Jenna Black,
Guardians of the Night #2: Secrets in the Shadows
(Tor, 2007)

Jules' transition from mortal to vampire was less than pleasant. His maker, Ian, not only betrayed him but did some unspeakable things to Jules that has caused a lot of pain in his vampire life. Since that time he has been part of the Guardians: a group of vampires protecting Philadelphians from vampires like Ian -- a killer who feeds on mortals. Jules belongs to the other vamp population; he survives on a lamb's-blood-and-milk concoction.

With a recent tragedy fresh in his heart, he spots an article featuring his maker and begins to investigate the Baltimore newspapers for vamp-related crimes and brings them to the Guardians' attention. Eli, head of the Guardians, knows Jules' main motivation is revenge and explains they cannot intrude on other territories. Jules leaves the meeting with the intent of going rogue, a major no-no in the Guardian realm.

Hannah Moore, meanwhile, is a private investigator who recently lost her partner, Carolyn, when she left to join the Guardians with her vamp fiance, Gray, in the book Watchers in the Night. Carolyn asks Hannah to accompany Jules to Baltimore to help him stay safe during the day; Hannah reluctantly agrees.

These two couldn't be more opposite. Hannah is tough, sassy and tomboyish. Jules is refined, a metrosexual poster boy. They end up being the perfect balance for each other and it opens both up to find a mutual respect and some vulnerability in each other's normally tough facades.

With the introduction of two new killers to this series, Camille and her son Gabriel, the story takes on a sadistic and bone-chilling tone, really bringing the bad side of vampires into the forefront. The characters in these stories are not one-dimensional; with their realistic flaws and strengths they come to life on the pages. This story is a compelling mix of terror and titillation, deceit and discovery, good and evil and that hazy area in between. I love this series!

review by
Cherise Everhard

26 January 2008

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