Argeneau book #25
March 28, 2017
In a spellbinding new Argeneau novel from New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands, a dangerous rescue is just the beginning of red-hot adventure . . .
Ever since Domitian Argenis recognized Sarita as his life mate, he’s been waiting for the perfect moment to claim her. Those fantasies did not include him being chained to a table in a secret lab or both of them being held hostage by a mad scientist. Somehow, they have to escape . . .
Sarita has seen some crazy things as a cop, but nothing to rival Domitian. A vampire? Seriously? But his healing ability, incredible powers, and their mind-blowing physical connection—none of it should be possible, yet her body knows differently. Now, not only do they have to save each other, but other innocent lives are at stake. Failure is not an option, for Sarita intends that Domitian show her exactly what an eternity of pleasure feels like . . .
Drina's brother, Domitian, is a well known chef and restauranteur in Venezuala. For years one of his patrons has been asking him to cook for him and he's refused until now. Now, with the disappearance of so many immortals across North America, he has volunteered himself to help Lucian and the other rogue hunters capture the one responsible. The only problem is they're still in the dark about who it is so he may end up being the one trapped in this game of cat and mouse.
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Goodreads reviews...~ 4 1/2 stars!
The popular Argeneau romance series expands its horizons with a mysterious island with fantastic beasts and a diabolical doctor determined to change life as we know it and find immortality no matter the cost. Bestseller Sands’ newest title is a rip-roaring story that opens up a new thread—and enemy—to her paranormal world and will delight her fans...An imaginative and entertaining addition to the Argeneau world. Review by Kirkus Reviews.
I realize it’s a cliché when a reviewer says that the storyline grabbed them from the first page but that really happened to me. Right off the bat, the novel opens up with a dramatic prologue where Domitian is in a heated discussion with Lucian and it’s a shocking exchange. Yes, those first few pages lay the groundwork for an amazing, mind blowing and stunning adventure that raises the bar in the Argeneau saga to new levels. Readers, buckle up. Immortal Unchained is a wild ride and is nothing you’ve seen before. Ms. Sands has a true winner on her hands and it’s stunning.The first full chapter introduces Sarita, the heroine. It starts off so benign and innocuous. Don’t let it fool you. The heroine isn’t a helpless damsel; she is a cop and she has good instincts. Something doesn’t add up so being the good officer she is, she investigates. What follows propels the plot and story forward at a dizzying speed. Sarita is abruptly thrust into the world of the Immortals and their fight to survive in what turns out to be a hellish captivity. What the villain does to them is truly horrifying. Ms. Sands’ writing makes that very vivid and clear to a reader. The good news is that the disturbing, dark and insane goings on does not overwhelm a reader. There are a lot of important new secondary characters, some of which I suspect will show up again in the future because they have a certain …edge which could really help the Immortals. Run, don’t walk, and grab your own copy of Immortal Unchained. This novel is going to find a welcome and permanent spot on my keeper shelf. It’s that marvelous. Given 5 stars by Xeranthemum and LongAndShortReviews.
Since I accidentally stumbled across the 7th book of the Argeneau series of Lynsay Sands (The Accidental Vampire, what's in a name...), I was sincerely spoiled. Ever since, all vampire books I read are measured against the Argeneaus... We had already seen, that there were some immortals disappearing in those books. And although Lucian was trying to find them, he was not able to. Enter Domitian. We start the book with Lucian growling (when is he not growling...) into Domitian's earpeace, not to go on board of the helicopter. But of course, Domitian gets on the helicopter... and ends up chained to a table in a secret lab. Fortunately, Domitian is untied by Sarita, his life mate. Of course there is this undeniable attraction between Sarita and Domitian, which will lead to some hilarious and also steaming scenes. But, as a true Argeneau story, there is a lot of action, some unexpected turns and some very intriguing characters. So of course, 5 stars from me! And looking forward to book 26! Keep up the good work, Lynsay. Reviewed by Wendy at NextBookAroundTheCorner.blogspot.ca.
Wow that was quite a book! Holy cow. So much going on and hard to say anything without giving away spoilers! Lets just say I loved all of it. I felt so bad for Sarita, so much awful in her life. But she got her HEA. What craziness that is on Dr. Dressler's island. That was a surprise for me, and all the immortals...Reviewed by EskimoPrincess.
Domitian Argenis is a vampire man who knows what he wants, and that’s Sarita. She’s a gorgeous, butt-kicking cop who doesn’t mess around. (Good for you, Domitian! Don’t ever settle!) Our hero has wanted to claim Sarita for a while, and now seems like the perfect opportunity. They’ve both got to dodge a mad scientist, though, before they can truly settle down together for an eternity of sensuous joy. When “forever” is looking so delicious, you want it to start, like, ASAP. Here’s hoping they get cracking and that they proceed to live a sexy life together that still involves our gal pursuing her career dreams. This is the latest book in Sands’ extensive Argeneau Vampire series. Featured on B&N's Romance Roundup.
In Immortal Unchained, Domitian and Sarita become guinea pigs for a mad scientist who is obsessed with all things immortals. As they get to know each other — after all, the two are life mates — Sarita’s attitude and strength, along with Domitian’s underlying sexiness, stir a cacophony of emotions, within themselves and the reader. Although it’s slow to start, this is a great continuation of the Argeneanu series. Given 4 stars by RT Book Reviews.
Immortal Unchained was an exciting paranormal island adventure as only Lynsay Sands can tell it. Danger lurked around every corner as an immortal and a feisty cop tried to stay a step ahead of an evil doctor intent on doing them–and others–harm. I really enjoyed this latest installment in Sands’ longstanding Argeneau series and had a lot of fun meeting Domitian and Sarita. Given 4 stars by Sara at Harlequin Junkies.
Immortal Unchained marks a milestone in the series for Lynsay Sands in that it’s the 25th book! That’s impressive by any standards. I found that I overall enjoyed Immortal Unchained. There’s this undertone of The Island of Doctor Moreau running through it. Given 4 stars by Amy at Vampire Book Club.
"I begin to think they are going to be late," Domitian murmured, hefting his duffle bag higher on his shoulder so that the microphone hidden in his sleeve would catch his words.
"Perhaps it is a sign." Lucian Argeneau's voice was surprisingly clear. The earpiece they'd given Domitian was so small that it was unseen once inserted, but the sound came through loud and crystal clear. "We should scrap this now and—"
"Still trying to talk me out of going, Uncle?" Domitian asked with amusement, and then suddenly impatient, added, "I do not know why you are so resistant to my doing this. Especially with Uncle Victor, Lucern, Decker, Nicholas, Aunt Eshe, Mirabeau La Roche, and Santo Notte now among the missing. I would think with all of them having been taken—"
"That is precisely why," Lucian growled. "This is dangerous. We have already lost several hunters, people armed and trained to handle situations like this. You, Domitian, are going in there unarmed, and you are not a hunter."
"True, but I was a warrior once. I can handle myself," Domitian argued. "Besides, none of your hunters were invited, I was."
"Yes, but was it because you are a chef and Dressler wants you to work for him? Or because you are an immortal he wants to add to his collection?"
"I told you. He does not know I am an immortal," Domitian said slowly and firmly, stressing each word. They'd had this conversation several times already, but it seemed they would have it again. "If Dressler knew, he could have taken me at any time. He has been a regular in my restaurant for five years. He obviously does not know."
"Or perhaps he did not wish to kidnap an immortal so close to home," Lucian countered. "It might have led us straight here to Venezuela."
Domitian shifted impatiently at the suggestion. "One immortal missing in Caracas would hardly have brought you here when so many have gone missing in the United States."
"Perhaps. Or perhaps we would have—"
"Is that helicopter headed this way?" Domitian interrupted, raising a hand to shield his eyes from the sun as he watched the vehicle approach. It was flying low and seemed to be headed straight for where he stood at the base of the large dock . . . which was where he'd been directed to wait for his ride. He'd expected a boat, but—
"Are those pontoons?" Lucian asked sharply in his ear.
Domitian knew that Lucian and the others wouldn't have as good a view from the small boat where they waited farther along the docks. On top of that, they were staying out of sight in the small cabin in the bow, which had only tiny windows that were glazed and screened. Their view would be highly obscured compared to his.
"Yes. The helicopter has pontoons," he confirmed, his gaze on the skids with the floatation devices affixed to them. It was fitted out to be an amphibious helicopter so that it could set down on water or land, which made Domitian suspect that this was his ride. Apparently he wasn't the only one to think that, he realized, wincing as a loud curse sounded in his ear.
"You are not to get on that helicopter!" Lucian ordered firmly. "Make an excuse. Tell them you have changed your mind. We did not plan for this. The boats out in the bay might lose the helicopter. Do you hear me?"
His thoughts racing, Domitian watched the helicopter slow and begin to drop by the end of the dock. To get on board or not was the question. If he said he had a fear of flying, Dressler might send a boat for him and then Lucian's men could follow from a safe distance to find the island. Then again, he might not. Dressler might suspect something was afoot and simply cancel the job offer altogether . . . and Domitian couldn't risk that. He had to get on that island. His life mate was there and could be in danger.
"Domitian? Can you hear me?" Lucian barked sharply, and then his voice faded as he asked someone else, "Is this thing working? Why is he not answering?"
"Perhaps the noise from the helicopter is drowning you out," another voice responded. Domitian was pretty sure that voice belonged to the young hunter, Justin Bricker and was grateful for the suggestion. He would pretend it was true and he couldn't hear his uncle. He was getting on that helicopter. He might be risking his life doing it, but not getting on risked his chance of any kind of a happy future.
"Dammit! Domitian! Do not get on that helicopter! Domitian?"
Ignoring the voice in his ear, Domitian watched the helicopter set down, not on the water, but on the end of the dock. He then started forward.
"Domitian Argeneau!" Lucian's voice roared in his ear.
"It's Argenis, Uncle. Not Argeneau," Domitian reminded him gently before unobtrusively plucking the earpiece from his ear and tucking it into the front pocket of his tight jeans. It didn't matter what anyone said. He was going, Domitian thought as he watched the passenger door of the helicopter open.
Instinctively ducking, he rushed quickly under the rotors to the entrance. A man in a suit was waiting with his hand out to take his duffle bag. Domitian handed it over with a nod of thanks, and then grasped the door frame and climbed in. The window seat was the only one available, so he settled into it and pulled the door closed without having to be told.
Domitian then started to turn to get a better look at the other men in the helicopter, but stiffened in surprise as he felt a sudden sharp pain in the side of his neck. He lost consciousness almost at once.
Sarita closed the book she'd been trying to read and tossed it impatiently aside. It was a horrible book. Or perhaps she just wasn't in the mood to read, she acknowledged with irritation, getting restlessly to her feet. As a police officer, her life at home in Canada was usually a busy one, full of activity and even urgency. But here . . . all this sitting around waiting to be able to visit her grandmother was beginning to fray on her nerves. Sarita was anxious to see for herself how her grandmother was doing after her accident. It was why she was here, after all. Instead, she'd spent her time since arriving in Venezuela, stuck on this island, alternating between pacing and trying to read books that simply couldn't hold her interest. It was driving her crazy, sitting here, waiting for Dr. Dressler to return to the island and instruct his men to transport her to the mainland. Unfortunately, he hadn't been here when she'd arrived, and they wouldn't take her there without his orders.
Clucking impatiently under her tongue, she left the library, her mouth tightening as her gaze slid to the two men standing guard inside the front double doors of the house. They stood one on either side, eyes straight ahead, faces expressionless, hands loosely at their sides within easy reach of the side arms she knew each wore.
And that was the only thing they were doing right as far as she could tell. She'd been told the ridiculous level of security on the island was because kidnappings had become so rampant in Venezuela and "el Doctor" wanted to ensure his safety as well as that of his family, his employees, and visitors like her. But if that was the case, then he should have all of his security on the outside, watching for the approach of would-be kidnappers, not inside, watching the goings-on in the house. Although he had that too, she acknowledged. There were two men standing guard outside the double doors as well, and a dozen more walking the grounds as far as she could tell. "El Doctor" was obviously paranoid about kidnappings. But since her own mother had been kidnapped and killed when she was young, Sarita supposed she should probably appreciate his efforts to ensure their safety. Instead, she just found the men posted everywhere something else to be annoyed about today.
Knowing she was in a foul mood from a combination of boredom and frustration, Sarita turned on her heel and headed up the hall toward the kitchen. She'd get a drink and maybe one of Aleta's yummy cookies, and see if the cook had something for her to do to help pass the time. At that point, even something as mundane as washing dishes would be welcome . . . which told Sarita just how bored she was.
Grimacing at the depths to which she'd sunk after three short days of inactivity, Sarita pushed the kitchen door open and stepped inside. The rich aroma of something delicious rolled over her as she entered, and her nose twitched as she inhaled the scent. Spotting Aleta stirring a pot simmering on the range in the center of the island, she moved closer to peer at the contents with interest. There were chunks of vegetables and meat in a thick juice. It smelled like heaven.
"Hola," Aleta greeted her softly, a shy smile curving her lips.
Sarita smiled at the woman. "Hola. That smells good. I swear, Aleta, you're an angel. Everything you make is delicious."
"Gracias," Aleta said, flushing with pleasure.
"What is it?" Sarita asked, leaning across the island to inhale more deeply.
"El estofado de ternera," she answered.
"Mmm," Sarita murmured, again inhaling the scent coming off the beef stew.
"Is not quite time for dinner, but it is ready," Aleta said, watching her practically drool over the pot. "If you are hungry, you can eat now."
"Oh, yes please," Sarita said at once.
Aleta chuckled at her eagerness. "Go out to the dining room and I will bring it in."
Sarita shook her head. "I can eat here. It would be nice to have some company," she added when Aleta frowned.
The woman's expression softened then and she nodded. "Here then. Sit down," she added, gesturing to the stools on the opposite side of the island from where she was cooking.
Sarita wanted to insist on getting her own food and drink, but suspected if she tried Aleta might change her mind about letting her eat in the kitchen. So she sank obediently onto one of the stools and watched as Aleta fetched her a bowl and spoon and served up the stew.
"Que quieres tomar?" Aleta asked as she set the bowl before her.
"Water is fine," Sarita answered and then said, "Agua" as well. Aleta seemed to speak English well, but the way she slipped back into Spanish at times—as she had when she'd just asked what Sarita wanted to drink—suggested the cook might not be fully fluent in the language. She had no desire to embarrass the woman by making her admit it.
Picking up her spoon, Sarita scooped up some of the stew, blew on it briefly, and then slipped it into her mouth. It was as good as it smelled, better even, and she moaned with pleasure as the flavor burst on her tongue.
Chuckling, Aleta set a glass of water and a plate with a large tequeno on it next to her bowl, and then turned back to her stew.
Sarita picked up the fried breadstick with cheese inside and eagerly took a bite. She loved Aleta's tequenos. Honestly, she loved everything the woman had made for her since her arrival on the island three days earlier. Sarita was seriously considering trying to lure her away to Canada with a job. She was just trying to work out if she could afford it. Her apartment didn't have enough room to house the two of them. She'd need to buy a house, and then there was the whole immigration issue to worry about.
Sarita was just finishing her stew and tequeno when Aleta set her spoon aside again and retrieved a blender from the cupboard. The cook set it on the counter, plugged it in, and then moved to the refrigerator. A moment later she walked back to the counter with an armload of cleaned and pre-cut greens and vegetables.
"What are you making now?" Sarita asked with curiosity as Aleta dropped a good portion of the vegetables into the blender and then moved to the pantry.
Aleta backed out of the pantry a moment later with a jar of some kind of powder. Carrying that to the blender, she murmured, "El Doctor's bebida nutritive."
The doctor's nutrition drink, Sarita translated and stiffened on her stool as she watched Aleta measure out a portion of the powder. Voice sharp, she asked, "El Doctor's back?"
"Back?" Aleta frowned at the powder in her measuring cup and added a bit more, shaking it to level it out as she did. "Back from where? He has not gone anywhere for weeks. He is always down at the labs since he took the ano sabatico."
Sabbatical, Sarita translated. Dr. Dressler had told her he was on sabbatical from the university when he'd called her about her grandmother's falling and injuring herself. And apparently he'd been spending all of his time since then down at his labs . . . not on the mainland as she'd been led to believe. After Dr. Dressler's call telling her about her grandmother's accident and his fears for her well-being since falls could be deadly for older women, Sarita had immediately booked a flight to Venezuela to check on her. She'd been met at the airport by the head of Dr. Dressler's security team, and flown out here by helicopter only to learn that her grandmother was still in the hospital in Caracas and had not yet returned to the island. She'd immediately requested to be transported back to the mainland so that she could see her, but had been told that neither the boats nor the helicopter could be used without first gaining Dr. Dressler's permission and he was not here.
Sarita had assumed that meant he wasn't on the island and had been waiting impatiently for his return, but it seemed he was on the island, just not at the house. She frowned now at this news, furious that Dressler's man hadn't made that clear. Had she known, she could have sought out Dressler himself to get the needed permission, and been at her grandmother's bedside days ago.
Scowling, Sarita stood and quickly carried her empty bowl and plate to the sink.
"Leave it. I will do that," Aleta said when Sarita started to rinse them.
"Gracias," Sarita murmured rather than argue and turned off the tap. She'd finished rinsing them anyway. Turning to head for the door, she added, "And thank you for the dinner. It was delicious."
"De nada," Aleta said absently as she concentrated on her measuring.
Sarita was halfway up the hall before she recalled the men at the front door. Not wanting to be questioned and possibly stopped from going down to the labs, she turned as she reached the entry and jogged up the stairs that led to the second floor. Sarita moved quickly along the hall to the room she'd inhabited since arriving and slipped inside.
A cautious glance out the French doors in her room showed her that the sun was setting. In the dying light she could see men moving toward the house from every direction. While it had not quite been dinnertime when she'd arrived in the kitchen, it was nearly that time now and she was not the only one who appreciated Aleta's cooking.
She watched until all of the men had moved around the house and out of sight. They'd be heading to the door to of the kitchens to fetch their food, she knew. It would leave a skeleton crew of two men at the front door as well as the men on the towers and at the gate to the fenced-in labs. Those men would then be relieved so they too could eat. Or perhaps food would be taken to them. Sarita had no idea, she'd never cared enough to find out.
She didn't really care now either, Sarita decided as she slid out onto the balcony. Finding the yard empty, she climbed over the balcony rail, lowered herself until she hung from the bottom of the white-painted metal, and then let herself drop lightly onto the terrace below. A little grunt slid from her lips as her bare feet slapped on the stone. After a quick glance around, she hurried along the side of the house to the front corner.
A quick peek around the corner showed Sarita that even the men at the front door had gone in search of their meal. She'd always assumed that because the men inside waited to eat in the second shift, that the men outside would too, but it seemed not. Pondering that, she broke away from the house and hurried across the lawn, heading for the path through the trees to the labs.
Sarita expected to be stopped at any moment, but she made it all the way to the tree line outside the fence without encountering anyone. Pausing just inside the trees, she eyed the fenced-in buildings that made up Dr. Dressler's labs. From the air the half a dozen long low buildings had made her think of army barracks. Now, as her gaze slid over the towers on each corner of the high fence surrounding the buildings, she decided it looked more like a prison.
She looked at the men in the towers again, this time checking each one more carefully. Sarita couldn't be sure in the dying light, but it seemed to her that their attention was focused inside the fence rather than out. As if they were guarding against someone escaping rather than intruders. Thinking that could only be good for her, she straightened her shoulders and approached the gatehouse at the fence entrance.
Sarita prepared herself for a verbal battle as she crossed the short distance, expecting whoever was guarding the gate to refuse her entry. But she was determined that she would at least make them call Dr. Dressler out to the gate. She would get him to tell his men to take her to the mainland in either the helicopter or a boat so that she could see her grandmother. It was why she was here in Venezuela. And Sarita was pretty pissed about being made to cool her heels here on the island for three days when her grandmother was in a hospital on the mainland.
In the end, Sarita didn't have to argue with the man in the gatehouse. She walked up to the window, opened her mouth to explain herself, and then closed it without saying a word as she noticed that the blond man inside wasn't even looking her way. He was sitting with his back to the window and gate, ear-buds in his ears as he watched a movie on the computer on the counter in front of him.
A porno, she saw as her gaze slid to the computer screen.
So much for security, Sarita thought dryly and glanced to the gate. There was a large gate, presumably for vehicles, and a smaller one for people to pass through. Sarita walked to the smaller gate. When she found it wasn't even locked and opened easily, she shook her head with disgust and slipped through, then pulled it gently closed. She headed for the nearest building at a quick clip and was more than halfway to it before a shout sounded. It was followed by another, and then another as others heard the call and noticed her.
Sarita ignored them and kept going, but she did move a little faster. She made it to the door, and a glance around as she slipped inside showed her that while one or two men were climbing down the ladders on the towers, the man in the gatehouse still had his head down as he watched his porn. Apparently, he hadn't yet noticed anything amiss. She suspected he'd be in a heap of trouble for it.
Pulling the door closed, Sarita turned to survey the room she'd entered. It was a lab, all white with upper and lower metal cupboards on two walls, a large industrial refrigerator as well as a large industrial freezer along another, and a desk against the last wall. Two small, wheeled tables sat a little distance apart in the center of the room, and those caught and held her attention at once.
Having trouble accepting what she was seeing, Sarita moved slowly across the room to the first table and stared down...
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