Loved by the First (Book 2) by C.F. Rabbiosi

Summary

Raina’s Sire has released her to be with her human love. Finally.
If only her hunger for blood wasn’t getting out of control and endangering him.
If only the first vampire and most dangerous being on earth wasn’t pursuing her for his torturous pleasure.

If only she could stay.

She travels across the world to escape him, leaving everything she loves behind. In Tombstone, “The Silver City Strangler” has been making his own living dead girls- using and abusing them before leaving their naked bodies to the desert sun. Finding him, and killing him most terribly will ease the beast inside the beautiful new vampire, while protecting her human soul. But The First has found her.

He plans to use her to hurt his enemy but never thought his stone heart would come alive again.

In her.

Characters

Raina’s still a bit of a mess but she isn’t taking this book laying down…mostly. She doesn’t always make the best choices but at least she is making choices and being her own woman. The biggest choice being that she must sever contact with those she knows to and to hunt killers to make up for what she is. Marcus is in this book but much less. There are a few chapters from Varo’s point of view and one from The Silver City Strangler’s point of view. Overall these dark characters are back with a few new characters in addition to Varo – such as new friends Kyle and Phoenix.

Plot

This book also has a few plots, but this time the author did a better job of making them all relevant in one capacity or another. The most dominating plots is Varo and the second is Raina hunting The Silver City Strangler. I figured out who the strangler was pretty quickly but I won’t tell you how I figured it out so early on. Instead I’ll say if it wasn’t for me reading between the lines early on, I would have been ping-ponging my suspicions between a few characters. If you like a little mystery in your books – this one was well done!

The pacing is pretty fast, almost too fast, to the point that it was jarring in a few areas. I was a little lost a few times because I would think they were in one person’s room but then suddenly they are in another place entirely and I missed the transition. The scenes that I could connect with were great! Dark to be sure, but I could almost see Raina fighting or dancing or…another ‘f’ work. The ending is what had me scratching my head the most because so much happened in a very short period. In the end it felt rushed, as though the author wanted to finish it and make sure it was set up for a third book. I did like the ending but it could have been spread out a little to expand on what was happening.

Overall

I’m still trying to process everything that happened in this book. Part of the reason I devoured the last 20% in one sitting and then needed to take a few days to decide how I felt about it. I’ll start off by saying that this book is much darker and more deprived then the first book. Not only are you twisting with the mystery but this book is just straight up twisted! There was one part was I was like “No, the author isn’t going to let that happen – it is too messed up.” Boy was I wrong! Positively shocking!

That being said, I did have a few things I didn’t like. There were a lot of historical inaccuracies and more then a few items a questioned. For example “slumber parties” and knowing was a microscope slide is before the 1900s. They had microscopes but they called them “sliders” in that era and were much different then what we know today. Plus I questioned Raina knowing what they were at all. Another issue was the types of drinks and how they ordered them. I know at least one of them was for a specific scene but ordering a drink “on the rocks” is a little too modern, plus ordering a rum and coke or long island iced tea. Rum and coke is possible but I questioned it because Coca Cola wasn’t invented until 3 years prior to the book’s time period and it was used as a medicine since it contained cocaine.

As a side note: this book needs a new cover. This cover just doesn’t do the book justice!

Rating

3.5 Stars (rounded down on Goodreads and up on Amazon)

In the end this book was better then the first in many respects! Raina was a fantastic character and I felt like the book followed her dark turn. There was an introspective effect to what was happening to Raina that made me really connect with her. Not  be able to relate to her but for sure ask that question – what would I do if this was me? I’d read the next book! If you like dark (and I mean DARK) vampire books – pick this up!

I received this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

 

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Loved by a Killer by C.F. Rabbiosi

Summary

Raina loved performing upon the London stage, but one night she found herself dancing for only HIM. She froze, and looked to the balcony where the gaslights flickered dimly over his shadowy form. If only she had known that this beautiful monster would soon rip her away from everything in the world SHE EVER LOVED, perhaps she wouldn’t have lingered so long.

Lord Marcus Loxley loved being a blood thirsty predator, but one night his gallivanting brought him to his knees in front of HER. If only he had known what would happen when she danced, that she would remind him of someone who was everything in the world HE EVER LOVED, perhaps he would have turned away.

As he drags her deeper and deeper into his depraved world of torture and violence, she begins fighting her own darkness that threatens to consume her everyday. And oh, how it begs to be released. And though she knows it’s wrong, she desires her captor anyway.

Until she begins falling for someone else…

Meanwhile, prostitutes are being butchered in the streets and she begins to fear: Is her dark lover, the one she is bound to, The Ripper?

With an accurate account of the creepy, gaslit times of London and real Jack the Ripper crime scenes, LOVED BY A KILLER is an exciting read from start to finish. Warning: Hot sexual content and graphic gore. Language.

Characters

There are really two main characters: Raina and Marcus. Marcus is exactly what he is, without remorse, though he does try to change. He is a very depraved individual but that is somewhat to be expected from a very old vampire. I appreciated the complexity of the characters. Raina at times felt like a leaf on the wind. Being pulled this way and that until closer to the end where she takes a stab at making her own happiness.

There were lots of other POVs throughout the book, which was very confusing sometimes because they just changed suddenly. It was very confusing at times because I’d think I was following one character but then suddenly it is another character’s POV. The worse was between Marcus and Raina.

Plot

This book is filled with fascinating plot lines. The big problem was there were too many of them – which I normally like but not all of them felt necessary in this instance. They might be necessary later in the series but some of them wrapped up and kind of felt like they didn’t fit the rest of the story. That being said there were some awesomely described macabre scenes that were super epic. There is the main plot of Marcus wanting to possess Raina, Jack the Ripper, and all of his past coming back to haunt him.

Furthermore there were historical inaccuracies and verbiage that took me out of the era of the book. A ripe example is near the end she takes off her dress by using a zipper. Problem is the zipper wasn’t used widely in clothes until after the 1900s, but Jack the Ripper terrorized London in 1888.

Overall

I wasn’t sure if I liked this book. I really liked Raina and I was sucked in at the beginning but my interest quickly waned. This was partially because I found myself disliking both Marcus and Raina (although I warmed up to her closer to the end but never fully liked her again). I also felt some of the gore and scenes were unnecessary – like repeatedly making a point that was well done the first time. In the end the middle part of the book felt long. However, the sudden and unexpected change at the end was very rewarding.

Rating

3 Stars

Loved the beginning and loved the ending, but struggled through the middle. This book has a lot to offer, but needs some work and is not for the faint of heart. This is dark, but entertaining.

I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.