Book three of Vampire Hunger
Trained to be courtesan for the vampire elite, Lucy Drake is finally free…and dying from the effects of being a blood slave. The vampire responsible continues to collect humans, discarding them at will. Vowing revenge, Lucy is determined to see him meet his end before she meets hers.
A mercenary by trade, battle-scarred vampire Victor Collins usually refuses to work with humans. But when Lucy approaches him for help, his attraction to her is more than he's able to resist. He agrees to help her with her mission—for a price that has nothing to do with money. And he must stop her from discovering his own dangerous duty…
As Victor teaches Lucy to take out her enemy, their heated training sessions lead to passionate exchanges far beyond their original deal. But with threats from vampires, werewolves and Lucy's mysterious illness closing in, their tenuous bargain and tumultuous affair is running out of time…and the cost could be Lucy's life and war among all supernatural kind.
Carney deserves kudos for tweaking romance tropes in the third of her Vampire Hunger erotic paranormal series (after Hunger Revealed), but falls short in the execution. Like a sweet young thing in old westerns, Lucy Drake tries to hire a gunslinger to kill the powerful man who did her family wrong. However, the former blood slave cannot convince Victor Collins, the mercenary vampire with a half-paralyzed face (a novel riff off Beauty and the Beast), to kill the vampire councilman who is responsible for her sister's death, and who's planning her own imminent one. Victor later agrees to train her to kill the councilman herself in return for sexual favors, and they grudgingly fall in love, although his big secret (involving a pack of lycans) may destroy any hope they have together. The book's wry humor serves it well, and the story of two damaged souls finding love is sweet, but Victor's overly vague backstory is a problem, as is the epilogue, which comes of out nowhere.