This one took me a few chapters to get into, but once I was in, I was in. The last book in the Brahm Hill series was over a year ago and though you might want to read this as a standalone; it’s tightly connected to book 2. Alec and Poppy’s (Guarding Poppy – Book 2) story takes place somewhere along the same lines as the first part of this story. All that being said, what came back to me pretty quickly was the reason why I enjoy Christine Wenrick’s writing. It’s engaging and tickles the imagination for the possibilities on what the Dhampir, vampire, lycan world looks like.
If you didn’t read Kane and Skye’s story – Someone Else’s Syke, Book 1 – Aiden is a big part of that story. He and Kane have a very… dysfunctional yet functional, funny, take-it-like-a-man, go-get-your-woman kind of relationship. They’re so opposite, Kane’s a talker while Aiden’s not, making for a perfectly good friends kind of relationship. The dynamics between them work as well here as they did in book 1.
One of the pluses for me in this story is the tension filled relationship between Aiden and Zane. Zane’s a fellow super-soldier working for the The Brethren. Both Aiden and Zane, both human, were part of this crazy vampire blood transfusion thing that the former Elder of the The Brethren was doing in the basement. The only two survivors of the experiments that we know of, are Aiden and Zane. If I thought Aiden was quiet, he’s got nothing on Zane. Zane’s the troubled guy who’s got so much potential – but only if he uses his powers for good not evil. But I digress.
Aiden’s a tall drink of water and he’s very good with his hands, if you know what I mean. His transition from human to vampire is taking up a lot of headspace, and when he sees Lily Abbott, his feelings put him on a life changing spiral. As someone who’s been fighting vampires for a long time, Aiden’s aware of what vampires can do and what they turn into, and he’s terrified, especially when he realizes the significance of Lily’s presence at The Oracle. The mental tug of war is real for Aiden, and taking that journey with him was fun.
Lily’s as interesting to me as Olivia was in the Charmed Series. There’s so much about her that I want to know. One of the things I really liked about her was the way she wanted to protect Aiden. As a Dhampir, she’s got a lot of inherent skill, but she’s got some wit about her and it’s those and a few other things that she uses to protect Aiden while he goes through the human to vampire transition. I was pleasantly surprised by her mental strength and even more so by her Dhampir strength, which isn’t anything to slouch over. Even the way she got into The Oracle after the big fight on Brahm Hill is …well… I didn’t see that coming, not one bit.
The chemistry, and there was a lot, between Aiden and Lily was fluid and moved along from one phase to another quite well. The sex between them was a bit more frequent that I’m used to in this series, but as it wasn’t gratuitous. Their sexy times were just that – sexy.
That unhinged Celeste is back. That chick has more than a few loose screws; there’s no way she was sane before she became a vampire. You can’t gain that much crazy from the change (or can you?). We get much more of her than we have in the past. I’ll be honest, reading about that narcissistic vampire with the god complex made for quite a bit of page turning fun, but I will not be sad to see the end of her – I’ll need it to be bad, bloody, terrible and yes, savage.
I’m really looking forward to the next book in the series – I can only speculate that Zane will have his turn next.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC provided by author for review
Click to purchase: Amazon
Leaving Lily Behind
by Christine Wenrick
Release Date: March 2, 2016