Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Awakened by Virna DePaul

Title: Awakened
Author: Virna DePaul
My Rating: A-

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: The Belladonna Agency #2
Main Characters: Barrett and Nick
Release Date: July 2014
Publisher: Bantam 
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Perfect for fans of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, bestselling author Virna DePaul’s thrilling series of paranormal romances invites readers into a seductive and dangerous world where vampires secretly exist among the general population, while the FBI tries to keep the Rogues among them from preying on humans—for killing, for turning, for pleasure.

Ex-soldier Barrett Miles had no idea that vampires were real—until Belladonna recruits her to serve as a covert agent and infiltrate a murderous sex ring run by the most depraved of immortals, those who feed on the purity and blood of innocents. Their latest victim: a young girl whom Barrett promised to protect. She will be sold—unless Barrett can find her first. Forced to team up with her former lover, Nick Maltese, an undercover sniper, Barrett is caught between fulfilling her personal mission and shielding her heart from the man who betrayed her.

Nick’s hunting a new breed of vampires and harboring a terrible secret when Barrett finds him. Soon a seething underworld of strange desires threatens to engulf them all. Can he save the girl and reclaim Barrett’s heart? Nick knows he has only one chance to prove himself to her as the hunt begins—and their love forces them to embrace the darkest places in their souls.

My Review:
This is the second book in the series and although the series has an over-arcing story, you absolutely can read these books as stand-alones. Belladonna is an agency made up of two former FBI agents who are now vampires, four women from very different backgrounds but who all have an unusual link, and the mysterious unseen Carly who's in charge of them all. Think a paranormal Charlie's Angels and you have this series...and I love that about it. 

This book took the reader away from the agency and focused more on one of the agents, Barrett. Barrett is former Army, although she grew up in a fairly affluent family. While in the Army, she dated Nick. They broke up and she got out of the Army, but she doesn't realize that there was much more to her story than that.

One of the things that Belladonna does is track vampires and their illegal activities in the US. Barrett doesn't realize it, but her personal life and professional life are about to collide when a teenage girl, Jane, disappears. Jane is 17 and was dating a vampire-devoted guy. Her aunt and uncle just think that she ran off with him, but as Barrett begins to investigate, it quickly becomes obvious that something much more sinister is at work here...vampires trafficking young girls. Barrett gets a glimpse of Jane in a conference call...and trying to track that call leads her to Nick. 

Nick has his own special skills. He's a killer for the FBI. His targets are a list of turned vampires that were once soldiers that the FBI has deemed as dangerous. His history in this job is more than a bit heartbreaking and there are signs throughout the book about how hard it is for him to do...even when the killings are not personal like one was. He's also a bit of a computer geek so he's an obvious person to help Barrett. This leads both him and Barrett into the world of a new vampire nightclub...which is where the real story begins. 

I enjoyed the story of Nick and Barrett. They have a history and although Barrett doesn't know everything about that, they still have that connection. Neither one of them really wanted the break-up, but they didn't communicate when it was all happening. But because they have that connection, they work really well together and Nick is determined to not let the same mistakes separate them again. He realizes now what a mistake he made then and his commitment to them made this book work for me.

What also really worked for me was the entire club set-up. I enjoyed all the scenes within the club and the way that it was all organized. This is a nightclub just opening so there was lots of behind the scenes details. Virna DePaul did an amazing job with everything about the club...the organization, the visuals, the really complex levels of what all is planned for the club...from Sam to Vladimir to the creepy white wall art to Murphy...every little detail was spot-on and I could see it all in my minds eye. I enjoyed reading this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

1 comment:

Virna DePaul said...

Yay! So glad you enjoyed Awakened. Thank you for the review! :)