Those humans turned but not born to be a vampire mostly end up as Demis. Vampires have evolved to protect humans by fighting the Dominion. At intermittent intervals they try to break through into our world and do it wholesale - and the latest effort is going to be in Gilded Age New York. Bast does her usual outstanding job of introducing multiple fascinating characters with their own plots and then weaving them into the main plot. I read the second book first - and frankly I should have started at the beginning. Order is important.
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All books in this series are written to stand alone and do not need to be read in order, although reading them in order may contribute to a richer reading experience. The Embraced need Niccolo Romano in the fight against the Dominion, but even his own friends consider him dangerous.
As a Priestess of the Morrigan, Jade can handle most anything, but perhaps not this man. Jade looks damn good to Niccolo, but she proves resistant to his charms. Soon bedding her becomes a mission, but he takes one step too far in his quest to possess her and soon she possesses his heart. She has secrets she wants to keep, but Niccolo has a way of laying her bare in more ways than one.
Every time Niccolo seduces her to his bed—sometimes gently, sometimes not—he unravels another piece of her history, bringing up long repressed sexual need and emotion. Soon Niccolo is fighting two battles—one against the Dominion and the other for Jade. All around her men stood at the bars of their cells catcalling and shouting obscenities.
Thirteen levels could be seen in the cellblock she walked through, each floor lined with at least three hundred rusted iron cells, and every single prisoner in them seemed riled up by her presence. But she was only interested in one man here. She ignored the rest of it.
Ignored the sound of their voices, and the noise of the clanging iron bars and the metal walkway beneath her boots. She closed her senses to the stench of the place—unwashed human body, rotten food, old semen and blood. Jade closed her extrasensory perception to their emotions as well, their rage, their desperation at being out of control. She cut herself off from all of it. Fifty years of training as a Priestess of the Morrigan gave her that ability.
She approached the end of the walkway and the armed guard who waited for her. The red-haired prison guard had bad teeth and a profane grin. His gaze trailed from her heavy combat boots, up her leather-clad body to her face. She flipped her long black leather coat open so he could see the two weapons—two high-caliber pistols—holstered on her waist.
His grin faltered. To further dampen his spirits, she reached into her back pocket, pulled out her ID and release order, and flashed them at him. Take me to him. You can have him. You sure you can handle this guy on your own? Then he turned and led her down a row of cells. If only she could avoid their spit and their words as well.
Her close proximity seemed to whip them into an even greater frenzy. They took an elevator down several floors, and then walked down a corridor lined with heavy steel doors. Her gaze flicked to the small viewing slits set in each one as she walked past.
This was solitary confinement, Jade guessed. It was quiet here. The quiet was a blessed thing to her ears and senses. Even so, she could still feel the tormented souls who clung to this place, the ones who lurked in the shadows of the living and screamed soundlessly. They were imprisoned here for eternity in anguish. The guard stopped in front of one of the doors, punched in some numbers on the lock by the knob and the door swung open.
Jade stepped into the nearly pitch-black room. It took a second for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. The floor and walls were concrete. The ceiling appeared to be constructed of that same ancient steel that comprised the rest of the prison. No furniture decorated the cell. There was nothing at all. Except him. The man she sought knelt on the floor, his arms strung out on either side of him and bound at the wrists by thick chains attached to the walls.
Long, straggling dark hair and a beard shadowed his face. Though Jade figured this vamp hardly felt the pain. Some asshole stupid enough to mess with an Embraced. He parted his lips a little and she saw his fangs—white and sharp—in his mouth. She stifled the urge to kick him in the face. Had they been feeding him synth-blood to keep him sated? Maybe Romano had drained him. Romano just stared at her. His long black hair hung around his well-chiseled face. The darkness of his hair seemed to swallow up all the light around his head, giving her the impression he thirsted for it…or maybe she was just projecting.
Even dirty and unkempt this man radiated power, strength and overall physical perfection. She let her gaze trace over his muscled legs, torso and arms. The man had to be unstoppable in a fight. There was just the faintest trace of an unplacable accent. She took a couple steps toward him, her boot heels clicking on the concrete floor. In and out of different agencies, bartered around for special initiatives. That was good.
She paced in front of him. The powerful force raised the fine hairs on her arms and at the back of her neck. She stopped pacing. She could get no emotional read on him because he was an Embraced. The man was stoic as a rock, anyway. Jade crossed her arms over her chest, hearing the creak of the leather she wore. I mean, everyone knows how you allowed yourself to be arrested so long ago. It was what he did best; bring death to those who deserved it.
When this man had walked down the street, everyone had gotten the hell out of his way. On some level, most of them could probably sense that death walked beside this man, that it was an old friend and constant companion of his.
Everyone had a little psi ability, a little intuition. This man sent out a danger signal louder than a storm siren. Someone would have to be near brain-dead not to perceive it. Innumerable men had lost their lives to him. If someone had the right leverage on him, he could be forced into it.
That was his biggest weakness. He said nothing. He only lowered his gaze to her boots. She raised an eyebrow. It was past time they got out there, anyway. She turned. Jade smiled a little. The hydraulic cuffs released and fell with a ringing clank and chink of the chain. Dried blood marked him from fingers to elbow. Romano stood before her dressed in a pair of gray prison pants, a pair of black prison-issue boots and nothing else.
He was tall and he was ripped. He made her respond like a woman did to a man. Her reaction was instant, primal and wholly unwelcome. This man made her whole body sit up and take notice.
He made her heart rate and breathing speed up. He made her cream just a little. She thought it had all but dried up. He walked toward her with menace set into his shoulders and his swagger.
She had the urge to back away from him, but stood her ground. He stopped right in front of her, so close his breath—the sweet, calm-inducing breath of the Embraced—stirred the fine hairs around her face. The heat of him rolled off and warmed her. Despite the threat in his eyes, her body started a slow burn.
BLOOD OF THE DAMNED ANYA BAST PDF
All books in this series are written to stand alone and do not need to be read in order, although reading them in order may contribute to a richer reading experience. The Embraced need Niccolo Romano in the fight against the Dominion, but even his own friends consider him dangerous. As a Priestess of the Morrigan, Jade can handle most anything, but perhaps not this man. Jade looks damn good to Niccolo, but she proves resistant to his charms.
Blood of the Rose
Not much Dominion action in this one but we are introduced to the OtherKin Sidhe via the heroine, Tiya. Tiya walked in on her family being ripped apart by vampires. She killed some but some got away and she is hunting them for revenge. In the process she comes across Charlie [a continuing character from books 1 and 2 who has had NO good luck with any of his love interests so far:] and injures him for getting in the way. He tracks her down, learns her story, and decides to help her out by finding out the truth. Bast does her usual outstanding job of introducing multiple fascinating characters with their own plots and then weaving them into the main plot. Order is important with this series and especially this book.