Jess Vandermire, book one
Paperback, 204 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by ImaJinn Books
New York City is in the grasp of a deadly, unseen enemy. At least unseen by normal society. Lieutenant Jess Vandermire, New York City police officer, is uniquely specialized to recognize and fight this threat. It’s her job to forge a black ops team, an assortment of men and women who wouldn’t be considered for the job under normal circumstances. But these aren’t normal circumstances. The team has to be tough and, if need be, expendable.
Jess understands what she’s fighting and what’s at stake. For her, it’s all about retribution until ex-cop John Brittain is recruited to her team. Suddenly, her priorities aren’t quite so easily definable. John Brittain has a chip on his shoulder and is as tough as they come. But is he ready for the whole truth? That combating “super” vampires whose primal need for blood and the addictive drug “Sunshine” is only the beginning of their problems?
And when Jess tells him the truth about herself, will he stay and fight or will he turn against her and not only threaten their lives but destroy the fragile relationship developing between them?
I've confessed it before- I am not a fan of vampires. But given recent events, I may be altering that statement in the near future. Despite my bias, I haven't neglected that many chances to venture outside of my comfort zone and in this case, I am glad for it. Quite frankly because, for the most part, Grave Illusions rocked! Mere pages in and I was in love. With Britt. With Jess. With the whole freaking thing.
Jess was turned many a year ago into a vampire, but she's fought the cravings and the madness with help of her baby brother, Regent (now a 72 year old priest). He's served as her protector but now feels it best if the job were passed on, before he passes on.
Pulling together a new team, Jess finds Regents' ideal candidate for the task in John Brittain, an ex-cop guilty of his partner's death. Another such recruit for the team is Tat Brophy, a man who murdered his parents and next door neighbor when the power went out and he couldn't complete the level on his video game. Quite the colorful cast, eh? Beware the gamers.
I was engrossed by the interactions between Jess and Britt. She's a hardass and he's hot for every bit of it. Midway though, things veer drastically to the left as it goes from secret lusts to all out 'I will have you' promises. Then the L word drops and the story drifts downhill from there. As things go full circle, the cliches start flowing and well, I expected a lot more awesomeness. I know our hero has to have some flaws, but Britt seemed to have those in abundance. How can a man be so dang blind? 4 out of 5 stars.
Check out a recent post featuring an excerpt here.
Other books in the series: