It’s not always easy to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys, especially when your heroine is a trained killer and she may be falling in love with her evil hunter…
Emma Hayes, a former military Special Forces Operative turned mercenary-for-hire, finds her tightly controlled world turned upside down when she is attacked by horrible monsters.
Emma must use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive as she tries to solve the mystery of why she has been targeted. Her list of enemies keeps growing - from Zane Shayde, an evil Mage, to a secret branch of the US government - and she doesn't know if there is anyone left she can trust.
To complicate matters further, Emma is inexplicably drawn to Zane in a way she doesn’t quite understand, even knowing her life is forfeit if captured. Who is he and why does he have this affect on her? How can she fight a being that calls to her, body and soul?
Emma is left haunted by questions, doubts and fears as to why she has been targeted, when they will come for her next, and how she will possibly be able to survive against an enemy she doesn't understand.
First off I would like to thank Love Between the Sheets Promotions and Dina M. Given for providing an ARC of Unhidden in return for an honest review.
***small spoiler alert***
We meet Emma Hayes who at the age of 16 was in a vehicle accident that killed her parents and landed her in a coma for a year. After she woke up, she was sent into foster care. (Typical) Emma was a hard worker and that shows by how far she has come. She is a former military woman, being a part of the Army's Special Forces Delta Force Team who has turned Mercenary. (Ha! She's a bad-ass chick!!)
When we meet Mr. Darko (and yes I see that effing rabbit, Frank, from Donnie Darko every time I see the name.. LOL I blame the best friend for that.) he has his goons holding Emma by the wrists and ankles like shes a rag doll as he looks through a folder full of -her- information. Where he got it is unclear, just as unclear as to why he had her come to the rain forests of South America looking for his daughter when this was what he wanted? If he wanted to talk they could have done that in New York when he hired her to find his missing daughter. But it seems that Mr. Darko has other plans for her. One of his goons, turns to face her and its not human. Talk about a O.O moment. As Emma gets a moment to think she is able to break the hold the goons have on her and takes a position up behind Darko. Fight or flight time.
And fight she did. Barely making it outside where Jason -one of her team members- could take down the monster behind her with his sniper rifle. The little girl -who had been there the entire time, seems she was a rouse to Darko’s plot- had made it outside but when Emma confronted her about leaving... the little girl -monster- bit her. It was like a vipers bite. Emma had just enough time to pull the C4 trigger from her vest and blow the compound. That didn't stop Darko though. He made his way to Emma and her world went dark. When she wakes up she is in a cave… yeah like that’s not disturbing enough there is an old hag (bruja, which is Spanish for witch) who does this blood offering I guess its called by cutting her arm, bleeding her into a bowl and placing an amulet in the blood. When it fills Darko gets upset.. but before she can find out what in the name of hell they are up to her back up shows up.
As she passes out Emma clutches the amulet. It has her blood in it, its hers even if she has no idea what in the name of all that is holy is going on. A week later she meets with both Daniel and Jason to see what they saw that night. Seems they saw what she had. That means the supernatural world was now real. How could that be possible? Jason -being a gamer nerd- knew how the creatures looked and compared them to the creatures in Dungeons and Dragons and then Pokemon.. (Pikachuuuuuuuuu.. LOL sorry I squirreled.) Seems the little devil they saw is a crusher. (Makes me want to yell HULK SMASH…) Though he is kinda cuteish... in cartoon… in person yeah I’d run.. lol) This was turning out to be a memory none of them would be forgetting anytime soon. When Emma was about to leave the bar she felt a strange sensation. Someone was watching her…. finding the culprit she decided to play drunk and test him. He withdrew from her but as she left the bar she knew he would follow. But what Emma hadn’t expected was it would be someone else following her. The alley way she made her way into was not as it seems.
The man confronted her, power, anger and a mix of emotions was all she could see in his eyes. As she defended herself against him she questioned who he was.. his reply.. “There was a time when you wouldn’t have needed to ask that question. My name is Zane Shayde. I am the high commander of lord Gabriel Marduk, our protector and savior. I have been dispatched to bring you back to Urusilim, preferably alive, but dead will do just as well.” Thanks buddy that is helpful!)
Of course Emma has noooooo idea who the deranged psychopath is… but before she can do too much she notices the ‘shadows’ moved. What in the hell was she doing? As she steeled herself to fight the man from the bar showed up and greeted her new friend. A fight started and Emma was attacked by the shadows. Nasty little buggers. Alex, the man from the bar picked her bleeding, numb body from the ground after the fight was over and took her home. The next day when she woke up she was marginally better. Stiff, sore but nothing a hot shower wouldn’t help. As she made her way out of her apartment she had one destination in mind. The shop Jason had told her about last night. The one to have the amulet looked at.
Emma never expected to find what she had when she entered the small store. Not only was Lilly, the shops owner talkative but she maybe able to really help her with the amulet. According to Lilly the lettering on the amulet was old, ancient even. It was the represent of the God-Stone. Seems it was around since the dawn of time. What else would she find if she looked deeper? After leaving the shop that feeling took her over again. She was being watched. When she found her watcher she set a trap. When she entered the train station she flipped the stakes on him and hunter became the hunter. Emma got him at gunpoint and took him into the service elevator but… she forgot she wasn't just dealing with things from the human world. He started to shift before her eyes. His big furry body was one hell of a weapon but her Sig was good too. Not working out like he wanted he shifted again. But again, Emma beat his ass. (laughs hard)
When he -the shifter- woke up he was in an old train car, Emma’s Sig focused on him. Just when she thought she was getting the best of him -since she had finally made it clear she was in charge of this situation- things went wiry. As soon as the shifter went to tell her who she was… he was killed. Emma had no clue they were not alone. In the back of the car sat Alex, a sternness about him. He had just saved her from being killed by the shifter who had her knife in his hand at a second glance she couldn't believe it. He had turned the tables on her? Emma didn’t want to believe that but what could she do? Nothing. Alex calls her Ash and speaks to her as if she should know what was going on around her though she has no clue.
As Alex talks he gives away little bits of information to her. She has been using magic this whole time. To help with her natural abilities (ie:; eyesight, hearing , agility...etc) but the confusion she feels is only topped when Alex reveals her given name is Ashnan and she is from Urusilim. Another world all its own. Shock hits her. But she denies it. She had parents, siblings, she had a life here. How can she be from some other world? She has to find answers and she knows just the person to go to. An army ally and a friend, Benjamin.
Emma and Jason go to Benjamin’s home on Long Island and they talk. Ben is hiding something from her but he warns her. there are people involved in this that will kill her or anyone. They are that powerful. So of course she is more confused when she leaves his place. At the drive while they wait for a cab a limo pulls up and Jason along with Emma are asked politely at gunpoint to get in. “Mr. Smith’s” boss would like to see them. Back in Manhattan they meet with Nathan Anshar. Billionaire, mogul and avid collector. But what in the name of hell does he want with Emma? Seems Emma can help him if she is up for it. A weapon of his went missing 10 years ago. He knows where it is and sends her after it. Its a sword, forged by the Gods and he will teach Emma to use it if she will retrieve it.
Before they can talk more than to get her to agree Black Ops men show up. Emma and Jason are able to escape them down a secret staircase in Nathan;s office but that doesn’t last long. The military men follow them to the downstairs car garage when Lilly and Alex show up to help them escape. For now. Needless to say things are not as they seem. The military is now after Emma, Zane is after Emma and the fate of the two worlds is dropped on her back. What does she chose to do? Who can she really trust? Emma learns of her relationship with Zane, why he fights her now. Why Alex seems to hate her and what really happened to her ten years ago.
Can she handle it all and keep herself sane enough to do what she knows she needs to do? Will Zane be the end of her? Will the two worlds collide in an epic battle or will one fall to the malicious intent of the other? So many questions, so much emotion and it all revolves around Emma.
This is all I can give you because really I don’t want to spoil the rest. Hopefully I didn’t spoil any of it. It is a page turner from page one. The story goes from a O.O moment to O.O moment and the pages just fly. The story is awesome; on a high level of awesome I might add. I am so ready and excited for book 2. The emotions are just… gah! I am not even sure. When I finished I was like Nooooo I need more. (laughs hard) That right there is a good thing. Very good. Trust me this book has a lot of awesome and if you like paranormal in any way you will LOVE this one!!