The Brat

Devil of the Highlands

The Key

Lady Pirate

Love is Blind

The Loving Daylights

A Quick Bite

The Reluctant Reformer

Single White Vampire

The Switch

Tall, Dark and Hungry

Vampire, Interrupted

What She Wants

Born To Bite
by Lynsay Sands
(Avon, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-06-147432-3
Born To Bite is the fourteenth book in Lynsay Sand's Argeneau Vampire Series. I have not read any of the other books in the series, but from what I can tell it is one her of more popular series. It is challenging to jump into the series at the fourteenth book. While Sands did explain some things that devoted fans would already know, there are many references that are not explained and made it a difficult story to follow.

Armand Argeneau is an immortal farmer who is approached by his brother Lucian and asked to watch over Eshe d'Aureus for a few weeks. Eshe is the daughter of Castor d'Aureus, who is a hero to the immortals for his participation in a battle in the early days against Leonius Livius. Leonius caused so much trouble for mortals and immortals alike that they had to hunt him down and destroy him. Castor was killed in the battle and Lucian had promised him that if anything happened to Castor, he would look after his family.

Now, it has been discovered that Leonius had a child that survived the battle, Leonius Livius the Second. He has kept himself hidden for centuries and has had 20 sons of his own. Leonius the Second is much smarter than his father and Lucian is worried that he will come after Eshe for revenge.

Armand agrees to keep Eshe on his farm for a few weeks and watch out for her. The moment he meets her, though, he knows it's not going to be an easy task. Eshe rides into town on a flashy motorcycle and wearing nothing but leather - not something a farming community is used to. Eshe and Armand each try to read either others' minds and find that they are both blocked. They also discover that they both have an appetite for food, which along with the inability to read each other, is a sure sign they are life mates.

Eshe is an enforcer, bringing rogue vampires to justice, and her time with Armand is not all about her. Eshe's task is to find out if the deaths of Armand's three wives were truly accidental or if he needs to be brought to justice. She didn't expect to be his life mate and their destined attraction is clouding her enforcer duties.

There is both a romance and a mystery interlaced throughout this story, and the mystery won. The love story is too automatic and rushed. The words described an intense relationship between Eshe and Armand, but their feelings did not shine through and were not believable. I didn't get that sense that I was "in" the story. The characters, including secondary characters, were interesting in and of themselves; it was just the relationship between Eshe and Armand that was flat.

The mystery storyline is actually the best part of the book, but didn't really get going until halfway through. Once the mystery got going, the romance seemed to become secondary and the entire story line shifted. The investigation into the death of Armand's wives is what kept me reading though. The solution was not evident and the ending of the book was not what I would have expected.

Unfortunately, the mystery just didn't save Born to Bite and I would not classify this book as a must-read or a book I couldn't put down. When I choose a romance novel to read, it's the romance I want to enjoy. Readers familiar with the series may enjoy this book as they will be able to jump right into the storyline, whereas I was left behind.

--Nichole Howell

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