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Death's Mistress (Dorina Basarab, Book 2) by Karen Chance
Review by Gayle Surrette
Onyx Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780451412768
Date: 05 January 2010 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Dorina "Dory" Basarab is a dhampir (half human, half vampire). Dhampirs are reviled by vampires. Humans don't like them much better since dhampirs tend to go berserk, killing anyone within reach. Dory has been experimenting with drink, herbs, drug, and anything else she can get her hands on to control her rages -- including bleeding off the rage by killing demons and vampires. Working for the Vampire Senate to kill rogue vampires even earns her money while dampening her rages. You'd think after all this time they'd give her some respect -- guess that's too much to ask. But the least they could do would be to leave her alone.

In fact, alone is not exactly what Dory wants. She thought she had the beginnings of a relationship with the vampire she was partnered with on her last Senate job, Louis-Cesare. That is until he left without a word. Rumor has it he's desperately searching for his vampire mistress. Her last assignment turned out okay -- after all they didn't ask the vamp to be brought in "alive". But no matter how well her assignments go, she's still treated like an outcast.

Returning home, she finds that her roommate Claire is back. Only there's been a few changes since Claire married a Light Fey prince a month or so ago. Seems time run differently in Fey and Claire has escaped assassins intent on killing her 9-month-old son. She needs a sacred rune that has been stolen and brought to our world. Dory is determined to help her and that's where everything goes haywire. Claire isn't the only one looking for the rune -- it seems half or even all the powerful magical groups are seeking to control it.

Dory isn't your usual tough, strong, clever, independent warrior woman. Nope, not her. Sure she's got all those characteristics, but she's also got some real issues to deal with. How can you get close to anyone when you never know if you'll go berserk and wake up next to a pile of body parts from what used to be your friends? She craves companionship, friendship, love -- all the things that most of us want. Yet, she doesn't trust easily and seldom lets anyone get close.

The fact that she's a dhampir and the daughter of a highly placed, master level vampire in the Eastern US Senate, Lord Mircea Basarab, doesn't make things any easier. Dory doesn't trust vampires -- and father or not, she doesn't trust him. Even when sending her out on a mission, she knows he's keeping information crucial to her survival from her.

To save Claire and her son, Dory may have to learn to trust -- the question is how much and who. Still every fiber of her being is screaming at her to go it alone. Conflict. Action. Page-turning edge-of-your-seat tension. Check. Check. And Check. It's got it all -- oh, and the romance doesn't hurt either.

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