Release Date: 12/1/09
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Website: Keith Melton
Purchase Info: Amazon
Business has never been better for hit man Karl Vance. Boston is awash in mafia blood, and Vance has a certain fondness for blood. He’s a master vampire—one of the most powerful of his kind. Having sworn to never again feed on the blood of innocents, Karl preys instead on Boston’s criminal underworld. Which makes him a valuable asset to those who deal in death.
Maria Ricardi intends to use that asset to its full extent in order to gain power within her patriarchal crime family. Vance thinks he’s been hired to keep track of the family’s princess, but she’s got a plan to get her hands dirty and earn the respect she deserves. And she’s not above using their instant attraction to get what she wants.
That driving ambition draws the attention of a rival clan’s newest and most dangerous “consultant.” Alejandro Delgado, Vance’s centuries-old nemesis. Delgado zeroes in on the one chink in Vance’s armor—his fondness for the headstrong Maria.
When she becomes enslaved by Delgado’s unnatural kiss, only one thing is certain. Vance has to decide which he wants more. To settle the score—or rescue her soul.
(Borrowed from Samhain Publishing)
Karl Vance, to me, was a great vampire character. To instill such a true faith in god to a creature, that by definition, is damned, perked my interest in him for sure. I mean, he prays outside a church for the souls of his victims after each killing, that's pretty faithful. Vance seems like your run-of-the-mill vampire until you catch a glimpse deeper into who he is and the struggles he's had. Determined to find his rival Delgado & destroy him, once and for all, the last thing he needs is a distraction. Especially one that comes in the form of Maria Ricardi.
Maria instantly grabbed me as a truly unique female role. Not only is she book smart, I mean she has a degree in accounting, but she's blood thirsty enough to try and prove herself to her mafia boss father. Creating an elaborate plan to hit a rival mafia family where it hurts, Maria decides it wise to call in favored family hit man, Karl Vance. Though she knows little about him, except that his reputation is full of fear and death, she puts 100% faith in him to carry out her plan. When realizing that her need to "see" things for herself may have been a bad choice, Maria is thrown into a life she never even imagined possible. Now trying to get out of that life makes taking down a mafia boss look like a piece of cake.
The chemistry between these two definitely heats up in the second half of the book, it's funny how a heated battle can bring out the need in some people. Creating an amazing series of events can develop a relationship between two people more then they realize. I think Vance & Maria's relationship is one of the things that really sparked my interest in the second half of the book, simply because it wasn't your typical "vampire relationship".
Please, don't be intimidated by the size of this book, yes there are a lot of pages for the first book in a series, but Keith did a great job of never rambling. His scenes run together with ease, he never over described anything (which is one of my true dislikes), plus you're never left wondering, "why was that said". Blood Vice was a great read, and I can't wait to pick up the next book by Mr. Melton