ORDER A COPY: Chase Me
Publishing Date: June 5, 2012
Paperback: 352 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Incubi, sirens, vampires, Valkyerie, faeries, and were-creatures live secretly alongside humanity in this gritty, sexy series.
In the second installment, Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and werewolf geologist Garbriel Lupinsky are assigned to work together on a dig site. Gabriel’s methodical work practices and Lorin’s inexplicable attraction to him grate on the archaeologist’s nerves. But when she unlocks a cryptic box that sends a signal to intergalactic enemies, Lorin will have to set aside her feelings and work with Gabriel…or risk losing everything.
In the World of the Underbelly Chronicles created by Tamara Hogan, she presents us with a world of supernaturals (vampires, werewolves, sirens, icubus, etc.) who are all decedents from a spaceship which crashed on our planet over a thousand years ago. They live under the radar of the human race and they are self-governed by their own governing counsel which consists of two representatives from each race.
Chase Me is book 2 of the series. While on her current dig, Valkyrie Second and anthropologist Lorin Schlessinger comes upon a strange box which might just be the key to understanding the supernaturals’ past. When things start to go array at the dig sight, Sebastiani Laboratories sends up werewolf and current head of Sebastiani Labs, Gabe Lupinsky, to supervise the dig and begin testing on the odd metal box. Tensions have always been high between Gabe and Lorin, so neither are all to excited to be stuck together at the secluded dig site. As is easy to guess in a romance novel, Gabe and Lorin’s tension are caused by their underlying attraction to each other and once they give in to that attraction, the pages certainly heat up.
Although Lorin, Gabe and Sebastiani Labs are trying to keep the discovery of this box a secret, the box starts giving off its own signal which is being tracked from space by other supernaturals, and they are quite interested in the vast natural resources to be found on our planet.
I thought the crashed spaceship aspect was a great new twist to a paranormal series and a gives a believable background to the existence of paranormals here on earth. Of course, you would also have to believe in aliens as well, but if you couldn’t, you wouldn’t be reading a paranormal romance to begin with.
What I also found very interesting in this series is that most paranormal stories start with the basic fact that all paranormals are far superior to humans with enhanced senses, speed, healing abilities, etc. This series indicates that although they mostly have greater strength and senses, they are also suffering from genetic defects. This seems to be most prevalent in the werewolf population which has been suffering the effects of inbreeding, since the Alphas insist on wolf-only matings. Many werewolves, Gabe’s family in particular, suffer from genetic weaknesses. Gabe is nearsighted and is suffering from macular degeneration to a point he does not turn into a wolf since he cannot see without his glasses. This also adds to the strain in the relationship between Gabe and Lorin since Gabe’s family is seen genetically inferior and Lorin’s position on the counsel makes her the equivalent to a Valkyrie Princess.
Whenever I try to pick up a book which isn’t book #1 of the series, I always feel a step behind everyone else. But we are given enough of a glimpse into the last storyline so that we can keep up with the many, many other characters who we are introduced to in this series, and more than enough that I feel I definitely want to go back and read book #1 since it sounds like I missed a really good story.
I won’t say this is a “stop what you are doing and pick up this book” story, but between the well written characters, very interesting back story, the genetic twist, and the several unanswered questions, I will be looking out for Book #3.
Received ARC from netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
“Yes, yes, everyone’s fine. I didn’t mean to worry you.” Lukas fell silent, worrying him even more. “Are you seeing anyone right now?”
“What?” Gabe’s eyebrows flew into his hairline. “Lorin just made the find of the millennia and you want to talk about my sex life?” Or lack thereof?
“Ah, shit,” Lukas muttered over a thunk in the background. Gabe winced as he visualized the other man’s heavy boots being propped onto something delicate—probably Elliott Sebastiani’s prized Eames table.
“I told Scarlett she should call you instead.”
Lukas signed audibly. “Did you notice how agitated Lorin was at the meeting?”
“She usually is. Agitated, I mean. By me.”
“She was agitated—and aroused—by you.”
“What?” Blood rushed to his face and parts further south. “Lukas—”
“You two were spilling so much sexual energy during the meeting that I had trouble concentrating. Lorin really needs to get laid. So, if you’re not seeing anyone…” Lukas’s voice trailed off casually.
Gabe’s eyes bulged. Was Lukas really suggesting—
“She’s a Valkyrie, remember?” Lukas interrupted. “You have to do something, Gabe, because she’s bouncing off the walls.”
Do something? Like have sex with Lorin? “Are you serious? I think you brother might have a slight problem with what you’re suggesting.”
“Nah, Lorin and Rafe aren’t sleeping together anymore,” Lukas responded. “So, she isn’t involved with anyone right now, and I now you and Kayla broke things off awhile ago. If you aren’t seeing anyone, maybe the two of you can…scratch a mutual itch.”
Lorin wasn’t sleeping with Rafe Sebastiani. The information bounced in Gabe’s brain like a pinball on a hot table.
No. Gabe yanked the mental reins. Who Lorin was or wasn’t sleeping with didn’t matter—despite the incendiary offer she’d made to him in the sauna last night.
Food, fight, fuck. How many times had he heard the Valkyrie adage? It had new significance to him now, because damn it, Lukas was right—Lorin had a problem. He mentally scrolled through the options. Lorin appeared to have the food part handled. Fight? He shook his head. Nope. He’d run with her, sure—but hit her? Fight with her? Nuh-uh, not gonna happen. But fuck? Oh yeah, he could image that. Had imagined it, over and over again, in dozens of variations.
“I know you want her, Gabe.”
It would be useless to deny such a thing to an incubus of Lukas’s skill. “Who wouldn’t?”
“So, what’s the problem?”
“Lukas, she reports to me.”
“I provide her with work direction. I sign off on her budget, her salary, her bonuses, until Alka gets back.”
“And as a member of the Council, she makes decisions impacting all of our species on a regular basis. She could have you arrested with a single phone call.” Amusement filled his voice. “Do you really think she’s worried about bonus money?”
Probably not, and their relative financial standing was just one more roadblock standing between them. “How about the fact that she find me as annoying as I find her?”
Lukas had the balls to laugh at him. “Sexual tension, man. Off-the-scale sexual tension.”
He’d have to take Lukas’s word for it. He hadn’t had sex in so long that he’d almost forgotten what sexual tension felt like. “Don’t you think Lorin can find her own partner?”
“Sure she could, but you’re both there, both healthy, unattached adults who are attracted to each other. She has to leach off some energy somehow. I’d rather she does it with you than with some random guy she picks up at Tubby’s.”
Now he knew why she’d made a pass last night. Lorin didn’t necessarily want to sleep with him; she just had to sleep with somebody. The very thought of Lorin picking up a stranger at a dive bar enraged him. “So this is…a risk management recommendation.”
“If you like.” Lukas’s voice was dry as dirt. “She wants you. You want her. She needs to leach off some energy—soon—or she’ll be worthless. Sounds like a win/win to me.”
“I’ll take your recommendation under advisement.” Now that Lukas had planted the idea of having sex with Lorin in Gabe’s head, he wouldn’t be able to think about anything else.