Back cover copy: He appears out of the dark desert night – a huge, dangerous stranger who sparks desire and fear in her like she’s never known. Josephine Elliot knows only that her captor’s name is Marcus Cage, and that he’s on the run. But who is chasing him, and why? Is Marcus protecting her by taking her hostage…or is he planning to use her to buy his own freedom? And why, above all, is she so inexorably drawn to him, body and soul?
Marcus is overwhelmed by his thirst for Josephine and instantly recognizes her as his soul mate. Desperate to evade enemies intent on destroying him and his kind, Marcus has no choice but to take Jo on the run. But when she unwittingly betrays him to his enemies, both are thrust into mortal danger. Can their newfound love survive her deceit and spare them a dark fate? Or will their insatiable desire burn for eternity?
First line: Two things pain can do for you: sharpen you up or dull you down.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2004; 325 pages; received through Book Mooch.
My thoughts: I read the first book in the series, I BURN FOR YOU, in August 2010. At that time I had really gotten into the whole vampire/paranormal genre, but other than the Anita Blake books, almost all of what I'd read had been lighter fare, chick lit type or bordering on chick lit. I BURN FOR YOU was a darker than I was used to and took a little bit for me to get into. The mythology behind the vamps in this world was also more convoluted and confusing than I was used to. I don’t really remember much about that first book now, but I did like it enough to search out the second book, though it then went into my huge TBR pile until now.
Fortunately, this second book can be read as a stand alone, and not remembering much about the first book didn’t affect my enjoyment of this one. I don’t know if that will apply to later books in the series, as the mythology behind the vamps was only briefly touched upon in this one and was not really integral to the storyline, and I didn’t experience the same slight confusion I felt with the first book.
Marcus Cage has escaped from a lab, where he had been held captive as a test subject. Jo Elliot is an empath, and after a plane crash that left her scarred and feeling guilty for not being able to rescue all her passengers, she is camping out in the desert in order to get away from everyone’s emotions and be alone. Running through the desert Marcus picks up on the connection between them and knows she is his destined mate. I’m not a fan of the destined mate genre. I’d rather see two characters meet, get to know each other and fall in love, not just meet and love each other instantly because they are fated to do so. I liked the fact that Jo, as a human, while certainly drawn to Marcus, does not recognize him as her soul mate, and in fact spends a lot of time scared and trying to figure out how to escape from him. For her the love did build up slowly over time, though granted it was over a short period of time.
For a good half of the book, Jo is definitely a prisoner, with Marcus occasionally tying her up to keep her in one place (not in a sexual way), and often using his own psychic powers to make her sleep away long periods of time. The mind manipulation I was a little uncomfortable with. I understand why he did it, but it just seemed a little underhanded to do to your soul mate, even if she doesn’t realize she is your soul mate. Of course, she paid him back ten fold when she later led his enemies right to him. But I’m not going into the plot any further than that as that might be spoilery.
I enjoyed it, it was a quick read, and now I’m off to hunt down book 3.