PHANTOM SHADOWS - Dianne Duvall
Immortal Guardians , Book 3
North Carolina - Present Day
During what was supposed to be a routine hunt, things go awry for Bastien Newcombe, and after killing the vampires he was chasing, he's forced to take on a mercenary team armed with the only drug that can take down an Immortal Guardian. Though he manages to take out the mercenaries, Bastien is hit with a couple of the tranquilizer darts in addition to being shot, and just before he loses consciousness, he manages to call the only person he thinks might help him…Dr. Melanie Lipton.
Melanie is one of the mortals working at the network, and as far as Bastien's concerned, she's the only one who is really trying to help the vampires. The virus that turns gifted ones into immortals and humans into vampires will eventually drive the vampires mad, but Melanie is working on finding a way change that. She's also one of the few people who see something redeeming in Bastien, who once led a vampire army to rebel against the Immortal Guardians. When he calls, obviously disoriented and possibly injured, Melanie sends help to him and even defends him to her boss when Bastien is brought to the network.
The attacks by the mercenaries, as well as the disappearance of many of the network's contacts, prove to the Immortal Guardians and the network that this is a threat that needs to be dealt with immediately. Bastien and Melanie end up working together, and the forced proximity is making it very hard for Bastien to ignore his desires. Being with him can only damage her credibility, but Bastien can't fight his feelings—especially when he knows that Melanie feels the same way.
The third novel in the Immortal Guardians series, PHANTOM SHADOWS features someone who was the enemy of the characters in the previous books. Having not read the earlier stories, I can't say with certainty how much of a villain Bastien was—he obviously worked against the Immortal Guardians; he kidnapped Sarah and tried to kill Roland (the couple featured in DARKNESS DAWNS). In spite of the years he spent living with vampires, Bastien doesn't hesitate to kill them when he knows they are no longer sane, and manages to help with the Immortal Guardians' mission. That's not to say he's friendly with them—with only a few exceptions, the Immortal Guardians and the network alike would cheerfully rid the world of Bastien. One of those exceptions is Melanie, who sees a side of Bastien nobody else does. As they work together to find the man leading the mercenaries, the attraction between Bastien and Melanie becomes too strong to ignore, but what kind of future can they have?
While there are definitely some aspects of this story that would be better understood if you've read the previous novels, overall PHANTOM SHADOWS is a thrilling paranormal tale with likeable characters and plenty of action.