Blood Wager (Blood Destiny #1) by Connie Suttle

Blood Wager (Blood Destiny #1) - Connie Suttle
Lissa was an ordinary, late middle aged woman reeling from the grief of losing her husband and trying to find some solace in the bottom of a glass.

Which is when the vampires notice her – not for any good reasons, but for a cruel bet on whether someone they regarded so pathetic would turn into a vampire and how soon, to be disposed of as soon as they had their answers
But the newly vampiric Lissa escapes. She builds a new life for herself, far away from her erstwhile creator, getting  a new job and becoming embroiled in a werewolf pack
She hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Vampire Council, however; she is technically a rogue, a vampire created without their knowledge and one who has not been properly educated. Rogues are usually killed and Gavin, an assassin, is dispatched to do just that
This book starts pretty poorly, I have to say. It’s slow, it’s clunky and the whole set up of the story requires some vast leaps of coincidence that stretches any attempt to maintain a willing suspension of disbelief.
Lissa becomes a vampire in dubious circumstances – but I was fine with that. I was less fine with how extremely quickly she became a vampire, how extremely quickly she learned the ins and outs of being a vampire. I felt that whole section was somewhat fast forwarded through when it should have been a compelling part of Lissa’s story. I think we get some good scenes of her frustration about being a vampire without an instruction manual – but she does so extremely well without it! We also had some good scenes of her grief and regret of leaving her old life – but they’re brief scenes, especially considering her grief over her recently deceased husband, the family and friends she left behind, her job et al. She has some nice grief scenes but they feel limited.
So… we’re stretching. Then she decides to become a bodyguard – she has zero experience in this field, no idea of the technology or laws or regulations involved and is completely incapable of working anything but the night shift – but she applies anyway and gets the job because she can use her vampire wiles to beat up another bodyguard. She’s hired as a full time body guard because she can fight, that’s it (at least they do eventually hand wave the lack of background check, etc).
And, chance of chances, she ends up being a bodyguard to werewolves. Pure random chance after answering an ad in the paper. There follows a series of events that just occasionally throw me – like her forgiving William for something he did and I didn’t see why she would – it just seems to be silent treatment then reconciliation (though it does take time, I have to concede that, she doesn’t instaforgive). Or why she’s farmed out to another pack as bodyguard – are vampires that much more dangerous than werewolves? If so, how does it follow that vampires and werewolves have nearly driven each other to extinction in their war?
Also, are we supposed to regard the sale of the super powerful facial recognition software to the NSA as a good thing?


Ok, all those complaints duly noted, there were good points squeezed between them. Lissa’s competence and intelligence grow through the book as she expands into her new role. I like how Gavin grows to respect and admire Lissa, to be impressed by Lissa and, eventually, be outraged on her behalf on how she has been treated. In just a few short emails to his superior we can see a developing respect and infatuation from Gavin that doesn’t happen on first sight nor is it even based on her looks – but grows slowly as he admires her growth, strength and capability. It’s an excellent part of the books

But did we have to have the supernatural sexy smell?