All Things Wicked (Dark Mission #3) by Karina Cooper
Publisher: Avon/Jan. 2011
Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy
Dark Mission Series
Kind thanks to Avon for providing a review copy
CJuliet Carpenter thought of the coven as family, but when she falls for a man who betrays them all, she’s left alone and desperately searching for a reason why. Caleb Leigh has spent the past year in hiding, unable to escape his demons. When Juliet finds him again, her need for vengeance clashes with the hunger still burning between them.
It’s a fight born from the embers of a half-forgotten attraction and the wounds of a past too raw to ignore. With enemies circling and secrets threatening to consume them, Caleb has no choice but to fulfill a promise made long ago—protect her, save her. Even if it costs him his blood, his body . . . and what’s left of his mind.
REVIEW (No spoilers, but if you haven’t started the series, you can read my review for Blood of the Wicked here)
If you’re not new to the Dark Mission series, you may remember that Caleb Leigh was the bad guy in the first book, Blood of the Wicked. We’re talkin’ brutal, ritualistic murder, betrayal, all kinds of icky. So, when I saw that he was the hero of the newest book, I was skeptical. Not to worry, though, Karina Cooper won’t let you down. All Things Wicked opens with Juliet Carpenter, sister of a woman that Caleb supposedly killed, getting the drop on Caleb and attempting a little murder herself. Juliet’s heart isn’t quite in it though, and Caleb manages to get the upper hand and save his own skin. Unfortunately, Juliet calls down the forces of the Coven of the Unbinding and realizes that she may have bit off way more than she can chew. Caleb and Juliet find themselves on the run; not only for their lives, but from a dark secret that threatens them both.
Karina Cooper has a gift for gritty, dark worldbuilding; something she’s proven time and again during the course of the Dark Mission series, and All Things Wicked is no exception. When Caleb and Juliet go on the run in the New Seattle underground, the descriptives are so good you may find yourself longing for sunshine before they emerge. Another hallmark of this series is the brutal passion between the couples. Juliet is a little different from previous heroines, in that she’s a little bit softer, a little less tough, but that’s just a few of the reasons why Caleb is so drawn to her, and their longing and attraction is sexy and intense, but somehow, Juliet manages to maintain her innate sweetness, which one would think would be near impossible to do in their dark world. We finally find out the why of Caleb’s previous actions, and even though the why is easy to forgive, they’re still shocking in their brutality, but that’s what gives Caleb his edge, and makes him such a flawed, yet sympathetic, hero. There’s a reappearance of Silas and Jessie from Blood of the Wicked, as well as Naomi West from Lure of the Wicked (and others), and a plot involving a rather nasty conspiracy involving DNA manipulation rounds out this top shelf paranormal romance. The author seamlessly weaves multiple plotlines together, while managing to bring the heat between Juliet and Caleb, and maintaining the uber dark, urban atmosphere with taut prose and a breakneck pace. All Things Wicked is not to be missed by paranormal romance and urban fantasy fans alike!