Title: Cronin’s Key II
Author: N.R. Walker
Pages/Word Count: 195 Pages
At a Glance: Another wild ride with Alec and Cronin and the rest of the vamps. This is what the Indiana Jones movies would be like if Indy were a gay vampire!
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: History isn’t always what it seems.
With the battle of Egypt behind them, Alec and Cronin are enjoying the thrill of new love. Though fate doesn’t wait long before throwing them back into the world of weird.
They know Alec’s blood is special, though its true purpose still eludes them. And given Alec’s inability to be changed into a vampire, Cronin is free to drink from him at will. But the ramifications of drinking such powerful blood starts a ripple effect.
With the help of Jorge, a disturbing vampire-child with the gift of foresight, Alec and Cronin face a new kind of war. This time their investigations lead them to the borders of China and Mongolia—but it’s not what lies in the pits beneath that worries Alec.
It’s the creator behind it all.
In the underground depths of China, amidst a war with the Terracotta Army, they will find out just what the Key is, and what Alec means to the vampire world.
Review: Note: this is the second in a series, and it’s recommended to read in order as much of Book I is a spoiler for Book II.
This series is a madcap romp of paranormal action/suspense and romance! Alec and Cronin have survived one near-miss in Egypt that nearly cost them a very good friend and their own lives. They return to Cronin’s Manhattan condo to luxuriate in their new relationship, but, of course, that can’t last long.
When out for a night of fun with other vampires, it seems that something strange is happening to Cronin, and it looks like it might be traced back to his new life with Alec and Alec’s blood. In addition to the changes in Cronin, it seems that there are more mysterious occurrences around the world that lead them to suspect the work of rogue vampires. Yet another historical figure turns out to be a long dead vampire who is brought back to seek Alec’s blood in order to wreak havoc on the world.
Along the way we meet some more vampires with incredible gifts. Cronin and Alec and their friends must solve the mystery of Alec’s purpose and what the true meaning of his blood and what exactly he is the “key” to, all the while dodging the assassins and kidnappers who seem to dog their every move. Everyone near and dear to Alec is in danger during this adventure. Cronin is distraught at the possibility of Alec being in mortal danger. They are so attuned to each other that it’s obvious that any harm to one will result in catastrophic harm to the other. Cronin wants nothing but to protect Alec and Alec wants nothing more than to resolve the problem in a way that will save both of them. Once again the climactic scene brings us full circle, with astonishing surprises and unforeseen revelations about Alec and his past.
This story had even more surprises than the first installment, in my opinion. I really liked how Alec and Cronin’s relationship changed in this book, and, as a result, led them to being an even stronger couple. The mysterious child vampire, Jorge, really added a fascinating and unexpected component to the story. His gifts and talents were amazing! In addition, there were more history lessons and creative twists on the known accounts of the Chinese terracotta army that made the story just that much more fun.
This series is highly recommended for those who like action, adventure, history, creative paranormal elements and hot, hot smexiness. I cannot wait for the next chapter!
You can buy Cronin’s Key II here: