This is the 18th book in the Argeneau Series by Lynsay Sands. If you haven't read anything else in the series - Where the hell have you been? And what has taken you so long to find it? Geesh, catch up all ready. *grin*
Lysday Sands has been writing this series since about 2004. She took the vampire concept and completely flipped it on its ear. They call themselves Immortals. Yes, they drink blood. Yes, they have a very long life span. No, they aren't undead or have lost their souls. Ms. Sands gives us the descendants (and some actual survivors) of the lost city of Atlantis. Theirs was a culture that was light years of anything else on earth at the time. The scientists of Atlantis were working with nano technology to create nanites. They would be introduced into a patient, seek out damage and repair it using the recipients own blood to power them. Unfortunately, the body is under constant attack from everything; the elements, sun damage and even time. To combat this blood drain as the nanites worked on keeping the recipients in tip top working order, those with nanites had to get regular blood transfusions. Everything was working fine, until Atlantis fell and the surviving Atlantians made their way into the world. They were greeted to a culture that was no where near as sophisticated as their own and so the nanites helped them adapt to keep on surviving. Giving them fangs, night vision, speed, strength and even mind control - all to keep the blood supply rolling in. The survivors had to adjust or die. Immortals can die, but typically only through decapitation or fire. It has to be something so severe that the nanites can't repair it in quickly enough for the host to survive.
Immortals found that they all have a perfect Lifemate; someone who can't read or control them and who they can't read or control. Someone that is a perfect complement to them and they can relax around. They attribute it to the nanites knowing who will be there perfect mate. To aid in this knowing, the Immortal will find that all their appetites begin to increase again - for food & for sex. And the final clincher - Lifemates share their lovemaking pleasure with each other, to such an extent that the newly mated will pass out from it. If the Lifemate is mortal, they can be turned by giving them blood enriched with nanites. The nanites take over and repair damage, though this is typically very, very painful and the person has to be sedated due to the pain of the changes taking place in their bodies.
There is a main council of Immortals. They have laws and rules to keep Immortals free from mortal discovery and a danger to themselves and others. There are Enforcers who hunt down Rogues, those Immortals who refuse to obey the laws and risk discovery by mortals. They protect both the Immortals and the mortals. And as some of these guys have been around for centuries, you can imagine that they are pretty good at their jobs.
This book is about one of the Enforcers, Anders finding his Lifemate, Valerie, after she has been kidnapped and held hostage by a Rogue. Valerie managed to not only get free, but call the police for assistance with the other women locked up with her. Needless to say, she is weak from malnutrition, injured and traumatized by this event. Anders has to figure out a way to get Valerie to not only trust him, but to be able to get past the trauma she faced at the hands of the "vampire".
I really liked this book. Ms. Sands is continuing her series with grace and style. In earlier books in the series, we got the vivid and graphic lifemate changing process. In the later books, she either manages it "off screen" or plots it out later after the "credits roll". And yet, she still manages to get the information about what will happen and why across to the reader in a fresh way. It doesn't feel like repetition, repetition, repetition, ad nauseum. This series continues to be on my auto get list, and it will continue to stay there. I am giving this book 4 very solid stars on Goodreads.