Review – Nightbred by Lynn Viehl

Nightbred cover image
Publisher: Signet
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher via Netgalley

Jamys Durand has survived being made an immortal Darkyn, horrific torture, and years of grueling warrior training. But he has no future to offer Chris, the mortal woman he loves, without his own territory. When he learns of a lost Templar treasure, Jamys vows to possess it and win his lady’s heart.

No one knows Chris Lang wants to be a tresora so she can live with Jamys, her secret love. Her superiors offer to make her dream come true, but only if she finds the lost treasure before Jamys can. Working together, Chris and Jamys track the jewels through a shadowy maze of priceless artifacts, decadent secrets, and one ruthless opponent who can possess an immortal’s mind…and will stop at nothing to have Chris.
This blurb came from Goodreads.

I have read and enjoyed this author under the name of S. L. Viehl with her Stardoc world. I knew that she had a vampiric series as Lynn Viehl so when we were offered the chance to review Nightbred I decided to give them a try. While I found a couple of superficial similarities between her two voices, I never got confused with who I was reading. As both S. L. Viehl and Lynn Viehl her trademark seems to be building really complex worlds and putting her main characters through some hard times. While Nightbred is the second book of her Lords of the Darkyn series this appears to build on events that have happened in other series and includes characters from those series as well. Given that, I highly recommend that you do not decide to start with this book because I found myself with a lot of questions while I read trying to understand the back history without any context.

Chris struck me as a very determined woman. She had a goal in mind so she figured out the best way to achieve that goal and set to work. She spent several long hard years transforming herself into the epitome of someone who could be trusted as a Darkyn’s right hand human, a job usually passed through a bloodline, all for a chance to be with Jamys. She has to accomplish one last thing and then she will be selected as a tresora. Of course things ended up going rather south at that point. Jamys shows up and instead of falling over himself to get to her, he keeps acting like he is looking for the Chris he remembered, not this calm controlled version. She has a run-in with the leader of a group of refugee Darkyn who thought she was there to serve anyone who asked. Then, Lucan, the Darkyn whose household she was serving in starts acting rather odd and throws her out when she tries to stop him from destroying his relationship with Samantha, his sygkenis (lover/partner/wife?). Despite all of the setbacks Chris continued to push towards her ultimate goal while struggling with nightmares from her past and someone who wants to ruin her future.

Jamys I really didn’t get as much of a feel for because most of his backstory was covered in other books I think. He had been tortured and was working towards his goal of being able to have a life with Chris. When the story opens he is dependent on his father for everything and wants to be independent. So he seizes the chance to go after the lost treasure and prove that he is worthy of his own territory. He gets caught up in the same mess as Chris when Lucan loses his mind and starts destroying his support structure.

I enjoyed what I was able to see of Chris and Jamys getting to know each other again and build their relationship since they had only spent a short period of time together before being physically separated for the past several years. I liked how Jamys didn’t judge Chris for her past and even supported her through a traumatic reminder of how desperate she had been once. I also liked how Chris decided that Jamys was more important to her than her superiors’ plots regardless of the effects of that decision on her goal of becoming a tresora. They also worked well together getting information about the treasure and figuring out their next step.

I do have mixed feelings about Nightbred. Even though Chris and Jamys are the main couple I felt as if their story was upstaged by the events between Sam, Lucan, and the villain who was pulling a lot of strings. I was disappointed in that because it seemed as if their relationship was in place simply to reveal more about the Darkyn world instead of being the center-point of the book. I also thought that the villain was able to get his way far too easily in a variety of ways yet for someone with that amount of power he was vanquished too easily. I also thought what happened with Chris and Jamys at the end of the last confrontation with the villain solved too many of the lingering issues in one fell swoop. I think that the Darkyn world Viehl has built is fascinating, but I just did not pick a good introduction.

I give Nightbred a C-

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