If you read my review on the 1st book, Raphael, of this series Vampires in America, you would know what I thought of the main characters. I thought Raphael ruled with a heavy hand and with the threat of death if they made a mistake.
This book starts out with Cynthia Leighton driving, worried about some vampire coming after her for retribution on something she had done. She thinks to herself about Raphael, how he ruled his territory with the loyalty and respect of his people rather than fear. Ummmm….where the hell did she get that from? I call bullshit! But I think the author is trying to make Raphael’s character into a benevolent ruler and he is compared to Jabril.
Jabril is the Vampire Lord of the Southern United States. He is of Middle Eastern descent and hates women. All of his vampires are male except for one, Mirabelle Hawthorn, who he turned a day after her 18th birthday to gain control over her fortune. Vampires can control anyone they turn into a vampire. Somehow, Jabril was able to get guardianship of Mirabelle and her younger sister, Elizabeth, after their parents died in an accident when Mirabelle was ten years old and Elizabeth only five. Mirabelle was turned almost five years ago by Jabril. He will do the same to Elizabeth in a few weeks when she turns 18 and then he will have total control of their fortune.
Jabril is a horrible man…or vampire. He kills his and tortures his vampires and humans. He has blood slaves in his basement who he abuses and kills whenever he pleases. He treats Mirabelle like dirt, making her cover her body and head with ugly granny clothes. He uses his powers to hurt her and keeps her weak at all times.
Elizabeth has run away. Nobody knows where she is so Jabril hires Cynthia Leighton. He also hired a man who he is really counting on to find Elizabeth. He only hired Cynthia to piss off Raphael because he knows that Raphael has some sort of connection with Cynthia.
Once Cynthia realizes this and sees how Jabril treats Mirabelle, she kidnaps her and takes her to California with her. She has a lead on Elizabeth and believes she is also in California but needs to get to her before she becomes the next victim of a serial killer who is preying on homeless girls.
The serial killer is draining victims of their blood and the coroner thinks it could be the work of a vampire. Also, the investigation is being led by a vampire hating detective who is ignoring any evidence that it might be a human killer.
When the cops arrest Raphael and take him to a sketchy location to hold him, Cynthia is called in to protect him during the daylight hours. This brings the two of them back together after Cynthia had been avoiding him.
Now, Raphael and Cynthia have to find a serial killer, find Elizabeth before Jabril finds her and look out for whatever sneaky thing Jabril has planned for them.
I have to admit that I liked this book way more than I did the first book of the series. I like the secondary characters, especially Duncan who is Raphael’s lieutenant. I also liked the plot of this book but I still don’t see the love between Cynthia and Raphael. I only see lust and stubbornness on both sides. Their relationship is better than the first book but just barely. Maybe I’ll see it more in the next book.