United by fate. Bound by desire.
Five years after the Second Civil War ends, humans and otherborn – humanlike creatures with superhuman DNA – still struggle for peace. To ensure the continued rights of both, the FBI forms a Para-Ops team with a unique set of skills.
CHOSEN BY BLOOD
Leader of an Otherborn clan, half-breed vampire Knox Devereaux would do anything to find a cure for the anti-vamp vaccine slowly starving his people into extinction. When the FBI contacts him about leading a team of hand-selected Others on a mission to reclaim the stolen antidote, Knox accepts. His new assignment places him in direct contact with Special Agent Felicia Locke, the beautiful human he’s craved since their very first meeting.
Chosen by Blood, the first book in the Para-Ops series, opened quite shockingly. After reading the prologue, I could tell that the romance in this book was not going to be ‘generic’. Knox Devereaux and Felicia Locke open this world with such intensity, that it’s hard not to overlook the circumstances surrounding them. When these two first met, they literally knew they were soul mates. But, between them stood Felicia’s best friend – and Knox’s wife – Noella. Forbidden love? Yes. Typical? No.
A few years later, Knox steps right back into Felicia’s life as the half-born leader of an Otherborn vampire clan. After the humans created a vaccine that keeps their blood from nourishing the vampires, Knox’s mother, Bianca, had to step down from her role as the Vampire Queen due to the weakness her body has suffered. As a dharmire, Knox’s human blood kept his body strong, unlike the full-blooded vampires in his clan.
Given the opportunity by the FBI to save his clan by securing an antidote to the vaccine, Knox agrees to lead the Para-Ops team, but under a few conditions. One in particular in regards to Special Agent Felicia Locke – the woman of his heart that has been avoiding him like the plague even though her best friend no longer truly stands between them, and her feelings ran just as deep for him.
Against Knox’s wishes, Felicia joins the team. As a human, she stands along-side an absolutely wonderful cast of characters, known as the FBI’s Para-Ops Team: Dex Hunt, a bad-ass werebeast, Wraith, a ghost, Lucy, a powerful mage, and Caleb O’Flare, a fearless mountain-climbing, human-psychic medic.
Immediately after being introduced to these individuals, I could tell this diverse group was going to be fun to watch. Most of them are not too happy with working for the FBI, which is why they were baited with something that they each desperately wanted or needed. But eventually, they begin to grow on one another – even Felicia begins to let down her wall that has kept her feelings for Knox at bay all these years.
As the discovery and location of the antidote, and a hidden agenda is uncovered, the individual relationships between the Para-Ops team members grows by leaps and bounds – none more so than that of Felicia and Knox (though Caleb O’Flare and Wraith begin to have you wondering).
I started reading Chosen by Blood knowing that it most definitely was a romance, but I soon discovered that this particular romance was only the beginning in a strong series set in a world that was built beautifully by Ms. DePaul. Every character has been fleshed out among the pages exceedingly well, and every detail made this book extremely interesting and the wonderful flow kept me enthralled so I couldn’t miss a single one of those details.
While Ms. DePaul closed Chosen by Blood in a manner where it ‘could’ be a stand-alone novel, she did leave a few loose ends open for future books. Those loose ends are exactly what has me counting the days until the next book, Chosen by Fate, is released on October 4th. And, to hold me over until then, a prequel novella, Wraith’s Awakening, is available for download from Virna DePaul’s website.
As you may know by now, any author who pulls me into their extraordinary world and keeps me immobile for hours with a need-to-know hunger for what happens next, has officially earned themselves a loyal reader. Well, I can not only say that about Ms. DePaul, but I can also say that I am now a true fan of her writing since I felt it push me further with my own.