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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bait by Annie Nicholas

Bait by Annie Nicholas
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Short (140 pages)
Heat: Hot
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Sent on a mission to lure Budapest’s vampire Overlord into a trap, Connie Bence is instead caught red-handed by the dark Casanova. Her employer has concrete proof of the dubious leader’s misdeeds but she is surprised when this ruthless killer, Rurik, offers her protection and rescues her from his own kind. It plants seeds of doubt in her mind and she begins to question his guilt. Now she is thrown into his world where blackmail determines her every move and where she must betray those she cares about or let them die. The stakes are high. She either puts her trust in Rurik or leads him to his execution. Love or life.

The Dark and intense cover of Annie Nicholas’ new thriller, Bait, is an apt wrapper for this thrilling story. It’s time to go vampire hunting for dedicated agent-slash-bait, Connie Bence. She does the obvious; dresses hot and hits a night club (or in fact, many nightclubs.) Seems ordinary enough so far? It's the less than obvious events following her foray into the night that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Because you see, she is successful.

Is Rurik an ordinary vampire? If so, I want to meet one… He’s beyond hot, self-assured, and in that first meeting, oh-so-arrogant. We can immediately sympathize with Connie – who after all, just wants to be a competent monster-hunter. When she’s tricked into slurping up that first vodka, Rurik takes such easy command of the situation. And if she looks “ravishing” well – at least she’ll go down in style. Where the heck is her back-up, runs through the reader’s mind, even while you start secretly hoping the posse fails entirely. I mean, he just doesn’t seem so bad.

The realities of vampire life (er, existence) are overseen by their sort of government, their behavior restricted… except for the ones that go outside the rules. The complexities are probably a bit much for anyone not into the lore, but never truly slow the action. There are seductive scenes, fight scenes, and of course the classic vampire blooding their prey scenes. Yet, we can almost feel the connection between Connie and Rurik… And somehow, we see and understand this link, perhaps first building from a tenuous promise, created between Rurik and Connie quite early on.

Connie’s back-up, the whole vampire killing team directed by lead-guy Colby, become active parts of the storyline very soon. Yet, none of them ever come to life as that vampire does… Colby, her boss, is more chilling than thrilling himself, and we will feel deepest foreboding when dealing with him. It’s a foreboding more than foreshadowing, and definitely keeps you reading! There are suspenseful moments, but that never one-ups the emotions. Secondary characters are important here – Drago, (master vampire) as well as some of the team, and they are all believable and interesting.

However, don't think it's so easy knowing who the real bad guys are in this story; this is a complex tale that challenges love, twists the face of betrayal, and creates a paradox in the heart of poor Connie. Vampire fans will be thrilled to find Bait a fresh addition to the genre.