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For some reason I found it hard to warm up to either Daphne or Emerson. The immediate infatuation and obsession was odd and the connection to each other felt a little forced. My following of the Midnight Dynasty families has become my favorite pastime in recents months. I have read other Amelia Wilde books within the Constantine/Morelli saga, and this particular couple was definitely harder to understand. Curiousity will propel me to move onto the next book in the series, Sweet Mercy, in hopes that my feelings will change toward them. I don’t dislike Daphne or Emerson, just feeling a slight disconnect. i’m not trying to say that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t love it, but that won’t stop me from moving on to hopefully find a connection that I missing here. UPDATE: I moved onto the next book Sweet Mercy, and finished up with Last Resort, and my understanding of this couple drastically changed as I went on. The story and the concept of mostly Emersons take on things, being a “collector”, made itself much more clear in the second and finally in the third book. In the end, I strongly suggest this series .
Dark Reign has left me clutching my heart with one hand, gasping, mouth all opened, like I'm about to hyperventilate. I am all clammy and sweaty with anxiety and a desire I don't even understand. I have read every single book in the Midnight Dynasty World that has released so far and I have come to love the crazy, deprived men in this world (Lucian, Leo, Winston, etc). These guys are insanely possessive and obsessive - but...and this is a huge BUT - there is obsessive and then there is a special kind of sociopathic obsessive and that's the only way I can describe Emerson LeBlanc.
Emerson LeBlanc a/k/a The Collector is the ultimate anti-hero. He is poetically delusional. He is the king of darkness. Even when he is hidden in the shadows his presence is strong, demanding and seductive. You cannot help be drawn to him. You cannot help but know he was there - watching you. The way Emerson obsesses over things or people is insanely enticing. He doesn't interpret art like others do. Life imitates art and his perception of art (paintings) is different than that of others. When his obsessive behavior has him following a young woman into an art gallery, Emerson finds himself standing in front of a painting that was completely captivated him. A painting that consumed him and ignited his desire for more, especially a desire for the artist, the woman he followed into the gallery - Daphne Morelli.
Dark Reign takes place at the same time as the last two books in the Beauty and the Beast Trilogy, which is Leo Morelli's story, and where we got to know a little more of Daphne. I loved seeing and really feeling what Daphne was going through during that time. Her relationship with Leo is heartwarming yet confining. I understand his protective nature, but sometimes protecting someone so strongly can really make a person feel unworthy of trust and love. Daphne is beautiful and strong. She is loyal to her family, but that loyalty comes with a price. Daphne's emotional outlet is through her art/her paintings. Just like Emerson, Daphne interpretation/perception of art is different than most - Emerson recognizes the darkness in Daphne's paintings because they mirror the darkness in him. As his obsession with Daphne becomes stronger each day, Emerson will stop at nothing until he has acquired his most precious work of art.
Listen, the way art plays a role in this book gives it this really dark, mysterious type of whimsical feel. Almost like I needed a creepy music box sound in the background. That ending was SHOCKING - it left me anxious and scared of Emerson, but so intrigued by him. His sociopath tendencies were pretty apparent in his self control while he mentally designed his plan to seduce and acquire Daphne.
For those of use eeking by on our pittance day by day, we look at the old blue blood billionaire families and their mansions and think we would trade places in a wink. Little do we realize that for the LeBlanc, Constantine, and Morelli families all that glitters isnt gold. The adult children can detail a lifetime of abuse, neglect, physical violence, unattainable goals and rivalries. A life when every step can be their death though assassination, kidnapping and betrayal. This first book of the series details the relationship between Emerson LeBlanc (the Collector) and Daphne Morelli the little painter. Daphne is obsessed witih painting the sea but in a way that it emotes intense emotion to the viewer. One of seven children she is naive and protected by her older brother Leo( the Beast) and she yearns, plans, shemes to be free as she is now an adult. "The ocean fills the entire canvas. Dark sea and dark sky. Deep not peaceful. Red slashesough deepest blue. A victim has been dragged through the current n the mouth of the predator. There are too many slashes for servival to be possible. Not shown the moment of attack horror hidden out of frame but the aftermath hangs in the sea. Daphne names this painting Blood in the Water and in her mind visions of her father's ferocious beating emerge." Daphne is not alright. The painting is what hides her, Emerson LeBlanc obtains precious items keeps them very very safe including Daphne's painting. Hermetically sealed, humidity protected they hang upon the walls of his mansion. Daphne yearns to be strong. Emerson yearns to live among his precious possessions free of emotional investments. He too has an abusive childhood and a father in prison. Emerson is a patient man and he will wait through his slow seduction and entrapment of Daphne in a gilded cage. Leo Daphe's brother tries to protect her with body guards and safe environments. He is not successful. Carnal lust, erotic pleasure do not exist for Daphne but Emerson includes that in his desired outcome. There is not a happy ending in the book but the story continues in book 2 of this series. I expected dark disturbig spooky music, dark fog filled scenes and the element of dreaded suspense and mystery in every page and I was not disappointed. Glues your eyes your brain your whole attention.
Another interesting entry in the Morelli saga. Daphne is a different type of Morelli. I'm really enjoying her story. Emerson is the crazy guy we all love to hate. The slow burn in this book is good to. I can't wait to see how their story ends.
Emerson known in the art world as The Collector. He's a connoisseur of fine art. He's obsessed with the acquisition of it almost as much as his ownership. His newest obsession is Daphne. Daphne is the younger Morelli sibling and is highly protected by Leo, the Beast of Bishop. She's a little apprehensive because of her past with her family, but she's decided to delved into her passion with art and make it on her own. Dark Reign is a story that takes place in the Midnight Dynasty world which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine. It does have a hell of a cliffhanger, like, Emerson?!?!?!
Where do all of these off the wall books come from. Emerson who is known as the Collector wanting a new artist. He bought one of her paints. Daphne comes from a large well-known family that are rich and above it all. She is protected from everything by her oldest brother. Emerson decides he wants Daphne, not just because she is a artist, he wants her sensually. To keep her for his own. She is afraid of him and tries to stay away from him, but he's so bent on having her. This was a totally different situation for this author's writings. I am not interested or inclined to read more of these book. Whoever finds this book interesting, go for it! Enjoy
How do you allow yourself to be taken in so easily??? The answer is that you are so tired of being controlled you don't realize when someone is doing it through kind words and actions that pull at your heartstrings!!! Daphne is in for the fight of her life and I can't wait to see what happens!!!
Okay let me start by saying It’s my fault for buying book 2. I should have stopped 20% in to book 1 and didn’t so fool me once. This was the first series I read from this author and when I started reading the first book I was so confused I thought the story was about Emerson and Daphne but 60% of the book was about some guy named Leo and his kidnapped Hayle so I was totally lost cause it seemed like it was part of a different story. Should have just stopped and moved on to a different author but didn’t. So here I am reading book 2 and holy cow it gets worse. Emerson kidnapped Daphne and she should be afraid and angry but no she is actually very turned on because he is very attractive and I guess it doesn’t hurt that he is rich. Now let me be clear there are some dark and twisted books that are great but they tend to make sense and the characters have depth. I think Emerson’s story was a good one but the author swept it under the rug to quickly and made the story to busy. Needless to say I will not know how this story ends because instead of making a good story in one book the author wants to sell me 3 books when book1 and I’m sure book 3 are full of fluff.
This book is a slow burn and kind of a slow start, but if you were waiting for Daphnes story and you know Leo and Haley already and you NEEDED something more because you couldn’t get past knowing Leo and Haley’s story was over, then pick this one up. It gets better near the end and the second book is amazing.