Reviewed by: Kris
Rating (out of 5): 5 stars
Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Raphael.
It has been a month since PI Cynthia Leighton parted ways with the Vampire Lord, Raphael. While Cyn successfully solved the case, the combustible attraction between her and Raphael coupled with her walls and his need to be in total control of everything has left her feeling unsettled and alone.
Cynthia’s association with Lord Raphael has also given her a wider profile in the vampire world. An invitation from Jabril Karim, the Vampire Lord of the South seems to be just the thing Cyn needs to nurse her broken heart. Jabril’s ward, Elizabeth Hawthorn, is missing and Jabril requests Cyn’s help in locating the wayward teen.
Of course nothing is that simple with vampires, and that goes double for anything involving the Vampire Lords. It is apparent that Jabril is playing a deeper game–one that Cyn is not interested in being a part of. As the search for the missing Hawthorne heiress progresses, Cyn realizes she may need Raphael’s help if she is going to survive.
Jabril is the continuation of Raphael and Cynthia’s story and I loved it every bit as much as I loved Raphael. First, we get to see into the expanded vampire world that DB Reynolds has created. Worldbuilding is one of the most important facets of a good series for me. In Jabril we get to see more of what is essentially a magical feudal system and how living under different Vampire Lords can shape a vampire’s experience. While I love the characters, they do not work without a really strong framework and Reynolds provides that in her worldbuilding. All of the layers of vampire society play out in the interactions between characters and develop into a rich narrative that is fast paced, thrilling, and very satisfying for this reader.
As for the characters themselves, while we already know (and some say love) Cyn and Raphael, we also get to meet some fantastic new characters and catch up with some other old friends. All of the characters add depth and flavour to the story. We see a little bit more into Cynthia’s past as a police officer and understand even more about the vampire ties to their respective Lords. The characters make the deeper dive into the world interesting and give the series an outlet to really expand. Jabril is a truly scary villain and makes a fantastic antagonist for Cyn and Raphael.
As with Raphael, Jabril is violent and sexy read. The vampires in this world revel in their existence and make no apologies for their actions. Twists and turns abound and the ending is the first real indication that this series has so much more to share. I simply cannot recommend Jabril and the Vampires in America series more. It hits all the right notes and leaves the reader wanting more.
Sexual content: graphic sex