Mira, Oct 2008, $7.99
Briar the Vampiress vows to never forget the cruelty of her former instructor in the ways of their species. She initially accepted his brutality as drinking blood is not an herbivore lifestyle. However when Gregor betrayed her she pledged to get even; when he tortured her she became preoccupied with the need of vengeance flowing through her blood starting with her odious stepfather Martin and then Gregor.
However, she is realistic that she cannot defeat Gregor and his minion by herself. Brian reluctantly joins Reaper and his warriors (vampires, Chosen and humans) based on the theory that Gregor’s enemies are her friends. Once Gregor and Rose are dead, Brian plans to leave though she is attracted to her charismatic leader who shares a blood bond to child vampiress Crisa. When Gregor captures Crisa, Briar knows she must save her little “sister”. Reaper risks all to help her succeed.
The latest Maggie Shayne vampiric thriller (see LOVER’S BITE and DEMON’S KISS) is a superb paranormal romantic suspense tale. Briar appears more thorn than Rose, but Reaper sees past her pain and her bravado to the inner person he desires even if she keeps singing the refrain from “I’m not in love”. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and never slows down as Briar needs to be the one to kill Gregor until Crisa is taken; her priorities change. Sub-genre fans will enjoy Ms. Shayne’s fine vampire tale especially those who soar with the author’s “Wings in the Night” saga as several players take a bite or two in ANGEL’S PAIN.