Sunday, May 18, 2014

Temper Sanguine by Lou Harper

Title: Temper Sanguine
Author: Lou Harper
Purchase at: Samhain. Available now for preorder
Purchase at All Romance eBooks : Soon
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Genre: paranormal
Length: 30k estimated
Formats: epub, mobi, pdf,

One bite won’t kill you. Unless it does.

Sanguine, Book 2

Gabe Vadas’s slayer ancestors would be spinning in their graves if they knew that not only is his boss a vampire, so is his lover. But that lover, Harvey Feng, is cooking something up in his lab that he seems reluctant to disclose.

The secrets they keep from each other and the nightmares they share are driving a wedge between them. Harvey fell off the vegetarian wagon with one taste of his lover’s blood. Except recently it’s been having some unusual—and disturbing—side effects. And he fears their connection has awakened something dark and dangerous.

Sent to New York City to help the new top vamp clean up the mess the old one left behind, Gabe finds more than a few stray feral vampires. A doctor with a dubious history is hell-bent on creating a new race of unkillable bloodsuckers.

The investigation takes Gabe and Harvey across an ocean, and deep into the past. Where they discover demons that have the power to reach across the centuries to destroy them both.

Product Warnings

Contains a tasty Hungarian goulash of dirty boys doing dirty things, bilingual dirty talk, evil scientists, shifty-eyed lab assistants, fun with lab rats, and smexy times in romantic Old Europe. Jó étvágyat!

Yay, another helping of Harvey and Gabe! My favorite vampire and vampire slayer couple are back for more narrow escapes and near death experiences. Plus some hot loving.

Apologies for any spoilers to the first book: series make reviewing a challenge.

Harvey was a vegetarian before he was turned, which makes his current nutritional needs a problem. He’s been working on a blood substitute with less than perfect results. Some of his experiments are this side of disastrous. Harvey is tenacious, a good chemist, and as a former nurse, he’s unusually well equipped to understand why unscrupulous (yes, there is another sort) vampires would prowl hospices and nursing homes.

Gabe, who comes from a long line of slayers, has seen his skills improve with time, exposure, and experience. Echoes of the first book in this series are scattered here and there, so coming in here wouldn’t leave you lost, but both Gabe and Harvey are better understood if you read the first in the series. Gabe has an unusual employer with some astonishing contacts and a very clear worldview—this sends the pair around the world on various adventures. They need to get their sightseeing done early, because being welcome to come back: NOT.

This volume is structured as two short but related sections, and I’m not sure why they’re divided up, but okay, the adventures take them from the US to Hungary, where Gabe has roots and can speak the language. Their quarry has evil plans, but both Gabe and Harvey have some unusual skills.

The relationship here is established, but has lots of room for solidification. Gabe and Harvey may love each other deeply and smex each other frequently, but they don’t understand each other very well, and the gap between their prospective timelines isn’t helping. Nor are Harvey’s fears and doubts about himself, rekindled after a bloody encounter and a too-delicious snack on Gabe.

I especially enjoyed the section in Budapest. The author knows this city and the language, weaving details into the story. History, twentieth century and from hundreds of years ago, reverberates through this ancient place and current adventure. Vampire lore is both used and debunked on the very doorstep of Transylvania. Very satisfying!

Also satisfying is who the relationship and the external plot weave together and how one affects the other. One couldn’t have worked out without the other, so good storytelling.

There are also some ongoing story threads that continue from book one, reviewed here, that lead me to believe we haven’t heard the last of Gabe and Harvey. Which makes me happy! 4 marbles

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