Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide
where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after
sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving
orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get
what he wants.
With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is
forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug
that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but
fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master,
Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a
vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom
at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or
revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.
The last book. The last time I get to watch Syd and Mal avoid certain doom. I'm not ready to let go. :clutches at Syd:
More seriously, Summers contacted me to review this last book as I have reviewed the previous two stories and she knows I'm down for anything Syd or Mal related. When we last left our twosome Syd was dealing with the unexpected complication that she had to share Mal's attentions for at least another two years (thank you Master Bronson you pompous jerk) and that meant watching Mal be the world's biggest asshole (no wait that title goes to Richard F*cking Abel) in public and in private he's the Mal she loves.
Look I understand her anxiety here. In the last book Soraya suddenly popped up with all kinds of awesomeness in skills and looks, plus Mal just sort of told her that he's going to be a jerk on the streets and adoring lover in the sheets. Most women would take a step back and question this since coming from the outside it sounds like he's hiding something from her. Which technically he is hiding something...just not from her.
That's okay though because Master Jerkbag Bronson more or less cottoned onto the fact that Syd was special and decided to use Syd's specialness to his own advantage...or he'd start kicking Mal's ass for the fun of seeing her panic. Its Syd going undercover that sort of had me doubting Master Jerkbag's ability to be strategic; he didn't give her much to go on, tossed her into this thing with a very limited timeframe and bid her to hide it all from the folks who could help her. Probably, if this had been the corporate espionage it was discussed as being, things would have been fine. Except it wasn't, so it couldn't be and things went south before Syd could do anything about it.
Enter Richard F*cking Abel. This guy. Just...this guy. Look when he popped around originally, as a low level scumsucker with aspirations to higher power, I didn't give him much thought. Who would? He appeared to have struck it lucky with as far as he had gotten, but quite frankly he didn't have the "oomph" most of the Master vampires seemed to exude. This book he proved at least one thing - Master Jerkbag wasn't the only one who could come up with exotic ways to punish a person.
What he does to Syd, makes Syd do, forces Syd to endure is beyond contemptible. There's a certain kind of twistedness needed to do what Richard F*cking Abel (yes that is his name for all eternity) did. An eye towards seeing what makes a person tick. Honestly he may have gotten away with it if Syd hadn't spent her entire life unconsciously building ticks into her personality that he could have never had her duplicate successfully without giving up the ghost. As it is he only succeeded as far as he did because Syd was already emotionally in the ringer and Mal was adrift with no clear understanding of what Syd was really doing in Arizona.
In the end just desserts are delivered to everyone involved. And Soraya survives. Which is important to me at least. This is the last book in the series (for now...I hope) so loose ends are basically tied up. The reality of Syd's self is kind of glossed over and abruptly introduced. There was talk of it scattered throughout the books but between Mal's assignment and Syd's assignment there was much less discussed on the matter then I would have liked before it all kind of wrapped up.