by Michelle Rowen

Berkley, $7.99, 352 pages

Jillian is minding her own business one day when she goes for coffee and is unwillingly injected with a serum that not only makes her sick, but proves deadly to vampires. Now, she doesn’t know who to trust as she’s thrust into a world that she didn’t know existed, with a man that acts more like a robot than a human — or half-human and half-vampire, in his case.

While the whole vampires-are-evil plotline isn’t all that original, Michelle Rowen’s take on it most certainly is. Not only is the story full of great characters, plot twists and secrets, but it is also thrilling beyond belief. Once I started reading, I found myself devouring every word on every page until I was done – only to be hungry for more. The main character, Jill, isn’t like most female leads in urban fantasies. She’s not a warrior and doesn’t have special abilities; she’s just a regular woman caught up in something bigger than herself. What she lacks in ability, she makes up for with courage and wit. Jillian and Declan as a pair is as awkward as it is hilarious, but they mix well together.

To describe Nightshade in one word: amazing. It has everything that one would look for in an urban fantasy with just the right amount of romance as well. I’m anxiously awaiting its sequel, Bloodlust, which will be out later this year.

Reviewed by Missy Wadkins