Dark Rival – Brenda Joyce

Highland warriors sworn to protect Innocence through the ages….
A golden man, he is called Black Royce—a battle hardened soldier of the gods. His vows are his life—until he is sent to New York City to protect a Healer from those who would use her powers for themselves. The moment Royce sees beautiful, feisty Allie Monroe, he knows she will be his only weakness—and he is right.

Destiny is a dangerous thing.
Allie Monroe is more than an heiress. She is a Healer, willing to do anything to save victims of the evil that lurks in the city at night. But alone, she can do only so much—until destiny sends her the darkest Highlander of them all. Then evil strikes and Royce is destroyed before Allie’s eyes. Now Allie will do anything to save Royce—even if it means going back in time to a dark, dangerous world to be with him. And confronting their enemies could cost not only their lives, but also their love—for all eternity.

This installment of the Masters of Time brings us the story of Black Royce, Malcolm’s (from book 1) uncle.
After failing to protect his wife from a demon Royce vows never to trust or love a woman again, but that is until he meets heiress and healer Allie Monroe. She doesn’t want love or a man interfering with her healing and the hunting down of evil, which is her calling in life. And then she meets Royce who has come from the past to protect her, as is his task as Master of Time. In a great plot they hunt an ancient and evil demon but also fall in love. A love Royce fights with all his might but eventually has to give in to in all the time-periods he and Allie are together. This is all I’m going to say about the plot and the story because more would spoil the story.

The little information you get on him in Dark Seduction doesn’t even scratch the surface of the complicated and intense man Royce is. He is not called Black Royce for nothing.
He was a fascinating and compelling character in the book and for me he saved the book from being a true disappointment.
The heroine Allie, starts of as a lovely, pure and innocent person but when she gets to Royce’s time I just couldn’t shake the feeling of her being used to getting her way and when not getting it, she became a bit annoying and thus less sympathetic to me.
Where I did connect with Royce and his feelings I just couldn’t totally connect with Allie. On one page I found her easy to identify with but on the next she would annoy the daylights out of me. I just couldn’t combine the selflessness of her healing and her want to heal living beings with her at times selfish behavior.
This combined with the lack of intensity I did find in the first book that started the series in a magnificent way leaves me a bit disappointed.

Brenda Joyce delivered a tale with a gifted heroine, a delicious alpha hero and a wonderful plot but she lost me with the chronological chaos with the time leaping and the inconsistencies in the heroine’s character.
Do not get me wrong I loved the book and eventually the chaotic time leaping makes sense when the plot is unraveled but it still was something that bothered and confused me throughout a major part of the book.
I really liked the secondary characters, the other Masters, especially Aidan. I think he’s going to be my favorite Master next to Malcolm.
Claire and Malcolm also make a guest appearance and I loved seeing them back.
But Allie’s friends Brie, Sam and Tabby were equally fascinating and in the book it’s clear that there is a bigger role for them in the future.

He stared at her now, as if enchanted.
This one could tempt the Pope and seduce the devil

Rating: 6.5 out of 10


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