Desert Isle Keeper
Devlin Bane is a Paladin. He lives and dies to serve humanity, to protect mankind from the Others beyond the Barrier, and to fight against Evil. He isn’t human. A Paladin’s only impetus is battle; their only emotions are rage, hate, and battle-lust. Their deaths and resurrections only serve to make them less and less human until they finally become one with the demonic forces they strive against. Dr. Laurel Young, the young and beautiful physician whose job it is to patch up the Paladins, keeps telling herself that all these things are true. Yet, she doesn’t believe a word of it. The Paladins may not be human, but they are people. That’s what she hopes. After all, she’s fallen in love with one of them.
Laurel and Devlin both know that their love is an impossibility. Paladins just don’t have relationships, and Laurel is well aware that it may fall upon her to end Devlin’s existence if he turns to the Other side. Devlin is one of the oldest of the Paladins and each resurrection brings him closer to awakening the demonic inside him. Laurel may have found a way to stop Devlin and the other Paladins’ slide toward the monstrous. But someone is stalking Devlin. They’ve killed him once and now that his feelings for Laurel are becoming apparent, Devlin worries that his murderer will target Laurel. A death for a Paladin is painful and a step toward inhumanity, but death for Dr. Young would be permanent and the end of all of Devlin’s hopes for a future.
As Laurel Young races to find a “cure” to her Dark Protector, Devlin and his cohorts seek out their enemy. But who would want to destroy a Paladin? Few people even know of their existence and the ones who do – handlers, doctors, guards, and other Paladins – all know their sacrifice and their importance to all of mankind. Because if the Barrier were to fall, then the Others would see that it was Hell on Earth forever.
Dark Protector was much more than I expected. Alexis Morgan has created a truly original world peopled with dark heroes, brave heroines, and unexpected villains. The mysterious Others that lurk behind the Barrier hide some surprises of their own and the ending of the book hints the Others may not be the enemy that they seem.
Devlin Bane is the perfect anti-hero – dark, brooding, and yet utterly noble. Dr. Laurel Young is smart and sassy, a modern-day heroine who longs for a hero, but certainly doesn’t need one to rescue her. This is simply a great romance and a wonderful thriller. The plot is filled with twists and turns, the romance is steamy, and the dialogue is clever.
The author created fantastical characters who are at the same time very real, not an easy feat. The Paladins, virtually immortal and utterly remorseless in battle, are also very down-to-earth in a rough and tumble way. Laurel Young has a very scientific mind, but is also a real woman with a practical mind and a desperate need for romance. Devlin and Laurel’s romance is believable and quite interesting. I have to admit I’m hooked and anxiously awaiting the next book in the series. If you are a fan of romance, then Dark Protector certainly will offer enough passion to satisfy. If you’re looking for a great fantasy or thriller, this book offers mystery, suspense, and incredible tension. And, if you’re simply looking for a good story very well told, then look no further. Good work, Ms. Morgan. I can’t wait for the next chapter.