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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2011

Rush of Darkness is the seventh book in the Primal Instinct Series by Rhyannon Byrd. This story picks up from the ending of Touch of Temptation and would have to be my favourite in the series so far.

Seth McConnell is a former Vampire Hunter, and now a human member of the Watchmen, a highly skilled organisation of shifters whose job it is to keep watch over ancient non-human races.

Seth was only a teen when a rogue nest of vampires brutally murdered his family, hellbent on seeking his own revenge he has spent 20 years of his life as a collective soldier trying to find and kill vampires.

I loved Seth as a hero, a tortured past caused him a lot of pain; he had a fierce protective streak, determination and the strength similar to that of his fellow watchmen.

Raine Spenser is unique amongst the ancient clans; part Deschanel vampire and part Alacea psychic, she is on a mission to avenge her murdered sister & destroy the Casus who abused her mentally, physically and emotionally whilst being held capive. She is riding a dangerous high fueled by hatred, the emotion making her feel stronger yet slowly destroying her soul.

Seth has felt an unwanted attraction towards Raine since he helped to rescue her, he is drawn to her for reasons he doesn't quite understand and is determined to help her find & kill her sister's murderers and protect her against the evil Westmore, a Kraven vampire who wants Raine & her rare abilities for himself.

I thoroughly enjoyed the romance between Seth & Raine, after what she had been through it took her time to trust Seth, especially knowing of his past & hatred towards her kind. Their growing feelings towards one another was complex and something they both feared. Once they both get past their issues the chemistry between them is amazing.

Even though this is the 7th book in the series, I feel it could also be read as stand-alone, Rhyannon provides enough of a back-story to understand what is happening without getting confused.

It is always a struggle for me to put a Ryhannon Byrd novel down & Rush of Darkness was no exception, it held my attention from the very first page.

I can't wait to read the next Primal Instincts book, Rush of Pleasure to see what lies ahead with this new threat.

An excellent series!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2011
My first book with vamps in quite some time, and I must say I'm excited. To be fair I have to mention this is book 7 in this series, and I have not read any of the other books. I normally do not like jumping into a series (or in the case towards the end of a series), but I decided to give it a go. If this book is captivating and I enjoy it, I'll go back and buy the six books preceding it, and it will be a tribute to the authors ability to bring in new readers. Of course there is always the possibility that I would be wildly confused, but now it's time for the actual review!

I would like to start off saying how impressed I was that I was able to enter into a book so far along in a series and catch on so quickly. In the first few chapters there were little snippets of background information. It wasn't gushed out all at once, but rather a slow build up revealing the events that had transpired in the previous books in the series. And while I think I did miss out on the dynamics of all the characters (because I hadn't had the six previous books of build up to fall back on), by about midway through the books I liked the characters enough to really identify with them.

For a paranormal romance series, I can certainly understand why this series has lasted as long as it has. It reminded me a little bit of the Keri Arthur Riley books. The sex scenes were not cheesy (huge plus), although I got the distinct feeling there was entirely to much talking. The two characters of Raine and Seth would be literally in the throws and then there would be two pages of dialogue, and it was always heavy dialogue, and the suddenly after two pages of talking, Byrd made it seem like they were still going at it during this intense conversation, which didn't really fit.

Seth and Raine were definitely at odds with each other throughout the book, and it took a lot for them to even find a way to work together. Most of the time them being at odds just made their chemistry all the more better, and made me more interested in the characters. But towards the end of the book, when they were having the same argument for the 30th time with the same exact language I kinda wanted to knock the two of them upside the head with a heavy book.

Because I went into this book not knowing the back story about the bad guys I don't think I would have the same reactions as people who have been following the series. Westerman seems to be a formidable bad guy, although I can tell from recall within this book, that if I had read the previous books, this guy would have evoked a serious hatred from me. Since there wasn't a lot of information on the him in this book, just really the continued hunt for him, I rooted for Raine and Seth but didn't have the same kind of hatred for him I would have had if I knew had actually read the books where Raine was captured.

Overall I think this is a good book, I think the reader of paranormal romance are going to enjoy it and this series. If you don't like a book with a lot of sex in it though then this is not your book. I have to say that after reading this book, the first six books are going on my to buy list, and I am very curious to see what happens next as this series comes to an end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Raine is half vampire, half psychic... recovering from a kidnapping marked by torture and rape. Her body is back in shape, but her powers have weakened, and she holds on to the anger and need for revenge inside her, to go on. Her plan is to kill the demon-like Cassus who murdered her sister. But every time she goes after one, she risks her own life.

Seth is the human who rescued Raine from her captivity. He works along with the Watchmen --warriors who fight evil -- though he was once a rouge vampire-killer himself. Those were years he spent taking his own vengeance after vamps killed his family and tortured him to the brink of death. But he has realized now that not all vampires are evil. In fact, he has been drawn to Raine ever since he saved her.

He manages to track her down and becomes wrapped up in her mission. She is attracted to him too and it's obvious these two are meant to be together. But here's the thing... the woman was gang raped by a bunch of evil entities not very long ago. Yes, she took her mind to another place for the worst of it, but these wounds are still fresh. It's understandable that she would be wary of giving herself to a man. Yet Seth essentially challenges her... telling her she'll give in to him. This bothered me. But his plan works. He's not a total brute, thankfully. The guy has his own history of being attacked and violated. He has a lot of his own issues to work through.

Together, Raine and Seth learn to navigate through each other's extensive emotional issues, while working together to hunt down the bad guys. There's heavy sexual tension and some solid love scenes as payoff.

In the meantime, there is extensive world-building at play. After all, this is book 7 in the Primal Instinct series. But the author does a really good job, bringing new readers up to speed on the mythology. There were moments here or there where I was little fuzzy, but for the most part I felt like I knew what was going on. It was enjoyable even for me, as someone with no history with the series. I just wish a little more care had been paid to Raine's post-rape recovery. Almost 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 11, 2011
I know "Rush of Darkness" was a suspense story and one filled with intense action and the complex paranormal elements, but what stuck out to me most was the amazing love story created by Rhyannon Byrd.
The author created suspense right from the opening pages with setting and the back story not only of the novel, but of her hero and heroine, Seth and Raine. I felt the storm brewing immediately between many types of paranormal characters, echoed in Seth and Raine. Speaking of storms, the author's descriptions are mostly fantastic, detailed analogies and metaphors, most as accurate as they are haunting. Here's a great example: `...his scent imprinted on her brain like a tattoo inked into tender skin.'
An element I love of romantic suspense is when an author sets a scene, builds and builds the suspense, putting the heroine right in the midst of danger--the life or death kind--and then boom, brings on the addition of passion. Ms. Byrd did this several times, on the verge of a kill in walks alpha male...delicious.
Along those same lines, I think when extreme opposites attract, not just different, but one that at one time lived to kill the other, it creates more suspense in the actual romance. This makes secrets and pasts so much more. This author does all of this type of complexity so well.
"Rush of Darkness" was one of those wonderful edge-of-your-seat stories where my hands clasped around the book (or eReader in my case) until my fingertips were white, screaming in my mind, just kiss the girl already and don't anyone in the house interrupt me before she does. In fact, I was wondering as I raced through the words if I was ever going to get to a stopping point to take a few notes to write this review. What stands out most to me, now having finished it, is that I came into this series in the seventh book and this heroine and hero still will rank up there with some of the most well-developed characters I have ever read: such depth, such emotion and such struggle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 4, 2011
The overall plot wasn't fleshed out - not enough events to make it interesting. Everyone is on a quest to get twelve markers, but we are never shown anything about finding them which could have been interesting. We are just "told" that certain characters finally have them. It seemed like most of the book was arguing between Seth and Raine and pondering by Seth and Raine. He wanted her and acted like it. She wanted him but wouldn't follow her feelings. She felt they could never have a relationship for various reasons. That was most of the story rather than what was going on with the evil guys. I had a hard time staying interested. Unfortunately I wanted it to be over, and I skimmed a few parts. The sex scenes seemed ok, but I wasn't that interested. I don't know why.

I recall other authors taking me inside the heads of bad guys causing me fear and anxiety. I never felt anything like that here. Instead we are told after the fact that she was tortured and raped. We are told about other bad-guy actions as well, but not in a way that elicited feelings.

It might have been interesting to see the motivations and events causing Seth to stop killing vampires and start helping them. It might have been good to understand why or how Seth (a human) was able to kill paranormal creatures. I have not read any other books in this series, so if that was answered in a previous book, I don't know.

Raine is half vampire and half psychic. She was imprisoned by Westmore for a month. She was tortured and raped and grieves because he killed her sister. She was rescued by Seth and some Watchmen.

Seth is human. Vampires killed his family. For many years he went on a revenge spree killing vampires. He stopped that and now has joined vampires and others in the fight against Westmore and the Casus. Although Seth is human, he is able to fight and kill vampires, Casus, and almost anything else.

All of that is told as background and now the story begins. Raine is on a mission to kill everyone who raped or tortured her. Seth follows her to help. She wants to do this without his help, but Seth saves her life more than once because she is not competent enough to do it alone. But she keeps running off to do it, and he keeps following to save her. (This implies stupidity on her part.)

The good guys and the bad guys are trying to beat each other in finding twelve hidden markers which can do powerful things. Almost no time (or very little time) is spent showing why they were hidden, where they are, and the process of finding them. The result is the marker part of the story feels more like background than current action.

Story length: 368 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 7. Estimated number of sex scene pages: 37. Setting: current day various places in Europe. Copyright: 2011. Genre: paranormal romantic suspense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 29, 2011
I can't exactly pinpoint the reason why, but there is something seriously sexy about paranormal romances that involve a human on one side and a paranormal being on the other end. Book 7 in the Primal Instinct Series takes this one step further where the ultra sexy and uber alpha hero is the human whilst the strong and yet endearingly vulnerable heroine turns out to be the paranormal being.

Rush of Darkness is the story of Raine Spenser and Seth McConnell. Their story began in Touch of Temptation, book 6 of the series which I reviewed earlier. Seth McConnell is an ex-hunter who has spent the past 20 years of his life slaughtering every vampire that he could get his hands on. Raised in Southern California, Seth had been a young teenager when a rogue nest of vampires had taken away everything that mattered to him and nearly killed and destroyed him in the process as well. His salvation had come in the form of the Collective Army whose aim it has been to remove all traces of paranormal existence from Earth. Driven by rage and the thirst for revenge, Seth had honed himself into a lethal killing machine, unstoppable and feared by the creatures that he hunts down until circumstances force him to take stock of his life and what was actually happening to turn his life around and start working for his lifelong enemy.

Raine Spenser is unique amongst ancient clans; part Deschanel vampire and part Alacea psychic, Raine had been brought up in a loving home by parents who had adored each other and their children. Having led a pretty much sheltered life, Raine had been working for charities that had been investigating the effect of deforestation as her work as an environmentalist when she had been kidnapped by Ross Westmore, a Kraven vampire who gets his high from the thrill of victory. Westmore's plan is one that is bound to destroy the world and plunge it into darkness and chaos which is what the Watchmen - a group of shape shifters who watch over the clansmen and women of their preternatural world are trying to prevent. Held against her will over a month during which Raine has suffered numerous forms of physical, mental and emotional abuse from her captors, it is a tortured and guilt-ridden Raine that emerges from her captivity at the hands of a mad man.

Seth's fascination for Raine from the very moment he carries her in his arms after her rescue from Westmore is an unexplainable one. His need to drive away the haunting look that has settled deep inside of Raine and the electric way in which his body reacts to Raine's mere presence has him at first running away from how he feels but inevitably finds himself unable to stay away from the one woman he wants to claim as his own more than he has wanted anything else in his life.

Raine's emotions when it comes to the human soldier is as complex as his feelings towards her. Fear of her growing feelings towards a man who had previously made it his life's mission to destroy her species has Raine pushing him away masking her need for the fierce warrior who stands in front of her with a loathing that she can't seem to summon. Her dreams of them entwined in lovers embraces has Raine pushing up the shields that guard her emotions and heart more fiercely than ever. But as moths drawn towards flame, these two can only deny their explosive feelings towards each other for so long and it is a combustive coming together if there ever was one that has these two finally taking things to the next level.

However, their journey towards happily ever after is not an easy one. Continuous danger from Westmore who sets in motion an elaborate plan to turn the war that is brewing onto the side of evil once and for all nearly destroys both Raine and Seth and the fragile bond that seems to have forged between the two. The need to protect one another from danger has each of them engaged in a battle of wills with the other, and it is only with ultimate trust and learning to let go of their pasts that would bring about true happiness to two souls who deserve it more than anyone else in the primal instinct world.

This one wins by far on all fronts in the Primal Instinct series for me. I loved the uniqueness the fact Seth the hero being the human brought into the story. Regardless of the fact he is a human, his wants and needs are as ferocious and as primal as the shape-shifters that I have come across in the series. And Seth totally wins my heart and soul as my favorite hero from the series with his tortured broodiness that makes him so very much appealing. I loved the fact that explicitly drawn out sex scenes weren't what drove the story right from the very 1st chapter itself, but rather the sexual tension that simmers between Raine and Seth is drawn out, making their ultimate surrender a very explosive and unforgettable one. Don't let me forget Raine, whose character and what she suffered at the hands of a monstrous species makes her so vulnerable but even then it makes her a determined one in her need for revenge on a group of men who had taken away something from her life that can never be replaced.

All in all, a tortured, hot as sin alpha hero that had my salivary glands working over time, a heroine that needed a bit of TLC and a knock on the head or two to figure out that Mr. Tortured and Hotness himself was here to stay, with the continuous adventure that is always a part of this series makes this book a huge 5-star winner for me. Very highly recommended for fans of the series and fans of Rhyannon Byrd. Mind you, you can always read this book as a standalone without much hassle because Ms. Byrd doesn't make her supernatural world a complex one, but rather she keeps her explanations simple, drawing the reader in and making you feel right at home with all the species that crops up in between.


Reviewed by Maldivian Book Reviewer
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 13, 2011
Rush of Darkness by Rhyannon Byrd is the seventh book in the Primal Instinct Series. This story picks up from the ending of Touch of Temptation. The heroine, Raine Spenser, is a dhampire whose father was a vampire and her mom's human lineage gives her strong psychic powers. Because of her powerful psychic powers inherited from her mother and her vampire heritage, Raine was held prisoner by an evil brute. During the time she was held, Raine suffered unspeakable emotional and physical horrors. Now that she is free, she is out for vengeance.

Seth McConnell, former Vampire Hunter, is a human member of the Watchmen - a group of shape-shifters who assist in keeping order in the supernatural community. Seth is one of the members of the Watchmen who rescued Raine from her torturers. His attraction to Raine is strong and his need to protect her just as powerful. However, his past is leveraged by deep emotional scarring, as well.

Raine and Seth team up to take down the monsters who hurt her. This adventure pits the hero and heroine head on with both of their tragic histories. On this joint mission, these two allies draw closer together and are entrenched in their common passions. The attachment they share aids in healing deep emotional wounds for both by allowing for a complete catharsis which in turn, allows them to trust in their true feelings for each other.

Rhyannon Byrd does a wonderful job of putting together a memorable adventure and romance. To enjoy this novel, it is not necessary to have read the previous books in this series. The reader will be enmeshed in a powerful tale full of action, love, and emotional healing. I encourage you to pick up the book, curl up in your favorite chair, and the this story take you away to a unique world of supernaturals. You will not regret this paranormal experience.

Happy Reading from Bona Fide Reflections!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2011
This is Rhyannon Byrd's latest book in her Primal Instincts book, and the best so far. It brings to a close the search for the Markers, and solves the mystery of how to use them.

Raine Spenser is on a mission to destroy the Casus monsters who raped and murdered her younger sister while trying to make Raine talk. She believes she is alone in this mission, until Seth McConnel shows up, determined to save her from herself. She doesn't have time for the feelings Seth arouses in her, not while vengeance is all she can think about. Besides that, he is human, and she is half Deschanel vampire and half Alacea psychic.

Rogue vampires destroyed Seth's family, and he was tortured as well, so his attraction to Raine confuses them both. But when he invokes an ages old binding between Raine and him, he ensures that he can be there to help her in her mission. Can this human soldier and the wounded vampire/psychic find a way to get over the past and work together? More than that, can they find a way to a happy ever after together, or is Raine too broken to move on?

I enjoyed watching as the main characters in this book fought against the attraction pulling at them, a battle they were destined to lose in the end.

Raine is determined to avenge her sister's murder, all on her own. She feels broken inside, sure she should have done something to prevent what happened. She is strong in spirit, and growing stronger physically every day, since her rescue. She doesn't understand her reaction to the very human Seth McConnell. She is mystified by his determination to help her with her self appointed goal. Raine has self esteem issues, and has difficulty trusting as well.

Seth McConnell is a soldier; strong, sexy and determined to protect Raine, even from her own actions. After losing his family to rogues, he joined the Collective and destroyed the vampires he hated. But he soon became aware that, just like human beings, there were good and bad vampires, and he left the Collective before it became corrupt. He doesn't understand his strong attraction to Raine, or how he can always `find' her wherever she is. He just knows she is his to protect, and that he will do so no matter what.

The interaction between Seth and Raine becomes hotter as time goes by, and there are several `almost' encounters between them before they finally give in to the inevitable. There is, of course, the plotting by Westmore, the evil Casus behind most of Raine's troubles. We discover the purpose of Markers, and the Casus have been defeated...for now. What lies ahead for those who have been fighting this war is a new threat, and I look forward to seeing how all of our heroes and heroines from this series will regroup to face the new evil emerging. Do Raine and Seth work past their issues to a hot and happy life together? You will have to read Rush of Darkness to find out.

Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews
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on June 11, 2011
Raine Spenser is a half-breed - part powerful psychic and part vampire. After being kidnapped by a Kraven for her abilities, and then rescued by the Watchmen, Raine has had a terrible time healing and coming to terms with everything that happened while she was held. Now physically well, there is only one thing that Raine wants - revenge and payback.

Seth McConnell spent many years hating and killing vampires but his eyes have been opened since joining the Watchmen. Seth has discovered that vampires are just like humans and shifters in that there are good and bad people in every species. But he never expected to feel the deep attraction, and need to protect like he does with Raine. She might be part vampire but she is all desirable woman.

Raine is surprised when Seth appears and although he doesn't agree with her plans, he can understand them. Even more shocking to Raine is his demand to work with her, and how he makes it happen. There is passion just at their fingertips that threatens to explode at any instant. Both Seth and Raine have things in their past that might make that passion impossible, but amazingly Seth seems more willing then Raine. Raine's stubbornness about their relationship and her need for the ultimate revenge, is frustrating Seth. When the final battle happens, are Raine and Seth going to help the Watchmen be victorious, or will the conflict between them give the Casus what they always wanted?

Can you love something you once hated? Seth and Raine will find the answer to this in Rush of Darkness. Wow, wow, wow, and I just had to get that out of the way right off! I wondered if Seth would ever unwind enough to get a story but I would have never imagined a heroine like Raine. Good thing I'm not the writer because she was the exact person for Seth. I loved how Raine and Seth worked though every aspect of their lives that might have torn them apart. The emotional pull was extreme but so necessary for these two. I was alternately happy for them and despairing they would not end up together. I so want to tell you more about what happens but you know all I can say is, you have to read to find out. What I can say is that many questions were answered and the final battle was awesome. However, of course, Ms. Byrd left us with a hint of things to come that are just as intriguing. Rush of Darkness is an edge of your seat, cool drink in hand story that you can't put down. Needless to say, it's a must read to be Joyfully Recommended.

If you haven't been reading the Primal Instinct series, my suggestion is that you begin at the beginning and follow them through. The situations and characters just build upon each other as it goes on.

Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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VINE VOICEon March 30, 2011
Quick! You're born a vampire. Well you're a vampire and you're a psychic as well. You were held captive for a long time by a very evil man who tortured and killed your sister to get information from you. The man who saved you is also the same man who used to hunt vampires for a living, yet you find that you're strangely attracted to him, and he seems to be just as attracted to you. Now, what do you do?

It may sound a bit out there, but that is the basis behind the tale Rush of Darkness, written by Rhyannon Byrd. I was actually worried, before I began reading this, that I was going to be getting in over my head. The author has actually written an entire series based on the characters in this book, and I was concerned that I would not have any idea what was going on because I haven't read any of the other books.

But Ms. Byrd, thankfully, is one of those rare authors who knows how to do a very tricky thing: to pull new readers into the series no matter where they may happen to start. So even though I had no idea who Raine Spenser and Seth McConnell were, I was able to quickly and easily get the gist of what had happened, and what the main objective was. That means that I didn't spend 3/4 of the time reading the book drooling onto my Kindle, and that's a good thing because I love my Kindle and don't want to hurt it. And it hates drool.

Where were we? Oh, right. So Raine is a psychic vampire who was captured and tortured for quite awhile. Seth rescued her. But that was months ago - now Raine is healed (mostly) and is after the men who tortured and killed her sister. Seth, one of the few humans who has the necessary skills to kick some serious other-world butt, has felt a strange connection with Raine ever since he helped to rescue her, even though he's spent years tracking down and killing her kind. He had his reasons, and they're good ones, but that doesn't make the fact that he's crushing on her any easier for him.

The two wind up cohorts in vengeance, seeking out the men who killed Raine's sister, all the while trying to deal with what they're feeling for each other. And having some seriously hot sex (eventually).

Pros: Just the fact that you can pick this book up and enjoy it, without ever having read any of the Primal Instinct series that Ms. Byrd has written, makes this author deserve serious applause. I wasn't confused at all, nor did I feel as though I had to read all of the other books just to catch up first. But the book was also so good that now I want to read all of the other books!!

One thing I loved is that the author focused on the main two characters rather than focusing on the big picture. Often when you read stories about some epic adventure that is spread out over multiple books, you wind up having to learn about a bunch of characters really quickly because they're always together to achieve their goal. With this series, however, the author has opted to do something much more intelligent - she spreads out the characters throughout the book. So while they're all working towards the same goal, they're spread out over Europe, giving you the chance to know just a few characters and how they're involved. And then, when you see other characters appear in the story that you've already read about, you can say "oh, yeah, I know who they are".

And the sex scenes? Oh so hot.

Cons: The biggest con? THAT IT ENDED!! I wanted to know more! I wanted to follow Raine and Seth's adventure even further. Guess that's why it's good that it's a series, huh?

Rating: BUY IT WHEN RELEASED - if you're someone who's into paranormal romance (and steamy hot sex scenes...did I mention the sex scenes?) pick it up as soon as it's available!
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