So far, this has been my favorite new series this year. It ranks u there with the Kitty Norville books and the Sookie Stackhouse series, favorites from past years.
Alice gave the book one last year for my birthday. I read the back and wasn't impressed. In fact, I questioned her sanity for buying it for me, since it sounded an awful lot like another novel with a weak plot, questionable heroine, and a twisted romantic relationship between a vampire and his human. I put it on the "to read" stack on my headboard where it was promptly buried by research, library books, and titles that sounded a hell of a lot more interesting and less smutty (because let's face it, "Touch the Dark" only leaves so many options).
Fast forward 8 months, to where I finally began reading it. The first chapter was enjoyable. Alice talked me into buying book 2 since I had a gift card and was caught up the other series I follow.
Two days later, I was on the last chapter and purchasing the final 2 books with my own money.
Book one, Touch the Dark, opens with Cassie running for her life after being sent a threatening obituary (yes, I said threatening obituary), and the action doesn't slow down for an instant. Running to her roommate, a waiter at a bar to say a quick goodbye and try to explain why supernatural killers are after her, she is horrified when he makes quick work of the attackers who followed her to the bar. Suddenly, very human Cassie finds herself sucked even deeper into a world she has spent nearly a decade trying to escape: the world of vampires.
Orphaned at the age of 4, Cassie was raised by vampire mafioso Tony, where she had the prized place in his court for her ability to see the future. After setting him up to get arrested, he is just one of the many people after her as an adult. Now Cassie learns that part of her protection as a child came from the geis his master, Mircea, placed on her as a child. When Cassie accidentally becomes the world's chief clairvoyant and gains the ability to leapfrog through history, she inadvertently turns an already unpredictable spell into a potentially lethal curse--with her childhood crush Mircea as the target.
In order to save him, however, she has to keep herself alive. not an easy task when suddenly everyone wants her dead. First there's the Silver Circle, a group of mages who traditionally protect the Pythia and aren't thrilled that independent Cassie has inherited all of the power. Then there's Myra, the intended heir, who is none to please that Cassie beat her out as successor and is homicidal and slightly crazy to boot. Throw in the Fey and a demon or two, plus War Mage John Pritkin, who might be out to kill her, if he ever quits saving her life, or might be using her, or might be something (or someone) else entirely, and Cassie more than has her hands full, even before people start coming to her for help.
Filled with a delightful cast of characters, the Cassie Palmer books are funny, romantic, and exciting from page one all the way to the end of book four. There wasn't a single part I would consider slow or boring, and the action continues in the companion Dorina Basarab series (I have not read those yet, but they are on my list). If you are a fan of Charlaine Harries or Carrie Vaughn, then you will love this series. Book five, Hunt the Moon, comes out in June.
And just for convenience, here's a list of the books and the order they go in:
1. Touch the Dark
2. Claimed by Shadow
3. Embrace the Night
4. Curse the Dawn