Candace Steele carries a serious grudge against vampires. An undercover agent in a Las Vegas casino, her job is to provide guests security against vampires. It’s a job she enjoys, seducing them and, at the critical moment, driving a stake through their hearts.
It all stems back to the relationship that almost killed her. Ash, an incredibly sexy vampire, was the love of her life until the night a moment of passion almost led to her death. Not only did the incident leave her scarred emotionally; she is now able to sense vampires when they are near.
Her latest assignment is providing personal security for Temptation McCoy, the hot singer headlining at the casino. At the welcome party, Candace feels the cold, tingling sensation that means a vampire is part of the young diva’s entourage. To make matters worse, Ash is suddenly back in town, and Candace finds she isn’t as resistant to him as she had hoped.
Passionate Thirst is the first of Cameron Dean’s Candace Steel Vampire Killer trilogy. A number of publishers have started publishing new series “back-to-back” (one a month), presumably since readers are impatient for subsequent volumes and to take advantage of the voracious appetite readers of paranormal romances have for the genre. (Keri Arthur’s debut series, “Riley Jensen, Guardian,” is also being published this way beginning in January 2007.) The other two installments in Dean’s trilogy, Luscious Craving and Eternal Hunger, were published in December and January of 2006 respectively.
Candace Steel is a delightful heroine: she has a troubled fashion sense, she’s grumpy, she can kick serious vampire butt, and she’s still in love with her ex – even though she has something special going with Detective Carl Hagen. Essentially she’s flawed yet lovable, and readers will quickly be rooting for her to win.
Readers expecting steamy scenes á la Laurell K. Hamilton should look elsewhere. Passionate Thirst balances sex scenes with action and plot development, while never quite delivering as much “steam” as the cover suggests. Dean has provided an interesting introduction to her trilogy, and it will be exciting to see how the series develops over the next two volumes.