Vampire Claire finds herself caught in the middle between her Master, Parker, and her Trigger, Andre. Little love is lost between the former friends, but somehow Claire must build a bridge between them when they are sent to Edgewood to settle their differences. The cost of her failure will be deadly.
Deep in the cellars of Edgewood, a game of sexual bondage unleashes unexpected dangers, twisting open, loving Andre into a secretive virtuoso of manipulation. Is this just another part of the game, or is he losing his mind? Parker will take desperate steps to protect his apprentice, but he won’t be dragged into the game with them.
Can Parker set aside forty years of bitter rivalry, or will he sacrifice Andre to save Claire?
“Why did Oliver give me to Andre if he was just going to give me back to you the second things got ugly?”
“Maybe he was hoping things wouldn’t,” Parker said. “The man doesn’t know everything, no matter how much he tries to make us think he does. Face it. Oliver screwed up, and you and I—and even that idiot Trigger of yours—paid the price. Just like with that damn key. Why do you trust him, Claire?”
“Because he’s our Circle Master,” I whispered. “Why don’t you trust him?”
“He let Devlin into this Circle.” Parker’s voice was as grim as I’d ever heard it. “He let him come from the Dublin Circle and never questioned why Dublin’s Circle Master wanted to get rid of him. He should have known what a psychopath that bastard was, but he didn’t. Or maybe he did and didn’t care. Wanted to experiment. Ever wonder how goddamn boring life must be after a thousand bloody years of the same bullshit night after night? Maybe you get to the point where you’d do anything to alleviate the boredom. Including treating your Circle like puppets on strings.”
“Why don’t you ask to leave, then, if you don’t trust him?” I jutted my chin, anger spurting through my veins. Goddamn him for making me doubt Oliver. Why did he have to destroy my faith in everything and everyone? Just because he had none left himself?
Parker’s teeth flashed in a cynical smile. “What for? Circle Masters are all the same.”
“You know this because of personal experience? You, who have only ever been in the London Circle?” I rolled my eyes.
“Your bastard Trigger came from a different Circle. I don’t blame Sinead for letting Devlin go, but she could have saved Andre. Instead, she left him to twist under a new Circle Master who had no frigging clue how insane Devlin really was.” Parker took me by the shoulders and gave me a quick shake. “I don’t need to go to another Circle to figure out Circle Masters are variations on the same theme.”
“Seems to me with your love of manipulating people, you’d make a great Circle Master. Why do you sneer at the very thing you probably aim to become?” I asked.
“Your stubborn refusal to see me as I really am is truly breathtaking,” he marveled, grinning. “I suppose we all have to blame somebody for everything that’s wrong in our sorry-ass lives. I blame Oliver, and you blame me. I guess I should be flattered.”
“Oh, screw you. I don’t blame you for everything that’s wrong. There’s that prodigious ego of yours rearing its ugly head.” I glared at him, and he smirked back at me. “This may come as a huge surprise, but contrary to your popular belief, the world and everyone in it does not revolve around you. You are not the sun, and we are not your planets, Parker. You’re just an asshole who has no idea what the real truth is any more than any of the rest of us do. So stop trying to make me think you know everything, when you don’t know shit.”
“I know one thing,” he said, and I groaned.
“What? What is this thing that you know?” I sneered.
He winked. “That you make me hard when you yell at me like this. Want to come sit on my lap, sweetheart?”
I love when characters are so realistic they leap off the page. And when an author succeeds in imbuing traits in a character that humanizes and redeems them, I will be a fan for life. Claire is an Enhanced vampire: she has special powers she uses to help battered women find the strength to make a change in their situation. Andre is a kind, but tortured soul who loves Claire. I found myself afraid when he can't seem to halt his descent madness. Parker, who Turned Claire, hides behind a heavy mask of cynicism and narcissism. Due to a feud of epic proportions in Andre and Parker's pasts, and a current battle over Claire, they are banished to a country estate to work out their differences. This banishment creates a triangle that is erotic and oddly human (for vampires, that is).
I loved the way Amy Lee used metaphors within her writing. A physical key that opens the doors to secrets past and a dangerous game. A rose bush that threatens to die, mimicking the death of relationships. Her evolution of Parker from a major jerk into a kind, loving man was ingenious and kept me gripped.
This book is a sequel. The first book isn't required reading in order to enjoy this one, but trust me, you'll want to own Blood Gift as well.
I'm happy to give this book 5 lovely sunflowers
Amazon | Loose-Id | Kobo | Barnes and Noble
And don't forget to enter Amy's Release Giveaway.
Amy Lee Burgess lives and writes in Houston, Texas but her heart belongs to New England – especially in the autumn. Ruled by two dachshunds and addicted to Irish breakfast tea and the Walking Dead, she loves to write about vampires, wolf shifters, gargoyles and other assorted paranormal creatures. Amy loves to travel to places like London England, Edinburgh, Scotland, Paris France and Providence, Rhode Island where she stalks the coziest Irish pubs she can find. She writes to trance and house music by candlelight and welcomes email from her readers – especially if they want to talk about the supernatural.
Links to reach Amy Lee Burgess:
Main Website http://amyleeburgess.blogspot.com/