Wowsers! Authors can be so creative when they take a well known story or fictional character and give it a new spin. That is what happened in this book to the legend of Dracula and other paranormals that go bump in the night. I enjoyed the combination of history, myth, intrigue and romance.
Unlike many Urban Fantasies, this one does not stick with one or even two main characters’ points of view. It shifts points of view mostly between the lead characters, but many secondary characters including the villain get their place in the sun. This works sometimes to heighten interest or intrigue, but I’m not sure it did that in this case though I’m not willing to go so far as to say that it did not work. I will reserve opinion on this until I see how these other perspectives play out in the sequel (and yes, that means I’m eager to read more of the story and this new-to-me author’s work).
The story begins with Valerie, one of the last vampires left in the world, coming to Portland on a personal vendetta that will end her decade’s old mission of revenge. Before she can carry out her plan, she spies a beautiful human on the street below the building she is perched on. The human’s aura is full of light and attracts her because it is the opposite of her darkness. She accepts the fact that she is attracted and that at some point they will get together.
Lance runs a homeless shelter and has come to accept that the shelter will only have enough funding left for one more night in spite of all he as done to raise funds to make up for all the corruption that went on before his administration. He steps outside for some fresh air and that’s when he spies her. The beautiful vampiress with the soul that is almost entirely dark with one pinpoint of light who looks down on him from a roof top draws not just his attention, but his desire. Like Valerie, Lance is certain that they will be together.
The story unfolds with Lance’s compassionate decision to admit two homeless werewolf kids to the shelter and get it to happen peaceably with the other transients catching the eye of everyone even upstaging the big paranormal conference in town. This has wide-ranging repercussions because it thwarts more than one plot and causes new plots to be put in motion. Radu, the famous younger brother of Vlad Dracul, and the paranormal leader had plans to drop a political bomb at the conference, but now resents Lance taking his limelight. Valerie must scramble to abort her original plans because of the actions of Lance and make a new plan. And now Lance’s actions place his life in jeopardy.
Lance and Valerie both have secrets in their pasts that make their attempt at a relationship fraught with issues not to mention all the interruptions from those attempting to kill them. But in the end, it is exciting and there are a few twists that make me very interested in the sequel.
The basic plot was creative and exciting. I have to confess that I was a little confused when I first started the story when Valerie’s internal dialogue was taking place because there were references that didn’t make sense until later. The present day plot is broken up by flashbacks to Valerie, Lance and Radu’s pasts which explained things about the present. It was all info that was good to know, but it broke up the flow of the story a bit. I found some of the other side stories like the security lady at the party distracting too, but like I say I’ll wait to see if it is a set up for the next segment of the story. There are a few threads that are left dangling which naturally have me frustrated to learn what happens next.
The characters were a bit enigmatic and were revealed as the story went. I liked what came from these reveals. Lance and Valerie were both characters I liked. Radu was the perfect villain. I’m very interested in the character of John who came late to the story, but will recur in the sequel (I hope).
Over all, I found it a good read and I loved the new take on Dracula. I recommend this for the Urban Fantasy lover, but would caution those who prefer strictly Paranormal Romance because of the larger story arc that will continue in future books.
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