Anya Bast writes hot sex scenes, I'll give her that. But this book suffers from some major narrative problems, to the point where I almost gave up halfway through. Luckily, the plot comes through in the latter half of the book, and I was glad I stuck with it.
What surprised me about this book is that it's not just a paranormal romance. It's a science fiction pararnormal. Vampires in space.
Absolutely nothing on the cover or the back cover copy gave any indication of this. It's an interesting concept, to be sure, but for the most part, I feel like this book could have just taken place on a futuristic Earth instead of in a galaxy far, far away.
Which leads me to my first major problem with the book. The science is sketchy. I know that this probably won't bother many readers, but I'm enough of a nerd to really get annoyed at the scientific impossibilities. See, Earth has become overpopulated. That makes sense. People want to colonize other planets. No problems there, either. Astronomers discover a new galaxy, and some Earthlings move there.
Wait, wait. A new galaxy? Galaxies are really freaking far away. I mean, really far away. The two closest galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, which are satellite galaxies of the Milky Way, are 169,000 and 210,000 light years away. Even if humans could travel at the speed of light, it would take 169,000 to 210,000 years to get there. And according to our current understanding of physics, we can't even achieve a substantial fraction of the speed of light. Even if the characters used wormholes, it just doesn't make sense that we'd leave our own galaxy, which I'm sure has plenty of habitable star systems.
On top of the galaxy problem is the solar system that humans have colonized. According to the book, there are four planets within the habitable zone. This just stretches plausibility to the limit for me. In our solar system, only one planet is within the habitable zone: Earth. Venus and Mars are on the edge of it, but are outside. Four planets within that zone just doesn't make sense; they'd be too close together, causing their orbits to destabilize. Bast also falls into the old SF trap of creating an entire planet with the same climate everywhere. That just plain doesn't make sense (I partly blame Tattooine for this... I'm looking at you, George Lucas).
It would have just made more sense for me if Earth had colonized a nearby star system in the Milky Way and lived on a couple of planets and habitable moons. But like I said, I'm a nerd and I'm nitpicky about stuff like that. YMMV, of course.
The first half of the book is marred by expository dumps... you know, where the author pauses the action to tell you the last four hundred years of history of the people of Earth. That is one of my biggest pet peeves in fiction. I love good worldbuilding, but I love learning about the world as the story goes along instead of having it all dumped in my lap in the first hundred pages. Some of the infodumps were completely unnecessary, too; if you tell me that the characters popped out their PComps and mention that they're communication devices, I'm going to understand that it's a chip in the characters' bodies somewhere. I don't need a paragraph telling me exactly what they are, and that they're called PComps out of some bizarre sense of nostalgia the futuristic Earthlings have for "ancient" personal computers.
The plot doesn't really pick up until halfway through. The first half of the book is all setup; Daria and Alejandro (who are law enforcement agents), along with another vampire agent, Brandon, must infiltrate The Shining Way, a vampire commune. The Shining Way is run by Christopher Sante, who happens to be Daria's ex who also happens to have murdered her best friend along with a few other agents, and escaped the long arm of the law. Daria wants to bring Sante down both out of revenge and also because she's sure he's doing all kinds of naughty, illegal things in his commune.
On top of trying to pin a kidnapping and other sundry illegal things on Sante, Daria must also deal with Alejandro's advances as well as her recent transformation into a Chosen, a vampire. Alejandro has the hots for Daria, Daria has the hots for Alejandro but she is determined to focus on her mission and her revenge on Sante, so she tries to resist Alejandro of the Very Sexy Chest. It obviously doesn't work for long, because there's a lot of sex in this book, including some rather kinky scenes that aren't too common in romances. The sex is very hot, and luckily, within the last quarter of the book, I really started to buy into Daria and Alejandro's messed up relationship and started rooting for them.
I actually found the story's villain, Christopher Sante, to be much more interesting and compelling than the main characters. I won't give anything away, but he's much more complex than many villains I've come across in this genre.
If the first half of the book had matched the last in terms of plot movement, I would have been much happier with this book. As it is, I can only give it a B-. The plot finishes out well, but there was way too much dodgy science and telling instead of showing.