Welcome back to Book Club Thursday. Join my fellow bloggers and I as we review our book club picks and share them with you. Since this is October, we are reviewing the paranormal world. Last week, angels. This week, vampires. Next week. Maybe...demons?
My Fellow Bloggers:
Born To Read-Cyndi
Romancing The Readers-Ann
This Weeks Book:
Bound By Night by Larissa Ione
The Moonbound Clan Vampires
A WOMAN OUT FOR BLOOD
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when the vampire slaves rose up in rebellion and killed her family. Now she devotes her life to finding a vaccine against vampirism, hoping to wipe out her memories—along with every bloodsucker on the planet. But there’s one thing she cannot destroy: her searing, undeniable attraction for the one man she should hate and fear the most . . .
A VAMPIRE OUT FOR REVENGE
A member of the renegade vampire MoonBound Clan, Riker is haunted by demons of his own. When he recognizes Nicole and remembers how her family enslaved his loved ones, his
~ PROLOGUE ~
The vampires were behaving weird today. Not that anyone believed Nicole when she told them. No, all the adults simply smiled, patted her on the head, and told her to go upstairs to play until her older brother arrived to take her to the zoo.
Half brother, she’d told them, and again, they’d smiled and shooed her away. She never reminded her mother about the half-brother thing, though. Chuck had a different mom, and although Nicole didn’t understand what an “affair” was, talking about Chuck always brought up that word, and it made her mom and dad fight.
One of the household vampires, Anthony, grinned as he passed her in the foyer with a tray of decadent hors d’oeuvres, but something about his smile made goose bumps prickle her arms. Like all the servants, he’d always kept his eyes downcast – “secured his gaze,” as her father called it — in the presence of humans, but not this time. This time he looked at her the way her dad looked at the Thanksgiving turkey.
Barefoot and wearing the pink princess dress she was never supposed to wear outside, she darted out the back door reserved for the servants and ran as fast as she could, squinting against the bright summer sunlight. She slipped unnoticed past the wet bar and food-laden tables, through the crowds of people partying around the pool, until she reached the hedges designed to conceal the gardening shed and equipment. Laughter and the clink of glasses followed her through the dense brush. She scurried like a little animal, not caring that the branches were scratching her skin and catching on her dress.
Panting, she crouched in the very spot where, just six months before, her vampire nanny had died, her unborn baby with her. Nicole shivered at the memory. She’d been so excited about Terese’s baby. Terese had been the best nanny ever, always teaching Nicole new things, reading to her, asking her opinion on things as if Nicole were a grownup. Terese would have been a great mommy to the baby. Secretly, Nicole had sometimes wished Terese were her mommy, too.
Tears stung Nicole’s eyes as she reached up and wrapped her necklace around her fingers, bringing the ring Terese had given her to her
It’s a secret ring, Terese had said as she pressed it into her small hand. You can hide things inside it. I want you to have it. And remember what I said. Be a good girl and a good adult. You’ll have a lot of power someday. Use it well. I love you, Nikki.
Terese had been killed half an hour later…by her own mate.
The very name struck fear into Nicole’s heart. Terese had loved him, trusted him. And he’d driven a blade into her throat.
Nicole would never forget Terese’s broken voice as she pleaded with him. She’d definitely never forget his face. His glittering, silver eyes. His sandy hair Terese said was silky-soft. His fangs that had been longer than Nicole’s finger.
All of it haunted her nightmares.
Nicole jumped at her father’s angry words. He stood a few feet away in the dappled shade from the huge oak tree, his lips pressed together in a forbidding line.
“How many times have I told you to stay away from the shed? It’s not healthy to hang out here like a damned dog mourning the loss of his master. Terese was just a vampire. We got you a hamster and a new nanny. It’s time to get over it.”
“But I don’t like my new nanny! Chelsea’s grumpy and she doesn’t read to me before bed—”
“We didn’t purchase her to be your best friend,” he snapped. “And look what you’ve done to your dress. Your mother is going to have Chelsea spank you.”
Terese would never have spanked Nicole. Hand shaking, she automatically reached for the comfort of the ring Terese had given her, but in an instant, her father fisted the chain and yanked, snapping the necklace and sending the ring tumbling into the grass.
“Enough with the ring! You were supposed to throw it away. It’s beneath you to wear a slave’s jewelry. And frankly, it’s disturbing.” He flung the destroyed chain into the bushes. “Go to your room and—”
A shrill scream interrupted him. Maybe it was weird, but her first thought was that daddy hated to be interrupted. Whoever did that would be in big trouble.
Her father spun around as another scream joined the first. And then another. And another, until suddenly, all Nicole could hear were cries for help and shrieks of terror.
“Stay here, Nicole.” Her father turned to her, for a just a second, but in that moment she saw something in his face she’d never seen in him before: fear. “Hide. No matter what happens, don’t come out.”
She nodded, but he was already gone, running for the main house. Frightened and confused, she wedged herself between the storage shed and a bush and listened to the screams and pleas, the groans and wet, horrible crunching sounds punctuated by maniacal laughter. On the ground, the ring Terese had given her lay in a tangle of trampled grass, and Nicole found that if she focused on the shiny oval ruby, she could pretend the noises all around her weren’t real.
Suddenly, a huge foot came down on the ring. Too petrified to move, Nicole could only gasp when massive hands ripped her from her hiding place and hurled her against the supply shed wall. She crumpled to the ground, pain tearing through her back, hips, and her right leg. She tried to scramble to her feet, but her body wasn’t working right.
Trembling, choking on a sob, she looked down at her thigh and the bloody end of bone protruding through mangled flesh. Her princess dress was grass and blood-stained now. Even through her unimaginable agony and terror, her mind could only form one thought with any semblance of clarity: she would be in so much trouble for ruining her clothes.
“I’ve been looking for you, Nicole.”
Through a haze of pain and tears, she glanced up at the vampire looming over her. “B-Boris?” She cried out as her family’s chef lifted her and once again slammed her against the shed, this time pinning her there. “Where’s my daddy? I want my mommy. Mommy!”
“Call for her all you want,” Boris said. “She’s not coming.” He touched her cheek with his finger, and a stab of icy terror shot straight to her heart. “I’ve fed you since you were old enough to eat solid foods, you spoiled little human. Now it’s time for you to feed me.” He took a deep breath, like he was smelling her. “I’ve always heard that children taste better than adults. Sweeter. Purer. Now I get to find out for myself.” He grinned. “It’s going to hurt, since I have no fangs.”
Nicole tried to fight. Tried to kick, hit, scream. But Boris was strong and she was a petrified eight-year-old girl with a broken leg. His dull teeth sank into her skin. Grinding, crushing sounds accompanied a storm of agony as he chewed into her throat. Liquid warmth streamed down her neck, and when she tried to scream, only a gurgling noise came out of her mouth.
Why was he doing this? Why would someone who had baked her cookies for after-school snacks and strawberry cakes for her birthdays want to hurt her so badly?
You can domesticate animals, but you can never trust them or know for sure that they won’t bite. You can’t override instinct, her father once said. Vampires are animals that must always be harnessed. Remember that, Nicole.
She hadn’t believed him. But as her body went mercifully numb and her struggles weakened, she recalled what her father had said when she’d argued that their household vampires like Boris and Terese were kind and loyal.
Even cute, fluffy pet bunnies can bite.
Darkness closed in, and in the last second before she lost consciousness, Nicole wondered if bunny bites hurt as badly as vampire bites.
My Review: 4 Hearts
I am a big fan of Larissa Ione. The lady can write! I have always devoured her books from the Demonica series, so I was looking forward to this new vampire series. And Ione doesn't disappoint.
This is a dark tale. Nicole Martin was eight years old when most of her family was murdered by vampires. As a grown-up, she is a scientist researching for a vaccine to cure vampirism. Having since returned from Europe, Nicole is kidnapped by vampire, Riker, an important warrior of the Moonbound clan. He is torn by demons of the past. And his clan is on a mission to prevent a war with a rival clan, the ShadowSpawn.
At first, I thought the story was a little slow, but that can happen when setting up a series. Ione's writing is so good that soon the story was flowing. Riker runs hot and cold, swimming in guilt over the loss of his mate years before. And sometimes he can be a jerk. Nicole is strong, and brave, sometimes a bit naive, and proves more of a help to the vamp clan than you or they thought possible. She soon learns that Riker's clan are not the savages she was taught while growing up in wealth and in a household where vamps are slaves. Riker can make a mean root beer float. They just want to be free. She also learns that "humans" can be more treacherous than the vamps they continue to enslave.
This is a good roller coaster ride of a tale. There are moments of sadness, fear, and anger mixed in with a touch of Native American mysticism, as well as the Nicole Martin moments of bravery and heart. The road to love and trust is a hard one for Nicole and Riker. I recommend this book to fans of paranormal romantic suspense who like their reads edgy. I am looking forward to the next one in this series.
September 24, 2013
I hope you got something from my review. I hope you will leave a comment below. And don't forget to come back next week for the October 24th review by the Book Club Thursday blogging trio.