Once known as the Slayer, vampire Mirren Kincaid was a brutal — and imaginative — hired assassin for the Vampire Tribunal in Penton, Ala. After a particularly questionable assignment, Mirren fled the council’s service, disappearing for 200 years. When he finally emerges from his self-imposed exile, he’s determined to act as a protector for Penton. But the tribunal won’t let him go that easily, especially when the vampire world is a hair’s breadth away from a civil war over the lack of untainted human blood.
Councilman Matthias Ludlam comes up with a plan: He kidnaps human Gloriana Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, with the hope that she can unleash Mirren’s bloodlust. But when Glory, a stubborn woman who’s had a hard life, meets the former Slayer, he’s not what she expected. Revealing her telekinetic powers to Mirren, Glory learns that beneath his stubbornness the big vamp has a soft heart and is hurting from centuries of self-torture. Finding an unlikely ally in Will Ludlam, Matthias’ son, and scathe founder Aidan Murphy, Glory and Mirren battle to establish peaceful coexistence between humans and vampires. (MONTLAKE, Oct., 330 pp., $12.95)