London Steampunk Series:
Tarnished Knight: Rip and Esme
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After a vicious vampire attack left him struggling to leash the dark urges of the craving virus, John "Rip" Doolan thinks he's finally starting to master the darkness within. The only thing that threatens to shatter his hard-won control is Esme, his closest friend and the only woman he's ever wanted. If the stubborn beauty ever realized precisely what was going through his mind, their friendship would be ruined.
For six months, Esme has waited for Rip to recover and take her as his thrall, not daring to hope for more. Too afraid to put her heart on the line, she is devastated when Rip reveals that he never had any intentions of making her his.
But when a savage gang of Slashers start causing havoc in Whitechapel, Rip and Esme have no choice. They must face up to the depth of the passion that burns between them and forge a new relationship…or risk losing each other forever.
I very quickly came to love this series! I am so glad that Anne from Under the Covers Book Blog recommended this series to me. It is a unique blend of historical, paranormal and steampunk. This book takes place approximately 6 months after the first book left off. Rip was given the blood-craving to survive a mortal wound at the end of the first book. It was Esme who provided blood for the first time to Rip so that he would survive. For the last six months Rip has been fighting his control of the craving. He has no intention of ever letting Esme be his Thrall. He believes that she is better than that, better than him. For the past six months Esme has been waiting for Rip to take her as his Thrall. She has would give anything to be so close to him, only he doesn’t seem to realize that he is her craving.
In this novella we are taken on a rollercoaster of misunderstandings which make for an entertaining read. Esme and Rip can never quite seem to get on the same page, he can’t believe that she would want likes of him and she can’t seem to make him understand that she wants him as more than just her friend. She is ready to take their friendship to the next level, more than ready, like years ago ready. But he never makes the move. Rip is a giant but a gentle giant at heart, Esme’s friendship means everything to him and he is not willing to do anything to jeopardize that. He can’t seem to make Esme understand that he respects her too much to take her to Thrall.
When the Slasher’s make a play for Blade’s territory, it is Rip that risks his life to take them out. Only the tasks becomes more than he can handle alone. When woman start disappearing he realizes that everyone is in danger. Could it be that Esme will be the next victim of this sadistic bastard. The danger that the Slasher’s pose adds an exciting element of danger to the story. This book may not be very long but it certainly packs all that it can in a short span of time. This book is an action packed tale with plenty of romance. It was a fantastic installment to this exciting new series!