An enjoyable darker paranormal with psychological depth.
This book is dark and it contains some graphic, violent, and nasty themes. If you aren't keen on darker, violent paranormals then perhaps you should think twice about Blood Lust. I think it is done well, and I think the context of the violence, paranormal themes, language, psychology, and situations perfectly suited the book. They were well written, and added to the book, not detracted.
And I smile."
Let's look at the paranormal side. There are times when I want my paranormals dark. I want my vampires being pure creatures of the night. It had everything I want in my darker paranormal reads - a tough, non-fluffy, violent, drink-to the-death, aggressive female vampire as the main character.
"It is night again, always night when I prowl. I am a nocturnal hunter, a bump in the night, a shadow on the bedroom wall, the monster under the bed. I am what children fear and what adults deny exists. But I do exist and I am on another mission.....They can’t hurt me. I am already dead."
Antonio is into every kind of illegal activity, making money off all manner of contraband - drugs, weapons, illegal casinos/gambling - and rave parties, where age is no problem, as long as you have the cash to buy what he's selling. He has his henchmen but Nexess is the ace up his sleeve when he wants someone scared witless or dead; as she is fast, guns, standard knives and ordinary strength are no match for her. In terms of world building there are some standards, some I mentioned above, plus - no sleeping, no sun, speed to burn, stealth, an increased desirability and libido, especially after drinking blood, Ms Degarmo also opts for - no reflection in mirrors, venom that is deadly if it touches a person, and hallucinations if blood is withheld for her vampires.
Life is pretty much the same for Nexess, kill, be fucked, torutured, be submissive to Antonio. Which is not much of a life. Then, on one mission where there is a battle, Nexess smells something unusual, another vampire. She has never seen one before and this vampire calls to her physically and at a visceral level. We learn his name is Jace, and he is an interesting character. He works for Feral .45, so he is a sworn enemy right off the bat. Or is he? I was so glad to see another vampire come onto the scene for Nexess, because I wasn't sure where her miserable existence was going to go with Antonio before he came along. They have some very snarky dialogue and soon Nexess can't stop thinking about Jace -
“You’ve got a fucking bad attitude,” he says with a smile. It looks as though he’s going to back off and I fall for his bluff. I relax for a moment and it’s all he needs. I’m on the floor underneath him, and his teeth are on my throat. He’s growling again, and I can feel it welling up from inside him. It’s hot. His cock is hard and it’s pressing against me and without thinking, I purr sensually and move against him. We’re struggling against each other now, half fighting and half engaging in the weirdest foreplay I’ve ever had. My hands are frantically roaming around on his back, trying simultaneously to rip into his skin with my claw-like nails and trying to pull him closer to me. My hips are bucking and I don’t know whether I’m trying to get him off of me or trying to get him inside me. My mouth is pinned to his neck, my fangs sinking into him, but it’s more a sexual act than a violent one.
But then I catch his scent and I turn sharply toward it. It’s a scent unique to him and I hone in on it and follow, like a child running toward the smell of fresh-baked cookies. I can’t stop. I have to find him. I can’t be out here and not be with him. He’s suddenly the center of my existence, my reason for
being out on these dark streets. And I’ve found him.
A relationship of sorts develops between Nexess and Jace, but Nexess finds it hard to believe anyone other than Antonio, she's so deeply indoctrinated. Jace is a catalyst for revised thinking. Slowly he attempts to chip away at Nexess to let her know she doesn't have to be chained, she doesn't have to be a slave, she can have freedoms like he has. Will she accept Jace, though, or will she continue to bow to Antonio and all that he has stamped on her psyche? This is probably the hardest part of the book, watching what she does and hearing Nexess' inner conundrum.
I really liked Blood Lust. I didn't like putting it down until the next day. I wanted to see where it would go. I knew how it would play out with Antonio, but I didn't mind that. I liked the duality, this two parts within the framework of paranormal. There was some delicious dialogue. There's an erotcism to the book, however most of the sex scenes were not sexy more driving home a point. Nexess and Jace only get together physically on one ocassion and it's not explicit but it is intimate and passionate. There is a romantic nature to the book, if you call sharing a bag lady as a snack together romantic, and of course Jace helps Nexess understand her nature; I appreciated the fact that it wasn't made out to be other than who the characters were. The book finishes too soon for me. I wanted more, there was an epilogue, and it does end well, but, still..... I liked the book enough to want to keep reading. Luckily for this reader there appears to be a sequel in the pipeline for 2013, Wanderlust. I hope this is so, because I'm not finished with Nexess or Jace. If you like a darker paranormal, psychological read, and good writing of those themes, it's all here in Blood Lust. Highly recommended reading.
This book was supplied to me by the publisher Taylor Street Publishing for an honest review.