Sophia

D. B. Reynolds
Sophia
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Publisher
ImaJinn Books
Release Date
April 2011
ISBN
9999999998
Series
Book 4 of Vampires in America
Genre
Action/Adventure Romance, Fantasy Romance, Horror Romance, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense/Mystery, Urban Fantasy, Vamps & Shifters Romance

SUMMARY
The Pacific Northwest . . . home to lush forests and constant rain, to lumberjacks and computer geeks, especially those of the vampire kind.

Sophia, beautiful and deadly, has spent the last hundred years dancing her way through the balmy nights and hot-blooded men of South America. But when her Sire sends an urgent summons, Sophia rushes home to Vancouver only to find he has disappeared, leaving nothing behind but three dead vampires and a letter with Sophia's name on it.

Colin Murphy, a former Navy SEAL, came to the Northwest seeking a quiet place to heal the scars earned in more than a decade at war. But when someone starts killing local vampires and torturing their mates, Colin takes on the mantle of a warrior once again as he sets out to find the killers and do whatever it takes to stop them, even if that means hunting with vampires.

Following her Sire's trail of death to a small town in northern Washington, Sophia unexpectedly discovers the heat of a South American night in Colin's arms. But too soon Sophia and Colin find themselves in a race to uncover the killers before the next dead vampire becomes Sophia herself.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Dec 05, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
186 people found the following review helpful
I've been a avid fan of the Vampires in America series from the beginning, and I think it's safe to say this is the best book in the series to date. With an intriguing mystery, a resilient heroine and enough sizzle to knock your socks off, this is D.B. Reynolds at her very best.

Sophia has spent several lifetimes in South America, enjoying all the pleasures the tropical nights have to offer, until her maker, Lucien, the Vampire Lord of the Canadian Provinces, begs her to come to his aide as quickly as possible. She arrives in Canada to find Lucien has been missing for days, and none of his other vampires know his whereabouts or the cause of the current crisis. Her only clue is a note Lucien left behind specifically for Sophia, begging her to see Lord Raphael, the Vampire Lord of the western USA, and use whatever means necessary to secure his help.

Meanwhile, Raphael and his mate Cyn, are embroiled in a tragedy of their own. Two of Raphael's vampires in Seattle have been murdered, and the human mate of another has been brutally attacked. Unable to allow such a crime to go unpunished, Raphael and Cyn make the trip to Washington and begin examining the state of affairs in Cooper's Rest, a tiny town near the vampire's compound. With Sophia's arrival in Raphael's territory, there is no doubt that the disappearance of Lucien is somehow related to the attacks in Raphael's territory, and that this plot is far more deadly than anyone had previously imagined.

Colin Murphy, a former Navy SEAL, and the unofficial sheriff of Cooper's Rest is also brought in to aid in the investigation. Colin was close with the murdered vampires, and his knowledge of the town and its inhabitants makes him invaluable, regardless of the vampire's distaste for the unknown mortal into their midst. But Colin is not a stranger to everyone—he and Sophia knew each other ten years ago, and shared a searing passion that might very well have turned into true love, had outside circumstances not torn them apart. Colin believed that Sophia was gone forever, and seeing her stunning beauty unchanged nearly brings him to his knees.

But with the threat to the vampires coming closer with every passing day, and Lucien's disappearance still unsolved, the chance that these two will have the time to rekindle their romance seems slim. And when a stunning betrayal threatens to tear Raphael and his mate apart forever, there is a very real chance that no one in Cooper's Rest will survive Raphael's wrath...

This is the first time that this series has featured a female vampire and a mortal male, but I thought it was handled quite well. Sophia is a sympathetic mix of power and vulnerability, and really developed over the course of the story from a somewhat shallow character to a real heroine who fully deserved her happy ending. I really grew to respect her after learning the history of her relationship with Lucien and the tragic tale of her human life. She has spent a terribly long time searching for a purpose and a place to belong, and when she finds them in her fight to save her Maker, with Colin at her side, she transforms into the powerful vampire I knew she could be.

Colin is an alpha male and a warrior himself, an admirable leader in Cooper's Rest and dedicated to justice, be it for the humans or vampires under his informal protection. I was really impressed at his ability to recognize Cyn's talents and be such a good partner to her through thick and thin, as well as letting Sophia wield her own power, even when his first thought is to protect her from any threat. Any man who could take on the Vampire Lords—from Raphael's wrath to Sophia's overwhelming powers of seduction—and hold his own deserves credit, and Colin is absolutely a hero worth remembering. Though there wasn't as much romance between him and Sophia as there has been in past books between the hero and heroine, every moment they share sizzles, and their eventual reunion is hot enough to burn your fingers.

But as much as this is the story of Sophia and Colin rekindling their passionate romance, this is my favorite addition to Cyn and Raphael's story, hands down. I've been worried that Cyn's drive, her independent streak and her passion for investigating would be squashed under Raphael's thumb as their relationship continued, but in this story, she exhibits all those wonderful qualities that made me love her. And, much to Raphael's dismay, nothing he can say will keep Cyn safe and sheltered during the day while he sleeps. This gives us a chance to see Cyn doing what she does best, it also makes for some really emotional moments between her and Raphael, as they try to balance their all-consuming love with their individual needs to protect the other and be true to themselves.

However, the real shock for me came from watching Raphael. Perhaps it's because we haven't seen as much of him since the first book in this series (literally and figuratively speaking), but I was genuinely surprised by how much his character has developed since he first strode onto the scene. I've been a little hesitant around Raphael, as he so often toes the line between alpha male and suffocating. But after seeing his genuine conflict over protecting Cyn and knowing that forcing her to remain at his side will eventually ruin what they have together, his fear over the threats she faces as a mortal and his fury and guilt when that threat is realized, I think I might have just fallen in love. The final scenes, when he has to face the reality of losing her was both heartbreaking and exhilarating, as Raphael finally showed his true self—and that in itself made the whole book a success.

This series has never pulled punches when it comes to facing the realities of these Vampires' existence. They are hostile and possessive, violent and passionate, and this book shows every side of their nature to perfection. I was captivated by this mystery from the first scene, and flipped pages feverishly until the final moments and the tantalizing promises the future adventures yet to come. This is a gutsy book, pushing the characters I have come to know and respect farther than either I or they thought possible, and I know that the series is going to be even more spellbinding from here on out!
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