Publish Date: Out now
Reviewed by: E
How I got this book: ARC from the author
All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.
With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.
This blurb came from the author’s website.
I discovered this series a couple of years ago and raved about Don’t Bite the Messenger so much a fellow reader asked if I would write a review and I agreed. Several months later when Running in the Dark was coming out I grabbed an ARC and thoroughly enjoyed it as well. I was really looking forward to the third installment so I was pretty bummed when I found out it wasn’t contracted. Fast forward a couple of years and I learned Summers was publishing it herself **cue happy dance** so I very patiently (not really) waited for a copy.
I thought Syd and Mal had been put through the wringer in the last story yet in this particular installment I think they faced far more personal challenges and betrayals from unexpected areas. Vampire politics are certainly not for the faint at heart. After solving a serious issue for Master Bronson while he was dealing with the remnants of an uprising you would expect some sort of reward or at least a chance to live for themselves. Instead, Master Bronson decided to flex his muscles and remind everyone he was in charge yet he still needed Syd and Mal to “fix” things for him. So after assigning a task to Mal who could not refuse, he used Mal’s wellbeing to convince Syd to agree to gather some information for him and to leave Mal in the dark about her mission.
Master Bronson’s tasks really stretched Mal and Syd’s relationship while bringing the sheer ruthlessness of the vampire world to the forefront. The contrast between Syd and Mal’s interactions and what was expected between vampires and humans was striking. My heart just about broke each time Syd ran into the wall of expectations and had to deal with public changes in Mal’s behavior. At first, I thought she was just being insecure but in a later crucial scene I saw how Mal knew her better then she knew herself. I really enjoyed how Summers took what I was afraid meant a weakening of a strong character and really made it not just fit but make sense. Syd really went through a personal crucible thanks to Master Bronson and convoluted vampire politics but in the end she learned some of why she was a repeat target and how to use those same politics to her advantage.
Mal faced his own challenges with Master Bronson and his particular task. Especially when Syd’s task intersected with his and she ended up caught in the middle. Mal was in a precarious position because he wasn’t made by Master Bronson but required to serve him and he had demonstrated he was strong enough to hold Master Bronson’s territory during his absence so he was considered a potential threat as well as not having all of the same protections provided to direct progeny. My heart broke for him once or twice as well when he was trapped by vampire rules and could only hope Syd had a miracle under her sleeve. I really liked how he managed to find his way out of an impossible situation using those same rules and his faith in Syd.
I have enjoyed the entire series so far but I have to say Falling From the Light appeared to have the most at stake and was extremely intense. Several times I had to remind myself to breathe and when I finished reading I felt like I could finally relax and remember how to uncurl my fingers from my reader. This was certainly worth the wait and I am glad to hear Summers is planning on continuing this series. Syd and Mal’s adventures provide a neat twist on human/vampire romance. If you are interested in trying this series or in catching up I suggest you check out the giveaway Summers is sponsoring. You only have a few more days to enter.
I give Falling From the Light a B+