Blade to the Keep (Rowan Summerwaite, #2) by Lauren Dane

Blade to the Keep - Lauren Dane

Rowan Summerwaite is actually one of my favorite UF/PNR heroines. She's a bloodthirsty bitch and makes no apologies about it. But she's not hardhearted or unfeeling. Rowan will cut out a vampire's heart and turn around to make out with Clive in the same breath. I'm not sure she actually does that in the book, but she would totally do that.

I enjoyed the political workings in this second book. If Rowan was just running around Vegas killing methed out vamps, I would have still read it. But I was really pleased that we instead went to The Keep in Germany. While Rowan certainly killed some vamps, we also got to meet the other Scions, witness more of Rowan's relationship with The First, and see the slow, but intense development in the budding relationship between her and Clive. Clive and her. Whatever. It opened up the world Lauren Dane built but hasn't really explained.

And that's something I kinda like about this series. The world isn't built up. You just go with it, jump right in. Various species of Others are mentioned once in passing, without an infodump explaining their origins and political standings. Maybe they are mentioned so the author can use them in future story lines, I dunno. But the story isn't bogged down with back story on anything that doesn't actually matter.

The romance is, oddly enough, tender and sweet. Between two bloodthirsty superbeings, that sounds really odd. But it's the icing on the cake. This story would work without the romance, but it would be bland and Rowan's personal growth would be nonexistent. Clive makes her better and visa versa. I adore their scenes together and Lauren Dane really throws down some great verbal sparring between the two of them (including the first book in this series).

So I look forward to the next book in this series, Blade on the Hunt - which I think comes out in November.