Berkley, Feb 1 2011, $7.99
In San Diego, Jillian Conrad works as an office temp at am investment firm. She is returning to work following a coffee break when a man accosts her; he injects her with a syringe containing serum. Half-vampire Declan Reyes shoots and kills Jill’s assaulter.
Jill is so sick she feels like she is going to die. Reyes informs her she has been inoculated with chemicals that make vampires covet her blood though it is also a toxic to the undead. Concerned about Jill’s safety and wanting to insure no further public incident occurs; Reyes escorts the ailing woman to a hidden remote lab where purebred human collaborators including scientists work on killing a rogue vampire king. Declan and Jill become lovers during her moments when the nausea and headaches subside and she is not on call as bloody bait.
This is an engaging romantic fantasy starring a bewildered ailing human and a hybrid in heat. The story line is fast-paced with an interesting underlying premise. However, the sex feels gratuitous as Jill is very sick; perhaps puking once or twice on his lower head would have brought realism to the lusty encounters. Still sub-genre readers will enjoy Michelle Rowen’s entertaining thriller.