Zach was once the Order of Ancients’ most feared warrior, beating back the hounds of hell to protect the unsuspecting human race. But since he left the Order ten years ago, he’d been living as a mortal…until now. The gates of the underworld are breaking open, and Zach is needed once again in the fight. But before he can answer his summons, there’s one person he refuses to leave behind. Shanna may think Zach has screw loose, spouting all this “hounds of hell” nonsense, but he has to get her to safety. The journey to the Order’s headquarters is a dangerous one, and even a warrior like Zach might not be strong enough to keep the darkness at bay.
I’m a huge fan of this series (see my Ascension review), and the upcoming 2nd novel, Bedeviled, is just as good (review to come), so when I got a chance to review the newest novella, I was eager to dive back into the world of the Dark Breed and the Order. It’s less than 6 hours until the gates of Hell open up, unleashing all matter of beasties and supernatural nastiness on to an unsuspecting public. Zach, who left the Order of Ancients 10 years ago after a Lychen injury almost killed him, is called back to action, but he doesn’t plan on getting anywhere without the woman he loves, Key West cop Shanna. They broke up a while back after Zach confided in her what he used to do for the Order, and her disbelief and refusal to trust him broke his heart. He refuses to leave her to a fate worse than death, and has to kidnap her and show her what lurks beneath to convince him that they must run for their lives. During their journey to St. Augustine, and the relative safety of the Order, Zach realizes that he’s still very much in love with Shanna, and she realizes that her love for Zach never really died either. She proves to be a strong ally and when the gates begin to open, they’ll have to battle some baddies before they can fall safely in one another’s arms.
Before the Fall is a short, quick read at about 100 pages, and you certainly won’t regret your time spent with it. As usual, the authors create a fun world filled with diabolical creatures, and the pacing is lightening fast as our heroes race against time. If you haven’t discovered the Dark Breed series yet, this is a great primer, and will certainly whet your appetite for the awesome world that Sable Grace has created!