Dare To Trust Book Cover Dare To Trust
Dark Choices Book 1
J.L. Bowen
Dark Paranormal Fantasy
Buffalo Mountain Press
June 25, 2015

Reviewed by: Linda Tonis

Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team

Although this book is rated YA I have no doubt it would appeal to adults, as it did to me.

All his life Armond Costa grew up with his Uncle Peter and his Aunt Janet Martin along with his two cousins, Larry and Bobby. Armond can never remember a time that he wasn’t savagely beaten by the people who should have loved him. He was chained to a wall, whipped, kicked, and bones broken. He had the ability to heal himself in three days and then the torture would begin all over again. He was told his mother wanted him dead since she was a healer and didn’t want another healer around, especially her own son. His mother’s boyfriend killed his father, now they want him dead, too.

The only reason Armond did not give up was due to his friends, Rusty a wise guy kid who would protect Armond whenever he needed him. Then there were the men he considered to be his real family, the Ellises, Kyle, Evan and Darin. He ran to their home when he needed protection. Although there was little they could do, they were always there for him. Larry, the Martin’s son, also did whatever he could to ease Armond’s pain, in spite of the fear his parents would punish him.

The last torture Armond suffered was by far the worst, because at midnight when he turned fourteen his uncle appeared with a chain saw in hand. Armond found himself sprouting wings and the new appendages were cut off immediately. With Larry and Rusty’s help, he manages to get away and find shelter with the Ellis family. Darin threatens the Martin’s and does his best to keep Armond safe. Unfortunately, when the neighbor’s dog is almost killed and Armond heals it, it becomes a news worthy story. Fearing he will be found by his mother, he realizes there is nowhere he can hide, especially when three men charge through the doors of the Ellis home.

One of the three men is the King of the Golden Demons, Gregori, who also admits to being Armond’s father. Gregori wants Armond to return with him to Havenwood where his ability to heal is needed. The Golden Demons are at war with the Dark Demons led by Ryker. With their healer, they are able to save most of their men, whereas the Golden Demons cannot. If this keeps up much longer, the Golden Demons will no longer exist. Darin agrees to accompany Armond to Havenwood and allows him to visit on weekends to tend to the dying. When he meets his mother, he is full of doubt, who can he trust.

In addition to his father and mother, he meets his twin brother, Darius, and his other brother, Lucien. Each of the boys has a gift. Lucien is an empath and Darius is a runner (he can run faster than light). Armond does not want to see anyone dying and agrees to heal, but he does not agree to trust. All his life he learned trust usually meant pain. Can Armond finally find love and trust those around him? Will he agree to stay at Havenwood to help? The Dark Demons have a healer, Ryker’s own son, Gunnar. When Armond meets Gunnar, he realizes Gunnar is in the same situation he was in, but instead of his uncle and aunt beating him it is his father.

There are secrets and surprises and it is a story of learning to trust. Every character in the book is wonderful, not counting the Dark Demons, of course.

Winner: 1st Place – Best YA Fantasy Novel – 2015 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards