Demi-goddess and muse Seraphina Kostos has been tasked with bringing her employer’s wayward teenage daughter home. Not the hardest job Seraphina’s ever had. Until her boss calls in a favor in the form of extra help. The man who arrives is unlike any she’s ever encountered.
Sin City Collector Ares rarely goes on typical Collections. Mostly because his skill set involves taking lives, not saving them. As the son of a vampire and a grim reaper, his touch holds the ability to reap souls. Sure, it makes for a lonely existence, but he’s learned to deal with that. Or has he?
Beautiful Seraphina has him questioning everything he’s ever known. Living the rest of his life alone suddenly seems impossible. But what kind of future is there with a woman he can’t touch or hold or kiss?
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The Sin City Collectors series focuses on a group of supernaturals in Las Vegas that police the supernaturals within the city. If there is an offense committed against another supernatural, they are given the assignment of “collecting” the offender and delivering him or her to “The Boss” for punishment. Each book within the series focuses on a different collector.
In Dead Man’s Hand, we get to know Ares. He’s a wraith, which means he is half vampire and half reaper. His touch alone is enough to reap someone’s soul no matter if he wants to or not. Needless to say, he lives a fairly solitary life. He usually gets the “cleanup” jobs within the agency, taking the lives of those who have committed the worst of crimes.
In this story, Ares is sent on assignment to assist Seraphina, a muse, in locating the daughter of her friend and employer, who is apparently friends with “The Boss.” As the story grows, she causes Ares to question whether he really has come to terms with his lonely life.
I think Ares is my favorite male supernatural character that I’ve come across in a long while. I’m not sure what it is about him, but I am strangely drawn to him. Maybe it’s the idea of wanting what we can’t have? There is an unusual strength about him that is different from the typical alpha male type of stories we are accustomed to. In many stories, the alpha male character is physically strong, extremely attractive, and just has a very large presence. I don’t get that impression of him. To me, his strength is more of an inner strength that he must endure whether he chooses to or not. He is forced to have limited to no physical contact with anyone else out of fear that he will take that person’s soul. For him to live with that every day has to be hard on the mind as well as the heart.
I didn’t feel much of a connection with Serafina. She’s a muse, so she never really knows if someone likes her for who she is or for what she is helping that person do without anyone realizing it. That can be depressing, so I do feel badly for her about that. In addition, she has a pretty crappy family life. Mom wants nothing to do with her for her own so called “protection,” and dad is a no show. I can see why she is drawn to Ares and feel a connection with him. They are both lonely, though for different reasons.
Overall, Dead Man’s Hand really is a good book. The author gives a good background on the characters, which helps the reader to understand who they really are. The characters themselves are compassionate and give a sense of real emotion that is evident in the way they behave with each other as well as with others. This book fits in well with the other books in the series and ties itself in by a brief mention of one of the characters from Queen of Hearts, Painter’s other contribution to this series (that I also enjoyed). This isn’t a book that drags things out, but is great about getting to the point before you can even consider losing interest. It is nicely paced without seeming rushed.
There is a similar pattern among all 4 of the books in the series so far, but I’m not going to tell you what it is, I’ll let you figure it out for yourself!
I received a copy of this book for review purposes.
Other Books in the
Sin City Collectors Series:
By Amanda Carlson
By Kristen Painter