The Penton Legacy, #2
by Susannah Sandlin
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Vampire
Publication Date: October 9, 2012
Amazon US: Paperback / Kindle
From the publisher:
With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer— actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn't believe he deserves?
"...there were starving vampires, crazy vampire politicians, and vampire pacifists."
For the uninitiated here's a little Penton Legacy background. A viral pandemic swept through the human population, leading to the development of a vaccine. Unfortunately, the vaccine made the blood of humans poisonous to vampires. Unvaccinated humans are scarce, and vampires are hungry.
Aidan Murphy--the hero of Redemption--founded the town of Penton to solve this problem for his scathe, or vampire community. Penton, Alabama, consists of vampires and their unvaccinated humans who are willingly bonded to them. All the town members want is to live in peace. But the Vampire Tribunal, whose hungry members only understand power machinations, have their distrustful eyes on Penton.
Mirren Kincaid was an assassin, the Slayer, for the Tribunal until he received one morally reprehensible assignment too many. He faked his own death and eventually became the bad-ass, second-in-command of Penton. While away from Penton, he is kidnapped by the men of a vicious, calculating Tribunal member, Matthias Ludlam.
Matthias discovers a human with unknown special powers, Glory Cummings. He kidnaps her and attempts to get her to reveal the nature of her powers. When she doesn't, he throws her into the cell with Mirren, who has been starving for a month. Matthias hopes that Mirren will kill Glory, thus turning Mirren back into the Slayer.
Mirren doesn't kill Glory, and when he is rescued he insists on taking Glory with him to Penton. He is unwillingly made responsible for her. Against his better judgment, he is drawn to the straight-talking human who barges her way into his sequestered life. Glory is attracted to the man she sees beneath the forbidding facade he shows to the world. Mirren tries to scare her away, but she isn't running.
But Matthias isn't finished with his grab for power, and Glory is on his hit list since she is a "loose end." Other members of the Tribunal get involved in a power struggle that has grave consequences for Mirren, Glory, and Penton. Will Glory and Mirren survive, let alone find happiness together?
Glory is "Somebody who doesn't know [Mirren's] past, who isn't afraid of him, who sees behind the asshole he tries to be, who can break down those walls of crabbitude he puts around himself." Instead of seeing a killer in Mirren, she sees a protector. She sees a person who judges himself harshly and finds himself lacking. She sees a man she understands, a man she can soothe, a man she can love.
In Glory, Mirren sees a woman who is "full of life and spirit and joy, even after all the things Matthias had done to her." He also sees an independent woman who babbles when she's nervous.
Speaking of babbling, you'll enjoy the back-and-forth between Mirren and Glory when she babbles and annoys him. Another running joke is her calling him on the carpet for swearing, but ... hell, you'll see.
Not all is chocolates and roses. Mirren and Glory bring a deadly fight to Penton that will have you hooked and turning the pages as fast as you can. Prepare yourself, because Susannah Sandlin doesn't pull her punches. But don't let that stop you from reading this excellent book.
One character I quoted but haven't mentioned is Will Ludlam, Matthias's son and a lieutenant in Penton. Matthias is determined to regain control of his son, and Will is just as determined to remain loyal to Aidan Murphy. We see some of Matthias's play for Will in Absolution, and also the beginning of Will's relationship with another lieutenant, Randa. The next Penton Legacy book, Omega, is Will and Randa's story. I can't wait to visit Penton again.
The Penton Legacy series: