Bite Me: London Undead #1

Bite Me
PJ Schynder
London Undead, book one
Published June 24th 2013 by Carina Press
ISBN 9781426895654

Few people walk the streets of London since the zombie outbreak, but that's not an issue for Seth. As a werewolf, he can handle himself and save humans reckless enough to take a nighttime stroll. While on patrol he comes across a group of people under attack. The one woman brave enough to take a stand against the zombies catches his eye—and not just because of her way with a gun. Learning the beautiful woman is homeless and fends for herself only intensifies his urge to protect and care for her.

Maisie can't help but admit that she's attracted to her werewolf rescuer. She's drawn to Seth's strength and ferocity, and finds herself opening up to him in ways she never imagined, even though she's determined to not rely on Seth or anyone else. She doesn't want another person to get hurt—or die—for her sake. She has enough scars, physical and emotional, from the last time…

But when Seth realizes something is drawing the zombies to Maisie, there may be nothing he can do to save her.

In Bite Me, we are introduced to Seth, an Alpha werewolf, as he assists his beta, Danny, in collecting samples from still active zombies--I can't very well say 'live zombies' now can I?-- And really, who better to do the job than a werewolf with natural immunity to the zombie virus?

They part ways, leaving Seth to blow off some steam and continue the patrol. It's then that he falls upon human Maisie who's hell bent on saving a wayward family that was stupid enough to get lost in the park at night. She holds her own, gun in hand, quite well but her ammunition is fast depleting and Seth jumps in, in a half shift, to finish the job.

And earns a bullet through the shoulder for his trouble when Maisie is forced to do so in order to hit the zombie attached to his back.

Maisie knows all about the existence of werewolves. And fae and vampires. She's aware Seth will heal on his own but offers her aid in cleaning his wound as a show of gratitude. Pause here for a quick recap of Maisie's past:

Years ago, when the zombie rise was only beginning, Maisie had a brother and mother. She fought one night with them, whether to run or lock it down and wait for help to come, and ended up fleeing to the park for some fresh air and space. Her family followed, foolishly calling out her name, and attracting zombies to their location. Each of them were attacked. Only Maisie, although bitten, survived. Her friend, and doctor, Brian, amputated the infected flesh, leaving Maisie with a scarred and twisted leg and forced to rely on crutches. From that moment, Maisie got herself a gun and learned to shoot it well.

Over a very few short hours, Seth finds himself captivated by Maisie. Eager to lay a dead rabbit at her feet and smother her with his scent. He vows to court her slowly though, especially with his own painful past haunting him.

Seth had a mate once. One with the power to control the zombies. He feared for her, and made her promise to stop, which she did. Only, she betrayed that promise. And when her power failed, the zombies turned against her, and devoured her.

By the end of the book, in which only a day has passed, Seth learns that multiple "empty" buildings have been targeted by tactical working zombies in which squatters have made their home. Maisie, too, lives in such a state. The "something" that is drawing the zombies to Maisie?--is the landlord that has been fighting Brian and Maisie about their lease. She's attacked, and again bitten, even as Seth fights the hoard for her life.

As the virus spreads, Seth is left with no alternative but to combat it with a virus of his own. And so, expectantly, he bites and effectually Changes her. Ta-dah! The end.

I didn't love it. I don't hate it. And so, 3 out of 5 stars.

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