Book: First Blood
Story: Russian Roulette
Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: Related to Vegas Vampires Series
Category: Paranormal Romance
Sasha Chechikov is an ex vampire slayer turned vampire. After becoming a vampire the slayers that she was once a part of now want her dead. Attempting to escape those slayers, she leaves Vegas behind and heads to New Orleans in hopes starting over. Little did Sasha know that her trusted friend, Ivan, had other plans for her. He gives Sasha up to the vampire Cassandra who plans to turn Sasha over to the slayers that are hunting her.
Alistair Kirk hears about a woman being held captive in his ex wife's home and against his better judgement, he goes to rescue the damsel. Only Sasha is not as easy to save as he thought she would be. She fights him tooth and nail from the moment he gets her free. Alistair is stalwart in his need to keep Sasha safe and not even Sasha's reluctance to allow him to help her will stop him.
Sasha has a lot of emotional wounds that are very raw after surviving an abusive marriage and being betrayed by her good friend who she thought she could trust. Because of this, Sasha is leery of men in general, and though she feels an attraction to Alistair and sees that he is a good guy, she refuses to let herself become vulnerable where he his concerned. But she can't deny that she needs Alistair's help. She is a new vampire and in a town she knows little about. Alistair knows the ins and outs of New Orleans vampire society and if she plans to stay undead, she'll need to align herself with him.
Together they work to keep Sasha safe and out of the hands of both the slayers and the vampires that want her, all the while falling for each other.
Russian Roulette was a good entry in the anthology. Being a new comer to this series, it was not hard to follow, always a plus. The characters, especially Sasha had depth and for a short story that is commendable. I wish I could say that this was an A+ read, but it wasn't. There were some misses along the way, the most notable of them was the ending. It felt detached from he rest of the story and very hokey. I was left shaking my head. Not a good way to close out a story.
But as far as an anthology entry goes, McCarthy's contribution was a worthy one. Had it not been for the along the way stumbles and the ending, I probably would have loved Russian Roulette. And while I'm not interested enough to read the back-list for the Vegas Vampires series, I am putting Erin McCarthy on my "authors to look out for" list. Grade B-.
Next up for review: Double the Bite by Chris Marie Green