By Mary Hughes
Biting Love #9
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Dr. Alexis Byornsson has her hands full in the ER when her patient s uncle blows into the exam room. Stitching up a five-year-old s cut is hard enough without a blond god distracting her all to hell.
To say she s furious is putting it mildly not that anyone would notice. Not with the legendary control that s earned her the nickname Dr. Frozen .
Luke Steel never knew a woman chastising him could be so sexy. But for the first time in three hundred years, passion stirs in his gut along with panic. Since his wife was taken before his eyes in a brutal attack, he s sworn he d never feel that powerless again.
Almost before either Luke or Alexis realize what s happening, they re sharing a blazing kiss that shatters her logical armor and unleashes his wholly unwanted mating instinct. And spurs a closer-than-skin enemy to put into motion a devastating plan for revenge.
I don’t know if it is a trend or just a coincidence, but a couple of the last books I read have the some of the same issues. These authors give astute insights into their characters, but the writing and dialogue seem mismatched with the story. Passion Bites is an entertaining PNR story. I think the characters are likable and the plot points are interesting enough to hold my attention. The author identifies some interesting insight into friendship and partnership. I think she is very loyal (to a fault) to her best friend. Alexis’ whole future is wound around Lizelle. It sounds noble, but it’s really an excuse not to live her own life. Meeting Luke changes that. He is dealing with his own set of issues of loss. His mate died ages ago, but since vampires mate for life, he has shunned any and all types of serious relationships. I am surprisingly drawn into this drama.
My biggest critique is with the language. I’m not a huge fan of informal language if it is out of character. Alexis is an educated doctor that speaks like a teenager: “I’m not as beautiful as my younger sister, but I’m not dog barf.” The dialogue feels clunky and somewhat forced, as if the author is trying to hard to be cool: “But here was a vampire, Mr. Insta-sex, dropped in my lap. Desire rose hot and thick, more than usual, bubbling like a head of beer, foaming until it threatened to overflow.”
This is book #9 in the series and having not read the first eight books, I didn't feel too lost. However, I think that I would've enjoyed this story a little bit more for it really connects with the previous characters. I am sure I missed intimate connections and subtle nuances. So, I could say it is a standalone, but expect to miss out a little on the big picture.
IN A NUTSHELL:
It's a mix bag of clever insights and awkward dialogue couched in a good story.
“They’re not your townhouses.” The lawyer gritted the words around canines a mite longish, and his tone promised death and dismemberment, not necessarily in that order.
Anybody else would’ve been crapping pants’ loads of bricks.
But those voice and eye tricks reminded me of hospital administrators, focused on the almighty bottom line instead of patient care. I’d battled enough of them who’d wielded tone and expression like blunt swords. I wasn’t that impressed.
Besides, I’d had a trying night, and though I ate healthy and exercised, at thirty-nine the little aches and pains of aging were knocking at my muscles and joints.
If he was cranky, I could be cranky right back.
I kicked up my jaw and met him stare for stare. “Yes, they are. Those townhouses are mine.”
“They’re not yours until you pay for them.”
“I put down earnest money plus a security deposit. Ten thousand dollars.” My throat thickened on the words. That ten thousand was all I had. As a physician I made a fair amount, but hefty school loans and a somewhat open hand with my patients, shelters and other charities insured I’d hemorrhaged most of my savings. Yet when the opportunity came, I had to jump on it with everything I had left; Lizelle needed me. “Those buildings are as good as mine, and you’d better back off.”
“You dare to tell me I should back off?” Julian surged forward—not a psychological trick this time, but real emotion goosing him.
I flinched away.
Before he could force me off the stoop with his sheer presence, long male fingers curled around his biceps, slim but insanely strong because they immediately checked him.
My body stirred at the strength in those artistic fingers.
The face belonging to the fingers appeared in the doorway a moment later, a movie star’s gorgeous close-up framed by hair of sunshine—and eyes glittering red-gold in the electric light.
My body rose up and shouted halleluiah. I gave it an annoyed whack. Sputtered, “What are you doing here?”
Luke slid past Julian onto the stoop, a lazy smile curving his lips. “Saving you from a tongue lashing.”
Tongue lashing? If it were Luke’s hot tongue…argh. “I can hold my own in an argument.”
“Even with a lawyer?”
“Especially with a lawyer.” I glared around him at Julian.
Julian glared back, violet eyes shading angry red—until Luke popped an elbow back into his gut.
“Oof.” Julian’s eyes cooled to blue. “I don’t have time for this. Steel, deal with her.” He spun and stalked off.
Leaving me face-to-face with six-three of graceful power.
As a girl, Mary Hughes spun romantic, happily-ever-after stories to get to sleep. A husband, family, two degrees and a blackbelt later, she's delighted to spin them for readers.
She's lived with love and loss, in bright times and dark, and learned we can all use a break from reality every now and then.
So join her for action, sparkling wit and red-hot love. Strong men. Stronger women.