VampFanGirl's Reviews > Red

Red by Jordan Summers
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Feb 06, 09

bookshelves: urban-fantasy
Read in February, 2009

This was a very creative take on the "Little Red Riding Hood"/big bad wolf fairy tale. I loved the references and crime scene findings that linked back to it by drawing attention with the phrases "what big ears, teeth, and eyes etc., you have". I'm also loving how authors are expanding romances. In other words I'm enjoying how the romance between the H/h is going beyond the prior pre-requisite 300 or 400 pages. Now readers can experience the the push and pull of a new relationship over the course of an entire series. Plus there is the added bonus of the novel being a romance whereby the HEA is of course guaranteed.

Fast forward a 150 years into the future and you'll find an Earth scorched by the sun. The parched land boasts skeletal remains of giant forests, fields of dirt where crops used to grow and nearly non-existent plant and animal life. Food and drink are no longer reaped from from the Earth but are now synthetic. Genes have been manipulated so that humans can withstand the dangers of radiation. And then there are the Others. Beings created by man, for man, and then exterminated, leaving their kind as the folk of lore.

Gina "Red" Santiago is in the grips of a nightmare that even wakefulness can't unclench. Fully clothed and covered head to toe in blood and dirt is something that Red is not unfamiliar with. As a high ranking officer of an elite tactical team charged with the Republic's safe keeping, Red deals in death all the time. But coming awake fully clothed, covered head to toe in blood and dirt while not remembering how you came to be in that state, is something else entirely. Add a pound of flesh heaved from her stomach and Red can pretty much throw life as she knew out the window.

As a social pariah and team outcast, Red is already at odds with her tactical team leader, Bannon. Red ruffles feathers again after being unable shake the feeling that a mauled woman left for dead in a copse of dead trees, was cut down by a human rather than a pack of hungry animals, which is Bannon's assessment. Determined to seek justice for the woman and her family, Red follows the trail, alone and on her own time, to the small town of Nuria, Republic of Arizona. It's here that she meets the ruggedly handsome sheriff, Morgan Hunter.

Morgan Hunter can't believe his eyes when a beautiful unclaimed female waltzes into his dissecting lab. Although he is soon on guard after a slow body perusal alerts him to the black combat boots that are only issued to tactical team members. One thing he doesn't need right now is his town and lab raided by the International Police Tactical Team, but he also can't help but feel instantaneously intrigued by the woman standing before him. The urge to mark and claim her as his own becomes nearly overpowering but when he realizes that she has no idea who or what she is let alone himself, gives him pause. Who is Gina Santiago, and more importantly, what is she doing here?

Red learns real quick that there's something strange going on in the town of Nuria and Sheriff Hunter is definitely a part of it. One, she feels inexplicably and unnaturally drawn to the sexy sheriff. Two, the whole town seems to give Morgan Hunter differential treatment and not only because he's the sheriff. It appears as if one direct look from him has the recipient lowering their eyes before him. And three, he's definitely hiding something from her and she's determined to find out what that may be.

There is someone else besides Morgan that's interested in Gina Santiago and his fascination may just be the death of her.

As things heat up drastically between Red and Morgan, so does her suspicion of him. But Red may not be the only one capable of potential homicide. After awaking once again to find herself covered in blood, Red has her clothes analyzed and discovers something horrible. The blood on her clothes is not hers, but the blood of another mauled woman discovered after her arrival in Nuria. Has Red been killing and feasting on innocent women? And if so, why can't she remember having done it at all?

In addition, unbeknown to Red, Morgan has in fact claimed her as his mate with the evidence marked all over her well pleasured body. But how can he tell her that she's not the pure-blood that she's been led to believe and that she is now in fact mated to an alpha werewolf.

Ms. Summers did an excellent job of world building in her 'Dead World' series. The landscape is well detailed but not burdensome or distracting. The technology of her future was interesting yet not overly complex. And the romance was great. Summers is an obvious master of sexual tension and get ready for some scorching sex scenes when Morgan and Rad finally get together. Whew, Morgan is one smokin' HOT wolf! I really loved how when he decided to claim Red as his own, he would stand by her no matter if she was some how responsible for the recent killings (of which he isn't truly convinced that she dealt the death blow but she was involved somehow...). In addition, the novel had great pacing yet there was one draw back. I wanted more time with the H/h. Summers spends a lot of time in other POV's, including the numerous villains and this left me breezing through their commentary to get back to Red and Morgan. Otherwise a thoroughly enjoyable read.
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