ebook provided by the publisher via NetGalley
science fiction romance
Blood Hunter/Dark Desires #5
August 24, 2015
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She’s his last chance for redemption…if she doesn’t kill him first.
Copilot of the Blood Hunter, Daisy is a newly-turned vampire, and she’s hungry. Really hungry and it’s interfering with her plans for revenge. Unfortunately, the only thing that can distract her from said hunger is sex…which is a problem when she can barely refrain from draining any man dry within moments. But old flame Fergal Cain might just be the sexy-assed solution to her problem.
Part human, part cyborg, and with a poison coursing through his system, Fergal’s running out of time to find the scientist who has the cure. Unfortunately for him, the misfit crew of the Blood Hunter put a serious kink in his plans. And if the poison doesn’t kill him, the hot little vamp he can’t resist might do the honors herself…
Plant girl turned vampire meets intrepid reporter turned cyborg. Or at least that’s one variation on the romance between Daisy, copilot of the Blood Hunter and Fergal Cain, escaped prisoner. However, there are many, many layers to both of their identities, and lots of both internal and external tension in this latest installment in the marvelous Blood Hunter series.
The previous book in this series, Temporal Shift (reviewed here) serves as a bit of a reboot for the series. During the events of that book, which take place on the other side of a wormhole, only six months pass for the crew of Blood Hunter. It’s during those six months that Daisy, a genetically modified young woman with a whole lot of chlorophyll in her DNA, is nearly killed and is changed into a vampire in order to save her life.
The crew of the Blood Hunter has already lost some of their nearest and dearest in the galactic power struggle that they keep finding themselves in the middle of, and Rico, who swore that he would never turn anyone again, turns Daisy to keep her with them. Especially since her near-death is all his fault.
But Daisy the vampire is also a problem. She’s hungry ALL THE TIME, and doesn’t have enough control to manage her hunger. Her crewmates are now also food, but food she doesn’t want to kill. Lucky for her, they are all immortal and can afford to feed her regularly. Rico tells her that sex will also quiet her hunger, but every single person on the Blood Hunter is part of a couple. Everyone has already found their soulmate, except for poor lonely and starving Daisy.
When they come back through the wormhole, they discover that 20 years has passed in the world they left behind, and everything has gone into the shitter. The very militant and anti-anyone-not-pure-human Church of Everlasting Life has taken control of everything, and people in general are either true believers or truly terrified.
The head of the church, Temperance Hatcher, is responsible for the deaths of too many of the Blood Hunter’s crew. And he has two of the crew as hostages, Alex and Jon. Alex has been forced to resume her role as reluctant High Priestess in order to keep her husband Jon alive. (If you’re curious about how they got together in the first place, read Deadly Pursuit (reviewed here) for the story of Alex’ escape from the Church and their unlikely romance.)
In their first unsuccessful attempt to break Jon out of prison, the crew rediscovers Fergal Cain instead. When they first met, Fergal was an investigative journalist infiltrating a company that produced cyborgs. Twenty years later, Fergal is an escaped cyborg attempting to rescue the one man who knows the details of Fergal’s condition, and the one man who can possibly keep him alive.
The Blood Hunter crew can’t leave Fergal behind, they’ve just blown his cover as a prison guard. But Fergal is certain that he can’t stay with the Blood Hunter, he’s carrying too many deadly secrets that will either get them all killed, or get him tossed out an airlock. But when he and Daisy discover that they are everything the other one needs to cure everything that ails them, he can’t make himself turn away.
Not even when it is much, much too late.
Escape Rating B+: I’ll confess to being a bit confused by the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey bits in Temporal Shift, so it was great that the author put the crew back into normal space and into a story where time behaved normally again.
At the same time, the 20 year break served as an interesting reboot. When the crew left normal space it took the leaders of the two of the three major power groups with them. So the Collective and the rebel conclave both collapsed without their leaders and the Church very much ascendant took over everything.
Rabid theocracy is not anyone’s friend in this book. In this case, the True Believers in human purity are unable to tolerate any deviance, either in DNA or in thought. The prisons are full and the people are scared, quite reasonably, to death.
Fergal Cain has a big secret that he is carrying through most of the book. However, it is a secret that is easily guessed by the reader. And my knowing what it was did not detract from the drama, because the tension always revolved around other people’s reaction to that secret, not its existence.
Daisy and Fergal make a perfect pair. He is a cyborg, and he normally has to hold back on his strength and capabilities. Daisy is a vampire who is afraid to let down her guard out of fear that she might kill her partner. Except that Daisy discovers that while Fergal may be terrific in bed, he isn’t food for her vampire. As a cyborg, he tastes terrible!
But that they are each able to let down their respective guards makes their intimacy, both physical and emotional, hard for them to resist. Fergal has never belonged to anyone or anything before, and his connection to Daisy, and through her to the crew of the Blood Hunter, kills his resolve to remain alone. It may be safer on his own, but he finally discovers that being connected to other people is worth it.
And Daisy finds herself in a relationship that is not just worth fighting for, but also worth living for, and someone with whom she may be able to share “forever”.
If you like your science fiction romance with a heaping helping of non-stop action adventure, start this series with Break Out (reviewed here). You’ll be glad you did.
As part of the tour, Nina is giving away 2 sets of the paperback copies of the first three books in the series, Break Out, Deadly Pursuit and Death Defying and 5 ecopies of Temporal Shift, book 4
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