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...
Each book in the Dark Desires series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Break Out
Book #2 Deadly Pursuit
Book #3 Death Defying
Book #4 Temporal Shift
Book #5 Blood and Metal
Book #6 Flying Through Fire
About the Author
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina's writing mixes romance with elements of paranormal and science fiction.
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia, which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of nine-to-five work. She's since then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary), and has settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.
Nina writes all types of romance, often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.
Read an Excerpt
Blood and Metal
A Dark Desires Novel
By Nina Croft, Candace Havens
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2015 Nina Croft
All rights reserved.
Someone prodded Fergal in the side. He didn't budge. No one had said anything for the last five years that was worth listening to, and he wasn't expecting that to change any time soon. The truth was, however gilded his cage, he was a prisoner and had been for a long time. His only trips out of this room were when they performed another set of intrusive and often painful tests on him. And he wasn't interested.
He should have left when he had the chance. Not that he'd ever had much of a chance. When he could have left, it would have been a death sentence without the anti-rejection drugs he'd been given on a daily basis. Once that had no longer been an issue, things had changed, and walking out was no longer an option.
Whoever it was nudged him again. "Wake up, Fergal."
That got his attention. No one called him Fergal anymore. Well, no one except Stefan. He rolled onto his back and blinked into the harsh light.
"Where the fuck have you been?" he snapped, sitting up and running a hand through his shoulder-length hair, rubbing his scalp. There was a dull ache in his head, but he was used to that now. It had been getting worse since they'd given him the final stage treatment two months ago. That had been the last time he'd seen Stefan.
Stefan was the head scientist at Cybercom, and this whole project was his baby. He was also the closest thing Fergal had to a buddy in this place — he'd never made friends easily, but they'd clicked.
"I'm being watched," Stefan said. "I didn't want to bring attention to you."
Fergal gave him a sharp look. His brain felt blurred, now he forced himself to concentrate, sensing Stefan had something important to say. "Who's watching you?"
Stefan didn't answer the question. Instead, he asked one of his own. "Do you know what's been happening outside?"
"Yeah, of course I do. Not."
They told them nothing. It was enough to drive a nosy bastard like him insane. In the beginning, it had been okay — they'd had access to the comm streams, and he'd been able to keep up with what was happening on the outside. Back then he'd presumed his stay here was only temporary, that once he no longer needed the drugs they would let him out into the world. They'd monitor his progress, but he'd be free to come and go.
Then everything changed.
The last news he'd heard officially had been over twenty years ago. Callum Meridian, the leader of the known universe, was missing, the Collective was in disarray, and the Church was attempting a takeover. After that, everything had gone dark, their access to the comms cut off overnight. At first, Stefan had fed him what information he could. Although he'd refused to discuss company business, he'd kept Fergal up-to-date on what was going on. But for the last five years — nothing.
The only positive in this whole damn thing was that the treatment was obviously working. As far as Fergal could tell, he hadn't aged a day since he had walked into Cybercom all those years ago.
"When the Church came into power, the company tried to stay under the radar," Stefan said. "That was when we had the shutdown. It was considered too risky for any of the volunteers to be out there."
"So you locked us up. Like prisoners."
"You signed the agreement."
Yeah, he had. But back then, he would have signed anything to get into the program. "So what's changed?" He presumed something had precipitated this visit.
"Five years ago, the Church found out about our existence. At that time, they were still busy wiping out the Collective and the Rebel Coalition, but now they've turned their attention to us. I have every belief that within the next few days they will be taking control of Cybercom."
That wasn't good news. The Church of Everlasting Life claimed that all genetically modified beings, or GMs as they were known, along with all Collective members — the old ruling class — were abominations against God. He doubted that the products of Cybercom, including himself, would fare any better in the classification. But he still had no clue what Stefan wanted of him. "Come on, spit it out. Why are you here now?"
"I have an ... offer I would like to make you."
"What sort of offer?"
He pursed his lips. "Let me ask you something first. How are you feeling?"
A small smile flickered across his face. "Elucidate."
Fergal considered ignoring him — after all, that's what Stefan had been doing to him for the last five years. But his gut instinct was telling him something big was going down. It had been years since his gut had anything interesting to say, but he'd always relied on it in the past — it had led him to many a big story.
"My head aches. It started when you guys forced that last treatment on me, and it's been getting worse since."
"Like something is trying to take over your mind, perhaps?"
Fergal gave him another sharp glance. He didn't like the sound of that one damn bit. His body, okay, he could accept the changes. But his mind? He was happy with that the way it was. "Look, are you going to tell me what the fuck is going on?"
"Perhaps it would be better for me to show you."
"You'll let me out of here? What makes you think I won't make a run for it?"
"Because we're friends — I hope. And because you're curious. You were a reporter, you can't help yourself."
Fergal's eyes narrowed. So Stefan knew exactly who he was. That was surprising. He'd signed into this place with a false name and background. "How long have you known?"
"Since you made your initial application."
"And you still let me in."
"It was unimportant, and in every other way you were a perfect applicant. Besides, even back then I thought a reporter might come in handy one day."
Now he was definitely intrigued. It appeared Stefan had singled him out for a reason, and not because of his sunny personality. He pushed himself off the bed, pulled on a T-shirt over his black drawstring trousers, and he was ready to go. "Lead the way."
"Follow me," Stefan said.
Truth was he'd do anything to get away from this room.
Outside was a wide corridor, brightly lit with doors on both sides every few feet. The doors all had little glass windows, like his, but when he peered inside one, the room was empty.
He hurried to catch up. "So Stefan, what's really going on?"
Stefan gave him a sideways glance as he halted in front of a set of double doors. "No one but the board has seen what I'm about to show you."
"I'm honored," Fergal said. "But get the fuck on with it."
That slight smile came again, but Stefan stepped forward and put his face to the retinal scanner. A second later, the doors slid open onto a huge room full of people. Except no one was moving. They all stood in ranks, row upon row. There must have been five hundred. Fergal peered closer and recognized one of his fellow volunteers. A frown formed between his eyes. "Are they drugged?"
"No. This is a result of the final phase of treatment."
"The final phase that I was given two months ago?"
"Yes. You've resisted longer than most. Only a handful of you are still functioning."
Fergal rubbed his head, where the dull ache had suddenly become a sharp stabbing pain. "So what's wrong with them?"
"The cybernetics have taken over their brains. In effect, they're mindless drones. We can input information via an external feed and they react, but they're unable to think for themselves."
"And that's what's happening to me?"
"Yes. I warned the board this might occur. I was still working on the auto-feedback suppressant. But they insisted we go ahead. I think there were outside forces at work, but I wasn't in the loop."
"Shit." Panic clawed at his guts. Being a mindless drone was not part of his plans. He breathed slowly, forcing himself to calm down. There was a reason he was here. Stefan wanted something from him. "So what are you doing about it?"
"Come with me and I'll explain."
Stefan led him through the ranks of men and women, and none of them even twitched as he passed. He recognized many of them. It was only in the last few years that the volunteers had been isolated. Before that, they'd been allowed to mix. He wouldn't say any of them were friends, but he did know them, and seeing them like this sent a ripple of primordial fear through him. To be mindless ...
On the other side of the room, a smaller door took them into a laboratory. Stefan gestured to a chair, and Fergal sank down into it, trying to be patient. Stefan cleared his throat and began talking. "As I said, I've been working on an auto-feedback suppressant, which should result in the brain being able to override the cybernetics rather than the other way around."
"Sounds good. So why are there a whole load of mindless people in there?"
"The suppressant isn't ready yet. It still needs to be tested. And then it will take six months to complete in situ." And by that time Fergal would no doubt be one more mindless drone. "After that," Stefan continued, "it can be applied to the rest, and I'm hoping it will kick them back into ... life."
"Hoping? You don't know?"
"No, I don't know." For the first time Stefan sounded angry. He took a deep breath, and Fergal could see him pulling himself together. "I'd normally have spent years testing this in vitro before the final phase was ever given, but it was taken out of my hands."
"Why are you telling me this now?"
"Because I've run out of time."
"And what do you want of me?"
"I don't have a lot of fucking choice, do I? Just promise me that if I turn into one of those ... things, you'll finish me off."
Shit, he didn't want to die. While he had lost any belief in Heaven and Hell long ago, he still wanted to stand in front of his bastard of a father and say, Look, I won. Your fucking devil is not going to get his hands on me. "Tell me what you need."
"I expect this place to be taken over any day now. I want to input the suppressant into your system and get you out of here. It will either work or it won't. Then you have to stay out of trouble for six months."
"And after that?"
"You come and find me."
Some of his fear receded, replaced by a slow burn of excitement. He was getting out. "How will you get me away from here?"
"You're going to die. It won't be unexpected — a lot of people have died recently. The stronger the mind, the more it fights. Some have literally imploded rather than give in. After your death, your body will be disposed of, and I've arranged for someone to pick you up."
Sounded like Stefan had it all worked out. But once Fergal was away from here, he'd decide what happened in six months. Maybe he'd come looking for Stefan. Or maybe he wouldn't. "Let's do it."
Stefan nodded. "Good."
Fergal perched on the edge of a seat and watched as the doctor stuck a needle in his left arm and wired him up to a console and monitor. After pulling a pink vial from his pocket, he inserted it into the injector mechanism. Fergal held his breath as the liquid entered his veins. Icy cold flooded his system, shooting along his nerves, up his spine, into his brain. The dull ache shifted, and he had a moment of perfect clarity.
"What?" Stefan asked.
Fergal grinned. "My headache just vanished."
"Now one last thing." He took Fergal's wrist, stretched out his arm, and inserted a second needle into the blue vein. This time he felt nothing. "Time to get you back to your cell."
Fergal followed him back out through the room with the drones. He hadn't realized how dulled his brain had been. Now it was crystal clear, racing ahead. He had a chance. If this worked, he could still succeed, could still beat death. His pulse raced, excitement thrumming through him as Stefan opened the door to his room and gestured to him to enter.
"When will this happen?" he asked.
As soon as Stefan said the word, Fergal's legs shuddered, and his knees gave out. He collapsed onto the bed behind him. "Shit."
Presumably, this was him dying. But there was one thing he was curious about. "So how do you know you can trust me?" he asked. "How do you know I won't disappear into the sunset and you'll never see me again?"
"I don't, but let's just say I've given myself a little insurance."
Fergal's eyes narrowed on Stefan as a tremor ran through the muscles of his arms. His brain might be clear, but his head was a weight on his shoulders. He needed to lie down. "You have?"
"That second injection was a poison I developed."
Fergal tried to stand up, but his legs wouldn't cooperate. "You've fucking poisoned me? I thought we were friends."
Stefan ignored the outburst and continued, "There's no cure, but there is an antidote. Which you will need to take every day. Listen to me, Fergal." He hunkered down in front of him, holding out a bottle of pills. "There's six months' supply. Keep them with you at all times. And take one every day, or you will die."
"Bastard." But the word lacked conviction. Fergal was actually impressed. Pissed off, but impressed.
"Then come and find me."
He tried to nod as Stefan reached across and slipped the pills into Fergal's pocket. The room was growing dim, the light shrinking to a pinprick.
"I'll see you in six months, Fergal. Don't let me down."
Then darkness.CHAPTER 2
The bridge smelled of blood. Fresh blood.
Hot and oh so sweet.
Daisy's nostrils flared. If she closed her eyes, she could almost taste the sweetness on her tongue. She swayed in her seat as her mouth filled with a flood of saliva and her gums ached. Somewhere deep inside her, the darkness uncoiled sleepily, easing closer to the surface, wanting, needing ... Placing her palms flat on the console, she pushed herself to her feet —
"Daisy!" Rico's voice broke through the fog of need.
Her eyes snapped open, and she plonked herself back down in her seat. "Sorry," she muttered. "But I'm hungry." She hated the whine in her voice and wished she could take the words back as six sets of eyes all turned her way.
Rico strode across the bridge, coming to a halt in front of her, his gaze narrowing on her face. "You okay?"
No. I'm not okay, I'm hungry, and I can't look at my friends without wanting to eat them. And I'm hungry. And they all pity me. And I'm hungry ...
But she swallowed the words and choked down the darkness, though she knew from experience that it wouldn't sleep now until it was fed. Then she fixed a bright smile on her face. "I'm fine."
He quirked a brow. "Good girl. Your control is getting better, but don't leave it too long. We wouldn't want you ripping out the captain's throat. She needs it for ordering people about."
"Ha-ha," Tannis muttered. "But I second that — no throat ripping."
Daisy tried not to feel offended, but it was hard. After all, she hadn't actually done the throat-ripping thing since the first time.
The crew had made out some sort of roster and Tannis, the captain, was next on the feeding list. They were all immortal, and she couldn't kill them — even if she did rip out their throats — but she could weaken them if she fed too often.
She had to get her mind off food. Turning back to the console, she started searching through the incomprehensible mass of data.
"Do we have anything yet?" Tannis asked, as she had at least five times in the last hour.
"No," Daisy snapped.
"No need to get snippy."
"Well, sorry," she snarled, "but I'm not Janey." She curled her lip to show the tip of one sharp white fang. Janey had been their gorgeous and brilliant tech expert. She'd also been Daisy's best friend until she'd been murdered six months ago. Janey would have found the information they needed within minutes.
Daisy was a pilot — the copilot of The Blood Hunter — not a tech expert, but right now she was the best they had.
"We've been looking for six months," Tannis said. "Jon has to be there somewhere."
Jon and his wife, Alex, were crew members who had remained behind during The Blood Hunter's recent trip through a black hole and into another universe. The plan had been to rendezvous with them on their return. Unfortunately, the ship's return had been ... delayed. They'd taken an alternate route home through a wormhole, and by the time they got back, while only a few weeks had passed for them, over here more than twenty years had gone by. They'd gone to the arranged rendezvous only to discover Alex and Jon had been taken prisoner by the Church of Everlasting Life ten years ago. Alex was being forced into her old role as high priestess, while Jon was held as a hostage — a bargaining chip for her good behavior.
Now they had to find Jon and spring the pair of them.
Except they couldn't find him.
"Maybe he's already dead." Rico spoke the words everyone else was thinking.
"No. Alex would know if he was dead. They're using him to keep her in line. We just have to follow the trail."
Daisy muttered under her breath as she flicked through the continuous stream of information, searching for something ... anything that might give them a clue, her hunger a constant distraction.
Excerpted from Blood and Metal by Nina Croft, Candace Havens. Copyright © 2015 Nina Croft. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Great read. It's been awhile since I read a sci fi and I enjoyed this book. Easy reading style and smooth flow. The book had a pretty good plot. There was some sex, but thankfully there was more plot than just the sex scenes. Enjoyed all of the characters and want to go back and read earlier books in the series. One thing I really found appealing was it's take on religious fanaticism. Wow and scary but very real. My only criticism is the main female character's name, Daisy. Really? It just seemed out of place among the other character names, setting, and future time setting.
I am becoming such a huge fan of Entangled Publishing. They are involved with some seriously talented authors. Blood and Metal was my first introduction to the Dark Desires series by Nina Croft, but I know it won't be my last. I'm just itching to go read book one to see how it all started. The two main characters, Daisy and Fergal, are from pretty different worlds. Daisy is a newly turned vampire, thrust into this life of darkness as a last resort to save her life. Fergal had a traumatic childhood and signs up as a guinea pig of sorts with a company that turns him into something more than human. Sparks fly as soon as the two meet, because it isn't actually the first time they met. Although, their first little interlude probably didn't include a lot of talking, if you know what I mean.They fall back into bed together fairly quickly, partly as a way to help Daisy ease her hunger. It was kind of like another outlet for her, when she couldn't feed. I enjoyed watching it morph into something more as they got closer and learned more about each other. He helped her learn how to regain control of her life, and she helped him come to terms with his past. The sex scenes did not disappoint; Daisy and Fergal had wicked chemistry together. At first she had to be tied up out of fear that she would lose control and rip his throat out, and there was just something about it that was so sexy. I guess it is the loss of control, the trust you have to put in the other person to surrender like that. Of course they didn't know each other all that well at first, but Daisy was having a lot of trouble keeping the thirst at bay and she would have done just about anything to manage it better. I doubt it was a very hard decision anyway; if Fergal looked like the guy on the cover, who wouldn't want to get tied up by him? Blood and Metal is book 5 in the series, so I definitely missed some important background by not having read the preceding books first. There was a lot of talk about different groups. The Church of Everlasting Life was pretty easy to understand; they hated anything that wasn't human, seeking to destroy any genetically modified beings. Then there were the vampires of course, nothing hard to understand there. The thing that lost me was talk of a group called the Collective, and a mineral of some sort called Meridian that could be used to transform people. I just felt like a little more time could have been spent explaining this aspect of the story, however overall I think the author did a great job, considering this is the fifth book and it's hard to catch someone up if they've missed the first four stories. There are several different couples mentioned as part of the Blood Hunter crew, so I am assuming the other books detail their paths to finding each other. The book was very well written and had a nice balance of romance, action, and suspense. The end had me on the edge of my seat, not knowing what would befall everyone I had come to care about. I absolutely can't wait to read the rest of the series to find out how it all started and spend more time with these characters.
I really enjoyed this book from the very first page. Nina Croft snags the reader with an amazing opening, which sets the tone for the rest of the book. I loved that Nina wrote this novel as a standalone, despite the fact it’s the fifth book in a series. She managed to catch new readers up to past events, without detracting from the story. Which was really great because I haven't read the other books in this series. My only criticism is the main female character's name, Daisy. Really? It just seems a bit out of place, but that's just my opinion. Overall a great mix of Paranormal romance, space pirates, and dystopian. I couldn’t ask for more. *I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
Fergal Cain is half human and half cyborg after a stint at the hands of a scientist whom he now has to find, before he (Fergal) succumbs to the poison running through his veins. His six months to acclimate to the treatment Stefan gave him before disappearing is almost up, and if he doesn't find Stefan first, he'll be dead ... exactly the thing he's been fighting against his entire life. Now, he's been taken prisoner by the only people who might be able to help him find Stefan. And those same people are on a mission to destroy the one place where Fergal's intel has told him Stefan may be. Daisy was once a genetically modified human, part plant. These days, she's a newborn vampire, and fighting a constant, sometimes losing, battle against her newly acquired blood lust. She and her colleagues-slash-friends, a motley collection of other vampires and equally bizarre, partly human creatures, are dead-set on destroying the villains who killed their friends. Picking up Fergal along the way wasn't really part of the plan, but now that he's around, Daisy has trouble concentrating on doing her job. They were once lovers, after all, and he's still just as appetizing --- in more than one way, now --- as he used to be. But he has secrets of his own, and with their ultimate desires at odds, will they manage to reconcile? Entangled Publishing's Select Otherworld imprint presents the newly released romance novel BLOOD AND METAL by Nina Croft. Where to begin? I'll start by saying that my expectations of a story that incorporates elements of science fiction, space travel, the paranormal, adventure, and romance weren't particularly high to begin with, since I had no idea what to expect. I'm delighted to report, however, that my expectations were exceeded by an astronomically high percentage I'm not sure I could fully quantify for you. Croft's work is surprisingly seamless, organically rendered, and strikingly believable within the "otherworld" she's so cleverly devised on the page. Compelling, carefully crafted, and shockingly unique (because there's no other word for the one-of-a-kind genre amalgamation), Blood and Metal will entertain readers of many different romantic sub-genres. Ultimately, of course, the work is a romance at its core, between the unlikeliest of characters. Fergal is half human, half computer, for heaven's sake, and Daisy is a plant human turned vampire. Their interactions are equal parts smoking hot, biting, satiric, witty, sweet, and tender, promising a fascinating read apart from the fantastical world in which their story is set. Who else but an expert author could dream up a relationship in which the hero does everything he can to cheat death and the heroine already has ... and the two are polar opposites, quite literally, from one another? Croft makes a tremendous promise to any readers who pick up and scan the back cover copy of BLOOD AND METAL, that she'll be able to assimilate all these seemingly disparate components into a working whole. And with all the aplomb of the talented, experienced author that she is, she keeps her part of the bargain with flying colors. All that's left is for you, the readers, to devour and enjoy. # # # Author: Nina Croft Title: BLOOD AND METAL Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Select Otherworld) ISBN: 978-1-62266-122-0 Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this work from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest, though not necessa
I have to say that I thought I was going to be lost in this series starting with the 5th book, but I felt like I picked right up and could follow along with now problems. I love how Nina has mixed some of the future stuff with vampires/werewolves. This was written very well!! When we catch up with Fergal, he is being released from where he has been for years. The man that Fergal thought was in charge of the science experiments (Stephan) he has been a part of has told him he wants to help him get out. He fakes Fergal's death and gives him 6 months worth of pills that he needs to take to combat the poison that Fergal has been injected with. This is to ensure that Fergal will not just run off without coming back to help Stephan escape as well. As soon as Fergal gets out though, he is captured by another group of people that he had be captured by previously. He starts to recognize all of the people that he had meet before and recognizes Daisy, whom he had some sexual relations with. Daisy does not look like she did before because now she has become a vampire. Daisy has to feed more often than her peers because she is just getting used to being a vampire. Her peers have been vampires for years and since they had gone through a worm hole, they missed out on aging but advanced in years. Daisy has been told by her peers that if she gets involved with someone that can help with her pleasures that it will help her with her cravings as well and she will not have to feed as often. The problem with this for Daisy is that she has to learn to control herself while being around others. With Fergal and Daisy having a past, he is more than willing to try and help Daisy with this. When Daisy can't fight her instincts though, Fergal learns what she is capable of. Daisy is afraid that he has scared him off, but that was not the case. When Fergal and Daisy get into their routine of Daisy being tied up during their sexual encounters, things work out for the both of them. Fergal helps Daisy and her partners to release one of the captives where Fergal had been held. When he is done with that he wants to set out on his mission to find the person he is supposed to for Stephan, but he needs to get Daisy back to her crew before he does. When Fergal and Daisy reconnect with Daisy's partners, Fergal ends up escaping from them to try and get to Stephan, but all sort of things happen then. They all have to come together and save Fergal. The humor that is mixed in with this story was very nice. It was just the right amount. I have to say that I am a fan of Nina's now and am anxious to see what is next for her. Thanks for a great read!!
The Shine still as bright as in book 1, fantastic sci-fi -rom read Daisy is a newly-turned vampire & and the copilot of the Blood Hunter. Being that she is that brand new of a vampire, she is very hungry and that makes her revenge plans fall along the backburner due to her newly turned status. But funny little thing about being a vampire, feeding can help with the hunger…or sex. The only thing is with Daisy when she gets to her prey, she drains them pretty dry in a matter of moments which makes her situation pretty dire. How Daisy got turned into a vampire ties into this book and her captain in this story. Suddenly pops up is an old boyfriend/lover of Daisy’s- Fergal Cain who is part cyborg and human. He is there and there is still this insane chemistry between them. He may be one solution to Daisy’s plans for now. Fergal may have been human back when Daisy knew him but now, now he is part cyborg and has poison going thru his body and he needs to find the scientist who has the cure. Plus he needs to know if there can /will ever be a future for him and Daisy when all is said and done. Well the crew of the Blood Hunter has definitely put a serious kink in his plans. There are some big twists and turns in this book and the ending will take your breath away. Fergal is a quiet, dominant kind of man, one who when he says something, he means it. Verses Daisy who is a spitfire and a take-charge kind of gal who goes after what she wants. I cannot wait to read the next book in this series to see how everyone is doing. This is a great Sci-Fi series and the characters will draw you in, in the most fantastic way. **A gifted copy was provided by the publisher for my honest review**** My rating: 4.0 stars ****
I loved that Nina Croft wrote this novel as a standalone, despite the fact it’s the fifth book in a series. Through the characters’ dialogue, she managed to catch new readers up to past events, without detracting from the story. Daisy and Fergal met earlier in the series (book 1, I think), and having them be the main romance seemed to make sense. The two have history, and Daisy isn’t the only one who has changed. When the two first met, Daisy was green and alive. Now she’s a white skinned vampire with silver hair, but she’s not the only one who’s different. Since they last parted ways, Fergal has undergone some changes as well. Their relationship had a nicely weird dichotomy of being new acquaintances and old lovers. I also enjoyed the other crew members aboard the “Blood Hunter” enough that I may end up checking out the other books in the series to learn more about them. I really enjoyed this book from the very first page. Nina Croft snags the reader with a gripping opening chapter, that sets the tone for the rest of the novel. The characters were well-written, and despite not having read the other four books in the series, I found them highly complex. In fact, this book kind of made me think of Joss Whedon’s space opera, the now defunct series, Firefly. Paranormal romance, space pirates, and dystopian worlds all wrapped up in one. I couldn’t ask for more. I received this book for free from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This was an awesome, action packed, paranormal, science fiction, romance. I loved every minute of this book. I never wanted to put it down, and now I want to read about the rest of the crew and their stories. This is definitely worth the time to read
Rating: 4.5/5 To say this novel is action packed is something of an understatement. It is a fascinating total mix of mythology, paranormal beings, technology, religion gone fanatic, bigotry, science fiction and romance combined in a story filled with suspense and thrills. The combination of ‘the usual’ paranormal beings – such as vampires and werewolves – are joined by genetically modified humans with their own powers and problems and other beings like Saffira, who is a time-mancer! They live in a dystopian universe where the abuse of power in the Church dominated planets has led to people opposing them being imprisoned or killed. As the crew of the ‘Blood Hunter’ strive to rescue their friends and colleagues they encounter Fergal Cain, who is part human, part cyborg and was injected with a poison almost six months ago and given sufficient antidote tablets to last him for just six months. He is now desperate to find the scientist who has the cure to counteract the poison but he’s also seriously attracted to the copilot of the ‘Blood Hunter’, Daisy, who was green when they first met. They were old flames – but that was before she became a vampire! With so many things against them, will their love stand a chance? Can he find the scientist to stop the poison killing him? Can she control her blood lust enough for them to gain their HEA? Can they learn to trust each other? With complex characters, each with their own idiosyncrasies and foibles, their interactions and relationships make this a very different and thoroughly enjoyable science fiction novel. They dystopian universe in which the story is set and the challenges faced by the characters make this a story full of twists, turns and unexpected events. Blood and Metal is book 5 in the Dark Desires series but you don’t have to read any of the others to appreciate this one as it works well as a stand alone story too. The other books, in order, are Break Out, Deadly Pursuit, Death Defying and Temporal Shift, each book apparently being a complete romance with a different couple. Thanks to the authors, publisher and NetGalley, too for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
BLOOD AND METAL is the fifth installment in Nina Croft’s adult Blood Hunter/Dark Desires sci-fi, paranormal romance series focusing on the crew of the space ship Blood Hunter. This is co-pilot of the Blood Hunter and newly-made vampire Daisy, and part human/part cyborg Fergal Cain’s storyline. BLOOD AND METAL can be read as a stand alone without too much difficulty but I recommend reading the series in order for cohesion, history and backstory. Each installment builds upon the previous storyline(s) resulting in the continuing voyage of the Blood Hunter and her crew. Some background: 1000 years after Earth’s demise, the ruling Collective, and the self-proclaimed Church of Everlasting Life play a major role in the control of space. The Collective control the rights to the rare radioactive element known as Meridian-that will bestow immortality on those who can afford the price. The Church is in the business of exterminating the genetically modified beings-considering them abominations and a sin against God. These two ruling factions are currently at war with one another and will destroy anyone that gets in their way. Told from third person point of view BLOOD AND METAL focuses on revenge. The crew of the Blood Hunter is hoping to take down the Church of Everlasting Life including its’ current leader Temperance Hatcher-a man whose hatred of everything genetically modified has resulted in the death of several members of the Blood Hunter crew. But a mission to rescue their missing crewmates, Jon and Alex (Deadly Pursuit 2) who are currently ‘prisoners’ of the COEL, finds Daisy rescuing the man with whom she had had a relationship-months before. Fergal is a man on a mission and needs to find an antidote to prevent the poison coursing through his system, from destroying what’s left of his sanity and his mind. But getting to the planet means finding a suitable spaceship for his travels, and the arrival of Daisy and the Blood Hunter is perfect timing. While Daisy struggles with her new found vampirism, Fergal battles with the secrets and truth he keeps hidden from the Daisy and the crew. All of the previous storyline couples play a secondary and supporting role throughout the story. We are introduced to Stefan Wolfe-Fergal’s friend who may or may not be aligned with the Church of Everlasting Life. Wolfe is a scientist who specializes in cybernetics, and it is Wolfe’s experiments that have resulted in Fergal’s ever changing DNA and cyborg implants. Dark Desires is a series that crosses fantasy with paranormal with science fiction resulting in many supernatural species including vampires, werewolves, dragons, and an assortment of immortals who are hybrids of inter-species breeding and genetically modified DNA. The relationship between Fergal and Daisy began in a previous storyline wherein our couple began a relationship that barely got off the ground. Daisy’s ‘rescue’ of Fergal, whether it be six months or 20 years later, depending upon which side of the wormhole our characters currently reside, finds that our couple has not lost their sexual attraction to one another-although Daisy is no longer the same woman that Fergal left behind. As per my previous reviews, there is a distinct Star Trek™ themed premise and trope throughout the series, and none more so than the ‘Borg-style’ army and its’ epi-center of control. The concepts of futuristic technology, intergalactic species, cybernetic organisms, and space travel are reflected in all of
What a terrific book! I will not waste any space setting the scene: if the blurb intrigues you, grab BLOOD AND METAL ASAP! It’s a perfect blend of scifi, paranormal, and romantic suspense, and Ms. Croft makes it work beautifully! The author has crafted a very intricate world where a lot happens, but everything is concisely and clearly explained, and it all makes perfect sense. There are several characters, every one very well- defined, and all of them very interesting. Some concepts are terrifically innovative: I love Saffira, a time-mancer, and the different types of genetically modified beings are simply genius, witness what Daisy had been before. To say that BLOOD AND METAL is action-packed would be doing a major understatement: the action never stops! It’s very fast-paced, very well-written, and the romance between Daisy and Fergal is to say the least very interesting! Both are compelling characters: Daisy is easier to like right away, but Fergal grows on you. Not that I thought he was unsympathetic, but he was reserved, and understandably so. Ms. Croft also provides richly detailed backgrounds of both the characters and the political situation that is the basis of the story. Ms. Croft also adds to the mythology of old favourites, such as vampires and shifters. Some sex scenes do not turn out exactly as expected, and I very much appreciated that, because even though it is scifi, it made it much more realistic. I seldom find scifi believable, but BLOOD AND METAL rings true! Very well done, Ms. Croft! I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.