I’d had this lined up to read on my Kindle for months – languishing in my TBR pile – until a fellow reader raved about it. I’m SO glad she did. Raphael, is lip-smackingly-heart-churningly-swoon-worthy delicious, in the way that only an alpha Vampire can be.
He’s actually Lord Raphael, one of 8 Vampire Lords that control the USA, although Cynthia (Cyn) is reluctant to bow down to his rule.
“Listen, you call him ‘my lord’ or ‘Lord Raphael,’ okay? That’s it. Think of him as Royalty.”
“Yeah, well, he’s not my lord, this is America, you know.”
Lonnie laughed almost hysterically. “I can’t believe this. I’m gonna die for sure.” He gave her a pleading look. “Raphael owns this territory, Cyn. Please don’t insult him. I like living forever.”
Cyn, a Private Investigator, is hired to locate Raphael’s kidnapped sister, Alexandra. The only leads they have are two of the (human) guards, and Cyn is invited to interrogate the second – after Raphael has already ‘questioned’ the first.
“He didn’t even touch him.” He stared at her, his eyes wide and haunted. “He ripped his own…” Judkins closed his eyes as if shutting out the sight of something too terrible to remember.
“Who, Scott?” she asked, confused. “Who do you mean?”
“Him,” he said furtively, his eyes flashing back and forth, his horrified glance touching on Raphael, then skittering away.
Cyn has worked with bloodsuckers before and has a healthy respect for their strength and power. She has never found one attractive before.
She parked the Land Rover and was swinging her long legs out of the truck when Raphael strolled into the garage. Well, damn. The vampire lord was dressed all in black, from his long-sleeved t-shirt to his oh so tight denims and smooth leather boots. And over it all, he wore an ankle-length coat of black leather that just begged to be touched, smelled, rubbed all over one’s body. Down, girl.
She can’t take her eyes off him.
Cynthia stared at the beautiful male specimen in front of her. Vampire or not, Raphael was fully, gloriously male. There was no doubt of that. Nor of the instant, almost irresistible, attraction she felt toward him. She gave a nearly desperate, sobbing laugh at her own helpless reaction to him. Behind him, Duncan gave her a scandalized look, but Raphael merely laughed with her. He was an arrogant son of a bitch; he understood perfectly.
They follow a rapidly cooling trail to a warehouse filled with Russian mafia – not pleasant people, but no problem to a vampire lord.
She reached the end of a row and peered out to see Raphael wreaking mayhem, picking grown men up like children’s toys and throwing them aside. He was violence in motion, teeth bared, long black coat swirling around his legs, eyes flashing in anger.
And this time, she can’t resist him. They launch into a brief and passionate affair, even while Cyn knows she’s playing with fire.
Running out through the open door and around the back of the house, she found him striding through the shadows of the overgrown yard like an avenging angel, his long coat billowing behind him, his silver-frosted eyes twin stars come to earth.
He has the capacity to break her heart, but even knowing that she takes the risk – and then is gutted when Raphael walks away.
She glanced up uneasily, painfully aware that somewhere in the city Raphael was beginning his night. Without her. She pushed away from her desk with an angry kick. She would not cry. She would not.
I felt the first chapter was a teeny bit slow, but since this had been recommended so highly I stuck with it – and then wondered how on earth I would put it down. It’s a classic vampire tale, powerful vamp meets cynical woman, he claims her, she falls in love… but DB Reynolds has breathed new life into what could have been a tired genre. Cynthia is refreshing. She is a wisecracking smart-mouth who never knows when to shut up – and makes mistakes.
Raphael looked down his nose at her as if she’d suggested something completely ridiculous. “Oh, right.” She said, rolling her eyes. “What was I thinking? Okay, so Raphael here walks up to the gate, presumably with his coat billowing around him in a suitably dramatic fashion and works his mind trick on the gate guard.”
And while it usually bugs the hell out of me to get to the end of a book and see those three little words… To be Continued… I didn’t mind this time. There was no quick and easy conclusion for Cyn and Raphael, no HEA waiting in the wings. I would have to read the second in the series and hope they eventually made it…
One reviewer talked of reading the first 4 books in this series back-to-back over the course of a weekend – I can see how easy that would be.
A happy 5 out of 5.