Nightshade by Michelle Rowen
"Jillian Conrad never believed in vampires-until she was unwillingly injected with a serum that was supposed to act as a deadly poison to them. Now, tormented half-vampire Declan Reese wants her blood to destroy the undead kingdom. Unfortunately, the serum has also made her blood irresistible to all vampires-including Declan, whose desire for Jillian is more than mere hunger"
This book was a quick read, but it was pretty good. I've read Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowen but didn't continue that series, mainly because Kobo (my ereader) didn't have book two of the series and I felt weird skipping ahead to book 3. If they get book 2 I'd read it, but it's always seemed an ereader series to me.
Nightshade is the first in a new series, although I see that there is a novella already available related to the series and the second book comes out in July of this year, so there won't be much waiting around between books.
When reading Nightshade I sometimes had trouble figuring out what type of book it was. Sometimes it felt like an urban fantasy and sometimes it felt like a paranormal romance. The PNR parts were the weaker spots, but the UF parts were really fast paced and interesting. Jillian was a nice lead character. I liked that she doesn't want to be a hero. Her life my be dull, but she'll take dull over vampires and deadly poisons. At a crucial point in the book, Jill must choose between taking an antidote that will allow her to return to her normal life, or to join the fight against vampires and try to kill the Vampire King. While things don't work out quite how she'd like, I liked how it was written.
I also really liked how the dhamphir (half human/half vampire) Declan was able to heal quickly from his injuries but was horribly scarred by them. I think it took courage for Rowen to write a character that was hideously scarred and disfigured rather then handsome and romantic. Plus, in having Declan drugged to suppress his personality she has possible created the least romantic hero ever. I liked how unlikable he was.
In Bitten and Smitten, the lead vampire is suicidal and in Nightshade, again there is a history of depression, suicidal thoughts and discussion as to managing these issues. As someone who has dealt with depression, I like how Michelle Rowen's characters deal with their issues. they feel true to life.
Nightshade has a nice blend of gritty urban fantasy and comic romance that is both odd and sort of pleasant. Either way it was just what I was looking for last night and I'm glad I read it.
In a random thought... I've noticed the name Declan has become really popular lately. This is the third book I've read recently with a lead character with this name. I also know of two children recently named Declan.
3.5 out of 5
What I'm reading
The Discovery of Witches (Loving it!)
At Grave's End
DoW is a big book, so I won't be reading anything else for a few days