In the Heat of the Bite: Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell and Rhiannon Sinclair
Matthew is a knight in shining armor, literally; at least he used to be, at over 650 years old! He was turned vampyre during the crusades and gifted with a magical ring by 5 Coig witches after he saved one of their lives. This ring allows him to go out during the day and to retain much of his humanity. Rhiannon is a member of the current Coig coven; she has extraordinary powers which allow her to control the elements. She is a force to be reckoned with. Rhiannon follows her sister Ginny to London, after the evil aunt comes to ‘launch” Ginny into society. Worried that her aunt does not have her little sister’s best interests at heart, Rhiannon follows and decides to stay with her fellow Coig member Caitrin. Saddened by her aunt’s harsh comments, Rhiannon is in the park near Caitrin’s house in the middle of a storm of her own creation, when suddenly a vampyre is in front of her attempting to rescue a damsel in distress. Matthew sees a woman in the middle of a violent storm and feels the need to get her to safety. It’s not until he gets to the woman that he notices a few things: first that she is incredibly beautiful, second she doesn’t seem to be worried that she is in the middle of a storm and third that he becomes inexplicably thirsty when he had just fed recently and wasn’t the least bit thirsty before he saw her. Matthew quickly realizes that the storm is of this beauty’s making so she must be a member of the Coig coven, which he recently had some dealings with. Having recently had a bad encounter with a vampire, Rhiannon is understandably frightened of this handsome man in front of her so she flees to Caitrin’s home, with him on her mind. It seems that the world is plotting against Rhiannon. Her aunt won’t let her near her sister because of the “taint” that Rhiannon brings and for the life of her she can’t stay away from Matthew; he is everywhere she is. Never has Matthew ever wanted a woman as much as he wants Rhiannon. He is trying to be honorable and remember that chivalry is not dead or undead in his case, but every time he nears Rhiannon all good intentions seem to go out the window; and Rhiannon is not helping his cause. Since meeting Rhiannon, Matthew has been off, first he started getting headaches (which hasn’t happened in over 600 years). Then the pinches of pain where his heart used to be and now he can’t feed, except off of Rhiannon which he refuses to do. After over 600 years of perfect health, could Rhiannon be the very death of him?
Let me start by saying I have been waiting for Rhiannon’s story of the Coig witches; she is my favorite and Lydia Dare did not disappoint me at all. One of the things I liked about Rhiannon was her powers; her power is over the elements which are fascinating and we all know I like a good witch. L. Dare did not shy away from putting Rhiannon’s powers on display and in fact she used them often. She had Rhiannon creating storms, zapping people with lightening, mini tornados, and the works. The other thing about Rhiannon that I liked was despite her great power was her vulnerability. She has all this power yet has lacked love in her life (her dad couldn’t be bothered and her aunt can’t stand her), so when Matthew comes into the picture, you are genuinely happy for her. Matthew is a knight of old, whom never quite lost his chivalrous tendencies. He still wants to do the noble and right thing by Rhiannon but doesn’t think he deserves her as a vampire; but he has to have her anyway. Mathew recognizes that Rhiannon is powerful in her own right. You have got to love a man that knows a strong powerful woman when he sees her. Matthew is a great compliment to Rhiannon; he accepts and loves her as she is bad weather and all.
This book also has great supporting characters. The Duchess, she has a small role but it’s memorable; she is a firecracker. She is cranky, direct, and says what she wants when she wants and you love her for it and hope to see her again in future books. You see much more of Dash’s brothers who are very entertaining in their own right. They are very energetic, loud and mischievous. Lydia Dare has announced that this trio will be getting their own series so pay attention to these guys; not that this is a hardship. Sorcha returns in this book and I really enjoy her. She is youthful, full of life and happy. Alec also appears in this book quite often. He is a lot more morose in this book then we are used to seeing from him, but after the turn of events in the last book, it is understandable. With Alec you are left hoping that he will get his own HEA.