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Dark-Hunter #3

Dance with the Devil

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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 put a hurt on 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?

361 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published November 28, 2003

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About the author

Sherrilyn Kenyon

227 books28.6k followers
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New York Times and international bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a regular at the #1 spot. With legions of fans known as Paladins (thousands of whom proudly sport tattoos from her series and who travel from all over the world to attend her appearances), her books are always snatched up as soon as they appear on store shelves. Since 2004, she had placed more than 80 novels on the New York Times list in all formats including manga and graphic novels. Her current series are: Dark-Hunters, Chronicles of Nick and The League, and her books are available in over 100 countries where eager fans impatiently wait for the next release. Her Chronicles of Nick and Dark-Hunter series are soon to be major motion pictures while Dark-Hunter is also being developed as a television series. Join her and her Paladins online at MySherrilyn.com and www.facebook.com/mysherrilyn

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5 stars
35,557 (54%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,125 reviews
Profile Image for Alkyoni.
111 reviews169 followers
January 23, 2014
I’m really not getting any points for originality, am I?

Dark Hunter Flashcard #3

Name: Zarek

Age: 2,150 give or take

Former Occupation: Greek slave to the Romans

Special D.H. power: Telekinesis, Enchanted hearing, Energy blasting, Pissing everybody off…

Reason why he became a D.H.: The Romans were beating the crap out of him since the day he was born.

Best thing that came out of his mouth: I don't suffer from my insanity -- I enjoy every minute of it.

He finds his one true love when: She is sent to judge him

He falls for her because: She was kind to him.

Her Name: Astrid

Age: Let’s just say that she’s old.

Occupation: Justice Nymph

Best thing that came out of her mouth: I’m a nymph.

Because then he got to say: I hope you just left an important syllable off that word, princess. .

She falls for him because: Depends on who you’re asking.

If you asked me, I’d say that she just couldn’t resist his charming personality.

If you asked a fan of tortured heroes in romance, she’d say that she saw through his bad boy façade and that underneath it, was a tender heart craving to be loved.

If you asked Freud, he’d be on it for a week.

Surgeon General's Warning: Trauma Unit, kindly proceed to Ancient Rome to tend to the wounds of a very tortured hero.

The Devil's Advocate: Bad boy finding his true love is probably the most popular female fantasy after Channing Tatum.

Take it or leave it? : Less cheesy than the first one, less sexy than the previous one, more romantic than both of them (he quotes the Little Prince, c’mon, it’s sweet!). Most D.H fans consider it to be one of the best in the series.

Who’s Channing Tatum? : You’re joking, right? :)
Profile Image for Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》.
293 reviews724 followers
June 27, 2016
Dance with the Devil
I'm thinking...

Phury + (-) + Zadist = Zarek.

Zarek was very much like Zadist from Black Dagger Brotherhood, and I LOVE ZADIST!! If you take Phury away from Zadist you'll be left with Zarek. This probably makes no sense at all but that's all i could think throughout the whole book. Maybe it was a mistake to start this series with this book because now i hate all other hunters! Except Ash.

Full review to come...
Profile Image for Exina.
1,189 reviews382 followers
August 19, 2019
“Dying’s easy. It’s living that’s hard.”

Dance with the Devil is a perfect romance, the beautiful love story of Zarek and Astrid.
Certainly, it's not simply a romance: there is an incredible plot and fast-paced action, suffering and dread, twists and turns, revealed secrets, humor, one of the most heartbreaking background story ever, and fascinating secondary characters.

But the main attraction of the novel is the story of the two of them, the development of the love and relationship of Astrid and Zarek. Their every thought and emotions are meticulously captured and conveyed.

Zarek is tired of pain; he is unimaginably lonely, mad and angry at everyone, especially himself. He is full of hatred and rage, has lost faith in goodness, and is incapable of trust. He is totally broken, but at the same time, unexpectedly vulnerable, kind and gentle, with poetic and artistic skills. He is generous, merciful, and tender.  
She held her hand out to him. “You have to learn to trust someone, Zarek. You’ve been brave your whole life. Now show me that courage. Take my hand. Trust me and I swear I won’t betray you.”
He stood there indecisively, his heart pounding. He’d never been more terrified.
Not even the day they’d killed him.

His personality is complex, and brilliantly layered. While there are many attributes to describe his character, there are no words for the cruelty of his past.

Astrid is a perfect mate for him. She is strong, sensible, caring, and loving. I admire her perceptiveness, as she is able to see through Zarek's façade.

It was not my first read of the novel, and not the last either. Dance with the Devil will always remain one of my all-time favorites.

My favorite quotes.
Profile Image for Sophia Triad.
2,239 reviews3,520 followers
August 2, 2017
Zarek of Moesia (Hunter) & Astrid (Nymph of Justice/ Dream warrior)

Why Zarek become a dark hunter: For many awful reasons. His mother was a whore who wanted him dead since the day he was born. His father was rich and from a noble family but also the cruelest man alive. His father hated Zarek, his half brothers hated Zarek, the servants hated Zarek. Before he realised what life is, he became the family whipping boy. He was starving his whole life, he became crippled and half blind from the beating. After a lot of continuous suffering, he died stoned to death, accused of being a rapist -although he was a virgin. Obviously, he needed to have his revenge.

Astrid: She was sent to judge Zarek, but she could not resist his dark charm. She slowly breaks through Zarek, she makes him feel loved, she gives him cotton candy to taste, she follows him in his nightmares, she teaches him how to make love, she falls desperately in love with him.

One thing I loved: Both Zarek and Astrid love the book "the Little Prince" and they say passages and recite favourite quotes to each other while they are falling in love.

Settings: Alaska

I greatly enjoyed the story. The book is about the healing powers of love. A dark tortured hero is usually a favourite story of mine. I felt sorry for Zarek, I was angry on his behalf, I was happy that he found Astrid. The book made me feel really strong emotions.

Favourite quote: "Come away with me, Astrid"
"Why should I?"
His gaze burned into hers. "Because I love you, and even if I'm lying on the sun itself I'll be freezing there without you. I need my star so that I can hear laughter."
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,747 reviews1,307 followers
April 29, 2016
I felt quite sorry for Zarek in this one, he’d had a terrible life and hadn’t even been shown love by his own father. He and Astrid made a good couple though.

6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,067 reviews1,906 followers
March 3, 2016
3 REAL STARS, 5 ROMANCE STARS - Yes, this an elusive "5-star-romance' that I rarely stumble upon.

DISCLAIMER: This review has some discussions about the correct use of the word "fuck." If the word "fuck" bothers you, please skip this review. Some sex will also be discussed, although not graphically.

Zarek has had a rough life. Born with his father a nobleman and his mother a whore, his mother paid some servants to kill him by leaving him in the snow to die. But a servant took pity on him, and gave him to his father. His father hated Zarek for existing, and turned him into the family whipping boy. Due to these beatings, Zarek is blind in one eye, partially blind in the other, has had his legs broken so many times that he limps and is almost crippled, and doesn't have full use of his right arm for the same reason. Not only is he regularly beaten and mocked by everyone, but he is also forced to eat rotten food, and sometimes shit.

His father finally pays a slaver to take Zarek off his hands, and Zarek spends a few years cleaning out slave cesspools. Eventually he is bought by a Roman noblewoman who uses him to keep watch for her husband when she is with her lover. After 5 years of this, he hears one night his mistress being beaten. He rushes in to save her from her lover, who has turned violent. The lover runs off when he hears Zarek coming, and the noblewoman tells her husband that Zarek was responsible for the beating/rape. So Zarek dies being spat on and stoned to death for being a rapist, when in reality he is a virgin.

Of course, this is when the goddess Artemis comes along and gives Zarek the powers to be an immortal Dark-Hunter and save humanity from the demons. But even though he is now physically healed and whole, his life never becomes any better. Hated and feared by the other Dark-Hunters, banished to isolation in Alaska, left to suffer and live completely alone, Zarek is a snarly, prickly mess. Everyone thinks he is a murderous, dangerous, asshole. (This info-dump I've just given you is slowly and carefully revealed through the book, just in case you think Kenyon is a bad writer - she's not. There's also a lot more to his story, this is just the bare bones.)

But we, the readers, know this isn't true, Zarek's not a monster. How? Because in the previous novel, Night Embrace, we see him do things like help a child who is lost find his mother, and also save Talon's woman: Sunshine Runningwolf. So even if no one else can see it, we know that he's really a good man deep inside.

Unfortunately, Artemis has him slated for execution. Zarek is a hard man to kill (understatement of the millennium) and he drags his bullet-riddled body through the blizzard to a cabin and promptly passes out outside the door.

Imagine his surprise when he wakes up warm and dry in a woman's bed. And not just any woman - the beautiful Astrid, who is blind and lives by herself. He's been unconscious for 4 days and cannot go back outside because there's a terrible blizzard.

This being a romance novel, you should know what's coming. LOVE! Love! Kissing! Yay!

Some important notes.

1.) This NOT erotica. It's not a book that is just like, "Here's some sex." I don't like those books, they are boring. This is a romance, and that means a really long story that focuses on love, acceptance, and redemption - with a generous side dish of sex. Big difference, huge. I enjoy reading about people having sex, but only if they are characters that were developed, and characters who started to fall in love slowly and sweetly, and I understand how much they care for each other and why they are choosing to have sex. Not like erotica, which is like porn in book form. Erotica just shoves me into a room with two people (or more) having vigorous sex. And I'm like, "I don't care about these people, can I please leave?" Whereas in romance I am like, "Oh, this couple is so cute! Remember how he took care of her dog when she was sick?!!?!? Remember when she taught him how to make sugar cookies!?! Oh, they're finally kissing! Yay!" Also, most times erotica skips over kissing. Who wants to read a book with sex but no kissing?!?!!? Blergh! I must have tons of kissing in my romance novels.

I'm including this explanation for anyone who sneers at romance novels and says, "Why is Carmen reading this shit?" Because it's sweet and cute and I like to read about kissing. That's why.

2.) This book works for me only because it keeps up the pretense that Astrid is a human, normal woman. I can't get as involved in paranormal romance as regular, human romance because oftentimes two powerful, magical beings are falling in love and I don't care. I need at least one of them to be human so that I can relate to the story. So, even though Zarek is a Dark-Hunter and therefore very powerful, we've got the vulnerable Astrid to balance it out.

3.) This book employs one of my all-time favorite tropes: bring-the-dangerous-wounded-man-home-and-heal-him-while-falling-in-love tropes. However, this trope is not a guarantee of a book's success - just look at how Joyce Maynard screwed up Labor Day.

4.) Zarek is one of the only Dark-Hunters in this (very long) series that is allowed to say 'fuck.' I believe it is used about 4 times in the novel. However, Kenyon mostly makes him say 'screw' when he means 'fuck.' I can understand why she's doing this: she is being considerate of her readers and doesn't want to offend them - but if anyone would be fine with saying 'fuck' it's Zarek. o.O I mean, I just can't see him pulling his punches and toning his language down no matter what the reason. So when Kenyon did this, it just completely took me out of this (very excellent) story. I didn't like that.

Fortunately, I remedied the problem by taking a pen and scratching out every single time Zarek says a form of 'screw' and replacing it with the proper tense of the word 'fuck.' Very fun, very satisfying, and will save me a lot of annoyance when I re-read this. And I will re-read it.

Yes, I am one of those terrible people who has no problem writing in books (don't worry, it's a cheap paperback). Bad habit I picked up at University.

5.) I love stories of grumpy men learning to be happy and enjoy life. It is one of the reasons I re-read A Christmas Carol every single year. I had so much fun watching Astrid slowly, slowly break through Zarek's belligerence and sharp words. So cute. She does things like forces him to eat cotton candy! LOL It's just so cute and sweet and makes my heart melt. :)

6.) Zarek and Astrid have funny conversations sometimes.

"Are you up?" the unknown woman asked, her voice surprised. "Dressing?"

"No," he said irritably. "I'm pissing on your rug. What do you think I'm doing?"

"I'm blind. For all I know you really are peeing on my rug, which is a very nice rug incidentally, so I hope you're kidding."

He felt a strange twinge of amusement at her comeback. She was fast and smart.
He liked that.

Or the amazingly cute scene where Zarek makes Astrid hot chocolate.

"Here," he said, his voice ringing with its usual rude, hostile note. He took her hand and led it to the cup.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Arsenic and vomit."

She screwed up her face in disgust at the thought. "Really? And yet you managed to hack that up so quietly. Who knew? Thanks. I've never had vomit before. I'm sure it's
extra special."


"I think I might be grateful for my blindness, after all," she said. "Something tells me that if I could see the reckless speed you're driving at, I would probably have a stroke."

"No doubt."

She rolled her eyes at his ready agreement. "You have no idea how to comfort anyone, do you?"

"In case you haven't noticed, princess, social skills aren't my forte. Hell, you're lucky I'm housebroke."

LOL This book was frequently making me laugh with Zarek's snarling sarcasm and Astrid's dry wit responses to his barbs. :)

7.) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry plays a big role in this novel, as it turns out to be a favorite book of both Zarek and Astrid. If you are familiar with this amazing book, then your enjoyment of this novel will be that much sweeter. :)

8.) Kenyon's ideas of "letting a man 'handle' you" how 'disrespectful?' or 'bad-girl' some innocuous behavior is continues to baffle me. I mean, I can think of a thousand things a man can do to disrespect a woman sexually, but it's definitely not anything Kenyon writes about. In this book, it's:

He slid a cool hand under her shirt until he could cup her breast. She shivered as his fingers pushed the lace of her bra aside so that he could run his palm against her swollen nipple.

She'd never allowed anyone to handle her like this.

This whole thing is just confusing. What he's doing is a safe, loving, respectful (for a boyfriend) activity and not even in the least bit dirty, shameful, or letting a man 'handle' you, which to me makes it sound like he's doing something disrespectful, violent, or unwanted - which he isn't.

This isn't the first time Kenyon's pulled this crap - she did it in Night Pleasures when the hero grabs the heroine's ass while they are kissing. Again, not something I consider even the least bit shameful or scandalous or 'letting a man do something dirty with you.' I mean, both of these instances are just very basic, normal sexual behavior and I am unsure as to why she thinks they are shocking.

9.) I've noticed that the way Zarek makes love to Astrid in this book is eerily similar to how Robert Kincaid makes love to Francesca Johnson in the book The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Just something to think about.

10.) The differences between 'making love' and 'fucking.' Important differences. Astrid has to have quite a few educational conversations with Zarek to stop him from referring as what they do together as 'fucking.' She has a problem with him describing their lovemaking as 'fucking' because
a.) She's in love with him and is hopeful that he is in love with her, too.
b.) She sees calling what they do together 'fucking' as disrespectful to her.
c.) She's trying to educate him on the fact that all sex is not 'fucking.'

Now, I don't exactly share all her beliefs on the word 'fucking' and it's appropriateness and usefulness when describing sex, but I could definitely see where she was coming from and why she was doing what she was doing. I am fascinated by semantics and how couples choose to describe what they do together sexually, so this was very interesting to me.

11.) Kenyon writes great sex. It's so difficult to find an author who is able to write good sex. Kenyon is amazing at this. :) Some romance authors are just cringe-inducing.

That's about all I can think about now, but I might have more points later.

Overall, a sweet, tender book about the healing powers of love! Sounds so sappy and silly, but I really need books like this sometimes.

For every 50 romance novels I read, I only find 1 that I really enjoy. So it's a slog. I have a short list (very short) of actual romance novels that are good, and this is definitely going on it. :)

I cannot give any romance book more than 3 real stars in good conscience, because they are predictable, silly, and just basically a daydream written down on paper. So, don't expect any prize-winning plot or superb writing from any romance novel, but just read them for fun and love them for what they are.

P.S. Kenyon gives Zarek "kiss virginity" in this novel. Yes, he is a Roman from ancient times who has been alive for thousands of years. But with no kissing. Kenyon frequently invents new forms of 'virginity' for a man to have so that the heroine can be his 'first' in some way.

Profile Image for Maya.
858 reviews444 followers
August 6, 2017
This is the story I was most excited about and I'm so glad it didn't let me down. I loved it. I loved Zarek, loved Astrid and above all I loved their journey to each other. Zarek's past is so sad and I'm amazed how strong he turned out to be despite all the pain and loneliness. He's one of my favourite characters and I'm really glad I got to read his story. I adored Astrid and her undiing strenght to not let go of Zarek and to show him the beauty of kindness and love. they really are perfect for each other. The other character that I liked was Sasha. He's just adorable and I would enjoy reading about this story. All in all, the action, romance and angst was really nicely placed and I couldn't have hoped for more.




OK, so let's get to the grand plot, shall we? Yes, we shall. So...the big problem seems to be the Gods and their immaturity, that on such a high level, not even Mount Everest can reach it. And then we have Acheron, the supposedly God killer.
He was the very thing she feared most in the universe. In this state, he could kill her with nothing more than a passing thought. She panicked. If she didn’t get him calmed down the other gods would feel his presence and there would be hell to pay for everyone.
And honestly that's where my mind stops and says 'so, you have a god problem and someone who can easily solve it, but can't because... Why exactly can't he!?' Seriously, I liked Acheron in the previous books but now I just want to kill him. He's so weak, it's unbeliavable. I get that the author want's to make him as such an important character and a wise, strong leader but come on. Then why does she write such a weak plot, where he's nothing but a bitch for the bratty, slutty Artemis. Oh, and let's not forget the reason poor Zarek has to spent nine hundred years in Alaska. Fuck them!


I cannot believe what I'm about to write but Artemis said it as it is “I’m a goddess, not a servant. I fetch for no one.” “Just because you sold yourself so cheaply, Acheron, it doesn’t mean I have to.” To be honest, I don't know how I could read about his book, since he fucked that bitch a lot. Yeah...pass. And what's even more, is that out of all the characters I like the demon Simi the most, now ain't that a funny thing.

Sorry guys for my rantig but I just had to get that off my chest. What matters is that Zarek's story is amazing and you definitely should give it a try.
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,250 followers
November 24, 2015
My favorite one so far! I love me a damaged hottie who just needs someone to love him in order to fix him.

So, this is Zarek's story. He had one messed-up life - but I guess they all did in order to become Dark Hunters. Zarek was a whipping boy and then a slave during his mortal life. He was beaten daily, to the point of being disfigured when he met Ash. Luckily, Ash was able to restore his body before becoming a Dark Hunter. Of course, no one could restore his soul. Dun dun dun!!! So, he turned into a hardened psycho who lashed out at everyone and everything so that nobody would have the ability to ever hurt him again.
Poor poor Zarek! sniff sniff.

Yeah, I'm going with this cute animal theme. I know it's disgusting, but I stand by my decision.

Astrid is a justice nymph who is sent in to judge immortals when the gods are thinking of killing them. It is her job to find out if they have any redeeming quality that should allow them to live. So far, she has never judged anyone innocent. She is sent in to judge Zarek since he is so feral. He has no idea, but his life is in her hands. Since justice is blind, she has to go in there blind with only her wolf-man guide-dog, Sasha as her eyes.

I absolutely loved Sasha! He totally wanted to bite Zarek the whole time. I love when dogs can talk in books! I wish I could have a talking dog...
Although, my dogs would just nag me for treats all day. Never mind. Mute dogs are fine.

if just one talked...

So, Astrid finds Zarek injured and brings him into her cabin to help him heal and to find out whether he gets to walk the green mile. Zarek, of course, is rude and prickly as ever, but he also finds her attractive and does nice things for her behind her back. Since she is blind, he feels free to be a little more of himself. He has no idea that Sasha is telling Astrid what he's doing, or that Astrid can look through Sasha's eyes to see him occasionally. Of course, Sasha hates him, so...

Sasha: "I swear he shoved one entire pancake in his mouth at once."

Astrid would have been disgusted had she not been in his dreams. No one had ever taught him even the most basic form of manners.

Okay, that made me laugh. She would have been disgusted seeing him stuff a pancake in his mouth? I'm guessing she's never been around young boys, or teenaged boys, or young men... I have two young men who bring over loads of friends all of the time and shoving a whole pancake into their mouths would be a good day. You don't know the word disgusting until you've had a slumber party with 10 teenage boys at your house. It's scary stuff. And, the next day, with the bodies all around... it smells like a petting zoo.

yeah, that looks about right...

But, of course they fall in lurrv. It is cute and sweet.

We also learn more about Ash, and meet his "child", Simi, who is some weird Greek demon thing. She is also kind of funny. But, poor Ash! His mortal life apparently sucked, and his immortal life doesn't look like it's much better. Still in the "sucks" category. I'm looking forward to his happy ending, but I don't think it comes along for a while. Suffer a bit longer, Ash! We'll get to you eventually.
Profile Image for Azet.
1,021 reviews229 followers
October 8, 2020
OH MY GOD i think i have died and gone to heaven!This book is soooooo good!!!"Dance with the Devil" is the third book in the "Dark Hunters"-series,incredible and sexy paranormal romance series by the popular author Sherrilyn Kenyon.She have never disappointed me.I was kinda scared before i started this book since i knew it was about the very dark Anti-hero Zarek who is the darkest character i have stood upon in this series.In reading his story i wept,his pain was mine and i couldn`t believe what a dull,harsch,inhuman and tortourus existence he lived in the every days in his human life.All people around him had beaten him up so severly.Watching Zarek scream out his pain at the world,oh god it was PAINFUL and SHATTERING for me to read.As i said,i cried with all my heart for this tortured hero.

Astrid who is a nymph and also blind was sent to judge Zarek if he is innocent or not.Zarek is shocked that this beauty have saved his life and taken care of him,and not knowing her true intensions..he gets slowly but wonderfully tamed by her.Astrid was the one woman who saw through his painful barbs and stinging retorts.She saw inside his battered and bruised heart and heals him with the precious gift of love.

Zarek of Moesia is a vicious Dark Hunter,and one hell of a sexy mean devil of a Anti-hero who gets reformed by the bright light of tenderness from Astrid.He made me feel so many emotions,and i found it so touching that both he and Astrid loved the book "The Little Prince".Every time he quoted the book,i literally cried.Zarek and Astrid are awesome together-like Beauty and the Beast awesome!I am so happy Acheron Parthenopaeus made them find each other-he knew they are fated soulmates so no wonder he choose Astrid to judge Zarek.By the way i found his Little demon Simi so adorable and funny,i want more of her.And watching Sasha and Astrid bickering was lots of fun too,he hated Zarek immensely,lol."Dance with the Devil" is a devastating,action-packed,romantic and carnal love-story,Astrid and Zarek are no doubt one of my favourite couples ever!I will never forget this book,its deeply imprinted in my mind!

He clutched the coat to his skin, burying his face deep in the fur so that he could capture her scent.
He held it in trembling hands as emotions and memories crashed through him, racking him.
He needed her.
Oh, gods, he loved her. He loved her more than he'd ever imagined possible. He remembered every touch she'd given him. Every laugh she'd had around him.
The way she'd made him human.
And he didn't want to live without her. Not for one moment. Not a single one.
Zarek fell to his knees, unable to deal with the thought of never seeing her again.
Holding his coat that smelled of her, he wept.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
2,202 reviews505 followers
April 25, 2019
Oh Zarek. I still love you. I wish he was real because I just want to give him a great big hug.

Upon revisiting this (long time) favorite of mine, I decided that Zarek deserved a review.

This was my first Sherrilyn Kenyon book (once upon a time) and it was the book that started my love of the Dark-Hunters. Zarek has remained my favorite hero all this time, and while there are others that I love, none match Zarek for me. Every glimpse of him throughout the series is a treasured moment.

Reading Zarek's story breaks my heart. He was a truly tortured hero who deserves all the good things in life, just to make up for his really horrible beginning. The only other hero that comes close to Zarek’s torment (and actually surpassing it) is Acheron, who is one of my other Dark-Hunter loves.

There are a few books that I love having multiple copies of. I have the well-loved paperback (signed by the author herself!) and a brand new copy for my Kindle. I normally have a hard time buying Kindle books for the same price as a paperback, but I had no problems doing that with this book. I know Zarek is a character I’ll revisit often, and actually being able to read the book at any moment, no matter where I am made the decision to purchase the Kindle version easy for me.

Every time I read this book, my heart breaks all over again as I read Zarek’s memories. Astrid is the perfect heroine for him. She sees through his attitude to the guy he really is, and is able to love him in a way that shows she accepts him…surly attitude and all.

Profile Image for Floripiquita.
1,378 reviews161 followers
May 2, 2018
A pesar de que la estructura de los libros de esta serie se repite más que el ajo, a pesar de las cursis referencias a El Principito (me gusta el libro, pero no tanto), a pesar del parecido más que razonable entre Zarek y Zsadist de la Hermandad de la Daga Negra (ya sé que este último es posterior, pero me gusta más, lo siento), a pesar de que Astrid es la protagonista más plana hasta ahora... A pesar de todos esos peros, este es el libro de la saga que más me ha gustado hasta la fecha. Y toda la culpa la tiene ese maravilloso personaje que es Zarek, ese sarcástico fan de Nazareth que no ha perdido su humanidad aún cuya vida, tanto como humano como Dark Hunter, no ha podido ser más terrible. Sin olvidarme de la tierna relación de Ash y Simi, otros dos grandísimos personajes de los que uno quiere saber siempre más.
Profile Image for Jiana.
296 reviews823 followers
March 13, 2017
4.5 stars

Last book of 2016 and I'm so glad it was a great read! More importantly, it's my 200th book! YAS.

It's about time I got to writing this review, so I apologize in advance because it sucks.

I really enjoyed this! Much better than the previous book. When I read the previous book, Night Embrace, I liked Zarek so much I got super excited to start this story, which is this book. Zarek is a very deep and complex character. His past is very troubled and difficult, the most troubled I've read so far between the heroes of this series. I enjoyed getting to discover more of his character and I'm pretty much obsessed with him. The heroine, Astrid, is amazing. She's strong and headstrong. She doesn't give up. I tend to find heroines annoying, but Astrid was definitely not annoying!

The plot was brilliant; I was hooked from page one and couldn't put down the book. I'm fully aware this series has 25+ books, but this book definitely made it to my list of favorites within this series! The plot was different from the previous books and it was refreshing. Also, there were new characters introduced and older characters making appearances again and I can't wait to read their stories. Also, it was not filled with confusing new concepts like with the previous book, which was great.

Can't wait for next book!

Profile Image for Julianna.
Author 5 books1,329 followers
September 21, 2010
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" At last.....another Dark-Hunter book that I could really sink my teeth into (pun intended;-)). I had greatly enjoyed the first book of the series, Fantasy Lover, but the stories in between that book and Dance with the Devil had left me feeling underwhelmed and less than satisfied. As I suspected it might, Dance with the Devil gave me a meatier tale with two well-developed characters that I could totally root for and who were very relatable, as well as getting back to some stronger relationship building. Even though the story took place within a matter of days, much like the previous books, the connection between Zarek and Astrid was more palpable and consequently more believable to me, because they actually spent large swaths of time virtually alone together, during which they were able to communicate on a fairly deep level. Their communication wasn't always of a direct nature, since Zarek was bound by the Dark-Hunter code which forbade him from telling anyone about who or what he was. Still, I thought that the author used a very creative solution for getting around that by having Astrid join Zarek in his dreams, where she was able to see the things he dreamed about (nightmares really), and they could talk about some things that he wouldn't be able to discuss when he was awake. It also provided the opportunity for Astrid to give Zarek some much-needed love and kindness in a “safe” environment, as well as a couple more steamy love scenes than would have been possible otherwise. I also liked how, in the dreams, Astrid gifted Zarek with a few small childhood pleasures that he had been harshly denied in his human life. I just think that the hero and heroine being together and interacting in more than just a sexual way for a large part of the book really helped to solidify their burgeoning love for one another.

Zarek definitely earned a place at the top of my most tortured heroes list. I've seen other readers liken him to Zsadist from J. R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and after reading this book, I would have to agree that it is an apt comparison. Zarek's torment was somewhat different from Zsadist's, but no less inhumane and cruel. What was truly heartbreaking to me about it was when I discovered through a bit of research that some Roman slaves really were treated that badly. Sherrilyn Kenyon certainly did her homework on that one. Even in the last book, Night Embrace, I could tell that there was a lot of depth lurking beneath the surface of Zarek's gruff exterior and harsh words, and he certainly didn't disappoint me in this story. Inside, he has a sensitive, compassionate heart and especially around Astrid, he is extremely tender and gentle. He was strong enough to live through 2000 years of loneliness, torture and betrayal, but no matter how brutally he was treated, his tormentors were never quite able to kill that part of him that longed to love and be loved. He just buried it very deeply inside, where I'm not sure even he realized it still existed, making it a challenge for Astrid to find and unlock it. The only thing about Zarek which I would have liked to know that wasn't told, is exactly how he became a Dark-Hunter and what his act of vengeance was. Typically, it seems that the Dark-Hunters were warriors in their human life, but Zarek was a lowly slave. This left me wondering why Artemis decided to grant him immortality, but this part of his backstory was never explored. Otherwise, Zarek was a wonderful character who has become one of my favorite heroes.

I knew after reading about Zarek in Night Embrace that he would need a strong, patient heroine to help him overcome his past, and in my opinion, Ms. Kenyon wrote the perfect mate for him. Astrid is very intuitive and understanding of Zarek, instinctively knowing that he isn't the bad person everyone thinks him to be. I loved that she never took his barbs and sarcasm personally, but realized it was just part of the armor he used to protect that most fragile piece of himself, his heart. This was wonderful, because it meant that there were no silly misunderstandings between them. She also exhibited some bravery in staying by Zarek's side to keep him from being killed by the gods, even though by doing so, she was endangering her own life. Additionally, she showed determination by not giving up on finding out the truth about what happened to Zarek's village, which nearly everyone thought he was responsible for decimating 900 years ago. Overall, she was just a warm, kind, gentle and loving heroine who was exactly the kind of woman Zarek needed in his life.

Dance with the Devil had a fairly broad secondary character palette. Acheron and Artemis returned from previous books, and readers get to know Ash even better. Ash played a strong role in this book, and the depth that was added to his character made him all the more lovable, but still an enigma that leaves me wondering exactly who and what he is. Acheron's little demon companion, Simi, is introduced in this book, and she is mostly cute and endearing, although I will admit that she talks a little too much for my taste. She is a child-like creature who has stream of consciousness dialog, basically no filter between her brain and her mouth, but her heart is definitely in the right place. There are a number of other new characters who were introduced in Dance with the Devil as well including Jess aka Sundown who is Zarek's friend and the first cowboy Dark-Hunter (his book Redemption is forthcoming); Sasha, Astrid's Katagari (Were-Hunter) wolf companion; Syra, the first female Dark-Hunter to grace the series; Spawn, the first Apollite Dark-Hunter, and M'Adoc, a Dream-Hunter. There was also a brief mention of D'Alerian, another Dream-Hunter who appeared in Night Pleasures, and several assorted squires. Some of these characters were quite intriguing, but unfortunately, I'm not aware of any of them appearing in their own books as of yet.

While I did enjoy Dance with the Devil a lot, especially when compared with some of the previous books in the series, it wasn't absolutely perfect for me. The author seems to have a habit of throwing supernatural powers into the story for the sake of convenience, and Dance with the Devil unfortunately was no exception. It just wasn't as pronounced in this book as in past ones which made it more palatable. I was also able to take it a little bit better because there were no human characters who were being afforded these powers either. Ms. Kenyon also seems to enjoy creating lots of new characters, as is evidenced above, which usually means new mythology as well, but again unlike previous books, she managed to weave most of these elements in without bringing the story to a screeching halt to do it, which I greatly appreciated. The last thing that was a little bothersome to me was the ending. There was certainly some excitement in the climax, but things just seemed to peter out a little too quickly. Maybe it was because the bad guy wasn't quite as bad as he seemed, so I didn't get the satisfaction of his comeuppance. Also, the final romantic scenes between Zarek and Astrid, while quite happy, seemed to be a little lacking and I felt they needed a bit more zing to them. Overall though, my complaints are pretty minor and didn't detract much from my overall enjoyment of the novel. Dance with the Devil still managed to earn a place on my keeper shelf and has definitely reinvigorated my interest in the Dark-Hunter series which I now look forward to continuing in the future. There are currently a total of 19 full-length novels in the Dark-Hunter series and quite a number of related novellas and graphic novels as well, with more still to come. A complete list of all the books and their recommended reading order can be found on Sherrilyn Kenyon's website.

A Dark-Hunter Christmas A Dark-Hunter Christmas is the story of Gallagher, a relatively young Dark-Hunter (only about 100 years), who was newly introduced for this tale. Readers will get to see yet another side of Acheron and Simi that adds a bit more depth to their characters, and also get a brief visit with a bunch of the Were-Hunters from Sanctuary as well as Tabitha (Seize the Night). I don't know if Gallagher will play a part in any future Dark-Hunter stories or if he might someday get his own, but I felt like I got to know him well enough to think that he would make a good hero.

Overall, this was just a quick, heartwarming holiday-themed read that emphasizes the importance of family and how people don't necessarily have to be related by blood to consider themselves family. A Dark-Hunter Christmas is a short 16-page bonus novella that falls between Dance with the Devil and Kiss of the Night in the Dark-Hunter chronology. It can be found in the back of first editions of Dance with the Devil, and was later republished in The Dark-Hunter Companion. The novella can now be read in its entirety for free on Sherrilyn Kenyon's website. Rating: ****1/2

*Review updated 9/21/10
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,637 followers
April 19, 2013

This fourth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series is one of my favorites. Zarek is an incredible hero with a horribly tortured soul. I wept for him, and I was angry in his behalf... words can't express just how much I adore him.

Interestingly enough, Zarek is one of the most tormented heroes I can think of, next to Zsadist, Brother extraordinaire from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Zarek and Zsadist... hmmmm.... must be a "Z" thing.
Profile Image for Terri ♥ (aka Mrs. Christian Grey).
1,398 reviews473 followers
June 3, 2017
I give this book 5 stars solely for Zarek. I cried so many times for his story. Was she inspired by JR Ward's Z who'd been a slave. Coincidence or not? Anyway, I cried buckets over Zarek. Now it's a toss up between Kerian and Zarek for who I like better. My only beef is more new characters were brought in. Where are those from the last story?
Profile Image for Jasbell76.
286 reviews147 followers
March 17, 2022
This is my favorite book from the whole saga and one of my favorite couples forever!


Note: I added the older-hero and older heroine tags, because the main characters are thousands of years 😅 but they look young and beautiful, you know, this is a fantasy book 😉
Profile Image for Grecia Robles.
1,526 reviews367 followers
June 30, 2017
4.5 MI Príncipe Encantado STARS

Este libro me dejó con el corazón roto 💔💔💔 emocionalmente hecha papilla 😭😭😭 y con deseos asesinos para cierta Diosa 😠😠👊👊🔪🔪

Más adelante haré una reseña mejor
Profile Image for AvidReader.
1,198 reviews220 followers
September 29, 2022
This book made me cry like a baby😫😩. The things hero had to endure!!
This is my first book in the series and I assure you i am not gonna read another one except fantasy lover. I didnt lik certain things for example, Artemis and Acheron's relationship. Their last scene made me wanna puke😕 and I think hero was a little soft. But the action scenes were thrilling. Overall a good read but beware of heart breaking moments.
Profile Image for Alp.
736 reviews378 followers
September 7, 2015
I loved this book!

When I picked up this one, I didn't expect a ton of mixed emotions that would flood over me; the compassion, the pain, the depression, the tenderness, and the happiness. This story was not only much better than the previous one, but also held itself and my hands together like glue! (hahaha)

Zarek was the hero whose emotions were badly damaged. He had a very miserable life before he died, and later became a Dark-Hunter. Ever since he could remember, he was repeatedly tortured and beaten by his own father and brothers, and included everybody around him, but he never cried or said a word. No one loved or wanted him. It wrenched my heart just to think about how deeply hurt he had been.

Astrid was the justice nymph who was sent to pass judgment on Zarek. The chemistry sparked between them the moment they met. I loved that Astrid came into his life and showed him how beautiful love was. They both fell in love with each other, but Zarek thought he was a worthless slave who didn’t deserve her. He thought she was the brightest star and her place was in the sky. There was no way he would pull her down into the dirt with him. Oh, he had such a beautiful heart!

“Stars aren’t supposed to cry”, he whispered so that only she could hear him. “They’re supposed to laugh.”
“How can I laugh when I have no heart?”
He took her hand into his and kissed the tip of every finger.
“You have a heart.” He placed her hand over his. “One that only beats for you, princess.”
She offered him a trembling smile. “Why are you here, Zarek?”
He brushed the tears from her cheeks. “I’m here to collect my rose, if she’ll come home with me.”

I had never thought reading PNR story could move me to tears!

I really loved this couple!

By the way, there were some background stories of the other interesting characters that made me want to know more about them.

This is by far one of the most enjoyable books I’ve ever read. I’m officially hooked on this series!
Profile Image for Fani *loves angst*.
1,675 reviews240 followers
May 13, 2019
Zarek is a Dark Hunter, who has commited some terrible act in the past -about 1000 years ago- and was punished in exile in Alaska during all this time. Every other Dark-Hunter avoids him and is forbidden to talk with him. He's considered insane and dangerous and his creator, goddess Artemis, demands his execution. Acheron, leader of the Dark Hunters, steps in and asks for a judge to decide whether Zarek should live or die: the judge is to be Astrid, daughter of Thetis.

Zarek, is the epitome of a tortured hero; I have never so far read about a more tortured one. Zarek was a lowly Roman slave during his mortal life. He was beaten and whipped to such great extent as to render him a cripple and hideously scarred; no wonder he can't believe he's actually handsome now. In all his 2000 years' life, he has never had a single person show him tenderness or kindness. Not allowed to talk to other dark hunters, living in Alaska's wilderness inside a small cabin for 22 out of 24 hours every summer, he's always been alone. No wonder his sanity is in question.

This book is about Zarek; Astrid is a good heroine, meaning she's not bad or TSTL; but there's not much oomph in her. Astrid is a nymph. She has never judged someone innocent before and the only time she considered doing so, he ended up trying to kill her. She has been disappointed by everyone and lost her trust to people, as well as her joy in life. When Zarek arrives in her cabin, his crude behavior and few but harsh comments seem to point to his evil nature. But a few unexpected shows of kindness in his part, throw her off balance. And she decides to find out more about him in the only place he cannot hide: his dreams. And what she sees shocks her. How can a man stand so much, for so many years, and still be sane? Astrid is tempted to show him some tenderness and love, but her past experience as well as Zarek's gruff behavior won't make that easy. So, the question remains: is Zarek worth saving or not? But it turns out that she doesn't have much time to figure it out, since the executioner is already on the loose searching for Zarek and everyone who might have helped him.

The first 2/3 of the book were mostly emotional. We learn about Zarek's past, see his relationship with Astrid evolve and their starting to care for each other. Being trapped in a remote cabin, makes that more believable than it otherwise would be. Zarek has a tendency to melodrama (lines like "I have always been alone" appear in his mind at least in every second page), but seeing what he's been through I didn't really mind it. The last third is pure action. Astrid and Zarek try to defeat Thanatos (=Death) and run for their lifes, while other dark hunters along with Acheron get involved in the fight.

All in all, this book greatly reminded me of a Hollywood blockbuster:) It could never claim any artistic prize in the Cannes festival, but people will run to see it anyway! It's purpose is to entertain and it achieves its goal spectacularly. Cheesy lines, especially during the fights, overdone melodrama and grand, poetic but unrealistic declarations of love, remove any artistic/literary merit but the tight, fast paced plot, interesting characters and ominous atmosphere guarantee enjoyment. And enjoy it I did, and probably will again. It's a guilty pleasure, much like schwarzenegger's or Die Hard movies: you know it's silly and full of unrealistic scenes, yet you end up loving it anyway. But it made me realize one thing: I don't really care for Kenyon's style enough to read every book of the series. I will have to pick my way through them carefully, because it seems it's the plot that captured me, rather than her writing. Any suggestions on where to go next are welcome!

Note: In Greek Parthenopi is a female only name, and the 'Parthena' part means 'Virgin'. So Parthenopaeus, is not exactly a name for a super masculine hero for me. It actually ruins my vision of Acheron:(

Reread May 2019
The Greek mythology & names are mangled beyond repair, the plot is full of holes and yet I found it captivating and hard to put down. Even 10 years later, Zarek remains one of my favorite romance heroes ever :)
Profile Image for Laura.
Author 15 books600 followers
April 8, 2010
I have a love/hate relationship with Sherrilyn Kenyon. I love her world, her writing and her characters. I hate that all of her men are tortured and self-hating. Could we have one male who likes himself and his inner child? Other than that, I liked this story. Zarek was last seen protecting Sunshine and Talon (so un-Zarek-like) and we catch up with him as he's being flown back to his Alaskan prison. Astrid is the judge who Themis sent to either save him or kill him. Is Zarek really insane as everyone thinks? Or is Acheron right and he's redeemable?
I love how we see more of Ash here than ever, and we see his and Artemis' relationship. Since I've already read "Acheron," I'm so ready for Artemis to get bitch-slapped, but here we have to be patient. Even though she is a selfish heifer-goddess. But I digress. I got a bit bored with the action/lack of action mid-way through, but then it picked up again. That's the only reason it didn't get a 5 star rating. I loved the ending, and I like Zarek. Astrid was perfect for him, and they got their HEA.
Profile Image for DaMa.
108 reviews17 followers
February 9, 2018
Sherrilyn mi diva de la escritura, creo que no tiene libro malo para mí, me pueden decir que si la saga Dark hunters no cambia, que todos los personajes masculinos está cortados por el mismo patrón (Duros, poquito machistas, atormentados, con sed de venganza y el corazón roto) Bueno puede ser, pero a mi es lo que me gusta leer, no digo que las novelas con protagonistas sin estos adjetivos no me guste, pero normalmente me gusta este tipo de personaje para leer.
Bien dicho esto, a Zarek que le conocimos en la anterior novela nos los pintan como el cazador psicótico, sin amigos, rechazado por sus propios compañeros de “trabajo”, por su pasado, nos cuenta Valerio, (a este tío le coges asco desde el tercer libro, y creo que hasta el suyo, disfruta la noche, no se me pasa). Que ha sido esclavo en la antigua Roma, es más, ha sido esclavo de su familia, y no se tragan, a parte Zarek intimida, sabiendo que lleva muchos siglos viviendo casi en el exilio en un lugar recóndito de ALASKA, donde vuelve después de ayudar en Nueva Orleans.
Zarek, el cazador más letal (Me encanta el título, tendría que llevarlo bordado en el abrigo de cuero) .Mas de dos metros de cazador, pelo oscuro hasta los hombros, mirada oscura que promete muerte, de complexión atlética.
Astrid, ninfa de la justicia, más de metro ochenta de Ninfa, rubia ojos azules, un bellezón que no deja indiferente a Zarek.
Por poner una pega, que la novela se ambientara en Alaska no me gusto, pero lo entiendo, mi atormentado Zarek no podía estar en otro sitio, me da mucha pena el pensar que ha estado sufriendo durante ciento de años ese exilio por la zorra de Artemisa, y que ni siquiera Acherón (que sí, que vale , que tiene muchos frentes abiertos, pero durante cuantos años lo ha dejado solo) le hiciese visitas regularmente para saber de él...pero bueno si hubiese sido así, seguramente Zarek no sería tan intenso como ahora.
Me encanta como la autora va mostrando a Zarek, desde lo más profundo de sus pesadillas, que Astrid no pueda verle nada más que en sus sueños, o en las contadas ocasiones que la ayuda su “lobo”. En Roma tan pequeño y arrastrado por un mundo echo para gente con poder. Ahora de cazador, orgulloso, regio, peligroso, mortal.
En este libro salen por primera vez los Oneroi, aun que es cierto que en el anterior libro si nos hablan de que algunos acompañan a los cazadores oscuros y hacen que sus heridas se curen más rápido, tengo ganas de saber más sobre ellos, porque esta claro que van a dar mucho juego. Simi, mi querida Simi, uno de los mejores personajes de esta serie, que da juego no juegazo y me encanta que cada vez tenga mas presencia en las novelas. No recordaba que salia tan pronto y la verad que me ha sorprendido para bien.
La mejores escenas está claro, la del helicóptero, muy Zarek, como no puede ser de otra manera, me encanta ese estilo chulesco y desenfadado. Esa escena junto a la de Zarek haciendo de ebanista en la casa de Astrid-Una historia desgarradora de engaños, maldad, abusos, que al final se convierte en una de las mejores historias de amor que he leído. Me encanta esta pareja, espero seguir leyendo sobre ellos en los demás libros ya que me acuerdo de fragmentos de algunas de las novelas.
Me quedo con la frase de “Morir es fácil, lo difícil es vivir”
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Córdelum.
93 reviews10 followers
December 23, 2022
4'5 ⭐

Me encanta esta saga. Sherrilyn sabe muy bien hacer sus cazadores traumados. Hombres que aunque a veces sean fríos, bordes y un poco irritantes, ella te demuestra con pequeños gestos o con algunas palabras en realidad tienen un gran corazón, que guardan bondad y sensibilidad, y los hace muy humanos.

Los personajes femeninos que crea también son maravillosas. Mujeres que aunque no sepan luchar o no sean rudas, son fuertes y muy capaces. Mujeres dispuestas a ayudar a esos hombres que entran en sus vidas y a darles el cariño que se les negó. Pero no se dejan pisotear y saben poner los límites que no van a perdonar que se crucen.

Esta autora me conmueve y me hace disfrutar como muy pocos autores lo hacen.

Peeeeero, ahora viene la razón del medio punto, ha habido un momento en el Astrid hace algo con Zarek sin su permiso, y no me termina a mi de convencer eso. Entiendo que necesitaba hacerlo para su propósito y que era por el bien de Zarej, pero no me acaba de parecer bien. No voy a decir que pasó por spoiler. Es la única única única pega que le pongo.

Por lo demás.... MARAVILLOSO.

El siguiente libro es la historia de un antiguo vikingo llamado Wulf, y al igual que los anteriores libros espero tener suficientes horas libres para leérmelo en menos de 24 horas, y meterme lo en vena... 🌠🌹
Profile Image for Leah.
1,079 reviews338 followers
May 5, 2017
Dance with the Devil is the fourth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series and, in my opinion, has to be one of the best of the series. In this book, we get to see more than just the surly, hateful side of Zarek; we get to see his pain, his hurt, and all the love and tenderness he is capable of. In this book, both Artemis and Dionyous have condemned Zarek to death, calling out everyone they can to kill him. Acheron, however, is able to convince Artemis to have one of Themis' justice nymphs judge him. So they send in Astrid. Blind for two weeks so Z's looks could not affect her impartiality, Astrid takes Zarek in and pushes all his buttons in order to make a decision about him. Throughout their time together, she starts to learn about him and the pain, humiliation, degradation, loneliness he has had to suffer through his whole life; she falls in love with him, and even though he doesn't admit it until she's gone, Zarek falls in love with her, too. In the end, Astrid acquits him and declares him fit to be around people, fit to live. Finally, with Ash's help, Zarek is able to realize that he deserves love, too, and goes to Astrid. She turns him into a demigod and they live happily ever after.

Now, throughout basically the whole of this series, I have not read the books in order. Before I read Dance with the Devil, I already loved Zarek. I love the cold, acerbic, scarred characters more than anything else because they are the ones who often need the most love and care; they are the hardest to reach and often the gentlest person once you do breach their barriers. Zarek would definitely fall into this category. His extremely brutal past evokes the deepest kind of sadness in me and at some points I almost cried for the pain he had to suffer; in many ways, he reminded me of Acheron, or even Zsadist from the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Z survived through such a horrific life, so who could blame him for being surly and hesitant to trust, to love. Once the gentle feminine hand of Astrid touched him, though, he was lost and she saved him. She showed him the loving, yet ferocious, man he could be. At the end of this book, Zarek remains one of my favorite characters from the series and he'll always have a special place in my heart.

Astrid was an interesting character. I found her highly amusing a lot of the time, and I loved how gentle and sweet she was with Zarek. She could see the real him and didn't give up when the going got tough. She gave him the one thing she had given no man at the risk of losing everything she had: her virginity. She gave Zarek something special, something all his own, and she stood by him even when he was trying to send her away.

Simi, always an interesting character to me, was once again one of my favorite things about this book. I love the little demon and how she just goes off on random tangents when she talks. Her devotion to Ash always succeeds in warming my heart and endearing her to me even more than her humor.

I want to kill Artemis. I really do. I really, really wish that Ash could just let the Simi eat the bitch-goddess and be done with it already. She does nothing that does not benefit herself and never considers how she hurts Acheron or anyone else. And it was really pissing me off that she was calling Simi "it." She has a name! So I was very happy when Ash finally told her off and demanded she stop calling Simi "it." The parts with her are always the worst parts of the Dark-Hunter books for me, though. I cannot stand the time that Ash has to spend with her. It's even more horrible when I have to read about Ash and Artemis having sex. I literally cringe and read those parts as fast as I can because I cannot stand that Acheron has to lower himself to that level for his Dark-Hunters and to get sustenance.

I have to say that I honestly thought that Sundown was trying to kill Zarek in the beginning. I guess I should have been able to figure out that he was just playing the Squires and that Ash had sent him, but I just didn't. So I was relieved to get into Jess' point of view and see the truth. Even if he wasn't a great character, I would have loved him because of his defense and protection of Zarek.

Dance with the Devil was a fantastic book, and if there was an option of giving it even more than five stars, I would. This has got to be one of Sherrilyn Kenyon's best books to date, in my opinion, and I would read it over and over again.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa Kay.
924 reviews517 followers
February 25, 2017
This is how Italians envision Zarek of Moesia. Yum. And let me tell you, his love words to Astrid, “la mia stella” (my star)... ahhh... they sound much sexier in Italian.
★★★½✩ Okay. This was a good read. By that I mean well written and a well developed world setting. It is just that it is pretty depressing reading about all the abuse Zarek suffered through-out his lifetime. Especially as a child. He was feared and rejected – for the most part unfairly – over and over. And for centuries!

I really like the heroine, Astrid, a Justice Nymph. (And Zarek, for that matter.) She is sent to judge Zarek for his past offences. I think I identify with my heroines more than other readers. **shrugs** I don’t know. Anyway, she takes Idios, a serum that allows her to not only see what Zarek endured, but to feel what he felt in the past, in order to better understand him. There were so many injustices, from both “friends” and family, as well as enemies. All the things were just too much for me. And the bad guy in this one doesn’t see his culpability in all that happened. I kept wanting – and waiting for Zarek to verbally stand up to him, not just physically fight him. But then, sociopaths will never admit they did anything wrong… that’s really true to life. **sigh**

There is a lot of focus on the other characters in this world (which is not a bad thing, unless you want the romance to move forward faster): Acheron, the leader of the Dark-Hunters; Artemis, as the Dark-Hunters’ primary goddess. Acheron and Artemis have a weird (twisted) relationship, which I am sure will be revealed little by little though-out this series.

I definitely need to read a happy book now. Really happy.
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