Goddess with a Blade

( 86 )

Overview

New York Times Bestselling Author

"This book should be up any paranormal romance reader's alley."

—RT Book Reviews

New York Times Bestselling Author

OVERALL GLOSS

Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged Hunter with the power to ...

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Overview

New York Times Bestselling Author

"This book should be up any paranormal romance reader's alley."

—RT Book Reviews

New York Times Bestselling Author

OVERALL GLOSS

Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she's a supercharged Hunter with the power to slay any Vampire who violates the age-old treaty.

A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas's new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she'll mete out her own brand of justice.

Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can't let it distract her from her duty—to find and battle the killer before more women die.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373002085
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 278,124
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lauren Dane is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over fifty novels and novellas across several genres. She lives in the Northwest with her patient husband and three wild children.

Visit Lauren on the web at www.laurendane.com

E-mail laurendane@laurendane.com

Twitter: @laurendane

You can write to her at: PO BOX 45175, Seattle, WA 98145

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Read an Excerpt

The Silver Chalice was vintage Vegas in deep reds and golds. Whatever it was, the place managed to carry off the Rat Pack feel but made it modern and clean while also seeming luxurious. Hunter Corporation owned the residence tower to the south of the main casino floor and hotel. A nice sideline and a way to have heavy security without being too obvious.

Outside the revolving glass doors, the air was still warm. The streets teemed with tourists. Rowan understood the allure of being lost, of choosing to be someone or something else even for just a few days.

Vegas was a big game of pretend for a lot of people. And why not? Most had a great time and didn't go too far. Some stepped far enough out of line to have secrets to carry for the rest of their lives.

Some didn't go home at all.

In the circular drive just outside the doors, her valet, David, waited next to her Porsche. Even vessels for goddesses had guilty pleasures. Some women liked shoes and Coach bags. Rowan loved fast cars. The sexy sound of the engine always charged her blood. Something about the power that lurked there beneath the hood intoxicated her.

David nodded as he opened the door. She slid inside, the leather smooth and supple against her back and legs.

"The Scion sent a call for you to come to his office, Déesse." He called her goddess because he knew what she was. "He says he needs to see you tonight. He was informed that should you find it in your schedule, you'd return his call." Efficient and not entirely humorless, David had served the Hunters his whole life as Rowan's father had served the Vampires. She hoped it ended better for David.

"Always so urgent, these Vampires. You'd think with such long lives they'd be more relaxed." Arrogant bastard. Not an unusual trait for a Vampire. They did arrogant like no other species she'd ever dealt with. She wondered if this one would be as pompous as the last one.

David hid a smile and stepped back as she made to pull away from the drive. "Be safe, Déesse. The policeman was also looking for you."

She smiled at the mention of Jack.

"Thank you, David. Have a lovely evening."

He inclined his head and she pulled away, maneuvering around the knot of drunken people being delivered into cabs and vans in the drive on her way out.

After she'd pulled safely out onto Las Vegas Boulevard without mowing down any civilians, Rowan called Jack.

"'Bout time you called back, Rowan."

"I'm sure all you do all day is lay around and wait to hear from me."

He snorted.

"What's up?"

"What's up? Gone for months and…" He sighed. "Listen, can you meet me for a drink? Come by the station, we can grab a bite or something."

"Can it wait a few hours? I have a prior engagement but it shouldn't take overlong."

"I'm not gonna be here in two hours. I can come to your place or you can come to mine. Only I live in a townhouse a ways from town and you live in a swank apartment on the Strip. Personally I like your place better."

She laughed, despite herself. "Fine. I'll meet you at my apartment in two hours. I'll instruct David to let you in if I'm late."

"Fine. I'll see you then."

"Okay." She hung up and called David to let him know Jack would be coming over. She didn't need to tell him to keep Jack on the first floor. David was relentlessly efficient and she knew he always took care to keep the Hunter Corporation part of her life as secret as possible. Humans didn't know about Hunter Corporation but for a few key people in G8 countries and those serving Hunter Corp. Jack thought she was a private investigator. It kept them both safer that way.

In a handy bit of coincidence, by the time she'd finished arranging things, she'd reached Die Mitte, the casino/hotel run by the Vampire Nation. Oh, if those tourists only knew. Die Mitte meant "The Center" in German. It was the center of Vampire politics and jurisdiction in Las Vegas. The Scion ruled the local Vamps with an iron fist.

Once she'd stopped the Porsche, the valet rushed forward. When he saw who she was, he inclined his head slightly. Not quick enough for Rowan to miss the hatred and distrust in his eyes. Still, the awe tingeing the edges of that hatred was enough for her. The moment she got out, one of the Scion's toadies rushed toward her with a sycophantic smile. Rowan didn't return it.

There were times she wished she could be softer, but soft meant people took advantage or saw it as weak. She couldn't afford to be anything but cold and hard. Even if it left her alone in bed at night.

Mr. Toadie's smile edged into a smirk. "Mr. Stewart is ending a business call, Ms. Summerwaite. Please come with me and I'll escort you up to his quarters. He appreciates your coming to see him this evening."

She looked through him, dismissing any potential threat. "He should. I'm not an employee. He can't just call me when he gets the urge to meet a Hunter face-to-face." She didn't wait to see the flinch the toadie gave when she used the H word.

There was a reason they flinched, a reason they all hated and feared not only Rowan but the Hunter Corporation. For centuries, the Vampires had marauded across the world, preying mercilessly on humans. It was, after all, their nature to do so. Until a group of priestesses, mages, holy men and women and other warriors stood together and waged war on the Vampires beneath the veil of secrecy while humans had no idea the paranormal not only existed but threatened to exterminate them.

Everywhere Vampires pushed, Hunters pushed back until there was no ground left. Vampires, however, would not have existed as long as they had without being pragmatic beings, and so they entered into negotiations with those Hunters and from that the treaty was forged and the Vampire Nation was born.

The Vampire Nation didn't like Hunter Corp. and Hunters hated the Vampire Nation but as far as Rowan was concerned, neither could exist without the other. For better or worse.

Mr. Toadie kept his mouth shut as he led her into the private elevator to the top floor. When the doors opened, she had to admit she was impressed. Her penthouse was luxurious. This place was a freaking palace.

The last man to hold the position had lived in a mansion just outside the city. Just like him, the place had reeked of trying too hard.

By contrast, the new Scion had damned good taste and a whole lot of money. His quarters took up pretty much the entire top floor of the hotel. Lush white carpets alternated with Italian tile and Persian rugs. Antiques and expensive paintings dotted the place in an unobtrusive fashion. Yes, it was clear wealth ruled the space, but it wasn't the kind of place most powerful Vamps had. It didn't scream new money, it emanated with the surety of class.

Clive Stewart was old money. That much was obvious. She knew he'd had five centuries to amass capital, but money, even five-hundred-years' worth, couldn't buy class.

The Hunter Corporation had given her a dossier on Clive Stewart and she'd read it on the way back to Vegas from London.

She'd had a less-than-personable relationship with the last Scion. Oh, okay, so she staked him. Which made for a huge political problem for nearly eight months as she had to prove it was a defensible kill and that Jacques Martin had broken their laws.

The dossier was full of examples that told her the new Scion was capable of total ruthlessness. Other Vampires feared him and The Powers That Be admired his business sense and ability to keep his population in check. So much so that he'd been near the top of the Vampire Nation power structure for the last four-hun-dred-and-fifty years. Vampires respected and feared one thing—power. If Clive Stewart had held that much for that long, he'd be a force to be reckoned with. She didn't want to be impressed.

She stood, looking out the windows over the Strip, watching the fountains at the Bellagio. In the background she heard him come in.

"Ms. Summerwaite, thank you for coming to see me."

She turned. Well. That was unexpected. Holy shit, the man was delicious. No. The Vampire was delicious. Tall and substantial, he wore his Armani suit well. His eyes were a brilliant green. A blunt jaw framed lips that looked absolutely lickable. He was a big man. Imposing. The accent was quite nice. Like caramel.

She gave herself a mental slap. Focus! He's a Vampire and therefore off the menu.

"If I hadn't come, you'd have pestered me endlessly until I did. Next time, ask instead of commanding me. I'm not one of your minions."

His eyes flared for the briefest of moments but the mask never slipped otherwise. That little dig would have pushed a lesser man into a snit, but he wasn't a lesser anything apparently.

"Would you like something to eat or drink?" He waved at a long bank of couches and she sat, crossing her legs. His control impressed her even as she began to wonder what it might take to make him lose it.

"No, thank you. I'd prefer you get to the point, Scion."

He inclined his head and sat across from her. "Please, call me Clive. Since you're newly returned and I'm here in charge now, I thought an introduction would be of use to us both. And I'd like to get some ground rules laid down. Just for safety's sake."

She raised a brow at his haughty tone. "Fou 'd like to lay down ground rules? As far as I know, those are laid out in the treaty. I can retrieve a copy for you if you're unfamiliar with it."

"Ms. Summerwaite, I'm aware of the treaty's tenets. I like to avoid murders on my watch. It costs me money. I don't like that. There's no need to be defensive."

She realized then he was pushing her buttons too. She wasn't sure if that irritated her more than it amused her.

"I'm pleased to hear that. I'd like to avoid murders on your watch too. My superiors'll be relieved you plan to keep your people in line."

"We both know what I meant. It's your behavior I'm concerned with."

"I obey the rules laid out in the treaty, Clive. Your people don't. And when they don't, I do my job."

"And how does it feel that your job is killing people?" The taunt was delivered in a smooth, almost casual fashion. He watched her carefully, his body language deceptively relaxed. He was every bit the predator and she had no misconceptions about that. He'd be on her in a moment if she posed a real threat.

But he wasn't the only predator in the room and she knew, as well as he did, that this little meeting was a show of dominance. She didn't have a dick to take out to measure against his. But she wasn't going to allow him to out-badass her either. Taking a calming breath, she put her hands on her knees and leaned forward. "As it happens, I like my job just fine. The dental plan is first-rate. My training started very early, I believe you know my first teacher. Let me simply reiterate this so we're clear, because I completely agree that it's important to be straightforward. I'm a Hunter. That means my job is to keep an eye on you all, and, if need be, kill Vampires who kill people. I don't like Vampires who kill people. So when I have to slay them for breaking the treaty, I don't need to go hug a teddy bear or talk to my therapist."

"From where I sit, I come into town and find my people in utter disarray. An associate has been brutally murdered and you're at the center of it. Surely you can understand my need to get things straight between us." He looked so reasonable just then she wanted to smack him. But she wasn't going to blink first.

She sighed, leaning back into the cushions. "Clive, Clive, Clive. Compared to being alive before electricity and all, I know I'm young. But I'm not new to this game. So let's just cut the shit. You rolled into town and saw the mess Jacques made. I cleaned house for you people when you were too lazy to do it. Instead of thanks for identifying the Vampire who stole fifty million dollars—a Vampire who I hasten to add also killed multiple human beings—you pretend shock that I slayed him. You're not werebunnies, you're Vampires. You eat humans for pleasure, and not in the good way. I. Culled. The. Herd." She shrugged.

His jaw tightened and a thrill ran through her that she'd affected him. Just as quickly, he forced himself to relax. Jacques would have popped a vein ten minutes ago but this one was made of far sterner stuff.

"I don't need a rule breaker in my territory. My people don't exist for you to make your reputation on. So we're clear, Hunter, keep yourself in line or I'll do it for you. I won't abide any terrorizing of the Vampires here in Las Vegas."

She stood but forced herself to do it slow. "I do my job. I obey the rules. I kill Vampires who don't. Your associate Jacques didn't. He violated the law and when he did, he stepped into my world. That's the treaty your people worked out with the Hunter Corporation. You don't like it, take it up with them. I didn't make the rules, I simply enforce them. Me? I couldn't possibly care less what you like or don't like." You uptight British asshole. "And as for you keeping me in line?" She looked him up and down very slowly. "The heat is making you delusional. I keep hearing what a big, bad tough guy you are, but that statement there is simply stupid."

"You seem to have a problem with control, Ms. Summerwaite. Las Vegas is my town, I am in charge." He held out his hands, oh-so-reasonably. "I want to be sure you don't lose your temper and kill anyone else."

She picked her bag up and turned, giving him her back. The message clear. Rowan Summerwaite didn't fear him or his Nation. The minion who'd stood near the doors pretended he hadn't heard the entire conversation and kept his eyes averted.

"Ms. Summerwaite." His tone said he couldn't quite believe she was walking out on him. She'd told him she wasn't a minion and yet, he certainly liked to think so.

Turning to face him, she stayed where she was. "Yes, Scion?"

Fascinated, she watched as he unclenched his jaw. Apparently he'd never been disobeyed before. Well, she was all about bringing new experiences to those around her. A missionary of sorts even.

Idly, she wondered how much it would take to push him into developing a tic in his neck. With that ironclad control, it would be a huge undertaking but in the end, after she'd broken him, it would be a job well done. She kept her amusement inside, though, since they were playing a game of chicken like two fourteen-year-old boys.

"You have no reply?"

She raised one eyebrow at him. "To what? Your ever-so-manly threat to keep me in line? The accusation that I have control issues?"

If I had control problems, you 'd be dust and I'd be covered in Vampire blood as I killed every fucking one of you people in this hotel right now. If I had anger management problems I'd have jammed the pointy toe of this lovely boot up your ass for being such a prick.

Instead of saying that, she simply smiled. "I do my job. Sometimes my job is to kill Vampires who break the treaty. That I manage to do so less often than is warranted by the treaty is a testament to my control."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 86 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 86 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2011

    Really worked for me

    Not an Iron Druid Chronicle, but a really, really good Celtic Goddess Vessel incarnation working for & against vampires. Logical, just emotional enough, complex relationships. Chewy political situations, just enough sex to keep the erotic fantasy alive.. Brigid plays with swords! And lots of lovely dry humor.. lots & lots of mystery. A really good starter book to a series I have high hopes for. Rowan, rocks & rules... and I have to admit I would trip Clive & beat himto the floor myself... I really hope this becomes a series with legs...

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 15, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent

    I loved this book and hope there will be a series.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I loved it!

    I have to start out by saying that I am already a fan of Lauren Dane's very different erotica Brown Siblings series. So when I discovered this new Paranormal Romance release Goddess with a Blade was coming out I had to get my hands on it. At first, I was slightly turned off by Rowan's ginormous chip on her shoulder. Her over-the-top arrogance was much to digest, even though initially we are given bits and pieces of why she is the way she is throughout the novel. I love a cusses-like-a-sailor-bad-a heroine as much as the next UF fan, but her constant barking could be distracting. Yet once she and Clive started bickering and going at it, it turned super duper caliente. All this being said, Rowan majorly managed to grow on me, and her chemistry with Clive was fantastically written. Clive is seemingly her opposite in every way - he is obsessively manicured with immaculate self control where she is vulgar and very rough around the edge - but the minute they are in one another's company respective buttons are pushed and frustration and anger turn in to sexy combustion. She makes it her mission to give him a frustration neck tic, and it becomes quite comical. Their banter and commentary of one another had me giggling.
    Eventually, we truly see Rowan evolve as a character and become more than just a fire-spitting beotch, hee hee. Oh she still has her fire and spits it, but she also develops a definite level of empathy that was not there when we first meet her. As her thirtieth Birthday comes and goes we also see a fundamental transition that affects all of her relationships as well as her perceptions. By now we truly see just how many worlds she has to exist in, and how she is what she is to stay sane and do her job. The truth is, I didn't see it coming but I found myself enamored with Rowan. This is a romance story of opposites attract and it works in every way. The plot itself was a good action mystery, and had a few different spins making it more than your everyday run of the mill PNR. The combination of Rowan and Clive together is what kept me reading the most, just waiting for them to meet again. And there were some very interesting secondary characters such as Clive, the scribe taxi driver who fills his cab with stuffed dead animals. And there are dust devils which were really cool. I thoroughly enjoyed Goddess with a Blade and I recommend it. Furthermore, should this become a series, I would certainly read the next installment!
    - Spaz

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Awesome Urban Fantasy! A Must Read!

    Goddess With a Blade is an awesome Urban Fantasy. Rowan Summerwaite is one hard, cold, and kick-butt hunter. But Rowan is also Brigid, a vessel for a Goddess. Her blade is blessed to kill vampires. She's been placed in Las Vargas by the Hunter Corporation to keep all vampires in line. That means no killing humans. Rowan has to work with a handsome vampire named Clive Stewart, who is the Scion in Las Vegas, and he rules his vampires. He doesn't need any help from Rowan to keep his vampires in line specially after she killed the last Scion. But when a rogue vampire starts killing human women, Clive has no choice but to let Rowan do her job, which means these two have to work together, and this is where the fun starts. Rowan and Clive's hate/love relationship is hilarious. No matter how hard they try to hate each other the more they want each other. Rowan and Clive had me laughing and swooning. Rowan totally aggravated Clive in more ways than one-she has a mouth that just won't shut-up, and this gives the strong storyline a great balance with comic relief while dealing with the seriousness of a serial killer. I really enjoyed reading this book. It had all the steamy romance, humor, and drama you could ask for in an Urban Fantasy. I highly recommend Goddess with a Blade. A must read!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    Loved this book!

    I am hoping this book turns into a series! I would love to know more about Rowan and see how her relationship with Clive evolves.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    loved it

    i really like this author i have many of her books . this one is the best i can't wait til the next one in this story line comes out. its full of adventure and fun, i read it in one setting

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    LOVED IT!!

    First let me say while Lauren Dane is mostly noted for her Erotic works this book is not erotic. It is classified as Urban Fantasy and although it does have a few sex scenes in it they are not as graphic or long as an erotic novel. That being said this book had everything I love in a good story (Urban Fantasy, with Romance & Humor all wrapped in an intriguing plot).

    I absolutely loved this book but Lauren is one of my favorite authors so I am not surprised. She is fantastic at world building and this book did not disappoint mixing Vampires with Celtic mythology into a very creative package!!

    The characters are also well developed and extremely interesting (not to mention Clive is HOT!!). Rowan is a member of the Hunter Counsel as well as a vessel of the Celtic Goddess Brigid. She is a straightforward, kick ass, loud mouth that doesn't take crap from anyone. I loved her and she had me cracking up the whole book. Clive on the other hand is the new vampire Scion of Las Vegas. He is a little uptight and very business like but Rowan gets under his skin which leads to a very explosive but HOT relationship between the two. There are also a lot of very interesting secondary characters that I would love to see more of also.

    This book is so great and has so much potential but at the moment it is a stand alone novel. The ending is complete but there could very easily be more to the story. I asked Lauren on Facebook if she planned on more books in this world and Lauren replied "If it does well enough, yes I'd love to be able to write more - I'd like to take Rowan to the Keep."

    "Damn that's good. Your mouth is the annoying part when it isn't better occupied apparently. However, your body is as dangerous as that blade I'm looking at." Clive

    "Puhleeze. You're so uptight I bet your boxers are ironed." Rowan

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Her best story yet

    I enjoy her more paranormal stories better than the others anyways but this one had everything. Rowan and Clive were amazing the story was great and never lagged. Sometimes with her stories the sexual part is overwhelms the story (or the story is underwhelming?) but this was fantastic.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2011

    Terrific

    I hope this becomes a series, and was disappointed there wasn't a sequel to buy right away! Please right more ASAP since I promise to pirchase. This series could be up there with the Anita Blake novels!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    WOW!!

    Wow, did I LOVE this book! More than a lot of other stories in this genre and way more than the other stories I've read by this author!! Don't hold back on us! We want more please :-)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 12, 2011

    Ok+for+first+book

    The+author+had+good+idea+for+characters+and+plot+but+needs+some+serious+help+writing+dialogue.+The+characters+sounded+like+whiny+teenagers+rather+than+assasins.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    Vexblood

    "Good. When I give the signal, go to our mbase at ((muse res four.)) The signal is, a twoleg will come into camp and demand a sacrifice. He will say, "Ni!" Also, and use this sign in his post." (( &#22536 ))

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2013

    SweetSorrow

    "Then freedom. I am against striking," she replied confidently

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2013

    Loved this story !! Rowan kicked butt and did it with a sense of

    Loved this story !! Rowan kicked butt and did it with a sense of humor!! I liked how she did her job no questions asked just did what needed to be did deal or don't  while still showing compassion but when it came down to it handled her's!!! Can't wait for the next book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    Goddess without a blade

    Great read! Kick ass heroine, witty humor, not too graphic sex, everything you could want in a very believable story. Left me wondering if there might really be an underground Vampire Nation as well as other not quite human folks walking around. Hope Dane makes a series of this! Plus, I'd like to know a LOT more about Theo.

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  • Posted August 21, 2012

    Please let there be a series! I love Rowen. And I love the fact

    Please let there be a series! I love Rowen. And I love the fact that she
    took the starch out of Clive's shorts!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2012

    Excellent

    Well written. Fast paced. Sexy (not YA). Lots of action. Good storyline with interesting characters. I love that the heroine, and that she definitely is, gives in to her passion so quickly. It's annoying when they hold out for most of the book and play the do I or don't I game. The characters are well rounded and not absolute or rigid which can be a problem in PR. She also speaks without a filter which is pretty humorous when around a stuffy British vamp. Hope like crazy that this turns into a series!

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  • Posted September 29, 2011

    Just okay

    I was not very impressed with this one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 1, 2011

    sucks

    If i want porn i will buy porn. I am tired of this crap being put in sci-fi catagory

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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