Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Immortal Unchained

Immortal Unchained: An Argeneau Novel by [Sands, Lynsay]

Immortal Unchained (an Argeneau Novel) - Lynsay Sands
Release Date: March 28, 2017

Rating (out of 5):

Warning: Potential Spoilers!

Synopsis: Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape…

Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like…


Domitian Argenis has known Sarita is his life mate for nearly 15 years. He's waited for her to grow up and become her own person, all the while imagining how he would arrange for them to 'accidentally' meet, how he would romance her, and they would live happily ever after.  None of those fantasies involved him going to the secluded island of a maniac to try and rescue Sarita, or being drugged and waking up chained to a table in a lab where he and Sarita are being held prisoner.  Not quite the romantic beach retreat he'd fantasized about.  Sarita flew to the island off Venezuela to see her grandmother and ended up drugged and trapped with a strange man who claims he's a vampire and she's his life mate. They have to learn to work together to free not just themselves, but all the other victims of a mad scientist.

Long time readers of the Argeneau series have been waiting for this book for awhile.  Sands has been building us up to this Island of Dr. Moreau reminiscent story for the last few books now (Immortal Nights, Runaway Vampire) and Immortal Unchained does not disappoint.  Dr. Dressler is every bit the mad scientist whacko we figured he'd be, and then some!  On the one hand he readily admits that immortals are pretty much people just like anyone else, with families and lives and loved ones.  On the other, he has no problem kidnapping all the immortals he can get his hands on and experimenting on them.  Is he trying to learn how to recreate the original Atlantean nanobot technology?  Does he want to become immortal himself?  Is he just a sick mad scientist who likes torturing people in as many ways as possible?  Does it have to be just one of those?  (hint: no, it doesn't.  Remember, he's a psycho)

Fortunately, the mad doctor doesn't get too much "onscreen" time.  He has set up a remote location as a "romantic getaway" for Sarita and Domitian and they know whatever experiment he's set up, they want no part of it.  It was a lot of fun getting to know Sarita and Domitian and watching them get to know each other while they work on escaping.  Domitian is a great guy who blends complete sincerity with some very smooth lines.  How can you not fall for a man who learned to cook so he could woo his life mate with amazing food (though he didn't eat at the time) and quotes The Princess Bride?  Likewise Sarita is a modern, independent, practical woman who became a cop so she could make a difference and help people.  She has no intention of sitting around and waiting for someone to save her when she can do it herself.  She takes most of the craziness of the island in stride- it's hard to say vampires don't exist when the proof is right there.  There is a great scene where they are getting to know each other and Sarita asks about Domitian's past.  She's able to handle the whole "vampire thing" but when it sinks in exactly how old he is she goes straight for the open bottle of wine!

Sands does an excellent balancing act with the tone for Immortal Unchained.  Obviously with the threat of a mad scientist, Unchained couldn't have the entirely light, often madcap, humor of some of the other Argeneau books.  However, that humor-in-the-face-of-all-odds is also a trademark of any Lynsay Sands book and couldn't be left out here.  I thought Unchained was perfectly balanced between the two.  There's a scene in the beginning where our fears of the doctor are confirmed and Sarita realizes what she's walked into that the overly squeamish may want to skim over.  Very quickly the complete threat the doctor represents is realized, without going into (too) gory details.  No similar scene needed to be written for the entire rest of the book, it haunts us the way it haunts Sarita, threatening the worst while still reminding us that immortals are pretty hard to kill.  We feel the urgency Sarita and Domitian feel to rescue everyone without continually being reminded through additional sessions with the doctor and Sands was smart to leave it that way. 

It's no spoiler to say that we get the expected happy ending while at the same time getting a to-be-continued threat of more trouble to come.  Readers new to Lynsay Sands' Argeneau series will need the first chapter to catch up, but should then enjoy it as much as the rest of us (plus have the additional fun of being able to read the rest of the series for the first time before the next book comes out in September!).  Long time fans get to enjoy cameos by a few Argeneaus and Rogue Hunters we already know and love, while now adding Domitian and Sarita to the extended family tree.  

A great new addition to the Argeneau series, Immortal Unchained lives up to high expectations while opening some new doors for potential future stories.  A must read for paranormal romance fans and Lynsay Sands fans! 

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