I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Awakened by Virna DePaul
Series: Belladonna Agency #2
Published by Bantam on July 1st 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Suspense
Reviewed by Jo
Perfect for fans of J. R. Ward, Nalini Singh, and Lara Adrian, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Virna DePaul’s thrilling series of paranormal romances invites readers into a seductive and dangerous world where vampires secretly exist among the general population, while the FBI tries to keep the Rogues among them from preying on humans—for killing, for turning, for pleasure. Ex-soldier Barrett Miles had no idea that vampires were real—until Belladonna recruits her to serve as a covert agent and infiltrate a murderous sex ring run by the most depraved of immortals, those who feed on the purity and blood of innocents. Their latest victim: a young girl whom Barrett promised to protect. She will be sold—unless Barrett can find her first. Forced to team up with her former lover, Nick Maltese, an undercover sniper, Barrett is caught between fulfilling her personal mission and shielding her heart from the man who betrayed her. Nick’s hunting a new breed of vampires and harboring a terrible secret when Barrett finds him. Soon a seething underworld of strange desires threatens to engulf them all. Can he save the girl and reclaim Barrett’s heart? Nick knows he has only one chance to prove himself to her as the hunt begins—and their love forces them to embrace the darkest places in their souls.
Barrett Miles is an ex-soldier who now works for the Belladonna Agency, a super-secret agency who is dealing with both rogue vampires and other vampires who believe that humans are just for food and profit. Barrett started out on a mission to break down a ring of human kidnappers and stumbled across the worst type of human trafficking and to make it worse, this was very, very personal. Barrett will do anything to save the young girl she just saw online on a vampire blood website.
Nick Maltese is also an ex-soldier who working as an undercover sniper and a former lover of Barrett’s. When she shows up out of the blue and requests Nick’s help, he has a ton of questions and a ton of guilt concerning what happened at the end of their time together. But he wasn’t about to tell Barrett no, after all he still loved her.
Barrett and Nick begin working as a team, even though Nick also had his own mission concerning rogue vampires. When the various threads began to show that maybe, just maybe their missions might merge together in certain aspects, the danger becomes worse than it was to begin with. Nick and Barrett have pinpointed a new blood club that is about to open as being a heck of a lot more than that and its owner has a lot to answer for. The grand opening of the club is about to happen and Nick and Barrett plan on making it an opening no one will ever forget in the vampire world. Help comes from very unexpected corners as does the danger – when the final battle is over just who is going to come away with a future and who is going down in flames?
Two stubborn ex-soldiers and lovers come back together to defeat a vampire threat to humanity in Awakened. Nick and Barrett have a lot to get past before they will have a chance to see if this time their love will have a chance at a future. There were several times I wondered if Barrett and Nick would come out together as the danger came closer and the pressure to succeed more intense. I could feel the desperation that Barrett felt at not fulfilling a promise she made and I could also feel Nick’s determination to keep Barrett safe – even if the payment for that was to lose her. However, both of these lovers had a bedrock of strength and trust that overcame even the truth on Nick’s actions to keep Barrett safe while they were both still in the service. The suspense had me page flipping while I was cheering on Nick and Barrett as their passion surged forward. Awakened is full of suspense, passion and enough danger to keep you glued to the pages until you learn just who comes out okay and who is behind the various threads and are paying for it.