From the BLURB:
If you're just joining us, welcome to radio station WVMP, "The Lifeblood of Rock'n'Roll." Con-artist-turned-station-owner Ciara Griffin manages an on-air staff of off-the-wall DJs -- including her new boyfriend Shane McAllister -- who really sink their teeth into the music of their "Life Time" (the era in which they became vampires). It's Ciara's job to keep the undead rocking, the ratings rolling, and the fan base alive -- without missing a beat.
For Halloween, WVMP is throwing a bash sure to raise the dead. They've got cool tunes, hot costumes, killer cocktails -- what could go wrong? Well, for starters, a religious firebrand ranting against the evils of the occult preempts the station's midnight broadcast. Then, when Ciara tracks down the illegal transmission, the broadcast tower is guarded by what appears to be...a canine vampire? And behind it all is a group of self-righteous radicals who think vampires suck (and are willing to stake their lives on it).
Now Ciara must protect the station while struggling with her own murky relationship issues, her best friend's unlikely romance with a fledgling vampire, and the nature of her mysterious anti-holy powers. To make it to New Year's in one piece, she'll need to learn a few new tricks....
I love this series – it’s become one of my favorite Urban Fantasies, and Jeri-Smith Ready is officially a ‘must buy’ author for me. I really liked her first book in the WVMP series (‘Wicked Game’) but ‘Bad to the Bone’ totally seals the deal.
In this book the vampire radio station is up against a group of religious zealots trying to steal their airwaves. The religious storyline isn’t exactly new to the vampire book – and in ‘Bad to the Bone’ the ‘Fortress’ religious nuts reminded a lot of Charlaine Harris’s ‘Light of Day’ anti-vampire institute. But Smith-Ready makes such a compelling storyline out of it and puts her own spin on this institution that you forgive the familiarity of the ‘bad guys’.
I really appreciated the progression of Ciara and Shane’s relationship in this book. It’s definitely not a smooth relationship; apart from battling Shane’s OCD, inherent vampire problems (i.e: sunlight) and questions about Shane’s eventual loss of humanity and Ciara’s aging… Smith-Ready has the couple dealing with very real relationship issues. One of those issues is Ciara’s growing attraction to fellow co-worker (and human), David. Shane is Ciara’s first long-term boyfriend (4 months) and she holds nothing back from the reader about how hard it is to maintain the relationship – and one of the obstacles she battles is lust for David. The triangle is made even more interesting when David reciprocates Ciara’s interest.
But best of all in ‘Bad to the Bone’ is Smith-Ready showing how much Shane and Ciara love each other. It is quite rare to have a series in which the protagonist gets her guy in the first book and subsequent books follow the evolution of their relationship. I can really only think of Jeaniene Frost’s ‘Night Huntress’ series as one other that has no ‘will-they-or-won’t-they’ for the protagonist and her leading man. I like that Smith-Ready is showing us the progression of Shane and Ciara’s relationship, especially if it means plenty of steamy sex scenes and sweet monologues from Shane:
“Sometimes in the middle of the night” he says, “when I’m in the studio, a song will remind me of you. One line of lyrics, or even just a riff that travels up my spine the way your fingers do. And suddenly I’ll miss the way your skin smells in all the hidden places. I’ll miss the way you sigh when I slide inside you, and the way your eyelashes flutter. Or I’ll just miss the way you laugh at one of my stupid jokes. And sometimes this happens in the middle of the day when I’m at the station, and I know you’re upstairs in the office, and I could walk up and see you in less than a minute.”
*sigh*. Shane is fast becoming one of my all-time favorite vampire men. And ‘Bad to the Bone’ is also full of good Shane/Ciara smuttiness, including one scene in which they have sex while Shane is ‘on air’ – kinky goodness.
I love this series, and I can’t wait for the 3rd book. ‘Bring on the Night’ will be released sometime in August 2010, and a fourth book has a tentative Spring 2011 release.
If you haven’t yet added Jeri Smith-Ready to your TBR pile – do it now. Whether it’s this WVMP series, or her ‘Aspect of Crow’ – both are phenomenally good and have made her an ‘automatic buy’ for me.