Claiming the Evil Dead

Mary Abshire
Claiming the Evil Dead
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Noble Romance Publishing
Release Date
December 2010
Book 1 of The Soul Catcher Series
Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Vamps & Shifters Romance

Half-demon Jessie Garrett is searching for an evil vampire that's been preying upon children. She wants to claim the rogue vamp's soul and send it to hell. To find the dead man walking she must partner with another bloodsucker, Drake, even though she doesn't trust him. While Jessie works with Drake, she learns not all vampires are killers and discovers the cold-blooded vamp is a temptation too difficult to resist.

After the fiend abducts another child and Jessie has a near fatal experience with vampires, she turns to Jeremy, a demon she bumped into at a club, and makes a deal with him for his help. Drake disapproves, and Jessie soon finds herself wedged between two volatile creatures. When the chance comes to save the child's life and claim the evil vamp's soul, she must decide whom she can trust—a vampire who cools her feverish desires, or a demon hell-bent on seducing her.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jul 14, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
192 people found the following review helpful
Take a feisty-half demon, and team her up with a smoldering centuries-old vampire, and hold on for one steamy adventure!

Jessie Garrett is a half-demon with the power to send souls to their ultimate reckoning. And that power has brought her to the attention of Drake, a vampire nearly 850 years old who is on a mission. As Drake explains, another vampire named Alexander has been preying on innocent humans and kidnapping children, and Drake needs Jessie's help to finish Alexander off—permanently.

Forming an uneasy partnership, the two agree to hunt Alexander down and send his soul where it belongs…if only they can find him. Their search takes them across Chicago, from dark alleys to the most exclusive nightclubs, but seemingly, always one step behind Alexander and the carnage he leaves in his wake. Jesse is focused on her search, but as night follows night, she finds herself growing closer and closer to her new employer and partner, feeling a connection to him that she can't explain. Even Jeremy, full-fledged demon who seems hell-bent on getting her attention, can't sway Jessie from her feelings for Drake.

But can she learn to love a man she knows she can never trust? In the end, the hunt for Alexander will make Jessie reconsider everything she believes about love and loyalty, and force her to choose between the demon who shares her blood, and the vampire who might have just claimed her heart…

First and foremost, I love Drake. He's a terrific combination of Alpha-strong and vampire-ruthless, but clearly besotted with Jessie and willing to do anything at all to keep her from harm. It was nice that he remains something of a man of mystery through this book, revealing bits and pieces of his past, while still leaving me hungry to find more in the rest of the series. He, like Alexander, is not the simpering, heartsick vampire we've come to know. He is brutal and pitiless, and quite willing to mete out violence to those who deserve it, even while harboring that soft spot for Jessie that is so endearing. He is a wonderful blend of contradictions that make such a great character and I can't wait to see where he goes from here in the series.

I found Jessie a bit more difficult to get to know, but I blame a lot of that on my giddiness over Drake obscuring my vision. She is a firecracker, and more than willing to do whatever it takes to run Alexander down, which I respected a lot. I also got the sense that her human side and her demon side aren't always in agreement in certain situations, which makes her seem a little off-balanced at times. That being said, I was rooting for Jessie through the whole book and was glad to see her grow into a more self-reliant, sympathetic character, both through her work on the case and through her relationship with Drake.

The dynamics between the characters was really interesting, and I enjoyed the subtleties of their interactions. Matching Jessie, who is always a little too warm, with Drake's cool presence and cooler touch, was a nifty little pairing. This becomes even more evident when compared with Jessie's relationship with Jeremy. Together, they are pure fire and aggression, without the cool reserve that Drake lends a situation. I should state now that love triangles and I seldom get along, so my opinions toward Jeremy sometimes tend to be a bit harsh; there is no argument, though, that he is an interesting match to Jessie, allowing her to experience a part of her own nature that only he can bring out.

I think if I had any argument with this book, it would be with the pacing of the plot. I felt at times like the mystery was bogged down by the details of the chase, without enough clues to keep me guessing. Conversely, I found myself wishing for more tension between Jessie and Drake. Don't get me wrong, I love them together, but the build-up seemed a little lacking, and there were enough unresolved issues between them to warrant a little more time than they were afforded.

I found myself drawn in quickly with Jessie's world of vampires and demons. This is definitely an urban mystery, with blood and violence and grit, in a world populated by exciting, complex characters. I'm eager to see where the series progresses from here and to get to know the play. All in all, this was an intriguing first book and looks to be the start of a very promising series.
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