Deep in the heart of New York City’s netherworld, a horrible disease is ravaging the vampire community. The Vampire Council is on a crusade to obliterate those infected, and Harrow Gates is target Number One. The unwitting source of the plague, he suffers from the same nightmarish symptoms as his victims. The world he’d been thrust into was cold, cruel, and intent on eradicating him, and the legions of afflicted vampires he created with his bite.
A bounty hanging over his head, satisfying his hunger has become an enormous challenge for Harrow. The less he feeds, the more hideous and painful his lesions become. Constantly running for his life and learning new tricks to survive, Harrow is in no position to refuse when Pritchard Tack offers him a unique opportunity. Pritchard not only gives Harrow a new beginning, but also a purpose and a chance to rectify the chaos he created in the vampire world. However, the multibillionaire has an agenda of his own.
Jordan is a reluctant new vampire and a woman on a mission. After the demise of her family and her own transformation at the hands of Goran, the ruthless leader of the Vampire Council, her only focus is revenge. Constantly faced with one frustrating dead-end after another, a stroke of luck leads her to an underground facility that she suspects is the lair of the monster for whom she is looking.
Upon learning more about the truth behind the secret bunker, Jordan must fight against her growing feelings of friendship and concern for the facility’s inhabitants. One man in particular threatens to pull her heart away from her sworn mission. There is something behind Harrow’s dark lenses that unsettles the hardened female. Once again, she trembles and hungers for something other than red-stained revenge. Is love strong enough to override her hate-fueled thirst for vengeance?
Harrow looked up at the sound of her footsteps, his eyes unfocused. His sunglasses were on the table, and his eyes were almost opaque in color when they settled on her. He sat up on the bed.
“Jordan, please go away.” He hissed and moved back when she approached. Her movement was slow and calculated. She was unwilling to startle him into action.
“Darling, I need to draw blood from you,” Jordan said, as if appeasing a crying child with sweet offerings.
His fangs were incredibly long. She wasn’t sure if she was imagining it, but she thought she saw them throb right before her very eyes. It had been almost two weeks since he’d last fed, and it looked like he had reached his limit.
Harrow licked his dried, chapped lips and inched away from her. The lesions on his arms, legs, and around his neck were raw, almost glowing red and had grown bigger. He gritted his teeth as if to dispel the demons of his disease. Jordan was certain it had something to do with the burning pain from the wounds as well as the pang of hunger. Starvation was a tough opponent, because it would eat you up alive and spew out your carcass after it finished you off.
“Make it quick, because I’m trying hard here.” Harrow appeared bone tired, his tone weary as he held out his arm after he made sure she was wearing gloves. “Move fast,” he reminded her as he eyed her jugular. The pulsing clearly began to excite him.
“I know you won’t hurt me.” She kept her voice low and held his arm. He was burning hot, and she felt like her hands would melt on contact. Harrow rested his arm on his thigh as she tried to keep her hands steady.
Harrow drew in a deep breath before exhaling with a curse. “Hurry up, Jordan.”
Once she stuck the needle into his skin, Harrow hissed and began twitching again. After she filled the evacuated collection tube with blood, she pulled out the needle and applied a little pressure to the entry site with her finger before taping it up.
“Get out now!” he screamed. “Now!”
Before she stepped away, she held his gaze for a moment and whispered the words she’d been dying to tell him.
“I love you, Harrow.”
Time stood still as soon as the words were out of her mouth. Harrow’s breathing slowed, and his twitching ceased for just a moment. “I love you more,” he said. “But please, get out of this room now.”
He didn’t scream the order, he whispered it as if it was a last ditch effort before he turned savage. Jordan walked out the door, which Leroy held open for her. Her heart was aching, but at the same time, it was soaring. How could her heart sing and lament at the same time?
This is a complex story of a world where vampires and humans coexist. While the average human might be unaware that vampires exist, there appears to be plenty of people who do know, at least once they get bitten.
Jordon was one those people. She had a good life and loving parents until a vampire killed them and turned her into a vampire. She lives to end that vampire’s life.
Harrow had already been turned when the story starts. But he still retains his ‘humanity’ and tries very hard not to pass his disease to others. What he doesn’t realize is that he is the source of the deadly ‘virus’ attacking the vampires, and every time he feeds, no matter how careful he is, he infects another human/vampire.
Then Harrow and a vampire trying to kill him are abducted and taken to a secret compound where Harrow is offered the possibility of a cure by a wealthy human named Pritchard, who is dedicated to curing the disease that Harrow caused. And finally, Harrow has a purpose, other than just surviving.
The cast of characters is huge. Many die, some live, but they are introduced in a reasonable fashion so you never feel overwhelmed. Along the way, we discover the vampire that killed Jordon’s parents. (I won’t tell you who).
I liked that it wasn’t just a human vs. vampire story. Pritchard reaches out to both human and vampires to cure the deadly virus.
This is a well-written, complex story and three-dimensional characters. While long, the story kept me engaged from beginning to end. I truly appreciated that between all the battles, love could blossom and while it wasn’t always easy love, it was quite satisfying. I give this 5 stars.
Within the Tack Enterprises group of underground fighters, Tor Burns is one of the few noninfected vampires committed to saving his diseased comrades from certain death at the hands of the Vampire Council. He is the meanest, strongest, and most impulsive member of the team. Having survived a vicious attack in Tack’s underground facility, he now has a new purpose: guard the irresistible daughter of their fallen leader, no matter the price. Armed with an abrasive personality and fierce loyalty, Tor approaches this new responsibility with serious determination, despite his reservations.
Hunted by the Council, Allison Tack is unable to do as she pleases. The beautiful and timid co-heir of the Tack fortune is guarded by those loyal to her father. A walking target wherever she goes, Allison wants to learn how to protect herself, but no one is listening. Sick of being the helpless one in a company of trained fighters, Allison vows to prove that she can fight alongside the best of them.
Meanwhile, harem leader Melissa is hell-bent on unraveling any clue about the fate of her son, Demetrius. He disappeared without a word, and time has made her desperate to find him. Stepping up her efforts, she seeks the help of Demetrius’s son, Zane. With his help, Melissa finds the lair of the underground vampires and wages war against them.
Thrown together by necessity, Tor and Allison can’t continue to deny their attraction to each other. Tor wants to give in to his feelings for Allison, but old demons resurface. Tormented by a dark secret, Tor must confront the past to prevent losing the best thing that ever happened to him.
A life must be given for a life taken. Will Tor have to sacrifice himself before Allison pays the price?
Allison pivoted, and her eyes gave her emotions away. Without answering, she launched a mean, right-handed slap across his face, and he staggered backward.
“That’s for leaving, you stupid, stupid man!”
For once in his life, Tor was out of wisecracks. He stared at her, stunned and at loss for words. Touching his cheek, he could still feel the sting. He’d screwed up.
“I’m sorry . . . I didn’t mean to leave just like that. I—I got a little carried away.” Tor had no idea how to do the whole apology thing, but he tried.
Allison shook her head. “Do you know how it feels to think I might lose you? I lost Daddy already. Please don’t put me through that kind of hell again.”
Her plea tore at his heart. He had forgotten to consider her feelings.
“Ally, I apologize . . .” He moved closer, aching to touch her.
“I don’t think I’d live if I lost you.” Allison closed the distance between them and wrapped her arms around his waist.
Closing his eyes, Tor breathed in her scent and thanked his lucky stars he hadn’t blown his chance with her. “You won’t. I’ll be with you until you’re sick of me.”
“If you ever pull a number like that again, I swear I’ll kill you myself.”
Atta girl! That was the Allison he had come to love.
“I won’t give you a reason to get rid of me.” He tugged at her arm and directed her to the door. “I want to show you exactly how sorry I am. Let me make it up to you.”
Allison stopped walking and turned to face him, her eyes narrowing. “And how exactly are you going to do that?”
He waggled his eyebrows and grinned. “You’ll find out . . . in the bedroom.”
Rohnert comes from a long line of pure-blooded vampires. Quiet and principled, he is known for his combat expertise and is beloved by peers and students alike. Having broken away from the Vampire Council, Rohnert has nothing to do with the affairs of the elite group of Elders, which is being run into the ground by Goran, a former friend and ally.
With the vampire race in upheaval, he must rise to the occasion and fulfill the prophecy of the black book, which is the source of wisdom and history of his people. Refusing to support Goran’s tyrannical rule and with no interest in ruling himself, he allies with freedom fighters led by the indomitable Harrow Gates. However, the prophecies failed to prepare him to handle one passionate and determined human doctor.
Shelly Anderson vowed to never fall in love again, but her resolve quickly changes upon meeting enigmatic and reclusive Rohnert. Although she was lucky enough to get what she wanted, their one night together ended in a nightmare. Now carrying his baby, she intends to raise the child on her own, but Rohnert’s unexpected reentry into her life derails her plans.
While she teaches him how powerful a human’s love can be, Rohnert realizes the lengths he is willing to go to keep her close and safe, even if it means violating a long-standing decree among pure-blooded vampires to keep their bloodlines alive.
When Goran begins to kill off the remaining Elders, Harrow’s rebels urge Rohnert to step in, but it isn’t until harsh reality comes knocking at his door that his choice becomes clear. Rohnert must do whatever he can to save the people he loves or risk losing them forever, but the reluctant savior may already be too late to protect the lives that matter most.
Rohnert was already undressing Shelly with his eyes the moment the bolt on the door engaged. Man, it had been a while. This time, he would initiate every damn thing. He had a lot to make up for—the lost time, the way he’d left, and overall, his idiocy.
He had led her to believe that he couldn’t love her. Who had he been kidding? She was the very air he breathed, the single reason why living was bearable. Now that she was carrying his child, he’d treat her just like the queen that she was. It didn’t take half a brain to know he’d screwed up, and he wouldn’t take her forgiveness for granted.
“So we need to talk,” he said, running his hand along her collarbone.
Shelly closed her eyes, and her expression told him that the talking could wait. She had better things in mind. She wanted to make love to him.
He stiffened, and so did his cock.
“What are we going to talk about?” Her voice took a nosedive, becoming husky, and she wormed her soft hands around his waist, her lips parted like an invitation to a playground.
Okay, initiation on his part didn’t happen. The woman was fast. The scent of her lust wafted in the air, and his nostrils flared.
“I want to show you how much to mean to me.” He threaded his fingers through her silky hair.
“How much?” Her hand wound to the hardened bulge in his pants.
Rohnert jerked on contact, welcoming the intrusion. “So much that I’m aching,”
Her eyes spoke volumes, and her lips curved into a playful smile. “You like it?”
He shifted, allowing more room for her to navigate. The pleasure of her fingers grazing his skin made him tremble, his knees weakening under her touch.
“You have no idea.”
So much for making the first move. Shelly was in the driver’s seat, and he was just going along for the ride—which was wrong. It was his turn to give her pleasure, but her hand cupping his erection made it very difficult to think.
Rohnert moved his body to give her space to work. He was such a selfish bastard, but one look at her gave him absolution. She was enjoying this as much as he was.
The vampires of New York City are breathing easier after the demise of the tyrannical former head of the Vampire Council, Goran. Under Rohnert, the revered and newly ascended leader, their future looks promising. However, an unknown enemy is manipulating events, killing humans and vampires alike, and exposing their secrets to the human world.
This is bad news for new vampire Cyrus and his band of fighters at Tack Enterprises. Events derail his plans to find Zane, the sadistic vampire who tortured Cyrus and forced immortality on him. Armed with hatred deep in his bones, all Cyrus cares about is getting even, and Zane has it coming. Cyrus soon finds himself torn between the crippling desire for revenge and his responsibility to his friends. When he begins to spend time in the company of the beautiful and pureblooded vampire, Isidora, her presence in his life makes him rethink his priorities.
Isidora is able to read minds. The thoughts she hears from the respected and irresistible vampire, Cyrus, are filled with both anger towards Zane and a deep admiration for her. Being closeted all her life, Issy has no idea what to do in the face of the outside world’s war, death, and challenges. One thing is clear. She craves Cyrus, but his need for vengeance is clouding his mind. After discovering a previously hidden family member and being called to serve the Council, Issy is at a crossroads in her life and struggles to find the right path.
Both vampires face tough choices. Should Issy pursue her feelings for Cyrus or wait until he can return her affection? Will Cyrus deny his attraction to Isidora so he can kill the man who made his life a living hell on earth? Every decision leads to a reckoning.
“I know you won’t.” She closed her eyes. If this was as far as he’d allow himself to go, it was enough for her.
“Issy, you have no idea what your offer is doing to me.” Cyrus’ breathing grew ragged.
“What am I doing to you?” She opened her eyes just in time to see the hunger etched in his face, his fangs elongating until they were punching his lower lip.
“You make me want to rip off your clothes. Stop teasing a hungry dog with a big bone.”
In this quiet moment, Cyrus was all she wanted. The air grew electric, and the magnetism between them was undeniable, so strong she could touch it. Her gaze slid down to the massive tenting in his pants and couldn’t deny her own hunger.
“You’re going to kiss me.”
“Damn right I will.” He closed the small gap and crushed his mouth against hers, his kiss hard and filled with urgency.
Issy rode the tide, tasting, stroking, and feeling the jolt of life from his lips. She pressed her body closer, but he ended the kiss abruptly. Way too soon.
“You better run, little girl.” He turned away.
“I’m not going to run. Take what is freely given to you.” She touched his shoulder, caressing the taut muscle.
A professional daydreamer, Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. Since being published in 2013, she has been conspiring, butting heads, and enjoying her spare time with vampires, angels, samurais, and other creatures she has created in her head.
Her perfect day consists of writing and lounging on her garage couch (a.k.a. the office) with a glass of her favorite cabernet while listening to her ever-growing music collection. She finds writing urban fantasy exhilarating and places an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.
Lorenz lives in Southern California with her supportive family and three demanding dogs.