A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .
A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his heart burns for vengeance. But when he kidnaps Nicole and holds her in a secret lair, his mortal enemy becomes his soul obsession, his greatest temptation, and, perhaps, his only salvation—a hot-blooded lover who could heal him with her touch . . . or bury him forever.
This is very different to the usual vampire stories where we tend to see vampires as the ultimate predator and in point of fact it's the humans in this book that seem to be the most repellent. In a society that has enslaved vampires by defanging and gelding them, we meet Nicole whose family business promotes vampire slavery. Nicole is the CEO and is usually to be found working in her laboratory creating new wonder drugs but she is due to defend her actions before her board when her ultimate nightmare comes true! Two rebel vampires storm the house and take her prisoner but one of them is Ryker, the male who Nicole witnessed as a child killing her beloved nanny! Ryker needs Nicole to help him retrieve a captured female vampire from one of her laboratories and he is prepared to do anything to save his clan. Forced to be together, Nicole starts to see a side to the vampires that is completely unexpected and she learns that perhaps not everything she believed is right. Nicole cannot help but get much closer to the dangerous Ryker but his signals are most decidedly mixed!
I will be honest and say I struggled with the beginning of this as I really did not find the vampire slavery to be appealing. Traditionally they are the apex predator and yet here the humans are downright inhuman! A world that uses vampire’s blood to make cosmetics and medicines is bad enough but these vampires are treated abysmally and I'm not surprised they hate humans. I do like that the heroine is strong and stands up for herself but I could not believe she was that naive and did not appreciate the level of suffering. She receives a very rude awakening though when captured and held by the Moonbound clan and indeed nearly all of my favourite moments involve the vampires casually discussing in front of her the simple fact that she's considered food! There are truly some hilarious comments that helped elevate the dialogue and bring these characters to life.
Now this is a romance and although there's intense attraction between Ryker and Nicole, he has quite severe issues to overcome. For one thing, he blames Nicole's family for his mate’s death and then of course there is that little thing where Nicole's own company cruelly abuse vampires. He does a very good job of removing the rose tinted spectacles off Nicole but thrusting his own blind hatred aside is more difficult. He is totally badass though, and happily engages those who seek to hurt his clan and has a love hate relationship with Hunter, his clan leader, who coincidentally takes centre stage in the next book. I adored Ryker's interactions with Myne, a vampire with titanium choppers and a very secretive history, and would dearly love to get his story.
So yes, I enjoyed it but I found it difficult to get into as I wasn't convinced about the way humanity perceived the vampires. Unfortunately, it didn't wow me from the first page (Demonica is still my favourite series), but as the story progressed it certainly hooked me. I will happily read the next book as I'm keen to see what happens next. A good beginning to this new series that's dark and quite disturbing but most fabulous of all is the rich development of these new characters. I’m hoping the journey to freedom and happiness is not going to get too torturous for them. I love the humour in this book as no one does snark quite like Ms Ione and will eagerly read Chained by Night to see what happens next!