Release date: April 3, 2011
Series: #4 in the Vampires in America series
More Info: Amazon
The Pacific Northwest . . . home to lush forests and constant rain, to lumberjacks and computer geeks, especially those of the vampire kind.
Sophia, beautiful and deadly, has spent the last hundred years dancing her way through the balmy nights and hot-blooded men of South America. But when her Sire sends an urgent summons, Sophia rushes home to Vancouver only to find he has disappeared, leaving nothing behind but three dead vampires and a letter with Sophia’s name on it.
Colin Murphy, a former Navy SEAL, came to the Northwest seeking a quiet place to heal the scars earned in more than a decade at war. But when someone starts killing local vampires and torturing their mates, Colin takes on the mantle of a warrior once again as he sets out to find the killers and do whatever it takes to stop them, even if that means hunting with vampires.
Following her Sire’s trail of death to a small town in northern Washington, Sophia unexpectedly discovers the heat of a South American night in Colin’s arms. But too soon Sophia and Colin find themselves in a race to uncover the killers before the next dead vampire becomes Sophia herself.
I like this series more and more with each book. It has wonderful word building, fascinating characters that you love or hate but you definitely feel something for them, and a balanced mix of action, quiet scenes, romance, sex and mystery. The stories have some of the familiar elements of vampire books but Reynolds definitely has her own take on vampire lore. This is not a cookie cutter PNR series. The vampire world, as well as events in previous books, is carefully detailed but there's never an info-dump.
Vampire lord Raphael and his human mate Cyn thread throughout the series and tie each of the books together. My one main complaint about this book, in fact, was that large chunks of the story were devoted to Raphael, the murder of his people, and his relationship with Cyn. While much of this served to further the overall story of both the book and the series, it did feel to me as if Colin and Sophia got short-changed.
Despite that, what we do see of Sophia and Colin in enjoyable. They had been lovers years ago, but Colin was unaware that Sophia was a vampire. Their love affair ended when she died in a bombing. So he thought. It's not enough of a shock discovering that she's alive, oh no, to make it more interesting she is, and was, a vampire. He is understandably angry and confused but he manages to work with her on discovering the perpetrators responsible for killing two local vampires and attacking the mate of another.
Sophia is a more "human" vampire than Raphael, similar to Rajmund. Most of the time, she does not come across as scary and arrogant but can pass for human. That's not to say that she can't be the scary, arrogant bloodsucker when she needs to be, but she doesn't feel the need to act that way all of the time. I found this made her more likable and relatable; Reynolds' vampires are not warm and fuzzy, they are the top of the food chain and you always know it. However, they are not cookie cutter, each one is a clearly a separate character with a separate personality. Not all authors pull that off but Reynolds does it very well.
Colin is strong, loyal, funny, compassionate and determined to do the right thing. He is coasting, somewhat, in his job as local law enforcement but when he needs to, he doesn't hesitate to get out there and do his job. That doesn't always make him popular with the locals or his friends but, despite the pain it causes him, he does it anyway. He's someone you would want on your side and that you could count on.
Both Sophia and Colin feel very real, like people you might actually know. This added to the appeal of the book for me and I expect that I will be re-reading this one. If you haven't read the series, and you like dark scary vampires mixed with romance, sex and mysteries, you really need to check them out.
Paperback was received from the author for review.