Reading level: Adult
Trade paperback: 327 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release date: August 7, 2012
Series: Penton Legacy #2
Source: Review copy from Bewitching Book Tours
Reviewed by: Jenn
With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. Mirren Kincaid once served the tribunal as their most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the tribunal wants him back on their side. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?
As you may remember from my post last month, I really enjoyed REDEMPTION, the first book in the Penton Legacy series. ABSOLUTION, the second book, may just be better!
A quick reminder about the basic concept of the series: Vampires exist but most of the world doesn't know about them. They're in crisis because there was a vaccine that went out all over the world and one of its side-effects is that it keeps vampires from feeding on humans because they taste like ick. Penton is a small community founded by Aidan Murphy in which vampires and humans are aware of each other and live peacefully and rather symbiotically. It's a really interesting setting: the vampires are living in this sort of post-apocalyptic world but everything's business as usual for most of the planet.
In ABSOLUTION, Susannah Sandlin (a.k.a. Suzanne Johnson) puts one of Aidan's lieutenants in the romantic hot seat: Mirren, formerly the Slayer for the Vampire Tribunal, who faked his own death to try to find a new life in Penton. Needless to say, he's a complicated guy and it was a real treat getting to know him better. I really liked Mirren in his supporting role in REDEMPTION and he's even more enjoyable as the main focus!
The leading lady of the story is also a delight. I adored Glory. She and Mirren meet under terrible circumstances but she's not afraid of him, even knowing he's a vampire and knowing just how terrible vampires can be. In fact, she forces Mirren to lower his shields and accept him in her life when she's forced to stay in Penton for her own safety. Her interactions with Merrick, particularly those that take place shortly after she arrives in Penton, are delightful and I just couldn't put the book down. We learn so much about the inner workings on Mirren's mind! In fact, I was so hooked on their budding and sexy romance that I stayed up super late getting it finished because I needed to know just how they were going to get their Happily Ever After.
There are also some major developments in terms of the series story arc, with Penton's battle with Matthias and some parts of the Vampire Tribunal being brought to the fore. Susannah Sandlin's not messing around, folks, with the action or the steamy romance! The pace is quick and there are some amazing and unexpected scenes in ABSOLUTION. And the book ends in a way that has me dying to see what's going to happen next so I'm going to be on pins and needles until OMEGA, the third book in the Penton Legacy series, comes out! If you haven't given this series a try, I strongly urge you to head to the bookstore or jump online and order it because you definitely won't be sorry!