There's something not quite right about Quinn. Her social life has withered away and strange things are happening that she can't explain. Afraid to be branded as a freak she keeps the things she see's to herself, but carefully observes hoping to figure it all out. This craziness has invaded her everyday life in ways that changes the colors of her clothing among other things. Lately she's been encountering what looks to be another world. Changes to the city that just don't quite fit in with the rest of its backdrop. For the most part Quinn knows to avoid the Shimmers and this unknown world as much as possible. But while helping her brother find his missing friend she inadvertently tumbles down the rabbit hole towards Washington, V.C. - Vamp City.
In this dark and enrapturing story readers are treated to the ugliness of the vampire community. Not the tortured or slightly brooding types that eventually become the heroes and capture the heroine's heart. These are the bad guys through and through with just slight breaks in a couple of them for the humans they capture as slaves. Blood, sex, and torture for recreation is the price of admission into this twisted version of Washington, D.C. where vampires are at the top of the food chain.
Our heroine, Quinn is thrown into this pit of darkness without even the slightest clue as to how much trouble she is in. Two things become clear early on – she must rescue her brother and escape is nearly impossible. Her only hope to attempt either is being thoroughly blocked by a seductive Italian vampire who prefers to be referred to as Master. Quinn's rebellion against this new way of life brings her to the attention of a most powerful and sadistic vampire who will stop at nothing to find the one who can restore the power to Vamp City before all is lost.
Arturo is the anti-hero of the story. He is jaded against the horrors of his people and his motives unknown. Arturo tries to force Quinn to accept her fate by showing and telling her that no one can be trusted while at the same time giving her small kindnesses. Simply put, Arturo is a hot mess full of cold and calculating contradiction. As a reader, it was hard not to want him to change even after all of his betrayals and lies.
Readers should be aware that there are scenes that could be offensive. Such scenes include forced seduction and attempted rape. Torture and murder are not only eluded to, but demonstrated. These vamps are not romanticized in any way, but the world building in this dangerous and hidden world is superbly done. The author captures that imagery so well that the reader feels transported with the same helplessness of escape. All the characters have faults and weaknesses, so none are really likable for long periods of time, but absolutely believable. The story's build is marveling and the to-be-continued finish leaves me piqued for the next. Unexpected and unapologetic this start to a new series is definitely worth the read for paranormal fans, but be warned romantic hearts should be left at the door.
Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city's magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal world...one who knows nothing of the power she wields. Quinn Lennox is searching for a missing friend when she stumbles into a dark otherworld that only she can see--and finds herself at the mercy of Arturo Mazza, a dangerously handsome vampire whose wicked kiss will save her, enslave her, bewitch her, and betray her. What Arturo can't do is forget about her--any more than Quinn can control her own feelings for him. Neither one can let desire get in the way of their mission--his to save his people, hers to save herself. But there is no escape from desire in a city built for seduction, where passion flows hot and blood-red. Welcome to Vamp City...