The Crimson Corset by Alistair Cross

the crimson corset

The basics

Title: The Crimson Corset

Author:

Series: The Vampires of Crimson Cove #1

- The Crimson Corset (August 2015)

Add it: Goodreads

Goodreads Summary:

Welcome to Crimson Cove

Sheltered by ancient redwoods overlooking the California coast, the cozy village of Crimson Cove has it all: sophisticated retreats, fine dining, and a notorious nightclub, The Crimson Corset. It seems like a perfect place to relax and get close to nature. But not everything in Crimson Cove is natural.

When Cade Colter moves to town, he expects it to be peaceful to the point of boredom. But he quickly learns that after the sun sets and the fog rolls in, the little tourist town takes on a whole new kind of life – and death.

Darkness at the Edge of Town

Renowned for its wild parties and history of debauchery, The Crimson Corset looms on the edge of town, inviting patrons to sate their most depraved desires and slake their darkest thirsts. Proprietor Gretchen VanTreese has waited centuries to annihilate the Old World vampires on the other side of town and create a new race – a race that she alone will rule. When she realizes Cade Colter has the key that will unlock her plan, she begins laying an elaborate trap that will put everyone around him in mortal danger.

Blood Wars

The streets are running red with blood, and as violence and murder ravage the night, Cade must face the darkest forces inside himself, and perhaps even abandon his own humanity, in order to protect what he loves.

This recap was written and submitted by Michelle @ FaerieFits.

in short

Cade is a sire, which basically makes all of the vampires crave him like crazy — since that means he can reproduce with vampires (as opposed to turning them), Gretchen has made plans to use him. She intends to, more or less, breed herself an army of a completely unique race that would make her ridiculously powerful — supposedly. Because there are also “good” vampires in town, she needs to be sneaky. As part of her scheme, she seduces Cade’s brother, Brooks, and starts the process of turning him into a (supposedly loyal) vampire. Cade and his friend, Sheriff Ethan, enlist the help of the “good” vampires (Michael, etc) to get Brooks back. They’re successful.

what went down

  • Cade moves to Crimson Cove to live with his brother, Brooks. He brings a fern named Fernando.
  • Sheriff Ethan Hunter is having small business owners put up flyers about a missing girl named Megan.
  • Ethan is creeped out when he visits The Black Garter about putting up flyers. The wait staff all looks half-dead, and he suspects drugs.
  • Ethan visits Michael at Eudemonia and asks what’s going on at The Black Garter and The Crimson Corset. Michael refuses to say, but it’s clear the Sheriff knows about vampires.
  • Cade gets a job at a book shop – Ethan comes to the book shop to pick up some romance novels (since he knows Cade also reads the genre and will be discrete)
  • A random vamp woman shows up while Ethan is there and starts going crazy around Cade.
  • The vampire rogue goes to The Crimson Corset and tells Sebastian about Cade and her overwhelming lust.
  • Sebastian goes to the bookstore to confirm what the rogue had said.
  • Ethan lingers at the bookstore the rest of the night. He tells Michael about the encounter.
  • Michael decides to confirm whether Cade is really a sire or not before having him followed. He was overwhelmed with blood lust.
  • Michael calls Ethan and tells him to stay with Cade all night.
  • Gretchen pays Cade a visit, and Gretchen and Cade are both very lustful.
  • Ethan shows up at the bookstore and convinces Gretchen to leave. He tells Cade she’s bad news.
  • Ethan has Cade stay with him overnight. He won’t/can’t say why.
  • Michael assigns Oz to watch Cade at night and make sure Gretchen doesn’t take him/mess with him.
  • Gretchen arranges for Cade and Ethan to both be otherwise occupied during the time they normally meet with Brooks to play pool (this is implied, not overtly stated)
  • Gretchen approaches Brooks at the bar and invites him to visit her at The Crimson Corset where “[she] sells pleasure”
  • Brooks decides to visit Gretchen. She arranges to have 2 of her female vamps sleep with him. She gives him a dose of her venom, which makes Brooks obsess over her.
  • Brooks continues going to The Crimson Corset night after night, and his health is deteriorating. Cade worries.
  • Michael sends Lucian, one of his Loyals, to watch the Crimson Corset in case Brooks is going there. Gretchen has Brooks stay home that night.
  • Gretchen has Sebastian and one of her other Loyals kill Lucian. She orders Sebastian to bury the body DEEP so that Michael can’t find it.
  • Sebastian is angry at Gretchen, so he poses the body as if crucified inside the tiger pin of one of Michael’s other Loyals.
  • Chynna finds Lucian’s body, and Michael’s Loyals start preparing for war.
  • One night Brooks doesn’t come back. Cade finally tells Ethan what’s been going on. Ethan finally tells Cade about vampires.
  • Ethan and Cade go to the Crimson Corset during the day to retrieve Cade.
  • They get the acting day manager, Linnette, to help them figure out how to get to Gretchen’s room. Linnette gives them directions, then leaves.
  • Cade and Ethan find Gretchen’s quarters. One of her “Loyals,” Aiden, is in a cage in her living area. He agrees to help them find Brooks in exchange for being let out.
  • Aiden’s twin, Ambrose, was sleeping with Gretchen, and he wakes her up when he hears Aiden being let out.
  • Because Aiden knows Gretchen is coming, he leads Cade and Ethan to a room where Meg had been being kept (she’s AB Negative and therefore yummy). He covers a sheet in her blood and throws it over Cade to hide his scent.
  • Gretchen doesn’t find them, and she decides to wait in The Crimson Corset for them to leave.
  • Cade and Ethan try to leave with Meg. Gretchen can’t actually go after them once they’re in the daylight, but there’s angst about leaving Aiden to deal with her wrath, since he also can’t follow.
  • Aiden throws himself into the sunlight in order to remove the decision from them.

how did it end?

  • Cade and Ethan go straight to Michael with Meg. The group makes plans to get Brooks back.
  • Cade realizes he forgot his cat, Sir Purrcival, at home and he insists that he be allowed to go get him.
  • Winter goes with Cade in case Gretchen’s Loyals are staking out the house.
  • Sebastian is there, and Winter fights and restrains Sebastian. He plans on questioning Sebastian, but the sun is coming, so their activities are postponed.
  • Cade can’t sleep, so he tortures Sebastian with holy water until he finds out where the room Brooks is being kept in is.
  • Cade kills Sebastian and goes back to Eudemonia without Winter (he left a note).
  • At nightfall, the team of vampires (including friends from a neighboring town) + Cade & Ethan attack The Crimson Corset
  • Chynna and Oz stay at Eudemonia to make sure nothing happens there. Meg is convinced to stay with them.
  • Fights happen at The Crimson Corset, but Michael, Winter, Cade, and Ethan get into the tunnels.
  • They’re met in the hall by a vampire who was totally in love with Gretchen. He taunts them, then walks away.
  • A bunch of children turned vamp start attacking the group. Turns out that not only are they vamp kids, but they’re also a bunch of boys dressed up as little girls. Very creepy.
  • Meanwhile, Chynna is busy chatting about books with Meg when Oz comes in and says there’s a vamp wandering around the site; he would have called, but he said he lost his phone.
  • Chynna calls for someone else to watch Meg, and she leaves to go get her tigers to go on patrol
  • She ends up overhearing Oz on the phone talking about how plans need to change because Chynna’s got her tigers out.
  • Chynna figures out that Oz had betrayed them. She kills Oz.
  • Marcus, one of Gretchen’s Loyals, finds Meg in the library. He kills the vamp she was with and starts taunting Meg (earlier, Meg had literally broken his balls while trying to escape; now he wants to mess with her).
  • Meg manages to stab him with a fireplace poker, but since it’s not silver she knows it’s not a permanent solution. She breaks the glass to the library window and begins sawing off his head.
  • Chynna comes back to find Meg finishing up decapitating Marcus.
  • Back at the Crimson Corset, the group has made it to Gretchen and Brooks. They work all slyly with Brooks (because Gretchen is convinced he can’t do squat), and manage to stab her in the heart.
  • The don’t permanently kill her, but instead leave the stake in her heart and sink her in the water. As long as the stake doesn’t come out she’ll stay “dead.”
  • Since she’s dead, Brooks’ started transformation reverses.
  • He begins detoxing with the help of the “good” vampires. Cade starts dating Meg. Everyone is happy.

anything else

Sire – a human who can actually mate with vampires. Causes all vamps to be HIGHLY bloodthirsty, but also causes some serious lust in the opposite sex.

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