Between the Covers's Reviews > Darkness and Lies: A Brotherhood Novel

Darkness and Lies by Brandi Salazar
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's review
Jan 31, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, paranormal, paranormal-romance

REVIEWED by Karen for Between the Covers blog:

A search for the mythical “gates of Hell” leads Cheyenne, an adrenaline junkie and chronic virgin, to Iceland and into a world of demons and mythology.

Erias is the guardian to the gates of Hell, the leader of the Brotherhood: warriors who trade their soul to Persephone, wife of Hades (i.e., Satan, the devil, the angel of darkness, get my drift?), in return for vengeance for their deaths. Virtually immortal, the Brotherhood serves Persephone in the mortal world. When Cheyenne and her group of hikers actually stumble upon the entrance to the gates, Persephone dispatches Erias to handle the situation.

When Erias meets Cheyenne they feel an immediate attraction, yet they can't seem to have a simple conversation without pissing each other off. Erias finally succeeds in scaring off the team because they think he is some kind of crazed serial killer. But he feels that the stubborn woman warrants watching, since he doesn't believe that she's really given up on the expedition yet - at least that’s what he tells himself. It couldn’t be because he is interested in her. So Erias enlists the help of his fellow Brotherhood member, Behr, to guard the entrance while he checks up on Chy and her group. Erias has always been a kind of “I got mine, you get lost” kind of lover, and he is confused by the attraction he has for Cheyenne. His bungling attempts to befriend and seduce her only lead to more distrust and anger, but he can't ignore the desire he feels for her.

Cheyenne tells her companions about Erias, mistakenly believing that he intended to attack and rape her. Kris, her cheating ex-boyfriend who is still hung up on her, confronts Erias, but Erias convinces him that Chy just misunderstood what had happened and that she had been drinking. Cheyenne is angered and hurt by her friends’ apparent betrayal, and she rushes off towards her room, when she encounters Erias in the hallway and confronts him. They inevitably end up in yet another argument, and just when you think they'll never get their act together, they finally *hallelujah* have sex.

Behr, in a fit of jealousy that Erias can love again, spills the beans about Erias' feelings for the “human” to Persephone, who isn't amused since she considers all the Brotherhood to be her possessions. When she confronts Erias, he lies and says that Cheyenne means nothing to him in order to protect her from Persephone. Cheyenne overhears the conversation and believes that Erias is a cheating ratfink. But Persephone disappears with Chy, and dumps her in Tartarus - literally the pits of Hell, where she is tortured repeatedly.

Behr regrets his betrayal and in an effort to regain Erias’ friendship agrees to accompany him and Kris on a quest to obtain the “Helm” - an artifact that will ease their passage into Tartarus - and rescue Cheyenne. Erias makes a deal with Hades in order to obtain the Helm, swapping the rest of his soul for Cheyenne's freedom.

This book was well written, and I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their interaction. The ending of the book was a classic cliffhanger: a basic no-ender, but with the promise of more. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find even a mention of a follow-up book, though this reads like the first of a series. I eagerly anticipate that there will be a sequel, and hope that the next book will resolve Erias and Cheyenne’s relationship, and also feature Behr, the smart-assed guardian sidekick, and Kris, the ex-lover who may yet have redeeming qualities - two characters that wormed their way into my head and won't leave.

NOTE: As with many ebooks, I noticed several grammatical errors in the manuscript that spell-check would miss, but hopefully were caught by an editor before publication.

Rating: 4 stars
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