Goddess with a Blade by Lauren Dane
Source: netGalley / Carina Press
Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. Physical vessel to the Celtic Goddess Brigid and raised by the leader of the Vampire Nation, she’s a supercharged hunter with the power to slay any vampire who violates the age-old treaty.
A recent string of murders has her at odds with Las Vegas’s new Scion, the arrogant and powerful Clive Stewart. The killings have the mark of Vampire all over them, and Rowan warns Clive to keep his people in line-or she’ll mete out her own brand of justice.
Though her dealings with Clive are adversarial to say the least, Rowan is intensely aware of her attraction to him. But she can’t let it distract her from her duty-to find and battle the killer before more women die.
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I have a confession to make: I don’t really know how I feel about Goddess with a Blade. My feelings toward the book are lukewarm. On one hand, I liked the backstory Lauren Dane has created for Rowan, and I liked many aspects of the world building quite a lot, but I wasn’t that interested in Clive, her romantic foil. Rowan has this lovely (from the reader’s perspective) history with Vampires, being born into a family with a centuries-old history of serving Vampires, but she’s also a Hunter, tasked with enforcing the treaty that exists between the Hunter Corporation and the Vampire Nation. This has all of the makings of a delightfully conflicted protagonist, so I was quite excited. Plus she’s rather bitchy, which I can also enjoy in a character. Clive, on the other hand, is pretty flat. He’s handsome, he’s rich, he’s confused by his powerful attraction to Rowan, but that’s all there is. We don’t really learn much about who he is, other than the fact that he’s Rowan’s political opponent and f*ckbuddy. I hate to use this kind of language on the blog but there’s really no other way to describe their relationship since it’s motivated 100% by an attraction both of them wish they didn’t feel. This was something of a problem for me since the book is being sold as paranormal romance and I didn’t really feel the romance part of it.
Aside from not really believing the relationship, I also found a lot of the dialogue extremely awkward. Some of the narration was also a bit more miss than hit for me, such as this sentence from p. 58: “Her hormones surged as she realized, with nearly detached fascination, they were totally going to do it.” That just didn’t resonate for me.
Thankfully, there are other parts to the story, namely the fact that Rowan has to track down a Vampire who’s killing women and leaving their mutilated bodies to be found by regular humans. That part of the story I enjoyed. Lauren Dane has done a nice job of putting together an interesting task for Rowan, particularly when you combine the murder mystery with the fact that Rowan is approaching her 30th birthday and will be coming into new powers as the Vessel. In fact, if this had been the entire book, I think I would have been quite satisfied.
As the first time I’ve read this author, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After finishing Goddess with a Blade, I checked out her website and realized that she writes in a variety of genres, including erotic romance, and maybe this is why some of the tone and content wasn’t always quite what I expected. In any case, I think there are some great elements in Goddess with a Blade and I look forward to seeing what else Lauren Dane produces.