St. Martin’s Feb 2009, $6.99
In 1828 vampire “Red Witch” Dulcie “Cin” Cravan is visiting her human relatives the Mackenzies at her former home (before she died) Ravenworth Hall when vampire Drake, the Sentinel of the High King arrives with a mission from his sire. Cin refuses to allow the attractive vampire inside the home. Cin’s beloved Michael and their fellow Righteous Dark Council of Vampires Devlin and Justine arrive at the Hall. Drake explains they must visit the home of the Queen of the Western Lands Marrakesh, to determine if as reported she has broken vampiric law by killing humans. The team knows Marrakesh’s husband King Macleod will refuse to give her up without a fight; the pair are two of the most powerful vampires on the continent.
When they arrive at their destination, the Righteous are coldly welcomed as everyone knows who they are and why they are there. Their witness is dead having died in a mystical “locked room” manner. However she rescues the queen who she found chained to the roof just before dawn. As the quintet make inquires the evidence grows that the Queen is guilty and either should be executed or exiled; only Cin thinks otherwise though she has not found a viable alternate suspect even as her Michael is acting strange while Drake flirts with her and a guest at the abode and Bel flirts with Michael.
The sequel to the delightful historical romantic fantasy WAGES OF SIN is a fabulous entry in what looks like will be a strong saga. The story line is action-packed once Drake arrives and never slows down as the Inquisition Righteous investigates the goings-on while the romance between Cin and Michael flounders. Although the culprit seems obvious early on, fans will enjoy this terrific tale as Cin exploits her exaggerated reputation as the unique vamp the Red Witch to bluff and obtain cooperation that her more typical vamp partners cannot.