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. 

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