“Hess laughed. "You know, I thought you were a mousy little thing when I first saw you, Claire, but you're not, are you? Not underneath."
Oh, I am mousy," she said."All this scares the hell out of me. But I don't know what else to do, sir, except try.
Even a mouse bites.”
And that is, my friends, how Claire grows up. Little by little. You just have to give her a chance. That is all. If you lived through the first book, you are gonna fall in love with this one. If you gave up on the first book I have only one thing to say to you - TOUGH LUCK, 'cause Claire is maturing and she is anything but a doormat to vampires.
“I liked you better when you were this timid little kid. What happened?”
“I started living with you guys.”
Now, for the storyline.
In the midst of all the confusion and danger (in the previous book), Shane called his father. Even though Shane and his roommates managed to survive without his help, he still came to town and brought his cycling buddies with him. The problem is that Shane's dad lost his mind somewhere along the line of retrieving his memories. Now he wants to kill as many vampires as possible and he wants Shane to join him.
Shane doesn't exactly agree with his father but he has endured a lifetime of beating from him and now he is scared and a little bit brainwashed as it seems. He still believes he can convince his father to do the right thing. All that brings him is - trouble. The deadly sort of trouble.
Shane is suspected of killing a vampire called Brandon. He is arrested along side with one of his father's friends and is put in a cage. The vampires demand retribution. If his father won't come forward, Shane will burn to death inside a steel cage in the middle of a town square. The clock is ticking.
Claire and her friends are set on freeing Shane. Even though Amelie revoked Shane's Protection, they still have theirs which gives them some free room to roam about searching for a way to exonerate Shane. The biggest obstacle is Michael. He is only around during the night and he cannot leave the house so the girls are on their own and they will have their hands full.
Oliver is the one who made it all happen this way. He won't give up on Shane that easily. Amelie is staying neutral. While surprisingly the mayor is on the human side of the commotion. But he couldn't do much. Well, not until his daughter was kidnapped by Shane's father and now we have a tie. Who will give in first and who will be the first one to die.
Claire - I already said a few words about her but here it goes. She is maturing. Well, who wouldn't with everything that keeps happening to and around her. She is finally learning how the world isn't fair and sometimes you have to be the strong link because there will come a time when there will be no one running to your rescue. I like her humor, though. As well as Shane's.
"Want to play baseball?’” she asked. Shane’s eyes opened, and he stopped stroking her hair. “What?’” “First base,’” she said. “You’re already there.’” “I’m not running the bases.’” “Well, you could at least steal second.’” “Jeez, Claire. I used to distract myself with sports stats at times like these, but now you’ve gone and ruined it.”"
Shane - a laid back guy (reminds me of surfers with a tan and an attitude like they are always high) but with deeply troubled past. The loss of his sister wounded him deeply and he is like a manly man who doesn't want to talk about it. Or his feelings really. But he loves to joke around. And he makes me laugh.
“Ummm…” She licked her lips. “Define fun.”
“Quit doing that, jailbait. It’s distracting.”
Eve - despite the goth clothes and make-up and a serious attitude, she is just another sensitive girl who lived through hell and now she is on a defensive side not to get hurt again. I like her, she stands out and saves the day eventually.
“Boys. I'd turn gay if they weren't so sexy. ”
“Your father's an asshole. It's not a disease. You don't have to catch it.” (to Shane)
Michael - oh, definitely my type of a guy. I'd most likely fall for him rather than for Shane. He is mature, serious, dependent, strong, brave, smart and plays a guitar (always a plus). When Eve and him started to express their feelings for each other, he didn't care who was around, he acted like he felt. He would kiss her or hug her with no shame or reluctance. Just like you are supposed to. And he made the ultimate sacrifice to save his friend. Mmmmm... one hell of a guy.
“So we do nothing? - Claire
We do the best nothing you've ever seen. - Michael”
“This near enough? Whatcha gonna do, doll girl? Cry all over me?"
Claire hid her eyes as the biker reached out for Eve with one tattooed hand.
No," Eve said breathlessly. "I'm going to let my boyfriend beat the crap out of you."
There was a dull thunk of wood meeting flesh, and a howl. Then another, much harder thunk, and a crash as a body hit the floor.
The biker was down. Claire stared at him in disbelief, then looked past him, to the figure standing there with the field hockey stick in both hands.
Sam - a new man on the scene. And I say man because he is a seventy year old vampire, so... not a boy. He is the youngest vampire on the planet and the loneliest one. The older ones won't hang out with him, Amelie (his maker) doesn't wish to see him and most humans keep their distance. But he seems like a real badass and I instantly liked him.
“You. O Positive. How many exits?" (Sam)
"What?...Oh shit, did you just call me by my bloodtype?”
“I’m not leaving,” Sam said, his eyes fixed on the boy he was holding. “Not until Disney Princess here apologizes, or his head comes off, one of the two.”
Gramma - the wisest, most likeable character ever. She is a perfect example of wisdom of the elderly. She was born in Morganville and she knows all the rules. She grew old here and she will die here. But she never lost her spark or sense of humor. Nor has she lost her fierceness.
“Can I come back and see you sometime?" (Claire)
"Long as you bring me some chocolate," Gramma said, and smiled. "I'm partial to chocolate."
"Gramma, you're diabetic." (granddaughter)
"I'm old, girl. Gonna die of something. Might as well be chocolate.”
Amelie - I thought she was a true elder, a wise and just woman. I was wrong. She is just like the rest of them. Doesn't want to get her hands dirty and works only for her profit. Totally disappointed in her. Just because I really liked her in the first book. Oh well, like I said before. Can't love them all.
I'm not exactly sure how / when Claire and Shane started to call each other boyfriend / girlfriend. I get that they kissed in public. And hugged. And talked about their secrets. But precisely when had they start going out / having a formal relationship / asked to call one another bf/gf ? Did I miss that scene because I devoured the book so quickly? I don't think so but still...
And a treat...
“Her hands brushed Shane's, and he let go of the cards and took hold.
And then somehow she was in his lap, and he was kissing her. Hadn't meant to do that but...well. She couldn't exactly be sorry about it, beacuse he tasted amazing, and his lips were so soft and his hands were so strong...
He leaned back, eyes half shut, and he was smiling. Shane didnt smile all that much, and it always left her breathless and tingling. There was a secrecy about it like he only ever smiled at her, and it just felt... perfect."Claire, you're being careful right?" He smoothed hair back from her face. "Seriously. You'd tell me if you got into trouble?"
No trouble," She lied, thinking about Monica's not-so veiled threats, and that glimpse of Shane's dad seated across from Oliver in the coffee shop."No trouble at all"
Good" He kissed her again, then moved down her jawline to her neck , and, wow neck nibbles took her breath away. She closed her eyes and buried her fingers in his warm hair, trying to tell him through every touch how much she liked this, like him, loved...
Her eyes came open, fast. She didn not just think about that.
And then, maddeningly , he let go and leaned back , lips damp. He licked them , watching her, and then gave her that slow crazy, sexy smile again.
Go to bed" he said " Before I decide to come with”