Plot Summary: The year is 1828. Cin has been a vampire for 13 years, and she's joined her consort, Michael, as a member of the Righteous, which is a small group of warriors who function as judge, jury and executioner amongst their vampire brethren. Their annual visit to Cin's relatives is cut short by an order from the High King - they must travel to Edinburgh and determine if the resident queen, Marrakech, has been slaughtering humans. Unfortunately Michael becomes mad with jealousy when another vampire makes a play for Cin, and it drives them apart.
I like the direction this series is headed, and the big reason why is because it focuses on one couple, Cin and Michael. More and more I prefer stories that follow the same couple over multiple installments. Relationships always feel more realistic when they mimic a roller-coaster ride, and I groove on the ups and downs that Jenna Maclaine has written for her lovebirds. There were a few misunderstandings between Cin and Michael that were spot on accurate, because sometimes all it takes is one misdirected look by a man to throw his woman into the seven stages of grief. With a woman like Cin, it's dangerous to be around when the anger hits.
When I read the first novel, "Wages of Sin (A Cin Craven Novel)," I worried that Cin was too powerful after she became a vampire combined with her witchy woman powers. Omnipotence is fun for a while, but in the end I can't root for a heroine who has no weaknesses. However, this installment put my fears to rest. Cin is no longer a white witch only, and she's battling some seriously dark magic that wants to bubble up whenever she gets mad. In a weird way, she has to fight herself, or risk becoming an alien in the eyes of her lover and her friends. Cin can call upon the powers of the darkness, but when she does, she becomes evil incarnate herself.
The sex scenes are too good for a straight-up fantasy novel, so I'm labeling this as a historical paranormal romance. There was a nice mystery running through the plot, but I spotted the guilty party right away, so I'm hoping to stay in the dark a lot longer next time. The third book in the Cin Craven series, "Bound By Sin (A Cin Craven Novel)," will be released in December 2009. According to Jenna Maclaine's website, this installment will be set in 1862, during the Civil War. I'll be very curious to see what has happened in the 34 years between books two and three.