Book reviews à la bookworm...The good, the bad, and everything in between.
Boston is swarming with Rogues, vampires afflicted with Bloodlust, the constant craving for human blood and the kill that makes them heedless of the exposure they bring to their race. Such high numbers of Rogues is alarming to the Breeds, especially when a human woman witnesses six Rogues mercilessly tearing someone apart. She snaps pictures of them with her cell phone and flees the scene, never knowing how close she came to being followed. She would’ve died if it wasn’t for the Breed warrior leader Lucan Thorne.
One sniff of her elusive jasmine-like scent and Rogues are the very least of Lucan’s problems, though. Because the woman turns out to be a Breedmate. A human woman with DNA that matches that of the Breed, making her suitable to bear future male vampires. And Lucan is prepared to do anything it takes to keep her safe…Without risking his bachelorhood. Or his heart.
This is a tough one to call, because there were parts I loved and parts I didn’t. There’s no gray area, it’s all black and white for me in this book.
I loved the world-building, a nice mix of déjà-vu elements (like the alien angle of the vampires reminiscent of Angela Knight’s Mageverse series), the “mating urge” (pretty much every PNR out there), the slow descent into madness of vampires (Christine Feehan’s Dark/Carpathian series), and some new stuff (all-male race, only human women – with a nice little birthmark to distinguish them – compatible with the Breed) to make things interesting.
There were also a bunch of good action sequences, though I found myself slightly skimming through the final battle, since the story dragged itself a tad too long, and I absolutely loved the supporting cast. Though I did suspect Tegan of treason for a moment, I can’t wait to read his story, now that I know he actually is one of the good guys.
Speaking of the good-versus-evil battle – great twist towards the end with the enemy acting from within. I sure didn’t see that one coming, and the bigger-picture villain and his relationship with the warriors was a good suspense stroke as well.
Also, the addiction angle throughout the story provided a good source of angst and tension, and the fact it affected “the big guns” was an interesting twist.
And I finally came to the “bad” part. It’s an anomaly, but I sure as heck didn’t like neither of the protagonists. And that in a way made them truly perfect for each other. I found Lucan annoying, cold, distant, and sometimes downright barbaric in his dealing with both the heroine and his fellow warriors. I didn’t appreciate his mentality of “fu***** Gabrielle out of his system” at every opportunity, even when he swore to stay away from her. Though that could also be seen as a sort of addiction, and could’ve worked for the story as a whole if done in a different way, I didn’t appreciate it one bit. Also, his bouts of egotistic martyrdom and guilt-trips soon became annoying.
Now, to the heroine. Gabrielle. She started off great, but soon deteriorated into a mess of issues that made my teeth hurt. I sure didn’t appreciate the speed with which she went from exaggerated hysterics (too exaggerated for my taste) to quiet acceptance, when she found out the truth. And that TSTL moment at the end sure didn’t come through as an attempt to ascertain herself, but more as a desperate move by the author to quickly and easily bring matters to a close – for the hero to discover he actually lost his heart to a woman, and to show the true identity of the Rogue leader.
All this good and bad elements cancelled each other out, firmly planting this story in the “middle ground” or romance novels.