I am so happy this sequel came out a little over a month after The Damned! I loved this book. Mainly because Tuck doesn't hide or run from consequences or where events take her. She accepts (sometimes not happily) what is and tries her best to adjust to the changes. We get deeper into the strigoi (Velnic is AWESOME!), and Tuck's relationship with Bastien (love him, too) and how he helps her try and trust her instincts towards the darker part of her bloodline. But the biggest reason I love this book can be summed up like this: Penelope. The deeper Tuck is drawn into her past, the more I was drawn into the story. Penelope is a tad crazy, but the reasons behind it are heartbreaking and anger-inducing. And when Tuck and Penelope finally meet it's very...my heart was in my throat the entire time. Though, there were some good laughs before the main event :) I hope to see more in this series. Even from other slayers' POVs...and maybe a strigoi, or two
Sequel to THE DAMNED
“Come little slayer, into my lair, and we shall play a game…”
Ten months after the events with Josef Dragos, slayer Tuck Houston is in Iceland training with her strigoi guardian. The strigoi blood awakened in her gives her no choice but to do so. But her training is interrupted by the one Damned who keeps slipping out of her grasp—Penelope.
The beautiful Damned has finally come calling to finish the game she started with Tuck a little over sixteen years ago. But instead of retrieving Tuck herself, Penelope is sending her on a scavenger hunt. A hunt that Tuck’s more than ready to go on, despite the fact that it’s going to drive her deeper into the world of the strigoi and the darkness that birthed Penelope.
Tuck welcomes the darkness, knowing that at the end of it all that could spell her death.
His hand blurred out suddenly—she sensed it, caught it, and twisted, shouldering him at the same time. He stumbled back—she gave him no pause, rushing him. She punched him, and it threw him several feet back, into the awful burnt-orange couch. He rebounded swiftly, blurring to her. She ducked and twirled, but he was already behind her. His fist rammed into her gut. The force tossed her a good ten feet back into the fridge, cracking the door. She bounced up, taking out her sword and slicing his back as she swirled around him.
He hissed, teeth fully extended. He squared his shoulders and loosened his neck. “You dance well.”
She grinned. “Thanks. So do you.”
He blurred in front of her. She held her ground, ready. “I like you.”
She grinned wider. “If you were human, or better yet, a slayer, I would so return that compliment.”
His hand went over his heart. “You wound me.”
She winked, then jumped up, spun, and kicked him right in his nose, pushing him back into the fridge, which took the door off the hinges. “Oh, Jesse. I haven’t even started wounding you.”
He grinned feral. Chills prickled over her skin. “Oh, Tuck…you shouldn’t flirt with older men.”
Power filled the air, and sex oozed from every pore of his body. “Love more, love.”
“Well—” she outstretched her arms, sword still in her right hand “—what are you waiting for?”
He rushed her—she jumped up, sensing his every move in her every fiber.
She did a split in the air, over his head, landing almost silently on the ground. She spun, kicking him in the back, her martial arts training kicking in. He stumbled forward several feet—she followed him.
He blurred back up in a circle, his leg kicking out and sending her flying across the room into a recliner, pushing it over.
She rolled, bringing her sword up and thrusting it forward while Jesse was still in a blur, coming at her from the front. The blade sank into his taut, toned gut like his flesh was butter.
He blinked at her, then smiled. “Damn.”
She winked, and before his hand had a chance to remove her weapon from him, or for him to kick her away again, she pushed upward and sliced him all the way up and out of the shoulder.
God, did she love slayer strength.
Blood spattered his face, and droplets landed on her skin as well. She could suddenly feel the bruises from his kicks and punches forming and starting to heal at the same time. But she also saw the bottom of the cut she had given him, where her sword had originally sank in—that was beginning to heal as well.
“Sorry, Jesse,” she said, “this is where our dance must end.”
He winked, sinking to his knees, and touched his hand to his heart again. Her slice healed faster as he did so. Jesse was one powerful vamp for being so young.
“It will be a pleasure to die at the hands of a young woman blossoming into her own.”
Tuck knew what he was doing, why he wasn’t going to try and stop her from killing him. He wanted to die before turning Damned.
She raised her sword to his neck, the right side. “You were a good partner…for my first.”
“Glad to help.” A lighthearted smile formed on his very kissable mouth. “Don’t forget my friends,” he reminded her.
“Oh I won’t. I’ll be seeing them next, I promise,” she said. His hand came up and pulled her down by the tank top before she could take his head. He kissed her, and there was no way she couldn’t kiss back.