Published by Imajinn Books on April 15th 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Malibu, California-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.
Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he'd give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it's too late.
Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who's tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn's happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.
Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.
Raphael is the debut book in the Vampires of America series by D.B Reynolds, which I found to be a enjoyable read. Raphael, the hero, is somewhat of a tough-nut character. He’s a vampire, one of the powerful Lords, and he lives by their brutal codes without apology. He enforces those codes amongst his people and failure is not acceptable to him, and let me say, he’s one scary dude if you cross him. I think it was his unreservedness in that aspect that sometimes made him not unlikeable, but a character that has many dynamics to him. We see that in a scene at the beginning of the novel, and you wonder what type of characteristics will show up later.
The heroinem Cyn, is a former cop now turned Private Investigator, who caters to the wives or/and husbands of cheating spouses. She also has vampire clients thrown her way in gratitude for saving a vampire who was to be killed. While she knows about the vampire world, she doesn’t want to get involved in the politics and games that are frequently played amongst them.
Cyn has a tough demeanour; she has learnt from an early age to look out for herself and not depend on anyone else. She’s not one of those ball-busters though–the ones that that make you think, oh crikey! We know and see her vulnerability and what makes her tick that makes her very likeable. She’s also confident in her sexuality. She’s not looking for emotional love or commitment. She can accept no-strings sex for what it is and enjoys it.
Raphael is a strong debut I believe. The writing flows wonderfully and Reynolds brings that unique touch that is Hollywood to the story. It has a strong core of suspense mingled with the romance. Cyn is part intrigued by Raphael and the other half is simply terrified. When Cyn’s investigation digs deeper into the disappearance of Alexandra, and the intrigue spirals, we see Cyn in conflict–trying to understand and accept the nature of Raphael and deal with the lust that always springs up whenever they meet. Their relationship has a special dance throughout the book and Raphael’s possessive and protective instincts rears their heads when Cyn gets injured, and he comes to realise she is someone very special. Cyn does a retreating dance with Raphael, one that leaves her confused but wanting him more each time she sees him.
The investigation of the disappearance of Alexandra wraps up neatly, but the relationship between Cyn and Raphael is very much left open, and left unanswered until the new book Jabril is released which is a continuation of the lovers.