Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she’s a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty.
A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas’s new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line—or she’ll mete out her own brand of justice.
Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can’t let it distract her from her duty—to find and battle the killer before more women die.
GODDESS WITH A BLADE by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2011, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, Carina Press
Needing to do something other than dwell on what had happened between her and Clive, Rowan drove out to the scene where the body had been abandoned. It was out past the Desert Rose Golf Course, east of the city center, on the way to the Geological Preserve. Enough away from town to not call too much attention but still close enough that Rowan felt very strongly it was one of the Vampires who lived in Las Vegas.
The night air was still. Unnaturally so. She consulted the notes she’d taken and began to walk out into the open field.
As she walked, she opened herself up to her power. Took the energy and information the earth freely gave. In the middle of the field, she felt it. The sharp absence of life left behind where a dead body had lain. But there were no red splashes in the energy of the place. The murder itself didn’t happen there. The body had been brought in from wherever she’d been killed.
Still, the trauma of the event hung in the air. Rowan found many humans had some level of psychic ability but most ignored it. She understood why they did. The world was complicated. Filled with things that upon close examination could scare the shit out of you but you couldn’t do much to stop or prevent either. So most chose blissful ignorance.
And there were times—such as right then in the middle of that abandoned field in the dark of night, the death itching over her skin—Rowan wished she were just a normal human woman who’d grown up in the suburbs with a lawn and a basketball hoop in the driveway. Wished for the bliss of ignorance and the cover of an everyday existence where she knew nothing of the world beneath the senses.
Instead, she crouched, reaching out to touch the earth where the body had lain. The shock of it still resonated in the packed dirt. Rowan couldn’t get much. The woman had been dead for at least an hour before the murderer had brought the body there. Sometimes if the spot was where the murder took place, Rowan could pick up sense memories from the victim or even the perpetrator.
Now she got nothing but the still and heavy cloak of death. So heavy it screamed unnatural causes. Of unnatural things—like Vampires. The earth was outraged in her own way. Rowan felt that. Felt also, that it received her and gave her strength.
Standing, she brushed her palms off on her skirt as she looked into the night. The moon was bright and she could see civilization all around her.
All that humanity within sight and yet no one saved the woman who’d been dumped out here like garbage. The senselessness of it offended Rowan deeply. Anger and frustration bubbled up from her gut.
Why? This was so much more than a blooding gone too far. Vampires were another species. One that preyed on humans and at some points in their history yes, they hunted and killed. But that had not been for a very long time.
And even at that, the depth of depravity of the kill stunned her. Vampires, even in the thrall of bloodlust tended to drain the human from one, maybe two points and that was it. She hadn’t seen the taking and draining of a heart and other internal organs in her lifetime, and she’d grown up in the capital of nightmare country. The only times she’d heard of it were references in books of the really bad old days before the Renaissance.
Could it be a Vampire that old? That kind of power would be dangerous, definitely unstable. The older they got, the more tenuous their grasp on reality was. Even then they sort of went into hibernation, they didn’t turn into psycho killers for fuck’s sake.
She shivered as she headed to her car. While she’d answered some questions, she now left with even more. Two things were certain to her as she started into town. She’d find the killer eventually. But it wouldn’t be before he killed again.
Today’s prize is a copy of GODDESS WITH A BLADE (in multiple digital formats so it’s winner’s choice). What makes an urban fantasy a keeper read for you? No romance at all? A little? A lot? I’ll choose a winner from the comments to this post and announce on Monday April 2nd in the winners post!