“That vampire,” she said firmly, “is a jackass.”
Bound by Night introduces us to a most unconventional PNR world. The prologue reveals that vampires are purchased and enslaved by humans. Nicole Martin’s father has owned vampires for years. Treating them with nothing but animosity, he views vampires only as objects to serve his needs. On the evening of the uprising, the vampires rebel against the Martin family and slaughter them all with the exception of Nicole. Now, years later, Nicole is an expert in vampire pathology. Her family created a company known as Daedalus and Nicole has taken the reins and is currently working on an anti-vampirism vaccine. Nicole is unaware that her parents and brother created the company in order to build a breeding program that would allow genetically engineered vampires to be used as donors as well as aid in vaccines for humans.
Riker is part of the Moonbound clan of vampires. They are a rogue clan with a critical problem. Neriya, a midwife from the ShadowSpawn clan who assisted with a birth in the Moonbound clan was kidnapped by hunters from Daedalus. Neriya has a special gift called usdida. This gift allows her the ability to ease labor and deliver babies of vampires safely, preventing death. With the birth rate at an all time low in the vampire race, Neriya is a vital component to future of the race as a whole. ShadowSpawn has given an ultimatum. Moonbound has until the new moon to find and return Neriya or they will destroy the entire Moonbound clan down to the last child. Riker knows that Nicole is now the CEO of Daedalus and therefore takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping Nicole in order to secure Neriya’s release. What he does not expect is to be attracted to the enemy or where their journey together will ultimately lead.
Larissa Ione is a phenomenal story teller. Her Demonica and Lords of Deliverance series are two of my top favorites in PNR. What you can always count on is for Ms. Ione to deliver memorable characters, a uniquely engaging PNR world and usually an evil villain that leaves you eagerly awaiting his ultimate demise! I enjoyed learning the history of both Nicole and Riker which leads to a nice set up of a scorned attraction between both. Initially, Riker believes that Nicole is just like her family and views vampires as objects, undeserving of respect. He also holds her responsible along with her family for the death of his mate, Terese. Nicole initially believes that Riker is the one who killed Terese; who was also Nicole’s nanny and whom she dearly loved. Needless to say both have formed an angry and detestable impression of each other. In spite of believing each other is the enemy, there is a spark of attraction that both try their best to quell.
“She looked like a woman who needed a mattress, a lot less clothing, and a male willing to use every dirty trick in the book to make her mindless with ecstasy.”
I really enjoyed Larissa Ione’s dark, gritty and unique take on the vampire world. I believe she has established an elaborate and captivating setting that will lead to another winning series. While I enjoyed Riker and Nicole’s interaction, I never felt their relationship as a couple evolved to the level that most of Ms. Ione’s couples do. The burning need, emotional connection and romance that is a staple with Ione’s couples was not as prominent with Riker and Nicole. Much of that was due to the guilt Riker constantly fought regarding his dead mate and the guilt Nicole bore with regard to her family’s treatment of vampires. Riker had many drama queen moments and Nicole’s anxiety provided her with a plethora of self-induced origami figurines. In the end they felt more like partners in crime solving rather than partners developing a romantic relationship. As a whole Riker and Nicole did not present that “wow” factor as a couple that I have come to expect from this author. That’s not to say they were a bad couple or lacked sexual desire and sexy times, but in the end I was not convinced that their relationship was solid or emotionally sound. I’m hoping as the books progress in the series we will see more snippets of Riker and Nicole and witness more depth and romance to their relationship that I felt was lacking in this story.
Bound by Night sets the stage for a great PNR world full of action and history featuring an exclusive vampire race. I am intrigued by many of the secondary characters that were introduced, especially Hunter and Myne, and I look forward to more of this dark and gritty series.
“Hunter’s going to kill you,” Myne said as he fell in next to Riker.
“He’s not going to kill me.”
“But he’ll lecture you with Hunterisms. A dead buffalo can’t cross the plains, or some shit. You might as well be dead.”