Review: Darkness Before Dawn by Claire Contreras


Darkness Before Dawn (Darkness #2) by Claire Contreras
Claire Contreras (May 31, 2013)

Rating: C+
Heat: Hot

Heroine: Blake Brennan – Kidnapped, Girlfriend 
Hero: Cole Murphy – Sports Caster, Boyfriend 






Before you read this book, which is not a stand-alone, you must read the first book. See my review for There is No Light in Darkness here.

Darkness Before Dawn is the second and final installment in The Darkness Series and it starts exactly where There is No light in Darkness ended—with the mother of all cliffhangers. It’s an understatement to say I was desperate to get my hands on Darkness Before Dawn. I wanted answers! Needless to say, I devoured the book once it was in my possession. Dark, sexy, intense, emotional, mysterious, and one heck of a romance, all make up this a highly suspenseful new adult story. It’s told in alternating POV’s between Blake and Cole.

When the story opens up, Blake Brennan has been kidnapped and she has no idea why. She doesn’t know the men who’ve taken her. She doesn’t know how long she’s been gone. She’s been left in the dark… alone, scared, and physically in bad shape. She’s desperate to see Cole and her family of friends. When Dean comes along, a man who she befriends even though he is one of the bad guys, her desperation and hopelessness starts to dissipate some. Dean becomes her protector from the men who hold her captive. Dean is the only person Blake can trust, where trust is hard to come by in the situation she’s in. Who is Dean? That’s another mystery and one of many plot twists to the story. 

In the meantime, Cole Murphy is desperate to find Blake. He’s falling apart without her. He is using every resource he has to find her and ends up having to turn to someone in his life for help. Someone that he’s been estranged from for many years due to certain circumstances. And that’s when Cole is pulled out of the dark and finds out who is behind the kidnapping and why.

From this point on, the plot thickens. There are many twists and turns and shocking truths revealed. A lot of players are introduced in the game. At times, I found it difficult to keep up with who was who and found myself wanting to create a list of characters so I could keep up. Not only that, but there was a lot of information given at the beginning of the story and the info just kept on coming.  I wish some of the information was spread out over both books. But, even with my frustrations, the suspense and mystery was interesting and exciting enough to keep me on the edge of my seat.

“My soul belongs to you, Blake. I go where you go. I can’t live without you, I don’t want to live without you. If you die tomorrow, I die with you. I don’t know how many times or how many ways I’m going to have to say that you for it to stick, but if I have to say it every single day for the rest of my life, I will.”

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again… I have a mad crush on Cole. He’s such an amazing hero in this story.  He really loves Blake and would do anything, anything for her.  This book doesn’t center around Cole and Blake’s relationship like it did in the first book. Blake and Cole spend a good portion of the story apart. The mystery and family are the main focus of this book. But, when Blake and Cole are brought together, they continue with their intense relationship. A relationship that's a whirlwind of lust, love, and drama. These two may be crazy in love, but they struggle to find a happy medium in the aftermath of Blake’s kidnapping. And Blake makes some irrational decisions that were absolutely frustrating. They eventually work through their relationship issues, which boiled down to the fact that they love each other so immensely, they could never be without one another ever again. With everything they’ve been through on this long and emotional journey, they finally receive the happy ending they truly deserved.

Darkness Before Dawn is a satisfying ending to Blake and Cole’s story. While I did like this book, I loved the first book more. This is mostly because of the many characters I had to keep up with and the information overload. The ending made me very happy to see Blake and Cole finally get peace and closure with their past and present. They can finally look forward to a secure future together. There is no epilogue but, have no worries, the author is writing one. If I was to have one request from the author, please give Dean his own book. I fell hard for the mysterious bad boy.

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