The Delphi Bloodline by Donna Del Oro sucked me in from the very first page. There were a few points in the middle where I wondered, “Sucked me into what?”, but I couldn’t stop flicking the pages on my iPad. I absolutely had to know what happened next. The Delphi Bloodline is a little bit paranormal romance, a little bit romantic suspense, a little bit thriller, and there were a couple of moments where I thought I’d wandered into The DaVinci Code, but all of it will keep up long past your bedtime.
It all starts when Athena Butler has a dream that her mother is being kidnapped. Except that it’s not exactly a dream; it’s a vision in what Athena and her mother call “The Flow”, the stream of spirits. And Flow Dreams are prophesies –unless they are thwarted. Or misinterpreted.
Athena and her mother Annabella both have precognitive visions, and they both work with the police to help solve crimes. Or rather, Athena’s mother still does. Athena used to, but she’s been hiding out, somewhere that no one can find her. Even her mother only has a cell phone number.
Athena is tired of seeing death. Because that’s all the future holds.
But when even Athena’s warning turns out not to be enough to stop her mother’s kidnapping, Athena comes out of hiding. Or rather, her mother’s failsafe plan to protect Athena if something happened to her kicks into place.
A Guardian comes for Athena. Guardian with a capital “G”. And just in time. Someone is hunting every identified psychic. Every person who has ever assisted the police or any law enforcement agency using any type of extra-sensory powers.
And all the fakes are turning up dead.
Athena, and her mother, are descendants of a long line of women who have psychic abilities, all the way back to ancient Greece. There’s always been an Athena in her family. And there have always been Guardians willing to lay down their lives to keep women like Athena safe from people who wanted to harm them.
Keriakos Alexander Skoros (Kas to his friends) doesn’t plan to be Athena’s Guardian on anything other than a temporary basis. But her mother entrusted him with this task, and so, for that matter, did his own mother, another one of these psychics. But when it turns out that all the psychics in the U.S. are being targeted, Athena, her mother, his mother, all the others, Kas, a former cop, is on board for the duration.
But the longer he spends with Athena, the more he wants to take up the role of her protector, forever.
Athena doesn’t want anyone vowing to lay down his life for her. She’ll protect herself, thank you very much. She’s looked at the statistics, and she knows that Guardians generally die young. The longer she spends with Kas, the less she wants him to be her Guardian.
Which doesn’t mean she doesn’t want him around.
The FBI does not believe in psychic powers. But they do believe in serial killers. They don’t believe one little bit that Athena has any power whatsoever, but they can figure out that she’s one of the targets. Eventually.
They think she’s the perfect bait to trap the kidnapper.
Athena was worried that Guardians have a short life expectancy? The life expectancy of bait really sucks.
Escape Rating A-: The suspense aspects of this one are like the snowball going down the hill. Once it starts rolling, it never stops. The pace just gets faster and faster. Everyone involved becomes part of the action, which just gets more and more tense. Wow!
The romance takes its time to develop. It should be the wrong time for Kas and Athena. But they are so right for each other, if events can just slow down long enough for them to figure it out.
The big-bad villain may have been a bit over-the-top. Your mileage may vary. Believable villains seem to be difficult. The one element that really bugged me was Annabelle, Athena’s mother, and her long-standing relationship with, of all agencies, the Vatican. Would the Pope be using a psychic to predict when it was safe to travel? There’s more going on there, but it heads into spoiler country.
But if you’re looking for a fun mostly romantic suspense with a touch of psychic power, give The Delphi Bloodline a read. Be prepared not to re-surface until you’re done.