Bloodlust by Michelle Rowen

Nightshade, Book 2

Synopsis: One taste is all it takes…For those who feast on blood, Jillian Conrad is a fatal attraction. After being injected with a serum that made her blood both irresistible and deadly to vampires, she was used as a pawn to assassinate the vampire king. Now, the vampires want her eliminated. Hunted and unable to return to her old life, Jillian desperately seeks to prevent the poison in her veins from killing her. And she must find a way to help her dhampyr protector, Declan, whose exposure to the serum has split his personality into one part uncontrolled desire, and one part stone-cold killer. But an even greater danger is rising. The Amarantos-a secret society of vampires-are seeking the infant daughter of the slain king to complete their quest for true immortality. And if they succeed, no one, living or undead, will escape the darkness.

Our review: After the end of the first book I was really curious to see what the second volume would reveal. Besides being also the last book in the series, I was a little anxious to see how events would end.
We thus find our two heroes on the road; Declan tries to manage as best as he can now that he lives his life outside the laboratory. Jillian is at the gates of death after the release of the poison in her organism. She tries to not understand the evolution of the murderous impulses of her friend and does everything to keep him with her for fear that he would go away. I thought she was pretty naive in this volume compared to what is happening to her and him. We know she loves Declan, but she does not care for her own safety. Her judgment is somewhat misleading when it comes to the subject. Of course there will also be the return of Matthias greatly weakened after the end of the first volume and he is determined to have his daughter back whatever the cost. Of course, Declan immediately distrusts him while Jillian will do anything to help him. But there is even more, now Kristoff is about to wake up and shake up the lives of everyone.

I enjoyed this new novel, but it is true that I could not have the patience shown by Jillian over Declan. Even if it’s a character I really like, I liked a lot more Matthias and I really wanted to see something between them. Well, I admit that it’s nice to have for once a heroine determined and safe in her feelings, it’s so rare! Our dhampir now realizes his actual condition and the harm he can do now that no serum can control him and his emotions. The story and plot are in any case very interesting and I was eager to meet Kristoff after hearing so much about him in the first volume. He is quite different from what I imagined and at the same time under his calm exterior, he builds many tactics that we discover in the course of the story. We learn many things from their past and it was interesting to understand what had happened.

This is a good novel and the rhythm is maintained throughout the chapters. I was quite surprised by the revelations at the end of the novel and how the events were resolved. I liked the opening that is left and it is true that I would have loved to explore more stories featuring our three heroes. It was a nice little series that I recommend to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy books.


Bloodlust is the second installment and the last book of the Nightshade series. Needless to say that I was eager to read it to finally know what would happen next in this amazing story. After a first book full of action and surprises of all kinds, I was curious to find out what Michelle Rowen had planned for her heroine, Jillian.
So we find Jill and Declan, both on the lam. Two weeks have passed since the poisonous serum was injected into Jill’s neck. After all of the things that happened in the previous book, we might think that our heroine had a brief moment of respite but it is not the case! Her condition worsens and the poison can kill her at any time. Then, she finds Noah, the former Carson’s assistant in a bar and instead of bringing her good news about the poison flowing through her veins, he arrives with… Matthias. Although he is very weak, Matthias is determined to get his daughter back but there is another problem: Kristoff, the former king, is about to be released, which is a very very bad thing. And as if all this was not enough, Jill will also have to deal with Declan who has become a time bomb since his adoptive father administered to him a powerful serum.   
This book is in the same vein as the previous one. With Bloodlust, Michelle Rowen continues to captivate us by providing a thrilling sequel with once again, plenty of action and a multitude of twists and turns. Overall I liked it even though I admit I was a little disappointed by Jillian and Declan. I found them nice in book 1, but here both annoyed me. 
I was not as charmed by Declan as I was in the previous book. On the contrary, his attitude leaves a lot to be desired and frankly at times I wondered what Jill could see in him. The serum that has been injected to him seems to be inefficient because instead of having a Declan totally deprived of his emotions, we end up with Declan more and more unstable and violent. He becomes dangerous for Jill and the others, which creates a lot of tension between him and our heroin. Moreover, speaking of Jill, I must say that her optimism exacerbated left me perplexed. I thought she was doing too much. I didn’t appreciated either the fact that Jill uses Declan’s lack of emotions as an excuse to justify his bad actions. She tends to overlook and forgive him too easily and refuses to consider that he could become a monster which is quite surprising because he is about to explode. 
Well, I do not know. I think that from the beginning, I had a preference for Matthias and the fact of seeing Declan behave like that led me to appreciate the vampire king even more. In fact I was very happy to see this character again! We learn a lot of things about him and his past, but I would have loved him to be more present. He is so fascinating! After all, he does everything he can to help Jill and yet, she is still suspicious towards him. In this volume we also meet Kristoff, who was quite interesting and there is also Noah, already met in book 1 and I must admit that I was extremely pleased to see him too. 
There’s so much revelations in this book, that’s incredible! At no time I have seen them come and I kept wondering how our heroes were going to do to extricate themselves from this situation. I’m still a little disappointed by the choice of the heroine and the way things ended. I would have preferred a different ending than this one, too bad. Although the story didn’t end as I would have liked, it’s very satisfying though and I really enjoyed reading this series. Of course I wish it lasts a little longer, and see all these characters in new adventures but who knows, the end is open, maybe one day Michelle Rowen will go back to this series, as she recently did for Sarah Dearly

Nightshade by Michelle Rowen

Nightshade, Book 1

Synopsis: Jillian Conrad never believed in vampires-until she was unwillingly injected with a serum that was supposed to act as a deadly poison to them. Now, tormented half-vampire Declan Reese wants her blood to destroy the undead kingdom. Unfortunately, the serum has also made her blood irresistible to all vampires-including Declan, whose desire for Jillian is more than mere hunger.

Review: I knew Michelle Rowen by her Sarah Dearly series but it is true that this novel is completely different from what I’ve read before. We need to not expect something turned to the the chick-lit genre but more turned to the urban fantasy one. And what a pleasure, the author knows how to play with both kinds without any problem.

Jillian is a young woman who has never asked something to anyone but her life is turned upside down in two seconds …. The time that a scientific needs to held her in hostage and to inject her a product that seems to interest a lot of people but that especially makes her very ill. She is immediately taken in a world where vampires are common and where she could have a prominent place now. Taken to a secret location, kidnapped by a cold-blooded killer named Declan, she had to face a whole new perspective. But it all starts now, and there is no turning back. It could be possible that the product she has in her body, has turned her forever.

I really enjoyed this novel, it was a real surprise. Jillian is a young woman we learn to know throughout the volume, and even if she is terrified of everything that happens, she remains courageous in all circumstances. She made me smile a lot at the beginning of the novel as she wanted many answers and only asked questions throughout her journey. I could quite put myself in her place and see me doing the same things. This is the kind of things I could do without a problem. I was also very impressed by the self-control of Declan in these moments. Yes because he needed it! But whatever happens, even if we kidnaps her, scare her, mistreat her, our young heroine always tries to find a solution to get out. Declan is also a character that I was immediately intrigued with. We try to find out what he is and how he can endure this lonely life. I didn’t like him at first, even hate him but our heart softens when we understand who he really is and why he is like that.

It was a very good novel, and I’m pretty sad that there are only two of them. However, I am curious to read more now to see what happens to our heroes because I feel it will really not be easy for them. We learn a lot of information in this first volume and I can’t wait to find out more.  

I love Michelle Rowen’s writing style! I really liked her Sarah Dearly series and her new YA novel Dark Kiss was also a pleasant surprise. I was therefore eager to read the Nightshade series. 
After going to buy the coffee for her coworkers in the nearest Starbucks, Jillian Conrad (or Jill) was far from suspecting that she would spend the worst day of her life. Indeed, just back from her coffee break, she is taken in hostage by a scientist who threatens her with a syringe and finally injects the mysterious substance in her neck. Immediately, a terrible pain invades her. Then she’s kidnapped by Declan, a cold-blooded killer with a scary look. 
So we follow these two characters during their infernal road trip. The universe created by Michelle Rowen is original and particularly successful. We discover a world where vampires – who are far from being angels – confront themselves and where chilling scientific experiments are common. This is a book full of action. Moreover we go from one surprise to another. Revelations and twists are numerous here and we are completely caught up in the plot. We don’t really have time to get bored. I must admit that I was surprised by the turn of events in the last third of the novel (from Chapter 18 to the end). It becomes completely crazy. The malfeasance of some secondary characters such as Dr. Gray or Carson did not really surprise me, however I was surprised by the Matthias’ attitude, who was supposed to be evil incarnate! I hope we see him again later because he is really fascinating. 
Regarding the main characters, I loved Jill. She is not a heroine with super powers, just a temporary office worker who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. An ordinary young woman whose circumstances have made her extraordinary. She is very brave despite everything that happens to her. I appreciated her strength of character. Certainly she is scared, not to mention the fact that she feels worse and worse because of the poison flowing through her veins, but she still hopes to get out of this alive. Then she tries to understand what is happening. She asks a lot of questions to everyone and does not hesitate to push Declan to his limits for answers, something that is really not easy because he is very intimidating. Speaking of Declan, then, I must say I was totally surprised by his appearance! Indeed, Declan has only one eye, his face and his body are covered with scars. It is true that Urban Fantasy heroes do not always have a perfect body but to this point it’s rare. To this we must add his cold and jaded temperament which makes him quite scary and even repulsive. And yet we fall under his spell, especially when we understand what made him to be like that. The author has managed to make of this character initially unattractive an engaging and beautiful man. It’s like The Beauty and the Beast. 
In short, you understand, I loved this book! It’s unfortunate that the series consists of only two volumes, we would have liked there to be more! Anyway, I am now looking forward to read the sequel.