Title: Know Thine Enemy
Author: Rosalie Stanton
Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing, LLC
Buy Link: Buy Know Thine Enemy Here!
Rating: You Gotta Read
Reviewer: Wendy Mitchell
He’s a vampire with a story. She’s a woman with a past.
The second Ryker spots the girl with midnight hair, he knows there’s more to her than meets the eye. She boasts the title of vampire hunter, but something’s off, something’s missing, and that something pulls him close…until backing off isn’t an option.
For years, Izzie has lived for the night, outrunning ghosts from home that seem to find her wherever she lands. Alongside her friend and mentor, who rescued her when she was at her lowest, she destroys creatures she once thought couldn’t exist. But Izzie doesn’t have what she needs to be her best, and doesn’t know if she ever will...or if the life she has is the one she wants.
When a shadow from Ryker’s former life surfaces to collect a forgotten debt, vampire and hunter are thrust together in a strange world of eroticism and servitude.
They must trust each other if they mean to escape, but when trust turns into something more, the real enemy becomes harder and harder to pick out.
Ryker was following the skinny human female at the request of his one and only friend Connor, owner and proprietor of the demon bar the Wall. She was easily made as a demon hunter and Connor just wanted to make sure she wasn’t a threat to his clientele. Izzie Bennett was good at her chosen vocation, not that she had a lot of choice. In this situation it was kill or be eaten. She and her partner Wright cleaned the streets of the evil vermin who preyed on the innocents. Ryker was proving to be a different sort of vampire. He was just trying to survive. Izzie couldn’t find anything overtly evil or sinister about the irritating stalker. Ryker is just as mystified by Izzie, she doesn’t wantonly kill vampires without good cause. In fact she’s the first hunter he’s found for who the hunt is not personal. When a ghost from Ryker’s past captures and imprisons Ryker and Izzie for an unknown government agency, they discover they are not so very different after all.
This book blew me away. It is not what I expected at all. It is so much darker and intense than anything I have read from Rosalie Stanton’s previous works. It still contains her trademark graphic sensuality. I have yet to run across anyone who can touch Ms. Stanton’s gift of sexual dialogue. She turns dirty talk into an art form. The characters in this book are all so incredibly damaged, it is just heartbreaking at times, and the only true villains were the government scientists. Izzie and Ryker’s captivity at the government facility is very hard to read at an emotional level. By this time, I was attached to both characters and their torture and humiliation was hard to stomach. I felt like I was literally there with them. As painful as that experience was, I would not have changed one second of this journey. It was masterfully crafted, and though it had a very Urban Fantasy feel to it, the romance, humor, (and I can’t stress this aspect enough) sexual dynamite kept it from being too overwhelming. It was perfectly balanced. Izzie was a fantastic heroine. Strong when it counted, but not so hardheadedly stubborn that it endangered anyone. She definitely could offer instruction on how not to be a weenie heroine. I loved Ryker because not only was he strong and alpha (all the things we expect from a good hero) but he was very analytical. He studied and plotted like a master chess player. Very sexy. Probably my favorite character though, was the owner of the Wall, Connor. He was just adorable! Zack Wright, Izzie’s partner and mentor needs further exploration. I would love to see him with his own story (maybe with a visit from Izzie, Ryker, and Connor). I really, really need Rosalie Stanton to hit the grindstone a little harder. Her books just aren’t coming fast enough for my taste.