Former RT reviewer Smith covers plenty of ground in her latest novel -- the first in a series -- infusing charming Southern flavor into an action-packed vampire tale. It's not the same old bloodsucking story, and Zacke and his merry band of vamp (and mortal) brothers are a fabulous addition. Villianess Gabriella feels a bit hokey at times, as does some dialogue. Nevertheless, Smith sure knows her away around the South -- and a substantial vampire romance.

Zacke has a strange quality that makes him different from the average cop: He's a vampire. While on the beat, he saves new-to-town doctor Miranda James and is instantly attracted to her determined, can-do nature. But Zacke's sire, Gabriella, wants him back, and she'll go to terrible lengths to see that happens.

As Zacke and Miranda grow closer, Gabriella ups the ante and starts a killing spree. Zacke does his best to defeat Gabriella and protect the woman of his dreams, but he's beset with strange, almost human-like foibles. Will he find out what's plaguing him in time? (WILD ROSE, Jun., 299 pp., $14.95)
Reviewed by: 
Lauren Spielberg