For vampire Aidan Murphy, life has never been so desperate. The vaccine used to treat a global pandemic has rendered human blood deadly to his kind, leaving them on the brink of starvation and civil war. In tiny Penton, Alabama, Aidan establishes a peaceful community of vampires and unvaccinated human donors. He dares to hope they can survive - until his estranged brother descends upon Penton and begins killing the humans. Determined to save his town, Aidan kidnaps an unsuspecting human doctor…and finds himself falling in love for the first time in nearly four centuries. Dr. Krystal Harris thought she was coming to Penton for a job interview, but Aidan Murphy has other plans. Infuriated by his high-handed scheme to imprison her in the small town, Krys can’t ignore the attraction between them. But is it love? Or does her dangerous, charismatic captor want only to bend her to his will?
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I read a few book related websites and blogs and often know about upcoming books months before they hit the virtual shelves of Audible, but I must admit, this book came out of nowhere. I'd never heard of this series nor the author. I saw it in a sale a while back, liked the synopsis and thought I'd take a chance. Usually when this happens, I get a reasonably decent romance, but nothing to crow about. This book, however, was a quality piece of paranormal romantic fiction read by a marvelous narrator.
I didn't recognize Angela Dawe's name when I bought the book, but I sure recognized her voice. She was the fantastic narrator that brought Nalini Singh's Psy-changling series to heart pounding life. She pulls off some of the sexiest male voices I've ever came across from a female narrator. Combine her emotive voice with excellent pacing and flawless delivery and you get a truly marvelous audiobook experience.
The story line itself fits well within the paranormal romance genre, but it does have a nice twist to the vampire tale. The history behind the story is this: The world is struck by a pandemic, killing millions or humans as well as the vampires that drank from those infected. Following the pandemic, a vaccination is created and the vast majority of humans are vaccinated. Unfortunately, drinking blood from vaccinated humans has the same effect on vampires as drinking from the humans who were infected with the disease, making food supplies impossibly low for vampire-kind.
Our hero Aiden is trying to do his small part to rebuild the decimated vampire population, particularly those vampires in his inner circle of friends. He's done this by essentially buying a small Southern town and moving his vampire friends and their willing human blood donars (called fams) to this town. He finds more unvaccinated humans from the impoverished and addicted in the cities and offers them a second chance at life if they are willing to feed his kind.
The community aspect of this book is one of the elements that sets it apart from the herd of vampire fiction out there. The symbiotic relationship between human and vampires notwithstanding, there's a feeling of something a bit more than community, but not quite family, and Aiden is the leader, the founder and the cornerstone of it all.
After the town's physician, the human mate of one of the vampires, is killed, the town needs a new doctor, and our heroine, comes to Penton to fill this role. Expecting a quiet country life caring for the locals, she gets way more than she's bargained for.
All the elements are here. A brooding hero, a troubled but brilliant heroine, trusted sidekicks, unfaithful betrayers and a truly evil villain. Give it a try. It's a fantastic read on it's own, but it's also a promising start to a new series. I will be eagerly be looking for more work from this author.
Yes, there's a real overload of vampire books out there now but I found this one is one of the good ones with it's different direction to the usual evil bloodsuckers story. Aidan's dreams of co-existing with the human blood donors in Penton was very touching and so was his feelings for Krystal. Instant attractions between the two grew rapidly until it's ultimate consummation (quite mild on the spice scale) and it was a pleasant change to have a flower growing, thoughtful and mild mannered vampire that's in charge and not the usual strong Alpha vamp.
The imaganative plot includes some very interesting characters that bring more intrigues to the story along with them.
Narrator did a great job and I'm off now to listen to the next in the trilogy about the executioner Mirren's story.
Worth a credit? It's definately absolutely worth a credit but, at $9.79 for 10.5 hours, it's great value for your money so, if you can, I would say just buy it and save your credits for more expensive listens.