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Daughters of Darkness

     Near the end of Secret Vampire James Rasmussen speaks these words to his cousin, Ash Redfern:

     “You know, you’ve never really cared about anyone,” he said.  “But someday you will, and it’s going to hurt.  It’s going to hurt—a lot.”

     Daughters of Darkness has James’ words coming true.  Having gone to Briar Creek, Oregon to collect his runaway sisters, Ash meets Mary-Lynnette Carter, a girl with a love of the night and a passion for astronomy.  Incidentally Mary-Lynnette is human, and his soulmate.  From the moment that Mary-Lynnette lays eyes on Ash she knows that there’s something about him that gets to her, that makes rooms turn pink and her heartbeat accelerate.  The feelings are intense, and scary, too scary.  Mary-Lynnette, even once she finds out the reason for these feelings, that Ash and her are soulmates, still fights against them.  For one, she’s made friends with Ash’s sisters who right now are fighting to stay in Briar Creek, not to mention finding out who murdered their aunt.  Ash joins the search for the murderer but the soulmate thing keeps distracting both him and Mary-Lynnette.  The murder and the romance come together one night in the woods where Mary-Lynnette has to fight off a werewolf, a werewolf with a startling identity.  Ash and Mary-Lynnette eventually realize that they can’t fight being soulmates, but that it’s not quite their time to be together yet.  Ash has some things to do first.  Ash also learns to think about someone besides himself and Mary-Lynnette gets what she wanted in the beginning, someone to share the night with.

     Daughters of Darkness is probably the Night World book with the most comedy in it.  The mental pictures I got of Mary-Lynnette swinging back her foot to kick at tough guy Ash had me laughing aloud.  When Mary-Lynnette’s brother Mark meets the youngest sister Jade and she’s dancing to a rent to own radio commercial, well, that was interesting.  So was the romance between Ash and Mary-Lynnette.  It’s the first soulmate relationship of the series that expresses the power of soulmates, and that having one isn’t always easy.  Some have put down this relationship and yet it’s a relationship that works.  Mary-Lynnette becomes the person who isn’t afraid to tell Ash when he’s doing something wrong and Ash brings to Mary-Lynnette the excitement and understanding of the night that she was looking for.  All in all, great book, great plot, great writing.