I am officially attached to the universe created by Olivia Ryann’s Cherish Underworld series. Thus far, as you’ve read on my blog, I have read the first three books in the series, Capture, Control, and Covet. And I am anxiously awaiting the conclusion, Cherish. As part of the author series, Cards of Love, Olivia Ryann wrote The High Priestess, a novella with characters culled from the Cherish Underworld.
Damien is the brother of Arsen, the main villain/anti-hero/hero of the Cherish Underworld. In the second book of that series, Damien attempts to rape Fiore, Arsen’s captive and love. There is something dastardly and dangerous about him. When he enters Arsen’s and Fiore’s story, I am always nervous. We find out through the course of Arsen’s story that Damien is a bit of a sociopath.
In The High Priestess, we receive a bit of Damien’s story, concurrent to latter part of Arsen’s story. The story begins with Bianka, the daughter of an Irish mobster, who has been bequeathed in marriage to Damien, nicknamed The Monster (for his sociopathic tendencies) to settle a debt for her father. We find out that she and her sister, Cass, have special abilities: Bianka holds a real-time intuition of trouble, while Cass dreams of the future. From the outset of the story, Bianka, a twenty-two year old virgin, bemoans her proposed marriage to Damien. He is a dangerous man, and she is an innocent. However, she agrees to the arrangement to protect her younger sister. On her wedding day, she and Damien meet, and they both feel a connection with the other. While Damien originally agrees to the marriage as leverage to earn greater respect from his brothers so that he will be given a territory in the States, he feels a strong pull to Bianka, a completeness that he never imagined he needed. The story follows them through their wedding to New Orleans where mayhem ensues. I am hoping there will be more of Damien and Bianka’s story in coming books because Olivia Ryann left us with a bit of a cliffhanger here.
I will be honest. I did NOT like Damien in Arsen’s story, especially when he attempted to assault Fiore. In fact, he seemed colder and much more dangerous in the first three books of Arsen’s story. In this story, there is still a bit of those tendencies in his character, but he is milder with Bianka. He is more human less villain. While Fiore has a bit of sway and influence over Arsen in the Cherish Underworld, it is never significant. With Damien and Bianka, the reader can see where Bianka might hold a greater influence over Damien. They both hold heavily to the mysticism of the tarot, and this connection is the driving force behind their chemistry. We feel their sexual tension, but we, the readers, need the rest of the story to see more of their sexual tension and spiritual connection unfold.
I think this novella whets the appetites of Olivia Ryann’s readers, but she definitely needs to deliver more story. This professor is still hungry…
In love and romance,