With the second installment coming out I re-read the first book. These two stories (and likely the as yet unpublished 3rd) run fairly concurrently, as such, minor spoilers for each of the books may be revealed in each of the reviews.
Burn for Me
My initial rating was for 4 Stars, however the re-read netted only 3 Stars.
In a world where supernaturals are out of the closet, Eve Bradley is a reporter who has entered into a secretive government facility, under false credentials, where experiments are being run on supernaturals who are volunteering to help the U.S. military. Eve and others doubt the claims being made by the facility officials, and as one might expect, the “volunteers” are actually conscripts.
Cain O’Connor, subject thirteen, is one of the conscripts. He’s chained in a supernatural proof lab where he’s murdered regularly, and he comes back a little more insane each time.
For supporting cast you have a mysterious starving vampire and Trace, a mega rich genius wolf shifter. The vampire is sold to the facility and while there finds something he can’t live without, so even when he escapes he still has to go back. Trace gets involved with disastrous consequences because Eve is his friend. For a villain we have Dr. Richard Wyatt the megalomaniac sociopath with daddy issues.
This is an insta-mate trope though Cain is initially reluctant to form any sort of bond besides sex. They’re two lost people with tragic pasts fearful of getting close to one another.
What worked for me is that it’s fast paced and the character traits and the mystery is interesting. The first read sucked me in with a vengeance. What made me rate it down on the second read is that the main characters are just a bit too one note to be repeatedly enthralling. They were interesting, they made me smile or cringe or choke up in turn, but everything was right up front and there wasn’t anything new to learn or notice with repeat readings. It’s still a fun read, and it’s nothing that will bother the first time reader, but it’s not anything I’ll return to repeatedly.
Once Bitten, Twice Burned
Ryder Duncan has been held starving for months at the Genesis facility. Sabine Acadia doesn’t know what she is or why she has been held at the facility and thrown into a cage with a starving vampire. For obvious reasons this does not go well for Sabine, and while Ryder does try to do the right thing at the end, Dr. Wyatt of course wants more out of his sick experiments and so Ryder gets the surprise of his life. Being murdered by the hero is sadly not the worst way I’ve read for two main characters to meet, but this does rank right up there at the top.
Ryder and Sabine are thrown together and then separated and we get to learn a whole lot more about what drives Dr. Wyatt. Ryder and Sabine were bonded and while their love was central to the story, it made even less sense to me than Cain and Eve. I could see their attraction and how they would be interested in each other, but true love? Nope. Discounting that, Ryder and Sabine’s backgrounds were fascinating and the story itself is exciting and fast paced. It’s definitely a fun read and I can’t wait for Cassie and Dante’s story.
I just have one question though, what the hell has happened to Trace? I will be ridiculously disappointed if that story isn’t tied up.