A dark killer haunts the streets of Los Angeles, stalking unwilling victims and draining their blood. When the evidence runs dry, Detective Max Bowman quenches his thirst at his local bar hoping for inspiration. Instead, he’s robbed and left for dead in the alley. Waking up in the warm bed of horror novelist Carter Gray was the last thing he expected, but it may be the lead he needs. For Carter hides a dangerous secret behind his life as a bestselling author and it might be the answer, no matter how unbelievable, Max has been looking for.
But as they search for the killer, Max begins to wonder if he’s being led in circles by a mastermind of plot twists and deception.
Max is a homicide detective who gets jumped one night by haters and almost killed. Carter, the vampire, saves him – intending fully to finish him off himself – only to find he can’t do it.
Carter ends up taking Max back to his home where he nurses him back to health and sends him on his way after admitting to being the cause of several of the murders Max is trying to solve.
Something about Carter continues to call to Max and vice versa even though both know they should not have feelings like this for someone so diametrically opposed to their way of life. Max hunts killers and Carter is a killer.
It becomes clear that though Carter never thought he deserved a soul-mate he has one: Max. Carter doesn’t want to convert Max and make him a killer like he is, but he also doesn’t want to lose Max.
In the meantime Carter is being hunted by one of his own kind and Max gets caught in the crossfire.
In the end things turn out pretty great for everyone – well, except all those dead people…
I spent my time reading this book going from – hmmm not sure I like this, to ooh – yay – I love this, back to oh man really? Back to – oh goody that happens! Etcetera.
On the one hand I loved some of the characters. Carter is so dark and haunted, truly a monster, and a nice change of pace from the “yes I suck blood, but I’m a nice guy” Vampire.
Gordon, Carter’s butler is – well – the perfect butler. Unfailingly loyal, wise, helpful, Johnny-on-the-spot – just like Alfred is to Batman, Gordon is to Carter. He shows some of the only consistency in the entire story.
The bad guys are bad. Lyle and Boyd, the twisted duo, are really quite sick and do a great job of killing and torturing and lying and – well, being bad guys. Up until the end… then Lyle kind of makes a left turn into the land of good, which was out of character, but ended up being kind of sweet too.
Max I didn’t care for. From scene one I was like “How in the hell is a homicide detective caught unawares enough to get jumped at a bar?!” Shouldn’t he know better? Well, no. Max is the innocent lamb, following his heart into bad situations, left and right. He’d be the Red Shirt on Star Trek or the woman in most every horror movie. (Not fair to us women, but that’s how it’s been.) I never saw him as the cop and though he briefly battled with the idea of loving someone so monstrous, it was a weak “oh no, how can I ever love an evil vampire?” followed by “oh yeah baby give it to me again!” The penis is mightier than the conscience, apparently.
As far as story lines go, it was interesting. I love the fated soul mates thing and that was sweet and sexy (there is lots of hot sex in this book) and the twist at the end was a nice touch.
The mystery/bad guy part of the story line felt very true and solid, right up to the end, then it kind of went off the rails and bad guys started acting like good guys — but it mostly worked.
The love story was not it’s strongest point. The fated soul mates thing was great and it moved our characters along quickly in the way that can only happen with soul mates, but I didn’t see our guys really ever connect in a way that wasn’t sexual. When it came time for the climactic finish – the time for sacrifice and confessions – it was awesome, so dramatic and I loved it – but I didn’t have a good build up to that scene. I didn’t feel the emotions were there behind the declarations, so though they were exciting and riveting, they, too, felt like they come from left field.
What bugged me the absolute most was the fact that I never understood why Carter felt he had to kill everyone he drank. He proved he didn’t biologically need to. He proved he had a conscience and Max offered resistance to the whole killing thing… it never made sense. I liked that the author was trying to keep Carter a Vampire’s Vampire… not a sappy Vampire, but I don’t think it quite worked out. Carter looked inconsistent and it weakened his previously strong characterization.
So- I give this a solid 3.5 hearts. I really did enjoy reading it and it came so close to being amazing and awesome but just missed the mark. I really, really enjoy Lisa Worrall as an author (Laurel Heights, I Can See For Miles, Nanny for Nate, Always Hope) but this wasn’t my favorite of her books.
As a P.S. I love the new cover by Maria Fanning – very hot!
Copy provided by Dreamspinner Press