Finally we find out about Bane. He's been present in previous books and frankly I found him fascinating. His story was worth the wait and his forever mate Ari is just the ticket to get him to stop wallowing in grief and regret and rejoin the world of the living. The initial introduction to Ari had my interest piqued and it just got better from there. She is the picture of a woman who wasn't going to let herself be a victim of circumstance, and if she is caught in a bad situation she won't go down without a fight. Boo-ha! Bane is the opposite; he's beating himself up for past mistakes, some of which weren't even his fault or a result of his actions -- they just happened and people paid the ultimate price. I was singing hallelujah when he finally was able to let that weight go, but it couldn't have happened without Ari. This was a spectacular addition to this very entertaining series with a steam level as is expected from this author, as well as an appearance by previous characters and updates as to what is going on in their lives; always appreciated by this reader.
Ari and Bane are of the same frame of mind, but flip sides of a coin. Bane had a soft woman in his marriage and sees in Ari what he needs to be himself, rather than hiding who he is to protect his wife. That's attractive to him while at the same time being terrifying. Ari questions her judgement due to her poor romantic choices in the past and there is an epic reckoning in the rocky relationship between Ari and Bane, and rightly so. I would have been more concerned if she hadn't freaked out, to be honest. Some cute one liners were peppered through the book and slang was totally lost on Bane. That made for some amusing moments as well. All in all a very passionate read as well as a great continuation of the series.
Ari Rayner’s fresh start in the city is put on hold when her car breaks down on a mountain pass. Her savior is a hooded angel with haunted eyes who gives new meaning to the phrase “smoldering intensity”. Drawn to his strength, she revels in helping him succumb to his illicit fantasies. Just because she’s a woman doesn’t mean she’s afraid to get down and dirty.
Bale made a deathbed promise to protect those who cannot protect themselves, a vow he’s done a damn fine job of upholding, but the fire burning within Ari beckons him to play in the flames, and the heat they generate brings the house down. But such brilliance sheds light on past mistakes that Bale must now answer for. With his true nature revealed, Ari uses everything at her disposal—whips, straps and a firm hand to convince Bale he is not a monster and is worthy of her love.