Reviewed by Vicki
SERIES: New Vampire Justice #2
AUTHOR: Jake C. Wallace
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 274 pages
RELEASE DATE: November 11th, 2016
Love between a young man with a broken mind and the jaded New Vampire Justice officer who cares for him might be the last hope to stop a human-vampire war….
Justin Masters is stuck in a nightmare. Waking after seven years in a catatonic state, he falls desperately in love with the straight NVJ officer who saved him. Between that and dreams of being tortured and taking pleasure in the pain, which bleeds into his waking hours, Justin’s sure he’s starting to crack.
The growing unrest in the vampire world should be Max Kincaid’s focus, but Justin’s struggle, along with Max’s confusing feelings for his ward, have him reeling. When Justin’s attacked, his resulting needs might be more than what Max can provide, but he’ll be damned if anyone else will touch Justin.
As the NVJ investigates humans missing from a high-end bite club, they uncover a deeper plot that traces back to Justin. If those who want him have their way, there will be bloodshed. Justin and Max are in a fight to save Justin not only from those who would use him, but from his own mind.
I loved the first book in this series, and I was hoping this one would be about Justin and Max… Happy to see it is!
What we learned from the last book is that this world has both vampires and humans, but humans are on top of the heap, vampires are second class citizens. Vampires aren’t much different except for the need to drink blood. Now they drink synthetic blood, and feeding from humans in illegal with the exception of “bite clubs”. There are a few special types of vampires, that have some extra abilities, but those are few and far between. The New Vampire League is the law enforcement agency that polices vampires, there is also the equivalent agency for humans. In the last book, there was a big to-do involving a bad guy, trying to force Carson, one of the very very special vampires to do bad things, and rule the world… one of the victims of this plot was Justin, Carson’s boyfriend back in his teens. Justin ended up with his mind stripped and spent seven years somewhere… He’s since been rescued and is living with the NVJ, under the care of Max, one of the officers that rescued him. Justin has regained some of his mind and memory, but is still a bit fuzzy on details, and has some issues.
So we know that Justin is gay, and Max is straight, having had a wife that died of cancer. But the two are becoming closer, and that closeness is fully developed in this book. With an added BDSM element. Justin has been feeling the need for something more, it turns out what he is looking for is pain. Max eventually discovers that need and makes the choice to pursue a sexual relationship with Justin. While this personal drama is happening, the members of the NVJ are searching for some human men that have gone missing… this leads them to a bite club/BDSM club.
This is a very complex story, basically it turns in to a sort of human trafficking storyline, with some vampire business, and ties to old things from book one. With some kidnapping, torture, and BDSM thrown in. Justin and Max are deep in the middle of it all, as well as Lincoln and Carson from the first book. There is also a storyline involving a character from the first book, his boyfriend who is in a coma, and a pregnant woman. Just to make things more fun!
Now I liked this book, but I had some issues with the plot. These guys are cops, but they make some stupid mistakes that I had a hard time accepting. Dammit. I can’t figure out how to say what my issues are without giving anything away! There were obvious things, characters doing things that I could see being off, from a mile away. There wasn’t any big surprise or mystery for me, I could see what was happening, who the bad people were and how this was going to be resolved. Things were too obvious. Yes, there were a few details that surprised me, but really not much. Something would happen and I would think “Oh, that’s going to matter later”, and sure enough, it would. I had several moments of thinking “Why would a cop do that??”, then of course, it turned out to be a stupid mistake.
I also had issues with Max and Justin. I liked them as characters and as a couple, but Max, who had never had any interest in men, jumped in to a sexual and kinky relationship way too fast with Justin, in my opinion. I expected some… hesitancy, some thought, some angst maybe, about what he was doing. He goes from straight and vanilla, to pinching Justin’s nipples and yanking on his balls with no hesitancy, no build up. I liked them before they got together, and I liked them after they got together, but their first experience together was very hard for me to accept.
But I did like this one, I liked the overall plot, even though I had issues with how things happened. I liked Justin and Max, I just didn’t like how fast their sexual relationship came about. I liked the bits with Doc and Tommy, and I’m going to guess they’ll get a book soon. I love this world and all of the details. I like that it is our world, but not quite… I loved the ending, it wasn’t exactly a cliffhanger since this storyline is resolved, but it left me soooo wanting to know what happens next! I can see big drama in the future for these people!
This author is new for me, I’ve just read these two books, and overall I liked them both. I would absolutely recommend the first book in this series if you are a vampire fan, and I’d recommend this one as part of the series. It’s not a standalone novel, you need to know what came before. I would have rated this one higher, but I just had issues with how the plot worked, but I still like the series and I look forward to the next one!