Once a warrior for the Others, Barak q'Young is caught between two worlds—exiled from his homeland, and a pariah among his enemies, the Paladins. While hunting a betrayer who's selling the precious blue gems that light the Others' world, Barak must aid geologist Lacey Sebastian in her research for the Paladins. Barak is instantly drawn to the fiery, beautiful woman, but Lacey initially despises the enemy intruder. Soon she sees beyond his violent past, though, finding the dark warrior intriguing—and extremely sexy.
Though neither can resist the passion that blazes between them, Barak is torn between loyalties, hiding a secret gift that could prove useful to Lacey's research, at the sacrifice of his own people. But when Lacey is kidnapped and held hostage, Barak realizes that he will do anything to save her . . . even risk his own life.
This is the 3rd book in the Paladins of Darkness series. Barak q'Young was first introduced in Dark Protector when he saved Laurel Young's life. As an Other, Barak expected to be slain as soon as he crossed the barrier, which is why he crossed over. Instead, Laurel stood between him and his Paladin enemies and Barak found himself living in the very place that his people died trying to reach.
Barak broke my heart in this book. Living among the Paladins, his lifelong sworn enemies, Barak is more than an outcast. He's despised. The only reason that he was allowed to live was because he saved the life of the Paladin leader's mate. Laurel Young was the only thing standing between him and certain death. When he realizes that his presence is hurting Laurel, he goes to Devlin Bane and tells him that he needs to be moved. Little does he know what he's getting into.
Lacey Sebastian has made it her life's work to find out a way to know when the barrier will go down. Though she is at first appalled that she has to work with the enemy, she soon realizes that Barak is as good of a man as her brother is. Unfortunatley for her, her brother is not only a Paladin, but a Paladin that is injured and unable to fight. Since he injured his sword hand, Penn Sebastian has made it his duty to protect Lacey, even more than he usually does. He is more than furious than she has to work with an Other.
Barak wants Lacey, but he refuses to be her dirty little secret. Can you blame the guy? Lacey wants Barak, but she is torn between her desire for Barak and her loyalty to the Paladins. Imagining Penn's reaction to any type of relationship with Barak makes Lacey shudder. The more she gets to know Barak, the more she falls until she realizes that she is in love with someone she has been taught to hate. You really get caught up in the dilemna of these two. Barak wants to take anything Lacey will give, but wants more. Lacey wants Barak, but is scared to reach out and take it.
But Barak has a secret. One that is pretty explosive. See, even though Barak left his people, he still refuses to help the Paladin's kill them. That means that he doesn't tell them that he knows when the barrier will go down. His senses are extremely hightened. He can hear and smell things that an ordinary human and even a Paladin, can't. Though he knows that he can help Lacey achieve her goal, he keeps quiet because he refuses to be a part of the deaths of any more of his people.
One of the best parts of the book was when Devlin and four other Paladin's came over to Barak's house. It was a total "man" get together, compelte with pizza and beer. Barak feelings of friendship with these Paladin's made me want to cry. For months he was barely tolerated by these men and suddenly he finds himself friends with them. Now, when they call him "Other", it's not a derogatory name , it's said with friendly affection. It was also funny to see Devlin Bane becoming friends with Barak when from the time he saved Laurel, he insisted that he only protected Barak out of love for Laurel. Hah.
Alas, there are still people that are trying to find a weakness among the Paladin ranks. When one of these people try to recruit Penn Sebastian, it is with little luck. Though Penn is bitter at his inability to fight, he'll never betray his people. Unfortunately for him, that means that they have to go to further lengths to get his cooperation. Which means that they kidnap Lacey.
When Barak finds out that Lacey was taken, he was just getting ready to cross the barrier back to the other side. That meant certain death, but Barak was determined. Lacey couldn't be with him, he couldn't betray his people, and he couldn't really have a life. It was sad to read. When Penn comes to attack him, accusing him of taking Lacey, Barak has to go after her. Penn and Barak have to work together to find a woman that they both love.
The ending was a good one. I absolutely loved how Barak was accepted within the ranks of the Paladins. I also loved seeing his happiness when he realized that Lacey loved him.
You definitely have to read the first two books before this one.
4 out of 5 stars.