Gollancz, 367 page p/b, £8.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

There are some very long running series that can be regarded as supernatural erotica. The salient feature is that somewhere in the novel, the main characters will have explicit, consensual sex. With Laurel K Hamilton’s Anita Blake series, which has now reached twenty-six books, the main character, Anita, is the focal point of every novel. Others, such as Nalini Singh in her Psi-Changeling series, (now up to eighteen) take different pairings and treat each as a romance while still carrying on the thrust of the story arc. Hamilton has a wide range of supernaturals, principally were-animals and vampires though others creep in from time to time. Singh has a race with psychic abilities as her counterpoint to the were-animals.

            Where Lynsay Sands differs from these is that her Immortals are vampires (in that they need blood to sustain their metabolism), no other species involved (except humans, but they get everywhere). Sands’ Immortals have a scientific explanation for their condition and unlike many other supernatural creations by other authors, they have not come out. They are still below the radar of human society. Not all of her Immortals are well behaved so there needs to be a team to hunt down the rogues and dispatch them. Although most of the series, of which this is the twenty-sixth, involve members related to the Argeneau family, the Rogue Hunters have a variety of backgrounds. The focus of Immortally Yours is Beth Argenis who was adopted into the Spanish branch of the family after a rogue vampire Made her. She currently works out of Toronto.

            Previous novels have seen most of the North American Immortals concentrating on a problem in the Caribbean and Venezuela, leaving the Hunters in Canada overstretched. Enter the UK contingent led by Cullen ‘Scotty’ MacDonald. Followers of this series will know how this series works and those who don’t only have to read the blurb to discover the basis of the plot. Beth fancies Scotty but thinks he hates her partly because she was a prostitute before she was an Immortal. Scotty, however realised soon after he met Beth that she was his life mate but hasn’t claimed her because he feels she isn’t ready for that, not having fully overcome the trauma if her earlier life and her Making.

            As Scotty arrives in Canada as series of attempts are made on Beth’s life and Scotty’s hands-off approach has to be abandoned if he is not to lose his life mate. Thus there are two strands to this novel, the mystery of who wants Beth dead, and the overcoming of barriers so that they can finally be together.

         It is absolutely necessary for a writer to put inflections in speech that will identify characters. Scotty, as a Scottish Laird, will naturally have an accent. This is slightly overdone in the use of dialect terms, but every Scotsman will be highly offended to have a Welsh definer put into his speech. The other issue with this particular novel is that we get long passages of the characters expounding their back-story. While this is what is likely to happen in real life, it doesn’t help the flow of the action. There are other methods for the same information to be conveyed if necessary. The intention is probably to show Beth and Scotty’s growing intimacy and trust in each other, but it doesn’t quite work.

This is not the best of this series, and not the one a reader should start with, but for those who are following this series, it will live up to expectations.