Release Date: March 29, 2011
Source: Download Destination
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Review Date: March 22, 2012
Rating: 4 bookmarks
There are a few plot twist toward the end that are pretty entertaining. I’ll try my best to do this review without revealing them. :-) Payne is really likable. She’s endearing, young at heart and really inexperienced in a lot of ways, yet she is a strong and smart warrior. In this book she was much softer around the edges than I recall in previous books. Almost to the point that you almost forget she is a fighter. It’s probably because of the circumstances resulting from her injury, which have her at a low point. Then when Manny comes into the picture, she is very feminine. But later in the story, we see that warrior side of her again. I didn’t really get a good sense of Manny’s character from the previous book with Jane and V, but I like him. He’s human, but strong. Payne and Manny are good together and clearly there is a reason for that. At some point after drinking blood from him, Payne says to Manuel that he has “strong blood”, that comment instantly got my mind turning, which come to find out, I was thinking along the right track, but sorry, I won’t say!
I feel really bad for V and Jane in this story. V has tons of past demons to deal with and pushes things to the limit to work through it. Butch also really gets a lot to deal with concerning V. Vishous is really too much for a lot of people to handle. Too damaged. Butch went through a the kind of fiasco with V that would traumatize anyone. Luckily, that was enough to get V to change his frame of mind. Finally he understands he can’t self medicate himself with pain. OMG, it’s awful. He needed a therapist. If he wanted anything more, he would be dead. I still don’t really care for that borderline dynamic between Butch and V. No matter what, it’s always there. Yes, they both love their mates, but their “friendship”…it’s always on the boarder of going too far. Don’t get me wrong, I have no issue with a man/man couple. BUT I do have an issue with it when they are both mated to other people! That’s a no-no! I can’t believe their mates are actually okay with the type of relationship they have. Totally crazy, but if you’ve read other books in this series, you’d expect nothing less.
Also in this book Qhuinn also deals with some of his own hang ups. I actually acknowledges that he loves Blay?!?! What?! I don’t think readers thought that would ever happen. Qhuinn has been so much in denial for several books now. Even once he realizes how he feels he still acts like an idiot. He basically starves himself to death and works out like mad to try to block out his feelings. John stops the madness, then Saxton all but tells him that Blay still cares about him and what does he do? Not the right thing. All men in this series are pretty bone headed when it comes to relationships, despite sexual orientation.
Side note: Why do most of the brothers think that self abuse will help them solve their issues? Hmm…interesting to think about the rationale behind that.
As usual Wrath shows up there and there in the book in his “Kingly” way. Pretty much all of the pairs were mentioned in some way or another. John/Xhex, Wrath/Beth, Butch/ Marissa, Rhage and Mary. Those getting very small cameos, otherwise briefly mentioned, are Phury/Cormia, Revenge/Elhena and Z/Bella/Nalla.
There are also some new vamps in the story line. “Band of Bastards” Ward calls them. They almost seem like a clan of old world villains, I’m not yet sure quite yet if they are or not. Their leader, Xcor, just seems kind of crazy and by his description he is scary looking! His second, Throe is clearly indebted to Xcor, but I’m not sure how long that will last. It’s pretty clear that Throe is serious about taking out human bad guys, especially since he seems to be getting vindication for his sister whom was a victim centuries ago. Xcor has a “score” to settle regarding the murder of his father, Bloodletter. We already know that Payne and V share the same father, but what’s the twist? I’m not going to tell! Read the book. Besides Bloodletter’s “you killed my father” situation, he is also clearly out for Wrath’s thrown.
In addition to all of the supernatural stuff going on, there is also a human serial killer running around Caldwell. Detectives De la Cruz (Butch’s old partner) and his new partner Thomas aka Veck are finding butchered bodies and they are in pursuit of the serial killer. Veck is an interesting character, apparently his father is a convicted serial killer now on death row. He’s got some issues and that puts him in an hot spot at the end of the book.
In the end, I was pleased that.- 1. V stepped up and helps Payne win over Wrath when it came to she and Manny being together. 2. V seemed to have gotten over the emotional hump of his past and it seems downhill from here. 3. Even thought this book was described as basically Payne and Manny book, it was filled with so much story on the others, mainly V and Jane, and Qhuinn. I felt that there was enough time dedicated to Payne and Manny that even though the story was focused almost evenly on other story lines, I didn’t feel slighted. 3. A new story line was added with the introduction of Veck. He seems like an interesting character.
What I could have done without was the weird ways Ward shortened words, like instead of environment, she uses “environs”, and she does the same thing to several other words. Probably because the old vampire language is different than current vernacular? Who knows. Just random and a little odd. Yes, it’s the same writing style as Ward’s previous books, but after I had such a long break from them, it took me a minute to get back into the grove of all the slang and terminology.
Bottom line, Ward delivers exactly what you would expect. A great story, strong characters, good sub plots and some “hot” scenes. If you’ve invested time reading the previous 8 books, check this one out for sure! I’m eager to read the next book. It’s out next week!