This is the first book in the Penton Legacy Series by Susannah Sandlin. This series was on my radar for a while, especially after I read an interview with the author on another blog, but I hadn't yet read it until the tour from Bewitching Book Tours came along.
As far as I can tell, the story happens in what is either the slight future or an alternate earth. A global pandemic has caused most of the population to receive a vaccine that makes their blood lethal to vampires. The vampires hope that if they can wait out this generation, the next's blood will once again be healthy. Unfortunately, because of the loss of their food supply, vampires are literally starving and taking more risks than they once were about how and where they fed.
The story opens with a Prologue in the POV of Matthias Ludlam, master vampire and Tribunal member. Matthias is getting an update from a private investigator he has hired to locate his son, William. Matthias is less than pleased to find out that William has pledged himself to Aidan Murphy in the small backwoods town of Penton, Alabama. Matthias finds out that Aidan has built up quite a number of followers into his scathe and has a large population of unvaccinated human blood donors that are bonded to the vampires in Aidan's scathe. Matthias feels that Aidan is amassing an army and wants it broken up. First, to get his son William back, and secondly, to get his hands on some of the unvaccinated humans.
In chapter one, we get to meet Aidan Murphy as he heads back to Penton after meeting with potential new scathe members. Aidan's idea is that human familiars are vampire equals, and he wanted a safe place for the two to live in peace and harmony. He thought they were flying below the Tribunal's radar until his brother Owen shows up and starts killing Penton residents. Aidan suspects someone from the Tribunal is backing Owen, but without certainty it limits his options. He is actually on his way to interview a replacement for their murdered doctor, when he gets the news that his business manager has been attacked.
Krystal Harris is a new doctor and very suspicious of how such a small town can afford the amount of salary they are promising her to come and work for them. But the student loans need to be repaid, so she is headed for a night time job interview. Once she gets into town, she is flagged down to help an man who has been brutally attacked, Aidan's business manager. And just that quickly, Krystal finds herself immersed into the vampire's hidden world.
I found this to be a very interesting book and enjoyed it a lot. I thought that a vaccine that changed the blood chemistry in such as way as to make it lethal to vampire's was a very unique idea. The author did a fantastic job of using characters and dialogue to really move the story along. She wasn't afraid to take some risk with the storyline, and I think that it gave the book a nice shiny edge to it. I am giving this one 4 stars on Goodreads.