Stranger to Blackwood
by Sharon Lipman5 out of 5
Would you doom yourself to darkness if it meant saving the one you love?
Ryver is the only telepath in living memory. Whether he wants to or not, he can hear the thoughts of everyone around him--their desires, their fears, and their darkest secrets. As a Vampire and Guardian of the Order, his skill is an asset. As a man, it's a burden he wishes he didn't have to carry. That is until he meets Ria. She's beautiful, shy...and human. More than that, she hears him.
A chance meeting brings them together, but the truth could rip them apart. Ria isn't what she seems. As her heritage is revealed, can they find the light? If they do, it will enrage an old enemy and threaten everything they hold dear. If they don't, one of them will be lost forever.
Ryver is a valuable member of the Guardians, the only person who can read the thoughts of others. Until he meets Ria, an apparently average woman, who might even be stronger than him.
I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed the first book in Lipman's House Blackwood series, and I found this sequel had the same fun and flirty adventure, but came across more confidently written.
It picks up where Book 1 ended - with King of the Vampires, Thorn Blackwood, mated to Guardian Lena. They are on the countdown to a royal wedding; which is going to be the biggest event for vampires in centuries.
The book does cover Lena and Thorn, and the whole wedding extravaganza; but it focusses mainly on Ryver, Lena's best friend and co-Guardian.
Thanks to Lena and Thorn's destined mating reawakens some vampire voodoo that allows mating and procreation etc. So when Ryver comes across the mysterious Ria, he's immediately hooked.
I really liked the new characters introduced in this book.
Ria is just a nice girl, she's fairly average, with a humdrum job in London, and a kinda dull social life. She has no idea about vampires, fae or fallen. The only thing unusual about her, is her ability to read the thoughts of those around her. When she meets Ryver, she knows there's something he's hiding; his thoughts aren't like any human she knows.
"Pixie" is an awesome character, expanding the world that Lipman has created, so you get a sense of the Faerie realm, from which the vampire magic stems. Pixie is capable, confident, and her friendship with Ria gives her some nice humanity.
The Fallen - vampires who hoard souls, giving them more strength, and no moral restraint - are expanded on, too. They become more than the shadowy threat from the first book. They are organised, and violent, and always looking to overthrow the vampires, especially the royal family.
I really enjoyed this, and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. Fingers crossed that Kaden and Soraya finally get to acknowledge their feelings! Oh, and Pixie and her admirer; that was hilarious, too!