Temptation Calls (The Calling)
Book three has just secured my devotion to the series. While I was enjoying each book, I now feel a sense of attachment to the characters, and love the growth progression of the relationships. Book three, again, allows us to explore a new potential couple, and the threats that they have to face. We are also introduced to new characters, expanding Ryder & Diana’s world, and growing our tight knit group.
The book is about a beautiful female vampire (Samantha Turner) who, as a human, suffered terrible abuse at the hands of her late husband, and then again, by the male vampire who turned her. She mistrusts most men, and refuses to be touched or allow anyone into her heart. Over time, surrounded by only a few friends, she has become strong and independent, and has embraced her vampire powers, while continuing to guard her humanity. She has opened a safe home for abused women and their children, and her neighbors suspect that the positive change in their neighborhood is due to her presence. Her secret is closely guarded and only known by one human male (remember the Santero from the last book)? She is essentially, a vigilante, keeping watch over the good people of her community.
After a tragedy occurs in her neighborhood, she is approached by Diana’s colleague (NYPD detective Peter Daly). He is investigating the crime, and while intrigued by her beauty, and haunted by the sadness in her eyes.
She gazed at him over her shoulder and he felt as if he’d been kicked in the gut. There was so much pain, so much fear and anguish in her gaze she couldn’t hide it.
He suspects she witnessed more then she is letting on. He persists in interrogating her, and eventually, the spark of attraction kicks in and their compassionate friendship evolves into something deeper.
A few of her vampire friends have suddenly gone ”missing”, and Samantha realizes she is in over her head, and she needs Peter’s help. While she doesn’t tell him exactly what the circumstances of her situation entail (he still doesn’t know her secret), Peter realizes something is up, and decides Diana should be brought in to help too.
They’d worked together on two different cases now and in both instances, he sensed there was something not quite normal with Diana’s lover, Ryder, and their friends. Diana had never confided in him, but when she’d asked Peter for help during her last case, he hadn’t been reluctant to do what she’d asked. Just as he knew that if he called, Diana would come without hesitation. Maybe it was time to call in his marker.
“I have a friend, I think she could help us because…There’s something different about her as well.”
When Diana (and Ryder) show up, the fun really picks up (beginning with Samantha and Ryder’s initial encounter-ACK! talk about letting the cat out of the bag!)
While the investigation takes place, Ryder, suddenly surrounded by members of his own species, realizes he has much to learn about his powers, vampire rules, and how a chosen human can greatly benefit from some of their powers. Samantha let’s him and his humans in on some precious information…
“And their keepers? What do they do to their keepers?” Melissa asked.
“A different kind of bite, administered as needed.” She watched as puzzled looks crossed the faces of both her companions.
“As needed?” Sebastian echoed at the same time, that Melissa said, “Could you explain the ‘as needed’ part?”
With a shrug, she said, “The more frequent the bite, the less the keeper ages.”
Once again, an awkward silence greeted her words, until Melissa made a little circular motion with one finger and said, “So a bite a day-”
“Keeps the Reaper away,” Sebastian added.
Samantha couldn’t contain a chuckle. “I guess that’s about as simple an explanation as possible.”
The romance, of course is incredibly touching and sweet.
With a shrug, she said, “It’s inevitable. You’re human, and I’m-”
“A beautiful woman, although I won’t hold that against you. But I would like to hold you, even though that seems crazy. Can we start that way? Just holding? Until we both figure out what we want?” His voice was expectant, boyishly trusting. It was that Boy Scout sincerity that lessened her resistance. With a nod, she moved until she was sitting beside him, his good arm wrapped around her shoulder, pulling her tight into his side.
But it is the interactions between all of the characters, in this book, and Ryder’s own growth in his vampire status that kept this story grounded, humorous, and almost, “believable”, if you will.
This is a series that wakes me up in the middle of the night just to continue reading it. While I rarely start a new book during a work week morning, (I find it difficult to properly get started in a book, when my reading time is limited) this morning, I couldn’t help myself, and immediately started book four. I was delighted to realize it was focused on Ryder and Diana again, and am anxious to get back to them now (poor things, hitting a rough spot in their love affair….they are in sore need of a hug!).