I'm a little behind, obviously, in my reading of this series (and many others), but I just finished this book.
Stryker's the half Apollite son of Apollo, whom he's never been good enough for. His actions have caused, directly and indirectly, the death of everyone he's ever held close to his heart. So he thought...
Zephyra is Stryker's first wife. Married when they were just 14, and still human, he left her, and has thought her dead. Until she shows up to assassinate him some eleven thousand years later.
They strike a bargain that pulls them together for 2 weeks, and neither expects Stryker to remain living at the end of it. Because Zephyra's grudge and anger runs deep. Almost as deep as Stryker's love for her has remained.
Can these two work past their history to forge a new future?
I never particularly looked forward to this book, which is perhaps the reason I put it off so long. I don't like Stryker. He killed his son, Urian coldly. But apparently Ms. Kenyon believes that even the "bad" guys deserve a HEA. I've always liked that I could identify with the Apollites, that they weren't just purely evil. Having been cursed by Apollo for something most of them had no part in, I can understand their anger and their will to live. But Stryker is something different for me. While on one hand I can understand his motivations, on the other he's just not someone that I like. Which makes it difficult for me to want a HEA for him.
The romance in this story was well done. I felt the reasons that they had for their various feelings and thoughts, and thought the resolution to them was believable. However the romance in the story took a back seat to the world building.
And the world building is where I'm still kind of reeling. After spending 26 books with the rules set up one way, I read this book and several times throughout said "huh!?" and "WTF?!" in confusion.
Big changes happen with several characters. New information comes up about them that we've never heard before. That, I feel, there's never been a hint of before. And that makes it hard for me to swallow.
And then there's the time line. This supposedly takes place before the wedding in Ash's book. Yet it doesn't mesh completely well for me. Leaving me with more quesitons and confusion.
I feel like Ms. Kenyon keeps throwing more and more into some characters to make them bigger and badder than the one before them. Personally I miss the days when Ash was the biggest and the baddest. And then we have all the new characters. I feel like I need a flowchart of who's what, what they're capable of, and when they got these powers. Plus how they're connected, who they hate, why they hate them, and if they have weaknesses.
Overall, an important book in the world building for the Dark Hunter universe. This feels like a in between book before we start Jaden's series arc, which we're supposed to get next.
Next up: Shadow of the Moon in the Dead After Dark anthology. Which is Fury's story. I've always liked Fury, so I'm looking forward to finishing this short.