Series: Vampires Realm #8
Published by Self-Published on April 28th 2014
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
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Betrayed by one of her own and turned into a vampire, hunter Eve is consumed by her hunger for vengeance and has spent five years surviving hell, driven to take the life of the man she once loved. But just as she is about to close in on the hunter-turned-vampire, an event is set in motion that threatens to see him slip beyond her grasp forever—the leader of her bloodline has sent an escort to bring her to the family’s mansion. To a nest of the very creatures she once hunted and loathes.
A vampire assassin hardened by centuries of service, Tor is a man of discipline and loyalty, never straying from his mission or the rules set out for him, and has purged all his weaknesses, including his emotions.
But the moment he meets the broken, fiery female he is to escort to Oslo, something dangerous awakens in him, something possessive and powerful, and when he is pulled into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the man who betrayed her, Tor discovers he will do anything to protect the woman slowly claiming his heart and give her the vengeance she desires—even break all the rules.
Can Eve embrace her new vampire nature in order to have her revenge and find a reason to live again in Tor? Can Tor and Eve stop the man who betrayed her and the deaths of thousands of innocents? Or will he succeed in creating a new army of hybrid vampires who will rise up against the purebloods?
Eve was a Hunter. A hunter of vampires until she was betrayed by the one man she thought she could trust. Because of him she is now everything that she hated. She refuses to drink from humans and will only drink enough animal blood to survive because she has one thing she has to do before she throws herself into the sun—kill Adam for his betrayal.
Tor is an assassin for his House and he has never failed in a mission. When his Lord Vincent sent him to retrieve his love’s sister and bring her home so she will be safe, it was a simple assignment although babysitting seemed a bit below his skill set. But Tor understands revenge and for this first time in hundreds of years, Tor will not be fulfilling his mission without first helping Eve get her revenge against Adam.
When Tor meets Eve, she is not alone, several weaklings are trying to kill her. As a pureblooded vampire, Eve should have dispatched them easily, but her refusal to drink from a human is making her weak. Tor wants to convince Eve that vampires aren’t evil and that she would live a long and happy life if she will only come to accept her new life. And for the first time in centuries, Tor wants more in his future as well.
I receive a daily newsletter from Felicity Heaton and with the exception of Manday Monday, I try not to read them. Why you ask? Because most of them contain scenes from one of her many books and when I read them, I always get caught up in what’s going on. It is my ever growing TBR list that keeps me from buying a copy and finishing the story. In fact, I have several of her free books already downloaded. I just don’t have the time to read them. But when I read the first chapter scene and book information for Hunger, I was hooked and had to have it.
As much as I like the friends to lovers stories and my damaged heroes, I also love the dark, dangerous hero with the soft-gooey inside. Tor fit this bill well. As a long-time assassin, he doesn’t speak much. He walks in, kills who he needs to and goes home. He doesn’t seem to have many friends, but he is unflinchingly loyal to those he does. He falls quickly for Eve, but as the sister of Lilith, who is Lord Vincent’s mate, Eve is marked to be the successor or Chosen Daughter. As an assassin, Tor is treated as a servant by the vampires of his House. Once they get to other vampire, he walks behind Eve and tries not to be seen alone with her. I love that Eve will have none of that, and she is adamant that Tor stands by her side and that “things will be changing around here” and that the vampires will give Tor respect he deserves for the work he does to keep them all safe.
Although it was Book #8 of the series, it worked well as a stand alone. There wasn’t a flurry of past characters stopping by beside Vincent and Lilith, and you really didn’t need to know all her world building. The only other book I have read by Felicity Heaton was Vampire for Christmas, which I had also liked very much. Her stories are interesting and they are quick reads. I wish I had more time to start her series, and she is not available in audiobook yet which is how I usually catch up.
If vamps are your thing, try one of Felicity’s books. I would definitely recommend giving Hunger a try.
And yes, I actually bought this one myself.
I’m giving you the scene that sucked me in —
A bolt of awareness shot down Eve’s spine and she stiffened. Oneiric tensed too and lifted his head. Crimson fire flickered around the edges of his dark irises.
“We have company.” The note of warning in his deep voice said it wasn’t her escort.
Eve grabbed the two large hunting knives on the round black table close to her and reached out with her senses, scouring the area around the club. People were coming. Close to a dozen of them.
The double doors of the main entrance burst open, the heavy steel panels crashing into the walls on either side, allowing a rush of cold damp air to bring tangled unfamiliar scents to her. Behind her, another bang sounded as the back door of the club shot open. Male voices poured into the darkness.
Four ahead of her and seven behind.
She took a deep breath to steady herself and flexed her fingers around the grips of the short blades to stop them from trembling. It wasn’t fear making her hands shake. It was hunger. It gnawed at her insides and clouded her mind, dampening her senses and stealing her strength. She almost started to wish she had taken the animal blood Oneiric had offered her on waking tonight, but she had been so angry about being shipped off to Oslo that she had refused.
“I will handle the back,” Oneiric said and then he was gone and she was alone in the dimly lit room, only a dozen tables and chairs between her and the four advancing men.
Eve cursed her weakness and shifted her booted feet, adopting a stance that was second nature to her, preparing for the fight ahead.
The vampires emerged from the darkness, golden eyes flickering with hunger as they landed on her and lingered.
The same breed of bastard that had killed her.
A growl curled up her throat and she launched herself forwards, leaped up onto a table and pushed off from the top. She clutched both blades and brought them down as she descended, aiming straight for the man leading the charge. He reacted in an instant, strafing to his left, avoiding her attack. Eve landed in a crouch and immediately twisted towards him, lashing out with the knife in her right hand as she hurled the one in her left at the next man. That one embedded itself deep in his shoulder before he could evade it and he hissed in agony.
She shot to her feet and slashed across the first man’s biceps, cutting deep enough to feel her blade scrape bone, and ducked as he swung at her with his claws, growling low in his throat. Eve kicked forwards, rolled and came up behind the vampire with her other blade embedded in his shoulder. He snarled as he pulled the knife free of his flesh.
She didn’t give him a chance to use her own weapon against her. She swept her hand out, catching him across his throat with her knife, and he howled in pain and dropped the weapon in favour of slapping his hand over the wound on his neck and staunching the river of blood flowing down it.
Eve exhaled hard and blocked the wild swing another of the men threw at her. The first male’s fist slammed into her back at the same time and propelled her forwards, into another of her attackers. He grabbed her by the arm she held the blade in and hurled her into the black bar. Her head connected hard with the brass rail around the edge of the curved bar and pain ricocheted through her skull.
One of the men chuckled as she tried to get her bearings and fought to stop her head from spinning. Her senses reached out to monitor the men and her head cleared. She took her time pretending to gather herself and pinpointed each of her opponents. The one she had cut across the neck was still down, muttering black things to himself, detailing all the ways she was going to pay.
Nothing he came up with was any worse than what she had already endured at the hands of vampires.
The other three men were waiting. How very chivalrous. She pushed against the bar and grimaced as her head ached, the deep throbbing pain the result of more than her collision. Her hunger was growing, roused by the heavy scent of blood in the air. It pressed her to feed, every dark instinct she possessed demanding she take blood from the men behind her.
Eve shook her head and struggled against that dark desire.
She turned to face the three men waiting for her. The dark-haired one who had made her intimately acquainted with the bar stooped and picked up her knife. She palmed the one she held and calculated her chances of survival.
Slim at best.
With her head pounding and dampening her senses, hunger riding her mercilessly and weakening her, she wasn’t up for a fight against one strong vampire, let alone three. If the fourth chose to join the fight, she was definitely dead.
Eve inched to her right, towards the open space where she had been speaking with Oneiric before the intrusion. The sounds of his fight carried through the darkness and her dull senses said that he had already dealt with three of his foes. She had yet to dispatch one.
It marked the vast difference between them. They were of the same pure bloodline and she should be strong enough to fight these weaklings, but she wasn’t. She was weaker than these men before her, and it was her own fault. She could have easily dispatched them if she had been feeding. If she had been strong.
Her stomach turned at the thought of taking human blood and she kept edging away from the men, buying herself space and time. A fourth vampire disappeared from her senses. Oneiric was down to three. If she could keep her four occupied while not giving them a chance to kill her, Oneiric could make it back to her. She hated having to rely on him to fight her battles, and knew he would use it to illustrate his point about her need to feed, but she had no choice. She couldn’t die here. She wasn’t ready to go to Hell yet.
The three vampires tracked her and the fourth stumbled to his feet. He pulled his hand away from the deep slash across his throat. It had stopped bleeding.
Eve turned with them, her back to the dance floor now.
She readied her knife and called on her senses, allowing them to stretch out and encompass the men. Silver lines shimmered over their bodies, forming ghost versions of each of them. Those ghosts moved, her senses predicting the paths they would take, giving her a shot at taking at least one of them down. Three of them had multiple paths, a blur of motion that made it dangerous to act on.
The path of the fourth, the one with the neck wound, was as clear as night and he was about to make a grave mistake.
He disappeared from behind the other three vampires, a shadow of movement through the tables. Eve waited for the critical moment and then thrust her right hand in a sharp diagonal arc at her side, burying her knife to the hilt under his chin. He gagged and cold wet gushed over her hand and trailed down her arm.
Eve pulled the blade free and swept it across his throat, throwing all of her strength into the blow. The knife cut deep, severing his spine, and he dropped hard.
The remaining three weakling vampires snarled and launched themselves as one at her. Eve did her best to block each blow they threw, her forearms taking the brunt of their wrath, and tried to get some attacks of her own in. They were relentless, driving her backwards, crowding her and making it impossible for her to escape.
She bit her tongue to silence her cries as claws cut and fists slammed, each blow weakening her a little more.
She couldn’t die yet. She needed peace. She needed to make the bastard pay.
It couldn’t end here. Now.
A cry escaped her as sharp talons sliced through her right biceps and she dropped her only weapon.
A deep male voice rolled over her like a storm, his foreign tongue dark and sinister.
The three vampires crowding her eased back and turned as one to face the newcomer. Eve withdrew, clutching her arm. Blood spilled from between her fingers and the ever-present hunger grew worse, bringing out her fangs as it demanded she taste the sweet, coppery liquid.
A fifth male melted out of the shadows at the entrance of the club, a six-foot-five wall of lethal muscle and deadly grace, his face obscured by the hood of his oversized black sweatshirt. Calm laced with malice rolled off him and she felt his gaze flicker to her.
A hot shiver went through her in response to the intense feeling, the incredible awareness that shot an arrow straight through her heart and made the rest of the room fall away in an instant, drawing every shred of her focus to him.
He calmly set his black duffle down on the bar and strode forwards with purpose, his black army boots loud on the wooden floor. She felt his eyes leave her. The room crashed back into existence and air rushed into her lungs again.
The low lights flickered over the lower half of his face, giving tantalising glimpses of firm, sensual lips and a defined jaw. The corner of those lips quirked, a split-second shift that she would have missed had she not been staring so intently at them.
Panic began as a low thrumming in her belly, a turbulent swirling that made her take another step back for each one he advanced, placing more distance between them. The malice and darkness he emanated grew stronger and her instincts warned her away, screamed that she stood no chance against this newcomer.
He was stronger than the other four combined.
Stronger than Oneiric.
Her panic exploded into outright fear as the man reached behind his back, whipped out a black pistol and fired off a round, nailing the vampire she had tagged as the leader between his eyes. His head snapped backwards, blood spraying from the gaping wound in the back of his skull, and he fell into a table, crushing it under him.
The other two rushed the man.
They didn’t stand a chance.
He took the first out with lethal efficiency, kicking him hard in the balls and then catching him with a diagonal uppercut as he doubled over, snapping his neck.
Eve stood frozen to the spot, unsure what to make of the deadly new combatant, and unsure whether he was friend or foe.
She hoped to God he wasn’t foe.
She wasn’t even sure he was a vampire. Her scrambled senses said that he was but he didn’t fight like any vampire she had ever met. None of them had used guns for a start, and none of them fought dirty as this man did.
The remaining male bravely faced off against him, brandishing both of her fallen knives.
It didn’t help him.
The huge male cupped his hands and stepped forwards, nothing more than a blur as he closed the distance between him and the remaining vampire. He slapped his hands over the vampire’s ears, the crack as they connected startling her into moving, placing even more distance between them. The vampire unleashed an agonised snarl and thrust with one of the blades. The man sidestepped, caught his arm and twisted it hard, bringing his other hand down in a devastating blow that shattered the bone.
The vampire’s agonised snarl became a scream.
The man calmly grabbed him by his throat, pressed his free hand against his face, and shoved forwards, snapping his head backwards and breaking his neck.
Eve took another step backwards, towards the door to the back rooms. Maybe she should have made a break for the exit while the man had been occupied with neatly defeating three vampires in under three minutes.
He advanced on her, the sense of malice coming from him not abating. If anything, it was getting stronger.