used to people looking at her and thinking her strange. Even insane.
She prided herself on both. She also prided herself on being available to her friends and family in a crisis. And right now, her big sister was in an emotional turmoil second only to the time when Selena's husband Bill had been in a car wreck that had almost killed him.
Tabitha fumbled with the lock. The last thing she wanted was to have her sister arrested.
Selena tried to push her away, but Tabitha refused to budge, so Selena bit her.
Tabitha jumped back with a yelp as she shook her hand in an effort to relieve the pain. Completely unremorseful about it, Selena sprawled on the cobbled steps that led into the Square in a pair of ripped jeans and a large navy sweater that obviously belonged to Bill. Her long, curly brown hair was braided and oddly sedate. No one would recognize Madame Selene, as she was known to the tourists, except for the big sign she was holding that said, "Psychics have rights, too."
Ever since they had passed that stupid, asinine law that psychics couldn't read cards in the Square for tourists anymore, Selena had been fighting it. Earlier, the police had forced her out of the federal building for protesting — so Selena had headed over here to chain herself to the gate not far from where she had once set up her card table for reading other people's futures.
Too bad she couldn't see her own fate as clearly as Tabitha could. If Selena didn't unhook herself from this blessed fence, she was going to be spending the night in jail.
Overwrought and angry, Selena kept waving her sign. There was no reasoning with her. But then, Tabitha was used to that, too. High emotions, obstinacy, and insanity ran deep in their Cajun-Romanian family.
"C'mon, Selena," she said, trying yet again to soothe her. "It's already dark. You don't want to be Daimon bait out here, do you?"
"I don't care!" Selena sniffed and pouted. "The Daimons won't eat my soul anyway since I have no friggin' will to live. I just want my home back. This is my spot and I'm not leaving." She punctuated each of the last words with a pounding of her sign against the stones.
"Fine." Sighing in disgust, Tabitha sat down near her, but not so close that Selena could bite her again. She wasn't about to leave her older sister out here alone. Especially since Selena was so upset.
If the Daimons didn't get her, a mugger would.
And so here the two of them sat like two immovable bumps on a log: Tabitha dressed all in black with her dark auburn hair pulled back into a silver barrette and Selena waving her sign at anyone who came near them on the pedestrian mall, urging them to sign her petition to change the law.
"Hey, Tabby. What's up?"
It was a rhetorical question. Tabitha waved at Bradley Gambieri, one of the docents who led vampire tours around the Quarter, as he headed toward the tourist center to drop off more brochures. He didn't even pause as he passed by. But he did frown at Selena, who called him an imaginative name because he didn't sign her petition.
Good thing he knew them or he really might be offended.
Tabitha and her sister knew most of the locals who frequented the Quarter. They had grown up here and had haunted the area around the Square since they had been young teenagers.
Of course, things had changed over the years. A few of the shops had come and gone. The Quarter was a good deal safer these days than it had been in the late nineteen eighties and early nineties. However, some things were the same. The bakery, Café Pontalba, Café Du Monde, and Corner Café were in the same place. The tourists still gathered in the Square to ogle the cathedral and the colorful natives who passed by ... and the vampires and muggers still stalked the streets looking for easy victims.
The hair on the back of her neck rose.
Tabitha moved her hand instinctively to the hidden sheath in her boot that concealed a three-inch stiletto as she scanned the thinning October crowd around her.
For the last thirteen years, Tabitha had been a self-styled vampire slayer. She was also one of the few humans in New Orleans who actually knew what went on in this town after dark She was scarred inside and out from her battles with the damned. And she had sworn her life to making sure that none of them ever hurt anyone else on her watch.
It was an oath she took seriously; she would kill anyone or anything she had to.
But as her gaze found the tall, exotically erotic man sporting a black backpack coming around the corner of the Presbytere building, she relaxed.
It'd been a couple of months since he'd last been in town. In truth, she'd missed him a lot more than she should have.
Against her will and common sense, she'd let Acheron Parthenopaeus worm his way into her guarded heart. But then, Ash was a hard man not to adore.
His long, sensuous gait was impossible to ignore and every female in the Square, except for the distraught Selena, was held transfixed by his presence. They all paused to watch him walk by as if compelled by some unseen force. He was sexy in a way very few men were.
He held an aura that was dangerous and wild; and by his slow, languorous moves, it was obvious that he would be incredible in bed. It was something you just knew intrinsically when you saw him and it rippled through your body like hot, seductive chocolate.
At six feet eight, Ash always stood out in a crowd. Like her, he was dressed all in black.
His Godsmack T-shirt was untucked and a bit large, but even so it didn't detract from that fact that Ash was seriously ripped. And his custom-made leather pants cupped a butt so prime, it begged for a groping.
Not that she ever would. An undefinable air about him warned people to keep their hands to themselves if they wanted to keep breathing.
She smiled as she noted his boots. Ash had a thing for German Goth clothing. Tonight he had on a pair of black biker boots that had nine vampire-bat buckles going up the length of them.
He wore his long black hair loose and flowing around his shoulders. It was a perfect drape for a face that was eerily pretty and yet wholly masculine. Flawless. There was something about Ash that made every hormone in her body stand up and pant for more.
Yet for all his sexual attractiveness, there was also an aura so dark and deadly that it kept her from ever thinking of him as anything more than a friend.
And he'd been a friend ever since she had met him at her twin sister Amanda's wedding three years ago. Since then, they had crossed paths repeatedly as he visited New Orleans and helped her keep watch against the city's predators.
Now he was a regular part of her family, especially since he often stayed at her twin's house and was, in fact, the godfather for Amanda's daughter.
He stopped beside her and cocked his head. With his dark sunglasses on, Tabitha couldn't tell if he was looking at her or Selena. But it was obvious he was bemused by the two of them.
"Hey, gorgeous babe," Tabitha said. She smiled as she realized his T-shirt paid tribute to the Godsmack song "Vampires." How strangely apropos since Ash was an immortal who came equipped with his own set of fangs. "Nice shirt."
Ignoring her compliment, he pulled the black backpack off his shoulder and flipped his sunglasses up to show eerie, swirling silver eyes that seemed to flash in the darkness. "How long has Selena been handcuffed to the fence?"
"About half an hour. I figured I'd hang out with her and keep her from becoming a Daimon-kabob."
"I wish," Selena muttered. She raised her voice and slung her arms wide. "Here I am, vampires, come and end my misery!"
Tabitha and Ash exchanged a half-amused, half-irritated look at her dramatics.
Ash moved to sit down beside Selena. "Hi, Lanie," he said quietly as he kept the backpack at his feet.
"Go away, Ash. I'm not leaving here until they repeal their law. I belong in this Square. I was raised here."
Ash nodded in understanding. "Where's Bill?"
"He's a traitor!" Selena snarled.
Tabitha answered the question. "He's probably at the courthouse holding ice to a private area after Selena racked him and accused him of being 'the man who is holding her down.'"
Ash's face softened as if the thought amused him.
"He deserved it," Selena said defensively. "He told me that the law is the law and that I had to obey it. Screw that. I'm not going anywhere until they change it."
"Guess I'll be here for awhile," Tabitha said wistfully.
"You can make them repeal the law," Selena said, turning toward Ash. "Can't you?"
Ash leaned back against the fence without commenting.
"Don't get too close to her, Ash," Tabitha warned. "She's been known to bite."
"That makes two of us," he said with a hint of humor in his voice as his fangs flashed. "But I somehow think my bite might hurt a little more."
"You're not funny," Selena said sullenly.
Ash draped an arm over Selena's shoulder. "C'mon, Lane. You know it's not going to change anything for you to stay here. Sooner or later a cop will come by —"
"And I'll assault him."
Ash tightened his hold on her. "You can't assault them for doing their job."
"Yes, I can!"
Still he managed to remain calm while dealing with the Queen of Hysteria. "Is that really what you want to do?"
"No. I want my stand back," Selena said, her voice breaking from her grief and pain.
Tabitha's own chest was tight in sympathetic agony for her.
"I wasn't hurting anyone by having a table here. This is my space. I've had my stand right here in this spot since 1986! It's so not fair for them to make me leave because those stupid artists are jealous. Who wants one of their crappy paintings of the Quarter, anyway? They're stupid. What's New Orleans without her psychics? Just another boring, run-down tourist town, that's what!"
Ash held her sympathetically. "Times change, Selena. Believe me, I know, and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it except to let it go. No matter how much you want to stop time, it has to go forward and move on to something else."
Tabitha heard the sadness in his voice as he spoke comfortingly to her sister. Ash had been alive for more than eleven thousand years. He remembered New Orleans back in the days when it had barely qualified as a town. For that matter, he probably remembered New Orleans before any kind of civilization had claimed it.
If anyone knew about change, it was Acheron Parthenopaeus.
Ash wiped the tears from Selena's face and angled her chin so that she was staring at the building across the street from them. "You know, that building is up for sale. 'Madame Selene's Tarot Reading and Mystical Boutique.' Can you imagine it?"
Selena snorted at that. "Yeah, right. Like I can afford it. Have you any idea what the real estate here goes for?"
Ash shrugged. "Money's not a problem for me. Say the word and it's yours."
Selena blinked at him as if she couldn't believe what he was offering her. "Really?"
He nodded. "You could put a sign up right here that points people to your brand-new store where you can read cards to your heart's content."
Finally seeing a solution to her sister's temporary dementia and grateful to Ash for it, Tabitha sat forward so that she could look at Selena. "You've always said you'd like to be someplace where it can't rain you out."
Selena cleared her throat as she considered it. "It would be nice to look out from a building instead of into it."
"Yeah," Tabitha said. "You'd no longer freeze in the winter or blister in the summer. Climate control all year long. No more wheeling your cart up here and setting up the table and chairs. You could even have a La-Z-Boy in the back room and carry all sorts of tarot card decks. Tia would be jealous as all get-out since she's been wanting a shop closer to the Square. Think about it."
"You want it?" Ash asked.
Selena nodded enthusiastically.
Ash pulled out his cell phone and dialed a number. "Hey, Bob," he said after a brief pause. "This is Ash Parthenopaeus. There's a building for sale on St. Anne's in Jackson Square ... yeah, that one. I want it." He offered a close-lipped smile to Selena. "No, I don't need to see it. Just have the keys out here in the morning." He pulled the phone aside. "What time can you meet him here, Selena?"
He repeated it into the phone. "Yeah, and make the deed out to Selena Laurens. I'll swing by tomorrow afternoon and handle the payment. All right. Have a good one." Ash hung up the phone and returned it to his pocket.
Selena smiled up at him. "Thank you."
"No problem." The instant he stood up, the handcuff fell free of the gate and Selena's arm.
Jeez, that man had some fearsome powers. Tabitha just wasn't sure which was more impressive. The one that broke the handcuff off Selena without a scratch or the one that allowed him to drop a couple of million dollars without blinking.
He held his hand out to Selena and helped her to her feet. "Just make sure you carry a lot of bright, shiny things for Simi to buy whenever we're here."
Tabitha laughed at the mention of Ash's demon ... something ... Tabitha still didn't know if Simi was Ash's girlfriend or what. The two of them had a very odd relationship.
Simi demanded and Ash gave without hesitation.
Unless it involved Simi killing and eating someone. Those were the only times she'd ever seen Ash put his foot down with the demon he kept secret from most of his Dark-Hunters. The only reason Tabitha even knew about Simi was that the demon often joined them for movies.
For some reason, Ash really loved the cinema and Tabitha had been going to see movies with him for the last two years. His favorites were horror and action flicks. Meanwhile the Simi was a most unusual and discriminating being who made him sit through "girl" movies that often left Ash groaning.
"Where is the Simster tonight?" Tabitha asked.
Ash brushed his hand over the dragon tattoo on his forearm. "She's hanging around. But it's too early for her. She doesn't like to be out and about until at least nine." He slung the backpack over his shoulder.
Selena stood on her tiptoes and pulled Ash down so that she could hug him. "I'll carry an entire line of Kirk's Folly just for Simi."
Smiling, he patted her on the back. "No more handcuffs, right?"
Selena pulled away. "Well, Bill did say that I could protest with him later in the bedroom and I do owe him for that kick I gave him, so ..."
Ash laughed as Selena scooped up the cuffs from the street.
"And you wonder why I'm nuts," Tabitha said as Selena tucked them into her back pocket.
Ash pulled his glasses back down to cover his eerie, swirling silver eyes. "At least she's entertaining."
"And you're way too charitable." But that was what Tabitha loved most about Ash. He always saw the good in everyone. "So what are you up to tonight?" she asked Ash while Selena folded up her handmade sign.
Before he could answer, a large black Harley came roaring down St. Anne. When it reached the turn that would have taken the rider down Royal Street, the bike stopped and was shut off.
Tabitha watched as the tall, lithe rider, who was decked out all in black biker leathers, held the bike upright between his thighs with ease and pulled the helmet off.
To her surprise, it was an African-American woman, and not a man, who set the helmet down before her on the bike's gas tank and unzipped her jacket. Extremely gorgeous, she was slender but muscular, with medium brown skin and a flawless complexion. She wore her jet-black hair in braids that were pulled back into a ponytail.
Excerpted from Seize the Night by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Copyright © 2005 Sherrilyn Kenyon. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is one of my favorite from Sherrilyn Kenyon. You immediately fall in love with Val, and Tabitha. Val is a sexy, Roman warrior who falls head over heels for the crazy, ball of fun Tabitha. What more could you want when you have a sexier than sin Roman warrior, and an eccentric, ball of fun woman, named Tabitha. There is love is something I think everyone deserves. For some reason this one book touched me the most, expect for Acheron. I recommend it to anyone looking for the perfect romance.
This is by far my favorite book in the series so far. I am reading them in order. It was suspensful, the many of the main characters were in it and a major part of the plot. All the men in this series are drama magnets. I think that's what I like about them. Usually it's the women who are in that situation. I am not going to kiss and tell... read it for yourself...... : )
I loved this book in the series but I also cried as lives were lost in this book, but it also brings alot of things together from the begining books. I have read this book and others over and over again.
I only need to say five little words - "I absolutely love this series!" OMG - I cannot get enough of the Dark-Hunters. Keep them coming and I'll keep reading them. Love! :)
I really enjoyed reading this one! It has all of the elements of the dark hunter series that you love but I also found it to be more humorous. Tabitha is wild one and Val is straight laced but they fit together. You will end up rooting for them even though there is major issue with them being together.
Tabitha and Valerian are two of my absolute favorite characters. I read this all the time!
I just finished reading both Zarek and valerius stories and i could not put them down excellent reading lovee Seize the night and Sins of the night
Okay, I haven't exactly read all the books in the series leading up to this one (1-5), just 2 (Night Pleasures) & 4 (Dance With The Devil). However, this one is my favoriteeee of them all. I was absolutely in love with Kyrian & Amanda so when I read that they were going to be in this book I had to read it. Then I found myself falling in love with Tabitha and Valerius more. I felt like they fell in love kinda early into the book, but then I realized that it was because he wasn't as guarded as other Dark Hunters I've read before. He didn't let his past affect him in the present as much as the others. The pace was perfect, found out a lot more about Archeon (whom I love), and the adorable Simi made me literally laugh out loud. I could go on forever, I loved it & highly recommend it for anyone looking for a good read.
For what they are, the dark hunter series are fun reads, but if you're looking for more depth, search elsewere. Pretty sexy though ;)
I have read the series from the beginning and this is the 6th book. This one was by far my favorite. I love all the books in the series, but this one was hands down my favorite! I loved the characters, plot, romance, action and lovers who are each others match from start to finish. Great book!!!
What can you say when you have read 6-8 some in order some not, of a series that has yet to disappoint. Again, Kenyon develops new charcters, ties them with previous one, brings in human non-immortal dark huntress, a brother to a previous dark hunter turned God. What I can say is that each of these tourtured souls, find love and acceptance that they never dreamed possible and put the past behind them. Kenyon has a hell of a series here and I can't wait to read on.
It's happened! It's official! The more books I read in this series, the more books I want to continue reading in this series! Tabitha, who we met in former books, has rooted herself in my heart as one of my favorite characters (Ash is still #1, of course). Her interaction with Valerius is really endearing. Valerius warmed me with his cold outer shell. This book may be the turning point as many, many unpredictable things happen that overwhelm you. You will race to get the next book to see what else is coming. This is a great series!
I loved, loved, and loved this book! In this one we finally get to see a story about Tabitha who I've been interested in since she first appeared in book 2. I love that she knows what she wants and is not scared about what people think about her. I never would have thought her and Val would have been pared up but I'm glad for it. This installment had me laughing out loud many times and I mean out loud, I was in the park reading so I got a few weird looks. Not only that though this particular book had it all as far as the emotional spectrum goes at one point my eyes watered very real tears. This one will remain in my home library and it deservers all the 5 stars I gave.
Oh my, my, my! I was so looking forward to reading this book as Val was involved and was "getting involved" with Amanda's twin, Tabitha. I was soooo looking forward to the family drama reaction of this occurring and I have to say I was pleasantly pleased. It was a nice twist to see someone so outspoken such as Tabitha to end up with some one so hell bent on being "proper" such as Val. This match just goes to show that maybe opposites do, in fact, attract. I also love how Zarek and Kyrian found out the truth about Val in this and sort of cut him some slack. Interesting addition to the DH's, and no, I'm not going to spoil it and tell you the name of who joins, although I have to say I think it is a nice addition, just not under the circumstances in which he was brought over. I think SK is doing a great job at introducing bits and pieces of Ash into the story lines and just what he truly is. And who would of thought that Simi would be interested in what she did....again, not spoiling it for you. Overall a really good read, and this book shows that SK is definitely making the plot to these stories good and is anything other than predictable. I enjoy this series even more so than the first couple of books.
I highly recomend this book to all that like Paranormal Romance, with emphasis on the romance. The entire collection of about 26 books is in my permanent library. As always in a long series some are better than others and I enjoyed them all.
Anyone who has not read Sherrilyn Kenyon dont know what they are missing.
I've read all of the Dark Hunter's series. I've laughed and cried through these stories. Can't put them down and find myself reading until the book is finished, late into the night. I'm waiting for More! Alas! If writing a book would be a simple as reading. Thank you so much Sherrilyn Kenyon! You are my hero!
It is a touching story that tugs at your hearstrings. It includes Zarek, and pulls you in and makes you feel for Zarek and Valerius, and makes you want to kick Valerius in the butt for being so stubborn, but aren't they all. It is funny and thrilling, with danger mixed in. Good read, with a great ending. It also gives you more insight into Acheron.
This has to be my favorite of the series so far. I wasn't sure what to expect, especially of Valerius. He's one character I didn't think I'd ever like, but I really do feel like he's one of the better Dark Hunters. I also really love Tabby and her spit-fire ways. She stands out among the females.I also like learning more about Ash. I can't wait to find out about him. I want to know what he is. He intrigues me greatly.
Oh my, my, my! I was so looking forward to reading this book as Val was involved and was "getting involved" with Amanda's twin, Tabitha. I was soooo looking forward to the family drama reaction of this occurring and I have to say I was pleasantly pleased. It was a nice twist to see someone so outspoken such as Tabitha to end up with some one so hell bent on being "proper" such as Val. This match just goes to show that maybe opposites do, in fact, attract. I also love how Zarek and Kyrian found out the truth about Val in this and sort of cut him some slack. Interesting addition to the DH's, and no, I'm not going to spoil it and tell you the name of who joins, although I have to say I think it is a nice addition, just not under the circumstances in which he was brought over.I think SK is doing a great job at introducing bits and pieces of Ash into the story lines and just what he truly is. And who would of thought that Simi would be interested in what she did....again, not spoiling it for you. Overall a really good read, and this book shows that SK is definitely making the plot to these stories good and is anything other than predictable. I enjoy this series even more
Yes, I devour books. Especially on rainy days when I spend half the day listening to high school jazz bands. They're good, don't let me steer you wrong, but they also make nice background music...I liked this book better than the last one - it was more lively, and I love Tabitha. Any woman with a sense of humor who won't take any crap is a winner in my book. And Valerius...well, he's yummy. In many ways he's more tortured than Zarek. Good story.Was the ending a rushed? Yes, a little - tying up all the loose ends is convenient, but a little hasty-feeling. And I'm beginning to think that ambrosia is on sale at the grocery...but, it's all about the love story, right?Now I have to figure out which book to read next in this series. Which one follows the best? I like the New Orleans crowd of characters - is there another one that fits in? Let me know if you've read them...8-)
I really do like these Dark Hunter books. They¿re quick and steamy and don¿t really require a lot of extra thought. Tabitha is one of the more interesting heroines in Kenyon¿s world, a woman who does more sticking up for herself than some of the women in this series. I did think that this one addressed an interesting issue¿ What is life like for a Dark Hunter who has been given back his soul? How do they deal with no longer being immortal and having to worry about things like disease, bills, and bad knees? Though it is brief, I thought it was one of the better parts of the whole book. Unfortunately, Kenyon decides to sweep it all under the rug with a little manufactured magic that rends all parties involved immortal again (or for the first time, for the humans involved). I think I would have liked to see that theme continued in some of the later books rather than the quick happily ever after.
I have been hooked on Kenyon's Dark-Hunters since book one. And after a dozen or so books, this entry is still my all-time favorite. Each of the hunters is something of an outcast/rebel. Valerius stands out because he's an outcast even among Dark Hunters - he's a Roman and the mostly ancient Greek hunters hate him. In particular Kyrian, who was betrayed and murdered by Valerius' own father, and Zarek who was abused by the same man. Further, "Val" comes off as a sanctimonious prick. Yet, Tabitha will discover a man of honor and deep feelings beneath that mask. But, their romance faces obstacles beyond daemons and reclaiming his soul - her sister and family.This story sucked me in even more than all the others. I could not put it down and have re-read it many times. The entire series is wonderful, with rich mythology and complex characters. Highly recommended!
Seize the Night was another very good installment in the Dark-Hunter series, but it started off a little slow for me. Sherrilyn Kenyon seems to have a habit of throwing her heroes and heroines together ¿ in bed ¿ a little too soon for my taste. Every once in a while it works for me depending on how it is written. However, most of the time I find myself wanting a little more relationship development, and Seize the Night was not an exception. I just had a hard time buying the sudden attraction between Valerius and Tabitha in the early parts of the book which is why it dragged just a bit for me. I can't say that I was truly sucked in until a pivotal scene involving Acheron occurred about halfway into the book. After that I was pretty well hooked, not only because the action ramped up, but also because that event brought Valerius and Tabitha closer together and they started getting to know one another better. As I've mentioned in other reviews, the ending of a book can make or break it, and in this case, a sweet ending preceded by an emotional, nail-biting climax that included some intense events that I totally did not see coming and that brought some tears to my eyes, made me bump this one up to keeper status. With unexpected deaths (no, not everyone makes it out of this one alive), the life of at least one character dramatically and irrevocably changed (although other characters were deeply affected too), and Acheron finally revealing his true nature, Seize the Night was definitely a not-to-be-missed book that included some critical alterations of the Dark-Hunter world.I really enjoyed Valerius as the hero, and at this point in the series, I'd say he is my fourth favorite Dark-Hunter hero. Valerius is so proper and uptight that it's actually kind of cute, almost like he's from another planet in the beginning, but underneath that reserved exterior, beats a very sensitive and passionate heart that was just waiting for someone like Tabitha to unleash it. I love how he releases all that passion just for her and is able to feel so free in her presence. It was so sad to read about how Valerius's family had treated him during his human life. He may not have been perfect, but he never did anything to deserve their wrath in the past or the loathing of his fellow Dark-Hunters, the Squires and even their human friends in the present. I kind of felt like that part of the story was a little overblown, because even in the previous books, I never disliked him except for when I thought he was the same Valerius who had tortured Kyrian in Night Pleasure. If memory serves though, it was revealed in the very next book that it was his grandfather who happened to have the same name, and not Valerius himself, who had done the torturing. That fact was common knowledge to all the characters, so I couldn't help being rather disappointed in Zarek and Kyrain (as well as the others) for holding a major grudge against Valerius for two millennium for things that his family did or that they merely thought he did. I guess they made up for it in the end, but at the time, their hatred seemed rather irrational and unbelievable.Tabitha was a very interesting character. She was a kick-butt heroine who was as good as some Dark-Hunters when it came to fighting Daimons. She has a feisty personality to boot, but underneath her tough surface, she is an empath with a softer side which I could relate to. She definitely marched to the beat of her own drummer, and I could understand her feeling like a freakish outcast. Her feeding the homeless and all the thoughtful little things she did for Valerius may have been small acts of kindness, in and of themselves, but I thought they spoke volumes as to her character. However (and I feel kind of bad admitting this since it was something her ex-boyfriend said which hurt her), but Tabitha is the type of person who in real-life would probably exhaust me and occasionally she did in the story too. Sh