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Chained by Night (The Moonbound Clan Vampires Book 2) Kindle Edition
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This series imagines a futuristic world where the existence of vampires was revealed to humans and resulted in the vampires being persecuted, hunted, and enslaved. Free vampires formed clans to protect themselves and their race. The Moonbound Clan is lead by enigmatic chief, Hunter, who, due to events from the previous book, is planning to mate with the daughter of another clan's leader, Rasha. Things get complicated when Rasha discovers that she and Hunter are expected to undergo a demon's test to insure the safety of their children. Rasha has no desire to complete such a task and sends her crippled twin sister, Aylin, in her place.
Hunter and Aylin were just amazing as individual characters and as a couple. They both had difficult childhoods with Hunter growing up under a dictator-like father and Aylin being constantly persecuted for being the second twin and having a lame leg. I really admired Aylin's determination and kind nature which was never beaten out of her. She is willing to do these seemingly impossible tasks in order to save her sister's future children all while knowing that she is to marry another ruthless clan leader as soon as Rasha and Hunter are mated. For his part, Hunter is a typical Ione hero with a tendency to be arrogant, but just a big softie underneath it all. He is determined to be a good leader for his clan though he often feels like he can never do enough.
It was obvious from their first meeting, these two had a certain spark that they were forced to battle for much of the story. I am a huge fan of forbidden romances especially in paranormal fiction so I thoroughly enjoyed seeing them figure out how to be together without causing a huge vampire war. Larissa Ione does not pull any punches with this book. It is dark, sensual, and very violent. The tasks that Aylin and Hunter endure were not for the faint of heart and the descriptions sometimes made my stomach turn. There were also plenty of vampire/human and vampire/vampire fights that were not lacking in detail. Despite the dark tone, Ione also shows off her patented sense of humor and deeply romantic soul.
Chained By Night also continues to grow the world of the MoonBound Clan through its large secondary cast. There is Rasha, Aylin's sister, who appears cruel and selfish, but might have a heart under there somewhere. Readers of the first book get to see Riker, Nicole, and Bastien make fun re-appearances that did more than just show off how happy they were. And then there's Myne, the vampire warrior who was enslaved by humans and had his fangs removed by scientists. I was intrigued by Myne in Bound By Night, but I really fell for him in this book. He broke my heart on many occasions especially when his connection to Hunter's past was revealed. I'm definitely hoping that Ione focuses on him next.
In conclusion, I was completely enthralled by this book from beginning to end. Larissa Ione is one of my favorite paranormal writers and Chained By Night only reaffirmed that designation. She knows how to make her readers connect to her characters and constantly rethink their motivations. Plus she knows how to write some steamy romance! Highly recommended!
Chained by Night takes up a couple of months after the end events in Bound by Night. Hunter is preparing for his mating to ShadowSpawn's heir Rasha, something he's not looking forward to at all. Regardless of his feelings he plans to honor the agreement. The only catch, if there is a child born between Rasha and Hunter, that first born will have to be given up to a demon as stipulated upon the creation of the first generation vampires. It is something Hunter cannot even contemplate. In order to avoid this "tradition" Hunter will have to go through and pass a series of tests that few have even tried. In order to survive the tests he'll have to place his trust in one of the ShadowSpawn twins. Hunter already knows Rasha cannot be trusted. Upon seeing Aylin for the first time he's drawn to her, but still he doesn't know how much he can trust her.
Aylin has always been the second born twin. It doesn't help matters that she was born disfigured. She dreams of being free from vampire politics, especially those of her father. She won't let go of her dreams. Aylin is accompanying her sister Rasha to MoonBound to attend to her before the mating ceremony. After that Aylin is supposed to be sent to NightShade to become another mate to their clan leader. It's not what she wants by any means, but she's resigned to her fate, and she keeps dreaming for better. She's attracted to Hunter the moment she sets eyes on him. Seeing that he's to be mated to her sister (who's strong and whole), Aylin knows that nothing can come of her attraction. When Aylin volunteers to accompany Hunter on his tests, it'll bring the two closer than they ever thought.
I thought Chained by Night better expanded the world that started in Bound by Night. I loved being immersed in just the vampire world and learning more about clan dynamics. Larissa Ione set this book up perfectly at the end of Bound by Night so there wasn't too much surprising in that regard. What was surprising was the character development, specifically with the secondary characters. We already know that Aylin has had a rough life but despite all of that she remains kind. It was more her sister Rasha that drew my attention. She's known as a cold-hearted tough warrior and she hasn't exactly been treating her twin too well all these years either. But surprisingly there are moments where we see that she does, indeed, in her own way care for Aylin. It's just been drilled into her head for so long that Aylin is deformed and is at the bottom of the totem pole, so to speak, that she's beneath Rasha's attention and I think something Rasha would get caught up with being the first born and all the attention that brought her she kind of went with the crowd. This by no means excuses her actions towards her sister, but I thought it was interesting how Larissa Ione decided to play their relationship.
Things between Hunter and Aylin progress as expected, but I loved it anyway. There was enough forbidden love to satisfy me.
Chained by Night didn't end of the cliffhanger that Bound by Night did, but there are definitely new developments that will have to be dealt with in future books. Things between the humans and vampires took a back seat to set up the dynamics between the different clans. Larissa Ione also does a great job of setting up favorite characters who you want to read their story. I have a couple lined up that I would love to see get their own time in the spotlight, hopefully this comes to pass.
So far, with two books out, this series has been worth the read, and will more than likely be added to my auto-buy list.