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Nicely put together, but still rather episodic
on 20 October 2011
The second book in Connie Suttle's Blood Destiny series sees 40-something housewife, turned 20-something appearing vampire, Lissa living in the English home of her surrogate sire Merrill and at the whims of the Vampire Council.
As the only female vampire turned in 700 years, Lissa's presence is causing a stir... and something of a dilemma, as there are an awful lot of unattached male vampires who would like a long-term female partner. Requests to meet Lissa have been coming in thick and fast, so Merrill and Wlodek (the leader of the Council) determine that the only way to prevent all-out war amongst the vampires is if Lissa is effectively presented at a Ball, and required to choose a future husband from amongst the powerful vampires vying for her hand. Trouble is, Lissa doesn't know the majority of her suitors, and is terrified of those she has met. And then there's Gavin, the top flight Assassin she had believed to be her friend, only for him to betray her as a rogue, while holding her utterly helpless with his compulsion.
There are lots of repercussions, too, from the attempted coup against werewolf Grand Master, Weldon Harper in Book 1 and Lissa, in her role as the only vampire to have ever been named a member of the Pack plays a vital role in vampire-were relations. This, despite her relative youth as a vampire and the fact she's still in the early days of her training.
Again, the story is told mainly from Lissa's perspective in the first person, with regular, short, third-person scenes filling the reader in on action that's taking place outside of Lissa's knowledge. The action is, as in the previous book, a bit episodic and continues to feel a bit more like a series of related short stories than a novel.
Things become a good bit more graphic this time round - Lissa and her new fiance do sleep together, there's a scene where a clothed and rather offended Lissa is humped against by a werewolf in front of Vampire Council members who do nothing to intervene, and another where Lissa is subjected to a series of intrusive medical tests by a rogue werewolf while she is in her death sleep. Lissa's love-life is also definitely more complicated. There's the whole choosing a fiance thing. To say nothing of the array of men in her life: wealthy werewolf inventor Winkler, NSA director Tony Hancock, assassin Gavin (who she still can't bring herself to trust), and Lissa's growing attraction to her surrogate sire.
Even without the cliff-hanger closing scenes, there were plenty of threads and hints left hanging open for continuation in further books - not least surrounding Lissa's growing array of unusual talents, and the fact that she doesn't seem to be as susceptible to the compulsion of older vampires as she used to be.