Synopsis: Set in the brooding New Orleans area long established as the best location for all things vampiric, Phoenix's lively debut has it all: Rogue [FBI] agents, Bureau-ordered hits, mad-scientist experiments in psychopathology, vampires and fallen angels and a slicing-dicing serial killer. Smart, sexy FBI Special Agent Heather Wallace has been trying to catch the Cross-Country Killer for three years when the trail leads to New Orleans and Club Hell, where Dante Prejean performs with the Inferno, an industrial/goth rock band. Dante is a Cajun and a born vampire whose memories of his terrible past have been erased, leaving him vulnerable to the psychopathic killer, E, who knows all that Dante has forgotten. As E begins targeting Dante's loved ones, Heather must swallow her skepticism and work with Dante's vampiric friends and family to save him. Phoenix alternates romantic homages to gothdom and steamy blood-drinking threesomes with enough terse, fast-paced thriller scenes to satisfy even the most jaded fan.
My Review: When I first read the synopsis, truthfully I felt rather iffy on it. Vampires and FBI agents? I really didn't know what to expect. I'm certainly glad I stuck with it and read it! It was fantabulous. Talk about a full throttle ride of adrenaline. From the very get go I was immediately drawn in, when another body has been added to the victim list of the CCK. The killer's patterns have changed, his MO different, but that doesn't throw Special Agent Heather Wallace off. She's certain that the CCK is still at large and has a gut feeling that it's some how connected with Club Hell right next door.
Dante, the leader singer for Inferno, and rumored owner of Club Hell is as smoldering hot as his name implies. Gorgeous, pale, talented, and oh ya. He's a vampire. I was at first conflicted with Dante's character. Pigheaded, stubborn, and does the complete opposite of what you tell him to. He's infuriating but his good looks and large heart certainly make up for it. Dante does the whole goth/emo sex god thing, and he rocks it. Frankly I usually hate guyliner. For some reason with Dante, I don't mind. :P While Dante is totally infuriating, he is the most loyal and protective person. He fiercely protects his friends and those close to his heart. His screw the world attitude doesn't hide his compassion however. He never thinks of himself, only his friends. It's a trait that I greatly admire.
I liked how the POV's changed and the reader got a glimpse of everyone's thoughts. It was a nice touch to get inside the CCK's head and other "darker" characters. I loved how the story really focused on following the CCK and didn't turn into a total "goo-goo eyed" Dante is so hawt plotline. Adrian stayed true to the story and I really appreciate that. It had the potential to go off with too many sex scenes and could have lost the story, but it DIDN'T! It was the perfect balance. I absolutely loved the story, and I thought the romance was just right. Though at times I was craving more!
When I finished I think my reaction was something similar: "OMG! THAT'S IT?! I WANT THE SECOND ONE!" Though at first I was a tad disappointed with the ending, looking back I realize it was for the best. Heather truly cares for Dante, but she realizes she needs to step back and look at her life rationally. So many things have changed for her, that throwing herself into a relationship that she doesn't fully understand the implications of, isn't the wisest choice. I respect Heather for her decision and I eagerly await the sequel! I just need to get my claws on it!!! Absolutely wonderful read!