The Turning (Blood Ties, Book 1)

The Turning - Jennifer Armintrout Dr. Carrie Ames is a new doctor, overworked but driven, skilled and determined. Right until a John Doe arrives in her emergency room who simply shouldn’t be alive. He doesn’t last long but he shakes her to the core – enough for her to go check on his body in the morgue. Only to find that body healed, up, moving around and with great big fangs.Convalescing from the attack takes weeks – but in those weeks she notices some major changes and is eventually faced with the impossible: she’s a vampire. Blood drinking, sunlight dodging, the whole thing. And Nathan, a member of the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement, is her best and only source for information on her new condition.Unless she goes to her sire. Her brutal, abusive, violent sire who preys on children, slaughters humans and rapes any under his control. A sire who is desperate for a companion – and a sire she is bound to by blood.Looking at the cover, I was very pleasantly surprised by a lot in this book. There was relatively little focus on sex, even relatively little on lust. There’s instant attraction but that’s not allowed to overwhelm everything else nor does it force two people into instant love and undying declarations of affection and love. It’s clear Nathan and Carrie are heading that way – but it’s not going to be quick, it’s not going to be easy, and no amount of super-horny fumblings are going to replace the misgivings both have about the other nor is it going to drop them on the happy-ever-after train.In fact, I would say their interaction with each other is less “romantic” and more “exploratory”. There is definite physical attraction that builds into more – but the focus is far more on Carrie trying to live with her new state, trying to deal with the feelings of the sire bond and just trying to decide what to do with her life. And yes, part of it is deciding where Nathan fits in – is he a friend to trust? A love interest? A threat bringing ultimatums from the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement? Is he trying to control her? Manipulate her? Finding a ground-state for co-existence with Nathan as well as escaping her sire’s attentions feature much much higher than getting into Nathan’s pants.The same applies on Nathan’s side – we have far more of his worry over what to do with Carrie, his trying to get her into the VVEM, his targeting of Cyrus, his past with his wife, whether Carrie is under Cyrus’s control – all of these take greater precedence than having sex with Carrie. Yes, he’s attracted to her, yes they’re heading that way but he even outright says he doesn’t love her and works more towards fitting her into her new existence and his life.In short, we don’t cross eyes over a crowded room then take the express train to humpa-ville. We actually have a story.Read More