Love is a high-stakes game.
A century and a half ago, Ante Novak died on a Croatian battlefield—and rose three days later as a vampire. Now he haunts Las Vegas, stealing blood and money from drunken gamblers and staying on the fringe of the powerful vampire organization known as the Shadows. His existence feels empty and meaningless until he meets beautiful Peter Gehrardi, who can influence others with his thoughts.
An attraction flares instantly, bringing a semblance of life to Ante’s dead heart. But the Shadows want Peter too, and they’re willing to kill to get him. As Ante and Peter flee, they learn more about themselves and each other, and they discover that the world is a stranger place than either of them imagined. With enemies at their heels and old mistakes coming back to exact a price, how can Ante and Peter find sanctuary?
Vampires almost always entertain me and though I’ve met my fair share, Ante set himself high above the others. I found him quite…intriguing. I believe the tipping factor for this story lies with Ante. He reminds me of molasses; slow, sticky, savory and unique. And there’s not a lot of middle ground, either you like him…or you don’t. He’s old-fashioned and refined. Existing for as long as he has, he’s bound to have some skeletons in his closet. He’s made some mistakes and carries a heavy load of regret. As a vampire, he survives off human blood. Living in the dark shadows of Sin City, he has been able to scrape (suck) by but just barely. One evening he encounters a mesmerizing young man. Then he allows himself a taste and shockingly discovers Peter is….different. He’s also addicting and Ante soon realizes one night of unforgettable passion and satisfaction is not enough. He wants him…with a longing, he’s unaccustomed to. In a blink of an eye, he finds himself hunting Peter. But what happens when you want to protect your prey?
As I mentioned earlier, this is a slow…stalking. Peter is special and possesses certain qualities that add to his allure. Ante has never encountered anyone like him before. Peter is like his own personal energy drink but he also seeps deep into Ante and eases a hunger that has gnawed at him for ages. Peter awakens something in Ante, something that he believed died long ago. The ‘Shadows’ are the modern age mafia controlling Las Vegas. Ante is not under their thumb for one reason but he’s anything but free. When demands are made he must deliver. They have called upon him to capture Peter. And for all the reasons he should turn Peter over to the ‘Shadows’ he just can’t. However, no one denies the boss. Or is it…the right person has never challenged him?
Quite frankly, I loved the writing. I enjoyed the characters and their impossible situation but it was the writing that lured me in. The paranormal aspect does not stop with bloodsuckers. The first two-thirds keep a slow but steady pace. However, once you hit the last third, the adrenaline is pumping and the action is packing. I was hopeful. I was nervous. I was pleasantly surprised. And the ending was sticky sweet!
Ante is not a frivolous being and neither is his story. Peter has his own sober story. But together they…are magical. The danger is great but so are the rewards. Plan on a power-packed finale that will leave you with a happy heart.
PNR fans looking for something…different. And of course, Fielding fans will surely enjoy this game of chance and love.