Redemption by Susannah Sandlin
Aidan Murphy, master vampire, has a problem. His people are under attack and his town doctor was one of the first victims. So when Doctor Krystal Harris comes to Penton with her resume, he’s more than ready to hire her. Except, Krys isn’t stupid; she can sense Aidan’s weird, mob-boss vibe a mile away. She’s outta there.
But Aidan can’t afford the time it’ll take to find another doctor. Solution: he kidnaps Krys and sticks her in the basement.
Redemption is the quintessential paranormal love story (think JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, etc). Vampire kidnaps girl. Girl does not appreciate being kidnapped by hot vampire. Vampire’s evil brother starts blowing things up. Girl reconsiders.
That said, don’t get me wrong. The romance is steamy. The dialogue is witty. And hey, the characters are not quite as far off the deep end as my summary suggests; Krys and Aidan are rather aware that their instant attraction is ridiculous. Krys makes a few efforts to find her balance amid the action and vampire revelations, even as Aidan tries to confront the moral dilemma of abducting a woman for the greater good.
Like many books in the PNR genre, the story struggles with the amount of ground it has to cover. Both characters have a lot of baggage, and it is a rare book that manages to work both a fast-paced, explosive (literally) plot, original world building, a life-and-death struggle, snippets from the villain’s point of view, and walk both characters through their emotional recovery. For the vampire, his emotional scars run 400 years deep. For the girl, her abuse at the hands of her alcoholic, controlling father defined the trajectory of her entire life. Oh and these two strangers have to fall in love.
While the romance and characterization of the main characters left me lukewarm, I followed the story of the secondary characters with avid curiosity. And yes, I think I just might end up reading the next two books just to see if I can find out what happens to Lucy, one of Aidan’s Lieutenants.
But it was the world-building that really sucked me in.
In Redemption, Sandlin delivers a kind of dystopian twist: it’s the near future and vampires are on the brink of starvation. A vaccine to a deadly human pandemic has saved millions of lives, but it also made human blood deadly to the vampire. Now, vampires subsist on the few uncontaminated humans they can find. In a small middle-of-nowhere town of Penton, Alabama, one vampire is dabbling in a secret social experiment–non-vaccinated humans living alongside vampires in a symbiotic, respectful relationship. If it works, it might mean the survival of the vampire race. But in world where a master vampire rarely manages to keep even a dozen vampires in his scathe, Aidan Murphy has an entire town of them loyal to him.
Sure sounds like a reason to take Aidan down a notch. Vampire infighting ensues.
The canaries approve!
Released just last month, Redemption is Susannah Sandlin’s debut dive into the paranormal romance genre, published by Montlake Romance. Book two, Absolution is slated to come out in early October.
If you enjoy well-written vampire romances, tortured characters, redemption stories, and the idea of soulmates, the Penton Legacy is a must have series.
Go on, check it out.
Complimentary copy courtesy of the author.
Thank you for the read!