Reviewed by Lynn Reynolds
Stephanie Draven's Dark Sins and Desert Sands is book 5 of the "Mythica Series".
Main characters: Rayhan Stavrakis, he’s a military man with some very special abilities. One side effect from his abilities is that he gets bloody noses (think Firestarter). Dr. Layla Bahset is an American Psychologist. Or is she? She wants to help the lost souls of Las Vegas. Ray and Layla have a previous connection. She doesn’t remember and he wants to find her because of that connection. Layla also has no memory except for the last two years. His memories aren’t that pleasant.
Minor characters: Dr. Nat Jaffe, Psychiatrist. He has been out a few times with Layla. Seth Carey – scorpion king and resident evil. He is the head of a very shifty American company that works with the government. Isabel is Layla’s right hand in the office but she is more than what she seems. Missy is a young woman who starts helping out Ray but seems to blossom.
One issue I had with this book was how fast scenes seemed to switch. Sometimes my mind would get a little confused. In one case, Nat was having dinner with Layla and right in the middle, we would switch scenes to Ray. I think doing this instant switching, stops the flow of the story. For some, it may just confuse them.
In one scene, Seth comes to Layla’s office and meets Isabel. For some reason, she seems to appeal to him but Seth is there to see Layla. They also have a past but Layla fakes her way through the meeting giving him an indication that she knows who he is. She knows that something isn’t right and disappears. Ray and Layla connect but the only way for Layla to remember anything is if Ray kisses her. Ray needs to get information from her and he isn’t above using sex to get it. As soon as we get to the good part, Stephanie switches the scene on us. My mind was definitely not ready for the scene to switch.
We then find out why Seth wants Ray. Seth is a collector of sorts – makes you think of “Star Trek”. But not every collector gets everything they want. I will say that this adds to the suspense – will Ray be a part of Seth’s “collection” or not?
I felt, while reading this story, that Isabel and Seth had more of a connection than Ray and Layla. As I was reading the interactions between Isabel and Seth, I was hoping that Isabel would give Seth a great big kick in his butt. They just seemed a better fit as a couple than Layla and Ray.
The more time that Ray and Layla spend together, the more that Layla remembers about her past. But when Ray finally admits to Layla that he loves her, I just didn’t feel that I ever read that type of connection between the two of them (even with the sex scenes). To me they seemed more like “friends with benefits”.
When Seth finally captures Ray, you can just about see the two of them interact with each other – as if you can see the scene play out right before your eyes. Layla makes Seth a promise that she will go to him if he will let Ray go.
This story was just like a train ride. It starts off slow and picks up speed toward the end of the story. This is finally when we see the love that Ray and Layla have for each other. But at this point, I would rather read more of Seth and Isabel’s story.
You will have to decide if you want to read any more of the series.