SAVAGE CHAINS - Caris Roane
It has taken Reyes years of undercover work to reach the inner circle of the Starlin Club, the highly secret vampire sex slave ring that deals in the high-end slavery trade of humans. Reyes, a vampire who once spent years in chains himself, has made it his mission to infiltrate and eliminate the Starlin Group, which specifically deals in high-end human slave trade. He has been playing his role as a rich and ruthless vampire who wants to own and dominate as many human slaves as he can, when in reality he wants to buy as many slaves as possible to free them and end this type of trade in the vampire world. As he prepares for the auction a few nights after his run-in with Angelica, he realizes that she is the one he wants, and he regrets his actions several evenings before but accepts the impossibility of bringing Angelica into his world. As the auction begins, he scans the slaves for auction and realizes that Angelica is one of them. Stunned, Reyes knows that he cannot allow her to impede his goal of saving as many slaves as possible.
The auction begins and…okay, I'm not telling. That would ruin what I considered to be the best part of SAVAGE CHAINS. And it's early enough in the story that I don't want to spoil it. Originally published in eBook novella format, SAVAGE CHAINS is a standalone story set in the Men in Chains world created by Caris Roane, a talented author who brims with originality in the seemingly eternal (no pun intended) vampire romantic fantasy world. There is quite a bit of intensity in this book, and the characters were strong and likeable. Angelica, for instance, is a feisty spitfire who seems to adapt quite well to the shock of finding out that: 1) Reyes is a vampire, and 2) she's being auctioned off to a group of vampires. Still, she worked as a character for me. Imagining her any other way would have made the whole sex slave scenario extremely unpleasant. I liked Reyes too, and I liked the way Roane imagines the vampire world. The story is dark and interesting, but the dialogue is somewhat stiff and stilted throughout. SAVAGE CHAINS was not as smooth and seamless as I have known Roane's previous work to be (especially when she wrote as Valerie King), so I was somewhat disappointed. Still, I don't expect that I will stop reading Caris Roane; she continues to be an innovative and creative author who has rightfully earned and fully deserves her success. If you'd like to read some of her other Men in Chains books, check out BORN IN CHAINS, CHAINS OF DARKNESS and UNCHAINED, all out in mass market paperback!