An emotionally haunted detective and a laboratory-made vampire struggle with their unnatural attraction in the first book in Bellon’s (Embracing You, Embracing Me, 2012, etc.) new Rogue Saga.
Shyla Ericson, a Los Angeles police detective, has not had an easy life. After killing her sexually abusive father when she was just a teenager, and losing her mother to suicide a few years later, she left her hometown of Redding, Calif., and started over in Los Angeles. Since then, she’s buried herself in her work, and has kept her co-workers at arm’s length. She also uses alcohol to keep the nightmares of her past at bay. But when her captain offers her the biggest case of her career, she can’t say no; it’s her chance to go undercover and to take down Victor Champlain, an up-and-coming drug lord. The problem is that Champlain operates out of Redding, so Ericson will have to return to the town that haunts her dreams. Meanwhile, Champlain has acquired a new bodyguard named Brennan Miles, who’s spent the last 10 years as a prisoner in a laboratory, getting genetic modifications that have given him strength, speed and a craving for blood. Those attributes prove useful to Champlain, who purchased Miles’ loyalty by breaking him out. But as the undercover Ericson spends time with Miles, he begins to rediscover his humanity, and she also feels an attraction that she can’t explain. As the case builds and Champlain gets suspicious, Miles and Ericson must confront their loyalties, their pasts and their feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Ericson also becomes emotionally invested in the fate of a young girl from a broken family. Overall, the story’s pace is steady, but not particularly fast. However, award-winning author Bellon puts a lot of humanity into her emotionally charged thriller, fleshing out her intriguing story with living, breathing characters. She engagingly explores how Miles can’t escape from what he has become, for example, and how Ericson decides what route she wants her life to take as she struggles to close the case. By the end, readers will be eagerly awaiting the next installment in the saga.
An intoxicating start to a tale about facing down the ghosts of the past.