Jabril

D. B. Reynolds
Jabril
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Publisher
ImaJinn Books
Release Date
August 2009
ISBN
9781933417516
Series
Book 2 of Vampires In America
Genre
Action/Adventure Romance, Fantasy Romance, Horror Romance, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Vamps & Shifters Romance

SUMMARY
Houston, Texas—Cowboy boots, baseball and journeys to the stars . . . right? Wrong. Because Houston is also home to Jabril Karim, one of the eight powerful Vampire Lords who control all of North America. And as Private Investigator Cynthia Leighton will soon discover, not all Vampire Lords are created equal. For Jabril is the face of evil in the new world, a vampire who values no life but his own, who enslaves those he desires, steals whatever he covets and destroys anyone who stands in his way. Running from L.A. and its seductive Vampire Lord, Raphael, Cyn sees the Houston job as a welcome refuge, a place to get away and heal her broken heart. But Texas will be no vacation. For in Jabril Karim, Cyn will confront a true enemy, one who will go to any lengths to satisfy his lusts, enrich his coffers and expand his power. Fighting for the lives of two young sisters, Cyn's journey will take her through the streets of Houston and back to L.A., where the human police are determined to bring Raphael down for the murder of one of their own. But the danger doesn't end there. For Jabril has set his sights on Cyn, and he will stop at nothing to have her.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Aug 01, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
151 people found the following review helpful
Simply put, if you enjoyed Raphael—the thunderous pace, the larger-than-life characters and a dark, complex passion between Raphael and his Cyn, this is unquestionably your next must read book.

Eager to move on from the heartbreak she left behind in California, Cyn has agreed to take a case for Jabril Karim, the vampire lord of the southwest territories. Though unsure if it is her growing reputation as a private investigator that has won her the job, or if her presence is simply a means of antagonizing Raphael, Cyn arrives fairly sure that has had her fill of domineering, arrogant vampires for quite sometime. What she finds at Jabril's court, however, makes Raphael seem downright liberal.

Jabril is a tyrant, complete with golden throne and half-mad brutes for bodyguards. But the focus of Cyn's attention is on Mirabelle, the only female vampire in Jabril's court. She seems far too young and far too frightened for Cyn's tastes, and is dressed in clothes so unappealing and frumpy that Cyn harbors no illusions about Jabril's opinion of women. And when she learns that she has been hired to find Mirabelle's younger sister Elizabeth, Cyn's investigation reveals the horrendous treatment both sisters have been forced to endure at Jabril's hands.

As their legal guardian and Mirabelle's maker, Jabril has controlled both women's money, their home and their movements since the death of their parents, and it seems that Elizabeth escaped in order to prevent Jabril turning her on her eighteenth birthday as he did Mirabelle years earlier. Determined to help both sisters the only way she knows how, Cyn concocts a daring escape bid of her own, bringing Mirabelle to the only person she knows who is strong enough to protect her from Jabril's wrath; which also means running back to the one man she has been so desperately trying to forget…

But the Malibu to which Cyn returns is not the one she remembers. A string of murders has her former colleagues in the police department on edge and convinced that a vampire is attacking young women. And not just any vampire—it seems they have their sights on Lord Raphael himself. With an all-too-human murderer prowling the very streets she is searching, and Raphael haunting her dreams, Cyn might very well be the only person with enough information and enough courage to save the day.

I was completely engrossed in this series by the end of the first chapter. Everything I liked in Raphael—the pacing of the plot, the very strong characters and excellent descriptions that put you in the scene along with the characters—was here. Even better, it felt like nearly all my issues with the first book were handled, and handled well.

Cyn is a remarkably strong character, capable of facing down a maniacal vampire lord, and going to enormous lengths to protect those who cannot help themselves. I found it interesting to compare the way she sees herself—a loner without a lot of compassion or friends—with her actions, and the opinions of those who think she is generous and genuinely kind-hearted. In this book, even more than the first in the series, I saw what attracted Raphael to her in the first place.

And speaking of which, this second meeting with Raphael was phenomenal. Finally, we get to see (just a peek) behind that hauntingly handsome façade. And even though it is only for a moment, seeing Raphael go from the chilly alpha-vampire we've come to know to actually looking nervous was quite a surprise, and his courage in admitting his feelings to Cyn completely won my heart. It's not going to be a walk in the park with Raphael, I'm sure, but now that I realize how complex his character has become, he will make the trip worthwhile.

There were some great moments in this book, humorous and touching as well as thrilling and startling. I loved the chance to come to know Duncan, Raphael's head of security, a little better, and the Malibu police's treatment of Raphael was quite a sight to behold. I will say, the last thirty pages of the story came as quite a surprise, and made me one of Cyn's fans for life. I'm all for knights in shining armor (or, in this case, vampires in leather coats), but it takes one special heroine to do the rescuing for herself.

I still don't know just what I think about some of duplicitous actions at the story's end, but I'm ok with that. This isn't a series that is scared of some ambiguous characters or some open-ended problems. It makes for a much more interesting read, and certainly heightens the anticipation for the next book to arrive! While Rajmund, the next book in the Vampires in America series will take us away from Cyn and Raphael for a little while, I have no doubt the next book will be the thrilling, passionate page-turner I've come to expect from D.B. Reynold's terrific series.
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