Author: Alexandra Ivy
Series: The Sentinels #1
Publication date: December 31st, 2013
Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
In a stunning new paranormal romance series—even edgier than her bestselling Guardians of Eternity books—New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Ivy lures readers into the dark, seductive world of the Sentinels—humans outcast by their hidden abilities, treading the line between life and death, good and evil, pleasure and pain...
Born In Blood
Sergeant Duncan O’Conner has seen it all before. A beautiful erotic dancer is found murdered in her home—no suspect, no motive. But there’s one clue: she’s missing her heart. It’s enough to make the hard-bitten Kansas City cop enlist the help of a necro—one of the dead-channeling freaks who live in the domed city of nearby Valhalla. It’s a long shot, but desperate crimes call for desperate measures.
Unlike the other “high-bloods” in Valhalla, Callie Brown considers her abilities a gift, not a curse. But when she reads the dancer’s final thoughts, she senses a powerful presence blocking her vision. This is no ordinary homicide. This is the work of a legendary necromancer who controls souls. A ravenous force that will put Callie’s skills to the test, O’Conner’s career at risk, and both their hearts on the line... literally.
I received an e-copy of this book from the publishers at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alexandra Ivy is a name I have come to know from being involved in a paranormal romance book club and finding the genre to be one of my favorites of all time. I had never read any of her work and was hungry to sink my teeth into the first in one of her new series. The synopsis brought to light a whole new world of fantasy that was moderately unique. Other authors have done similar things with worlds were humans and superhumans coexist and are aware of each other, but not to this extent. I was anxious to wrap myself in a new world with new rules and new fantastical creatures to learn about.
Duncan is a cop first and foremost. Nothing else matters to him except his drive to bring justice to those harmed in his hometown of Kansas City. He is one of the few humans that hold no true animosity to the high-bloods (a group name for superhumans such as psychics, diviners/necromancers, and witches). He would rather keep his cases from involving the freaks, but he understand that sometimes his department needs a bit more help than mere humans can offer. Enter Callie Brown. She is a diviner who can enter the minds of the recently dead and view their last moments of life in hopes of finding the animal that murdered them. Duncan has always found Callie irresistible and is determined to coax her into his bed. Freak or not, she is the most dynamite woman he has ever laid eyes on. He can almost forget the dead girl with the missing heart and no signs of trauma to explain the disappearance. Almost.
Callie is called in on another of Duncan's case. With her tattooed mountain of a guardian following her every move it's hard to really get to know the handsome cop... especially when they only ever meet when some poor soul has lost their life. She is inside the mind of the dead, heartless woman when she comes face-to-face with a necromancer of great power. She realizes this is not an ordinary case. She must find this necromancer and stop him before his ability to turn corpses into walking, talking zombies threatens not just the human world but the world of the high-bloods as well.
Callie and Duncan are forced to wade the tranquil waters of a horrifying case set in motion by a psychotic high-blood and a budding romance between them. Humans and high-bloods are not supposed to mix, but there may be more to this particular human than meets the eye. Can Callie and Duncan find a balance between the mutual hatred of their kinds to both stop a madman and nurture the connection growing between them?
Let me first say, I am a romance fanatic. If a story doesn't have at least a hint of romance in it, I rarely want to read it. This book did not have that problem. There was plenty of romance to go around... in fact, too much romance to go around. The romance between Callie and Duncan ruined the reading experience for me, to be frank. I hated the fact that Duncan always said EXACTLY the right thing. It was always poetic and heartfelt and that just doesn't happen in reality. Sure, men can be sensitive, but from the moment they were alone Duncan was confessing how deeply he felt for her and the had only really talked this one time. Too fast, too corny, and too unbelievable. Callie's reserved nature was a bit more spot on as far as romances go, but even she had her moments of eye-rolling antics.
Now, the single saving grace that kept me reading and kept me moderately interesting despite speed reading through the romantic scenes was the world created. I liked that humans and high-bloods tended to look down their noses at each other as if they were more superior than the other. I liked the various mystical races created. I liked Fane's hard ass personality more than the author probably intended. In short, everything but the two main characters and their relationship.
I would recommend Born in Blood if you prefer sentimental romances where the characters are the epidemy of perfection in their relationships.