Today I have a review of Vampire’s Thirst, as well as an ebook giveaway, and an awesome tourwide giveaway. Check it out!
May Contain Spoilers
After reading Vampire’s Hunger, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Vampire’s Thirst. I’m pleased to report that my harshest criticism of the book is reserved for the cover, which I can’t stand to look at, and I was so glad I read this on my Kindle so I didn’t have to gaze at all. Maybe I am jealous that the guy has bigger breasts than I do. Maybe it’s the weird shadows that make me want to give this guy a support bra. And what is up with the complete lack of chest hair on cover models? Bleh!
Moving right along, Vampire’s Thirst did not suffer from the awkwardness that is the cover. This book rocked! Better still, I read part of it during a power outage, and was scared to death when Dean suddenly loomed out of the darkness in front of me. Needless to say, even the neighbors heard my shriek of fright. Sorry!
While the book isn’t really that frightening, the threat of a zombie horde lurking outside Duncan’s vampire enclave made for tense reading. The story picks up shortly after the events in Vampire’s Hunger. Duncan is the vampire king, Atticus is his second in command, and the vampires are sheltering a small band of human survivors. There is dissention in the ranks, and some of the less intelligent humans are resentful that they aren’t allowed to go to the park to toss a ball around. Instead, they are confined in the vampire enclave, where they are feed, given numerous outlets for entertainment, and have access to all of the comforts of home. Their only expected payment – they have to give blood to an assigned vampire partner once a week. Sounds like a deal to me! The vampires are in charge of security, scavenging for food for their human guests, and even locating doctors just in case one of the humans gets sick. Duncan is learning that being the vampire king is a huge headache, especially with the rebellious humans giving everyone a hard time.
Kimber is struggling to contain the darkness that has slipped inside her. A malevolent thread of the Unseen is giving her no end of grief. It thirsts for power, and she fears that she won’t be able to contain it. After a near disastrous encounter with a group of zombies, where she leaches away some of Atticus’ power, she finds herself the object of fear as the vampires realize that she could quite possibly suck away their life essence. Whoa! I thought it was so cool that Kimber was so strong, and so unpredictable. The Unseen wrecks havoc for her, and she finds it both empowering and frightening. What if she accidently kills Duncan because she can’t control the hunger inside of her?
Despite her reservations, Kimber is certain that she can end the zombie apocalypse with her new power. She just has to convince Duncan that she can keep herself and her ever increasing flares of aggression under control. To test her theory, she’s going to need the help of other necromancers, as well as a someone to channel their powers. Can she convince anyone to risk their lives to help her end the zombie apocalypse, a plague that she, and everyone else, believes she started in the first place? Ugh! Poor Kimber! The guilt was driving her just as crazy as the nasty bit of Unseen hitchhiking inside her.
While there is a lot of zombie fighting, most of the story is character driven. The small group of survivors has to learn to get along, and more importantly, learn to trust each other. After Kimber’s accident with Atticus, even Duncan is leery of her. With a heavy heart, Kimber has to win back Duncan’s trust, as well as put an end to the zombies. She doesn’t want to live her life trapped in the vampire enclave, constantly worrying about finding supplies or being overrun by the walking dead. She’s incredibly brave, always willing to put herself at risk to save everyone else. I really liked Kimber, even when the Unseen was scrambling her emotions and making her act out of character. I loved the tension her unpredictability created.
If you enjoy paranormal romances, Vampire’s Thirst might be right up your alley. I admit that I am biased because I love, love, love zombie apocalypse stories. I don’t get sick of them, and constantly seek new ones out to read. If I have one minor complaint about Vampire’s Thirst, it’s that the sexy times started to seem like filler, and I got tired of those scenes after a while. I would have rather read more zombie battles than one more bedroom tango, but your mileage will vary.
VAMPIRE’S THIRST by Cynthia Garner (May 6, 2014; Forever Yours E-Book; $3.99)
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, civilization no longer exists, and only the strongest survive. The few remaining humans must band together with supernatural beings to battle unspeakable evil-or all hope will be lost.
After accidentally starting the zombie apocalypse, Kimber Treat now lives with her vampire lover in a compound where humans and vampires live together peacefully. A gifted necromancer who can summon the dead, Kimber is beyond happy when she learns she’s pregnant. But as her body changes, Kimber fears that her powers are being influenced by evil, a fact she must keep from everyone, including Duncan . . .
Duncan MacDonnough is preoccupied with his new role as leader of the local vampire conclave, but not so preoccupied that he doesn’t notice that Kimber is acting strangely. She’s grown distant, and Duncan is convinced she’s hiding something. Duncan knows the key to stopping the apocalypse is Kimber’s powers, but using them puts her life at risk. With the threat from the Zombie outbreak looming, will Kimber and Duncan learn to trust each other once more to save themselves, their unborn child, and the rest of the world?
About the author:
Cynthia Garner discovered her love for writing when her sixth grade teacher told the class to write a story that began “It was a dark and stormy night…” With that Cynthia’s love for all things paranormal was born. When she’s not working her day job as a mostly mild-mannered Human Resources Manager, she’s on her laptop writing or playing way too much Solitaire. Originally from Northeast Ohio, Cynthia now lives in the desert Southwest.
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Duncan watched Kimber tend to the wounds she inflicted and wondered at her attitude. This was the second time they’d made love in the last few days, and both times he’d seen her struggle to contain a new level of aggression. She wouldn’t talk to him about it, though, and it was making him crazy. How could he be an effective leader if he couldn’t even help his own lover?
He waited until she’d capped the bottle of peroxide and set the first-aid kit on the bedside table before he said, “Talk to me, Kimber. Tell me what’s going on with you.”
She heaved a sigh and got to her feet. Going over to his dresser, she pulled out one of his T-shirts and slipped it over her head. She usually wasn’t uncomfortable being nude around him, so her action told him what they were about to deal with wasn’t going to be pleasant. Was she tired of being with him? Had he been too dominant in their lovemaking?
“Kimber?” The waiting was hell on his nerves.
“Yes, Atticus told me. I came up here to see how you were doing, but you were already asleep. I didn’t want to wake you. Then you were gone later that night when I woke up.” He watched her to gauge her reaction.
She gave a slight wince. “Yes, well, I had things to do.” She waved one hand in the air. “That doesn’t matter. What does matter is that when we were fighting the zombies, I stumbled, and when I flung out my arm to try to keep my balance, I ended up grabbing hold of Atticus.” She looked at him. “Atticus didn’t tell you any of this?”
He frowned. “He told me you had to fight zombies, that you were successful, and everyone was all right. Was there more he should have told me?”
She shook her head. “No. I mean, there was more, but I asked him to let me tell you.” She blew out a breath. “When I grabbed him, I drew energy from him and it allowed me to push the Unseen out of the zombies. You should have seen them drop to the ground.”
“You did what?” He straightened from his slouched position against the headboard. He couldn’t have heard her right. She attacked his second-in-command?
“I didn’t do it on purpose,” she said. “He must have seen me stumble and reached out to help me at the same time I flung my hand out. Once I had hold of him and the power transfer started, I couldn’t let go. I tried, Duncan.” Her eyes went round and pleading, and her lower lip got a slight tremble to it. “It hurt, just like before, but it…” She clamped her jaw shut.
“It felt good, too. It was power, and it was mine.” She began to pace the room, her hands gesturing wildly. “This could be something big, Duncan. If all necromancers have this ability, we could end the apocalypse.”
He got off the bed and pulled on his jeans. “And just how many vampires do you propose we sacrifice?”
She came to a stop and stared at him. “It wouldn’t have to be a sacrifice. I didn’t kill Atticus.”
“But you came close, didn’t you? Or you could have,” he amended. At her stubborn expression, he said, “I know you, Kimber. I know the kind of power you have. Plus you have some of the Unseen in you. How did that affect what happened with Atticus? Or did it happen with Atticus because of the Unseen in you?”
Her shoulders slumped. “I don’t know.”
He studied her for a minute, then left the bedroom. He strode through the living room and yanked open the door to the hallway. “Find Atticus and bring him here,” he said to the guards. Without waiting for a response, he closed the door. When he turned around, he saw Kimber standing in front of the sofa, twisting her fingers together. She’d pulled on her jeans but still wore his T-shirt.
Her auburn hair, tousled and silky-looking, cascaded around her shoulders. “I didn’t do it on purpose, Duncan,” she whispered. Her teeth dug into her lower lip. “I wouldn’t do something like that. You have to believe me.”
“I’d like to believe you, sweetheart. I would.” He walked over and put his hands on her shoulders, giving them a slight squeeze. “But I’ve seen how you’ve changed. I’ve seen you fight whatever is rising in you. I think if a situation presented itself and you believed taking energy from a vampire was the only solution, I’m not sure you could stop yourself.”
A knock sounded on the door, and it swung open to reveal Atticus.
“Come in,” Duncan invited. When the door closed behind his second-in-command, Duncan said, “Kimber just told me what happened on your way back from the drugstore.”
Atticus shot a glance her way but said nothing.
“This is a serious development,” Duncan went on, “and poses a potential threat to all vampires. I want all necromancers under guard until further notice. Let everyone know they’re considered dangerous and should not be touched under any circumstances.”
Atticus inclined his head. “Understood and agreed.” With another glance at Kimber, he departed.
“Does that include me?” Kimber asked, her voice hard. “Am I to be kept under guard? Am I not to be touched?”
He clenched his teeth. “If you’re not with me, then, yes, you will have a guard. And anyone else will be advised not to touch you, but you and I will definitely be skin to skin, sweetheart. You can count on that.”
“Don’t be so sure,” she said. “I’m not just any other necromancer, Duncan. I’m the woman who loves you. The woman you claim to love.” Her fists clenched at her sides and he had the distinct impression she was fighting throwing a punch at him. After a few seconds she let out a little growl and headed back toward the bedroom. Over her shoulder she threw out, “You’re treating me like a monster. The way I’m feeling right now, that might be an accurate assessment. You might not be safe from me.”
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