Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Key to Conflict by Talia Gryphon

Key to Conflict
Talia Gryphon
Ace – The Berkley Publishing Group
June 2007

Dr. Gillian Key is a Paramortal psychologist as well as a Special Forces Operative. Her current work takes her to Romania and deep into the Carpathian Mountains where Count Aleksei Rachlav, a centuries old vampire, needs her professional help. While there she’ll counsel a second client, a ghost who has some issues of his own. Despite her seemingly full workload, Gillian’s also on a special ops mission to gather what information she can about Dracula. A war is about to begin among the vampires, and Gillian is right smack in the middle. With the protection of Aleksei and his allies Gillian must stay in the country until the threat has passed, but when Aleksei’s brother Tanis goes missing Gillian refuses to wait around. With the help of some old friends Gillian plans to bring Tanis back, because in her line of work no one is left behind.

Count Aleksei Rachlav has come to a point in his long life where living no longer holds the interest it once did. Calling upon Dr. Key for some much needed professional advice, Aleksei never expects the instant attraction he feels for her. Not that he could act on his interest, because along with their professional relationship comes the rule that prohibits Gillian from getting romantically involved with a patient for a full year after the patient is discharged from her care. With the threat of war, Aleksei’s position in the vampire community could be threatened, and those who he protects would be in great danger. Aleksei will do whatever it takes to defeat Dracula, and hope that someday he’ll have the chance to claim the woman whose presence brought meaning back to his life.

Key to Conflict is a refreshingly new facet in the paranormal genre, and wonderfully well-written. As Gillian embarks on her journey deep into the vampire world, the last thing she expects is to be caught in the middle of a war. As the tension rises with the impending battle the chemistry between Gillian and Aleksei reaches sizzling heights. Ms. Gryphon has woven a gloriously fascinating tale and carved a niche in this well loved genre to call her own. This is a delightfully entertaining read.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews

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