I'm going to work damn hard to have no spoilers here :).
I enjoyed this book. It is overall a strong start to what looks to be a very interesting series. It took me a couple chapters to really get into the book, but then when the ball got rolling it REALLY moves fast. I am enjoying the world so far, dark urban fantasy with a rich paranormal mythos that really feels fresh. Not a lot of romance, but I'm more than ok with that. I'm much more in it for the paranormal. And as a horror fan the gore also fits in nicely, but the more squeamish might find a few parts of the story uncomfortable. The vampires feel dark and real, with emotions and violence and gore, and I loved it. And... IT ENDS. There is definitely more story to read, but there is a conclusion here that is satisfying, and I appreciate that. I'm not the biggest fan of cliffhangers.
Veronica is a strong woman and competant madam, but her vulnerability and inexperience shine as she gets put through the ringer again and again. I am excited to watch her grow and hope she can blossom into the strong female lead that is hinted at here. Getting to watch her fail and have to ask for help made her feel realistic and really keeps the story moving, as does seeing the lengths she will go to for the family that has grown up around her. And her relationship with Jules is fabulous.
But I have to say, she wasn't my favorite character. I fell in love with Lucy from her first appearance. She doesn't feature prominently in this book, but she is just SUCH an interesting character that I just loved every scene she was in. Her grace and power shine through the words and she plays like a movie in my mind. VERY cool.
Garrett... I know others have fallen in love with him, but as a regular paranormal reader, he's just too suspicious for me to love him. He's TOO perfect. Time will tell...
Frank is FABULOUS in every sense of the word, and he really shines when he can. I'm not a huge fan of Lewis, but he came off as a bit two dimensional to me. I adore Jules, his strength and harsh reality mixed with his obvious affection for V. Rachel is interesting, but I didn't really get to know her well since she's gone most of the book ;). I love that the house girls have different personalities and I do adore Julie, she really knows where she stands and isn't afraid to do what she has to to keep the life she loves.
I could go on and on, but really you should check this out yourself. If you like vampires, ghosts and dark fantasy, and horny zombies don't scare you off, I think you'll find this an engaging read, and it will whet your appetite for more. I know I'm eagerly awaiting book 2.