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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Book Review: When Darkness Follows (Beyond the Grave Series Book Four) by Athena Daniels

When Darkness Follows (Beyond the Grave Series Book Four)
by Athena Daniels
May 29, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sunset Coast Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-9944029-7-4
Number of pages: 303
Word Count: 115K
Cover Artist: Damonza
The only man who can save her, is the one she swore she’d never see again…

Rachel Sommers and her two best friends don’t believe anything will happen when they sneak onto a haunted shipwreck in the middle of the night. Why would they? Ghosts don’t actually exist… right?

But Rachel and her friends disturb something that night. Something demonic.

Something that lured Rachel to the ship. And now one of her friends is dead, the other is missing, and Rachel’s memory of the night is gone. There’s only one thing she knows for sure: whatever killed her friend has followed her home.

Over a century ago, an act of bitter jealousy and revenge tainted a crystal ball with an unstoppable evil. And when the deadly object eerily turns up in her bedroom, Rachel’s nightmare really begins.

Ex-Special Forces detective Daniel Smith takes the case the moment Rachel’s name appears on his screen. Rachel is the only woman he’s ever loved, but despite their explosive chemistry, she’s determined to keep him at a distance.

With Rachel’s life on the line, the disturbing truth about her ancestry and the cursed object she has inherited must be uncovered. But is it already too late? Daniel will risk everything to save the woman he loves, but how can he win this lethal game of cat and mouse against a killer that is not flesh and blood?

Rock band Trinity Beat are a tight trio of friends seeking fun and adventure. When their interest in the macabre takes them to a fabled ghost ship abandoned on the Australian coast, their lives are forever altered by a demonic force tied to the ship. Following their ill-fated adventure lead singer Rachel Sommers is thrust in the middle of a murder investigation when one of her bandmates is found dead and the other is on the run. Rachel’s inability to recall what unfolded on the haunted ship adds another layer of mystery, and suspicion, to the case. Rachel seeks the assistance of the paranormal reality show Debunking Reality and the group launches an investigation of their own to uncover the truth. Aiding in the investigation is special forces detective Daniel Smith. Rachel and Daniel have a romantic past and unfinished business between them, increasing the already volatile nature of the investigation. 

I had not read earlier installments in this series when I started When Darkness Follows. While I think this would’ve enhanced my reading experience, I don’t think it was required. I felt fully immersed in the series and had a good handle on character dynamics. Daniels effectively develops her characters and settings. I like the regional feel of the book as it reveals Australian cultural characteristics throughout. The plotline is imaginative and the horror elements are well-crafted.

I found the book over-long, however. I had a difficult time staying engaged and connected to the story. I didn’t quite connect with Rachel as a main character. She makes questionable choices that made her difficult to root for. I would consider reading future installments in the series. Perhaps having read When Darkness Follows would increase engagement.

3 ½ sheep

Bianca Greenwood

Rachel wrapped her arms around Daniel’s neck and kissed him back with a ferocity that surprised her. All the emotion, the turmoil, of the last two weeks, the last year, moved through her. She couldn’t remember why keeping away from him was so important. Something about self-respect and needing to be more than just an occasional fuck to someone.

Daniel crushed her to his body, his tongue delving inside her mouth, tracing across her teeth. He took control of the kiss, like the man controlled everything else in his life. The heat of his mouth set her blood on fire, and her body submitted to his natural dominance.

He groaned, holding her to him so tightly she couldn’t breathe. But she didn’t need her own oxygen when she could breathe his.

Daniel walked her away from the water to where the sand was dry and still warm from the sun. He fell to the sand, pulling her down on top of him. She laughed in surprise.

His sunglasses fell off his head as he looked up at her. He cupped the back of her neck, guided her head down and kissed her hard. She couldn’t think, couldn’t feel anything but him.

Her soft, white denim skirt slid up her thighs as she spread her legs and sat on his hips. His erection, firmly encased in his jeans, pressed against her lacy white panties. She rubbed against him, needed to, and his eyes flickered closed. He groaned, the sound sending fire racing through her veins.

“I want you so bad.” Daniel’s grip tightened on her hips, the roughness in his tone thrilling her.

This was what was familiar between them. This rawness and this uncontrollable desire.

“Tell me you still want this.”

Rachel nodded.

“I said tell me.”

The bite of authority in the command made her blood race. Her mouth dried, and she swallowed twice before she could speak.

“I want this.”

Daniel squeezed his eyes shut, and when he opened them, emotion swirled heavily in his gaze.

“Tell me you still want me.” His body went rigid as he waited for her answer, and her heart stuttered to a stop.

“I want you,” she said, the truth and a lie all at once. God she wanted him! Right now, in this moment, she wanted him more than her next breath.

Daniel sat up, cradling her in his lap, her legs wrapped around his hips as he kissed her again, long and deep. She thrust her hands in his thick hair, holding him hard as his hands ran up her thighs, his thumbs tracing along the seams of her panties and making her core clench with anticipation.

He lifted the hem of her top, his palm scorching the soft skin on her stomach as he moved to cup her breast. His expression looked pained, his chest rising and falling as his breathing grew labored.

As much pleasure as he gave her, she loved watching how much simply touching her aroused him.

“A year,” Daniel growled. “A whole fucking year.”

She cried out as his fingers found a hardened nipple and squeezed. Pleasure, white-hot and overwhelming, filled her, stole her breath.

His other hand slid the thin fabric of her panties aside, his thumb gently tracing along her slick entrance. Her heart skittered in her chest, her pulse roaring past her ears.

“You need this too,” he said, his voice a low rasp. “Don’t tell me you don’t.”

Tears burned her eyes, and she squeezed her lids closed to hide her reaction to his words. She needed him? Dear God! She fucking craved him.

And then he’d leave…

And she’d be left empty, wanting him. Frustration caused her to cry out at the same time his thumb slipped inside her, and the sound was disguised as pleasure.

Frustration and pleasure: those two extremes described what she had with Daniel perfectly.

Max barked, and they both looked up to see him bounding through the thick sand toward them. He barked again, and Rachel followed his gaze and noticed two people at the top of the sand dunes, making their way to the water.

“Fuck,” Daniel growled.

How like Daniel to always make her feel as though they were the only two people in the world. She pressed her forehead against his, his ragged breath warm across her skin. Before the couple could see them clearly, she rolled off Daniel and tugged her skirt back into place, her body still tingling with the feel of his touch.

About the Author: 
Amazon Author
Newsletter -BookBub
Athena Daniels is the #1 international bestselling author of the award-winning Beyond the Grave paranormal romance series and the romantic thriller Desperate.

In 2016, Athena was nominated for Author of the Year and Best New Author in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Her novel Girl Unseen won the Silver Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards and was awarded a Silver Medal in the 2017 Literary Titan Book Awards. Girl Unseen was an “Official Selection” in the New Apple Literary Awards, and was also nominated for 2017 Book of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

The Seer’s Daughter was the solo Medalist Winner in the Suspense/Thriller category of the 2016 New Apple Annual Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing.

The Seer’s Daughter was also a finalist in the 11th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in Suspense and in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite® International Book Awards. Additionally, The Seer’s Daughter was nominated for 2016 Book of the Year and 2016 Cover of the Year in AusRom Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards.

Girl Unseen and The Seer’s Daughter are both 5-star Top Picks at The Romance Reviews.

Athena has a natural curiosity about the “more” there is in life and holds several qualifications in metaphysics and natural therapies. She is a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) practitioner, life coach, and feng shui specialist.

Athena lives on the northern beaches of sunny Western Australia.


  1. Sounds like a great read! I love the cover too!

  2. Thanks so much for the great excerpt and giveaway as well. Sounds terrific!

  3. Looking forward to reading Beyond the Grave Series. Thank you

  4. This book sounds thrilling. I would enjoy reading it.