Alpha Lover by Brenda Sparks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oops - I haven't read any of the other books in this series before starting this one. That being said, I think diving in at this book is totally OK and didn't have any trouble with catching up.
Juliette is on holiday in Russia with her friend when she meets Nicholai in a pretty unconventional way. He is a starving vampire who desperately needs blood but doesn't like to feed off of locals. The tourists become his "meal" and he discovers that Juliette is his heartmate. In this world, that essentially means fated mate. In typical paranormal romance, though, he hides his vampire nature and decides to try to "woo" her first.
In parallel, there's a group of demons causing trouble for Nicholai's "alpha council" friends who are investigating killings. This particular element of the story is pretty gruesome and dark, so be warned. This is, however, nicely balanced with the smutty romantic storyline of Juliette and Nicholai. Does it go smoothly? Of course not! There are some dangerous situations, some missed communication, and emotional baggage to be handled, but we get to a HEA (and lead in to another book).
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