Friday, July 01, 2011

BLOODLUST by Michelle Rowen

BLOODLUST – Michelle Rowen
Nightshade, Book 2
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-24213-1
July 2011
Paranormal Romance

Los Angeles, California – Present Day

Let’s take a peek at what’s happened to Jillian Conrad’s life two weeks after a serum deadly to vampires was injected into her. Let’s see, she was kidnapped by Declan, a dhampyr (human mother, vampire father) who is a vampire hunter. Matthias, the King of the Vampires, drank her blood and died. Declan’s adopted father was killed, but not before injecting him with a serum that keeps him a hunter and takes away all human emotions; and the poison in Jillian’s veins is threatening to kill her unless she finds an antidote. Just the normal things a woman in Los Angeles goes through every day.

Jillian is in a bar in Los Angeles waiting for Noah, Declan’s father’s assistant, to meet her and maybe provide some information from his records on what can remove the poison from her veins. The Nightshade poison and her own blood cannot mix together, and so far only a fusing potion that needs to be taken regularly is keeping her alive, but sometimes the cure is more painful than the poison. But when Noah tells her Matthias is still alive, she’s stunned when she sees he survived. Matthias and his twin brother Kristoff had become immortal over three hundred years ago by drinking the blood of Kristoff’s infant daughter, and it was that immortality that kept Matthias alive after drinking Jillian’s blood. Three hundred years ago, Matthias locked his brother in a coffin, keeping the key to the room he’s in surgically implanted in his stomach and became the new King. Now Matthias has found out that he has a daughter by one of his blood servants, and that Declan knows where she is, and will use every trick in his book to get Declan to tell him.

Meanwhile, Jillian and Declan have heard stories of another dhampyr who has lived without any drugs, and they want to find her and see what could happen to Declan. Usually dhampyrs use their claws to dig themselves out of their mother’s womb and are physical monsters that need to be killed before they get too old. This other dhampyr is the only one they’ve heard of that is still alive at over 30 years of age.

Between Declan trying to find another dhampyr to see what could happen to him, Matthias cheating death, Kristoff trying to regain his position, and Jillian trying to find a way to rid herself of her poison, life is never simple for Jillian. Is Noah helping them, or does he have some other purpose up his sleeve? And when Kristoff is set free, Matthias and Kristoff must face off in a fight for the future of vampires and what direction they will go, whether to keep things as they are, or multiply and take over the world. The results of their battle could have an incredible effect on the future of everyone.

Michelle Rowen continues the story of Jillian and Declan and the serum that makes her blood have the smell and taste that drives vampires mad, and then burns them into a puff of smoke seconds later. Told from Jillian’s point of view, she must continually cope with Declan becoming increasingly more erratic while feeling the poison slowly overtaking her body. But the action goes on; Matthias is looking for his daughter, and Kristoff, the former King of the Vampires, is removed from the prison he’s been in for over thirty years. Kristoff will definitely try to kill Matthias any way he can. The action is non-stop and there’s always some other problem that Jillian must face and persevere through.

Secondary characters bring the story to life in a compelling way. Matthias, while the King of the Vampires, is weakened by drinking Jillian’s blood and in great trouble when his twin brother escapes with blood lust in his mind. Noah is kind of an unknown; is he still keeping Declan’s father’s secrets of the serum Declan was given, and can he help Jillian find out how to remove the nightshade from her blood? Kristoff looks like Matthias and tries to give off a feeling of being kind and patient, but events prove that is just a show. Everybody melds together in a whole that is greater than its parts.

BLOODLUST continues Jillian’s search for the normal life she was leading until the day she was kidnapped. Keeping Declan alive through everything that happens to him and finding out who will live to be King of the Vampires, Matthias or Kristoff, will keep you on your toes with anticipation every step of the way. If you get caught up in Jillian’s story, you can prolong your excitement by reading NIGHTSHADE (February 2011), and find out how Jillian got into this pickle in the first place.

Carolyn Crisher

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