Dead women are showing up in the desert east of San Diego, and no one understands why. When the story comes to the attention of reporter Natalie Ellis, she can’t help but make comparisons to tragic deaths she’d investigated years ago. Are these women the victims of a serial killer, or something even more insidious?
Bodies may be piling up in his sire’s territory, but water vampire and feared enforcer Baojia is stuck entertaining the rich and clueless at a club in San Diego. He’s taken his exile with all the grace he could muster, but his patience is starting to thin.
Sparks fly when mortal and immortal are thrown together, and Natalie comes face to face with a reality that was lurking in the corners of her life. Pursuing the truth could cost Baojia everything, including the mortal woman who has earned his grudging respect.
Blood and Sand is the second novel in the expanded Elemental World series.
One word: Ireadthisintwosittingsandcan’tcrappin’believehowdamngoodthisbookis! Seriously, that’s just one word and every bit of it is true 🙂 Yet again, Elizabeth Hunter comes out swinging and delivers yet another fantastic Elemental World read.
Here’s the skinny: Baojia is still stuck in San Diego continuing to serve out the “sentence” meted out by his “father” Don Ernesto Alvaraz for “allowing” Beatrice de Novo (Don Ernesto’s great grand-daughter and Gio’s wife) to be hurt. To say Baojia’s skills are being wasted doesn’t even come close and he is bored with life in oblivion. In fact, the days (or rather nights J) have gotten so mind-numbingly boring that Baojia is considering taking his life in his hands and presenting himself to Don Ernesto to ask for a reduced sentence. Lucky for Baojia, the boredom is about to be lifted and the sweet release comes in the form of a saucy and sexy little redhead by the name of Natalie Ellis.
Here’s the skinny: Natalie Ellis is a no-nonsense kind of girl with a rabid need for the truth and very little sense of self-preservation. Natalie is an investigative reporter and once she has her sights set on a story there is nothing that is going to stop her from uncovering and reporting the truth. The night she walks into Baojia’s club and starts asking questions alters the course of not only Natalie’s life but that of Baojia’s as well.
Here’s the skinny: There are girls dying in the desert at an alarming rate and no one seems to know how they died or who is leaving the victims. Typical of Natalie, she begins poking around and asking questions that will get her answers just as fast as they will get her dead. In order to protect Natalie, Baojia takes her under his personal protection and makes his way to Don Ernesto to discuss the little murder by vampire problem they seem to be having in their territory. All kinds of hell breaks loose and Baojia and Natalie find themselves in the middle of a vampire shit-storm they are hoping can be calmed before they end up dead.
As with all of Elizabeth Hunter’s books, I fell into Blood and Sand like I fall into step with my husband of fifteen years. Everything is comfortable, interesting, suspenseful, a bit naughty, and just flat-out good! Natalie is smart, funny and like a dog with a bone where her need for answers is concerned while Baojia is tall, dark, fangy, and hot and only interested in keeping the fiery redhead safe and by his side! Along with these two are some old friends including Gio and B, Dez and Matt, Carwyn and Brigid and, Ben and Tenzin. Have I mentioned how much I LOVE TENZIN??? These characters are like old friends for me and I am so glad to see how large a role they are playing in the expanded version of Hunter’s Elemental World. Furthermore, not only does Blood and Sand have its own specific plot but its plot ties into the larger series plot about Elixir and how the drug is destroying both humans and vampires. Everything comes together flawlessly for a fast-paced, can’t put this book down read!
The Bottom Line: I have no idea (nor do I care to know!) how Elizabeth Hunter works her magic but with every new book I am completely taken in and consumed by what she has written. Blood and Sand hits all the pertinent points for me: interesting short-term plot (check); the long-term plot line is advanced (check); solid, dependable, familiar and fun characters whom I love (check) and; excellent, witty and fun dialogue which carries the story (check). I know I am gushing but this is a series and author I am passionate about and highly, highly recommend this book (and every other Elemental book by Hunter) to all fans of the paranormal, mystery, suspense and romance. It’s all here for every NA+ reader.