Bloody Crystal

Lynne Connolly
Bloody Crystal
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Loose Id
Release Date
October 2011
Book 2 of Department 57 Series
Erotic Romance, Paranormal Romance, Vamps & Shifters Romance

Cerys is happy working in the bar in her hometown of Llandudno, Wales. Nobody knows her secret until she meets dark, brooding Rhodri Tryfanwy. He knows her at once, because he's like her. Vampire.

Rhodri sees the ethereal Cerys as everything he's ever wanted. Light to his darkness, he takes her and she responds. Long nights of passion give him the hope he'd almost given up on finding. But events move too fast, and Rhodri has to return to the dangerous, violent world of Department 57. His old adversary, Geoffrey Wilkinson, gives him no choice.

Thrown into a new world, Cerys is forced to leave everything she knows behind to search for him. She is Rhodri's only chance. Without her help, he'll be taken apart, piece by piece, and sold to people who will exploit what he is to make money and take power they're not entitled to.

Without her love, he is dead. Without his love, she will want to die. Only together can they hope to survive.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Jun 01, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
109 people found the following review helpful
There are few surprises better than finding a new, complex series to explore, but this has all the makings of just that. For fellow James Bond junkies, this is a suspenseful adventure full of international intrigue, danger, and shadowy arch-villains with dreams of worldwide domination. At its heart, however, this is a searing-hot love story that tugged at my heart from the first page and never let go.

For years, Rhodri Tryfanwy has worked alone, keeping himself apart both from his colleagues in Department 57 and the civilians he meets in the course of his work. A vampire with nearly two centuries of experience, he has seen enough loved ones die. Beside, his own life is far too dangerous to afford many companions, and this current mission might just be the most perilous of all. But when a distant relative in his hometown passes away, leaving Rhodri as his sole heir, he has little choice but to return to Llandudno, Wales, where he meets a woman who changes all his plans with a single glance.

Cerys' life is a lonely one, as well, though hers has been that way from birth, and not by choice. Though loving and deeply protective, her parents left her without means to identify or protect herself from other paranormal beings like herself. Thus, she is completely unprepared when another vampire walks into the bar where she works, or the danger he brings in his wake. It seems that Rhodri is in Wales not only to claim his inheritance, but also to track down a man named Wilkinson, who has been kidnapping Talents (beings like Rhodri and Cerys), using them for terrible medical experiments. But as much as their instincts might tell them to keep their distance, once Cerys and Rhodri begin to explore the attraction between them, there is no hope that either will be able to walk away.

Though she tells herself that the magic between them can't last forever, Cerys is still devastated to find Rhodri gone one day without warning. That is, until several agents from the secretive Department 57 arrive to tell her that Rhodri was kidnapped by Wilkinson and, thanks to the bond they share, Cerys is the one being who can track him down. Desperate to find her lover, Cerys is willing to do whatever is required, but when Wilkinson's treachery proves too great even for her newfound powers, her mission quickly becomes one not of rescue, but of survival.

I was really impressed with the amount of action, detail and relationship development that went on in this book. Not only are Cerys and Rhodri complete and well-developed characters with interesting histories, but I loved watching the way they came together. The heat between them was intense, to put it mildly, and I'm really surprised that their experimentations later on in the story didn't melt my Kindle or cause thunderstorms to erupt. What impressed me most, I think, was that they were drawn to each other before either was aware of the other's power, or the intrigue surrounding them, or the danger they faced. What kept them together was a bond that was stronger than lust and more lasting than any paranormal talent. Their need to be together was, by far, the main attraction of this book for me.

I'm not a big fan of the "soulmate" trope in romances, and while it was obvious that these two fit together perfectly, their relationship still developed and grew beautifully.

This was my first Department 57 novel, and there were a few instances where some of the series details went over my head. The number of agents who helped Cerys, their specific talents, and their relationships were difficult to take in at times, and I would have liked more information about the Department itself and its history with Wilkinson. Similarly, there were hints early on of Rhodri's feelings toward some of his fellow team members that I would have really liked to explore. That being said, it also made me quite interested to read other books in the series and find out more about the other department agents and the world they inhabit. It certainly is an elaborate one, with mermen, sorcerers, shape-shifters and more, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. The tantalizing glimpse of their lives and adventures piqued my interest, and the interesting twist on the vampire identity in this book make me think that the rest of the Talents in this series will be no less absorbing.

Though I was less engaged in parts of the story than others, the love story between Rhodri and Cerys is not to be missed. The love and passion between them was remarkable and kept me reading greedily to the very end. Lynne Connolly has created a complex world full of remarkable characters, and I'm eager to explore the world of the Department 57 series further and come to understand and appreciate all its complexities.
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