Find the Duke. Prove he’s a vampire. And kill him.
Maeve Winchester is out of the vampire hunting game. She’s killed enough of them, and risked her life for long enough. Working for the Holy Brotherhood didn’t make that easy, however. Especially when she has witch blood. Regardless of her past, the Inquisition agrees to release her and her magical sisters, under one circumstance.
She has to complete one more job.
Through the moors and mire, she travels to the illusive Castra Nocte. Home of the Carmine Duke. His gothic castle has stood for centuries with a single rule. If you enter, you will never leave. It is here Maeve makes her last stand. She must prove the Duke is a vampire and then kill him as she has so many others.
When she enters the castle, not all is as it seems. The Duke is charming. The castle grounds clean. His words tantalizing. She will have to keep her wits about her if she is to save her sisters… and her heart.
This was entertaining enough. I generally enjoyed it. I didn’t quite feel Maeve’s transition from enemy to lover, though. It was too abrupt and required she show a level of trust and naivete that everything up to that point suggested she would not do. I also felt that she was seduced as much (if not more) by the glitz, glamour, and wealth that the Duke could provide her as by the man himself, and that didn’t feel very romantic. I did appreciate that he fell first in a truly obsessive way. It felt a little like love-bombing. But I also thought the banter between him and his butler provided the levity the plot needed.
I liked the world Hamm created, though it’s only lightly sketched out and doesn’t stray far from ‘the church’ as we are all familiar with it as the villain. However, the side characters that are in the future books look fun. I’ll probably read their books.