Blood and Fire: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy by Tori L. Ridgewood
What chance does one witch have against five vampires? Alone, not much. But Rayvin’s allies are gathering…
The battle between good and evil supernatural forces heats up in the long, cold November nights of the former mining town. But how will Rayvin’s motley crew of spellcasters and shapeshifters cope when they discover the threat they face is even greater than they imagined?
The Talbot Trilogy:
0. Mist and Midnight (prequel)
1. Wind and Shadow
2. Blood and Fire
3. Crystal and Wand
About the Author:
After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.
At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.
Tori is currently working on Crystal and Wand: Book Three of The Talbot Trilogy. She lives in Kirkland Lake, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children. She is a full-time teacher at a local high school.
Oh, Tori, no! You left book two with as much of a cliffhanger as you did book one! I can't believe you did it twice! Blood and Fire is the sequel to Wind and Shadow. When we last saw our beloved Rayvin, she has lost Grant, been bound to the vampire de Sade, and had no idea where help would come from next.
In the follow-up book, Rayvin finds herself practically addicted to de Sade between the sheets. I'm not really sure how one can despise a man with such burning and still be addicted to sex with him, but Rayvin sure is. She also finds herself just a wee bit pregnant. Part of her still pines for Grant, whom she thinks is dead after giving himself up to the sun.
Grant did get infected by de Sade at the end of Wind and Shadow. He just didn't turn. Instead, in her last ditch effort to save him, Ratvin used sex magic with de Sade to turn Grant into a werewolf. Poor Grant has been through a lot, but finding another wolf in the woods, Solomon, helps him find his way back to the right path.
I loved this book as much as I did the first. It's a little sexy, a little dangerous, and a whole lot of exciting. The external and internal conflicts are tense and the consequences have the potential to be dire. All the characters show some personal flaws, but really, who's perfect? This is a great adventure story for older teens on up to adults who love a good vampire tale. I can't wait for the third and final installment of the Talbot Trilogy! I'm giving Blood and Fire 4.5 stars!
“What kind of maniac tortures his lover?” she whispered. Her throat was still hoarse from screaming.
“Some people find they enjoy what you call ‘torture’,” he countered. Supporting her body with his, so her chin was secured against his shoulder, de Sade slid his hands under her sweater to unfasten her bra.
The confident movement of his hands against the taught, sensitive skin of her back was making her temperature rise. He lowered her brassiere away from her chest, gently reaching up the sleeves of her sweater to thread the straps through so he could pull the black lace garment from under her clothing. De Sade was moving with deliberate care, taking his time, and he could probably tell from the rise in her pheromones that it was turning her on in spite of herself.
How could this be happening to me?
She couldn't stand it.
Her systems may have been weakened by electric shock, and her magick worn down by pregnancy, but Rayvin refused to give in.
As the vampire continued lazily undressing her, she gritted her teeth and focused on a drawer next to the stove.
The handle shook for a moment, before the drawer slid open and released a large carving knife that hovered in the air. Rayvin lifted her chin from de Sade’s shoulder, leaving room for the knife to ease itself next to the vampire’s neck. The tip positioned itself under his earlobe.
De Sade paused for a moment. “You can threaten me all you like, but the truth is that I am stronger than you. You cannot help but be affected by me.” He ripped the front of her hoodie in one smooth gesture, tearing the fabric away from her body.
Rayvin sat straighter in the remains of her hoodie. The t-shirt she was wearing underneath did little to conceal the way her breasts had swollen with her pregnancy. De Sade stepped away from the hovering knife to remove his own shirt, and she directed her eyes at another drawer.
The vampire smiled at the peeler she sent toward his ribs. It pressed against his skin but did not penetrate.
“You don’t have the heart for it, love. You’re not a killer.”
The cupboards flung themselves open, and all of her mugs and glasses hurled themselves to the ceiling. The vampire didn't even flinch at the noise of their shattering. Hundreds of shards and jagged fragments aimed in his direction.
Rayvin’s voice was low, but clear.
“Leave now, before I cut you into a thousand pieces.”
De Sade unbuckled his trousers, let them fall, and stepped out of them. He hadn’t bothered wearing any underwear. “You don’t really mean that, now do you? I have something you want.”
His body never failed to shock her with its magnificence. Perfectly sculpted muscles. Pale, but hairy where a man should be. His arousal was clear. Rayvin felt herself growing wet, her whole being fighting to draw closer to him. Her hands clenched around the edge of the table in a last-ditch effort to hold on to herself.
“I don’t want you.”
She sent her fury toward a shard of porcelain. It obeyed her command, darting past the vampire to slice a thin line on his cheek. A single drop of dark blood trickled down his cheek.
He held her gaze. “Now you and I both know that that is a lie.”
Rayvin took a deep breath and lowered her feet to the floor. She wasn’t quite strong enough to hold herself upright, but the table held firm against her weight. “I don't need you or want you in my life, asshole. I’m done with you. Get the fuck out of my house.”
De Sade clucked his tongue. “Haven't we always been honest with each other?” He kicked his pants aside, and then his shoes. “Before me, you were boring. Unimportant. I made you special when I chose you. I’ve given you a new purpose. And when I fuck you, I make your world explode.”
His words killed a little more of her confidence. How did he know exactly what to say to mess with her mind?
Rayvin glowered as she stepped toward him. Her weapons moved with her, closing in on his body so he was surrounded by a glittering cage of blades. De Sade looked down at her as she approached, but he didn’t move. Her throat ached and her body burned. “You’ve turned me into a fucking addict! I don’t want to be like this anymore!” Her voice cracked. “Get out! I’m taking back my invitation!”
De Sade laughed in her face. “It’s too late for that. Our bond is stronger than a broken invitation, and it is stronger than any of the magick you have attempted. You gave yourself to me of your own free will. There is nothing to be done.”
She roared at him, battering his chest with her fists as her tiny spears of glass and porcelain razed his skin. The vampire continued to laugh. He grabbed her wrists and held them away from them both as if she were a small child.
“Bastard!” Rayvin spat at him, her nails digging into her palms. Her voice attempted to produce a scream, but instead it could only rasp. “I hate you! I’ll kill myself if you touch me again!”
In a move so fast she couldn’t see it, de Sade had pinned her arms to her sides, shoved the table to one side, and forced her against the wall. His knee had spread her legs and he’d pressed the length of his body to hers even before the table he had pushed away had a chance to hit the floor, the elderly legs cracking and splintering on impact.
“You won’t do that, dearest Rayvin,” he whispered, nuzzling her nose with his. She fought the melting sensation in her loins, but her will was ebbing with every thrust of his hips against hers. “You love life too much. You are not destined for death by suicide. And as I told you before, you are allowed to hate me. This isn’t love. It’s fucking, and you want it with every inch of your sweet little body.”
His lips descended on hers, and the last of Rayvin’s self control fell away, along with the remains of her glassware. Her will drowned in a sea of passion, overwhelmed once again by the touch of his mouth and tongue. Somewhere in the back of her mind, reality screamed at her to fight it, but it was as though a screen had lowered between knowledge and sensation.
Sensation was all that mattered in the moment.