"We are all more than the sum of our sins."
The e-book is finished at "90%" (grr). Weird. Also, I hate this cover as much as I did Slade and Denise's
I'm finding I'm actually liking these side stories more than the original Cat and Bone books other than a select few. Yes, I know I'm in the minority with that. This time it's Vlad's story, but what is the most impressive about this one is the heroine - frankly, she's awesome and steals the show.
Hit by a lightning power surge when a kid, it not only changed her life in the worst family way possible, but it gave her a power of electric shock and psychic abilities, as well as leaving her with a vicious scar from her face down to her arm. Nicknamed "Frankie" after Frankenstein's monster, she works in a circus act. Her power accidentally leaked, she's kidnapped by vamps who have been hired by another big-bag to track down our Bones-and-Cat regular Vlad.
Ridiculously hard to put down, each scene felt fresh and tense. From the introduction in the bar, to the kidnapping and ensuing connection to Vlad, to the change of scenery to Romania, to the strange stuff with the guards, to this and that and this and that, this book packed a strong storyline into one book.
It's true Vlad doesn't seem the same since he has his own story - he has a better humor and sense of charmed style in the Cat and Bones series - but Lelia was a fantastic heroine and I loved their weird connection. Besides being loyal and compassionate, the girl certainly has a dark streak of her own that complements his. I would have been more disturbed by the torture stuff but there's only so much a character can change to stay the same in these books.
The winning role to me were the other cast - the staff and how they're oddly around all the time. Maximus was a keeper - he mini stole some scenes and I hope he continues being a presence in the series. The villain was creatively twisted although perhaps a bit cheesy, but the ending left enough of an open-ended question to show it may not be resolved.
Bedroom stuff was meh for the most part but Frost mainly stayed with the storyline anyway. Buildup went from hot to just funny - how annoying the mind reading stuff is! That's one thing I wasn't looking forward to. I love the weird power blend otherwise.
There was a small pet peeve of mine at the end involving Lelia that I hope doesn't carry over too long in the next book, but I'm definitely a fan of this spin-off.
“No, I do my torturing in the dungeon like any other respectable castle owner”