Hungers Of The Heart
Published 2008 370 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
Drake is a Killer vampire.
Unlike the Guardians of the Night, Drake feeds on human blood, choosing victims who deserve to die. But still he works with the Guardians to protect those humans who yet have some good in them.
When Gabriel, the leader of the Baltimore Guardians, mysteriously disappears, Drake finds himself in charge of a small band of inexperienced fledgling vampires. When a delegation of European Killers arrives in Baltimore looking for Gabriel, Drake must call on all the savagery of his sordid past to keep the Guardians in line – and to protect them from the ruthless Killers.
Forced to confront a past he has tried so hard to outrun, Drake risks losing his humanity. His only hope is Faith, the French Seigneur’s concubine, who desperately needs his help to rescue her human sister from the Seigneur’s clutches. Then someone begins killing the members of the European vampire delegation, and Drake is the only suspect. Will Drake be saved by love, or will he become a Killer without a conscience?
Hungers of The Heart is Jenna Black’s fourth novel in her Guardians of the Night vampire romance series. While Hungers of The Heart can be read as a stand alone romance, the protagonist Drake has appeared in all of the previous novels in this series and a greater understanding of his background may be gained from reading the previous books in this series first.
Fans of Jenna Black’s previous Guardians of the Night novels will know by now to expect the unexpected when it comes to romance from this author and Hungers of The Heart is no exception to this rule. The author writes about complex, often morally ambiguous characters reacting to difficult situations in fairly realistic ways.
Drake for example, is shown to be a man (vampire) who is caught between a rock and a hard place when he is left as acting Master vampire of Baltimore. Hopelessly out vamped by the visiting European delegation he has to make some unpleasant choices in order to look after the other Baltimore vampires. He is not a powerful alpha male hero - a lot of the other vampires in this story are much more “alpha” than he is – Drake comes across more as a realistically flawed hero and a man who wants to be accepted for who he is now, rather than the bad person that he used to be.
The lack of an alpha-male hero can sometimes be a serious flaw in a romance novel (where alpha male heroes are usually an expected part of the architecture of the story) but Drake proves himself to be brave and courageous when it comes to fighting for the woman he loves which goes along way to make up for his lack of alpha-vampire status.
Hunger of The Heart is a substantially longer novel than the previous books in this series too, weighing in at 370 pages rather than the usual 290 or so. The extra word count is the result of an exciting background plot involving a visit by a delegation of European vampires who have been ordered to kill Gabriel and capture Brigitte, the AWOL born-vampire daughter of one of France’s most powerful (and scary) vampires. Brigitte however has other plans for her future and since her idea of entertainment is to pick the vampires off one-by-one as she plays them off against each other, the resulting fast-paced plot has plenty of opportunities for excitement and action.
Although Hungers of The Heart is a romance and has all the things that a romance novel should (character and relationship development, a HEA) the action plotline does perhaps receive more emphasis than the romance – making this book ideal for vampire romance fans who like their romance with extra fantasy action and a harder edge.
Hungers of the Heart is a great addition to the Guardians of The Night books and hopefully it won’t be the last in the series either…
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