Title ~ Stealing Darkness
Auhors ~ Caitlin Ricci & Tabatha Hart
Publisher ~ eXtasy Books
Published ~ 22nd May 2015
Genre ~ M/M Paranormal Romance
As a poor farmer, Dante can’t afford the cures that would bring his brother back from the death-like sleep that has claimed him, but when his sister finds a healer in town, one who promises to help, his family is overjoyed. Naturally cautious, Dante hopes they don’t put too much faith in a stranger, but he is unwilling to turn his back on the chance for his brother to be well again either.
The healer requires very little from them, a family heirloom and as much nightshade as Dante can carry. Though he questions why a healer would need such a poisonous plant, he is far more concerned with saving his brother. When he brings them to the healer’s home, he finds a black unicorn that has been enslaved by the healer.
Aleon is distrustful of people, and with good reason. As the dark mage’s captive, he has endured only torture and pain since he was a child. The mage uses shavings of his horn to heal others, and it is a brutal experience for Aleon. When Dante offers him a way of escape, Aleon is wary, but trusting someone new, or staying a slave until he is killed, isn’t a choice he can afford to let slip away.
With Dante, Aleon begins to understand that he is safe, and possibly even loved, but when the dark mage realizes his unicorn has been stolen, their lives are ripped apart in his rage to get Aleon back. Staying together, and keeping his family safe, is all Dante wants, but it might be a hopeless dream when a world of magic and darkness rises up against him and he’s forced to make a choice between the man he loves and the family he wants to save.
The story starts with a prologue that explains how the mage Sethos gained his unicorn. Sethos is powerful but a mean mage and when he is cast out of his coven he is determined to get revenge and become the most powerful mage in the territory. He needs the unicorn, or rather the power from the unicorn horn to do it. Not a pleasant start to the book.
Dante is hoping for a cure for his brother Isaiah who fell through the ice a few weeks before and is deathly ill. His sister Solana brings a healer, Sethos to his home, and in return for a trinket and some delivered deadly nightshade plants, Sethos agrees to heal Isaiah.
It is through his dealings with Sethos that Dante meets Aleon, but Aleon has been so abused by Sethos, he finds it hard to trust in Dante. Aleon is the unicorn that Sethos trapped as a child and Sethos uses shaved unicorn horn to fuel his spells and magic potions.
Aleon does learn to trust again, but it is Dante who is the sweetheart in this story. He's staunch and strong and so caring it will make your heart melt. But this is not a sweet story. There is a lot of violence, death and hardship and the ending seemed unresolved somehow. It is possible this is the start of a series because I would have liked to have learned more about the unicorn's home, seen Aleon with his family and been able to read about Dante and Aleon's wedding. There is a suggestion that Sethos isn't dead, which adds to the idea that more books will be coming, but there is no indication of this in the book itself.
I can't say I particularly enjoyed this story although it was well written. But this is a personal viewpoint only. I am not keen on historical type novels, and I don't like a lot of violence in the books I read. The love story was a shining thread throughout the whole book, and I enjoyed that. If you have a stronger stomach than I do, and no problems with the suggestion of rape, then I am sure you will enjoy this unique and unusual story.
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