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Review: Darkest Caress (Empowered #1) by Kaylea Cross

Review: Darkest Caress (Empowered #1) by Kaylea Cross

by Rachel ElizabethMay 13, 2012

TLDR Recap:

When realtor Olivia Farrell meets Daegan Blackwell, she believes he’s nothing more than a client, even though she’s undeniably attracted to him. What she doesn’t know is that Daegan is centuries old, and one of the last remaining Empowered in the world…and that he’s also her destined mate. After Liv is attacked by a man with an unusual aura and is rescued by Daegan, she is drawn into the world of the Empowered. Soon she discovers that there is a supernatural war on the way, and Liv’s connection to Daegan makes her the perfect target for his enemies… Darkest Caress is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

  • Title: Darkest Caress
  • Series: Empowered book 1
  • Author: Kaylea Cross
  • Prominent Characters: Olivia, Daegan
  • Recommended Reader Age: 18+
  • Sexual Content: moderate

***This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence!***


Olivia Farrell’s life is relatively normal; she’s a realtor who teaches piano lessons on the side. When a new client shows interest in an expensive mansion, she decides to meet him to show him the property. Liv never expected her client to be someone like Daegan Blackwell. Gorgeous and sexy, Liv is attracted to Daegan immediately, despite the fact that she senses a dangerous edge to him. She has no idea she’s just met her mate, the man she’s destined to spend her life with.

Daegan Blackwell is shocked when he encounters Olivia. He instantly recognizes her as his mate, the one woman who has the power to either save or destroy him. The few remaining Empowered left in the world can’t afford to lose Daegan, as he is their leader, the one who will lead them in the war against the Obsidian Lord and his Dark Army. But Daegan can’t stay away from Liv, since now that he’s met his mate, the Heat Cycle has begun, and his instincts are urging him to mark her and bond with her. To top it off, the threat the Dark Army poses is growing bigger and bigger and Daegan knows it’s only a matter of time before they find him and his brethren.

I really enjoyed Darkest Caress. Liv is the kind of heroine I love to read about; she’s strong, independent, and smart. In the space of a few days, she’s thrust into this new world where the Empowered are fighting to save mankind from the evil beings led by the Obsidian Lord. She has to adjust quickly and come to terms with who she really is and her role in the coming war, but she handles the whole thing really well.

Daegan was such an alpha male, and I love how possessive and protective he was of Liv. The sexual chemistry he had with her was HOT, but he was also so sweet and tender with her. I’m glad that even though he and Liv were immediately attracted to each other, they weren’t instantly in love. Their feelings grew deeper as the book went on, which made their relationship much more realistic.

Another thing I appreciated in Darkest Caress was the villain. The Obsidian Lord wasn’t some one-dimensional bad guy. He was complex, and I’d go from hating him one minute to feeling sorry for him the next. The secondary characters were also well-developed, too. I’m really looking forward to reading more about Cade and, especially, Vaughn. I hope Kaylea is planning a story for Vaughn (I can’t help it, I’m a sucker for the tortured, broken hero), because I definitely think he deserves a HEA.

Darkest Caress was a well-written book with a great combination of romance, suspense, and action. I’m invested in the story and the characters, and I’m eagerly anticipating the next book in the series.

Memorable Quotes:

Now that’s a hard offer to turn down…

He took a predatory step toward her, that knowing smile doing wicked things to her insides.
“You’re backing away but I can smell how much you want me.”
Heat crept up her cheeks. “It’s too soon, and Cade is coming up.” She deserved a freaking medal for keeping her hands off him this long when every cell in her body screamed at her to walk over there and take what was hers.
“Cade won’t interrupt if that’s what you’re worried about.” His eyes held hers. Hypnotic. “You want me. And I promise, I’m more than willing to let you have me.”

Modesty isn’t his strong suit…

“I never thought I’d have a man like you for my own.”
“You mean one with ancient magical powers plus incredible stamina and skill in bed?”

If you liked Darkest Caress…

You might want to check out The Darkest Night, book 1 in the Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter. These books center around a group of elite, supernatural warriors, like Darkest Caress does. Mythology is also a strong element in the Lords books, just like it is in Darkest Caress.

Final Thoughts:

Darkest Caress was a really good start to a new paranormal romance series. I think Kaylea Cross did a nice job developing the world she’s created, so if you’re looking for a hot PNR book with intriguing characters, you should check this one out! Darkest Caress is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

Rating: Darkest Caress


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About The Author
Rachel Elizabeth
I'm an avid reader who loves Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Young Adult books! Despite the fact that my TBR pile is huge, I simply can't stop myself from constantly looking for new reads. I've always loved to read, but my love for books has grown in the past few years (Yes, I admit, Twilight was one of the first PNR books I'd ever read.) Since then, I've discovered many amazing authors and books that I hope to share with more people. Books are an escape for me, and without them..well, life would suck. Alot. Any author who can make me forget about real life by pulling me into their story and getting me to genuinely care about their characters is a good author in my book. I also love authors who write about strong, gorgeous, sexy alpha males. I mean, c'mon, who doesn't love a good alpha male? When I'm not reading (gasp!), I'm usually going to classes, studying, or spending time with family and friends.

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