There is a romance Hungers of the Heart but it is set against a relatively complicated background plot, fraught with danger, betrayals, and twisted vampire games. When Drake, the only `Killer' member of the vampire-hunting Philadelphia Guardian vampires, becomes the focus of a rift that threatens tear the group apart, Drake exiles himself to Baltimore where born vamp Gabriel is Master of the city. Unfortunately for Drake, the powerful Gabriel is kidnapped by the truly evil Bridgitte leaving Drake, the most powerful of Gabriel's remaining vampires, in the position of trying to keep Gabriel's mate Jez and Gabriel's fledglings safe from a group of European vamps. The vamps led by Seignuer Armand are in Baltimore under the orders of Brigitte's even eviler mom to kill both Gabriel and Bridgitte. Failure is not an option for Armand, failure means a torturous death for Armand and all of the vampires and humans under his protection including his unwilling consort vampire Faith and her human sister Lily.
Though the leads Faith and Drake are drawn to each other and do manage to connect physically, there is much going on which keeps them from being able to focus solely on each other. Faith is trying to somehow win freedom for her sister before Lily is killed or turned and Drake is way over his head with Armand, Bridgitte and Bridgitte's evil lover/fledgling Henri who are all older so more powerful. Also Drake's confidence is shaken, until his exile he had seen himself as a good guy vamp only feeding on evil humans and now he wonders if he is still the monster that he was before his turning. So with all that going on it isn't surprising that the romance takes a back seat to the story, giving this book more of an urban fantasy than paranormal romance feel. Still a big plus for Hungers of the Heart was that with Jenna Black drawing many of her characters in shades of gray -- Drake her hero doesn't wear a white hat and Armand though ruthless in control of his people and despicable in his treatment of Faith isn't entirely black -- she gave life to the story while avoiding the cartoonish simplicity of using the stark contrast of black and white, evil and good, villain and hero.
While many of the characters from Hungers of the Heart appeared previously in the series, Black does a good enough job of providing enough background that this would work as a standalone read. Drake has appeared in all of the books since the first Watchers in the Night (The Guardians of the Night, Book 1) and Gabriel, Bridgitte and Henri are introduced in Secrets in the Shadows (The Guardians of the Night, Book 2) and Jez in Shadows on the Soul (The Guardians of the Night, Book 3).