by Marjorie M. Liu

August 2005
ISBN: 0-505-52632-8
Reviewer Graphic Button Lovespell
Mass Market Paperback

Marjorie M. Liu stunned the romance world with her debut book, Tiger Eye. With her newest book, she is putting us on notice that the first one wasn’t a fluke. A Taste of Crimson is the second book in Lovespell’s new six book series Crimson City.

Los Angeles in the future is no longer the city we recognize. The streets are haunted by other species. Vampires and werewolves have made the city their home. Humans have created an uneasy truce with them, but things are starting to unravel for all of them. Something is hunting the streets of Crimson City and a war is about to explode.

Keeli Maddox is trying to control the beast that resides in her. She knows it’s the only way she can survive in the world. When another body is found, she agrees to help the police find the killer, even if it means she’s exiled from her clan. Only she understands that the peace between vampire and werewolf must happen or both species will find themselves at the mercy of the humans who barely tolerate them.

Michael is a vampire, but he is an outcast from his own kind. As the executioner, he is the one to bring rogue vampires to justice. More bodies are being found and the tension is rising until Michael knows that one wrong step and the city will ignite. When he and Keeli become partners to help solve the crimes, he finds himself intrigued by her.

As urgency mounts, Keeli and Michael find their destinies in each other. Their attraction burns out of control and their hearts blind them to their differences. Love between a werewolf and a vampire might be wrong, but when they are in each other’s arms, it feels nothing but right. They’ll do whatever they must to find the killer and help bring peace to the city, but will it mean losing everything they’ve come to care about?

The world of Crimson City is dark and suspenseful. You can feel the tension rising throughout the city. Ms. Liu’s characters are complex and interesting. Keeli is a strong willed woman who will do what she must no matter the consequences. Honor isn’t just a word to her. It is a tangible thing. She admits that she is prejudice against vampires, but she’s willing to try and see beyond those prejudices to realize they’re just as flawed as she is. Her courage and vulnerability make her the prefect person for Michael. Michael’s guilt has led him on the path he follows. He has found strength in solitude, but from the moment he meets Keeli, he realizes how much stronger he can be with her by his side. He struggles with his past and is unsure of the future, but his very acceptance of their differences makes him the only mate Keeli could have. The pacing of the story is fast and will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The secondary characters are detailed enough to give depth to the story without taking over.

With a deft touch, Marjorie M. Liu tempts us by mixing passion, suspense, fantasy and a little humor into trying and enjoying A Taste of Crimson.

Reviewed in July 2005 by Jenni.

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