I haven't read all of the Offspring books, but the series is clearly one with extensive world-building that has grown more and more complex over time. But I think this book does a great job of getting down to basics and focusing on a fantastic romance.
Lachlan is a man who lives in something of a self-imposed exile, ever since he accidentally killed his mother while astral projecting. His father died a short time after her death and now the only thing left in his life that matters is his brother Magnus. As our story begins, Magnus is trying to pull his brother back out into the world and tells him about Jessie, the woman he is hoping to start a relationship with. Lachlan suddenly gets a vision of Magnus dead at Jessie's feet --and knows he can't stop until he finds a way to keep his brother away from her.
Jessie is a woman on the run from her past. Ever since she witnessed her uncle killing her father, her life has never been the same. And now that he is out of prison, she knows he is hunting for her. Jessie knows she carries the same Darkness in her that her uncle does, but she doesn't know what it means. Suddenly, he finds her and in a violent showdown, nearly kills Mangus. She is able to save his life, but only by using the dark gift that she knows will infect him too. He slips into a coma as he recovers.
Lachlan decides to help Jessie hide from her uncle as she tries to figure out how to defeat him. He thinks there is much more between her and Magnus than there really is. And he feels like he can find some redemption in saving his brother's girl. But it becomes much more difficult to be honorable as he starts to fall for her.
Usually I cringe from adult virgin heroines, but here, Jessie has a good reason for her chastity. She is afraid her Darkness would harm her lover. And I was very excited to learn that our hero is a virgin too. Once you toss in the virginity with her fears of hurting him and his fears of betraying his brother... it's like the perfect storm of sexual tension. I really, really enjoyed the progression of the romance here.
As for the paranormal element of the story, I felt like this was the clearest explanation I have seen in this series on the origins of the characters' supernatural powers. And for the first time ever, I finally understood what "darkness" is. It's all still a bit convoluted, but I felt like I "got it" enough to be able to enjoy the book.
There were lots of twists and turns and I laughed out loud a few times too. The book had heart, danger, and sex appeal. My only complaint was that it ended before we could see the repercussions of the relationship. Hopefully, the next book will fill in those blanks.*ARC Provided by Avon