From the BLURB:
A woman's hunt for pleasure knows no rules . . . and no boundaries.
Escaping from a tragic past, Natalie Lambert arrives in New Orleans and falls victim to a series of strange, unearthly attacks. Now, for the first time in her life, Natalie aches with sexual desire. Confused, frightened, out of control, she struggles desperately to understand a world that is transforming around her. But soon she will be powerful and magnificent in ways she could never have imagined . . .
A ruggedly handsome Cajun policeman, Detective Rene Broussard has come to rescue Natalie in her time of greatest need. And when he inexplicably wakes in bed beside her—both burning with a lust impossible to deny—he doesn't care that a dark and vengeful enemy has brought them to this moment. All that matters is the irresistible curve of her body, the heat of her passion . . . and the forbidden pleasures the night promises.
With one sharp, sensuous, biting kiss, he will be hers for life . . . and beyond.
Devlin doesn’t really delve into the mythology surrounding her series vampires. It’s unclear whether or not her story is set in an alternate real-world universe, or if vampires are considered science fiction. Rene is a human, but he knows that his police partner, Chessa, is a vampire – he says it very matter-of-factly, which lead me to think that vampires are just a given in the world Devlin has created.
This is the first book in Devlin’s ‘Dark Realm’ series (currently with six books). I don’t really know how she managed to make a series of this book – because there is so little explanation about the universe she’s writing. I’m not particularly interested in reading any more of Devlin’s books, because I was outraged by her writing…
I was honestly quite sickened by ‘Into the Darkness’. Natalie rapes Rene, and is utterly unremorseful, even unaware that what she’s done is wrong (or maybe it’s Devlin who is unaware?). Her vampire ‘pheromones’ act as a sort of date-rape drug, and a covenant of older vampires kidnap Rene and chain him to a bed for Natalie’s feeding/fucking pleasure. First, Natalie has sex with Rene while he’s still unconscious. Then when Rene does wake up he tells Natalie he doesn’t want to have sex with her – he points out that he is chained up and can’t fight her off, he also mentions that her pheromones act as a sort of ‘Viagra’ on him, so that while he appears willing, if he was able to resist he would not choose her. Natalie disregards his protests on several occasions. I was completely shocked and disgusted. Devlin writes these rape scenes with such disregard to the deeper implications – I think Devlin herself is of the same mind as Natalie, believing it’s not rape if the man’s body reacts willingly;
“Raped?” Soft laughter gusted against his lips. Her smile was easy, not the least ashamed. “Maybe at the start, but you wanted it. You came for me.” Her eyes narrowed, and she inserted a hand between their bodies, pushing it down between her legs. Moist, succulent sounds followed before she brought her fingers up to paint his lips. “Wanna taste how hard you came?”
If those sex scenes had been turned around, and it was a woman chained to the bed while a male vampire rutted away I don’t think this book could have, in good conscience, been published. I kept waiting for Devlin to write a moment of clarity for Natalie – a piece of inner monologue in which she is completely disgusted and ashamed of herself. That moment only comes (in a small dose) because Natalie’s vanity is wounded by Rene’s admission that he wouldn’t choose her.
I admit, the sex scenes are hot. There is a particular F/M/F ménage toward the end that is blush-worthy – but the fact that all the sex scenes in the first half of the book are essentially rape is utterly atrocious. Devlin needs to learn that ‘no means no’, regardless of gender.