July 10, 2013

Spotlight on: The Penton Legacy Series by Susannah Sandlin

The Penton Legacy, Book 3
Susannah Sandlin 
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance 
Date of Publication: February 5, 2013 
ISBN: 978-1612183596
ASIN: B0073XV3L2
Number of pages: 328 
Word Count: approx. 88,000

Purchase Links:
Amazon        Barnes and Noble        Book Depository

Book Description:
The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton's humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal's vicious leader, Will's capture could doom the resistance.
Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will's polished charm and Randa's guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.
Fans of Susannah Sandlin's Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.
Will stopped and scented the air again. There were two vampires nearby; one belonged to the Penton scathe, and one didn’t.
            He ignored both vampires and skirted to the back of the street where the burned shell of his house still smelled of smoke and ash after three days. Aligning his position with the oak tree twenty feet behind what was left of his chimney, he paced forty steps into the woods.
            A thorny bramble that had been draped over a small, scrubby bush pricked his fingers when he pulled it back. Grasping the trunk of the bush, he eased it from its loose grasp in the soil, exposing the top of a metal box.
            The loud click of a cocked pistol preceded the cold press of steel against the back of his head by less than a second.
            He inhaled, annoyed. A rookie mistake. He’d gotten so engrossed in his task he’d let someone slip up on him.
            Penton scathe.
            Freaking Randa.
* * *

Randa grinned, enjoying the disgusted look on Will’s face. “If I were your father, I’d already have the silver spoon back in your mouth, Willy. He’d have you trussed up like a rodeo calf by now, hauling you back to wherever it is he lives when he’s not terrorizing innocent people.”
            Will Ludlam was the kind of guy Randa Thomas had hated as a human, and she didn’t like him a bit more as a vampire. Less, in fact. Not only was he a spoiled rich boy, he was now a virtually immortal spoiled rich boy. He had probably been a blue-chip jock in school with a 4.0 GPA and a string of girls trailing his every step.
            Plus, he annoyed the hell out of her. The consummate smartass.
            “No, if you were my father, you’d have slit my throat—not enough to kill me, but enough to make sure I couldn’t fight back.” His voice was soft, calm. “Then you’d hand me over to your sadistic, freakshow of a second-in-command Shelton, who would play with me until I couldn’t take it anymore. Only when I was good and broken would you return the silver spoon to my mouth.”
            Good God, would any father really do that? Will didn’t sound as if he were joking. Randa relaxed her stance for only a split second before the world tilted and she hit the ground, landing on her back with Will stretched out on top of her in a full body press. And he had her gun.
            “Damn it.” She pushed against him but it was like pressing on bedrock.
            He propped on his elbows and grinned down at her. His hat had fallen off in the scuffle and the moonlight glinted off his hair, making it look silver instead of a naturally streaked blond. And he had dimples, as if God hadn’t already rewarded him with enough in the looks department.
            “And if I were my father, you would be dead. Or worse. Believe me, with Matthias, there’s always much worse. Give up?”
            She squirmed again, but froze when she realized he was getting turned on by her movements. There was definitely more of him pressing on her than there had been a few seconds earlier.
            He laughed, a white glint of teeth in the moonlight. “Oh, don’t stop moving, sweetheart. This is getting more and more interesting.”
            Yeah, she could feel exactly how interested he was getting. She felt a very un-vampirelike flush of heat as he wedged a knee between her legs. Damn it. She clenched her teeth at her body’s betrayal—which he’d be able to sense. She hated being a vampire; there was no sense of privacy. “Get. Off. Me. Now.”
            Will lowered his head and, damn him, inhaled deeply, with his face pressed against the side of her neck. Her carotid artery also thumped in a very unvampire-like cadence. She waited for the smartass comments to start.
            Instead, he lifted his head and looked her in the eye. She could swear his heartbeat sped up, although it was hard to tell over the pounding of her own. Well, this was awkward.
            He blinked and opened his mouth to speak, then closed it again.
            Well, that was one good thing. Will had been stricken dumb, at least for a moment. It wouldn’t last.

The Penton Legacy, Book 2
By Susannah Sandlin 
Release date: October 9, 2012
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Purchase Links:
Book Description:

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal.

A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead.

To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues.

The Penton Legacy, Book 1
By Susannah Sandlin

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Book Description: 

Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.

Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.

But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland.  Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars

To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago. 

Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.

Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.

I can't tell you how much I truly enjoyed reading the first three books in this series!  This is really one of the best new vampire series that I have read in a long while. 

I love the unique spin that Susannah Sandlin has put on the age old vampire story - not only are there vampires living in our world undetected, but they are facing their very own "Walking Dead" apocalypse.  Humans have been forced to take a vaccine that cured a worldwide pandemic, and as a result all vaccinated human blood is now toxic to vampires.  The number of humans who did not get vaccinated is small, thus causing a widespread starvation amongst the vampires.  In the midst of this catastrophe, Aidan Murphy, a powerful master vampire, has bought up an old abandoned town in Penton, Alabama and turned it into a safe haven for his chosen vampire and human family, or scathe.  Aidan's scathe has an abundance of unvaccinated human familiars, or feeders, that feed the vampires regularly, so they do not know starvation and desperation.  Plus, all of the vampires have bonded with Aidan and all of the humans have bonded with the vampires, so no other vampires can feed off of them.  The Vampire Tribunal sees this wonderland that Aidan has created as a threat to their power.  They feel (or rather one member of the Tribunal) feels that Aidan and his town pose a real danger to their control over the vampire world if they ever decided to rise up and fight the Tribunal.  Aidan has no desire to ever do this, but that doesn't stop the rogue member of the tribunal, Matthias, from sending Aidan's estranged brother Owen to kill him. 

The events in the first book, Redemption, are very fast paced and adrenaline inducing.  Sandlin keeps the action going at the same time she is world building and introducing quite a lot of characters.  I think that she did a very good job balancing it all, and there was never a time where I felt lost or bogged down.  In this book, we get to see the story of Aidan and Krys, the human doctor that he kidnaps and brings to Penton to replace the doctor that was murdered by Owen.  Aidan and Krys sort of fall into insta-love, but she is in for a shock once she discovers the existence of vampires.  I usually do not enjoy books that have insta-love.  I prefer that the characters have to work for it.  But if you can make me believe in it after the fact, and do it enough justice to make it seem credible, I'll go with it.  And that is what Sandlin does here.  She builds the relationship between Aidan and Krys methodically and logically after they are in love with each other.  And it works.  She uses the same tactic in book two when we get the story of Mirren and Glory, and it works there also.

In book two, Absolution we get to learn more about one of my favorite characters from book one: Mirren Kincaid, also known as the Slayer.  Mirren has a very dark and tortured past that was alluded to in book one.  He served as an assassin for the Tribunal back in his earlier years and earned quite a reputation as a ruthless mercenary.  However, once he learned that the vampires that were hiring him to kill other vampires were actual the worser of two evils, he disappeared from pubic view, and later faked his death.  After joining up with Aidan and helping him to establish Penton, he has spent his life trying to atone for his past in his own silent and closed off way.  I knew there was more to him than met the eye from what I read in book one, and I was really looking forward to getting past his stoic demeanor.  When he met Glory, I knew right away that she was going to be the one to break him down and then help him rebuild.  I loved the relationship that these two had.  Mirren is such a domineering and imposing character, that of course the woman he falls in love with would have to be his equal.  And Glory is all that and more.  She is strong and sincere and stubborn, all rolled up in one woman.  I truly enjoyed their banter (more hers than his), and watching their relationship evolve into something real.  I definitely love Mirren!  He is 100% the epitome of the bad guy with a heart of gold.

Book three Omega was also a great book.  It focused on the story of Will, the estranged son of psychopath Tribunal member Mathias Ludlum.  Will has been living in Penton for a while since escaping from the tyrannical rule of his father, and that has not made his father very happy.  He will go to any lengths to get Will back in the fold and break him to his control.  However Will is determined to help defend the humans and vampires of Penton to his last breath, and to never return to his father.   He is also determined to prove to his partner Randa, that he has what it takes to be a formidable enemy, and that he can hold his own in battle.  As the scathe and their humans are forced to retreat to Omega, their underground fortress that they have built in anticipation of all out war between them and the Tribunal, all of our favorite characters are forced to fight for everything that they love and hold dear.  In this book we get to see the scars and demons that haunt our seemingly happy-go-lucky pretty boy, Will.  If I thought I hated Mathias from the first two books, now I know that I do.  The things that he did to his son just make me sick.  It's amazing that Will has turned out to be the kind of person that he is - it is a real testament to his character.  And reading all of the sordid details about his past also made me realize how much he really needed someone like Randa in his life to balance him out.  This book did not disappoint in any shape or form, and the bar of my expectation was set really high from the first two books in this series.

I really liked getting to know more about Cage.  He is a very interesting character, and I've heard rumors that the next book will be his.  I can't wait to read it!

About the Author:

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.



  1. I enjoyed your review of the Penton Legacy series. Some time ago Suzanne Johnson talked me into trying Paranormal Romance with Susannah Sandlin's series. I'm glad she did. Recommend whenever I can. Also enjoy the spin off series starting with Storm Force.

  2. I loved this series!! to see how the characthers evolve, the tension but still with humour it was wonderful... yes cage will be next and he has some explaining to do^^;;

    the spin off is different ( more thriller in a sense) but fabulous as well teh difference is that with shifters intead of vampires ( and what shifters so really if yuou haven't tried it yet don't hesitate you will be blow away^^)

  3. This is a terrific series. Go forth and read it!


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