Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: Oleander, Son of Drakkar
SERIES: Drakkar Coven #2
AUTHOR: Leigh Jarrett
PUBLISHER: Steambath Press
LENGTH: 193 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 1, 2016
The unrelenting seduction of Oleander’s cool, flawless skin—and deep, captivating eyes. The concern in his voice—the touch of his hand. The exhilaration and pride elicited by the sight of Oleander waiting for him after the visit with his family had left him feeling disappointed and unfulfilled.
Unfulfilled …pointless, insignificant—until Oleander.
Amidst the chaos of his sexual reckoning, Timothy is compelled to uphold an intimate pact struck between himself and Oleander, and chooses to follow him north to Drakkar Castle—the threat of war upon them. Grimmr Coven is advancing deep into Drakkar Coven territory, and only Oleander may know the reason why. He had lived amongst the coven Grimmr for many decades with his human lover, Torkel and fears that a far greater threat is coming, forcing Grimmr Coven south into Drakkar Coven territory.
Left behind while Oleander goes in search of answers, Timothy’s inner turmoil becomes unbearable. His only company enroute to Drakkar Castle, Alexis, a vivacious, blue-eyed seductress with a secret, intent on stealing him away for reasons that would launch the already fractured family of Drakkar at each other’s throats.
After I enjoyed the first book in this series so much, I was really looking forward to continuing the story. While both main characters, Timothy and Oleander, were introduced in Callum, here you get to see their relationship start and begin to truly develop. After the brutality and amount of bloodshed in the previous story, Oleander’s book was fairly tame in comparison. Instead of reveling in showing his baser instincts all the time, Oleander prefers maintaining a rigid control over himself and enjoys the thin veneer of civility he keeps up in the presence of others. Make no mistake, he’s still a vampire through and through and a dangerous one at that, he just doesn’t feel the need to wave that fact around in people’s faces all day long.
The relationship between Timothy and Oleander is complicated in more ways than one. Timothy spent the entirety of the previous book disgusted by Laramie’s relationship with Callum and yet he finds himself attracted to Oleander which causes a conflict of emotions and desires within him. You get to see his struggle with what he wants and what he considers depravity and I enjoyed seeing the internal struggle. While the story itself wasn’t as graphic as I expected, there was a great deal of drama going on amidst the preparations for war, that kept the story interesting and the plot moving along at a good pace. Now, in the interest of disclosure, there were a few things that aren’t graphically portrayed in the book but that I will warn about in the interest of keeping someone from reading something they’re totally opposed to. There are both brief instances of infidelity (not really going beyond kisses) and the mentions of incest though nothing is really shown. I’m solidly against reading anything with infidelity in it but I found I wasn’t all that bothered by what was in this book but please read at your discretion.
I just loved this; I’d hate to call this the softer side of the Drakkar Coven vampires but it was certainly an easier read than Callum was. The story leaves off on a happy for now and while I was a little miffed at where it left me, I’m content to wait for the next book which I hope will be a continuation of the war that is being prepared for. I look forward to it immensely and can only hope that Oleander and Timothy’s story will be continued as I don’t think even half of what needs to be dealt with between them has been handled yet and we aren’t even going to get into the other characters involved in that whole mess! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and if you’re looking for a grittier type of vampire, I’d give this one a try but I recommend starting with the first book as you’ll get more out of the character development that way. If you missed it, you can find my review of the first book in the series, Callum, here.