Gillian Key is a paranormal psychologist. Ever since species other than human have been recognized, Gillian has been studying how to help them. Gillian has worked with other species for years and was on a team of mixed species while a Captain in the US Marines. This team has remained friends even though most have left the service and a few are living in the same castle in Romania as Gillian. This castle belongs to Gillian’s lover, Master Vampire Aleksei Rachlav.
Aleksei has loved Gillian for years, even when she was his brother’s lover. Now, that she is his, he would do anything for her including opening his home for her to treat her clients. However, being several hundred years old causes one to be a bit outdated on some outlooks. When Gillian is asked to treat a man having sexual problems, Aleksei is appalled and tells Gillian that he will not accept her becoming a prostitute. With this outlook, Gillian decides that they need a break from each other and need to really learn about each other before they continue their relationship.
Besides his home becoming a place for Gillian treating clients, it is also the headquarters for those who are fighting against the evil of Dracula’s army. Aleksei has become the leader in this fight and is pulling together his own forces consisting of members from every imaginable species. Because each species has its own laws, courts and customs, things can get a bit interesting as they interact. Can they come together as a team or will their differences pull them apart.
As if Gillian and Aleksei didn’t have enough problems, one of Dracula’s top vampires is after Gillian. This vampire is better known as Jack the Ripper. He’s almost had her a couple of times but each time she has escaped with the help of her friends and former teammates. Now, he’s followed her to Romania and he’s started killing innocents. Will Gillian and her friends be able to stop him before he kills again or even kills Gillian?
And as Gillian’s clients begin to arrive, they each bring their own special problems and talents. As their treatment begins, it’s discovered that one can unknowingly cast magic over most of the compound influencing everyone within it. Can this talent be used to help the client as well as the forces gathered against Dracula?
This is the third book in a series. While it references previous books, it could be read without reading the previous two books without a lot of problems. It would be more enjoyable if read in sequence though.
There are a lot of paranormal species in this book. While none are gone into in depth, there is enough description of each so you can understand what they look like and general characteristics. Those species that are central characters are gone into more detail such as vampires and werewolves. Still, every detail is not given but they are not missed either.
The main characters, Gillian and Aleksei are well developed and defined. They interact with each other is ways that expose their emotions and relationship as well as their innate personalities. Aleksei realizes that he doesn’t look at Gillian as an equal as he’s been conditioned to protect females. As he struggles to accept that Gillian doesn’t need his protection, Gillian struggles to understand that Aleksei isn’t trying to demean her but cherish her. As these characters work through this miscommunication due to very different backgrounds, they learn to appreciate each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it takes someone else to point out what they’re doing to the other which only deepens the readers understanding of these characters dynamics.
With several side stories going on, this book could get confusing but doesn’t. Each side story is weaved into the central story as to enhance it instead of distracting from it. Gillian’s clients are treated but as they share space with the forces gathered to fight Dracula, they also become marginally involved with that story. The forces are working on developing a battle plan. When things don’t go exactly as planned and there are massive injuries, everyone who can heal is asked to help including Gillian’s clients. Jack is after Gillian and she scared yet determined that he is not going to win. It takes more than her determination to win this battle but with Aleksei’s supporting help along with some good friends, she takes on Jack.
This book was interesting in the way everything balance each other. I found it refreshing and interesting. No one aspect was singled out as being more important than another. All elements of this story worked together to give the reader an enjoyable experience. Although Jack seems to have meet his end in this book, the war against Dracula still wages on and I look forward to seeing how steps up next. Gillian and Aleksei are working on their relationship but will they be able to give what the other needs? I look forward to seeing how this series progresses.