Series: The Vampire Guard #2
Author: Elizabeth Noble
Genre: Gay Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: DSP Publications
The members of the Vampire Guard—Jonas Forge, spy and soldier turned cop; computer hacker extraordinaire Blair Turner; Declan, thief, con man, and ex-pirate; and medical examiner and werewolf Dr. Lucas Coate—face a dangerous and elusive enemy.
And this time, it’s personal.
Over the course of three hundred years, a man has touched each of their lives in ways they are only just realizing. When a hunt for a psychotic killer in the present resurrects memories and clues from the past, they discover how they have been affected and are bound by the existence of a ruthless vampire criminal. Now, while preventing a heist at a high-tech art show and thwarting several large-scale explosions, the team must employ their unique blend of science and supernatural abilities to put an end to the machinations of the man toying with their lives.
This time, he won’t slip through their fingers.
This time, it’s more than a case. It’s a hunt, and Forge, Blair, Declan, and Lucas won’t stop until they’ve captured their quarry.
For those of you reading The Vampire Guard and/or The Sleepless City series, this is a great culmination of those works–the team really starts to gel. I can’t on any level claim this is a suitable standalone, so if you haven’t read any of the other books yet, I’d consider starting with either the first book of this series, Code Name: Jack Rabbit, or even starting with the first of The Sleepless City series, co-written by Noble and Barwell, Shades of Sepia.
Even though this is technically the sixth book about these characters in this world, there were so many reveals about the members’ pasts, that it almost felt as if it were a fresh start. For those of us absolutely enamored with Jonas Forge and Declan, this book truly helped fill in some blanks in their unique relationship (friendship). It also developed Lucas Coate better than the other books have… and I have to confess what I discovered about him surprised me.
The major win for me was immersing myself back into the characters I know and love, and how Noble fleshed them out and settled them into the new series. And it seemed that I switched who my favorite character is. In The Sleepless City, I’d been decidedly more of a fan of Declan, but in The Vampire Guard, Jonas Forge slowly grew on me and became my new favorite.
The attention given to Jonas Forge’s character is significantly more than most the other characters in the new series. With his strong sense of integrity, his little quirks–like his allergies and his constant eating–and his unique humbleness buried in blustering bravado, his character truly comes alive on the page.
We discover Forge, born in the late 1700’s, was basically starving and always cold as a human. On top of that profound insight into his character, we also learn he can be unpredictable and sometimes vain in his own way. He spent fifty years surviving in the wilderness, fought in countless wars, and conversely has also helped Declan pull off extravagant cons. Throughout six novels we pick up in bits and pieces, and it comes together meaningfully to create an impressive and respectable character. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jonas Forge is someone I wish I could know in real life.
This was a complete comfort read for me. I’m not going to lie, I cozied up with this book and a cup of hot cocoa.
Dreamspinner Press–Where Dreams Come True… International publishers of quality gay romantic fiction since 2007. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com
DSP Publications–Off the Beaten Path. Worth the Journey. http://www.dsppublications.com
Harmony Ink Press–LGBTQ+ Young Adult Fiction. http://www.harmonyinkpress.com
Ben Brock is a reviewer for The Novel Approach and Queer Sci Fi. He enjoys running, whisk(e)y, the mythical gluten-free doughnut, and fills his life with bent bunk. He especially loves to discuss LGBTQ+ literature. His website is http://www.babrockbooks.com. You can find him on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/BABrockBooks.