Michelle Rowen is probably most known for making vampires snarky and misunderstood (Sarah Dearly and Theiry anyone?) but she has another urban fantasy series where the vampires are evil blood suckers. Shocking, right? Nightshade by Michelle Rowen was an excellent start in a dark, gritty world where nothing is as it seems.
Jillian Conrad never believed in vampires-until she was unwillingly injected with a serum that was supposed to act as a deadly poison to them. Now, tormented half-vampire Declan Reese wants her blood to destroy the undead kingdom. Unfortunately, the serum has also made her blood irresistible to all vampires-including Declan, whose desire for Jillian is more than mere hunger.
Nightshade stars off with nonstop action with Jillian getting injected with the serum and kidnapped by Declan, a dhampire (half vampire, half human). The action slowed down a lot after about 100 pages, though there was still the tension of the possible upcoming war with the vampires to help push the plot along. Not that it needed much help. Nothing is as it seems in Nightshade. There were several plot twists, some of which totally blew me away. I don’t want to say anything else in case I give it away for others.
Declan is a seriously tortured, very yummy hero. As a half-vampire, he’s been taking a serum that represses that side of his DNA – and all of his emotions. All of them. He doesn’t have a conscious and he doesn’t get horny. (Alpha-hero virgin anyone?) Yet, around Jill, he starts to question the wisdom of taking the serum. Of course, without the serum, years and years of pent-up emotion come pouring out of Declan. And boy oh boy, Declan has some pent-up emotions.
Jillain was a fun and spunky heroine. She refused to let anything get her down – not her impeding death and not Declan’s lack of an attitude. She wouldn’t sit by idly, she’d work on any plan towards saving her own life and saving the lives of any one else she thought was innocently caught in this world.
If you like strong heroines, messed-up heroes in need of redemption, scientists who may or may not be evil and vampires that want war, then you get everything you want in Nightshade. Rowen has proven that she can write anything, and that I will read anything that she writes.