This one is part of the Mageverse series. I admit to have fallen in love with this darn series. In December I gobbled up the first three books of the series and now I tackled the last full length novel published in the series.
We first get a glimpse of Gawain in the previous Mageverse book where the second black grail is destroyed. Gawain is one of the original knights converted by Merlin when Arthur becomes a vampire. Gawain befriended a dragon many centuries ago, but the Dragonlands would not accept the dragon's friendship with the vampire knight so Kel (the dragon) was cursed to spend an eternity in the form of a sword that could yield magic. Kel could break his curse if he used the sword to kill Gawain but his friendship made him chose his imprisonment. This action created a bond between Kel and Gawain that was similar to a spirit link which allowed them to feel each others thoughts, which in turn brought these two very close.
After the intro which explains the relationship between Kel and Gawain, the story picks up just a bit before the last grail was destroyed in Master of the Wolves. The bad vampires have invaded Avalon while the werewolves battle the rouge vampire/maga.
Lark is a relatively new Maga. She is granddaughter to Tristan (from Tristan and Isolde) and when, during the battle she almost dies from an attack of a vampire, her confidence is shattered. She has already shown signs that she is not content with her role as a Maga, but when this happens she is not sure she can continue to fight to protect humans.
It is decided that all new Maga and Vampires will be paired up with more experienced fighters and Lark has the good fortune to be paired with Gawain. Of course she is a feisty witch which entices Gawain but she is also very frightened of having a relationship with her new trainer. First she has already been on an emotional ride, but every time she thinks of Gawain sinking his fangs into her (vampires must feed from the Maga and the Maga need to donate to the Vampires in order to live), she falls apart. She is scared sh*tless. It doesn't help that she shuts down emotionally to avoid having her heart broken. Gawain on the other hand recognizes early on that Lark is different and he is on a mission to seduce her out of her fears (and her clothes).
This was one of the best of the series. Not just your followup on the same theme - 'we must destroy the bad vamps!!'
This one had a twist with the inclusion of the dragons and the fact that most events took place in Avalon is another notable difference from the others. The bad guy was REALLY bad, vengeance as his motivator. We even see someone that we have learned to care about die. I just could not put this one down. Gawain was a yummy hero, strong and warrior like. Lark was weak and vulnerable at the start and then we see her grow into her powers and into who she was meant to be. Fabulous storytelling!!