What an intriguing combo! Biker hero vampire and human police detective heroine…had to try it. I dove into this one with anticipation and for the most part it delivered as the start of a series. It is one where the last half of the book was definitely more rewarding than the first half in all ways- characters, development and pace.
The story is set in a small town in Oregon where a gal police detective, Cara Brahnam, is investigating a series of gruesome murders where the odd bit is that the bodies are drained and the victims all have a certain resemblance- a resemblance she shares.
Kane ‘Viper’ Tepes, descendant of Vlad the impaler and president of the all vampire Sons of Sangue Motorcycle Club, is suspect number one in a series of murders that include his most recent volunteer blood donor. He and his MC brothers are under scrutiny of the local law enforcement and he is determined to deal with the issue sensing that the murders are the result of a personal vendetta against him. Unfortunately, he can’t seem to keep his mind in the game because his head is turned by Cara Brahnam. Ten years before, she caught him drinking and having sex with a donor and he should have erased her memories, but couldn’t because he didn’t want her to forget him. Now, here she is again and just as beguiling as ever only she wants nothing to do with him and isn’t sure she believes in vampires. This should be good news because carrying on with Cara and, worse, giving in to temptation and drinking from her is the against the rules set up by the MC for the protection of his kind and the punishment is at the least ostracism from the club.
Cara wants to maintain distance with Kane because he is the logical suspect in the murders and because she can’t get past that event ten years ago when she caught him drinking a girl’s blood. Besides, he’s made it clear that he doesn’t do relationships. Too bad her head and her body aren’t on the same wavelength. Distance is no longer available though when she becomes the next targeted victim and only Kane can protect her.
The plot on this one grabbed me in the beginning. It was all good stuff in the beginning, but then when Cara’s character got annoying for me and the pace stalled out, I was disappointed. I do enjoy a certain amount of sexual tension and outside barriers so that things aren’t too easy and boring, but there is a limit to my patience. He was a big bad outlaw biker; she was a cop. He was a scary vampire who didn’t do relationships and she couldn’t accept these things. All that would have been fine and understandable, but after several rounds of arguing and internal dialogue and thwarted moments with no real development in the romance or the other components of the story, I just kept thinking ‘Get On With It Already’. Thankfully, it did- get on with it that is- before I got too exasperated.
The story was told from mostly Kane and Cara’s perspectives, but it also tossed in the bad guys’ points of view and story line as well as an intriguing story line involving Kane’s twin Kaleb and Cara’s friend that will probably get its own book in the series. I was okay with the villain perspective, but having it took away from the tension and menace that the unknown would have given. I also noted that the story ended without some closure when it came to the villain who was orchestrating matters from a distance. Since they were included in the story with their own plot line, I was interested in what their reaction was to how things went down in the end. I’m not sure if maybe this was on purpose so it would be an ongoing plot thread so I’ll take a wait and see on that one.
I really liked the introduction to all the characters in this new series. I can’t wait to get to know all those dark and dangerous vampire bikers better and learn who their girl will be with each new book. Kane and Cara’s relationship in the second half of the book was well worth the impatience I felt for them in the beginning. I groaned when I saw that Cara wanted everyone to believe she was one of those independent, sassy gals who picked the wrong moments to prove it, but was really someone loaded with issues and in denial. Later in the story, things from her past came out and her issues made some sense just as Kane’s past explained how he became who he was. Loved seeing them get past so many things and be willing to take chances and sacrifice to be together.
All in all, it was a good start to a series and I look forward to the next book with anticipation. This book would appeal to those who like to mix things up a bit because of the contemporary biker romance combines with romantic suspense and spicy hot paranormal romance.
My thanks to Net Galley for providing the book for review purposes.