Family and Reflection

The Sleepless City - (series written with Elizabeth Noble) - Book 3

by Anne Barwell

For as long as Lucas Coate can remember, werewolves have been taught to mistrust vampires. Lucas is an exception—he has close friends who are vampires. The werewolf pack in Flint—and their leader, Jacob Coate—have made it clear that Lucas’s association with vampires is barely tolerated, and another transgression will be his last. When Lucas finds out about the plague of werewolf deaths in the area, he wants to help even though his own life may already be in danger.

Declan has been away from Flint for ten years, but he isn’t surprised to learn that the internal politics of the Supernatural Council haven’t changed for the better. When a series of burglaries hit close to home soon after he arrives, Declan—a vampire and professional thief—is their prime suspect, although for once, he isn’t responsible. With the council keeping secrets, no one is safe. Time is running out, and for Lucas and Declan, everything is about to change.


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“Someone has stolen from the council, Mr. Declan,” Hillary said. “Are you denying you’re responsible?”

“That depends. Are you accusing me?” Declan replied, giving her the incredulous look her comment deserved before continuing. “I’m sorry, Mrs. Lassiter, but if I was a thief, I wouldn’t be stupid enough to steal from the council. My friends work for you, as do I on occasion. We have no argument with you.”

At least they hadn’t lately, Declan added silently. Anyway, just because he could break into the council vault, it didn’t mean he had.

“The items stolen did not belong to the council itself. This is personal.” Hillary stood. She sounded angry. “Someone broke into my home last night and stole something from my bedroom while I slept!”


“Well, it wasn’t me,” Declan said. No wonder the council was upset. Whoever was doing this either had a death wish or was trying to make a point. He shrugged. “You need to read up on vampires. You’re human. I can’t enter your home unless you invite me in.”

“Some of your kind don’t need to follow that rule,” she said.

Jacob cleared his throat. “Declan isn’t old enough, Hillary.” Only a very old vampire could enter a private home uninvited. “There are ways around that rule, however, and we are not sure this burglar is working alone.”

“What if he had already been invited in?” she said, ready to argue the point. “My husband’s family has owned the house for over twenty years. It was robbed fifteen years ago, the day after we’d had a tradesman there to fix the phone. People invite tradesmen in all the time. I checked the council records. Declan was in Flint then too.”

“That still doesn’t mean it was me,” Declan pointed out. He thought back. Lassiter. Lassiter. Oh, right. No wonder her name seemed familiar. That robbery fifteen years ago probably had been him. He’d burgled a few homes in Flint around that time by posing as a tradesman a few days beforehand. Once he’d been invited in, it was forever, or at least while that particular human was still living there.

“It doesn’t mean it wasn’t, either,” Jacob said. He steepled his fingers, his brows creasing in thought.

“Mrs. Lassiter implied this meeting was because I needed your help,” Declan reminded him. “I don’t. Don’t accuse me of something unless you have proof.”

“Do you have an alibi for last night?” Jacob asked.

“Yes,” Declan said. He took a deep breath and blew it out. Jacob was going to love this one. “Lucas. Your son.”

Jacob didn’t seem surprised at the revelation. Was he keeping an eye on Lucas despite telling his son he wanted nothing more to do with him? Perhaps he still cared. For all their differences, Lucas was family, and that was important to the pack.

“All night?” Jacob asked after everyone else in the room had turned their heads to stare at Declan.

“No,” Declan had to admit. He wasn’t sleeping with Lucas and wasn’t about to imply he was. Lucas had enough family issues without them thinking he was involved with a vampire. Which he wasn’t. “We got home about three this morning.”


Reviews:Nikyta on The Blogger Girls wrote:

Lucas has been friends with his vampire roommates for about a decade and since then, he’s been an outcast to his pack. When Declan, Forge’s ex-lover, arrives in Flint, he can’t help the attraction he feels towards the man but knows vampires and werewolves don’t mix. But when Declan gets accused of a crime against the Supernatural Council, Lucas’ protective instinct kicks in and he’s determined to prove Declan’s innocence. Add to that, there’s a plague affecting werewolves that no one can find a cure for. When it comes down to life and death, will Lucas and Declan be able to save each other or will their time run out before it even begins?

I’ve been a fan of this series since I started it last year. It’s a very intriguing world so with each new story that comes out, I get even more excited. So far, this has been my favorite of the series and not just because it has the vampire/werwolf combo but because Lucas and Declan together are so amazing! I absolutely adored the fact they had such a great friendship before they became something else. I also loved the chemistry between them.

But it wasn’t just that, I really enjoyed the storyline in this one. I loved following along on the werewolf plague journey and getting to understand more of the paranormal world. I was drawn into this story right from the start and found it really hard to put down! However, the characters (both primary and secondary) made this story such a great one. Lucas was so endearing and Declan was so… amusing. I actually didn’t expect him to be so playful and modern… if that makes any sense LOL.

I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book but my biggest issue is that I felt like there was a lot of questions unanswered. Not with the mystery or anything because I know that’s an overall arc but with Lucas and Declan. I wanted to explore more of their relationship, how their connection transformed and what it ultimately transformed into. I wanted to see MORE of them when they’re bonded and to truly understand how their soul bond is different than the others… and to find out why Lucas couldn’t feel Declan. Aside from that, I wished there was a little more effort into seeing Declan trying to undercover the true thief because there wasn’t much of that besides the accusations and then the discovery of the person… who I couldn’t really understand how they were able to steal things.

In the end, though, this was a FABULOUS story. Definitely my favorite out of the series so far and I’m so glad Lucas finally got his story! I’m having so much fun with this series so I cannot wait until the next book and to see what happens next. I sincerely hope we get another book where Lucas and Declan are the main characters but at this point, I just want more of the world! If you’ve liked the series so far, definitely make this your next read!

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About the Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand.  She shares her home with Kaylee: a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her. To date it appears Kaylee may be winning the discussion.

In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.  She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ.

Anne’s books have received honourable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.


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