I'll admit it. I was really worried that Royce was going to abandon Shiarra after the way the last book ended. Things were a little too good to be true there. Add that to the title of the book (I was expecting some forsaking to go down.) Add that to the fact that Jess Haines has sucker punched me before, and well, it seemed like a lot of heartbreak would be inevitable. Shows what I know.
The story picks up right where the last one left off... with Shiarra in Royce's bed. Buyer's remorse is kicking in, but the sexy mojo he had the night before is still there too and he is not willing to let her off the hook. Unfortunately, two problems take precedence over her love life. One: that weird almost-Other transformation she has percolating --didn't quite leave with the belt. And two: she's no longer safe at Royce's place. So before she has a chance to shag him more than one bonus round, she and Sara are flying the friendly skies to Los Angeles.
Royce has sent them to go stay with another master vamp who owes him a favor. But it's not like anything can ever be easy for Shia. Clyde is... eccentric... and has his own agenda. Not to mention, there is a zombie infestation targeting his vampires, and he essentially forces Shiarra and Sara to search for the magi responsible. No small task without her PI connections at home.
The book is high on action, violence, and gore. But you'll also find introspection, political machinations and maneuvering. In short, it's a wild ride; one made even better with the reappearance of Tiny and Devon. As with any road trip book, we miss out on a lot of characters left behind on the home turf. There's no time with Chaz... the Sunchasers... Arnold or Jack. And frankly, very little Royce. I was ok with that, though. I would be happy never to see Chaz or his pack again, and I'd rather take a vacation from Royce than see him somehow break Shia's heart --or her spirit.
The time we spend with Shia and Sara is satisfying. I like seeing their bond of sisterhood, a f/f friendship is too often lacking or trampled in UF series. It's nice to see Shiarra return to more of her normal voice. I like her --I enjoy reading from her POV. Meanwhile, I'm intrigued by Shiarra's Other-ness and very curious to see what's behind her Hulk-Smash vibe. But beyond all that, I am biting my nails over the gnarly cliffhanger we're left with. The action at the end felt a little rushed and the ending bit me right in the rear. I definitely did not see it coming. It's going to be a tough wait to see how it all plays out.
Rating: B*ARC Provided by Kensington via NetGalley