The daughter of a Las Vegas hustler, Raven Sabatier grew up trusting nothing and no one—she doesn’t even trust herself to stay in one place for longer than a minute. When her quest to find out the secrets of her past leads her to the mountains of North Carolina, she’s set on a collision course with the one man she thought she’d never see again.
In Appalachia consulting on an archeological dig, Anthropologist Dr. Drew Deveraux comes face to face with the indomitable beauty who broke into his apartment a year ago, tilting his carefully cultivated world on its axis.
Engaged in a fight with their demons, both imagined and real, the last thing either of them expected to find was love. Together, they must unravel the mystery of Raven’s past and her connection with an ancient race of witches, in order to save their future—and all of the souls hanging in the balance.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I was on twitter chortling with joy one afternoon because my sister gave me carte blanche to buy books for her kindle using her account. When I mentioned my reason for happiness and that I had to make sure I wasn’t missing anything, Lillie_80 who among her many other book related things, reviews for Romance Reader at Heart Novel Thoughts & Book Talk started mentioning titles she thought I should include. One of them was Fire on the Island Book 1 of the Vigilati series. I took a look at it and after reading the blurb I added it to my wishlist. As a result when we received a request to consider Blood in the Valley I eagerly accepted.
I did not have a chance to read Fire on the Island first but Hogan did a good job of providing back-story throughout Blood in the Valley that I was able to pick up the gist of the paranormal thread rather easily. The world that Hogan has created is fascinating. I liked the inclusion of magic, shape-shifters, ancient languages, and studious professors who were not afraid to get dirty. Hogan’s female characters also added a lot of depth and strength to the story and therefore increased my enjoyment.
Raven was a lot of fun to read. She trusted no one and was used to running a con to achieve her ends. Even her day job involved using skills she learned to break the law not uphold it. Raven’s habits served her well with most people she encountered her habits served her well but when she became involved with the Vigilati she had to learn to trust someone or risk losing everything she ever cared about. I loved her attitude, how she kept starting to run but never quit on a job. I also enjoyed how she kept trying to shake Drew’s composure but only succeeded when she wasn’t trying. I also enjoyed her stubbornness and loyalty towards those she felt deserved it.
Drew was also a lot of fun. He had some unexpected depths that reminded me a bit of Indiana Jones. His ability to go from eminent professor/scholar to down and dirty or sulking because someone figured out a puzzle before he did was very amusing. I loved his dedication to his friends and how determined he was to protect not just them but everyone he was around. One of the other things I liked about his character is that he didn’t play the expert at fighting/brawling and instead provided some of the brains of the group. I thought that was a pleasant change from the majority of what I read.
While I enjoyed reading Blood in the Valley I do have some lingering questions that might have been answered in Fire in the Valley or might not be answered until the next installment. I am very curious about the shape-shifters, this third family of ancient witches, and what the final battle/showdown will be like. Based on what I saw in Blood in the Valley it is going to require the assistance of the previous heroes and heroines.
I warned Lillie today that I was blaming her for my new series addiction. I will be going back to get and enjoy Fire on the Island while I wait for the next installment. Hogan has writing a very satisfying second book in the Vigilati series and created a world that captivated me. I found myself resenting every interruption while I was reading because I wanted to see what was going to happen next, with the romantic developments, the archeological dig, and the paranormal aspects. Hogan struck a wonderful balance between the different elements that satisfied both my romance reader and my paranormal/fantasy reader. Thank you Lillie for your twitter recommendation.
I give Blood in the Valley a B+