I always enjoy returning to Thea Harrison’s world of the Elder Races. It’s true that I haven’t loved every installment equally, but that’s because Harrison makes each of her stories and all of her characters and species so unique. You never get the same book twice, which keeps things interesting, but also means some books will resonate better with certain readers than others. This is a return to the world of the Vampyres. This didn’t excite me, considering the only other Vampyre centered book was one of my least favorite in the series. I ended up liking this book much, much more than that one, and it left me excited for the next installment.
Our hero is Xavier, right hand man to Vampyre King Julian. He meets the heroine, Tess, at an auction where vampires collect human attendants. I got the impression that he wasn’t there to find someone, but her blunt honesty intrigued him and he ended up selecting her for his flock. Tess doesn’t really want to be a blood source to a vamp, but she is in deep trouble with a Djinn and she is hoping that joining Xavier’s household will grant her some protection.
The story follows Tess as she faces her fears about Vampyres and Xavier, himself. Yes, there are some scenes from Xavier’s POV, but for me this book was definitely Tess-centric. She is the much more developed of the two characters, which is interesting since the hero is centuries old and she’s 24, but no matter. I found her very easy to relate to. She is unable to keep her mouth shut when she should. She follows her moral compass, even when it’s inconvenient. She is honest and blunt, stubborn and determined. And all of this gets her into trouble. I liked her and I really enjoyed the progression of her relationship with Xavier, though to be fair, he’s the one who went the extra mile to make it work.
The romance develops slowly, but I didn’t mind. There was some solid tension to sustain me, and if it had gone any faster, it wouldn’t have worked with Tess’s fear of Vampyres. The sexual payoff made the delayed gratification worth it. Harrison is always fantastic with the love scenes. Some people may find fault with the delay in the romance part of the story, though.
This book is almost completely cut off from the Wyr plotline, so don’t expect to see Dragos or very many familiar faces. It does draw some from the Vampyre history we already know, but this could be a great entry point for a new reader. Plus, the set-up for Midnight Kiss is great! Now I am actually looking forward to the next Vampyre book. Can’t wait to see where the story takes us next.
*ARC Provided by Berkley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Thea Harrison
Release Date: September 2, 2014