"I can hit it and quit it with the best of them."
Brides of the Kindred, book twelve
Published August 22nd 2014
Mei-Li Hastings is in trouble. She’s Dream Sharing with a Kindred warrior. Normally that’s a regular part of being claimed by one of the tall, handsome aliens who came to Earth looking for brides. But in Mei-Li’s case, nothing is normal. The dreams she’s having show a huge, frightening male with a red laser for an eye and a metal arm. The man who’s coming to claim her is a Dark Kindred—one of the emotionless denizens of Zeaga Four where love is unknown and feelings are outlawed.
Six has risen steadily in the ranks of the Collective since his inclusion into the Dark Kindred at age fourteen. Now, to his dismay, he is suddenly having dreams he cannot ignore—dreams of a girl with dark eyes and silky black hair who fears him desperately. Despite the fact that he is supposed to feel nothing, Six finds himself drawn to the girl. And when he is ordered by his superior to claim her, he comes in search of his future bride.
Now they are locked in a struggle of light versus dark...cold versus warmth. For when Mei-Li is near him, Six’s frozen heart begins to thaw. Though the Dark Kindred warrior is determined not to commit “Feel-crime” he cannot contain the emotions growing within him for the petite girl he snatched from Earth. But with the newfound feelings of love and desire, come some much darker feelings. In order to love Mei-Li, Six will have to face the darkness within and a tragic past he has locked away for years.
Will he survive the memories that surface…or will they drive him mad?
Oh my, but I do love that cover. The Dark Kindred, Six, was first introduced in the last book as his paths crossed with Garron and Tess and he quickly became the highlight of even their story. An inhabitant of Zeaga Four, Six has subjected himself to numerous physical enhancements, including an emotion damper. He feels nothing. As he should since it's literally against the law to feel anything on Zeaga Four.
He doesn't want a bride. Has even sworn, with others, to never take one. But that doesn't stop the dream sharing he begins to have with Mei-Li. When conspiracies beyond Six's knowledge and control force him to Earth to claim Mei-Li, he does so with great reservation, insisting that it be a stress free, simple claiming with full intent on returning her to Earth once the process is complete. Obviously, Six knows nothing about the Claiming or what it means to take a bride. Truly, the first 'alien' of them all.
"Say I'm not the only one falling helplessly to my doom."
This story takes us back to what the first few of the series were like, focusing on the Claiming. Unfortunately Mei-Li and Six don't make it beyond week two of the month long process but everything does work out in the end. Despite Six going all suicidal and all after the removal of his failing emotion blocker and being forced to relive the deaths of his family while the pain of it backlashes threefold.
The next book, Cursed, seems to be built on completely new territory with a Kindred who's Cursed, feeling the physical pain of whomever is near. Since his kind rarely live passed forty, they don't claim brides either. Trapped on Earth after war has been declared, Stavros has been taken into custody by an EPB agent named Charlie Sayers who thinks the entire bride draft is ridiculous. So it's doubtful she's even registered. Cursed is due out this fall.
3 out of 5 stars.