Rating: 2.75 stars out of 5
South Side Chicago Detective Cullen Ryder lives for his job after a drunk driver killed his lover, leaving Ryder alone and grieving. In the past few weeks, the number of homicides has jumped dramatically. Someone is killing the homeless and prostitutes, leaving them drained of blood in the streets and alleys where they were found. The coroner laughingly suggests a vampire on the hunt but why are they drained of all their blood?
Vampire Ethan Harte has returned home to Chicago after the last city he visited got too hot to stay. Even in winter the poor seedy side of Chicago is full of victims for a hunting vampire. Than Ethan runs into his old high school friend, Cullen Ryder in a bar and things turn sexually and emotionally intense in just one night.
But Ryder is a Homicide Detective with 15 years of experience and he’s hunting a killer. A killer that just happens to be his old friend and newest love. Ethan knows it dangerous to stay in Chicago with Ryder on his trail but he wants just a little more time before he has to leave. If Ryder discovers who and what Ethan is, can their newfound love survive the discover and Ryder’s sense of duty?
I loved the premise of this story but found the author’s Night Fall lacking in quite a few ways. Cullen Ryder is the better of the two characters. He is a seasoned detective, still hurting over the death of his lover by a drunk driver. Byrnes gives this character a back history that rounds out his persona while letting us into his every day life to see the respect he has garnered as a detective on the force. Unfortunately as the story progresses the author seems to forget about the character she has created as Ryder changes and his character adjusts to accommodate her storyline. Furthermore, her vampire, Ethan Harte enjoys being a predator while giving lip service (however, briefly) to the moment he was changed. Statements from Ethan to Ryder like “This relationship is over when I say it is over”, and the unpleasant actions that follow serve to derail the story and any sort of romance the author had intended.
The ending was, in my opinion, so off putting that I have no intention of reading the followup story even though an excerpt is included at the end of Night Fall. Unless you are a diehard fan of jenna Byrnes or must read every vampire story that comes along, I would give this a miss and head over to the other Frostbite tales instead.
The Frostbite Collection includes:
Gravedigger (Frostbite #1) by Aurelia T. Evans
Night Fall (Frostbite #2) by Jenna Byrnes
Succulent Dark (Frostbite #3) by D.J. Manly
The Study of Blood in Winter (Frostbite #4) by Catalina Dudka