Released: August 2005
Shanna's life has taken a turn for the worse. The Russian mafia is after her, so she's been put in the Witness Protection Program, and now works as a dentist under an assumed name. Problem is, ever since she saw her friend shot and killed in front of her, she's become afraid of blood. Makes her job difficult, to say the least.
When a tall, dark and handsome stranger comes into her clinic needing his tooth reattached, she's not sure how she's going to pull it off. It becomes a moot point when the Russian mafia discovers where she is, and the stranger saves her.
Turns out his name is Roman, and he's the owner of Romatech, a company that manufactures synthetic blood. He's also a vampire, a fact he's trying very hard not to let Shanna find out about. But since he lost one of his fangs, he has to get it reattached before dawn, or else the hole will close and he'll be stuck with one fang for life, or undeath, as the case may be.
Once he realizes an old enemy of his is gunning for Shanna, he offers her protection, knowing it could start a war between the two vampire factions. Despite the risks, he can't help but be drawn to her. In her, he sees a kindred spirit, one who can possibly understand the suffering he's gone through.
All he has to do is keep her from finding out he's a vampire.
This is my second time reading this book. The first time, I actually read the series out of order. I started with book 2, then went back to this one. This is a good start to the series, laying out a world where there are two vampire factions, the good guys and the bad guys. The good guys drink blood from bottles and keep humanity safe. The bad guys think that people are cattle, and are only good for a meal and a lay. The two factions have been at odds for years, and it looks like a war is on the horizon.
In the middle of this we start the series, following Shanna, a woman who ratted out the Russian mafia and had to go into hiding because of it. She doesn't realize the head assassin after her is the leader of the bad vampires, and must rely on Roman's help to keep her safe.
It's a good start to the series, with excellent world building, and the ideas are great. For instance, Roman has developed a drink for vampires called Chocolood, which is a blend of blood and chocolate. Genius.
Carla gives this book a