Goddess With A Blade

Goddess With A BladeBy Lauren Dane

Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: June 6, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Source: Author Contest

Armed with a blessed blade and blood from a goddess, Rowan Summerwaite’s got a divine mission. Embodying a Vampire’s worst nightmare is a big job, but someone’s got to do it.

Freshly returned from a political firestorm that erupted after she’d executed the last Scion, Rowan hopes for a period of peace and quiet with the new replacement.

But before long, human women are being found in and around Las Vegas and it’s clear to her the killer is a Vampire. Clive Stewart rules his Vampires with an iron fist in the wake of a spectacular failure on the part of his predecessor. He doesn’t make the mistake of underestimating The Hunter. He knows she’s a predator just like him so he agrees to help her investigation. Within limits.

But nothing between Clive and Rowan stays within the lines and before long, things are tangled and dangerous both personally and professionally.

Goodreads Summary

Someone, or more accurately, something, has slaughtered a woman and dropped her seemingly out of the sky in the middle of a stretch of Las Vegas nowhere.  Rowan Summerwaite is the Hunter for Vegas, the sort of supernatural cop there to keep the vampires from turning their human snacks into nothing more than leftovers.  Rowan has something that makes her unique and powerful – she’s also the living vessel for the Celtic goddess Brigid and carries a blessed blade.

With a treaty in place to make sure both sides know the rules (no unwarranted kills and no eating people), the Vampire Council and the Hunter Corporation at least pretend to get along with each other and bury their animosity in mounds of paperwork.  The new Vegas vampire Scion Clive Stewart has no intention of playing nice with Rowan and the feeling’s mutual until there are more killings and attacks and they have to grudgingly start working together to figure out who the rogue is.

There were quite a few times reading this that I wanted to rename it “Trust in Lauren.”  The book launches into the story with no real information about Rowan and very little about where she’s been other than a little cursory explanation that she killed a vampire who had it coming.  I had a handful of questions about what had been going on while she’d been gone but…I trusted in Lauren to just work me through it eventually.  Information about Rowan’s life was handled in a similar way through the book – it was doled out bit by bit as the story went along, some pieces that I thought were pretty important – and again it was simply a case of knowing that eventually I’d read about what I was supposed to.

It’s probably no secret by now that I’m a big fan of Lauren Dane’s.  My big disclaimer here is that I own all of her books and I really love her writing style no matter what genre she’s chosen.  Having read so many of her books, I knew she wasn’t going to leave a bunch of loose ends to drive me crazy – I wasn’t thrilled with how fast I had been dumped into the story but after I got to the end I understood a little more about why it had been necessary given the space limit.

I really loved Rowan although I think even if you’re expecting a smart-mouthed heroine you might do a double-take.  Clive repeatedly calls her vulgar – it becomes a term of endearment eventually – but she’s hilariously brash, mouthy and comes up with more inventive ways to curse than I’ve ever heard.  I wanted to give her a little fist bump for some of the things she said.  She’s also a good friend, occasionally afraid that she isn’t worthy of her goddess and feels it in her bones that she’s responsible for meting out justice.  There’s not a lot I can say about her past that isn’t a spoiler since it unfolds through the book, but it explains much of her drive to be a Hunter and some of her relationship with Clive.

Not a lot about Clive is revealed beyond his being insanely sexy and that he generally has a large stick up his rear end when it comes to dealing with Rowan unless they’re tearing each other’s clothes off.  He remains a bit secretive although he clearly cares about her.

Rowan and Clive don’t really waste any time before they get physical and as usual with Lauren’s books, the erotic elements are hot, hot.  I know I’ve said it in another review but it bears repeating for anyone coming across a new one, the best parts of her stories are that her female characters aren’t just participants, they take charge sometimes and they fully own their own sexuality.  They may get angry about whether or not they’ve had sex with their hero, but you’ll never find anyone ashamed of having any kind of sex with them.  It’s nice going into a scene knowing you’ll be coming out of it not worrying about the heroine.

The mystery of the rogue vampire had a nice little timely and sad twist to it, one that ends up indirectly involving Rowan’s cop friend Jack.  The main show was Clive and Rowan and her past though, so while it was interesting, it didn’t hold as much appeal to me as it might have in a longer story.

My Summary: For a rather short urban fantasy, I really connected with the heroine and wanted to read more about her.  Her relationship with Clive was a little abrupt and more romance on his end than urban fantasy but Rowan kept up her end with snappy dialogue and made it interesting when they weren’t burning up the sheets – and the table, desk, chair and shower.  I was glad I did trust the author to take me through the story because there were some important reveals not far from the ending – unfortunately the ending came too quickly and left me hoping there was something more.

From the forward in the book explaining its origins this sounds like it’s been a long-time labor of love that’s simply a standalone.

My Rating: B+

Barbara

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Comments

  1. I so agree- I love Lauren's books and this one was really something special for me. Something new and refreshing. And I lurved Rowan and her little potty mouth. *g*

  2. I was tempted to write some of what she said down to use for myself later on, lol. This was a pretty fun book – I wished that there would have been another book coming but I'm going to be happy with the new magic series Lauren's doing so that'll keep me.She's going back to Petal too – so maybe there'll be some glimpses of the Chase hunks. 🙂

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