Bound by Night by Larissa Ione
Series: MoonBound Clan Vampires #1
Publication Date: September 24th 2013
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The first installment in a sexy new paranormal romance series by Larissa Ione, author of the bestselling Demonica series!
Nicole Martin was only eight years old when she narrowly survived a massacre: her family’s vampire slaves rebelled and killed everyone in her household. Twenty years later, Nicole now dedicates herself to finding a vaccine against vampirism…and eradicating the gruesome memories that give her nightmares.
Riker, a member of the wild vampire Moon Clan, is haunted by his own demons—his wife Lorraine had been captured and enslaved by the Martin family. It was during a botched escape attempt that she was killed, along with their unborn child. Still wracked with grief and anger, Riker is now fueled solely by the desire to rescue vampire slaves…and slaughter their owners.
When Riker stumbles upon Nicole in a chance meeting, he immediately recognizes her as a member of the Martin family that once enslaved his wife—and she recognizes him as the wild vampire she saw kissing a pregnant slave in the moments before her violent death—an image that has haunted her dreams for years.
When Riker kidnaps Nicole and they spend a night together in a cave on the way back to his clan, suddenly they begin to realize that they aren’t as different from one another as they may have thought—and they’re finding themselves drawn to one another…
Let me preface this review by stating I dislike vampires. I think I burned out on them in the early mid 2000’s when they were super popular and I’ve never really gone back. I have kind of a mental wall up about them, to be honest. I see “Vampire” and I turn away. I’m sure I’ve missed out on some greats reads because of this, but that’s a post for another day. I’m glad I read this one. It turned out to be an excellent read.
In this world, vampires were discovered by humans and turned into slaves. They were defanged, collared and sold to the highest bidder. One of the companies responsible for the inhumane treatment of them is Daedalus. Nicole Martin’s family has owned Daedalus for generations. When her parents were slaughtered in a vampire rebellion when she was a child, the company came to her. Twenty years later, she’s a respected Vampire Physiologist. Per the terms of her parent’s will, she’s just taken over as CEO. She wants to sell off many of the branches of the company and focus strictly on the scientific aspects of their research, but the board and her half-brother are against the idea. She’s facing more resistance than she expected, which makes an incident at one of their training labs even harder to deal with. Her signature is on a kill order for more than a dozen vampires, but she knows she didn’t sign it.
Vampires have a hard time conceiving, which means their numbers are very low. When the MoonBound clan is told a midwife they borrowed from another clan – who can help with conceiving – has been captured by Daedalus, they’re desperate to get her back. The neighboring clan, ShadowSpawn, is a ruthless, savage clan who outnumbers them greatly. To avoid a war, and probable annihilation, they must get the midwife back. They plan to force the CEO to reveal the location of the midwife and order her release, but the plan goes awry when security shows up once they breach her home. They end up kidnapping her and taking her with plans to ransom her.
For Riker, second in command at MoonBound,this is the best case scenario. Since his mate was taken as slave to the Martin’s and murdered by them twenty years ago, he’s been dying for revenge. Now he has his chance. Nicole Martin stands for everything he despises and he can’t wait to kill her. But from the beginning she surprises him. She isn’t the monster he thought she’d be, and her connection to his dead mate is the most surprising of all.
Nicole is terrified of vampires since they attacked her when she was a child. Her nanny, Therese, was the only one she ever loved…and Nicole saw Riker kill her. Except he isn’t the monster she’d always thought him to be. Sure, he’s a scary vampire, but he’s surprisingly gentle with her. In fact, everything she thought she knew about vampires is challenged as she spends time with MoonBound. They aren’t the wild animals she’d always been told they were.
When things come to a head with her company, she’ll have to make a choice: Go back to the life she’s always known or put her faith in the monsters who stole her childhood.
This was such an interesting concept. The world-building is fantastic. I was fully immersed in the story from the beginning. The struggles both Nicole and Riker faced were real ones. Both grew in character as they realized their narrow view of the other’s race wasn’t fair or reliable.
The tale is emotionally engaging and contains a surprising amount of depth. It took me on an action-packed, thrilling ride.
4 out of 5