The Last True Vampire
St. Martin's Paperbacks, Jun 2 2015, $7.99
Hundreds of years ago, claiming the Fate ordained their extinction mission, the Sortiari hunters committed genocide of the Ancient Ones after torturing each of their enemy. The brutalized Last True Vampire to die from the stake Mikhail instead survives when the sharpened spike fails to strike directly into his heart.
In present day Los Angeles, Michael Aritsov remains tormented by what happened centuries ago to his species. Wallowing in self-pity and abject loneliness, Michael gave up on life and ignores his duty to the hybrid Dhampir who desperately need him and though he pretends otherwise he needs them too.
On her own since she was sixteen, Claire Thompson works as a waitress who reluctantly supplements her income with pickpocketing and pool hustling. Needing cash to pay the rent on her dump after giving away her money to her young neighbor, Claire selects Michael as her target. Instead he marks her as his savior mate from the first sniff of her blood. While most Dhampir rejoice, the horrified Sortiari realize a true Vampire exists.
The first Last True Vampire urban fantasy romance is a terrific opening act that introduces the audience to Kate Baxter’s awesome paranormal spin of Southern California. The First Couple’s behavior leads readers wanting to kick both their butts until he finds her (relatively early) and she finds acceptance of him (much later); their relationship eventually endears them to the subgenre audience and most Dhampir. However, it is Baxter’s world with its competing final solutions that make for an exciting thriller with more to come.